Sunday, September 24, 2023


 As usual here, new tools and brands I comment on are just that. Not pushing a product, brand or company. Just opinions.

We have been in need of a new yard blower for a few years now. The older Ryobi works, but has lost its "umph." Given I have picked up a couple other Ryobi 40V battery operated tools since we arrived in Texas, adding another was a good idea. Plenty of batteries and chargers. Looking at the rear of this new blower looks like it is right out of Star Wars. Space vehicle like. 

It has a "turbo" button that pumps the output to maximum as long as the button in held on. It did not take but a minute to learn that that is where this blower shines. "Turbo" moves large gravel rocks like it does the dust and dirt. A friendly  recoil on turbo.   

I learned quickly that using "turbo" sucks a 40Volt battery dry in about 15 minutes. Solution: plug in another charged battery. 


I have looked at the Lansky knife sharpening kits for well over the past 3 years. I have seen good reviews, but I have held off for the concern that maybe there is a better tool/procedure than this one. There may be, but I found this kit at a reasonable price and decided to buy it.

Gives me much more control over the consistency of holding a sharpening angle on the edge of the blade.  It included three sharpening stones.

I practiced on the abused pocketknife above. The knife holds a sharpened edge quite well for the hard use I put it through. Forgiving. 

It took about 15 minutes of using the coarse, medium and fine stones to return the original sharpness. Still a ways to go to perfection, but proved the viability of the Lansky kit.  I have always been demanding when it comes to razor-sharp pocketknives. (I am a big fan of CRKT knives because of how they hold an edge, how they carry and how they feel in my hand.)

The kitchen knives returned to original sharpness using the fine stone.


NEW DRILL SET from Harbor Freight

I have put off buying a complete drill set like the one above because I have never taken care of the other ones I have purchased in the past. 

New drills disappear at the mere opening of the new drill set. But I vowed to be better in my behavior and as of today, the set is still intact. How much fun it is to open this up and find the exact drill I need when I need it. 

Who knew the value of returning a tool to its tool box?


OLD iPOD (2007ish)


Over the course of many years and a few new computers, three old iPods have not been lost. They are the only Apple technology that still has all of the songs I purchased in those years that has not been corrupted. 

My Apple laptop actually puked its battery out of the bottom 8 years ago and only turns on using the power cord.I can see the music on the lap top, but cannot access the songs.

The old iPODs are still rechargeable and play through new stand-alone speakers. 

I can still bebop in the garage. Not suitable for on lookers. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!! ...... my Guardians of The Galaxy cassette(s).




Old friend on my morning walks. "Buckwheat." 

As I understand it, the grand kids call the horse "oatmeal." The horse was called "Buck." And then through the magic of imagination became known as Buckwheat. 

Buckwheat and I have a thing or two in common; we are enjoying our elder years with good eats and magnificent pastures to roam at will.



This not about the gal in the clip; it is about the story.  Had I been riding along with this older gentleman when he did what he did and without him letting me in on the final punch line, I would have lost my **** with uncontrolled laughter leaving the second drive up window. 



Last post this month. How fast time fly's by is a constant.

The bride and I have been burnt once too often this past week while lunching out at a few of our old favorite hamburger joints. Very rude staff across the boards, favorite dishes overpriced, quantity minimal and quality of the eats well beyond their sell by dates. Three chicken strips for over $9 was the final straw for the bride."NO" was a complete sentence.

We have decided that packing a picnic lunch works easily and can add some adventure to a day trip. Saving $20-$30 and reducing the pain of encountering rude people to zero is all within our control.

Of course, we will opt for stopping at a recommended eatery, but we will want to know that going in.

We have enjoyed being outside for better parts of the days now. Chores getting done and a few dump runs have spruced up the outside digs. The old body reports at the end of the day that it is not use to all the bending, lifting, moving and twisting. 

Appreciate the visit this week. Share this blog with a friend and keep on keeping on.

 Popping smoke.






Sunday, September 17, 2023


"Cannon" watched the other morning as I did two walking laps past his field. Magnificent animal. I keep promising these horses a fresh carrot or two but have not followed through. I do not think they believe me any more. 

A VERY GOOD HORSE STORY HERE and a book published.



Lots of fresh veggies and fruit. Drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette. Had planned a few fresh slices of avocado, for photo purposes, but it was well beyond it's prime. It was "what's for lunch."



For the most part, I thought that mayonnaise was mayonnaise.  I said that once in front of my wife and an education followed. 

Mayonnaise is not mayonnaise. Blue Plate Mayonnaise is real mayonnaise (says so on the jar). We have a few extra jars because two is one and one is none. And yes, it is much better than mayonnaise.



Ok, I apologize. Eating healthy, ya know.

