From Pops on the Porch to Pops in the Shop
For a while I had been writing a blog called pops on the porch. In which, I have expressed my opinion or thoughts on a variety of subjects. Lately, I have been watching some videos of my son, Sean, as he speaks to live audiences and virtual audiences. He is an excellent speaker which reminded me of the time when I thought I was an good speaker. When I first retired I tried to write a book and then I started this blog. Each event was for me to move on in life.
I have enjoyed putting my thoughts out there for others to look at. But, as I look around my environment I see if there is more information being passed on by the use of videos. The first of those was UTUBE. From there I noticed I large host of apps many other ways to communicate. I just learned about a app called TIK TOK. It is not new but to me it is new. This got me thinking that it’s time for me to change the way that I put my thoughts out.
So, I’m going to play around with making videos. Then as I know my family thinks that it’s appropriate, I will go out into the world, maybe by using TIK Tok. I might just use some other kind of social media.
In doing this I will change my title is from Pops on the Porch to Pops in the Shop. There’s an obvious reason for this change. First, I moved from the 15 acre tree farm that had a house with a porch on it, to a house in a gated community that does not have a porch. It does have a very nice shop. So now I set at a desk that I made in front of a window at the shop and put out my thoughts. It wasn’t until I saw a video of my son explaining what a webinar was and how to create one, that I thought of using a video to put out my thoughts. Being inside rather than on the porch, is a lot nicer environment. I have a refrigerator next to me, a coffee machine and I have an egg station. Yes, I am trying to my own eggs in the morning at the shop rather than wake up my wife of as I rattle around in the kitchen of our house to make eggs.
Like most old men, I find myself in a foreign environment and I have no idea how to adapt. That does not mean that I will not try. Even as I look at the screen and at my computer and the format of how to make a video I remind myself that this is a way of me getting my thought out there.
I’m going to ask for help from my sons and for my grandchildren. Who better to help coach me through the social media trends then those young minds that have not only accepted the procedures but they easily use them.
I will continue to get some sort of a review for my wife before I put things out. She is a straightforward and honest person that will try to keep me from embarrassing myself in public. Using a video to get my thoughts out helps me. As you probably know I’m not very good and spelling or using the proper tenths of a word. By using a video to put out my thoughts, I would do not have to worry about spelling or the proper use of a word. I also get to use some facial expressions in the videos. Yes, I do realize that that’s probably not a positive thing, but it’s a more realistic representation of who I am.
So, I’m going to add a lake to this blog say you can see where my first attempts of using a video. It is sort an unrehearsed. But it is my first attempt.
Pops below is the video address


Its time to accept

I woke up this morning and while I was walking to the kitchen I noticed that there was frost on the lawn. A light white covered lawn. For those of us that are visual, I had to accept that it is getting cold and winter is here. During the last week, the temperature has been really nice. It was almost like springtime. In my mind, I did not want it to change. But I knew the change was coming. I’m one of those people who have to see it to believe that. Well, I see it.
Now, what does that have to do with the world around me and my thoughts. It’s time for my president to acknowledge that he will not be in the White House for the next four years. During the election I voted for President Trump. And through all the madness of the electoral process I really wanted to see him win. But that did not happen. I believe that no matter what party is in charge, my president was always my president. No matter who I voted for when the election was over I supported my president. That is not to say that I agreed with the policies of the party that won the presidential election. I certainly did not agree with all the programs of our prior presidents. But I always believed that once elected to the office, that person deserves my support. When I and my fellow veterans fought on foreign lands we believe that we represented the United States of America. And in doing so we believe that we represent the President of theUnited States. In my mind, the United States of America is the best place to live and work and worship. Neither I or my fellow veterans stopped representing (fighting )the United States because of whoever was in the office of the president. We believed in our country and we fought and many died.
Once we got home we had the option to vote to support any of the candidates or policies presented by the different parties. As much as I may not agree with your opinion, I fought for the right so that you could have an opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when things go my way. But, they don’t always go my way. I fought and believed in the right for everyone to have their own opinion.
So, as I look out on the land and see that it is obviously cold and it is no longer sring or summer or even fall. It is obvious to me the time is marching on. It is also time for me to accept the results of the presidential and national elections. That does not mean that I’m happy with the results or some of the policies as they are being voted on. But once they are voted on it is time to accept it and go on with life.
If you look back to the editorial sections of most papers and publications from the past each time there’s a national action someone will claim that it is the most important election in history. But, also after each election the country moves on. I’m sure that as the next election happens in four years someone will claim that it is the most important election of all history.
So my thought for the day is for you to look out your window and if there is frost on the ground you’re going to have to accept the fact that summer is gone and winter is here. You can be angry, grumpy and want to fight someone, but in my mind that’s not the answer. If your candidate did not win then commit to being more active during the next election. You can help make a difference if you become involved. But, I think we’ve had enough hatred for those who do not share our thoughts and opinions
I for one, will do my best to support the President of the United States. I love my country and the principles that it was created with. As many of you will say. God bless America.


