Murphy came to Visit!!!!

I’m sure you all know about Murphy’s Law “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”.  I think that guy has been with me for the past week or so.  He may still be here.

This pic is the last thing he touched.

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You need to pay close attention because this one will probably be hard to follow, and if you think it is, just be thankful you are reading along and not riding along.

Speaking of riding along, I will start by giving props to our youngest grandson. Luke knows how to go down the road the way I like to go down the road, you know “get in, shut up, buckle up and hang on.”

He needed or at least wanted to spend some time with a good friend, problem, Graham lives in Houston.  Not only am I a sucker for whatever my grand kids want, you know from reading what I write, I kind of like to run down the road.

We left his house at 8:30 Wednesday morning, grabbed some breakfast at a Mickey D’s drive through in Purcell (no it wasn’t on my diet).  We made a quick pit stop in Ennis, TX so I could make text contact with Graham’s mom.  We made another quick stop a couple hours later, Luke was napping a little and I was about to join him.  I needed a Red Bull and some peanuts; I was afraid Luke would tell his mom so I settled for a Pepsi.

At the north side of the Houston metro (The Woodlands) I put Luke and his bag in a car with some people I had never seen. He went toward Houston and I went the other way.

This Murphy guy was with me but he had the decency to respect a 10-year-old kid.

I had dinner plans with two friends in Dallas.  I promised my girls I would spend the night in the DFW area and either go to the lake or come home after a good nights rest. They don’t always approve of the way I go down the road.

Before I got back to Dallas we decided it was to everyone’s advantage if we canceled dinner plans.

It also dawned on me that the only key for my pontoon boat was in my pickup console; I was in the SUV. I now have three keys in three different locations. I decided to go to the lake anyway.  I have another boat that needed some of my attention so fourteen hours and 836 miles after Luke and I left Norman I was at the lake place.

The other boat needed more attention than I had anticipated.  Murphy and I are at the lake, one boat won’t run and I don’t have a key for the other. I decided to come home; I think it took me longer to drive there than I stayed.  I’ll be honest, it wasn’t just the boats, the lake is still a little bit tricky, most of the time I spend there is good, but sometimes it is still a little difficult, this was one of those times.

I decided it was time to bring the old bass boat home for some long overdue TLC.  I could do it there but I have more time, better tools and it is only a couple miles for gasket sealer or a bolt; there it is about 20 miles for those things.  The old boat is 31 years old, Sharyl and I bought it 20 years ago, and the last time it was home was in 1999.  I know the tires are 20 years old and believe they are the originals.  I wasn’t going to let Murphy have a shot at that.

I drove back to the lake Monday to get the wheels, (I prefer to buy my tires here) and to check/grease the bearings.  The wheel bearings were both bad, I kind of beat Murphy to another one.

I now had three keys for the pontoon and nothing else pressing, so why not watch a sunset on the water.  Those are more fun if you share with someone but that isn’t always an option.  I keep the pontoon in a slip at a marina.  Murphy was there before me; a windstorm had trashed the Bimini top.  I was able to correct most of the damage but I was no longer interested in a leisurely cruise.

The next morning I checked my email, one of them undone what I thought was probably a done deal on the sale of an RV.

After I finished my coffee I noticed the windstorm not only had trashed the boat, it had also wiped out a pretty good section of skirting on the lake house, yes, the lake house has wheels.  I didn’t have the tools or supplies to fix it while I was there.

Finally we get to the picture you saw up top. Just before I left for the lake I noticed a small spot on my carpet in the hall, when I returned it seemed as the spot had grown a little, I got some stuff and proceeded to clean it.  Surprise, it wasn’t a stain; it was wet.  Most furnace / AC units are in the garage or attic; mine is in the hall.  The condensation drain line was leaking.  The first fix was the picture up top.  I was either going to have to stay home or find a lot bigger bucket.  The next pic is the final fix.

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I hope Murphy doesn’t come to your house but I sure hope he goes somewhere.  I need a break.

To put it in perspective, considering where I have been the last few years it feels pretty good to get all worked up over insignificant crap like this.

