Saturday, February 25, 2006

'Cause I'm Old Enough and I'm Big Enough

Why, you ask, did you post this picture again? Because I can, that's why.

Really I wanted to put it in my profile, and the other version of this picture of my 350z is too big, as in too many bytes. So this will be my official picture posting space. I may park other pictures here in the future.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sorry, Bubba

I accidentally came across this website about pets. You can see the top 30 names for dogs and cats.

Turns out Bubba was named "Bandit" when we adopted him.

He now has a name that is not in the top 30. Sorry, Bubba.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

New Toy

Found this nifty laptop (HP ze2401xt) at Circuit City for only $549.99 plus tax (after $300 in rebates). It has 1.8GHz processor, 60 GB hard drive, 512 MB ram, DVD R/RW and CD-RW combo drive, built-in wireless LAN, MS XP Home Edition, and MS Works.

I've searched eBay for 2 weeks for a reasonably priced system and they all seemed too expensive for a used, dated system. Many had no software or no disks for the software they did have. The cheaper ones didn't have XP.

Also got a free Epson printer and a free wireless router. I'll sell those on eBay.

Got to watch Olympics. Out of the corner of my eye, I'm seeing girl figure skaters crashing into walls. This should be fun.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I am not by nature a vengeful person. But after substituting in a nasty class of sophomore and junior world history students today, I decided I needed to get my disgust out of my system.

I had a couple of girls who were loud and obnoxious from the time they walked into the classroom today. I wound up sending them to the office just to get them out of the room. I do not get paid enough to put up with their crap. I found out later that they hacked the Asst. Principal off while sitting outside his office too.

As I was getting into my car to come home, I thought about the way we used to discuss people who failed to pay their school taxes. We were pretty sure that if we published a list of those people, some of whom were pillars of the community, in the local newspaper, they would have a greater incentive to pay up. The state almost gave schools the power to do this many years ago, put the bill died, probably because some big bull was about to get gored.

So I think I will blog the names of these two nincompoops. No one will ever see them. I will use their real first names, but not their last. If, by some incomprehensible accident, their parents see this, good! These people embarrassed themselves and their families. So parents, if you have a schoolgirl named Jordan or Raven, and she got sent to the principal's office today, you have a problem. Straighten it out. If you want to apologize, great. I accept.

And while we're on a roll, if you are a teacher and do not leave a current seating chart and detailed instructions for your substitute, shame on you too!

I feel better already.

Better be nice, or I might post your name, too.

Monday, February 13, 2006


We have sprouted some herbs: cilantro, basil, and oregano. The really tall ones are cilantro. Basil is in the right-hand column of the tray. You can't see the oregano because it is in another tray. If I had backed up enough to see the tray, you couldn't see the oregano, because it is soooo tiny. H, let me know when to repot these. I know they need to be thinned, but do I need to wait to move them until they get "real" leaves? I have briefly searched the internet, but didn't find much help. I want to make several herb pots for friends. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

Looking at Canada

One last picture of Spade, Texas. This is looking north from the school. There used to be a cotton gin here. Now, if you look real hard, I think you can see Calgary.

I actually was playing with Picasa2, a free picture organizer from Google. It works really well for dummies like me who constantly loose their pictures in their computers. It also uploads to the blog very quickly and easily.

I now feel very googly. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


We took a trip back to Spade, TX, where I began teaching in 1968. I was the Junior High coach for five years and secondary principal for one year before we moved to East Texas.

We arrived at the Lubbock airport around 3 pm Friday and knew that the Spade basketball game we had come out to see had been canceled. The team had only six girls, and one of them has a bad knee. When one of the others hurt her back, leaving only four players, there was no choice but to forfeit. So we raced out to the school, hoping we could get into the building for one last look before the school is forever closed at the end of this school year.

Apparently they don't get out of school until about 3:40, so we got the royal tour. This is the front of the building and it is not changed much since I was there in 1976. There are air conditioner units in the windows, and the front sidewalk has been widened and landscaped, but that is all that has changed out front. There have been other additions which make the physical plant much nicer. Too bad it is closing.