Today starts off like many other days. I woke up at 5:00 AM. This habit of waking up at 5:00 AM started when I was about 60 years old. Before that it was all I could do to get out by 9:00. It’s strange on how you thought retirement would be like, you know like sleep until noon. And then when you get to that age your body wakes up at O’dark 30. After waking up and turning on the TV in the living room, you know so I donot wake up my wife. I usually stumble over to the kitchen area turn on the old coffee pot and prepare another cup to be filled with black coffee and now that I have gotten older a little bit a white milk. At one time in my life I would go to the front door and look to see if the newspaper had arrived and then slowly and deliberately go through each page and decide if any article was worth reading. I would look forward to Sunday when the funnies came out. Today I turn on the television and scanned the different channels to see if I want to watch the news, look at a DYI station or watch last night football.
Today, I will walked out of the house down to the shop, and now that its fall I have to turn on the lights to be able to see what’s going on. Now I have a gritle that I used to make eggs. That’s right, I’ve finally try to learn how to cook for myself in the morning. And to do it without waking my wife up I have what I call an eggstation down at the shop. I will look around and all the different projects that are in their different stages of completion and pick one to work on for the day.
Today is Saturday which means I will be watching some college football. I have a large screen TV in the shop so I’m able to turn on the game and work on my projects of the same time. During the time I’m working on my projects I will walk over to my refrigerator and pull out a Gatorade.
Today I will try to get my 2 mile walk in and then find some reason to ride on my tractor. I will clean up the mess that was left by the fire pit that I sat next to my wife last night. I will grab the garden hose and water the plants around a shop in next to the house. Then on to find a way to gathered up the garden hose in one place so does the stretch out across the lawn.
Today I will contemplate washing the truck both inside and out. And I will start a new project on making more Christmas lawn decoration. We currently have a Dr. Seuss theme going on so I will have to come up with another ideal for a cut out.
Today I will think about my family, all of my children and my children’s children. Of course I mean my grandchildren. I will think about many of my relatives. Like my brother laws who have been out in Iowa hunting, they put out some pictures of themselves and I must admit that both looking pretty good as they’ve gotten older.
You might be wondering why I’m going through all of the items of today? Well, it is because today I will miss my dog Grady. Grady was about nine years old, he was a black mouth Curr. I enjoyed every day that I would wake up and my dog Grady would also wake up and follow me around anywhere that I went. He was always anxious to be petted and thankful for all that treats that he would get during the day. Truly he was a loyal dog. He would look at me with his big brown eyes and somehow be able to tell you how he felt. He was a friend that I will miss. Grady developed developed a cancerous tumor and was suffering. I sat next to him and held him while the the veterinarian doctor put him to sleep.
Today, I woke up and started my same routine. But there was no Grady to share my morning routine. Today there is no Grady to be my loyal companion and friend. And although I know he’s gone I also know he will no longer feel the pain and distress of his illness. I believe Grady had a great life in this family.
Today I woke up believing I will feeling a little less of the pain and sorrow, I mention all this in my blog because I know there those out there had the same experience of losing a pet, family member. But as part of my grieving I needed to put this thought out in my blog.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life. As I go oe I will remember all those people that I’ve lost which now includes my dog Grady. Pops

How long do I wait

How long do I wait?
I have not put out a blog in sometime because I was waiting for the results of the 2020 national, state and local elections. I thought that by the middle of November all the races would have been ove, and the next group of political leaders would be in place. Well, not this year. I did not want to make any statements about the political scene. But, here it is the middle of November and there is no certainty of when it all will end.
I am happy that there are no more political ads being broadcast on the television. So, this brings me to the thought of the day. How long do I wait before I can use my blog to discuss thoughts of the many topics that are on my mind. Well, today seems like a good day.
As far as the election goes, I’ve done my part by voting. There’s nothing that I can do to change anything in the process of the election. So, let me put out some thoughts on the issues that are in my world.
First, the Covid virus dominates the places that I can go to and the lifestyle that I can live in. Like most people, I am tired of being afraid to go out and do things that I used to be able to do. If I listen to all of the so-called experts, I should just stay in my house and wear a mask everywhere. I have tried to stay out of the public places by using the different services of afforded to me. I use a service to have the grocers deliver to my house. I shop on Amazon and others so they can deliver the goods to my house. And when they deliver the goods to my house they only get as far as my garage, I have a golf cart setup so that they can place the groceries or the packages on the back of the golf cart, after the goods are placed on a cart then I can go and either sanitize the package in place or take it to my kitchen with great care. I would’ve never believed that I would worry about small children passing the virus to me and therefore making me nervous when I am engaged by the children or their parents (Holloween).
Second, it’s time to get ready for Christmas. I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. But if I follow all the policies being put out, it doesn’t seem like there will be any gatherings at the house or at any other relatives house. Thanksgiving will be a very private and segregated event for at least this year. So, do I just sat around and do nothing? No, it’s time to get ready for the Christmas display of lights and Christmas characters on the lawn.
Even in my small neighborhood, I noticed neighbors putting up lights preparing the area with the extension cords and ladders in an effort to get their house ready to display the Christmas spirit. I know, there’s some of you that feel that Christmas has been too commercialized. I do not see it that way, it brings a smile to my face and some joy to my heart when I see the brightly decorated lawns and homes that are there in a celebration of the season.
Even as a religious event, the additional importance of celebrating Christmas can be seen in the displays at the homes and the businesses. You do not have to be a large crowd to enjoy a Christmas display. Just as a single individual or a household family you can look out along the neighborhood or in the business areas and see the brightly colored lights and the Christmas displays. I know there are some of you to say humbug, it is silly to do all that work only to take it down later. I think it is worth the effort.