I’m going to change gears and share an old Sharyl and Dave story before I hit the publish button.

You know I like to run up and down the road, I always have and I probably always will. I have also mentioned in previous posts how we discussed issues and reached an agreement.  We did that most of the time, there were exceptions, and occasionally one of us would just say “no” end of discussion.

Very early in our marriage, I had an offer to become a “long haul” truck driver.  The pay would be significantly better than I was making and to me it just seemed like the thing I should do.  I came home and shared the exciting news with Sharyl.  This was one of those times when there was no discussion.  She said more than no, I could quote but I prefer to keep that one sided conversation private.  That undoubtedly is the best decision “we” ever made.  Love you babe!

Thanks for reading what I write  even the goofy stuff like this one.  Please keep me in your prayers.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

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T W E N T Y !!!!!!

In previous blog posts I have mentioned the need and desire to lose some weight. I thank those of you who have seen me for withholding you comments.  I have halfheartedly dieted for the past year or so; actually I guess I have done that since about 1972.

I think it is quite common and acceptable to gain 7 pounds in the winter and lose 5 in the summer.  That only becomes a problem if it happens for maybe twenty consecutive years; I’ll do the math for you, that is a net gain of forty pounds.  I exceeded that a little, in a recent three-year period, my net gain was about eight per year.

About four or five months ago I admitted the halfhearted stuff wasn’t working.  I wasn’t gaining but I wasn’t losing; it was time to get serious. Did I ever mention I am a little bit hardheaded?

From my days in the business world I thought I should establish some goals and consider some milestones.  I did a little Google research and found that goofy chart; obviously created by some anorexic experts.  That thing said I needed to lose about sixty pounds or suddenly become about 6’9”.  I have no desire to do either of those things.

I set my own goals. I broke them into two categories long term and short term.  The short-term goal is simple.  Weigh less today than I did yesterday; it doesn’t always happen but, it does keep the pressure on.

I know the experts say I should weigh weekly.  That doesn’t work for me; there are too many false positives and false negatives. I have weighed every morning for many years.  I don’t know how much my shirt or socks or shoes weigh, I just know how much I weigh. That may be too much information.

I broke the long-term goals into three sub categories: “Realistic”, “Optimistic” and “It is OK to Dream”. The OK to Dream goal is 20 pounds more than what that silly chart says a 6’1” guy of medium build should weigh.

I didn’t set firm milestones; I think failure to meet the early ones has caused me to abandon diets in the past.

I’ll do a little more math: Realistic, lose 20, Optimistic, lose 30, and dream about losing 40.  I didn’t want to do this but the starting point was about 235 on a good day, and I still don’t know how much the shoes and stuff weigh.

Boy, I have talked the talk; I guess it is time to walk the walk.

There are many ways to lose weight and different things work for different people.  I decided to go old school this time.  I would change my eating habits and get more exercise.

I established three basic food groups; those groups are:

The things I really like.  Foods in this group are not to be eaten; not even in moderation.

The things I can tolerate.  It is OK to eat this stuff in extreme moderation.

The stuff I can’t stand.  There are no restrictions.

Yes, I exaggerated a little; but not much.

Burgers and fries or a good chicken fried steak have always been my “go to” meal.  I have had 5 burgers since I started this deal and two of those were on the turnpike; nothing else was available.  I think I only had fries with three of them.  If your Sonic stock is floundering, I could be the responsible.

I understand Blue Bell Ice Cream has formed a committee to find a reason for the decreased demand for their Homemade Vanilla product.  I think I have the answer.  I picked up the ice cream habit when Sharyl was sick; it was a tough one to break.

I have replaced the burgers with chicken and fish; grilled, not battered and fried the way I like it.  I think chicken may soon be a candidate for the endangered species list. Steamed squash, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. has replaced that in a cheese sauce or the battered and fried variety.

I am getting tempted to stop by Sonic for a burger on my way to Homeland for a half-gallon of that Homemade Vanilla ice cream.

