Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye, 2007!

The sun set on 2007 for the last time tonight on the Texas panhandle. May your 2008 be as beautiful and as peaceful as our sunset was tonight.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

First Shots

Today we went to Buffalo Lake NWR near Umbarger, Texas, so I could work my shutter finger and try out my new XT. We were lucky and found 12-15 mule deer laying in the tall prairie grass. At first, one pair of ears is all we saw, but soon they were not alone. Here are some shots I got. Click on them for a larger view.


I used a 75-300mm lens. The close-ups were taken at 300mm, handheld in windy conditions.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Impulse Buying?

I sometimes kid a female friend about shopping, but last night I proved that I am prone to a bit of impulse buying. So, I guess can be a target of those ribbings, too.

Many of you know that I am a bit of a photographer wannabe. Well, last night I went to Wal-Mart to get some Cokes ("pop", "soda", and "soft drinks" for non-Texans) and water. Well, I often wander through "guy stuff" when I'm there and last night was no different. As I passed by the photo department, a camera caught my eye. Earlier in the day I had been thinking that film has been getting to be a bit of a PITA, sadly. Too many times, the photo shops' developers are down, they don't have my CD's ready when they say they do (often the next day!), the images are seldom what they should be (exposures never consistent), and when things go wrong at the developer, I get the runaround and even lies. It gets old. Anyhow, I fought with myself for a while as I drifted around the store getting what I came for. The end result is that I caved in. Yep, I went digital. I bought the Canon Rebel XT 8mp. Maybe I shouldn't have with all that's going on in my life, but I did.

For me, it was a big step. I've been a film fan forever, and now this! Egad!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Past

Christmas once again has past. As it passed through, it left a lot of love and tranquility - peace, if you will. This was another very pleasant experience for me. My past life was full of stress and turmoil at this time of year. It was not an enjoyable experience. For the last three Christmases, each has been increasingly pleasant, stress-free, and just plain fun.

I think somebody read my mind. Being a Coast Guard veteran from back in the early/mid 70's, I kinda like USCG militaria. Santa brought me a beautiful wristwatch with the CG insignia on the face.

He also brought me a "Grandpa" pocket watch (I think my grandkids had something to do with it.), a CD of one of my favorite groups (Celtic Woman), and a new wireless mouse for my notebook PC that I've been needing. That Santa's really something, ya know?

----

I know the New Year will bring more pleasantries to my world. I have been blessed greatly, and I know I have many more to experience. Here's wishing you all a very


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kringla Goof?

I mixed up another batch of kringla dough today - for baking tomorrow for our Christmas get-together. I might have screwed up a bit, but we'll have to see. The recipe calls for buttermilk, and without thinking (hey, I'm a guy) I grabbed the 2% milk instead. I didn't realize it until it was too late. The dough was already mixed and in the fridge. Buttermilk is only 1%, so maybe it won't make much of a difference. I hope it will be ok. If they turn out better by some miracle, I'll take note of it and change the recipe. *G*

o0O0o

(Update: Monday, 24 December)

I just finished making that batch of kringla, and this is the result:

The dough was lacking "body", and was much like thick mud in consistency. It was much stickier than when using buttermilk, and was much more difficult to roll out. At one point, I got a phone call right as I finished rolling one out, and after only one or two minutes, it had flattened itself on the waxed paper. You can imagine. Maybe if I had to use 2% again, I might try using less of it. I don't intend to substitute like that again if I can help it. One mistake like that will stick in your head for a while, I'm sure. :)

The final product looked the same as if I'd done it right. Tasted the same, too. So, if I don't tell anybody what I did, they won't know. *G*

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

“Merry Christmas!”
Those words seem to stir uneasy feelings in some. They even bring out hate and violence in some. Why? How can the implied wishes of well-being, peace, and love be offensive to anybody?

The time around the Christmas season (December and January) finds many religions and good people celebrating important things with respect to their beliefs and in their lives. It might be the birth of Christ, standing up for what it right, or even the writings of their Holy Book. No matter what the celebration is rooted in, these celebrations are all good. They are the positive aspects of humanity – goodness, peace, and love. They are all based on God in one way or another, and/or things He has done. Whether He gave a virgin a child, allowed one day of oil to last 8 days, or inspired the first words of one's belief to be written, it makes no difference to me.


With that in mind, if you choose to wish me well, do so in any way that has meaning to you. Accept my well wishes to you in the same light. Wish me “Happy Hannukah” or “Happy Holidays” if you like. I might return the wish in kind, but I will most likely wish you “Merry Christmas” in return. Feel free to translate it into the way you believe. Celebrate the way you wish. Let us all have tolerance and respect for the many different ways that others choose to celebrate.


As for me, I believe that God is the Creator of everything, and has a Son that was born to a virgin, and that His Son's birth is the sole reason we celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December every year. You may believe as you wish. :)


Merry Christmas, everybody!

Have a happy and safe holiday season.

The First Day Of Winter

It's finally here - the first day of winter. Overnight, it brought us North winds of 36 mph (frequent gusts of 45 or more) and blowing snow. Not much snow yet, only about an inch or so. I expect a little drifting but I haven't seen any yet. The driveway is pretty clear with the wind blowing it all away, but the roads look like they've frozen over. Maybe later we'll go out and "play" in it - after they get it cleaned up a bit.

This image is from one of our local TV stations' webcams, captured this morning at about 8:40am. Too bad you can't see the wind. It's howling! They are talking about us on The Weather Channel as I type. They are saying gusts over 50 mph now.

I still have someone to buy some small things for, for Christmas. I know what I want to get, but I should probably be alone when I do. Kinda hard to keep secrets sometimes when shopping together. I almost blew it for a friend yesterday. I got a little close and saw "stuff" in the shopping cart, but none of it registered. I just wasn't paying that close attention, so the surprise is intact. I gotta be careful about that. :)

As for today, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

Happy First Day Of Winter!!!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Kringla Time!

I'm half Norwegian. Both my maternal grandparents were Norwegian. When we were kids, we looked forward to visiting Grandma, partly because she always had goodies waiting for us - the fresh-baked, homemade kind. Her cinnamon rolls were to die for! If there weren't so many waiting for us, there would probably have been a few fights along the way. *G*

She liked to make Norwegian/Scandinavian treats for us - mostly lefsa and kringla. I think my favorite is still Kringla. I made my first batch ever last year around Christmas time, and did some more tonight. I think I'm improving a bit. They were a bit more uniform this time, and none of them were dark on the bottom. I even boxed up half a dozen or so to share with a friend. I'm not at all embarrassed to let others see them. They actually looked pretty good! (Taste good, too!)
Kringla

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or oleo
1 egg
3 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk

Mix sugar, butter, unbeaten egg. Add buttermilk and soda, then flour, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Must keep dough cold as you work with it so just take out of the frig. what you need at a time. Roll out small pieces like a pencil on a floured pastry cloth. (I used waxed paper. If you do, you will probably need to tape it down so it doesn't slide around.) Can make them into a circle, a bow shape, or a figure eight shape. Mine are pretzel shaped, like my grandmother did. Bake at 400 F on an ungreased cookie sheet until very lightly browned, only about 8-10 minutes. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen. Serve spreading butter on the bottom. (You can put anything you like on them, but I eat 'em up plain.) Double ingredients for about 5 dozen. You can freeze them and warm in the microwave oven for "drop-in" coffee friends.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Meme

1.What is your favorite Christmas carol/song?

