Thursday, November 30, 2017




And after.


That’s it.  The last appliance has given up the ghost.  They’ve all been replaced.


They weren’t very old, but they had done their time already.  We replaced each one with something better.  Remember when stoves had those burners that stuff fell down in and it was hard to keep them clean?  Then we moved on to flat cook surfaces.  Well this one has multiple size elements, seven altogether, for different size pots, on that flat cook surface.  It also has a flat control panel; no knobs!  The whole control panel is a giant touch screen.  That will be easier to keep clean too.  Either that or we’ll activate everything at the same time and totally blow its mind every time we wipe it down.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I don't understand politics


This question could go to either party in a different situation; it just happens to be about the fix the Republicans are in, in this instance.


There is a sense that the Republican controlled House, Senate, and Presidency must pass a tax cut so they can demonstrate to their constituents that they really can do what they say they are going to do, and deserve re-election at the mid-terms in 2018.  If they don’t have any accomplishments to run on in 2018 they could get rejected.


But the tax cut they are trying to pass has something like a 20% public approval rating.  I’m trying to find the logic, but all I can see is a lose-lose.  If they don’t pass anything they’ll be seen as ineffective.  But how do you prove you’re effective, and win favor, by passing a law that people don’t want?




Monday, November 27, 2017

We went on a great parakeet hunt


The challenge was not just to find parakeets, it was to find any parakeet that didn’t look like all the other green parakeets coming in to roost in McAllen at dusk.


Our search started at 10th and Dove, and took us north to Trenton, north again to the Best Buy store, east to McColl and Trenton, then back for another trip up and down 10th Street.  We scoured the wires with our binoculars and found hundreds of green parakeets.



And *one* little yellow-chevroned parakeet!

Year bird!


Parakeets in the sunset.




Sunday, November 26, 2017

Long-tailed duck


A hundred miles north of Brownsville, in a pond outside Riveria.


Hanging out with coots, mottled ducks, a couple redheads, and a bunch of lesser scaup.





You can’t really see the long tail, but the color is distinctive.




Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tamaulipas crow


You may not have heard of it.  It’s a bird with a limited range in dry northeastern Mexico; not normally found in the United States.


It’s a small crow, bigger than a bronzed cowbird, but about the same size as a great-tailed grackle.  It was here in South Texas for a while, then disappeared for a few years.  Suddenly, it’s back.  At the Brownsville Dump!  So Judy and I made the trek.  When we got there we were in luck right off the bat.  There was a group of birders standing around a scope pointed at a bunch of blackbirds.




In this section:


Next to a bronzed cowbird.


The size of a grackle, but with a crow face!



Tamaulipas Crow.  Not only a year-bird, but a lifer!


Friday, November 24, 2017

The elusive javelina



Warily takes his turn at the watering hole.



Thirst sated, he bounds back to the safety of the African bush.




Thursday, November 23, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Our moral outrage


Only lasts a few days.


Remember when Puerto Rico couldn’t get power or clean water and we were all outraged?  Now it’s two months later and have we heard anything lately?  They are still U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico and they still don’t have power or clean water.


Remember when 20 school children were gunned down in their school?  That was in the news nonstop for days, but have you heard anything lately, and has there been any action in response?


Our current moral outrage is sexual harassment/abuse/assault.  All of a sudden, resolution is swift and sure.  Multiple claims against you and you’re out.  Immediately.  You’re fired.  Unless you’re a politician.  Then it gets debated.  Admit to it and you’re toast, but deny it and apparently you can drag it out forever.  You can even get elected and maybe re-elected to office.  The moral outrage of politicians about reports of sexual improprieties, would be comical if the subject were not so serious.  We’re incensed if the perpetrator happens to be from the other political party.  Otherwise, pretty much silence.


Not all levels of sexual impropriety are equal.  They don’t all deserve the same level of retribution.  Sexual assault is different from sexual harassment, but our newfound consciousness of all forms of sexual impropriety should last more than just a few news cycles.


Believe the women.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Christmas is closing in


The poinsettias are out in stores, so we’ve begun our Christmas shopping; moving a few plants from stores to our house.






Sunday, November 19, 2017

Kai the hatchet wielding hitchhiker


Did he really kill that guy in Fresno with a hatchet?  It seems unlikely that if he did he’d be standing on the street right after, speaking with a television reporter, instead of being held in police custody.  It seemed like he cruised through that experience then went on his rambling ways.


But another google search reveals more.  Kai isn’t really from West Virginia, he’s from Western Canada.  The guy he hit with the hatchet didn’t really die, but was arrested.  The initial interview with Kai on the street was in February 2013.  He went on to be featured on the Colbert Report and Jimmy Kimmel Live.  But by May of 2013 he had been arrested in Philadelphia for the murder of an elderly man (he claims sexually assaulted him) in New Jersey.  He has been in jail ever since and is still awaiting trial.


I was hoping for some fun or funny follow-ups; more wild, crazy, and entertaining stories.  I guess I’ll have to wait until Kai gets out of jail, which may be never.



Saturday, November 18, 2017

Nate Peavey


Thinking about a guy I knew a long time ago, I did a few google hits.  I didn’t come up with the soldier I remembered from Okinawa, but I did stumble across this, billed as the world’s greatest television interview.  (DANGER.  This is a little weird/difficult/profane.)


I can’t figure out what to make of it, but I find it compelling.



Friday, November 17, 2017

Green parakeets


I meant to get a video of green parakeets coming in to roost in McAllen.  It would be a nice comparison to the red-crowned parrots in Brownsville.  What I ended up with though, is a video of a whole bunch of parakeets leaving the parakeet roost, flying off to somewhere else.  This is what they sound like.


Green parakeets



Thursday, November 16, 2017



Running in the park.


Here is what it looks like.


Henry running


(I was a distraction.)


Morning light.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Red-crowned Parrots


Flying in at dusk.


Here is what they sound like.


Red-crowned Parrots


If you turn your volume up all the way, that’s exactly how they sound.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We're in Brownsville for a few days


At River Bend Golf and RV Resort.  We beat the winter rush.




And found a cool cactus tree in a different park.


It’s like a prickly pear, but as a tree.


Monday, November 13, 2017



Flying into Brownsville at dusk look different from parakeets.



Shorter tails.


Different colors.





Different sizes.




It’s a happening.



Sunday, November 12, 2017

Green parakeets


They come flying in to roost in McAllen right at twilight.  I did what I could with the light.












Imagine a joyful noise.