“Look! I’m a trumpet!”

Where do the cats sleep? That’s always a question of interest around our house. Where is their current hammock?

Dax has really taken to the new cat tree, as it is more of a kitty time share. But at night, he and iCat like to sleep in our near our bedroom.

This morning, I found Dax in our closet, occupying the spot that a trumpet normally does.

Transmission Turmoil

The timing was funny that I was watching the season finale of Scorpion last night, where I watched a mechanical device cause an electrical disruption. That irony was lost on me until just a few minutes ago.

After having a leak in my clutch assembly a few weeks back, the mechanics had to drop the transmission to get to the leak to fix it. After getting it back, there had been a few times I noticed a power drop off at the top of my third gear.

This happened to me again today while on the freeway (Bronx cheer, anyone?), heading to have lunch with my wife. However, I was not where I could shift out of 3rd right away, and my engine flamed out. I coasted down the overpass, off my exit, and to a side street JUST in time to lose all momentum.

Despite having electrical power for my radio, my gauges, my A/C, etc… it wouldn’t start. A battery jump finally started it. I got the battery and alternator tested out shortly after, and there is no problem.

Have I ever told you that I don’t like problems that I can’t find an answer to?

Smart Kid

So I have been spending some time with J-Mac lately. He has this toy that plays several different songs, including “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. The other day, I didn’t teach him any words to it, I just did clapping, stopping, and shouting “Hooray”. So just now, I hear him around the corner, playing that song off that toy, and replicating the clapping, stomping, and shouting.

The other week when we were last present for Tara’s latest home football game, I made him clap along to the fight song one time. He immediately did it every time after (which was a lot, since they shut down and shout out the opponents by halftime with the mercy rule).

J-Mac is one smart cookie.

Hey #Toto, I think we finally made it to #Kansas!

We blessed the rains down in Africa while carrying on my wayward son, but we finally made it back from the land of Oz!

Kansas is a new adventure, just like Georgia and Arizona before it. On my way up here, I went through Liberal, Kansas and got to see “Dorothy’s House”. No, it wasn’t the real house. But it is one that could have likely been home to a real life Dorothy Gale.

Even up here in Northwest Kansas, away from the towns, away from the highways, the roads are a bit like what you saw in The Wizard of Oz. They are all dirt roads that criss-cross at particular intervals. I can imagine Mrs. Gulch peddling down one of those roads right now.

Also, considering that we live in the county in Kansas with the highest number of tornados in recorded history in the entire state, it’s not hard when I am out on the highway to imagine I’m keeping parallel with a grand looking twister. But that imagination always gets ruined when the Interstate curves in the direction I’m looking, and the tornado in my imagination would have swept me right up.

But, we can’t blame the Wonderful Wizard of Oz for that. My imagination has also been stoked by watching seasons of the now defunct Weather Channel series “Storm Chasers”. With the exception of the twisters of in Alabama during the time the show was running, they were either in the Oklahoma City area, or starting the day just south of where I currently live.

(Disclaimer: My county has the highest number of recorded tornados in state history, but zero fatalities. If I was on the road while I saw a tornado, I wouldn’t just blindly continue on. And I know my safety around these storms thanks to my good buddy Ron Roberts.)

Tragedy in Virginia

Many of my former colleagues from my time in television have been expressing their sympathies and prayers concerning this morning’s tragic killing of two journalists. Me personally, I’ve had a pit in my stomach all day since first reading the alerts on my phone, then the full-detailed stories. I’ve gone through my own issues both inside and outside the stations I worked at. They all pale in comparison to anything else that has happened though, including today. I’ve known people that have been threatened and been actual victims of crimes. It’s a frightening thought. And to think, today the victims’ attacker was a former co-worker. Even scarier. Prayers go out to those families tonight. They may never understand, but I hope they will get some peace sooner or later.

windows update

Patience, young grasshopper, patience.

The manner and method of release of the brand new Windows 10 operating system has highlighted one particular thing that is not the forte of most Americans these days. Patience is required when going to this new operating system.

Another thing that is highlighted is Windows Update. There are many people out there who have not turned on their Windows Updates because they didn’t know to. There are also those that heard that there was a malicious update that crashed computers. There’s a better chance you will have a car crash than a computer crash due to Windows Update.

Good thing is that if you have updated to Windows 10, Microsoft has taken this worry out of your hands. All you have to worry about now is to be patient. Your Windows Updates will now load for you. If something isn’t working just right just yet, have patience. It will.

This article will help you understand the particulars better.

(Disclaimer: If you’re having patience with a corporate network, talk to your IT guy. Then decide if you still want to be patient or not.)

tropical followup

The key word in the wake of Tropical Storm Bill was deluge. I came to work the morning it was supposed to hit. The storm decided to hang out off the coast for another 5-6 hours. In that time, the storm moved west. The storm did indeed bulls-eye where I work. Nothing crazy on the wind, so not really any damage to speak of. But we got all the rain. It is estimated that 13.5″ of rain fell around the area of the office. My route back home was closed off by 10am. The office closed at 1pm. I left then. I was planning on leaving at 3pm originally had the office not closed. I had to drive west, then north, then back around to home. They closed off several stretches of the route I took within an hour of me going through. My total drive time was 2.5 hours. Then it took me an hour each way the next day on top of working late.