If I had to pick one, it would probably be Believe as done by Josh Groban.

2.White lights or multicolored?
I like both, but multi-colored are "comfort food".

3. Do you have a cut tree, live tree or an artificial tree?
Artificial.

4. Eggnog, mulled cider, or hot chocolate?
Decisions, decisions, decisions.

5. Do you decorate your house with lights?
Yes

6. Do you write a Christmas letter?
No.

7. Do you like receiving Christmas letters/photos?
I enjoy getting anything in the mail from friends and family.

8. What is your favorite Christmas story/movie?
Home Alone or (believe it or not) It's a Wonderful Life.

9. Have you ever made a gingerbread house?
Nope.

10. Poinsettias or holly?
No preference here.

11. Do you display a nativity scene?
Yes.

12. Do you bake Christmas cookies?
I need to get started on my kringla.

13. Ham or turkey?
Yes.

14. In what languages can you wish someone a Merry Christmas (without cheating)?
Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad

15. Do you know all the words to Jingle Bells?
I think so

16. Do you put presents under the tree?
Yes and antique toys

17. How do you eat a candy cane?
Probably not.

18. What is your biggest holidays pet peeve?
Saying "Merry Christmas" is not cool to many people. I don't care for intolerance.

19. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Getting together with family.

20. What was the best present you ever got for Christmas?
Freedom, on Christmas in July.

--00--

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Ice and Snow

Last night, things got a bit chilly for us. This morning, we woke up to ice - mixed with a bit of snow, but mostly ice. We're supposed to get some more tomorrow. Maybe we'll get lucky and get a "snow day" and get to stay home.

I ventured out a little while ago to check out the situation. Not real bad. The ice is the crunchy/crusty kind, but where traffic has been on our street, it's been slicked up a bit. I headed out to get he salt left over from last year, break it up since it clumped up in storage, and start de-icing. It's been said that I live for wintry weather, but not really. I just don't let it bother me at all. I was born and raised in Iowa, so nasty winter weather isn't a big deal - just takes a little adjustment.

Hopefully, things won't deteriorate and get too icy. I don't care what kind of vehicle you are in, nothing does well on ice. Unfortunately, some people think since they have a 4WD, they are immune to going sideways - and they find out otherwise. No, it's not just 4WD owners. They're great when they are driven properly. A lot of people over-drive situations. When icy, it all comes to light.

Nutcracker

Some friends came to the panhandle from Tennessee this weekend. Together, three couples enjoyed a Lone Star Ballet production of The Nutcracker. This is the second time in my life I've seen it. As usual, it was a great show. The props/scenery were beautiful! Unfortunately, they don't permit photography or videos, so I can't show you what they looked like. Surprisingly, there were a fair amount of kids at the ballet, and most of them stayed awake through it all. It was really entertaining, with appropriate humor interjected in both acts. I loved it!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Bird Nut?

I was just sitting here loafing at the computer, when thoughts of my school daze drifted through my mind. I have always had a fascination/respect for birds, I guess.

I remember a time back in Iowa when I found an injured bird. I think I was in elementary school - not sure which grade. I lived in the Cedar Falls area at the time. Anyhow, this bird had an injured wing and couldn't fly. I took him in and kept him from further harm until he showed me his wing was strong enough and well enough to fly. I fed him whatever I could find - bread, bugs, etc. Turns out he preferred the bugs, being a Northern Flicker.

My efforts were not in vain, as he was soon strong enough to fly. I let him go, with the satisfaction that I may well have saved him from the neighborhood cats.

**********

Another time, on a summer work crew during my High School days, I came across a couple of orphaned pigeon squabs that needed a parent figure. I took them home as well, and cared for them. One did not make it long because it was too weak from the start. The other did, and became a close-knit part of my life. After all, I became his foster daddy.

I kept him in my bedroom, pretty much unrestrained other than at night and when I couldn't be there, I'd keep him in a large cardboard box. I couldn't feed him with the same stuff his momma could, nor could I do it in the same manner, so I used plain old white bread soaked in water. I'd roll it in little balls and pop it in his little beak. When I thought a little extra water was in order, I took a small eye dropper and gave him a drop at a time. I would "coo" at him as I fed and watered him. Damned if I know what I said, but he didn't seem to take offense to it.

As time went on, he lost his down, grew feathers, and got to being a right handsome young man. The more his feathers developed, I developed a little problem. His diet changed. I began feeding him berries - raspberries, mulberries, etc. His favorite were the mulberries, but Mom didn't like them. They have to come out, you know - and with him having free reign of my room, it made kind of a mess. I got over that obstacle after a while, and it got to where I would take him outside a lot more with me - to eat berries and relieve himself.

When flight training came up, I'd at first tether his leg on a string so he wouldn't get away before it was time for him to be on his own. He did well. I would take him to the mulberry bush so he could freely dine. After eating, he would stretch his wings, practice take-offs and landings, do his business, etc., all the while being tethered.

One day I got the notion to remove the string from his leg while we were out. It's gotta happen some day. I don't know why I picked that day/time. He took flight on his own, flew around the house a few times, and returned. That was the end of his leash. I let him have his freedom. Like a little puppy, he kept coming back. He would fly around, do his pigeon thing, and return to my shoulder. If I would want to go in before he, I would let out a couple of "coos" and he would return like a dog being called. He would ride on my shoulder when going into town or just walking around town. I got some real interesting looks. :) He would casually fly around when he wanted to, and return to his place on my shoulder.

One day, he took off on his own. He had his own life, with his own kind. I don't know if he ever came around again. After a certain age, most pigeons all look the same. Regardless, I felt a sense of accomplishment. At that time in my life, that's something I needed. I needed him as much as he needed me.

This is what he looked like when I found him:


This is what he looked like as an adult:
(Note: None of the above pictures are of the actual birds.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Trick-Or-Treat!

When I got home today, I carved our pumpkin. Trick-Or-Treat is on Halloween night here. Unfortunately, it may not be dark this year because DST doesn't go away until Sunday morning – the 4th. I hope I'll get to terrorize the little kiddies when they come to the door for their goodies. It works so much better in the dark. :-) Here is the result of my handiwork with the knife.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Balloons Aloft

This weekend, the Pirates of The Canyon is going on. It's a balloon festival of sorts. Last night, they did a night burn, where they lit up the balloons but didn't launch them. They looked like someone was switching light bulbs on and off.