I think that no matter what kind of display that is presented near you, you should see it as a positive and a good effort to bring some happiness to your world. There is no need to wear a mask when looking at the lights and displays. And if you wanna get a good view you’re already socially distance from the lights. Even if you cannot afford to do a display yourself, you should go and enjoy the lighting displays around you. I will bet that the person who put up the displays and lights will feel good that you are enjoying their effort.
I know you may not have the money to do lights or displays. But in its own way the display of lights and Christmas characters is a gift to give everybody. You do not have to believe in the religious aspects, but you should enjoy the human effort of the celebration of Christmas.
I do want to mention all of the many companies that worked so hard to deliver the goods to my house. Beginning with the postal worker, the person that delivers food from a local restaurants, the people that deliver the groceries to my house, and for sure FedEx and UPS.
Even though I don’t know what is coming to my house, I do get a big smile my face when I see the postal worker, FedEx or UPS stop at my driveway or walk up to my garage to deliver a package.
So, how long do I wait to get back to living and enjoying my life. I’m not gonna wait any longer. I’m going to enjoy the holidays to the best of my ability. I’m going to enjoy it looking at the photos of my children and my grandchildren when they show up on my Ipad. I willing to enjoy all the holiday songs until is close to the event and I will want to listen to different music. Even though I do not like the cold weather, I’m going to enjoy sitting around the little fire pit that I have. Even though I probably will not do any fishing during the cold winter months. I will have fun looking for fishing equipment. And even though I’m not traveling to family or friends homes, I am willing to enjoy using face time on my phone and computer.
How long do I wait to see who my elected officials are? I donot know, I did my part and you probably did your part too. Like every other election before it, time will go on in the next thing you know they’ll be another election coming up.
Do not wait to enjoy what is already out there, it may take some new methods and some more effort but I think that the holidays can provide you the opportunity to go out and enjoy life again.
Pops on the porch


Where are the funnies.
Good morning America, it has been some time since I put out a story on my blog. In the past year I’ve gone through a triple bypass heart surgery and the removal of my gallbladder after it exploded in my body. I have gone from a state of complete weakness where I could not even stand on my own 2 feet, to walking over 2 miles a day to keep my heart strong.
Today I wake into an overcast foggy morning which supplies the ground cover with water, so I do not have to the turn on the sprinklers today. It is also in just six days before the national election. It’s that time the year we just don’t wanna watch television because of all the political ads they keep running over and over and over again. I find myself searching through the many other channels that are provided by my Dish programming guide. I think that I’ve gone through all the home improvement channels and into all the history channel and finished up with all of the national geographic channels.
I find myself watching some old reruns of the many car repair and restoration shows. I even started looking at some of the food channel shows. The television offers me hundreds of channels usually of shows that I really don’t like but I watched this rather than regular national TV channels.
I don’t no about you and you basically don’t know anything about me but I believe that we’re all tired of the usual chaos that surrounds a national election. Many seniors like myself had already made up our minds by the time early voting was available. Usually at the start of the day I will watch the local news. Mostly, to get the weather report for the day. But even during those local shows the commercials are almost totally about political candidates. For long as I’ve been a voter I find it each year the national election brings out the most obscure political ads. Although, when I was first of age to vote their only three or four channels that my television would get. But, even then right before the national election there was almost nothing but political ads running all day.
In those days I put a lot of faith into the reporters of the national broadcasting stations. Someone like Walter Cronkite. Today, I find it depends on what channel you watch the broadcasters seem to be prejudiced for one side or the other.
I think it’s because the news broadcasting companies became so strong and influential in the past elections that they almost feel that they control the political agendas. Four years ago, when all the channels had predicted a democratic candidate as the winner before the votes were counted the news broadcasters reigns supreme in their influence over the voter. Now, with social media that major broadcasting stations have found they have loss there influence. That does not mean that they still don’t try to almost bully their listening audience into voting for one side or the other.
In earlier times I would pick up the newspaper to see what happens in the world and in my neighborhood. And then if I want to get somebody’s opinion about a certain candidate or local issue i would go to the sections devoted just for reporters or editors opinion. It gave me an opportunity to read it and read it or throw it away. Now, I’m more likely to grab my Ipad or my phone and put in a search word and receive whatever information is available. Unfortunately, the same powerful editors and reporters dominate those devices. Many times I would go to the papers funnies and not read anything else.
So, the question is what do you do? You can stop watching public television or cable television. You can be selective as to the social media sites that you visit. I think some people would rather just pick the one on in their own little circle of family and friends. Even if you decide to watch a certain news station is not hard to quickly see which side of the political aisle that station supports. Recently, I watched the news broadcaster explain how she was so proud that her reporting was correct and unbias. Remarkably, the reason I quit watching her network and the shows she’s had been on is because her hatred for the president just showed through her eyes every time she spoke about a story concerning him.
