Sunday, June 30, 2013


I know it's not really news about the heat wave that is covering the Southwest U.S. but I've got to say it is warm.  Staying inside and running the a/c is our way of coping.  It's not very unique, or cheap(!) but it works. 
Here our indoor-outdoor thermometer shows 100F (38C) at 20:37 in the evening last Friday night.  That would be about half an hour after sunset.  The 77F (25C) is inside, of course.  I question the 10% humidity outside and the 2% inside.  It is undoubtedly dry but that's pretty extreme. 

Lately we've noticed a jack rabbit hanging out in our back yard.  He (or she) is fairly young but is growing up fast.  It's a good place for a rabbit to live; the coyotes aren't likely to get in and if the did the rabbit would probably be able to get out quicker than they could.  A couple nights ago he came up close to the house and I got a good photo of him.

Here is another photo of the guy having a bit of breakfast that I put out - a few carrots.  

We aren't going  to feed him very often.  We wouldn't like him to get too used to handouts but once in a while he might get something.  I put some water out for him as well but he didn't care about it.  They must get enough liquid from the things they eat.  Their hind legs really are absurdly long compared to the rest of their body; I should try to get a video of him hopping around.  Those legs make them a LOT faster than an ordinary bunny. 

Well, you can tell how exciting things are around here.  Actually it's great!  The lack of drama really works for me.   Hope your drama level is to your liking as well.  Have a good one.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AWOL again!

Yep, I keep trying but keep going away for weeks at a time.  This time I have at least a bit of an excuse:  we flew to Florida for a week.  We had a family birthday to celebrate, relatives to meet and even old friends to visit.  Actually it was a great time. 

We started things off by taking the cat to the vet to be boarded.  He's an old guy and we thought he would be more comfortable where he knew everyone.  Well, that didn't go so well!  We walked in with him and he started hissing and spitting and carrying on like someone elses cat.  He's been there probably 10 times and he's never been  upset at all.  This was really weird but we really had no choice but to leave him.  We were a bit worried but figured he'd calm down and be more like his usual self. 

The flight out was non-stop on Southwest.  We were warned that they would only give us a couple peanuts for a snack so we brought along our own cheese & salami plate.  That worked really well!  We spent our first night in a Quality Inn in Tarpon Springs, FL.  As walk-in's we got a really good rate; it wasn't fancy but it was clean and quiet.  It was also at about 30% occupancy.  We had dinner at a restaurant called "Rusty Bellies" in Tarpon Springs.  It is kind of half bar and half restaurant.  We ate inside and it was nice; outside they had really loud music.  I couldn't have been out there!  In the morning we had the motel's free, included breakfast.  I've got to say, the breakfast alone would have cost $10 anywhere.  What's not to like?

The next day we went up to Crystal Springs, FL.  Our family had a house full of other family so we looked for another motel:  found another Quality Inn.  This one was a bit older but it was still clean and comfortable; after all, we were planning on spending all our time with family.  So  we signed up for two nights and went to visit, talk and eat.  What else do you do with family?  That night (Thursday) we all (11 of us) went to dinner at a favorite restaurant then my wife and I bailed out to our motel room.  I went out to get some ice and coming back I was kind of light-headed.  I was thinking maybe I'd drunk too much but then I got to thinking... I've felt this before.  It is called vertigo and I had it a couple of years ago.  That time it surprised me and it meant a trip to the emergency room.  This time I remembered the medication that had been prescribed and in the morning my wife was going to call our doctor here in Nevada and have her call a prescription to a local drugstore. 

Because of the time difference, it would be at least 11:00 a.m. before she could contact the doctor.  She did find time to call the vet; turns out the cat has quieted down and, while not friendly, isn't too crazed either.  Then she called the local CVS.  She mentioned the medication, meclizine, only to find that it is now available over the counter for motion sickness!  What the heck.  So she bought some and by 14:00 I was able to get up and get around.  What a deal!  As it turns out, I needed to take it morning and night for the rest of our trip.  Friday night all 11 of us went to another place, a Chinese restaurant.  Everyone thought it was the best Chinese food; I guess it was ok but I don't really remember what I had! 

Some of the family had to leave early Saturday morning so we moved into the computer room/emergency extra bedroom for Saturday night.  It was really very nice of them to keep us but I was glad to have had the privacy of the motel room when I had been really ill.  Saturday was also the big party.  These folks know everyone in the neighborhood and they all showed up for the party - this is in addition to the family members.  Jeez!  What a crowd.  They are all pretty old though so there were no fights or late nights. We did prove that if you eat all afternoon, you won't need an evening meal! 

Sunday morning we headed back south towards Palm Harbor to visit our old neighborhood.  We had been fairly close to our neighbors and it was great to see them again.  We visited with them and some other neighbors until fairly late.  We had quite a bit of catching up to do.  Monday they had an appointment we we were on our own.  We had lunch in St. Petersburg at a place called "Red Mesa".  It is sort of updated Mexican but kind of pretentious too.  Then we spent the afternoon visiting the new Salvidore Dali Museum.  Now that was great.  It is all new and very nice.  The problems would be 1) the entry fee is $40 for two of us plus $5 for parking and 2) there is only one floor of paintings in the three story building.  It should be nice at those prices!  We tried taking our friends out to dinner that evening; went to a local place that was so totally awful that I'm not going to describe it.  Just don't go there!

Finally, Tuesday, we got to fly home.  This trip had a stop in Austin but the flight was just fine.  We got home in time to go collect the cat.  Turns out he was just fine.  He even forgave us for leaving him rather quickly.  So that was our big trip.  There will be more later this summer but for now I'm glad to be home. 