Today I got a phone call from our neighbor, telling us that there were some balloons flying over the house. We grabbed our cameras and headed out the door, just in time to see a strange-looking yellow balloon. It resembled an upside-down pyramid. There was a couple of normal ones that had already passed overhead, and more followed the upside-down pyramid.



There were brightly-colored ones and one or two black ones with some colored sections. There were none of the real fancy ones like you'd see at Albuquerque's balloon fiesta – except the one that looked like an upside-down pyramid. Even so, it was a good showing for Amarillo. I've enjoyed it so far. I don't know if we're going to get out to the canyon in the morning or not, since the winds they are forecasting may be a bit too much for a launch.


ooO0Ooo

I forgot to mention that one of our "boys" (cat/dog named Bat) brought us a little present. I came up to the door with him on my heels, and I noticed something sticking out of his mouth. Before I opened the door for us to go in, I made sure what it was. It kinda looked like a mouse tail. Ya know what? There was a mouse attached to it - still alive and unhurt! Bat put him on the porch at the door, and looked so proud! The mouse tried to run away but he was caught again before he got 12" away. A couple rounds of catch-and-release, I gave him a bunch of "atta boy's" and told him he'd have to keep his toys outside. He conceded and let me go inside alone. Bat took his "toy" away while seeming a little disappointed that he couldn't bring it in the house. He's such a good boy! We've been feeding him for so long, and I guess he figured he'd return the favor and bring us some food. Didn't have the heart to tell him that we prefer to get all of our fresh meat from the store. What a nice boy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hello, My Little Friend!

Monday morning was an interesting one, to say the least. It started out like normal, nothing unusual in the air. I got to work, checked in with the boss like always, grabbed my clipboard full of jobs and headed out in the truck. A coworker joined me when I got to my appointed rounds, since we've been working together repairing lights all around campus. As we were sitting in the truck making our game plan for the day, I noticed a little squirrel scampering up the tree next to where we parked. As we conferred on the coming day's events, the squirrel started down the tree, stopped and looked at us. That's when it got weird. I swear to God, this part really happened – and I had a witness!

Well, as the squirrel was perched on the tree trunk no more than 6 feet from us (head down, tail up), he lifted his right front leg and waved at me/us! He raised it up and lowered it 3 or 4 times in succession. Yes, he waved at us! And, yes – I waved back. After this little incident, he moved down the trunk a few paces, stopped, and raised his left front leg once as if to say “Good Bye!” He held it long enough that he could have been waiting for me to high five him. Well, I waved back again and that seemed to satisfy the little guy. He then proceeded to go about his business.

I've never had anything happen quite like that before. Rest assured, that sociable little fellow was the talk of our day!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sold!

Today was my first experience at selling on eBay. My auction ended today. I sold my old Pentax A3000 film camera with all its lenses. It felt a little strange for the week it was up, but it turned out to be a pleasant experience. I was a little apprehensive as to how the money would change hands through PayPal. It was pretty much on autopilot throughout the transaction. All I had to do was transfer the money into the appropriate account. I could have left it in my PayPal account, but I don't buy that much online where I can use them. I suspect that I will be selling more in the weeks and months to come.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

That Just Burns Me!

Yesterday at work, I was helping a buddy with some soldering he needed done on a handicap door switch. It had been a long time since anybody used the soldering iron I needed. Like a dummy, I picked it up and ran my fingers down the length of the iron. Big mistake. Some Bozo left it plugged in. Smoke rolled off the iron, and I felt that burning sensation aross the tips of 2 fingers and a thumb. Boy, did I feel stupid! I took proper immediate action and ran cold water over my little fingers for about 15 minutes or so to remove the heat before it got too deep. So far, no blistering or anything - and I can still type just fine! :)

Update - Monday, 17 September 2007
Fingers are doing great. I never got any blisters or anything. Healed up really good. All it took was a little first aid - running cold water over them right away. The cold water or ice treatment is not to be trivialized. It works!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sea Of Flags


Sea Of Flags
Originally uploaded by HighPlainsDox
A memorial was held where I work today. One flag for each victim created a sea of red, white, and blue. The names of each victim is under each flag. It brings a sense of magnitude seeing all of them n one place like this. This is a small section of the sea. May they rest in peace, and may we never forget.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Grocery Shopping

Interesting evening at the supermarket. We (my female best friend and I) went after some bath soap, hot dogs, dish soap, etc. - just a few things we were needing. As we were meandering through the aisles of the store, I noticed something a little out of place. One of the other patrons had some loose-fitting, rather short shorts (or maybe culottes) on. Seemed a little inappropriate for the grocery store. Anyhow, I got a bit of an awakening when she took a step or two forward. As she did, a wrinkle (fold?) appeared, and OMG! Her butt cheeks were sticking out!


I started chuckling, and promptly told the story to my shopping companion. Laughter ensued...and of course we shared comments fueling more laughter....followed by more comments. (I thought I could eat two hot dogs, but maybe only one after seeing that.) We got into an endless cycle of laughter as we finished gathering up groceries and proceeded to the checkout counter. As we made the final turn to get in line, we saw the same lady with the butt cheeks - coming towards us. Poor thing. Time hasn't been the best to her - but she had a pair of young-looking butt cheeks! ;) Anyhow, we got the truck loaded, fired it up, and started to pull out. Uh-OH! We forgot something! You'll never believe this. We forgot hot dog............BUNS! (ROTFLMAOPIMP!!!) How could that happen?! How could we possibly forget buns - after half a loaf had just been unwrapped in front of us?!

I backed back into the parking spot I just pulled out of and proceeded back into the store (LMAO the whole time with tears running down my cheeks, BTW). Went past the same young lady that just checked us out (had to tell her why all the laughter when we first went through, so she didn't think we were laughing at her), and she asked me if I forgot something. I quietly told her, "You're not going to believe this! We forgot hot dog buns!" Now she was laughing, and commented, "You've made my day!" She couldn't help laughing any more than I could when I bought the buns through her register.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Timber!!!, Addendum

I hadn't really been hurting at all from my bout with the tree limb, just a little soreness one could expect. Night before last, I must have laid on my right side (the "wrong" side), 'cause I got to hurting a bit more. I took off work today to get it checked, just to be on the safe side. Turns out I cracked the 9th rib on the right side. Got some meds to help the healing, but I guess it will take time. This is my first cracked/broken rib...and it only took me 53 years to do it!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Shooting Stars

We went outside of town tonight to check out the meteor shower. It wasn't extremely active, but we got to see maybe a dozen or so, a few of which were pretty dramatic. One in particular was throwing a lot of sparks behind it, traveling relatively slow - a really nice one! It's been far too long since I've been out seeing the bazillions of stars in our night sky. I think we'll try again tomorrow night.

