Saturday, February 28, 2009

Change or not....

The other day I bought a new dehydrator and this morning I'm doing my first batch of jerky. I made a lot of jerky in Florida but the racks for the old machine were all broken up; it just wasn't worth keeping. We'll see if I can keep this one in better condition. In the excitement of moving here, I forgot my recipe for jerky marinade so went to my friend, the internet, looking for ideas. There were plenty of ideas and I ended up using one that is very similar to what I think (!) I used before.

It got me thinking about our need for change vs our need for stability. Here I am, 2,500 miles away from the house in Florida with a new dehydrator and I'm searching for the same old recipe. Has there been enough change in my life so I'm searching for pieces of the old life - or is it just preferring one recipe over the other. LOL A lot of physical things have changed over the last eight months but, after all, they are just things. The important things in my life, my wife, our kids, even our animals, are the same. Our country is changing as it always does. Our economy has declined, but that's not something I can affect. We have a new President who, I hope, will turn around some of the moral decline that was caused by the previous administration. Again, that isn't something an average person can affect (after the voting is over). I don't know, maybe I just need to go do some physical work! Think I'll go attack a tree or something.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


My title today is indicative of how I feel - I downloaded a 'registry cleaner' that cleaned things so well that I had to reload my computer. I couldn't even get Freecell to work! Couldn't see the router that is about five feet away; etc. Bah!

I'd forgotten how much I dislike Microsoft and how many extras I've downloaded. It's amazing how much stuff I use to avoid Microsoft or to do things that just aren't available from them. Anyway, the machine is back to about 50% of it's old self. Some things I'm still working on. For example, when I hover the cursor on top of something, the machine decides to go there without a click. This is something that is installed to enable people who for whatever reason can't click on the item. That's a nice idea; but in is not supposed to be enabled; the box isn't checked; but the damn thing is working anyway. Bah, humbug! At any rate, the people at Toshiba did include a 2 disc set that quickly and easily reset the machine. I am happy they did such a nice job.

Unfortunately, I didn't backup my 'favorites' list. Some blogs and other sites will be forever lost. Guess I just didn't care all that much anyway. If you spot my comments in the future, know that I really like you!

It's a sunny day in the desert; we've been overcast for several days. Should reach 70F (21C) today for the first time this year. I'm planning a little outside work to mark the occasion. The previous owner planted perhaps 20 trees in the yard then didn't water them. Needless to say, all are dead. They are little; 1-3 inches (2-7 cm) so some I can just snip off; others I'll saw off at ground level. We are going to rock over the entire yard so leaving the root ball shouldn't be a problem.

Must go get to work. Be careful, it's dangerous out there!

Friday, February 20, 2009


I received a comment on my post about how things have changed; how we don't write long beautiful letters any more. The comment was that our priorities have changed. I am extremely tired of that word; though I cannot abandon it.

I spent a lot of years working in the computer world: programming; designing systems; supervising projects and people. The companies I worked for spent a lot of money on software intended to prioritize our work; and to keep track of all the fiddly little bits. You could look at a task, like writing a certain routine, and see this long list of tasks that needed to be done before it and another list of ones that should be done afterwards. I don't really miss those lists!

However, priorities are still with us. We are furnishing our new house; first buy the sofa then the end tables. First buy the bedroom set then the bookshelves. It goes on and on! Yes, we do have to prioritize things. Maybe I've just been doing it wrong lately. I wrote a letter earlier today. It's a start. Maybe I'll take the camera and go for a walk later.

Take care; it's dangerous out there.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Buncha questions - 1 word answers

Answer the following with ONLY 1 word....not as easy as you might think!

where is your cell phone? desk

your significant other: Judie

your hair? leaving

your mother? Dead

your father? Dead

your favorite thing? life

your dream last night? messy

your favorite drink? scotch

your dream/goal? healthy

what room are you in? den

your hobby? photography

your fear? heights

where do you want to be in 6 yrs? here

where were you last night? here

something that you are not? loner

muffins? please

wish list item? health

the last thing you did? talked with a cabinetmaker

what are you wearing? pants-shirt

TV off

your pets? Loved

friends? Few

your life? Fine

Your mood? Happy

missing someone? Yes

your car? GMC

something you're not wearing: Undershorts;

your favorite store? Sears

your favorite color? blue

when is the last time you cried? movie

who will resend this? Won't send it

where do you go to over and over? Walmart; CVS; Albertsons; Smiths; etc

five people who email me regularly? 1 friend; 1 blogger; 1 kid; 3 or 4 family

my favorite place to eat? home

favorite place I'd like right now? Paris

Monday, February 16, 2009

Times have changed

Some time ago I subscribed to a newsletter that is fairly right wing. I thought that I might broaden my outlook by reading their ideas. Unfortunately, I can hardly read a sentence without thinking 'what claptrap!'. Then I stop reading. There is one redeeming feature of this group; they send out a daily quote from one of the founding fathers of this country. Here is one that was sent out recently.

"It is of great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good disposition."

--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 19 August 1785

This certainly sounds like a letter to a young person; a very fortunate young person to be tutored by so great a man. Of course the language is lovely but what strikes me is Jefferson had time to write to his young acquaintance. It seems we have no time any more. I cannot recall the last time I spent an hour writing a letter or even just watching the clouds roll by.