So, again what to do? For me, I voted early and when I’m not outside trying to handle many of life’s pleasures and problems I search through the many channels to fine something that I can watch that is not some sort of negative view of one of our political candidate. I like fishing where the only thing I’m thinking about is was that tug on the line was from a fish or did I just run across to limb on the bottom of the lake. I go to my shop, and I turn on the radio when I listen to a variety of different styles of music. If it’s a public radio station, I once again find that it is full of political ads. So I go to the Siirus channels and pick my flavor form of music for the day while I spend time trying to make something out of nothing. You know, try to make some kind of furniture of the wood I have available or try and redo the lighting system on my trailer.
my blog today is about what you do during a national election year, close to voting time to keep away from all the negative and hostile television, print material and airways that fill my environment.
I encourage you to come up with your own answer. But it is time that you should start looking at alternative ways to fill your time of day. If you’re fortunate enough to have a job, try to make that job environments focused on the goals of the company. Fill the work time with goals that will keep you busy. Then, when you go home, fine time with your family. Get involved in whenever the kids are about. Try to find a common time of the day to share with your spouse. I’m sure there is a so-called honey do list that can be looked at.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t care about politics or country and I think you should look at the candidates and issues and then take time to vote. But don’t let the process drag your into weeks or months of the negative environment leading up to the election. If you’re one of those kind of people that has a tough time making a choice, dedicate a small amount of time to researching those candidates and issues and then go vote. But don’t get so involved in the election process that it dominates your time. My thought is, don’t get obsessive about what is being said by people you don’t even know.
Our country allows us the freedom to have an opinion and be able to express it. I like many other Americans fought in a war for the concept of freedom of opinion. So, have an opinion and if you want too, express your opinion. But don’t become obsessed with all the news channels, social media or for the material that is about other people’s opinion.
So back to the question, what you do? Well, do not go out into the streets and destroy the local businessmen and women’s buildings or burn the car of somebody that you don’t know. I cannot agree that it’s OK for you to riot in the street and when things get tough to call for the police, when they arrived you start attacking the police. I think that some of those rioters want to blame the police for all their problems in life. I will go back to the thought that you try to find some way to survive the national political process without going wild or negative.
Once again, I feel lucky to be able to express my opinion to those of you read this blog. I really feel lucky to be healthy enough to stand on my own two legs and enjoy those people of things around me.
Where are the funnies?
Till the next time, this is Pops on the porch.

The party is canceled

This weekend there was going to be a birthday party at the house. Our son and his girlfriend were scheduled to come to our house to celebrate his birthday. Then, they received the news that a family member whose children goes to the same school as their children, had contracted the coronavirus.
This virus is so powerful that it is cause countries to basically shut down. It is cause our country to stop travel from Europe, China will and other countries. It is canceled the NBA season and made March madness a contest that there will be no fans at the event. It is cause the stock market to go crazy. It is caused many cities set up medical tents outside the hospitals and clinics.
In the case of the party at my house it was an easy decision for me and my wife to make to cancel the party. I’m 72 years old and I have several underlying health issues including one with my heart. Did we think this several weeks ago, that the coronavirus would reach out and even touch us here in rural Texas.
The party is canceled many living on this earth. I realized that the coronavirus can be handled by the young and their parents, but it is a deadly serious virus for senior citizens like me. It seems like in the beginning, countries dismissed the seriousness of such a virus. But now, it really is almost completely closed down countries. China is slowly discovering less cases while European nations are just beginning to exploded with new cases. I know that not everyone who contracts this virus is going to die. But there are some lasting effects for those adults who do survive.
The party is canceled due to something we cannot even see. In my lifetime I have seen many diseases attack the population of the earth. And the word pandemic was thrown around in an effort to get people’s attention. And so when the news first came out from China that this could be a pandemic situation I didn’t really take it seriously. I certainly didn’t think it would reach out and touch me at my house. No, I do not have the virus. But I am somewhat self quarantined as I live out in the rural area and I do not attend any events. I am even concerned about going to the store or shaking the hand of anyone that I meet. I have become somewhat paranoid and totally distracted by the coronavirus. It is unsettling to watch country shutdown and to watch my president setting up facilities to handle massive amounts of virus patients.
I realize that there will come a time when this virus runs its course and we will all be able to get back to living our lives. In the meantime, as the stock market and becomes super erratic and the shelves of the stores become bare,would you have thought that a virus would effect everyone and everything and would make it so that people don’t want to go to work or go to a sporting event or even shake the hand of their neighbor. This virus is unique in the fact that it takes several weeks for it to show up after you have contacted it.
I also imagine that there will be several different coronavirus strains that will emerge and cause us more fear. But I also believe that we will muddle through this virus as we’ve done others. The world scientists will find a way tor control or eradicate this virus. But in the meantime, this virus that started in China has reached out all the way to my house in Texas. And although no one near to me or my wife or any of my neighbors or as far as I know, anyone in a 25 mile radius even has the virus. But here I am washing my hands and trying to find ways not to go out.
If there’s any upside to this virus besides everyone starting to use better sanitation practices, it is the fact that the Internet has made it so I don’t have to go to the store I don’t have to go to the shops I can shop right from my house. Currently, there are services that can be used that keep me from going out. For example, there is a service that will shop at my local food store and pick up the goods that I asked them to pick up and they were delivered to my house. Currently, I have the delivery person place all the packages on the back of a golf cart that is in the garage.My wife or I clean and sanitize all the packages before picking them up and bring them into our house.. Many stores have a service that allows you to drive up to their store and one of their employees will bring out the goods and placed them in your car. Once again you get home and clean, sanitize the goods delivered and the area of the carthe good were in. Luckily, I can pay my bills on the Internet and I get my paycheck via the Internet. All of this means that it is possible to live in a self imposed quarantine environment and continue to survive. This is not to say that you will not have to still come into contact with human beings.