As we headed home, after 11:30, a state trooper stopped us. We were going at least 5 under the limit, and wondered why he would stop us. Was it a drunk check? Nope, not this time. He told us that my front right headlight was out - just the low beam. I swear I didn't even notice. I'm pretty picky about all of my lights working. If one goes out, I fix it right away. I don't care if it's a little marker light. Anyhow, he was really nice and just gave me a warning. Not a problem. I'll just go to Wally and pick one up. I thanked the trooper and we went our separate ways.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's Down

The tree branch in the previous post is down now. When I got home from work, I got out my pole pruner and starting cutting the branches away from the main branch. Carefully, I removed the ones that were not load-bearing. Didn't want to disturb its position until I was ready. After clearing away the obstructing branches, I had one left - the one that was supporting it on the ground. The end up in the tree was wedged in the crotch of a couple other branches. I carefully assessed where I should make a partial cut, how deep to cut it, and how far off the ground. I wanted to shift the position of the main branch, and at the same time free it up so it could be taken down without interference. The partial cut was so I could move the branch when I wanted it to move. It all worked out as I had planned, and didn't take out any of the lines going to the house in the process - phone, cable, or power. Now, I had to find a way to get it dislodged and get it on the ground - without tearing up anything or anybody. With my plan in mind, I enlisted the help of a neighbor friend, and we proceeded to put the plan in action. It went pretty much as I had wanted, except for one little bitty thing. When it came down out of the tree, it rocked up and blind-sided me, throwing me five or six feet from where I started. I know I scared the hell out of a couple people, but it's cool. I only got a bit of an abrasion on my side - the size of a cantaloupe.

I'm fine, but it probably would have made a good one for America's Funniest Videos.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Timber!!!!

Today after work I mowed the lawn, did some edging, and generally got the yard looking nice again. After doing the cutting, I was working on putting the "things" back in place (flower pots, chairs, etc.) when I noticed a 3 or 4' long, 1 1/2" diameter branch that fell out of the tree - right where I mowed in the back yard. There was no wind or anything, no reason for branches to fall out of the tree. Shortly after I found it, I heard a creak and small "crack". A little later, another...then another. I hightailed it for the house, and only got about half way when that branch's mother came crashing down! I looked back to where I was standing, and it would have missed me where I was. I didn't know that when I heard the cracking. Nothing like a large branch in the tree next to you giving way, to get your blood pumping.



I've known it for several years, but to me, this is proof that Someone "up there" is watching over me. Had I been mowing around the tree when it began cracking, I never would have heard it. We were the recipients of a couple of extra blessings today.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wrong Question!

Today we ate breakfast (late) at a small, cozy, homegrown/hometown restaurant called The Pancake Station. Excellent food, with that homey treatment and feel. As we were seated, a young man met us at our table and handed us our menus. When he asked what we'd like to drink, I asked him what kind of soft drinks they had. He looked at me quite puzzled and said, "What???" What a dope! I'm in the Texas panhandle now, for Pete's sake. Once the realization of what I said hit me, I promptly re-phrased my question. "What kind of Cokes do you have?" This time, a list immediately rolled off his tongue. "Coke, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Mt. Dew,....." You see, here in Texas all "soft drinks" are referred to as "Cokes". I knew that, but why "soft drinks" came out of my mouth, I'll never know! I guess I still have a little bit of assimilating to do.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another Independence Day

I'm one of the few people that gets to celebrate two Independence Days every July.

After a year and a half of game-playing, lying, and various shenanigans, on this day in 2006, my freedom became a reality. My ex tried everything in the book to try and get me to go back East. (She didn't know me very well, even after 27 years of living with her.) She tried to use sickness, used the grandkids, destroyed or had destroyed one of the vehicles I left behind after she let the insurance lapse, doused my son's new mini van with gasoline for the purpose of burning it up, used everything she could think of to get me to have a change of heart. She even tried some crap about having a brain tumor to try to get me to stop action - I mean, since she's dying anyway, why bother, right? It didn't work. It's been well over a year since she used the brain tumor ruse, and she's still very much alive - and no mention of the brain tumor since. Maybe it miraculously disappeared. Nah. She lied, as with everything else. Numerous delays came because her lawyer couldn't get hold of her. She was "out of pocket" many times at opportune weeks.

This day marks the one year mark, when the judge signed my divorce petition, granting me what I asked for - to get out of that marriage and only keep what I had in my possession when I came here. I gave up everything else for my freedom - my house, land, everything but some of my personal belongings that the judge said I was entitled to. I can celebrate my personal Independence Day every July 26th from here on. It is cause for celebration.

Happy 26th of July!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Independence Day in America

Once again, our Independence Day is upon us - the Fourth of July. Let this post be a reminder of what brought this Country of ours into being. Read the words carefully. Never forget what brought us here, for those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. There are many who have forgotten, or were never taught how we came to be as a country. Some are among us, and some are in our government in various positions. They do not know the strife, tyranny and oppression our forefathers were dealing with. They do not know what it took to eradicate it from their lives. They do not know the cost of maintaining that which our forefathers won for us with their blood.

From The Declaration of Independence:
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The Preamble to The Constitution of The United States of America:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

(The Preamble clearly pertains to the citizens of The United States. Non-citizens are not covered. Yes, they have human rights and some civil rights, but they do not have Constitutional Rights by default.)

**************************

Commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance
by Red Skelton

(As a schoolboy, one of Red Skelton's teachers explained the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Skelton later wrote down, and eventually recorded, his recollection of this lecture. It is followed by an observation of his own.)

I - - Me; an individual; a committee of one.

Pledge - - Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

Allegiance - - My love and my devotion.

To the Flag - - Our standard; Old Glory ; a symbol of Freedom; wherever she waves there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts, Freedom is everybody's job.

United - - That means that we have all come together.

States - - Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.

And to the Republic - - Republic--a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people; and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands

One Nation - - One Nation--meaning, so blessed by God.

Indivisible - - Incapable of being divided.

With Liberty - - Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.

And Justice - - The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.

For All - - For All--which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.

And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?

- Red Skelton

Hear it HERE.


Press "1" For English

Sunday, June 24, 2007

It's a Conspiracy, I Tell Ya!

(Caveat: This post is kind of a mild rant, at least a strong pet peeve.)

Photography. It's been around a long time, until recent years there was something for everybody. Things have changed over recent years, and in some ways it is good. There are down sides to everything, and this is no exception. What am I talking about? The film/digital "feud", if you will.

As time marches on, digital communication and data is taking over. (Yes, photography is a form of communication.) It has its good points, but there are some not-so-good points as well.

I shoot film - 35mm. It's what I like to shoot. Yes, I'm a kind of computer geek and love tech toys. I still see the value of keeping "old" technology alive. Let me point out some pros and cons. No matter what form of communication or data "processing" is spoken of, these things equally apply.

Digital is convenient. Digital photography is easy. It does everything for you if you like. You don't have to buy film or deal with the bulky packages. Digital devices are much smaller than their analog counterparts. They consume less power.

However....

Digital data is extremely delicate. The slightest hiccup or bit of noise in any piece of data will render that data useless or otherwise bring its validity into question - if it changes any bit or byte of that data. Yes, most systems/servers have copies of copies of copies. That doesn't make it immune to failure. When you think about it, what is data? It is only electrical charges or magnetic fields.