Some of you probably remember the two pics I put on Facebook; one with some ice cream, the other with a big chicken fried steak and cream gravy.  I have an explanation for both.  The ice cream was part of a graduation party for my favorite grand daughter; I only had a couple bites.  The chicken fried steak; it just seemed like the thing to do at the time.  I ate the whole thing.

I am getting more exercise.  Some of it is because of changes to my daily routine, I am doing more yard work and I get out and about a little more.

About the time I started this thing an old friend and I were visiting; he is an old friend not only because he is old (not as old as me, but old) also because we have been friends for a very long time.  Old people conversations typically include diet and exercise.

He has access to a small workout facility, so we decided to give it a try.  We haven’t inflicted a lot of wear and tear on the equipment but it has become a part of our routine.  We enjoy the conversation; we both have a long way to go but there is improvement.

The first day we were there I had been on the treadmill for an extended period, probably 7 or 8 minutes.  This thing is a much better piece of equipment than the one Sharyl and I had in our home; she used the heck out of it.  This one has all the bells and whistles; it has a button to activate the “cool down” cycle; I pushed that button and the darn thing almost threw me off the back with the sudden increase in speed.

I admit have become somewhat obsessed with this weight loss thing and I understand how that obsession can be a problem for some people.  I don’t think I need to worry because my obsession for burgers and fries or chicken fried steak and cream gravy far exceeds my obsession to lose weight.

Today I met my Realistic goal.  I tipped the scale at two one five 215 pounds; I have lost 20 pounds and I am excited.  I think I am going to relax a little and figure out how to maintain the 215.  However the Optimistic goal can now be relabeled as Realistic.  The other one; it is still OK to dream.

I may not weigh tomorrow.  I enjoyed a Father’s Day dinner with my family today. My two favorite fathers were there.  I’m talking about the guys my grand kids call dad; both of them are great guys and great dads.  You girls done good!

I’m sorry this one got a little long.  Please keep me in your prayers.

Thanks for running down the road with me.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

 

I Don’t Have One………

I haven’t gone completely random in a while, that is about to change.

I don’t know if they are popular with today’s youth, but nicknames were very common with my generation.  The majority of them had a short run and were limited to the immediate social circle, however some of them kind of stuck and replaced what mom and dad put on the birth certificate and became who you were, for the rest of your life.

Maybe I was a social misfit but if I had a nickname it never lasted more than a few days.  Both my brothers have them; one acquired his before he had teeth, the other before he shaved.  I refer to one by the nickname; the other, I remain in the minority, I call him what mom named him.

I am talking about names like: Deuce, Smurd, Moose, Cod, (don’t ask) Minnie, Chuggy, Bud, Red (I’ve known a lot of them), Toad, Hot Shot, Oggie (rhymes with boogie), Goober and the list goes on.

Some of them were friends for years before I knew their real name.   I knew some of them before they got the nickname and knew the basis for the new moniker.  There is usually little or no planning, it just kind of happens.

Minnie was the result of a single comment in reference to some sunglasses at a kids baseball game about 50 years ago.

I am only going to use one last name, because I think Deuce Roselius has a special ring, and I know he won’t care.  One day three of us smart 12 or so year olds decided it would be cool to refer to each other as Ace, Deuce and Trey.  I was Trey or maybe I was Ace for probably no more than the rest of the day, I don’t even remember who the other kid was but he didn’t continue to be called Ace.  Deuce stuck, he now lives on the west coast but I’ll bet he still answers to Deuce. I saw him about 12 or 15 years ago and about three years ago we had a long phone conversation .  Deuce is still my friend.  His dad also had a nickname; he was Booger Roselius, I didn’t ask how he got his.

Some of those names I dropped were relatives, some were friends from school and some were the guys that helped me through the late teens and early twenties.  I guess we helped each other through those fun but difficult years.

As I get older I have a few regrets. One of them is that I allowed life to interfere with the close association with Deuce and Chuggy and Oggie and Moose and many others that simply used the name their mom gave them.