Because of the delay in knowing if you have virus I’m very concerned about the children and their families will go back to school. Most of us know that the school the place where a cold, viruses and bacterias seem to go from one family to another. There are many grandparents who take care of the families children and they now become super exposed to any virus.
Maybe the future will lead to more Internet based education using video confrencing. I do not see any way to have any organized groups whether it be sports or academic that will be able to exist without contact with each other. But I do think that we can take the experiences of using the Internet to educate and inform to a new level.
Hopefully, within a month or two all this will be behind us. Stock market will settle down, the schools will reopen and sporting events will again be a place of mass gatherings. In the meantime, I will be washing my hands all the time and I will avoid trying to come into contact with anyone closer than 6 feet. I feel really bad that the party is canceled and I was one of the main reasons that it was canceled, due to my age and physical health. And so today, the party is canceled. But there will be another time and there will be another party. Hopefully, somehow some good will come out of this experience.
I would love to end this blog by saying “PARTY ON” but instead I am going to tell you to listen to the doctors and know that it could happen to you and your family and your neighborhood. So give up some of your pleasures and work hard on keeping you and your family safe. Pops

A muddy mess

Have you ever looked at something you done before and decided to try to make it better. I have recently found myself in a muddy mess. There been several times in my life when I have decided to make something better than it currently was. I have a large front yard which comes close to the road, it dips down a little bit and then up a little bit that creates a path for water runoff. This last year as this area has received a lot of rain. I noticed that the water continued to build up and not drain off. When I went to mow the lawn I left a deep muddy tracks created by my lawn mower as I pushed through the water soaked area.
So in the middle of winter I decided to fill in the area is some dirt and tried to adjust the dirt so that all the water would drain naturally downhill. So I got on my tractor and I scooped a bucket of dirt on the area that had standing water. I continue to do this for some 200 feet. As I placed the dirt on the water I noticed that the wheels of the tractor created some imprints. I basically was making a bigger muddy mess. But undeterred, I kept working on the dirt. I tried smoothing it out from one side and then smoothing it out from the other side. Not thinking about the sprinkler system that was already in the ground. I drove my tractor back and forth up and down through the entire area. This created an even bigger muddy mess. Thank goodness the tractors four-wheel-drive, because there were several times as I got into that muddy mass the tires would sink and it was hard to get out of the mess. After a couple days of sunshine I thought I might be able to work on it again and really straight out some of the mud so it didn’t look so bad. I realize that my tractor had run over several of the inground sprinklers and that when I turn the sprinklers on I could tell that I caused damage. Now I have this long muddy watery trench going along the front on my property. When driving on the street coming home,it is really noticeable. Somehow, I’ve gone from a small build up of water to a large muddy trench. I even tried bringing out a smaller lawn tractor with a blade on it and I quickly got it stuck in the muddy mess. Luckily, I pulled it out of my big tractor. I’m sure look pretty funny watching me get a big tractor to pull out a small lawn tractor from the muddy mess. I didn’t learn anything from that event as I got a secondary later lawn tractor and tried to compress the soil. It only took a few minutes before I got that tractor stuck in the muddy mess. I spoke to my neighbor who quickly told me that I would have to wait until all the ground would dry up before I would be able to work on that area. I needed to let the muddy mess dry out by itself. I am not accustomed to giving up or to stop trying to fix things. But after several fun minutes in the muddy mess and looking at the beautiful (not beautiful) mess I had made in the front of my house, I’m gonna let it dry out itself.
In relating the story I realized that there been a lot of other things that I’ve tried to fix or make better when it came to my relationships with people. I’m sure you know what I mean, when it seems that somebody in the family who is having problems with the relationship and you decide to give them some advice. Meaning well, I have on occasions blurted out my advice on life to someone who was having some difficulties. There’s been more than one time, that my advice and my attention only made things worse. Maybe it’s because the person tell me the story didn’t give me all the information. Maybe it’s because there were other outside factors that the person didn’t know about. Or maybe it’s because I stuck my nose in somebody else’s business and the best thing for me to do would have been just to listen and keep my advice to myself. Sometimes I think that when I give advice or give my opinion on something I quickly had gone from a small water problem to a muddy mess.
Even when my intentions are only meant to be good, my actions end up in the bad category. Sometimes it’s just meant to be. For example, I might tell somebody they look good today only to hear them respond; does that mean I didn’t look good yesterday. Or even worse, I might look at somebody who was begging on the street corner and say something like I don:d see why they can get a job. Then I find out that that person just got fired from a job and an iillness in his family , has caused them to try anything possible to keep the family in food and shelter. I suppose that what I described goes under the heading of putting my foot in my own mouth. But for this blog I put it under making a muddy mess.
I want to have an opinion and be able to state my opinion. But I’ve got a find a better way of being more aware, not only in my surroundings but the weight of what I say. Someone else might say that a family member was short and their clothes make them look overweight. But if I say that, the weight of who I am in my relationship to that person it can really hurt. You can’t just shrug it off by saying something like, I was only kidding. Even if you don’t have any connection with someone there are things that you say that cannot be taken back.
