Monday, January 31, 2011

Deeper Meanings....

I had awakened early---about 4:00---and was just lying in bed, letting my thoughts run free.  Somehow, an old song came into my consciousness. It was a song I only heard about three times in my life, and the last time I heard it was in 1965.

How I recall any of the words so many years later is one of those mysteries.  I liked the song very much.  The chorus was:

The sun always rises,
The sun always rises,
The sun always rises
Every morning of the year.

So when you feel you can't go on,
Just wake up, and with the dawn,
The sun always rises,
And the darkness disappears!

I repeated these words in my early morning stupor and thought about them.  And then, after all these years, a deeper, more meaningful meaning hit me---If you substitute the word "Son" for "sun", you have a wonderful parable of a poem.  Especially so since the Son rose after his nightfall on the cross just like the sun rises after night has run its course. 

As I lay there, I was amazed not only that I remembered the words after 45 years, but that I only now had connected the deeper meaning of the lyrics.

Then I was reminded of a moment a few years ago, when I was listening to an old cowboy song, "Cool, Clear, Water".  It had been a favorite of mine since childhood.  I always thought the song was about a thirsty cowboy and his horse out in the desert.  Well, it is and it isn't.  The deeper meaning, it occurred to me, was spiritual:

The shadows sway and seem to say
"Tonight we'll pray for water"...
Cool water.

And way up there He'll hear our prayer
And show us where there's water...
Cool, clear water.

In the stillness of the early morning, I began to wonder just how many things in life happen to us on a daily basis that have a much deeper meaning if we would only look and listen for it.

Here's another one, just off the top of my head:

Mary had a Little Lamb,
It's fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went
Her Lamb was sure to go...

Can you think of common things in your life that have a much deeper meaning?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The German Shepherd, The Panther and The Squirrel

One day an old German Shepherd was chasing rabbits and soon discovered he was lost.  Wandering about, he noticed a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.
A Pretty Smart Dog!
The old German Shepherd thought, "Uh oh!...I'm in big trouble now!"  Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settled down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching panther.  Just as the big cat was about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaimed loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious panther!---I wonder if there are any more around here?"
Hearing this, the young panther halted his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror came over him, and he slinked away into the trees.

"Whew!", said the panther, That was close!  That old German Shepherd nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figured he could put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther.  So after the panther he went.

The squirrel caught up with the panther and told the panther what he had seen.  The young panther was furious at having been made a fool of, and said, "Squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old German Shepherd saw the panther approaching with the squirrel on its back and thought, "What am I going to do now?"

But instead of running, the dog sat down with his back to his attackers and pretended he had not seen them.  Just when the panther and squirrel got close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd said, "Where's that squirrel?  I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Howdy Doody Time!

Howdy Doody
Back in the 1950s, when I was a little kid, I used to love watching "The Howdy Doody Show" on television in the afternoons.
Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob
"Buffalo Bob" was the Emcee of the show.  He would open each show by very loudly asking the question, "Hey kids!---What time is it?"
The Kids All Sat in the Peanut Gallery
The kids who were present in the audience (sitting in an area called "The Peanut Gallery") would all yell, "IT'S HOWDY DOODY TIME!"

My Favorite Character Was Flub-A-Dub.  Flub-A-Dub Had a Duck's Bill, Cat's Whiskers, Squirrel's Ears, Giraffe's Neck, Daschund's Body, Seal's Flippers, Pig's Tail, and Elephant's Memory
 And with that, the show would begin.  There was a cast of characters that was as eclectic as you could imagine.  Howdy Doody himself was a marionette, as were most others in the cast.

Clarabelle with Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob.  Clarabelle communicated by honking horns on his belt and by squirting seltzer
There was Phineas T. Bluster, Princess Summerfallwinterspring (or was it Winterspringsummerfall?), Flubadub, Heidi Doody (Howdy's sister), Dilly Dally, Inspector John J. Fadoozle (America's #1 Private Eye), Sandra the Witch, Captain Windy Scuttlebut, Chief Thunderthud and Clarabelle the Clown.
Phineas T. Bluster, Mayor of Doodyville
The kids in the Peanut Gallery would become involved in the playing out of the script each day.

Chief Thunderthud.  His favorite expression was "KOWABONGA!"
Each character had its own unique personality. 

