Friday, December 13, 2019

Good luck, Timmy

Friday the 13th is here upon us once again.  Considered unlucky, I used to find good things happened on them.  Then, well I don't think they're really any different than any other day.  Stuff happens and the day on the calendar has little to do with it.  But there are many superstitious folks who feel otherwise.  So venture out into the world and buy lots of gifts for people.  And call people "Timmy" all day. It drives them crazy, especially girls.  

This is peak book buying season.  My best book, if you're looking for ideas, is Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.   Legends of the Dragon Cowboys brings you two weird western adventures by authors David B. Riley and Laura Givens. Their heroes ride boldly out of the Far East to find their way in a mythic land of danger, romance, and adventure. In "The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung" by David B. Riley, a wandering businessman encounters a Mayan god, crooked enterprises and Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, when all he really wants is to open a gun store. Ling Fung is not any ordinary Chinese entrepreneur—he's highly skilled in Kung Fu and he can shoot good, too. While his heart is set on business, providence seems to have other plans for him. And suitable for all ages.

Laura Givens brings wily acrobat Chin Song Ping to the Wild West in search of adventure and fortune. He finds little fortune, but plenty of adventure. Chin Song Ping is a scoundrel, a gambler and a trouble magnet. His heart of gold lands him in schemes to outwit would-be gods, cannibal ghosts, insane robots, Voodoo despots and the ultimate evil—bureaucrats. But he is a romantic, and the love of his life is the true treasure he seeks. The odds are always against him but if he survives he will become the Western legend he always was in his own mind.
The Wild West just got a lot wilder!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Stupid habits

Ever notice how many people on the phone, when it's time to hang up, say "Mmm bye."  I don't know where that Mmm comes from. I doubt folks even realize they're doing it. It bugs me for some reason.  It bugs me a lot. I talked to Comcast and my doctor's office yesterday morning and both people said "Mmm bye."  Why can't they just say goodbye or bye?  It's the Mmm that I can't understand.  I've asked a few foreign friends and they say it's an American thing and you're not likely to hear it in the UK or Canada.  Of course I don't call many people in the UK or Canada.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Holiday lights

I note on my street only one other house has any holiday lighting.   I have a cactus lit up with multi-colored lights.  The house a few blocks down the street is gorgeous.  And no one else even has  a wreath on their door.  If you head a street or two over and lots of houses are cheerfully decorated, but not on my street.  I really know why this is.  It's just an observation.  The solar powered lights on my cactus are working quite well.

My dad lives a couple of miles away and his neighborhood is seriously decked out with some very impressive holiday lighting.  Don't know why that is, although his neighborhood has  more families and my neighborhood is mostly old people.  

Monday, December 9, 2019


I mentioned the lack of urgency in my so-called two-day shipping.  I've also mentioned my family no longer exchanges presents.  Well, the items I mentioned yesterday were not presents, they were things I wanted for me.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Two Day Shipping

I ordered four different items from four different companies on Cyber Monday.  They all promised two day shipping.  As of last night, not one of these companies had even shipped my purchase. This so-called two day shipping is a total fraud.  Looks like four packages will be going back.If these blasted companies can't honor their promises they should stop making them.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Well, it's been around 48 years since you brought me anything, but who's counting?  Have I offended you in some way?  The last time you even came by you gave the dog a nice squeaky soccer ball and stiffed me.  He loved that ball.  You didn't give me a ball.  I didn't get nothin'

So, what about this year? Let bygones be bygones?  That cute redhead who works at the hardware store would be a good starter. A date with her would put a smile on my face.   I don't think she likes me, but you're living proof fat old guys can win over the ladies.

If that's not in the cards, how about some cards.  I sure would like a nice trip to Las Vegas so I could play some cards.  I don't really care for the local casino and would rather gamble in Las Vegas.

No? Well, there's always cash. I find I never seem to have enough cash and could really use some more.  Gift cards are nice, too.  

Of course the old car needs to be replaced. A shiny new red one would be splendid.  I got an actual tree this year, so you can put my gift, whatever it is, right under there just fine. Except for the car, which probably wouldn't fit.

By the way, do you have any clout with the fortune cookie people? They promised me fabulous wealth would soon come my way and it's been a year and I still haven't got my wealth yet. Just wondering.

Your pal,


Friday, December 6, 2019

powered by the sun

This past summer I removed the light bulb and housing around my yard light.  This is a yard light that stands on a post and is required by the local homeowners association rules.  I replaced it with a solar powered light that has a little charger on top and it charges up all day then comes on at night. I love it, although it is not quite as bright as most of the traditional light bulb yard lights in the neighborhood.