I saw Oggie in the grocery store parking lot a few years ago. We had a long conversation.  We talked about the old hot rodding days and some of the other things that were a part of that lifestyle and we talked about our families.  I think he had ice cream or milk or we might have talked the rest of the day, we agreed to visit again soon.

Tomorrow I will attend Oggie’s funeral and say a final good-bye.

A very few weeks ago I said a final good-bye to the one we called Hot Shot.

Rest in peace Oggie and Hot Shot.

Tonight I ask for prayers for their families.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave

That Other Guy…….

Use to be a guy come to the lake with Sharyl or maybe just by himself.  He was pretty laid back; even when things didn’t go well and stuff broke as it sometimes does he just took it in stride and enjoyed his time here.

The guy that has been here the past couple years isn’t like that.  He gets all bent out of shape when things break or don’t go well; for that matter he hasn’t really had a lot of fun even on a sun shiny 85 degree day when nothing broke.  He would use any excuse to go home.

Out of the clear blue and certainly unexpected that first guy showed up this weekend.

He left home Saturday morning after a night of rough weather.  He left a yard full of tree limbs; he just figured they would still be there when he got home.  I bet the FOHA (Flaming Oaks Homeowners Association) wishes he would come clean that mess up.  He left all that up in Hughes County and doesn’t care what the FOHA thinks, at least until he gets back up to Hughes County.

He had two things on the agenda.  A deck that had been neglected for about 3 or 4 years, and some grass that is growing out of control.

He built the deck in ‘08; he used treated lumber instead of the maintenance free composite stuff Sharyl tried to get him to use.  His plan was to seal it yearly, life kind of got in the way and that didn’t happen since ’09.

He brought everything to do the job, yeah right, that never happens.  He read the coverage info on the cleaner and quickly did the math in his head in the aisle at Lowe’s and even bought a little extra (insert another of those yeah rights).

If you need some more stuff at home it is about 4 miles to Lowe’s, if you need some more stuff here you can go north 40 miles or you can go south 40 miles.  He didn’t bother to read the safety info; it is about fifteen miles to a store that sells those protective gloves like the ones sitting on the workbench at home.

He didn’t even get upset just made the 80-mile round trip for gloves and more cleaner.  He just kind of chuckled when he ran out of cleaner again before he ran out of deck.  There is a bright side, the deck is looking better than he thought it ever would again and he has an excuse to come back soon and I’ll just bet he brings enough cleaner next trip.

The grass and weeds were out of control but following a six-inch rain you gotta be real selective where you go with a lawn mower. By Sunday afternoon some of it was dry enough to mow.  He mowed for probably fifteen minutes before that belt broke, no not the one that turns the blades, if that one breaks you can still drive the thing back to the barn or at least to a dry level place.  Did you ever see anyone pull an unmanned lawn mower out of a ditch and across the road with a golf cart?

The guy that has been here the past couple years would have jumped in the truck stopped along the way for a Red Bull and some peanuts and came home.  This guy just figured he could go 40 north or 40 south to a Hustler dealer and be back in business in three or four hours.  He spent a little time online (imagine that) and found a place about fifteen miles east that might have the belt.

The place took you back a few years and yes I know this is Southeastern Oklahoma.  He just reached up among the dozens of belts hanging on nails and said I think this is the one you need; he was going to verify but he couldn’t find his book.  The price was right just even dollars, no receipt or extra for tax.  The guy paid him cash; I don’t think a debit card would have worked.

The belt went on reasonably easy and the guy had the thing running and everything that was dry enough mowed by noon.  The place still looks bad but there is no homeowners association and now he has another reason to come back soon.

In addition to all that, he had time to spend some quality time with friends and neighbors and ate the biggest chicken fried steak he has seen in a long time.  It is a few miles south of I 40 so the cream gravy was good.

I don’t know if this guy will stay around, I know he has to go 130 miles or so west tomorrow and pick up some limbs.  If he doesn’t stay I hope he comes back again real soon because he enjoys life a lot more than that other guy.

Please say a prayer for me.

Good Night and God Bless.

Dave