So what happens when you make a muddy mess. My thought for today is that you recognize that you make the muddy mess. Then you think about if you should respond to the mess or allow the mess to dry. When I talk about muddy mess I see it as a temporary condition. And how I respond to that muddy mess can make things better or worse.
So good luck with your muddy mess I thought is take time to review it and take care and responding or not responding to it. Pops


Finally, after almost a half a year of being in and out of the hospital or doctor’s office, I got to go fishing. In preparation for my fishing trip, I worked on the wiring of my boat trailer. It took me two days to get it right. Of course I used the Internet. And what seemed to be a very easy operation caused me to yell out,” come on”or other such verbiage, frequently.
But the morning came with a weather report that showed it would be sunny and almost 60°. So I hooked up the trailer to the truck and I went into the house and collected a bag full of food and drink. Before leaving the house I once again checked the lights to make sure they worked, and I was sent off with the blessing of my wife to have a good day.
As I travel to the lake and I was driving the winding country roads that lead to it, I was inspired by the beauty around me and the fact there was almost no traffic. Not where I live now I might past four or five vehicles who are headed in the other direction on my 40 minute drive. This is truly different than when I drove the freeways of Los Angeles back and forth to work.
Upon arrival at the boat ramp on the lake I noticed there were only four or five vehicles there. Verifying to me, that picking a Tuesday morning was a good time to go fishing. There was only one vehicle ahead of me in line to lunch their boat. It was a guy in his 30s, attired and what I found out to be a brand-new set of waders. He was pulling his 19 foot long bass boat with his brand-new Chevy truck. It did not take him long to unload his boat and pulled into the parking spot. I was up next so I started to position my truck and boat trailer so I could unload my boat. For those of you that have a boat you know that there a lot of iems you have to take care of before launching the boat. The most important one is to put the plug in the back of the transit. I don’t know what it was about me that caused this young man to walk up to me and asked if I needed any help. He offered to back my truck and trailer into the water as I sat in the boat and then powered it off the trailer. If I do this alone it takes about 15 to 20 minutes for me to back the boat into the water, release it from the trailer and then with a long line attached to the bow of the boat I pulled the boat up onto the shore. Then I go back to the ramp and get into my truck and take it to a parking spot.
As the young man walked back after taking my truck and trailer, parking it and then bring the keys back to me ,stating that he had locked the truck. That’s when I thought that people in this part of Texas are really good and kind people. While waiting to proceed onto the Lake I had a conversation with the young man. I thanked him for helping me and he asked if there was anything else he could do. I found out that he was a local paramedic and that he was gonna go fishing for a few hours before he had to go home and pick up his daughters from school. I thought again, what good and kind people are in this part of Texas . As the day went on and I got to drive my boat on the lake, throw my line out to catch a fish in thinking of nothing else but fishing. That’s what happens when I fish, I don’t think about anything else, I don’t worry about the world or anything other than that small tough on theline that means is a fish waiting to meet me.
As I finished my day fishing I pulled into the shore at the boat ramp and was got ready to prepare loading my boat. As fate would have it, that same young man was pulling in from his fishing day. We talked again for a while and I told him to go and load up his stuff because it is probably not take some time for me to load my boat as I have rearranged the trailer situation plus I have not done it in a while. The young man quickly loaded up his boat and moved it out of the way so I could get my truck in line and load my boat. I did experience some trouble getting it on the trailer. Once again, the young man came down to offer his assistance. I know that he could’ve just hooked up his trailer and headed on out. Once again this kind man offered to help this old man. I did get the boat on the trailer and after some time i got everything tied down, I headed home.
This brings me to the thought of the day. It just seems to me that the people here in this part of Texas, are good and kind people. There many times when I go to the store or I am working out side, people ask if they can help me. Another good example is that when I was in the hospital my neighbors took care 0f my lawn and once I was home they came by to ask if there’s anything else they could do. This was truly amazing to me. I’ve only been in this neighborhood for a few months when I went to the hospital. I know that I’ve mentioned before how friendly and open the people seem to be here in this part of Texas. When driving down the road many of them waved at me as I’m driving the other way. When I’m out in public on the street or at a store, people will look you in the eye and say hello with a smile. After many years of working in Los Angeles I got into the habit of not talking to people or even trying to make eye contact with them.
Maybe my brother-in-law Quincy can tell me if my perception of the people here is correct. He travels the world and has been in been to almost every state in the United States plus many of the foreign countries. The job requires him to stay at those locations for some time which means he has a lot of time to meet the local people. I wonder if he feels the same about the people of Texas. He lives in Texas.
In the last week when I visited the hardware store, the auto parts store or the local hospital clinic, I always seem to meet some of the nicest people. Now I know I just wrote about my trip to the Houston hospital how I feel that a lot of homeless people seem to seek me out. But as for the everyday experience I find myself trying to change my habit of not talking to people on making eye contact with people as I walk by. I hope to change my thoughts of how bad people are when given the chance to be good or bad. I think I’ve always wanted to believe that people are basically good. But my prior experiences was so that I am always suspicious of somebody who was kind to me.
Luckily for me, I live in a place that surround me with really good people. It helps that my wife is one of those good people. She leads by her example of constantly helping others. There many times when I ask her why she is helping all these people. She knows it’s the right thing to do. I still struggle with accepting the kindness from others.