I have noticed in the past few months that some other people have replaced their electric yard lights with solar power as well.  The price of this stuff has come down and the quality improved.

So, yesterday I used solar Christmas lights for the first time.  I decorated a Saguaro in my front yard [that's a big cactus for you Gringo types].  The lights came on at dark and work great.  And I did not have to run extension cords and timers around. I just wrapped the cactus and placed the power box near the base and let it do its solar thing.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Dead Dogs

Something odd happened down the street from me two days ago.  Suddenly there were two dead dogs lying next to the road.  They looked like Alaskan sled dogs or something similar.  They appeared fairly healthy. They were just dead.  Had it been one dog I'd have assumed it got hit by a car.  Dogs run rather freely in my semi-rural area.  But two of them?  Somebody must have killed them and dumped them there.  I can't really understand that.  There are shelters who would take these dogs in if someone couldn't care for them.  Not the case here, apparently.  Animal control came and scooped them off and took their bodies off to wherever they go.  I just don't see any reason to kill two healthy dogs.  

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Talkin Trash

My local trash company has seriously cut back on what we can recycle.  We're basically down to cardboard, aluminum cans, newsprint and clear plastic bottles.  Alas, the market for recyclable material isn't what it once was.  The thing is, my dad lives about 2 miles from me, but he has a different garbage disposal service.  In his neighborhood they can still recycle catalogs, steel cans, glass bottles. But not us.  And that;s the exciting world of hauling trash these days.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Happy Holidays

Yesterday I wrote on returning items to stores.  I was amazed that Amazon now has a deal where you just give a code to the folks at UPS Stores and you don't have to pack the item or even address it.  Mighty convenient.  The key is not to have to return so much stuff.  I'm hoping I won't have to buy anything else for a while. Since my family does not exchange Christmas gifts, that's not difficult. Most of my online purchases are personal clothes and stuff like that.

Our family stopped exchanging gifts quite some time ago. We just loved it. No one ever liked the gifts they got anyway. It was great.

That's not to say we don't celebrate Christmas.  We, meaning our family, decorate our homes, we'll have a special family Christmas supper, and do the sorts of things most folks do. We just don't exchange gifts.

Speaking of celebrating. My front door has a nice holiday wreath on it. My dilemma is I don't know what to do about decorating my house. I used to light up an ugly old bush  with Christmas lights. The bush had to go away to bush heaven.  I haven't got much else in my yard to decorate.  Just not sure what I'll do.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Take this, ya varmint

One of the inevitable problems with online purchases is that some of them  simply are not what you wanted.  Alas, I got one such item yesterday.  I was amazed it was delivered on Sunday as it was not a "Prime" shipment. I don't have Prime and question whether the annual fee is worth it. But I did get a free shipment and my item arrived a day early. I can't fault the shipping. It's just the item was disappointing. I thought it was poorly made and it just wasn't what I wanted.  Ergo, I decided to send it back.

I hadn't returned anything to Amazon in quite a while. They had something new. All I had to do was take it to the UPS Store--no box or label required. I just had to have a code they provided.  So, this morning I did just that and dropped it off and that was it.  Simply amazing.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Mr. Balls

About a decade ago I worked for the census.  One of the people who I had to ad, as my crew was updating information such as addresses not in the system, was a guy named Harry Balls.  Say this aloud if you don't get the humor here.  One of my co-workers was a man named Raymond Broadbeard.  He'd been given the name "Harry Balls" by a resident. He asked me if it was real? How would I know?  Although it did have a certain similarity to one of those crank names Bart Simpson used to call up Moe's Tavern.  But it was not our place to question Mr. Balls.  And I did note his mailbox was stenciled Balls, whether they were hairy or not was something I did not really want to find out.

Well, Raymond vowed to set out and find some of the stranger names people have and wrap them up into a book.  As we're approaching the new census, I got to thinking about Raymond and contacted him.  He never did the book. He found it impossible to research. [Census data is kept secret for 75 years by law]. I kind of figured out that was the case.

Since Raymond still lives in Central Colorado, I suggested he contact Mr. Balls and ask how he survived middle school with a name like that.  Alas, Harry no longer lived at the same house.  The fellow who now lived there was named "Won Hung Lo" and I'm not certain about the spelling. Think about that one and we're still on the subject of balls. Say it out loud if you still can't get the irony.

I did find some guy who spelled it differently, Harry Baals, a former mayor of Ft Wayne, Indiana.  I doubt he's our Harry.  So, Harry, if you're out there, please don't contact me. It's Raymond who wanted to talk to you about your balls, not me.