January 1, 2019

The Hounds March Into 2019

2019 Jan 01

For someone that proclaims they are a 'night person' it was somewhat disappointing to find myself asleep before midnight. It was a sprint right after the last football game on tv to close the house down for the day, brush the fangs and head to bed. I had less than an hour to wait for the midnight hour and could not do it. Older or did the tv pictures of rain in Manhattan NY dampen my enthusiasm to bring in the new year? The hounds? ... they had been sleeping for hours.


This morning wasn't summer like yesterday, 62° ... but I am not going to complain with temps in the 40's. The 10-day forecast shows 40's to be the highs. I'll take that here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana during January. There are times I am just not into the white "Winter Wonderland" stuff, if you know what I mean.


Stella and I had some minor changes this morning to start the new year. For once she didn't lag behind much, spending most of her time out in front of me making it hard to take some photos from a different angle than I took most of time in 2018. I made a slight adjustment to my camera on this walk, right after the above photo.


I turned on the auto-flash and really like the results since the morning around the 8am time frame has been dark and overcast. I did a little editing in Apple Photos but I like them much better than the normal early morning photos we take. I left the flash on for the rest of the walk, all the way back to the door.


I was reading Bedlam Farm this morning and Jon had an interesting post about how he stopped his Boston Terrier from eating gobs of crap in their barnyard. I am to the point of trying the can of "Pet Correcter" where I can either buy it online for delivery or take a trip to Bloomington's Pet Smart and bring it home immediately.

He didn't show a lot about how it worked in his short video but his blog article explained the process here. It sounds encouraging ... only took him thee days ... yet, bloodhounds are very very stubborn, so I might use the whole can and still not get positive results.


From the time I got up this morning throughout the walk, I have never heard a day quieter than this morning. People must have celebrated a ton last night and are trying to recover because after three hours or so of being awake, I have heard or seen less than five cars pass by on the highway. It's like the Twilight Zone here today.


My HughesNet Gen 5 internet speeds have mysteriously moved back to their normal speeds of 45Mbps on the download. That is so much different than 2-3Mbps I had last week when I called them. Yet I have been having a 'data leak' somewhere. I have been using over a gig of data per day where I usually top out at 700Mb per day, but many days less than that. Granted I have spent a lot of time changing the blog design recently, or changing browsers between Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox. Those automatic updates to the browsers are killers on data but needed.

Then again, all of that data usage may be caused by where my I am most of the time when the weather turned wet or colder. Plopped right in front of my computer ...


I mentioned the other day I was going back to Microsoft Excel. My 2011 version of Office was not going to work with the latest Apple OS update, plus Microsoft had stopped with their security updates. I did play around with the Excel charts I had on file, remembering how easy they were to work with ... when I found a surprise.

When I went back to Apple Numbers, using the same right clicks on my trackpad, I was finding similar menus and options that I had on Excel. Within minutes I had updated new charts on my 2019 spreadsheets. Not many of my spreadsheets have charts but I found these charts to be a motivation feature a few years back when I was paying off debt ... now used showing my savings.


It's been a few days since I started my new Facebook account. While I was checking the website on my iPhone last night during the commercials of the football game, I had a notification that an old friend from the past had sent me a Facebook Message. Facebook prevented me from reading that message UNLESS I downloaded their messenger app ... which I will never do.

I don't even download the Facebook app on my phones or tablets. That is giving them the keys to my personal data in more ways than just surfing the internet. I type in their URL on my tablet and phone, using their website to see my account instead of their app. For convenience I was awfully close to clicking the buttons they provided before I caught myself. Does that really make a difference? App or no app?


Last night on FS1 when they were doing a pre-game advertisement for the Northwestern - Utah game being played in San Diego, they had the Coronado Bridge in the background. I have probably driven or ridden across that bridge a thousand times or more but one trip in particular I will never forget.

I was taking a taxi in the early morning hours (2am or 3am) across that bridge to the aircraft carrier that was docked at NAS North Island in Coronado. During the time after midnight they had the orange road cones set up in the center lanes of the bridge in preparation for the daily morning rush hour a few hours later. Those orange cones and my loud yelling probably saved my life and that of the taxi driver.