Princess Summerfallwinterspring
We need more wholesome, fun shows like this on television today!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Internet Relationships

He had been in a 30+ year relationship that had steadily deteriorated over many years.  There was counseling.  There were many discussions and agreements between he and his wife about what should be done to remedy the problems.  These agreements never worked out.

His parental role was eroded.  The children were acting out.  The marriage was in trouble.

He finally had to make a decision---should he remain in a bad marriage and stay financially stable? Or should he leave and experience life as he suspects God wants?  Shakespeare's line repeatedly came into his mind---  "To be or not to be...."

Finally, after years of introspection and agony, he saw a lawyer.  He filed for divorce.  The children were grown and they understood the situation, even if they were not happy about it.

He moved into a rental home.  He worked his job.  He came home to an empty home, but there was a peace about it that was comforting.  Months passed.  The divorce was final.  He was at peace.

One night he was feeling lonely.  He went on-line to a pen pal website.  He posted this ad:

"SWM, 55, seeks lady for pen pal".

The next day, there were 15 E-Mails from across the country, from women wanting to correspond.  He answered about three of them---the ones with the best, most well thought out messages.  The ones with proper grammar and punctuation.

He finally decided one of the three was really the most appealing to him, so he began writing to her daily.  He looked forward to her daily letters.  He was becoming attracted to her, and it felt good to know that it seemed she felt the same way about him.

After a couple of months, they exchanged photographs.  He spent the day fretting over whether her picture would be as attractive as he had pictured her in his mind.  He later found out that she had spent the day worrying over the same thing.

When he saw her picture, he was pleased to know that she was just as beautiful as he had imagined.

They decided to meet for dinner.  She brought pictures of her life to share.  He was falling in love.

And that, my friends, is how I met my wife.  We have been married almost 8 years, and I have been happier than I could ever have imagined.  All because I was lonely one evening and thought I wanted a pen pal.  I got a wife instead.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Parable

NOTE:  For the many bloggers who have asked for the address of Cindy's blog, it is at 

                                          A PARABLE

In the upper midwestern United States, in the dead of winter, an extreme blizzard roared through one February.  This was a blizzard unlike any other.  The temperature plunged to -60 degrees.

A farmer was taking refuge in his home just after sundown when he heard "thump...thump...thump" against the window over his kitchen sink.  He investigated, and found that little birds were hitting the window pane as they desperately tried to get into the lighted kitchen where there was warmth.

The farmer knew that these poor birds would die in the terrible sub-freezing weather if they could not find shelter.  So, he bundled up heavily and went outside to see if he could guide them to safety.

He opened the barn door and turned on the lights.  But try as he did, he could not attract the birds to the safety of the barn.  Perhaps the birds were afraid to enter the barn, or perhaps they were afraid of him.

Discouraged, the farmer returned to his little farmhouse.  As he removed his heavy clothing, the thought came to him that he wished he could become one of the little birds---even if just for a little while.  In that way, he could earn their trust and lead them to the barn where they would be saved.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Last July, Cindy suggested I start writing a blog.  To be honest with you, I wasn't completely sure what a blog was.  Oh, I had a general idea, but I had not fully explored the subject.  So, I did a little homework and decided it might be fun and recreational.

But first, I had to decide what format to use, and what to call my blog, and how to navigate around the blog site itself.  Actually, the learning curve is rather steep at first, then levels off---but in reality it never ends, because new apps and techniques are always appearing.

But, after I set up my site and got the name of my blog settled, I started writing.  I must say it was fun, and I looked forward to deciding what my daily topic would be and how I would approach each day's posting.  Of course, the more you do of something, the better you become, and after about two months, I was on a roll.

When I started my blog, I did not care if anyone followed me or not---I just thought it was a great way to express myself and talk about things I found interesting.  But, after a couple of months, I began to get followers, and I found that I liked knowing someone cared enough about what I was doing to actually read my posts.  Of course, now I love getting new followers and encourage folks to read my musings.

I have noticed some odd things, however, about my blogging:

---By far, most of my followers are folks I have never met.  I have neighbors and many friends who read my blog but have not become followers, even when I have asked them to do so.  It is odd that, of all the people I know in Plano, Texas, only one has become a follower...and she is someone I never asked to do so (I am thrilled that she decided to follow me on her own).  What are the reasons for this?  My wife has noticed the same thing in her blog.  This may sound crazy, but the only thing we can figure out is that many folks are envious, and do not want to acknowledge the success and happiness of one of their peers.  I would really like some feedback on this.