Pork roast slow, long oven cook. Salt and pepper only. Spinach with sour cream and flaked asiago cheese. (Do not hate on the spinach side dish till ya try it. Eats like candy and spinach is a super food). Home made Picco de Gallo for added personality. Minimal carbs, lots of flavor and filling.




I thought a good video. Easy to listen to and yet hard to take in that such a beautiful city (and other great cities) is in full decay. Heartbreaking. But hey! "you're going to meet some gentle people there."


Found on ACE this past week. From Mark Smith Photography.

Magnificent video of an eagle being an eagle. Finding Mark Smith Photography, to visit more often, is also an upside.



Four minutes of fun and excellent off road photography. If I were a younger man!!



The Dodge truck left again on a tow truck to the mechanic. Fuel leak. Neighbor said he smelled fuel, looked under the truck and said, "you have fuel pouring out."  Apparently a broken fuel tree injector thingy located under the intake manifold. Not a rubber connector line or easy to get to fuel line. Nope, major surgery. 

Down to one car. Her car. Suffice it to say I miss my truck. Like a good friend who has left and I am not sure if he will return to continue to serve. The thought of having to go through another car purchase, in this lifetime, is unsettling. 

But much like me, the Dodge is old. Has a good heart, strong running gear and a good attitude. But he ,too, is aging. The rust may do him in sooner rather than later. I really understand that line of thinking. And yes, I can continue to drive and stay close to home. Fix it as it may break down again. BUT the need for dependable transportation, in these aging years, is much more important than in the youthful years. So what to do? 

I really do not want to try to save money by buying someone else's problems and be no further ahead than I am with the Dodge. AND, I do not want a new/newer truck/car with all the black box controls and constant reports being sent over the air waves of every time I step on the gas pedal, come a quick stop or sneeze.

God forbid I wind up with a vehicle that thinks it knows how and wants to make decisions for me while I am driving. In a perfect world, I'd pick up an old 1956 two door post Chevy and go out of this driving life the same way I came in.

And then there is the cost. My god! And the worst part of all is playing the game looking at used cars/trucks. I should ease up, relax, go with the flow and all of that. But I fear that I will not be able do that. That's just me. My wife is another story. Zero BS threshold. 

Currently, we have adopted the car/truck shopping scenario as "trips for entertainment." With that mind set, we think we can at least enter the ring. 

September 2023 half gone. Just like that. What to get my wife for Christmas? 

Have a great week. Hug someone ya love this week.

Thanks for the visit.

Son at the office. 

He has very good stories to tell.



Sunday, September 10, 2023



Just happened on this video the other day. Well done.


Yes, it has been this kind of summer. Weeks and weeks. I have lost count of the days.


The weather officially breaks this weekend September 9, 2023. Friday was the last day in triple digits with heat index the same. Yesterday, today and Monday's high forecast in low 90s and Tuesday a drop to 79 degrees as the high. That appears to hold through the week. This is a massive temperature change given these last months of never ending triple digits. 

Last year's heat wave broke on September 7th. Climate consistency? Shhhhhh!!


South Africa video of 4x4 driving in the De Wildt National Park. Also includes lions feeding in their natural habitat. Old video I took in 2007 and recently ran it just though a newer video editing program.


Broke our hearts to leave "Ginger", our Land Rover Defender, behind.


Do not hate on the Brussels sprouts. They are a "superfood". You can look it up. (Steamer bag for 3 minutes then browned in olive oil with a little garlic salt sprinkled in the pan. Seven minutes on the rib eye in a cast iron skillet.)

My wife and I call these meals "free food." Little to no carbs and full of healthy nutrition.

Many years of blogging here on all types of meals and good eats. Going forward we are eating and cooking differently. Not going on a diet anymore. Changing the foods we eat, eating habits and learning how to get flavor from fresh fruits, raw/cooked vegetables and lean meats. 

Some KETO (carbs under 20 a day) to low carbs keeping carbs under 60 a day. A challenge, but doable. You will be seeing this approach to cooking and eating in future blogging.

Thirty days now, a little weight loss, walking longer distances and noticeably feeling better. 


Had planned some ranting here this week at the world order of things, but cannot muster up the negative energy. 

Have a good week, thanks for the visit.

Grandfather's Dog 1940's.



Sunday, September 3, 2023


I was greeted with this early morning view this past week during my morning walk. The sun rises over this field every morning and this photo repeats daily in some fashion. 

Neighbors to the north of us can awaken to this as often as they wish. This would have to be a cup of coffee moment for me every morning and ten minutes of time uninterrupted. 



I took this photo one morning last week on the way to town. A couple hours later the bales of hay were on large trailers being towed by Ford and Dodge "Dualies" off to sale. Abundance of hay this coming winter and ranchers will be able to meet the feeding demands of a Texas winter. 