Yesterday, I met a nice person who was quick to help me without asking for anything in return. A Paramedic who is constantly helping others when he’s at work. And a good person when he is not at work. A good person even when he goes out fishing and could quickly just unload his boat take off. Instead this man was quick to help me and once again show me that the people in this part of Texas are good people. Good people do exist.


How many times have you heard someone say, ” you are my sunshine”. I started hearing my aunt saying and singing you are my sunshine when I was a small child. At that time it was something I looked forward to hearing. In today’s world, I hear it from news broadcasters and talk show host. They start the show with,” hello sunshine”. To me it is a welcoming and happy phrase. Sometimes, as I walk out of my house into the sunshine I can still hear my aunt singing.
My thoughts today are on the sunshine. It is still wintertime and many days are cold and overcast. Most recently, there has been very little sunshine and a lot of overcast. I am probably like many people who get a little depressed when there’s a lot of overcast and little sunshine. So what is it about the sun that affects me another so much?
I suppose if you’re a history buff, you can look back through the ages and find those people and cultures who worshiped the sun. Clearly in those days, the sunshine was an important element for the growth of crops and a survival of animals. The sunshine warms the earth allowing both plants and animals to grow and survived. Now and in the future, the son provides energy for electrical energy production. Even if you look into the ocean the fish and the plants rely upon the sunshine to survive. Of these things I’ve mentioned, what does it have to do with a physical presence of the sunshine on the earth.
So why is it so important to me? It is almost all about my mental health. Of course, it is nice to walk out on a sunny day and to walk to my pond or get my boat and go to the lake. But even on those days that I’m not headed to the water, I enjoy the sunshine. I really do not know why,but I do know that when the sun is shining I seem to be happier and even more at piece. Of course, there are the obvious things like the light from the sun allows me to see things better. I know that my night vision is really gotten worse as I have gotten older. I can look out upon their forest and the lawn at night I think that it is peaceful. But it is also a mystery. I have no idea what’s out there and roaming around at night. But when the sun shines, I can look out on the land and down the road see what is going on. I can appreciate the birds as they migrate north and south. I can appreciate watching the deer drink from the pond early in the morning. I enjoy watching the trees as they sway back and forth in the breeze. Now I know this all sounds a little weak for a man to mention such pleasures. But I know when the sun is shining and I can see all these things I feel happy. I’m sure I’m a lot easier to get along with when the sun shines. I seem to get a little grumpy when it’s constantly overcast. The sun provide me with warm air. I do not like cold air. I was born and raised in the Midwest where there was a definite wintertime and very cold days. I can remember listening to the adults talk about moving south to Florida when they retired. At that time in my life all that meant was that I was going to have to leave my friends and the way life I grew up with. As fate would have it, upond coming back from the Vietnam War I was stationed in Los Angeles. Even in the wintertime the temperature is nice and the sun seems to almost always shine. That is why lot of people move and still. As my life progressed I found myself in Texas. There are many sunshine filled days here but there’s also a good amount of overcast days. Even though I don’t live anywhere near the gulf coast it seems like there’s a lot of reining cloudy days. When this happens, I get a little down. I find it hard you proceed with projects that I started and I eat a lot more food when it’s overcast.
As I hear the greeting,” hello sunshine” coming from a news channel early in the morning, I look at my windows in the hope that the sun will shine. Now I know that we need rain as much as sunshine to survive. But I smile when I wake up in the morning and I can watch the sun rise over the tree line and then walked outside into sunshine, I am a happy guy. On a personal note my wife is my sunshine all the time. But back to my thought for the day. I don’t know why that I and many others need sunshine to be happyI love waking up to the sunshine and enjoying all those things it affords me.
I hope you have many days of sunshine and even if it’s overcast I hope you can find the sun shine in your life to keep you as happy as it keeps me. Wow the sun is out I got to go. Pops

Herman Memorial Hospital Trip

Yesterday I had the privilege of visiting my nice. She had given birth to a beautiful baby boy. I’m in North Texas and it takes about 4 hours to drive down to the Houston area. Luckily, I have a map app on my phone. I put in the destination and a voice leads me to my destination. So, as I ventured out, I turned on the device and then it led me straight to the hospital. Or more aptly described as “Herman Memorial Hospital complex.
As the voice on my phone directed me to the many turns of the downtown Houston area and the Herman Memorial Hospital complex, I was reminded on how busy downtown area can be. First off, there is the crazy drivers in a downtown area. Small cars zooming in and out of lanes to gain a single position in the line before the traffic light. As I finally made it to the parking area and negotiated a machine that allowed me to get into the parking lot, I was amazed on how many parking garages were in the area. As I got to the garage area, I found myself staring at two different large public parking garages. Not knowing which one was close to the hospital that I needed to ago to, I just checked into the closest one and hoped for the best.
As I got out of my truck and I began to walk to where I thought was the hospital, I search for a door to go to enter the hospital. And I went up to one of a automatic sliding door, I noticed another person standing there waiting for the door to open. After several tries it was apparent that the door was broken and so I and the other person looked for a way to get into the hospital. After an amount of time, it was obvious that we were on the wrong side of the building to try to gain entrance. Luckily, a hospital worker who was outside on a smoke break noticed that both of us looked lost. And so, the gentleman walked us to a side door and used his key that got us into the hospital.