You cannot prove that any given digital data belongs to you or is rightfully yours. It is impossible. The only way would be to keep only one copy of it in existence - in your possession. Then again, any digital data can be faked. I recently got some information from a major business. It came in the form of a printout that could easily be created off the top of the head, something any word processor could easily duplicate - or create. No letterhead, no original signature or anything. This being passed off as an "official" or legally-binding document is ludicrous. Instead of having a single document that could be used in court, I had to make and keep print-outs of the entire chain of events relating to this document: the certified mail receipt from the PO, the return receipt when it was sent back to me, copies of FAX transmissions and transmission logs (even though they wouldn't hold up in court anyhow), etc. This is crazy!

More specific to photography, you cannot prove your digital photos are really yours. Reference item 2, above. If you take a very good photo and try to get a print made of it, you can easily be refused. If they think it could likely have been taken by a professional photographer, you're out of luck. The ironic part of this, is that digital cameras are supposed to have everybody shooting professional-looking photos! Isn't that what they advertise to get you to buy them? By shooting film, I can prove my shots are mine. I have something real to prove it - my negatives. Yes, they can be copied, too. How likely is that? Not. You can't find many people to even admit to having a functioning film camera or shooting film any more. They wouldn't have a clue about copying negatives!

Megapixel this, and megapixel that. *sigh* Yes, the more megapixels, the merrier. I delight in telling people that my film cameras have infinite megapixels. By increasing megapixel ratings in digital cameras, they are striving to reach the point of duplicating the analog film norm. Zoom in on any digital photo, and you'll see little blocks or "pixelation" like a mosaic patchwork. Put a real photograph, printed via the ancient photo processing/enlargement process under a microscope, and all you'll see is smooth, flowing transitions throughout. There are no little blocks of mosaic "tiles". This is what the ever-increasing megapixel race is all about - trying to get to the perfection of film. Why drive up and down stairsteps or washboards when you can drive on a smooth-paved road?

[Note: Yes, I do own a pocket digital camera. Technology has worked to improve them to be pretty much "full-function" in a small size. Film cameras have been left relatively large, too much so to be appropriate to carry around casually. Technology could have improved to the same point with film cameras if they chose to.]

They have been shoving digital this and digital that down our throats for a long time. It's supposed to be "better", more "efficient". In some ways, maybe. In others, not so much. Computers crash for unknown reasons. Files get "lost" or more precisely "corrupted" to where they can't be read - sometimes they disappear. Cell towers go down easily, and dead spots abound. Calls get dropped. (This rarely happened with analog phones.) Now in a couple years, all TV signals will be digital. You have to buy a new TV or a digital box to watch any TV. Your TV antenna will be useless. Might as well use it for a wind chime. Your TV will only get white noise if you live in a remote area and have no satellite or cable service. Sorry 'bout your luck.

We rely on digital technology too much. It's been mis-applied for years. Instead of "helping" us do our jobs and live our lives, it is taking them over. How many businesses could do basic sales without their computers?

The root of this post? I cannot find any place that can (or more accurately, "will") scan my film into digital format (yes, I know) at a high-resolution, as a loss-free original scan. All of the places that develop my film claim that their processing/scanning machines only create JPG files. These are "lossy" images. The digital data is compressed. That is, much of the information on the images is thrown out in order to make the files smaller. (Why try to make them smaller on 650mb CD's for Pete's sake?! Will 24 images of file sizes up around 10 megs not fit?) If I ask for loss-free TIFF files, they charge me extra to have some digital piece of software magically have the bit fairy put them back. HUH??? That's like pouring 5 gallons of water into a 6 gallon bucket and filling it up! It's not real data, but interpolated crap they throw in to make the file big again. Isn't that sweet? NOT! Not to mention that they have unauthorized copies of your images (digital when you get prints made, or film during processing) in their systems - maybe corporate-wide. They don't, you say? How do you know? You don't.

Here's the kicker. When anything is scanned, it starts out loss-free. Every bit of data is captured to the ability of the given scanner. The machine goes the extra step to convert that pure scan into a crappy one. All I want is for them to NOT go the extra step. Should be easy and more efficient to not take the extra steps, right? Well, they claim they can't change it. They spend $15,000 or more on a digital machine that "can't" be customized and configured by software? Yeah, right. If that's the case, they wasted their money. It's a lie. Those machines have every capability to do what is needed. Hey, it's a digital machine. I thought digital is the way to go, and could do everything.

Is it a conspiracy that they are doing their best to make film look crappy by taking extra steps to do so? Is it an attempt to force us to "go digital" at every turn? Who knows? I don't like it whatever the reason.

Yes, I use computers for post-processing when needed. Yes, I have a digital camera that I occasionally use. As I mention in one of my photo galleries, there are things that each can do that the other cannot. I appreciate those differences. Do not force me to do everything digitally. To do that, we/you lose that which analog excels at - particularly with photography.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another Page

Today, the ashes of one of my best friends were laid to rest. A short service at the cemetery, and get-together for those who attended.....and another page of our lives was turned. My friend passed away and was cremated in mid-March, and was finally laid to rest today - along with his mother's ashes. She was also my friend, and passed away two weeks to the day after he did. This is a large part of the closure we were needing.

May you rest in peace, my friends.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hillary Clinton

To the tune of "Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles.


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Sunday, June 03, 2007

From The Past

Many years ago, my Dad was in a barbershop quartet up in Iowa. I didn't know it, and don't know who they all were, but here's the proof. My Dad is the one on the far left. Today, he's in a nursing home with Alzheimer's.

I Need A Fix

It's been a busy few weeks. We've been doing a lot of fixin' up around the house - painting, etc. This weekend, I had a job to do for a lady on the west side of town. It's the first real electrical job I've had in about a year and a half. (My job is more with heating systems now, than electrical.)

We also took the time to do some much needed work in the yard today. She potted some flowers she's been wanting to plant, and I mowed the lawn (again) and cut out some dead and annoying branches out of some trees along the driveway with my pole pruner.

We've got new neighbors on both sides of us now. We've only met one family. They are a young couple with a 3 y.o. - almost. He's a little cutie. They seem to be all right. He even came over to help unload a dryer off our truck - while he was unloading a trailer of his own, moving in. Haven't met the others yet, but I've only seen a youngish mother and a couple of kids so far.

What's this about a "fix"? Well, we haven't done any serious [photography] shooting. Today, I shot almost half a roll of film on one Mississippi Kite, sitting on one branch in a tree in front of our house, doing absolutely nothing. I can't show you yet, 'cause the roll isn't gone yet. I could have used my digital for some of them, but I really do prefer film.

