29 April 2015


This week has been a bit of a change.  A quick road trip to El Paso/Juarez for a supplier audit, then load up the truck and head north to Fort Worth for our annual pilgrimage to the mecca of antique automotive collectors and assorted junk.  It's that time of the year again where my brother and I load up the trailer and head off on a short mancation called Pate.  Camping out in the trailer, drinking lots of cervezas, hiking all over the meet looking for god-knows-what kind of part or deal we need/want, spending money on rusty old car parts (or crap as my wife refers), talking smack with other old farts about cars and such, eating steaks, enjoying some good scotch, smoking the occasional cigar, it's all about quality time.  Will post pictures when we get back in town.  

And in dog news, last week we have had several rounds of thunderstorms roll through the area, some pretty spectacular.  Lord knows we need the rain, but the dogs are not quite as happy.  They sense when a storm is pending.  On one hand, Claire is a rock.  She's never been destructive like some dogs, instead she finds a spot to hunker down and ride it out.  After a few storms, I have found her tucked under the desk, behind the couch, hiding in the corner of the closet, she's even managed to crawl under our bed once or twice (neat trick for a big ol' 95 lb dog).  I even found her tucked into one of our laundry baskets in the closet.  Sort of like finding small buffalo in amongst the towels.  Grayson, on the other hand, is not at all happy with all of the rain and thunder.  He paces and frets and is really nervous.  I finally bought a thundershirt for him at the dog show one year and it seemed to make the difference.  Whenever I am home and a storm is brewing, I have strapped him into his shirt and he seems to calm down quite a bit.  I keep telling him it is his super hero cape and nothing bad can happen to him.  I am not really sure how or why it works but it seems to work for him, so I ain't going to question it.          

While I have been off in El Paso and wandering the lot at Pate, I left both of the kids with my parents.  My folks love taking care of the dogs - more opportunities to spoil their furry grandchildren.  I hear rumors of each one getting their own eggs & bacon for breakfast every morning.  I don't think I am eating as well as they are right now.  Of course, the rules about feeding them at the table have gone out the window for the week.  It's going to be ruff retraining them next week.   

26 April 2015

Farewell 131

Sad day yesterday as we bid farewell to 131.  Many miles, many memories.  
All hooked up and ready to roll

Passing of the torch

Claire was just overcome with the whole deal.  

25 April 2015

Life's a parade

Still working on catching up.  The past two weeks have been busy trying to close out the fiscal year for the company so there are a ton of things that have to get done by the last day (yesterday).  Last minute projects, orders, reports, etc.  Please don't get me wrong - I not complaining about the chaos.  I've been in places and had jobs that were a lot worse.  Besides, being busy keeps me out of mischief (well, almost).  And to top that, I am headed out on the road again on Monday for another supplier audit.  Heading south of the border for this one.  Certainly will make for an interesting road trip.   

Last weekend was the Art Car Parade.  This is a big annual 5 day street festival where people "decorate" there cars or whatever rolls as "art".  This parade has actually been going on in Houston for 28 years, but I have only started going to in the last 4 years.  Pretty crazy cars/contraptions that roll in the parade.  The past two years, I have gone to the parade and thought I would bring the dogs.  Lots of people/activities with more than a few four legged kids on the sidelines.  The parade rule say to leave pets at home but I decided to blow that off this year and take my two kids.  Turned out to be a great time and, as usual, they got plenty of attention.  Some of the same cars as from last year, a lot of new entries.  Interesting what people do to their rides in the name of art.

Kinda makes my ride look boring.  


15 April 2015

Going to the dogs

First off, thanks for missing me.  Always comforting to hear your friends miss you when you are not around.  I don't want to sound like Sally Fields but it is almost like:  You Like Me!  You REALLY Like Me!!

And, no Abby.  You didn't guilt me into posting.  Well, maybe a little bit.  But I was really working on an update/comeback post.  I guess I just needed that spiritual kick in the butt to get things rolling.

I am busy sending some money to Uncle Sam tonight (yes, I am one of those) and enjoying some good brown water on the side so I thought I would post a few things from the past few weeks just to play catch up.  Between work, doctor appointments, chemo treatments (SIL), car repairs, and yard work, we are trying to keep things from boiling over.  

Lately I am trying to cram about a week's worth of activities into the weekends.  Last weekend was the Art Car parade (pictures to follow), the prior weekend was a dog party and Easter dinner with the family, the weekend prior was my brother's birthday along.  Never a dull moment around here lately.