That is me and Fran T, one of my former pupils standing in the entrance. Fran's daughter works in the office and Fran is the district's business manager.

This is Fran's office. It is across the road from the school on the corner where Henry Cowan had a store.

We left here and went down the road to the Spade Co-op gin where we found Belinda and Carol, two other former students. Belinda's dad was there. He was on the school board back in the day when I was first hired. He hasn't changed a bit. That's my finger in the upper left-hand corner.

While we were there, Jay B. and his daughter, Heather, came by to see us. It was so nice of these guys to come by, and we really had a good time catching up on everyone. This is Jay's wife, Sherri, who runs the community water supply office and was also a student.

We left Spade about 5 and drove back to Lubbock where we stayed with our long-time college friends, J and P. They got us tickets to the basketball game between Texas Tech and Missouri. P and I are ATO fraternity brothers. Although separated by many miles and years, we still keep up with each others' families. They treated us like royalty and we enjoyed their hospitality and the Red Raider victory over Missouri. Our seats were about five rows up on the end of the court, very close to the Raider bench and Coach Knight. We got to see him throw a couple of little tantrums, kicking the sign in front of the announcers and throwing a clipboard on the floor. But the Raiders won by 18, so no harm was done.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

New Stuff Around the House

Here are pictures of some new stuff around the house.

We will start with the new front door. It has an arched window to match the windows on the front of the house and upgraded hardware. Why didn't someone else think of that?

So this is the new front view. Should have taken a better picture so you could see both arches at the same time. There are new shrubs in front of the window. Don't know what they are, but have wispy branches with verigated leaves.

This is the new patio made of Arizona flagstone. Unfortunately, all of our backyard stuff is piled on the old patio. Equally as new and as good is the new back door, partially hidden by the post. There used to be a window there. We had the window removed, the bricks cut out, the new door installed, and the bricks and mortar replaced. Very cool. The inside was repainted and you could never tell that the only door to the backyard was through the master bedroom.


Turning slightly to the left you see more patio, the greenhouse for the lemon tree, and the beginnings of flower beds along the fence. Still much work to be done here.
This is the back corner of the patio. We plan to put bamboo here to block the ugly view of the road that is beyond the fence.

This is the new door from the computer/bedroom inside the house. The door is the kind with blinds built in between the two panes of glass. We can raise and lower the blinds and open or close the blinds with sliders on the door. Very cool. You can also see Bubba relaxing on his new patio.

Finally, for you gardening types, here are my trays of potting soil with herb seeds hopefully sprouting soon. I saved the trays from the pansies (YES, PANSIES! OK? Get over it!) that you see by the front porch and planted some basil, oregano, and cilantro seeds in them. My italian parsley that I grew last summer has overwintered nicely in the big pot in the shade by the side of the house. In the greenhouse, I still have a nice rosemary plant that came from Minnesota two or three years ago.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Praise the Lord and Pass the TurboTax

It has been almost exactly five months without a blog, and lots of stuff has happened. None, however, is quite as pleasing has having finished and filed the 2005 Federal Income Tax. Woohoo! Well, maybe better was the fact that for the first time in 20 years we are getting a REFUND. WOOOOOHOOOOO!! Enough of a refund to pay for the twenty day rental of the RV for the Alaska trip in May, with enough left over to pay for Bubba's stay at Kamp Kimbrough.

TurboTax was even more awesome this year because it easily imported last year's info and was really cheap because Vanguard investors get a discount. Only paid $21.20 including tax for the premier edition with FREE e-filing. It also imported all the investment information from Vanguard. Does Chuck S. do this for his clients, H?

The only glitch came with Intuit's program for donations called ItsDeductable. It gives values for hundreds of items one might donate, summarizes them, and exports the results to TurboTax. Unfortunately, if one donates more than $500 worth of goods, one must itemize each item. This is done when using the ItsDeductable program, but only totals for each charity are exported. When I got to the end of TurboTax, I got an error stating that I needed to itemize the gift of goods. This caused me to have to enter the information twice. And this was at about 11:15 last night when I was already tired. But the end was definitely in sight, so I finished about 11:40.

Yeah me.