Been kinda busy lately, and the place is looking great. One of these days we'll be out in the world again, shooting to our heart's content. :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

Today is the day set aside for us to remember the fallen. We must never forget that our soldiers, sailors, and airmen have made our country what it is by their selfless service - in spite of our politicians. Past, present, and future, the cost of our Freedom and Security has been (and will continue to be) some of our servicemen's lives. Let us not forget the sacrifice they have made (and will continue to make), so that we may enjoy the life we have. Let us not dishonor them or their sacrifice, by trivializing or politicizing them or their service.

In Remembrance Of Our Fallen Comrades.
May their souls rest in peace.

--ooOOoo--

Over recent weeks and months, many changes have been experienced by me and my adopted family. Four people in my life have passed on to their new Home. Three were members of my adopted family. One of them was one of my rescuing angels three years ago. The fourth was my brother's granddaughter, shown below. My great niece Kaylee Jo struggled for only 9 days before going to her Maker. One of her two memorials were held at my brother's home yesterday. Another will follow at my nephew's home in North Dakota.

--ooOOoo--

Some of these changes demanded a "new home" for the sake of moving on. We worked at giving our home a new "homey" look. In doing so, we moved a lot of stuff out, did some major painting, added some new furniture, etc. - in two rooms. It worked. It does feel like a new home. After a break today, we'll attack another room.

--ooOOoo--

This year so far, we have been blessed with twice the normal rainfall. It is sorely needed. Last year's drought has caused our lakes to fall far below their "normal" levels. Even though we have received twice our normal rainfall so far this year, it hasn't made much of a difference in those low levels. It would take almost a "40 days and 40 nights" rain to fill them back up. I have yet to hear anybody complain about rain here. It is a valuable and sometimes rare commodity here. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!

--ooOOoo--

In a couple of weeks, I will celebrate the third anniversary of my arrival in the Texas panhandle, where I started a new life in my new home. Thank you, my rescuing Angels.

--ooOOoo--

May you all find safety and security in the coming days/weeks/years. Never forget who made it possible.

--ooOOoo--

Sunday, May 20, 2007

God Will Get Another Angel

From my brother, just a little bit ago.

We are now at home. This is very difficult. I tried to make some phone calls, but just couldn't do it. Mark and Heather spoke with the doctor this afternoon and scheduled a re-testing of Kaylee's brain functions to be done at 5:30 PM. By this time, they have verified her brain waves are the same and they have removed the majority of the life support, drugs, feeding, etc. The hospital photographer is currently taking photos of them with Kaylee. Once this is finished, all remaining life support will be removed. There will be an autopsy tonight or tomorrow and they plan on cremation. Services have not yet been scheduled . Once things are completed at the hospital, Mark and Heather will be coming to our house for a few days. There is a good possibility they will be here over the weekend.
Both Mark and Heather are doing as well as can be expected. Before we left Mpls this afternoon, Heather told me that Mark was taking very good care of her. How are we doing? I don't know. We're numb.

Kaylee Jo went Home at approximately 8:45 pm CDT this day, May 20, 2007.
She is now one of God's littlest angels.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Newborn Problems

One of my nephews had his first baby on my son's birthday - May 11. She is in ICU with heart/lung problems - mostly heart. There is a hole between the chambers that had to be repaired, and the aorta was under-developed to the point where they had to reconstruct part of it. They are only giving her a 20% chance of survival.

If any of you feel the urge, please keep Kaylee in your prayers, and visit this site that my nephew is posting on - called CaringBridge.

All prayers and comments at that site will be appreciated.

Thank you.

***** Edit: Saturday, 5/19/07, 6:20pm CDT *****

Kaylee has just undergone an EEG, like an EKG but for the brain. In a few hours, they should have the tests back. She is still critical, her heart is working on its own, but still on a respirator to breathe for her.


***** Edit: Saturday, 5/19/07, 8:30pm CDT *****

From Kaylee Jo's Daddy:

hi everyone.. it is about 830 and i have some results to share with you.. the results that came back from the 1st set of tests are as follows:: kaylee's liver and kidneys are not functioning properly so she isn't getting the clotting that she should, her lungs and heart have remained the same.. she is still on her heart and lung machine to help her breath and pump blood.. as far as her brain scan, her brain waves are irregular.. they would work fine and then they would stop and this just repeats itself.. there should be more testing in the near future.. either tomorrow or monday.. i will update everyone at that time..


From her Grandpa (my brother):

I'm not sure what to write or how to phrase things . . . stress is high. In
addition to previous difficulties and test results, tonight's tests showed

liver and kidneys not functioning well at all. Brain function tests showed
sporadic, inconsistant brain waves including flat lines. Mark and Heather
are going to talk to the doctor tomorrow and schedule the same brain
function tests for Monday so they will know for sure whether or not today's
results valid. Kaylee remains on life support. Prognosis is bleak. I
don't know how else to say it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Garage Sale Season

It's garage sale season again. :) Today I hit the first ones of the year - for me. (Yes, I do that!) Among the treasures we found today were some ceiling fans we've been wanting. At one place, they had 3 fans for sale with light kits attached - 5 blades and 4 lights per fan. One was marked $7.50, but had some screws missing. When I asked if they worked and if there were any screws for them, he just told me to take them - no charge, and that he'd make it right with his wife. After I made sure he was serious, I thanked him profusely and loaded it up in the truck. We left that sale to get something to eat, and decided to return to see about buying two others. Those were marked $15 each, but I only had $20 with me. Got back there and asked how much he'd take for two more of them. He said $25 at first, but then I told him I only had twenty. That was good enough, 'cause he told me to pay the lady and take the two I wanted. Can't beat that! I got 3 good, clean ceiling fans with lights for only $20.00! When we got home, I promptly started the installation process, but had to go buy a hanger bar (and some replacement blade screws) for it first, since this was a "remodel" situation. A little bit later, and we had a functioning fan making the house much more comfortable. :)

Worst thing I could do was to score like that. Now I'll have to keep garage sale-ing.

Monday, April 30, 2007

3D Church


3D Church
Originally uploaded by HighPlainsDox.
Here's a little playing around I did today. Make this image fit on the screen if it doesn't. View large/original. Look cross-eyed at it, to the point that the two images line up in the center, tilting your head a little bit as necessary. Concentrate on the center image that forms as you do this. To make it easier, put your hands up in front of your face/eyes so that you can only see the left image with your right eye, and only the right image with your left eye. You will naturally bring the images together.

Do you see it? The church comes to life, and the clouds have some astounding depth.

Friday, April 27, 2007

USCG Band


USCG Band
Originally uploaded by HighPlainsDox.
I saw this band play the other night. It was the first time I've ever seen 'em, even though I am a Coast Guard veteran from the 'Nam era. This is also the first time they've ever played in Amarillo - ever.

It was an excellent performance.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Test Image

I'm just testing an image here. I took this through a stargazing telescope. This little guy was quite a ways away, and there was severe vignetting. That's why I cropped it round as I did.
I'm working on it. I got my exposure right, but I need work on my clarity. Maybe some higher ISO film and faster shutter speeds will do it.


oo00O00oo

Geocaching - solo.