Thinking that I was in the right building I searched around and found a group of elevators I punched in the number that I thought my nice was on. After it reached the floor and the doors open, I began to walk around before the hospital only to notice that there were no nurses or technicians in the hallways and when I walked by a few rooms with open doors the people inside the room seemed very old. That is when I realize that I was not on the right floor. I finally found a maintenance worker who led me to a nurse that I’d gave my nieces name and I was quickly informed that I was in the wrong building. The nurse began to give me directions on how to get out of that building into the next building. The directions involved a lot of rights and lefts that would lead to the escalators and elevators that would lead to the correct building.
Feeling good after getting the directions I started upon my adventure to find the right room. After some 15 minutes of many left and rights turns. I did find a common area that had escalated and elevators. But during that walk I spoke to two other people who appeared to be workers of the hospital, I ask for directions to the next building. To my amazement, each person gave me a different set of directions. Finally, I located my niece’s room and was introduced to my new great nephew. There’s something about a newborn baby that helps hope for the future. During the next several hours I was joined by other family members with the new mom and new baby.
After those few hours, I announced to the group that I was headed back home, and my first adventure would be to find my truck. My nephew, who was part of the group of visitors, gave me directions on how to find the right parking garage and how to get out of the building. Confident again that I would go directly to my truck without any problems, I left the room and headed down the hallway. I think I was no more than 50 feet from the room when I realize I may have taken a wrong turn down the wrong hallway. Now, I don’t want you think that I did not try to read the directions that were on the hallway walls. Most had the name of the unit and an arrow next to it. This included one directional sign that stated garage of this way. That is when I realized again that there was more than one garage and I need to know the name or title of the garage I was parked at. So again, I stopped people in the hallway that looked like they worked at the hospital and ask for directions to the garage. Each person gave me different directions, I finally found a security officer. He asked me if I had my receipt from the parking structure where I first parked my truck. Luckily for me, I had the receipt. He then gave me the name of the garage I should’ve been looking for and pointed out that I was on the wrong end of the building and would have to take a long walk again down several hallways with a series of right and left turns. This time as I look at the directional signs and their arrows, I knew which one to look for, garage #4.
Now, with a little more speed in my step, I follow the signs and got to garage number four. That’s when I found out that you had to pay your bill on floor number two. Of course, I was on floor number one. So, I found a bank of elevators that got me to floor number two and a automated system to paid my bill for parking, which was $10.00 for 2 hours. As I finished paying the fee, I was approached by a woman carrying a large bag in wearing a backpack. She quickly related that she had just had brain surgery and then she asked me if I could help her by giving her $10.00. To begin the overwhelming odor of alcohol that came from her mouth as she spoke was enough to make me turn my head away from her face. She did not take long for me to realize this was a street beggar who was working the parking lot floors of the hospital.
I don’t know what it is about me, but it is seems like I draw the homeless and the mentally ill. It recently happened at a casino, several times, and now in a parking garage at a hospital. I must look like the kind of person that likes to give money away or just an old man that can be talked into anything. I listened to the woman tell me three times how she was a had just had brain surgery and needed money., I calmly said no and turn to walk to my truck. I will be honest; I looked back over my shoulder several times just to make sure that I did this offend the homeless person enough that she might want to rob me.
This brings me to the thought of the day. Why can’t there be an app, sponsored by the hospital, that could work like the map app. I could use the app to give my destination, the patient’s last name (which could be place on an approved list made out by the patient) and the GPS would automatically show my location and the location of the patient I’m there to see. Beyond that it could direct me to the elevator or the escalator and the public bathrooms. They could even be sophisticated enough to share your parking location and a list of charges per hour. I realize that most hospitals use stationary signs with little arrows pointing to a direction to help people get around a hospital. But at this hospital those different areas had different descriptive names on them, and the arrow only pointed in the direction of the hallway. With all the devices that help us navigate the roadways are even find our phone if we lose it, why can’t they help to get around in a large complex like Herman Memorial Hospital
Having negotiated the hospital and the garage, I bravely headed back out into the freeway system in Houston. Even though I came from Los Angeles I am still somewhat intimidated by the five or six Lanes on one direction of the freeway with multiple fly overs an exit ramp. Some exit ramps are on the left and some exit ramps are on the right. Of course, there are the mad hatter’s that are driving the small vehicles and some of them driving large vehicles cutting from lane to lane. Many times, as soon as they cut into your lane, they hit the brakes because they’re too close to the car in front of them. Of course, that means I must get on my brakes which then causes me to worry about the person behind me. After some 20 years of driving the L.A. freeways I would that it was no big deal to be on the big city freeway, it is not like that anymore. Luckily for me, I went downtown on a Saturday. Even then there were certain areas that were stop and go traffic. After about an hour driving northbound, the lanes went from 5 to 4 to 3 to 2. I no longer felt like I was in some sort of a demolition race. I was able to relax and use the cruise control to get home. Maybe it’s just getting old or maybe it’s just been out of relax, I do not want to drive back into the major city on a multi lane freeway. I know that I will have to in the future to be able to see my family and I will feel somewhat guilty about not making a lot of trips, but I sure as hell do not want to drive on those freeways again. Pops