Thanks for checking in.  Have a good one.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Poll, kind of....

Ok, I don't have a lot of regular readers.  Well, that's fine.  I do have a problem with the name of my blog - we no longer have anything to do with Tampa Bay.  I mean I may visit there but it certainly won't be the centerpiece.  SO, what do I do?

DI'm thinking something like might be right; or maybe or ????.  I really haven't looked to see what names are available.  What do you think?  Certainly Tampabaydtuff is gone after a few more posts.  Your input will be greatly appreciated! 

Thanks in advance.


Nuttin' much

Life just keeps heating up around here; the WeatherChannel has us at 111F (43.8C) this evening (20:00).  No matter, we baked French Fries (chips to you Brits) and boiled breaded catfish in oil for dinner.  Can't imagine life without a/c around here.  It is quite dry though so people do use swamp-coolers which are much less expensive to buy or to run.  When it is humid they don't work for f*(k but around here that is a week a year.  It is certainly a tradeoff I would make if I needed to save the money.  When I lived in Army housing in El Paso in the early 1970's, we had a swamp-cooler.  It worked just fine.  Went out for our walk yesterday a.m. at 05:30 - mostly because we were both awake but I 'm just saying!  It's nicer when it is cool. 

Number One Daughter came over to participate in the fish fry; we haven't done that in 25 years or so. Wife and daughter did all the fish frying but there was plenty for me to do getting all the odd stuff done.  Funny how fast the time flies.  We probably haven't a fish fry since we lived in Orlando back in the mid 1980's.   Earlier this week I found some photos I haven't copied to the computer; they are pretty new, only 20 years old!  Did I mention I had to rip them out of the photo album.  What crap, these albums won't even make it 20 years without tearing apart.  Hmmmm, maybe I'm being a bit tough on them.  What do you think?

Number One Daughter works for a company who makes little steel parts that are used in concrete manufacture.  For example, when a concrete wall is pre-molded that is 40' long by 15' high (12.3m x 4.5m and probably 25 cm deep) they mold into the concrete a couple pieces of steel used to lift the wall onto a truck and then into place.  Some of her customers get all out of shape because these little pieces aren't made in the USA.  I find this rather odd since they are complaining about little $5 pieces that are used twice; once to move the piece off the mold and once to put it into place.  I understand that I'd like more manufacturing in the U.S. but I'd rather the bits being made here being the more important ones.  For example, having the truck made here is nice.  I like to think that our standards (maybe not the worlds best but our own, BTW) are being observed.  I'm not saying the Chinese made pieces aren't up to our standards but at least some local folks are being employed making them.  It's a tough question not made any easier by my belief in international trade being a keystone to success in this world. 

Just to end on a humorous note:  our local county council recently debated a rule that if the federal governemt ever enacted a law making ownership of firearms by civilians unlawful then the sheriff of the county was to stop them at the county line and tell them to go away on the basis that it was unconstitutional!  Jeez, are you kidding me???  Let's not even discuss firepower!  It's up to the courts to decide constutionality!  But apparently none of our elected representitives know that.  Happily the city District Attorney was around to point out their rule was beyond stupid.  Thank goodness for small favors!

Hava a gooe one.  Thanks for stopping buy!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Update, nah! Why bother....

My life has been really dull lately so updating the blog is an exercise in 'what did I do'?  We did go into Las Vegas last week but it was just an errand run.  Didn't do anything exciting at all. 

My wife did cook a lovely chicken with garlic recipe.  It was one where you saute the chicken then add whole, unpeeled garlic cloves then put the whole thing into the oven for 15 or 20 minutes.  When it comes out you add a little flour and make a sort of gravy.  It turned out really well and I'm sure we'll be making it again; served it with whole wheat noodles.  It was the first time we'd tried whole wheat noodles and they were just fine; another thing we will use in the future.  I went into the kitchen just before the pan was to come out of the oven and saw that metal handle in the oven so grabbed a mitt and put it on the door of the oven to remind my wife that it would be hot.  She just laughed at my over-cautious nature.  She got it out ok and started in on the gravy.  Sure as the devil, she forgot about the handle and burned herself.  Grrr!  Idiot!  Happily soaking her hand in lots of ice water for the rest of the evening took care of her burn. 

We are getting into triple digits these days (38C) so we walk early; we were out by 06:30 this a.m.  After our walk we get to spend some quality time pulling weeds in the yard.  We each do a trash bag full then declare the work day over; at least the yard work portion!  Retiring to the porch to drink coffee and watch the birds fight at the feeder is lots more fun when you are feeling virtuous from the work and the exercise. 

For some excitement, we stopped by the local office for Humana Health Care.  Our health insurance has always been part of my wife's retirement benefit.  We pay for the insurance but supposedly it is at a cheaper group rate.  Anyway, I'm turning 65 later this year and will be Medicare eligible.  That should be interesting.  The Medicare will be handled by the government but then you have to figure out what additional coverage you want.  That is where the fun part begins.  There is an Advantage program that you can buy that has increased benefits and a drug plan; there are suppliments that offer different options; and there is a stand-alone drug plan.  Oh boy, it makes your head hurt just reading all this BS.  These plans are all just a bit different and, of course, Humana is only one of the companies you can do business with so each company will have it's own little twists.  What the hell, it's only money.  Once you sign up, you are stuck for a year.  You can change things around only in the fall of the year.  Who knows how they come up with these things.  I was afraid to ask if Obamacare was going to impact any of this; I kind of doubt it but I know nothing!

Anyway, there you go, life in the fast lane.  Thanks for visiting.  Have a good one.