A good friend of mine and his family are spending this holiday weekend on their sailboat in Miami. He said he wanted to get started on his "to do" list before setting off on a long planned adventure. I was curious on what his list looked like.  I have made to do lists, but never like this one. But when your boat is your home and you are on your own for long periods of time, the list below and organization of things that may need attending to is common sense.






Hatch gaskets, glass, & bolts

Keel bolts

inspect rudder bearing and cutlass bearing

Keel Bolt kit

Seal all deck fittings

Clean rig

Rewire nav lights, replace with LED

LED bulbs, 10awg wire

Cleats & Backing plates

Arch support & new dinghy davits

Clean holding tanks

New sanitation hoses from toilets to tanks

hoses, back flow

Water maker service

UV sterilizer under kitchen sink


Seal all water tanks

tank lining epoxy

Reposition water maker manifold

Fix high bilge pump

Replace ice maker

maybe refrigerator

Portable ice maker, drink refrigerator

replace flush solenoids

ordered from amazon

Inspect toilets

spare pump, joker valves, parts kits

Spare electrical

10, 6 awg, lugs, heat shrink, crimp, shrink fittings, breakers, dimmer

plumbing spares

full set of everything

Domestic water system

spare pump(s)

Battery master shutoff switch

on hand

Arch flood light bar

flood lights

Generator full service

Engine full service

generator spares

zincs, impellers, oil, filters, fuel filter

engine spares

zinc, impellers, oil, filters, fuel filter

20HP Suzuki service

oil, filter, zincs, starter battery, spare prop

6HP suzuki service

oil, filter, zincs, starter battery, spare prop


bring spare 25kg, dinghy anchor

Diesel cans

buy 2 more

Water cans

bring 2 from NH

Gas can

replace cracked can

solar spares

MPPT, MC4 connectors

Life Raft


Ditch Bag

inventory and create

Propane tank

replace small one, router out the cover to accommodate 20lb

Spare line

inventory and buy

Water toys

wake board, foil board, tube, raft/dock, tow rope,


lures, line, gear, spear, long fins



Swim platform teak

buy and repair

swim ladder

stainless hardware, replace and de-rust

Gelcoat repair


Port Lazarette

build floor


replace with evolution



Master cabin water damaged doors




Night vision cam



evac pump, R134A, fittings, brazing tools, spare thermostat

Adhesive inventory

spare glue, hot glue, 5200, etc.

Fiberglass repair kit

west epoxy/hardener, glass matte

LED lighting

spare salon/cockpit bulbs


Well, then, let's get to work on that "lil ol" list!!

Video here 



On our early morning walk yesterday, this kitten ran from the edge of the woods and landed at the wife's feet. A trip well planned in my book. No "shushing" or "go aways" would work and I just knew. It had been written.

I continued on my walking goal, not looking back. A kitten had just come into my wife's life our life and our day had some new plans. Not going to take it for a ride as apparently someone else had already done. The kitten was a victim of circumstance way beyond its control. Not the kitten's fault. These outlying farm roads are dumping grounds for animals folks no long want or can take care of.

Of course, the kitten walked in the driveway, to the carport totally throwing our two cats into a feline dither. They wanted nothing to do with this kitten and disappeared. Excellent avoidance behavior. 

Meow, meow meow and MEEEOOOOWWW. Yea yea yea, heard it all before. Her found the old cat cage we had shoved behind a storage cabinet.  I knew the drill. 

A trip to town and she returned with kitty dry food mix; a few other items. I had the cat cage opened/ready and the rest is history. 

The kitten went face down in the kibble and within a half hour was sound asleep. Full tummy and safe. She keeps saying "No more cats!!" I agree, I agree, I agree. Besides keeping this kitten would severely disrupt the already perfect, two outdoor cat living arrangement we have now, two years working. 

This morning, the kitten is safe inside the air conditioned shop until we can take it to the shelter this coming week.

Kitty is on FB looking for a happy home.


JIBBER JABBER  Found this morning on The Burning Platform

Happenings Await

There is a constant gnawing inside of me that I work at controlling. I worry, am most concerned and try to keep my head on a swivel for anything out of place. There is much consistency in most all posts I read these days that we have a hell of a path we all must travel to ever get to the other side of what is coming. Jim Kunstler's article says it well.

We concentrate here on family and good friends. But we do not talk of these things. We talk of life and ongoings of our small circle of life. Hay in, projects, a cold beer over jibber jabber. Joking of long years of marriage. Men talk big when the wives are out of earshot and wives are lost in girl things. Happily lost in women interests of which they can visit away hours. Quite often laughing at those musings.  There is security in touching base daily with this living in which we all have been raised. The America we know so well. An America that works. The love and affections of close-knit neighborhoods.


September 2023 is upon us now. The end of the year looms in the days ahead. God bless us all. And you bet, I so appreciate your visit this week.