---My brother and my mother refuse to even read my blog (if you can believe that).  The reasons they give is that 1) they might get a virus because it is widely believed that blogs can promote infections and 2) they don't have time.  Again, this sounds funny to say, but I can't help thinking that there is an envy factor here, at least on the part of my brother.  Quien sabe?

---Both of my daughters are followers, as is one of my cousins, which I appreciate.  I often write about family members---in a positive way, of course---so I am at a loss as to why anyone in my family would not want to read my thoughts.

---Most blogs are themed---that is, they deal with a particular pursuit, like cooking, artwork, photography, poetry, spirituality, etc.  My blog is all over the place---whatever I feel like writing about on a particular day.  I don't have a specific theme, but I will never get bored with just one topic.

---I notice that Europeans in general are very friendly on the blog, and seem to be very supportive in their commentary.  I have more American followers, but those from other countries probably comment more.

---I have learned that it is important to be as accurate as possible about blog topics.  I often do quite a bit of research to get a posting down correctly.  This is good, because it means I am actually learning about things every day.

What are some of your observations about blogging?  What benefits does your blog provide?  What do you like about blogging?  Not like?

Monday, January 24, 2011


Over the years, I have developed the habit of reading the daily obituaries in the newspaper.  I realize that this may seem like a strange habit---even ghoulish to some--- but obituaries provide very interesting insight into how we human beings think in death.

Seldom do I run across anyone I actually have known.  Mostly, the people whose lives are laid out in the death notices are local folks who have passed away in one fashion or another.  They are of all ages, colors and faiths.  They died of old age related issues, highway accidents, heart attacks, murders, suicides, war, and a multitude of illnesses.  Death may come with a crawl or a pounce, as the poet wrote.

I bring this subject up today because a few friends and I were talking about what our individual obituaries would be like.  We all wrote up what we thought would be a good, descriptive obit for ourselves.  I wrote one for myself that briefly described my life, my passions, and the fact that I am a Christian.  Then I listed my survivors. 

A couple of guys in the group listed all their accomplishments in business and awards and honors they have received.  A couple of others went into extensive detail about where they had lived, breaking their lives down into almost yearly minutiae.

But one member of our group had an obit that read thusly":

"Joe Gordon Died today.  He was a devout Christian."

I asked him why he was so brief.  He explained that, as a Christian, nothing else was important.  His achievements, awards, and distinctions of this life were unimportant---he couldn't take them with him where he was going---and God is not interested in anything of this world.

I thought about that for a long time.  He is right, of course.

But the fact is that obituaries provide a glimpse of what we humans think is important regarding our lives.  Usually, the obit is written by someone other than the deceased.  Very often, the obit is lengthy and full of praise for the deceased because of a guilt factor on the part of the writer.

Occasionally, the deceased him/herself will write the obit before death, so that it will properly reflect his/her view of self.  This is a pride factor.  So you see we have both pride and guilt at work during the grieving process.

Sometimes, humor is injected into the obit.  This can be interesting, in that humor and death do not exactly go together.

Many obits list the survivors.  It can be interesting to note the "pecking order" of those listed.

Suicides are particularly interesting.  It often involves language that seeks to circumvent the cause of death.  Something like "Fred Jones died suddenly", or "Molly Smith passed away at home".  Discerning the cause of death is left to the reader's ability to read between the lines.

A particularly favorite expression in today's obits is "...after a courageous battle with __________."

What are your thoughts regarding obituaries?  How would your obituary read?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Does Prayer Really Work?

When a strip joint opened just down the road from the Nazareth Baptist Church in Bishop, Oklahoma, the enraged congregation tried every way they knew to have the establishment legally closed down.

After talking with the mayor, the town council and the chief of police, they found that there really was no legal way to make the sex business close.

So, the congregation turned to prayer, asking the Lord to intervene on their behalf and shut the strip club down by Providence.

Three days later, at 2:00 AM, a raging fire destroyed the strip club completely. 

The congregation, of course, was happy that their prayer had been answered, and that no one had been injured in the inferno, and were proud to tell everyone who would listen that God had intervened on their behalf.

But, the owner of the strip club was not stupid.  He got lawyered up and sued the Baptist church for asking God to destroy the club.

The church lawyer responded by stating unequivocably that the church congregation had had nothing whatever to do with the fire that destroyed the building, and that it was not possible that their prayer had caused the fire.