I forget, however, that Jefferson was a wealthy man with servants and slaves to take care of the mundane details of life. And his attention was not claimed by so many details of the world. He would not know of the airliner that crashed near Buffalo, NY or that nuclear subs have collided in the middle of the ocean. The amount of information we receive is truly amazing. Perhaps I need to create a limit on the amount of time I spend on the net. What do you think? What do you do? Do you find this information age somewhat daunting? Imagine the amount of information that is sent to the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the world. Yet another reason not to run for high office!

Take care; it's dangerous out there!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Found this on the web somewhere; it's so true! Be careful out there, it's dangerous.


1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.

2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; Infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; Many women died in childbirth; Diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.

5. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat, begged for bread after as little as two days.

6. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cream cheese.

7. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey, bread-pudding person.

8. Newborn babies can choke on bread.

9. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 450 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than two minutes.

10. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaning-less statistical babbling.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dumb and dumber

Here is one of the dumbest things I've seen in a long while. It doesn't even work as a joke. It is being called a Democrat Special; you are supposed to be so down about the way the world is going that you want to end it all. Jeez! That implies to me that things were so much better six months ago. Don't these people have any memory at all? Gotta admit, the artwork is nicely done though.

Take it easy, it's dangerous out there.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Quiet Day

Today was a quiet day. Did some laundry while my wife cleaned up the kitchen. Also found our Social Security cards - took a while because who cares about them really. Unfortunately for us, the State of Nevada wants them before we can get our new driver's licenses! Took an hour or more to find the darned things. Anyway, the lost are now found. We'll take a couple more steps toward being citizens of Nevada in a day or two.

Tomorrow we get delivery of our new sofa and a couple of sleeper sofas intended for guests. We could buy regular beds for our guests but we feel cramped for space and since we usually have guests for a week or so a year... sleepers sounded reasonable.

Went over the hump to Vegas yesterday. It was rainy in the valley; the same when I went over the pass to the big city. When I came back the rain turned to snow as I approached the pass. They had a couple of inches in the ground up there but it didn't stay on the road. I was glad to be coming home at 15:00 rather than 22:00 when I imagine the conditions were quite different.

It was rainy and blowy today. I put down a towel while I washed the dog's feet after her walk and the damn thing blew away! Guess that wall around the property is going to come in handy if only for keeping things from blowing away. A side effect is that the light is great - first dull then sparkling then alternating between the two. It makes it totally impossible to describe the mountains. I'm just loving looking at them.

Take it easy out there; it's dangerous!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Gray days

Yesterday and today have been gray days. Mist yesterday but real rain for a while today. The mountains have been hidden for most of the day. Now there is a cloud layer about a third of the way up the mountains flank then sun above. They've gotten a lot of snow up on top. Watching the mountains is a favorite pastime around here.

We had a landscaper out here to talk about what we can do with all our dirt. Since we do NOT want to have to water things, that means cover the place with decorative rock. He is talking about something over $5000 in rock for the back yard. We also have three holes in the wall where gates need to be - another $2500 or so. Then there are a few more semi-truck loads for the front. I don't see it being less that $10K all told. But, at least we will be able to go out in the yard even when it is wet. The dirt here is a type of clay that sticks to everything! When I let the dog out for a few minutes, I have to wash her feet! Talk about fun; that isn't.

I'm cooking a Cajun Roast tonight from a recipe by Justin Wilson. Mr. Wilson was a chef from Louisiana way back in the 70's. Wrote a couple of books that I have but can't find. There is even a web site where some of his recipes are posted; just not the one I want. Anyway, it's a favorite so I don't really need the recipe. It is nice and hearty; just the thing for a cold and rainy day. There will be time for salads in about three months.

Take care. It's dangerous out there.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Went to a Show!

Went over the hump to Las Vegas to see a show: The World of Concrete! Yeah, I know, Life in the Fast Lane! LOL Our daughter works for a company who makes concrete handling machinery. She likes her job and is pretty enthusiastic about their products. She wanted us to see what it is all about so she got us into the show.

It was actually pretty cool; we only went through two of the three exhibition halls - there was a lot to see. Some of the things that I noticed was the number of foam-concrete systems that were shown. There were also a lot of systems for shaping the concrete whether it be into blocks or just imprinting a design. Cool stuff! Makes me want to do something with concrete!

Her company had a large display - concrete mixers; portable concrete plants; the tractors and front end loaders required; even back hoes. It was a lot of fun. The show was the same size as last year but there weren't a lot of visitors. Further proof, as if we needed it, that the building trades are hurting. In addition, we got to meet one of her bosses; a very nice gentleman from Germany. It's always nice to have a face to associate with a name; and she talks a lot about her job and her boss.

It was a fun day but a long one. The traffic in Vegas is disgusting. I-15 northbound was almost stopped. When we came upon it I had to really hit the brakes for the first time in many months. Southbound you have five lanes; northbound there are only three. They have to get that fixed some day! Then there were the three people who decided to pull out in front of us. Fortunately, I've been driving defensively for a long time. They were just annoyances.

Today we stayed in Pahrump and spent money at Walmart. How's that for supporting the American Way? Bought some tray tables - so we can indulge our obscene passion for eating dinner in front of the tv. Then I made choucroute garni - my own way but it was pretty good. Watched a 1996 version of Jane Austin's 'Emma'. There we go again living in the fast lane.

Take care out there; it's dangerous!