As I sat in the backseat looking out the windshield, not talking to the driver, the taxi was going in a straight line running over those orange cones and heading for the opposite side of the bridge at a fairly good rate of speed. We were in the middle of the bridge, about halfway across. His taxi was scattering those cones all over the lanes on the bridge.

I yelled loud but did not scream .... the driver jerked the steering wheel, getting it back in the right lane in the right direction ... thanking me ... "I fell asleep, I fell asleep, thank you, thank you (over and over) ... I don't know who was happier, me or him.  :)


Like everyone else in the world, when one year ends it is almost automatic to look back on the year from your perspective. You might look inward in deep thought or look back at the good and bad memories ... most of the time with me, I do both. I will not go into details but I will say Stella's new chew toy of 2018 was not all of the bones and balls I had bought in the past for the hounds .... those are still laying besides the dog bed that Sadie slept on and Heidi uses for naps at times ...

No, Stella had something else she liked. By the evidence she leaves for me she did NOT ingest the pieces of hard plastic as she dismantled my clothes basket for laundry. She only chews on it when I forget to move it out of my closet, to outside the closed door of the bedroom when I am gone. Those cloth balls, or rubber bones ??? They stay lined up neatly in a row next to the dog bed, untouched.


I am not sure why but it was a nice change to close out the year. Some how I missed all of the recaps of 2018, whether it be the top stories of the news or sports, even the Top 100 countdown of music sold in 2018. Has the life of digital from tv to radios changed so much that people don't catch those recaps of the closing year? I use to love listening the to the countdown of the Top 100 Hits for the year.


Yesterday was "Fire Coaches Day" in the NFL. There was also one college basketball coach fired mid-season which is never heard of. When people hear the word "FIRED" they immediately think of lack of income, no job etc .. but that's for normal every day people ... not coaches at the college or professional levels. They all have "buyouts" built into their contracts ... so yes, they might get fired but they will be rich as hell as they plant that For Sale sign in their front yard.

Besides their annual salaries, which are all in the millions of dollars per year, they will pocket millions more with their buy-out clause. In college, the school may save on that payoff in the future years as they reduce the payment based on the fired coach's new tv job or coaching job's salary. They don't do that in the NFL or MLB or NBA ... it's just gobs of cash added to their bank accounts.

So why am I bring this up?


How would society react if tv sports channels or even news channels featured how man "white" coaches were fired and how does the league look with not enough "white" coaches on the payroll? Working with, or playing sports with people of different color, I have never cared if they were  black, white, yellow or red. I have had the same philosophy when it came to bosses I worked for. Color was not important ... it was "can they do the job or can they play the game."

What color their skin was, is not a factor in my eyes.

Should a "black" professional coach or college coach be able to keep his job after years of consistent losing, just because the league is pressured to have a certain percentage of African American head coaches? Why doesn't job performance be the only role and the color of their skin not scrutinized by the media? What does it matter what the color of their skin is? Winning is the #1 objective in sports ... you either win or you get fired. All coaches know that. I get tired of hearing color of skin being involved in sports or news.

I am already hearing from the political experts on tv saying that if the Democrats want to win in 2020, their candidate must be female and preferably "a person of color."


Stella had her own path coming home this morning. With the ground so saturated before yesterday's storms, I was surprised just how fast that standing rain water disappeared into the ground, including the field. Yet it was pretty soft on the path ... yet no water surfaced when taking a step.


Another day and night of college football starts at noon today. Looking at the tv schedule it looks like all five games will be good games to watch. BTW, that tv schedule is about the best I have found over the years. On Saturdays during the season, that list of games will fill a page and a half. I print them out and highlight the ones I am interested in, during the season. I always have to remember their times are an hour behind my time. It is perfect in finding what channels the games are on and much easier to sort through one row at a time, instead of an online scoreboard.


Let me know what you think of the photos with the auto-flash setting. I really think I like them better than the dark dull photos when it's early morning and overcast.


It might not look like it from the rain dust spots on the upper part of the Mini but overall that high wind and rain whipping through the carport yesterday washed the car very well. Even the smudges of Stella's dried hound drool were gone from the top of the bumper. Looking at this picture, I can't wait until I can start my concrete project next spring.