After deliberating the case, the judge stated that, while she did not approve in any fashion of the kind of business in which the strip club engaged, it was very curious to her that "Here we have a church, whose members obviously believe in God and the power of prayer, who now deny the possibility of God's intervention on their behalf after He had answered their prayer."

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Ride On The Texas Chief!!!

The Mighty Texas Chief Departs Houston, Northbound to Chicago in 1949.  A Five Year Old Boy On This Train Would Never Forget the Experience.
One of my earliest remembrances is from 1949.  I was five years old at the time, and our family lived in Houston, Texas.  My mom decided that she and my baby brother and I would ride the train from Houston to Chicago, Illinois to visit her parents for a couple of weeks while my dad remained in Houston working.

Houston's Union Station Outside (Above) and Inside (Below) Seemed Huge to a Five Year Old Boy

I clearly remember this trip, for it was full of wonder as seen through the eyes of a little boy.  When we arrived at Houston's Union Station, I couldn't believe how big it was.  And there were so many people bustling around!  And when I looked out the back of the station, there were all these different trains lined up, and passengers were getting on them and getting off of them---I was in a wonderland!

The Huge Diesel Engine That Powered the Texas Chief Scared a Little Five Year Old Boy so Bad That He Remembers the Experience 61 Years Later

As we prepared to board our train to Chicago---the Texas Chief, we walked alongside the engine back toward the car we would be riding in, and all of a sudden a huge rush of steam burst from the bottom of the engine.  It scared me so bad that I can still feel the fear that washed over me back then.  I was trembling at the thought of this great dragon of an engine, hissing fire and steam and causing me to tremble.  I was so happy to get away from that beast and enter our car farther down the tracks.

I Loved Watching America Glide Past
The Texas Chief was a Santa Fe train---one of the most comfortable modes of travel that existed (to this day, I maintain that America's trains of the first 60 years of the 20th century were the best, most hassle free ways to travel in our nation's history). 

My mom got us seated.  By and by the mighty train began to lurch and slowly pulled from the station.  I watched in wonder as downtown Houston passed by and receded.  The train now began to pick up speed as it bore northward toward Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kansas City, Fort Madison and Chicago.

The Dining Car Was Another Wonderful Adventure
In fact, this train made 29 intermediate stops between Houston and Chicago.  It covered the distance in 25 hours.  This meant that we would be on the train all day and all night before arriving at our destination the next morning.  What an adventure!

Another Part Of the Dining Car
Our magic carpet made of steel flew across the countryside.  I marveled at the sights.  Automobiles were stopped at crossroads as the train roared past.  The conductor would walk through the passenger cars repeatedly shouting the names of the towns that we were approaching--- "OKLAHOMA CITY!"  or  "FORT MADISON!"

When the train stopped in towns to take on or let off passengers, I would watch intently from the windows.  I was seeing America as it really existed.  Of course, I couldn't sleep after nightfall, because I certainly did not want to miss anything.

And then there was the wonder and excitement of the dining car and the club car.  We would eat our meals in the dining car, often sharing a table with other travelers we did not know.  Everyone, it seemed to me, was friendly.  The food, I recall, was excellent.

The Club Car Had the Best Views
In the club car, you could get a drink of any kind.  Lots of people seemed to be playing cards.  But what I liked best about the club car was the fact that it was an elevated car, with windows extended upward so that the view outside was expansive and unencumbered.  I loved watching America go past.

The next morning, even more excitement began to build as we neared Chicago.  I knew my grandparents would meet us at the station, and I would soon be asleep in their home, my mind filled with dreams of huge hissing dragons, speeding trains and shouting conductors.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stuff My Dad Said

Dad and His Sister, Wynne, 1940s
At the cocktail hour yesterday evening, Cindy and I were talking about things our dads would say when we were growing up.  Some of them were pretty funny.  And a lot of the things my dad would say were sarcastic in a humorous way.
My Mom and Dad, Circa 1942

If dad was in a restaurant and they brought him a very small portion, he would sarcastically mutter, "I hope that doesn't run 'em short!"

If dad wanted me to do something---a chore, perhaps---he would say, "Stop sittin' there like a bump on a log!"

When dad was driving the car and he came to a red stoplight, and the car in front of him didn't move forward quickly after the light changed, he would yell at the driver, "IT AIN'T GONNA GET ANY GREENER!"
Circa 1955....L--R  My Brother David, Dad, Mom and Me
If dad thought someone wasn't very bright, he would often exclaim, "He's not smart enough to pour sand out of a boot with directions on the heel."