Two weeks back, we had one of our regular GBGRR organized activities.  GBGRR is an incredible/insane group whose entire focus is to take care of those goofy, slobbery, fur generating, hairballs that invade our homes and steal our hearts.  There was a "Doggy Party on the Plaza" for rescue groups and various companies/services that take care of dogs (grooming, training, vets, dog walking services, etc.).  A lot of dogs, no fights, rescue groups, lots of things to spend $$$ on for your furry children.  There are several rescue groups attending trying to promote adopting and rescue of dogs and ours was one.  There is even a rescue parade where each group gets to parade around the block promoting their cause in various shameless manners (like dressing dogs in capes or a tutu).  This year our group's theme was Home is where your dog is.  Not sure if it was the enthusiasm or the dogs or the people or the house or the turnout, but we won first place.  Some pretty sweet prizes and $$ for the group to donate toward the rescue efforts (paying vet bills, auction prizes, food for rescue families).    

Home is where the dog is

As usual, my two mutts soaked up all of the attention and treats.  Afterwards, my two kids were worn out so I took them over to my brother's garage for some burgers and extra attention from their grandma.     
Mamaw and the kids

12 April 2015

Back in the saddle

Sorry for lack of posts of late.  I've fallen off the wagon and have been wandering in the woods.  Things have been hectic/busy around here and honestly, I haven't been keeping up with any of my blog duties and I really feel bad.  I kinda stepped away from the terminal for a bit, except for when work demands it, and have been distracted with other tasks.  I could plead a dozen reasons, but nobody likes to hear whiny excuses, especially me, so sorry for slacking off for so long.   

I intended to start up posting with a few updates, but my muse got drunk and ran off on  sort of abandoned me and I haven't been able to string together anything meaningful or even interesting.    

A lot has happened over the past two months (Damn, has it been THAT long?).  We were still dealing with Anne's passing.  Closing out a person's life is something we are not well trained for.  Lots of minor details, actions, tasks to be addressed.  We have not yet taken Anne & David up to Arkansas to the family site, but we are hoping to do something in the summer.  SIL's ongoing condition still makes any long term plans difficult/problematic.  Despite all of those hurdles, we are moving on with life.  Keeping busy.

I won't try to play catch up on everything that has transpired over the last 8 weeks, but it has been a wee bit busy.  Physical exams, doctors visits, one of those fun "oscopy" tests, a company merger, one broken window, the end of an era, a few birthdays, one dog party, and the annual Art Car parade.  If I tried to cover all of that, this blog would turn into some sort of novella.  I will try to play catch up over the next few weeks.
I guess we can start with trailers - I had to replace the window in my trailer again.  Yea, for those that think this sounds familiar, I've done this before.  Two years ago, some punks broke into several trailers in the storage yard looking for stuff to steal/pawn.  Didn't get anything from my rig aside of a broken set of binoculars and an old dvd player.  Was more of a pain in the butt cleaning up and getting a replacement window.  Back in March, I got a call one morning from the guy that owns the property and he told me that his yard guy was mowing the lot and kicked up a rock through my window.  He was very sorry and said he would pay for the replacement, so I wasn't really po'd.  I actually found it funny - same window as last time so I pretty much had the same clean up task.  Just took a few days to get a new window shipped down.        

Here we go again
All fixed       
End of an Era - with Anne's passing, we've been taking stock of the situation.  My parents are 92+ and still fairly active, but things are changing for them.  After their wreck in November, they have been taking things a bit more slowly.  Not really showing and real hurry or interest in getting a new vehicle, I think the writing was on the wall.  My dad was up for a few more trips but I think my mom nixed that idea.  So it wasn't all that much of a shock to me when we were having our weekly dinner with them when my dad mentioned that he was going to sell his trailer.  My mother chided him for not offering up to me but, honestly, I didn't want it.  One year newer than mine, it is 4 feet longer and weighs considerably more.  34 feet and a third axle really increases the weight of the rig and the old land barge just wouldn't be up to the task.  For that size of trailer, you need something a bit more substantial.  I am not quite ready for another new car payment and, besides, my old 30 footer meets our current camping needs.  Unless you were full timing - we really didn't need the extra 4 feet of trailer.  So, he is prepping his trailer to turn it over to a broker for a sale.  He really doesn't really want to sell it in the club - something about not passing on any problems.  It is a beautifully maintained and well travelled rig (for an 18 year old trailer) and, with the care he has given it, I wouldn't hesitate to take it cross country.  Airstreams typically don't last very long whenever they hit the lot.  They hold their value and typically bring top dollar, even if they are 18 years old.  But that brings me to the era thing.  I am kinda bummed/depressed.  I know this would happen eventually and, with the wreck, it was inevitable, but, to me, it makes the end of a very long era.  My parents got their first Airstream from my uncle  the Air Force Colonel. back in 1979 while I was still in college.  35 years, 4 trailers  and upteen thousand miles later, they are finally hanging it up.  It hit me the other day that most of the grandkids have never known them without their trailer.  They have been blessed to have been able to travel so much and for so long, but this will be a major paradigm shift for them (as well as us).    
Prepped for sale.
The WBCCI logo and numbers have been removed.