Now the ground is drying out. Maybe it will stay that way for a little bit.

first in a decade

The last time a tropical disturbance hit the Texas coast was nearly 10 years ago. Check Wikipedia and other article sources for a little storm named Ike back in 2008. I remember it quite well because I was working in television at the time. We were broadcasting pictures from helicopters hovering above Houston. They issued evacuation orders (probably later than they should have) and all of the hurricane evacuation paths were jam-packed with cars. Traffic was at a standstill. We were hearing stories of people running out of gas waiting for traffic to move. I found out later that one of my aunt and uncles that live in a town south of Houston ended up being one of those that ran out of gas. This was also the second of a one-two punch that year. Gustav had made landfall only 12 days prior.

The one tropical system I’ve personally experienced prior to now is Hurricane Chantal back in 1989. However, it was a tropical storm by the time I experienced it. The storm actually formed similar to how this week’s did. It spun up just north of the Yucatan peninsula. It was a category 1 hurricane by the time it made landfall. I was 8 years old and visiting my grandparents at the time. I remember being upset that I couldn’t go outside because it was raining so heavily and the winds were blowing so hard. However, when it was over, I was ecstatic. Then my bubble was burst 12 hours later when I found out that the eye of the storm was just passing through.

So, by morning, Tropical Storm Bill will be kicking our tail. I will likely be heading for work right after the storm makes landfall. We’ll see how the conditions are. The funny thing is, the National Weather Service Hurricane Center is putting the forecast track for the eye to make landfall and push right up through Ganado dead on. With the cone of uncertainty built in to the forecast, that may not necessarily hold on, but it is an interesting though. I’ll be interested to see if I can even make it to work or not. The one thing that they have been saying with this storm is to expect probably 20-25 hours straight of rain. It will be interesting to see what the rainfall rate is, because the entire region is just starting to recover from historic flooding just last month!

a camel

True Story: I was leaving HEB with a few accoutrements for Southwest Chicken Salad night at our house. As I am about to exit the building, a lady walks in wearing a tie-dye t-shirt. It has a picture of a camel. And yes, today is Wednesday. You can guess what else was on that shirt.

Story Time: Before this woman could get through the door, a camel comes running from around the corner of the building. It tells “Guess What Day It Is?!?” The woman, scared out of her wits, is upset for being scared, and turns around to slug the camel thinking it is a man dressed in a camel suit. To her surprise, it was a real talking camel. Her punch lands somewhere in the vicinity of whatever the camel version of an Adam’s apple is. This causes the camel to spit in the woman’s face. She starts to shriek. I run away laughing. My reason for running away? My family was waiting on me at home, and I didn’t feel like being delayed due to having to sign photography release paperwork for the camel’s commercial production company filming the incident!

The Honking…or “Heeeeere’s Johnny!”

Alright, so my wife shared the following story on Facebook this morning…

I really needed to be at the bank first thing this morning since they were closed yesterday. It didn’t go as planned.

I grab the baby, still in his PJ’s and go to put him in his car seat. I shut the car door and the horn blares and is stuck. I look down, no, I am not holding the panic button on my keys. It’s still honking! I press on the steering wheel. IT’S STILL GOING! I start and stop the engine. STILL HONKING!!! Oh no! My neighbor works overnights and got home not too long ago.. IT. WONT. STOP!! The workers across the street are staring.. STOP THE MADNESS!!! I bang on the steering wheel and it finally stops. What was that?!!?

I back out and it starts again. There’s something loose in the steering wheel for sure. I just keep driving. I am now driving down a residential area of town sounding perfectly insane, surely disturbing everyone. I finally get it to stop by pressing on a certain place with one finger. I drive all the way to the bank with my finger pressed on this spot. I can’t help but laugh out loud. I can only imagine how ridiculous I look..

At the bank, I let go. It doesn’t honk. Dare I breathe? I am about to name this car Christine or Pandora. While waiting in the drive-through at the bank I find in the manual which fuse leads to the horn. I need an oil change anyway, so I’ll just go and have them pull the fuse. Long story short, I have new oil but they didn’t know what the heck to do to find a fuse.

I decided to drive out of town so if it goes off again it wont disturb anyone. I find the fuse (easy!!) and I cant get it out with my fingers so I will stick a pair of needle nose pliers in the car and we will see what happens.. Stay tuned..

So, how was your morning?

So, for those who may have been staying tuned, those who didn’t get the first part of the story in the first place but should have, and for those who didn’t know at all…you’re now all caught up.

In our household, the evening routine on a normal night normally goes as follows: Jay goes to bed anywhere from 7:30-9:30. Tara will go to bed anywhere from 8:30-10:30. After that is my quiet time to write, read, or catch up on the DVR. So tonight, I’m catching up on the DVR, and I hear this car horn sound that at first thought could be in the universe of my show I’m watching. 20-30 seconds passes, and I revise my thoughts. Pausing the show, I still hear the horn. Another 20-30 seconds pass before my wife’s Facebook post from this morning occurs to me.

I go wake up Tara. She had just gotten to sleep a little bit before this. And yes, this was midnight. Tara finds her keys as I put my shoes on. Has Jay waken up? No. I run out to touch the horn to make it stop. I only hear one front door shut, and that is of my neighboring county sheriff deputy neighbor’s house. No one had come out on the porch or in the yard.

So I suggest to Tara that we go ahead and pull that fuse. I find a light and she finds the needle nose pliers. As we are walking back outside, I remark about how it didn’t seem to wake anyone up. Then my next thought was “watch, they called the cops”. Tara thought the responding officer would get a laugh out of the situation if that did happen.

Now my wife is back asleep (or getting there), my son never woke up, and I’m writing this before going back to my show.

I wonder what would have happened with that horn if I had gone to bed early…