Whenever dad heard someone exclaim of the weather,"It feels good out today", dad would retort, "It feels so good out, I think I'll leave it out."

When someone would ask dad if he had been to church, he would often say, "I didn't go to church this week because I haven't sinned lately."

When dad would come into my bedroom in the morning to get me out of bed, he would yell, "LEMME HEAR THE SOUND OF FEET HITTIN' THE FLOOR!"

When we were all sitting at the dinner table, and dad wanted someone to pass him the butter, he would say, "Please pass the salve."

When someone would continually talk about the medications they were taking or how they never felt well, dad would comment under his breath, "He enjoys poor health."

 I miss him.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner....

My dinner party is now planned.  The guests have RSVP'd.  It should be a most interesting evening.  I can't wait!

List of guests:

---Jesus Christ   Topic of conversation:  "What is Heaven like?"

Tell Us, Savior, What is Heaven Like?

---Adolf Hitler   Topic of conversation:  "Why?"
What Were You Thinking?

---George Washington    Topic of Conversation:    "Courage"
Tell Us About Courage

---William Shakespeare    Topic of Conversation:    "Your Life"
Tell Us All About Your Life and Works

---Oprah Winfrey    Topic of conversation:    "How did you become so popular?"
How Does Someone Rise to Greatness From Such Humble Beginnings?

I wonder what foods Cindy will serve?  I wonder what my guests will wear to the party?  I wonder if they will enjoy meeting and getting to know each other (with the exception of Jesus, of course, who already knows everyone).    It should be an evening for the ages.  I can't wait.

What five people would YOU invite to dinner?

Monday, January 17, 2011


More United States Presidents Have Come From Virginia Than Any Other State
I wrote the following poem about the U. S. state of Virginia.  This state is full of history.

I wrote This Poem in 1998, and Cindy Presented Me With a Custom Frame.  It Now Hangs in Our Den.

Whenever I dream in my mind of her glory,
Of her mountains that fall to the blue, rolling sea;
I see in her people a strong, noble story:
Virginia of Washington, Henry, and Lee!

The State Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  "Sic Semper Tyrannis" Means "Thus Ever to Tyrants".  John Wilkes Booth Shouted This Phrase Immediately After Shooting Abraham Lincoln.
 Old Virginia, whose hist'ry of truth and of lore
Sets a model of freedom forever to tell;
Her peace earned by statesmanship, tempered by war---
Cradling at rest the ten thousands that fell.

George Washington, The Nation's First President

Born on the brav'ry of England's proud refuse,
Weathered the winters of colonial hell;
Drove down Cornwallis with French pow'r at Yorktown,
Raising the clear tone of Liberty's bell!

Defending her homeland from union invason,
Proud patriot armies advanced to the fray;
Secession for freedom and righteous persuasion
Advanced her great legions in splendid array.

Generals Robert E. Lee (L) and Stonewall Jackson Meet Before the Battle of Chancellorsville

Armies of Jackson and Stuart with Lee,
Along Rappahannock and Potomac's deep flood,
From Richmond herself to Shenandoah's valley,
Fought ever the good fight with Gray tears and blood.

General Robert E. Lee Was Offered the Commanding Generalship of the Union Armies Before Deciding His Loyalty Lay With Virginia and the Confederacy

Lee's masterful plan to guard Old Dominion,
And Pickett at Gettysburg courage displayed;
"Remember", he said to them, "You are Virginians!",
Advanced to the High Water Mark with his raid.

The CSS Virginia (formerly the Merrimac) (L) and the USS Monitor (R) Fought to a Draw in History's First Naval Battle Between Ironclads.  The Day Before This Battle, the Virginia Sank or Scuttled Three  Wooden union Warships.

Sailing to meet the vast union blockade,
Merrimac's steel girding was put to the test;
Minnesota, Congress and Cumberland faltered,
Sunk by Virginia's great armor and blast!

The Shenandoah Valley Is One of the Most Scenic Spots on Earth.  It is Also Where General T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson Became a Legendary Figure, Defeating Several union Armies Larger Than His Own. 

Stonewall in the valley, a lesson for all;
His "foot cavalry" victorious time and again;
First Fremont, then Banks, then Butler would fall,
His brigades pressing forward through snow, ice and rain.