While taking a little trip to Wally World to get my photo CDs, I hunted down a cache that was close by. This was my first solo find. Might be a good way to get some exercise - riding bikes to find caches.

The Lone Ranger's Creed


1. I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.

2. That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.

3. That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.

4. In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.

5. That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.

6. That "this government, of the people, by the people, and for the people," shall live always.

7. That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.

8. That sooner or later... somewhere... somehow... we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.

9. That all things change, but the truth, and the truth alone lives on forever.

10. I believe in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.



Geocaching

I've had my Magellan handheld GPS for a while now, but never really used it much. I'll take it with me when we go photo-op hunting, or on weekend trips, but that hasn't happened for a while. Too much going on.

Yesterday, I went with Shelley's brother (calls himself "Cash-n-Dash") on a geocache hunt. It's a growing phenomena that's kind of like a treasure hunt, but using a GPS unit to pinpoint its location. Not as easy as it sounds. Once you get to the location, you still have to find it. It could be as big as an ammo box, or as small as a quarter - camouflaged or otherwise hidden. There may be little things in it that you can "take one - leave one", log your name on a list, or any combination thereof. There are even caches that travel around the country/world.

After printing out the coordinates of where about half a dozen caches were, we headed out. I had to learn how to set up my unit, but I managed to find a couple of caches before he did. Some of them were really tough to find. I have since reconfigured my GPS's displays to give me more useful information and make hunting easier and quicker. Might try it out later today to see if it worked. :)

Might be able to mix geocaching with photography, too!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Country Called Texas

I have a group in Flickr, called A Country Called Texas. It is a photo gallery that I invite Flickr photographers to share their "Texas" photography in one place. I was directed there today, pointing out that there are 455 members that do share their photographs - nearly 8,000 of them! They have done a fantastic job of showcasing our state - from the people, to the scenery, to the cities, to the weather.....and on and on.

I must ashamedly admit that I hadn't checked on my group for some time, and had no idea it had grown so much. Last I knew, there were a hundred or so that have shared a few hundred photos. Today, I posted a "thank you" to the members thereof, and spent some time looking at all of the photos that have been submitted.

I am truly amazed! One in particular that struck me was this one:

Not only does this one scream "Texas!" (and is an excellent composition), the story in the description makes it a perfect photo. Be sure to click on it and read Dusty's story.

Bald Eagle Webcam

For those interested, here is a webcam site for observing bald eagles on/at their nest. I try to watch it every year, as they hatch their eggs and raise their young.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Interloper


Interloper
Originally uploaded by HighPlainsDox.
While at work today, I found this little critter running around campus. He didn't seem too concerned about people, and even went over to the Child Development building and paced back and forth on top of the fence that encompasses their small playground. On my way back to main campus, I stopped and let them know that there was a fox there, and to watch out for it. Didn't want any kids to get bit or anything. Seemed kind of odd that a wild fox would hang out so close to people. They were already watching him through the windows. :)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Crafty Again

Over the last couple/three months, I've been working on a new project - a wall clock. It was a slow process. I bought the parts I needed at JoAnn Fabrics.

I started with a board (the edge already shaped) a little over 8 1/2" x 11", some boiled linseed oil, and a clock kit. I began by hand-rubbing the linseed oil into/onto the wood. I'd rub a bit, let it dry for several days, then rub again. This is what took the longest time, obviously. After I got the finish where I wanted it, I chose a photo of mine that I thought would look good on it. I chose one of Palo Duro Canyon. I printed it out on glossy 8" x 10" photo paper, drilled the hole in the wood for the clock hub, glued the photo to the board with "Mod Podge", a common scrap-booker's glue/sealer. Then I mounted the clock movement to the board, and installed the hands. I chose to only use 4 of the numbers, to prevent obscuring the photo excessively. This is the result:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

You Know You're In Texas, When.....