I plan to high pressure wash it ... then apply the garage sealant in gray paint. That's not all ... I am going to high pressure wash off as much of the green paint on the steps and the house foundation ... then apply gray concrete paint to them. I will also fill in that low spot where the water collects after 43 years of use. The concrete sealer I applied in the cracks last fall has worked out great.

2019 Jan 01

Heidi was NOT up all night celebrating the new year ... she was only following her daily routine of sleeping right after breakfast. This is one of the few times that she will sleep on the dog bed I bought for her seven years ago, that Sadie used every night to sleep on. I still find it strange in a way that she rarely takes a walk in the field and doesn't even explore the field a little bit on her own. The front, side and backyard seems to be her preferred area.

My brain activity has decreased a lot lately. 10 hours or more of watching football on tv will do that. I can definitely confirm I am out of the market for buying the Apple Watch, at least for now. Cameras ??? I am still actively pursuing data on which one I want to buy.

I have even considered upgrading from a Nikon D3200 to the D3500. Not a lot of difference in the specs but I've been pretty rough with my D3200 in a way. I keep wondering if my picture quality would improve with a new camera.

Yes, I admit that as recently as this morning I felt the urge to change the design of the blog ... LOL AGAIN!!  From traffic reports I saw that the last three posts on the front page were never clicked on. So I reduced the number of past articles that show up from 12 to 9. I almost went down to 6.

I think it's because of the sports sites or even news sites online, they all have a white background, not a lot of trim in different colors ... they look less cluttered than the blog looks. If I do change it in the next few days if not hours ... I will still keep 6-9 past articles listed on the front page. I will also keep the same font as this blog has now, with any changes I might make.

My eating habits are quite disappointing after changing them a few weeks ago. I am not losing weight like I want to. I don't have all the 'good stuff' to munch on during the ballgames I watch and I am constantly looking for something to eat during those games. Those apples, bananas, nuts or frozen fruit does not work as a substitute.

I also cannot make up my mind on what percentage of calories should be carbs, protein and fat. I do realize that if/when I eat pasta, rice or beans I HAVE TO control my portion size ... otherwise the pounds are gained with each bite taken.

I am craving a pizza so bad that I might be learning why meth addicts can't stop. Don't even remind me about Ben & Jerry's ice cream !!!!  :)

Bring on 2019 ... all of us here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana are ready for the new year.


  1. Happy New Year Steve. We made it through another one 😁

  2. :) :) :) ... LOL ... that's always a good thing when it happens.

  3. Arrowhead GrammaJanuary 01, 2019 6:19 AM

    Happy New Year and look forward to your blog posts in 2019.

  4. Dang it!

    Now I have to go into town for a pizza and ice cream.

    Thanks a lot Steve

  5. Thanks ... it will be interesting to see what 2019 brings. Thanks for reading the blog.

  6. Hey, glad I could help you bring in the new year the right way.

  7. The photos look good. I love the font but am not a fan of white on black. With the larger font here it is not so difficult to read as in other blogs but the white in your comments needs to be changed to an easier read.

  8. I'll take another look at font color. I think I read that the font size is okay??? I am a little confused when you say 'the white in your comments" ... Unless something changed while I was doing my new post, the last time I looked at comments this morning where were a darker light grayish blue. Thanks for the feedback ... I'll adjust for the optimum ease in reading the blog.

  9. The grey looks white to me. Just a tad bolder maybe to make it stand out or a bit larger???

  10. Good info ... I am going to find a different color entirely and I'll bump the size of the font up a couple. Thanks for letting me know that.

  11. Just my opinion but don't change it for me. What you have won't stop me from reading your posts.

  12. No problemo ... I'd prefer a different color than white on black. A long time ago in the computer world back in the mid-90's before Microsoft Word .. there was "WordPerfect" with a blue background and white letters. I WILL NOT DO THAT !!!!

    At the time it was said that combination was the best for reading documentation on a computer. Does anyone remember WordPerfect? It was around about the same time as that spreadsheet software called Lotus 1,2,3. :)

  13. Feedback please on color change.

  14. I prefer the white in the main part of the post. My problem is in the comment section.

  15. I haven't got to the comment issue yet .. still reading, answering emails and a long phonecall. :)