Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Vote The Buggers Out!"

A favorite quote of eldest brother. The Washington debacle and grandstanding continues without resolution to the debt ceiling, although apparently they are "close". I wrote to our Republican Representative and told him to not bother coming back to Texas and wished him good luck getting re-elected. I also gave him some advice on lowering spending, taxes, foreign aid, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. I must be getting old. Made me feel better though...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Record Breakers

Study the table below closely. It is as of July 30. Here in Dallas starting July 3, 2011 we have topped 100F every day since with nary a drop of rain. And there is no end in sight. The record for consecutive 100F days was set in 1980 at 42... it would seem we are within striking distance of breaking an auspicious record.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Time It Never Rained

"The Time It Never Rained" is one of my favorite novels. It is set against the backdrop of the actual seven year drought that impacted much of Texas in the 1950's. Written by Elmer Kelton, a native of San Angelo in West Texas, it tells the story of Charlie Flagg, a rancher who deals as best he can with a series of of misfortunes all directly attributable to the lack of rain. The protagonist can be ornery as he culls the herd, refuses to take government handouts and but keeps his dignity while treating the Mexican migrants with more compassion than most.

Fast forward to 2011. I don't believe we have seen any appreciable rain in at least two months. From today's Fort Worth Star Telegram:

"The temperature hit 100 degrees at DFW Airport at 2 p.m. Sunday, the 23rd straight day of triple-digit temperatures.

And that might be the good news.

The forecast calls for highs from 103 to 105 through Wednesday and around 100 through Saturday, which, if true, would move the summer of 2011 into a tie for second on the all-time list of consecutive 100-degree days.

Of course, the record is 42 days, set in 1980."

The heat is one thing; drought is a whole other matter. We water the lawn about three times per week and it is still turning brown. At this stage, I am about to throw in the towel and save the water for something more purposeful. It will not be long before the restrictions start; in fact, I am surprised conservation methods are not already in effect, given the forecast.

The Rev. Horton Heat sings "There ain't no Saguaro in Texas" but it might not be long folks.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tale of the Tape

In the Blue corner, weighing in at 3,958 pounds, from Detroit, Michigan and 50 years old, the fabulous Thunderbird!

In the Black corner, the challenger from Toyota, Japan. Born in 2006, this little warrior tips the scale at 2,339 pounds.

T-Bird Scion
205" 154"
Engine V8 Inline 4
Single Cam, 16V Dual OHC, 16V
Cubic Inches 390 92
Liters 6.4 1.5
Horsepower 300 103
Aspiration 4 bbl carb Fuel injected
Transmission 3 speed, auto 4 speed, auto
Brakes Drum, Power Disc, Anti-lock
Airbags None Two
Fins Two None

Let's get ready to rumble!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ranger Danger

It was like a scene from the Godfather, except the horse was alive. He showed up late, unannounced and plopped himself in Kevin's lap. Unlike the Famous Mr. Ed, he could not speak, but made funny head motions, in some little understood horse language. He stayed all of 30 seconds and I gave his tail a pull as he was leaving. What if it had come off? Would it wriggle around like a gecko's? The last time we saw him, he literally had some young ladies head in his mouth. Don't they feed him?

The day after Kieran's baseball team went from last to first to first to win their baseball Championship, we happened to be a Ranger game. I called ahead, asking that they put "Congrats Rockies" on the scoreboard. They couldn't, but asked where were we sitting and said they would send Captain over in the second inning. We waited impatiently, counting the outs but when by inning # 5, Mr. Captain was a no-show and we had lost hope. I made the mistake of telling the mean old bag sitting beside me that Captain was going to pay a visit. She was beside herself in jealousy and I know she was secretly delighted when Captain did not show... But lo, in the sixth, the horseman cometh... now where is that mean old woman?

And what is about grown men in stuffed animal costumes that makes us smile?