  1. You see more Texan flags than American flags.
  2. You know someone who ate the 72 oz steak and got it for free.
  3. You attend a formal event in your best clothes, your finest jewelry, and your Cowboy Boots.
  4. You can write a check at Dairy Queen for 2 Hungr-Busters and fries.
  5. You prefer Whataburger to McDonalds.
  6. You dress up to go shopping at the mall.
  7. You've hung ornaments and tinsel on a tumbleweed and used it as a Christmas tree.
  8. You're disappointed when a food doesn't come in spicy flavor.
  9. You know from experience that rattlesnake meat tastes like chicken.
  10. You can tell a rock from an armadillo at 300 yards.
  11. You know what a 'Cowboy Cadillac' is.
  12. You have both a dog and a brother-in-law named Bud
  13. Your local grocery store sells cactus in the Fresh Produce department
  14. You watch the movie Urban Cowboy and laugh at the phony Texan accents
  15. You choose a brand of Mexican salsa with the same care that another might use to select a bottle of fine wine
  16. You think that the 4 basic food groups are nachos, bar-b-que, fajitas, and Copenhagen.
  17. You refer to the Dallas Cowboys as "God's favorite football team"
  18. You know whether another Texan is from South, West, East, North, or Central Texas as soon as they open their mouth.
  19. You don't consider people from Austin to be real Texans.
  20. Your Pastor wears boots.
  21. There is no such thing as a "secret" sin.
  22. The Blue Book value on your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas it has in it.
  23. Armadillos sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.
  24. Roadrunners dont say Beep Beep
  25. There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in Texas.
  26. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Texas, plus a couple no ones seen before.
  27. Possums will eat anything.
  28. Raccoons will test your crop of melons and let you know when they are ripe.
  29. If it grows, it sticks. If it crawls, it bites.
  30. Nothing will kill a mesquite tree.
  31. There are valid reasons some people put concertina wire around their house.
  32. You cannot find a country road without a curve from corner to corner.
  33. A tractor is NOT an all-terrain vehicle, they do get stuck.
  34. The wind blows at 90 MPH from Oct. 2 until June 25, then it stops totally until Oct 2.
  35. Onced and Twiced are good words.
  36. It is not a shopping cart it is a buggy.
  37. Fire ants consider your flesh as a picnic.
  38. Graduating 1st in your class means you left in the 8th grade.
  39. Coldbeer actually is one word.
  40. People really grow and eat okra.
  41. Green grass DOES burn.
  42. When you live in the country, you dont have to buy a dog. City people drop them off at your gate in the middle of the night.
  43. When a buzzard sits on the fence and stares at you, its time to go to the doctor.
  44. Fixinto is one word.
  45. The word dinner is confusing. Theres only lunch and then theres supper.
  46. Backards and forards means I know everything about you.
  47. Jeeet? is actually a phrase meaning Did you eat?
  48. You work until youre done or its too dark to see.
  49. You measure distance in minutes.
  50. Youve had to switch from heat to A/C in the same day.
  51. Stores dont have bags; they have sacks.
  52. You know what cow tipping and snipe hunting is.
  53. You only own four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Picante.
  54. You think sexy lingerie is a tee shirt and boxer shorts.
  55. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
  56. You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
  57. You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, Still summer, and Christmas.
  58. There is a Dairy Queen in every town with a population over 1000.
  59. Going to Walmart is a favorite past-time known as goin wal-martin or off to Wally World.
  60. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chili weather.
  61. A carbonated soft drink isnt a soda, cola, or pop .. its a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor.
  62. You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water...
  63. You can say 110 degrees without fainting...
  64. You eat hot chilies to cool your mouth off...
  65. You can make instant sun tea...
  66. You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron...
  67. The temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly...
  68. You discover that in July, it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car...
  69. You discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window...
  70. You notice the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance...
  71. Hot water now comes out of both taps...
  72. It's noon in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out on the streets...
  73. You actually burn your hand opening the car door...
  74. You break a sweat the instant you step outside... at 7:30 a.m. before work...
  75. No one would dream of putting vinyl upholstery in a car or not having air conditioning...
  76. Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death"?...
  77. You realize that asphalt has a liquid state...
  78. Its illegal to have a tattoo until youre 18, but children of all ages can play with guns
  79. You dont think its weird to drink a beer at anytime of day, even the morning
  80. You think its weird not to drink a beer
  81. You can drive all day and not leave the state
  82. The confederate flag is flown at your high school, the team is even named after it
  83. You shop at HEB
  84. The town you live in is bigger than Rhode island
  85. You see more trucks on your daily commute than youll see in the state of New Jersey
  86. Your high school football stadium is equal to, or better, than most professional stadiums
  87. You know there are more longhorn, cattle and steer than there people in the state
  88. We dont have an ocean; we have a gulf
  89. You know someone who is named Pedro or Martin
  90. Their last name is Gonzales, Martinez or Rodriguez
  91. You eat tacos for breakfast
  92. You think Dr. Pepper is the best damn coke in the world
  93. The extensions of the index and pinky make for the best hand gesture in the world besides the shocker
  94. The best parties are on at least two acres of land
  95. You can go anywhere with a gun on your truck and no one thinks twice about it
  96. You know someone with a gun related injury
  97. Getting stuck in the mud is a challenge, not an avoidance
  98. We panic when there is an inch of snow on the ground
  99. Air conditioning is standard on every car sold here
  100. You've said I've never met a Jewish person before
  101. You design your Halloween costume to fit over Wranglers and cowboy boots.
  102. The mosquitoes have landing lights.
  103. You have more miles on your tractor than your car.
  104. You have 10 favorite recipes for deer meat.
  105. You've taken your kids trick-or-treating when it was 90 degrees outside.
  106. The preacher says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering." and five guys stand up.
  107. A member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of."
  108. When it rains, everyone is smiling.
  109. The choir group is known as the "OK Chorale."
  110. Four generations of the same family sit together in worship.
  111. There is no such thing as a "secret" sin.
  112. Baptism is referred to as "branding."
  113. Finding and returning lost sheep isn't just a parable.
  114. High notes on the organ can set the dogs to howling.
  115. People wonder, when Jesus fed 5,000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish.
  116. The final words of the benediction are, "Ya'll come back now, ya hear?"
  117. It's a common misconception that everything is twice as big in Texas, really, everything is 1.965 times bigger, but we round up.
  118. It's a common misconception that the women have big hair. In fact this was outlawed in July 1977. There is a task force and they are doing their best to reach every last woman. Bear with us.
  119. A visitor to Texas once asked, "Does it ever rain out here?" A rancher quickly answered "Yes, it does. Do you remember that part in the Bible where it rained for 40 days and 40 nights?"The visitor replied, "Yes, I'm familiar with Noah's flood." "Well," the rancher puffed up, we got 'bout two and a half inches of that."
  120. A sad Texan once prayed, "I wish it would rain - not so much for me, cuz I've seen it - but for my 7-year-old."
  121. Sunscreen is sold year round, kept at the front of the checkout counter . . .
  122. A formula less than 30 SPF is a joke and you only wear that to go to the corner store . . .
  123. You can properly pronounce Corsicana, Ennis, Waxahachie, Palestine, Decatur, Wichita Falls, San Antonio, Mexia, Waco, and Amarillo.
  124. A tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the yard and look for a funnel.
  125. You think everyone from a bigger city has an accent.
  126. You listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit.
  127. Someone you know has used a football schedule to plan their wedding date.
  128. You have known someone who has had one belt buckle bigger than your fist.
  129. You arent surprised to find movie rental, ammunition, and bait all in the same store.
  130. A Mercedes Benz is not a status symbol. A Chevy 3500 4Ã4 is.
  131. You know everything goes better with Ranch.
  132. You go to the river/lake because you think it is like going to the ocean.
  133. You go to the gas station and there is a sign in the window that reads, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service!
  134. Your family pet is the stray dog with one leg that came limping up to your door.
  135. Pull your droopy pants up. You look like an idiot.
  136. Let's get this straight; it's called a "gravel road."
  137. I drive a pickup truck because I want to.
  138. No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.
  139. They are cattle & oil wells. That's what they smell like to you. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don't like it? I-20 and I-10 go east and west, I-35 goes north and south. Pick one.
  140. So you have a $60,000 car. We're impressed. We have $250,000 cotton strippers that are driven only 3 weeks a year.
  141. So every person in every pickup waves. It's called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
  142. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of doves are coming in, we WILL shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.
  143. Yeah, we eat catfish & crawfish. You really want sushi & caviar? It's available at the corner bait shop.
  144. We open doors for women. That is applied to all women, regardless of age.
  145. No, there's no "vegetarian special" on the menu. Order steak. Or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham & turkey.
  146. You bring "coke" into my house, it better be brown, wet, and served over ice.
  147. You bring "Mary Jane" into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.
  148. College and High School Football is as important here as the Lakers and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.
  149. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don't hit the water hazards -- it spooks the fish.
  150. Colleges? Try Texas Tech, Texas A&M, University of Texas or Texas State. Kids come outta there with an education plus a love for God and country, and they still wave at passing pickups when they come for the holidays.
  151. We have more folks in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, than any other state
  152. Always remember what our great governor Sam Houston once said:"Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Troop Supporters?

Protesters in Portland, Oregon burn an American Flag - and an American soldier in effigy!!! Is this the anti-war, left wing Democrats of today??? How DARE they!!!



Would you hate-monger traitors turn away the Coast Guard when they come to rescue your slimy asses from the dangerous waters off your shores? Would you protesters turn away the National Guard when they come to rescue your slimy asses from a mud slide, avalanche, or flood? Don't bitch if they "can't find you" during their search. But you know that would never happen, don't you? They aren't terroristic morons like you. Unlike you, they value life.

If this doesn't make your blood boil, you are not a troop supporter in any way! These people are no better than the terrorists we're fighting across the Atlantic. They wish their own people dead, too. As far as I'm concerned, these American-hating, death-wishing traitors can go to Gitmo, or straight to Hell! It matters not to me.

May your cowardly faces be put on the internet for all to see.