The cadets at New Market, and Stuart with Lee,
Strove bravely to push back the might of the foe;
At Petersburg, Fredericksburg, and all through the valley,
Proved to the world that their brav'ry was so.

The Huge Confederate Memorial Obelisk at Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia
Gaze o'er the decades that tell of her story.....
Of Hollywood's resting place, Monument Row;
America sparkles because of her glory,
Her mettle and valor all nations to know.

The Jefferson Davis Memorial on Monument Row, Richmond, Virginia

Richmond, Norfolk, Lexington advancing;
The Blue Ridge so stunning, the Valley I see.....
Yorktown, Charlottesville, Roanoke romancing
Virginia of Jefferson, Jackson and Lee!

(C) 1998 Clint Ellison

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday's Trials....

My day started innocently enough.  Got up early, felt the life-giving warmth of strong coffee seep into my veins, answered E-Mails and began to make plans.  Our home is for sale, and the realtor said she would be there with a potential buyer around 9:30. 

Breakfast at Waffle House Features Good, Inexpensive Fast Food and a Free Floor Show
So Cindy and I clean the house, and at 9:30 we drive off to eat breakfast.  We debate where to eat.  She wants Mexican.  I don't care where we eat, but Mexican restaurants cost more than we want to spend.  We compromise on a Waffle House.  I like Waffle Houses (see my bog entry from July 30, 2010) because the food is decent, the price right, and the atmosphere is busy and teeming with eclectic personalities.  One woman came in and I swear her fingernails were 4" long, and curling under her fingers.  The patrons who saw her gawked.  Including me.

I Almost Always Get the Patty Melt With Hash Browns Scattered, Smothered and Covered

We are fortunate to get a booth in the crowded eatery.  I had the patty melt and Cindy had a cheeseburger.  We both got the large order of hash browns, scattered, smothered and covered.  Uh Huh.  Oh, yes.
I used to get my underwear from the Big Department Stores and I had "Calvin Klein" Written on Them.  Nowadays, I Get Them From Dollar General and Have "Hanes" Written on Them.  Ha.

Then we go to the Dollar General store where I buy some cheap but functional underwear.  I got the colored ones because I think Cindy likes colors, and most of my existing undies are a boring white.  Then we went to the supermarket to get mushrooms to go with the steak dinner we have planned for the evening.  Then Home.
I'll Show You My Underwear, But You Don't Have to Show Me Yours

Up until now, the day has been pleasant.  But when we walk in the house we see that the realtor and her client have tracked mud on our carpet.  This does not make us happy, and is the first sign that our daily fortunes may be turning.

Because The Author of This Blog Forgot to Keep the Pump Turned On During the Recent Freeze, We Now Have A Large Repair Bill
I walk outside to turn on the pool pump and see that the pump has a cracked dome.  Why did it crack?  Because someone (me) forgot to turn the pump on when we had a freeze two days ago.  This is gonna cost a lot of money.  Now, the day has officially been declared a disaster.

We had steaks with twice-baked potatoes and sauteed mushrooms for din-din.  It was a wonderful meal.  But the crowning blow to a deteriorating day was the playoff elimination of my Atlanta Falcons.  They didn't just lose, they found a way to be embarrassed.  I went to bed with the thought that tomorrow has got to be a better day.  Sigh......

Friday, January 14, 2011


My Friend Paul Took These Pictures From a Window of His Home Here in the Densely Populated Plano, Texas Area
I have previously written about the abundance of wildlife present in our community.  The funny thing to me is how well this wildlife manages to flourish in such a densely populated area such as ours in greater Dallas, Texas.

I'd Like to Pet Him.....But, Maybe Not
We have rabbits coming out the gazoo.  Birds of every hue and feather.  Coyotes pass through all the time.  Our creeks harbor turtles and such.  Raccoons populate the trees and hedges.

But my favorite critter is the bobcat.  My friend Paul has taken a few pictures of one of their neighborhood bobcats over the past few months.  I thought I would share them with you.  Undoubtedly, they feast on the large rabbit and mouse and bird populations. 

He looks pretty well fed.  These native cats usually weigh around 20 pounds, but a few weigh more than 25.  They are particularly fierce animals when threatened, but they almost always avoid humans or animals much larger.  Probably not a good idea to let your chihuahua run around unsupervised. 

I think this little guy is cute.  He looks pretty healthy.  Has a nice coat, too.