Clear Marbles and a Slingshot

That is all a man needs to past the time away.

Remember when I was at the other apartment and I used my slingshot to send marbles down to the local pet shop to get the dogs to stop barking? Well, I miss those days, too. But what I do to make up for it, I will wonder out onto my 4th floor balcony in the evenings and look for a victim. Usually, I see a few people walking to the metro station a few blocks away and when they are down the street at a good distance, I will fire a marble at them and see if I get any reaction. So far, no one seems to notice.Last night, I had the unique opportunity to fire a marble at an unsuspecting police car. It sat at the traffic light below, and instead of turning at the corner like they usually do, it continued down the street. When it went the recommended distance, I pulled back, and to be sure it traveled far enough, pulled it a little further and released. At that split second in time, one of the elastic bands broke free and the marble hit the corner of my apartment building, fell out into the street below and danced a little, then rolled down into the sewer. Tragic disappointment.

I’ll keep trying though.

 

Oddities

The World is full of them.  Here are a few from all over.

This McDonald’s is on the famous Paulista Ave, about a half mile from our apartment.  It is two stories high and it used to be a mansion.  The following statement came from the epocanegocios.globo.com website:

The McDonald’s has just opened the doors of its thousandth store in Brazil, in an old mansion on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo.  In the new space, the fast food chain will offer space for shows, self-service totems, an automated treadmill that goes from the kitchen to the drive-thru, in addition to outdoor environments designed for customers to post photos on social networks.  The restaurant, called “Méqui 1000”, will be open 24 hours a day and has the capacity to serve 220 people.

When we walk to our friend’s restaurant, we pass by this work of graffiti.  Someone had a lot of time on their hands.  Works of art like this are common in Brazil.

And in the category of Idiotic:  It is a known fact, the TSA in Lubbock Texas is second to none.  As I went through security, the agent called me back to take a look at something in my back-pack.  Okay, no problem – I always play along with these games.  The X-ray of the pack showed an image of a small gun.  Again, no problem as I reached in and pulled out my apartment key-chain with a tiny replica of a gun.  This is where Idiocy raised its ugly head.  The agent had to take it to his supervisor to see if it was okay for me to take it with me!  Was he expecting that the tiny gun actually shoots tiny bullets?  Was he thinking the tiny gun would be used to hijack the plane to Cuba?  You decide.  As you can tell, the dangerous key-chain is still in my possession.

The Elephant Shrew is an interesting oddity that has nothing to do with Brazil.  Analysis revealed this shrew is not classified as a true shrew, but is in fact more closely related to the elephant.  Such a tiny creature that is related to the largest of land mammals.  Below is a photo taken from Wilkipedia.  It is by Joey Makalintal from Pennsylvania, USA – A Fascinating One, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5817138

And in case you need something to add to the bafflement of the year 2020, take a look at this picture and tell me what you would do.

If you don’t see it, send me a detailed email describing what you don’t see.

Later.

I was sitting with my 101-year-old mother the other day …

While I was home in Texas (tGCoE) for the last five months, I often found myself sitting with my 101-year-old mother and gently holding her beautiful hands.  No, they are not pretty, but they are beautiful.  One day as I sat with her, I began thinking of all the wonderful things she has done in her life.  Raised nine kids, which spawned multiple grand-kids who are growing their own families.  No telling how many cloth diapers she changed, or the number of runny noses she wiped, (not to mention bottoms).  She clothed us, fed us, put us to bed at nights and put up with all our shenanigans and she always prayed for us.  She wrote 7 books, several which affected the lives of many people and traveled to Međugorje, afterwards creating a website extolling its miracles.  She started going to Texas Tech University just for enjoyment and ended up graduating at the age of 89.  She is now at the age when she looks back at all she has done with her life, and she sees so much more she wishes she could do.  Living Life to the fullest will do that to you.

As I dwelt on this, it dawned on me … no, it hit me like a bug on a windshield, that during all the years I have known this precious lady, I have never seen her and Wonder Woman in the same room together!  Yep, my mother is Wonder Woman!  That explains everything.

I am so proud of all she has done!   D&D

Cinco Meses (Five Months)

Back in March we flew to Texas, the Greatest Country on Earth, (tGCoE) for a month and ended up staying five months, compliments of the Chinese Communist Government.

As all resourceful people do, we made the best of it.  You may not believe this, but I seldom grumbled about it, and I will mention my Better Half kept me pumped up.  So to have a sense of closure, I sat down and took a few notes on what all we accomplished during my period of grumbling.  Please bear with me ….

  • We obtained a storage unit in the Austin area and received shipments from Brazil, Antwerp Belgium and Hagerstown, Maryland.  The Maryland shipment originated from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Received my vehicle from Brazil (thank you American Taxpayers) and got it tagged and licensed.  Ended up having to change out the camshaft sensor, which would have taken me two hours of frustration and bad words, but with Dani’s help the time was cut down to less than an hour.
  • Located an apartment we plan to move to once we return to the tGCoE.
  • Spent a day in 103 degree weather clearing out some items in my storage unit in Lubbock.  Which included discarding those things I thought we would need in our lives 10 years ago, and things that have fallen apart due to tGCoE heat.
  • We were able to eliminate large items from the storage unit listed above, which included three tables, ten wooden chairs, queen size mattress and box springs, a filing cabinet, office chair, bed frames, two chests of drawers and a small ugly wooden table with a crack down the middle from tGCoE heat, which garnered an astonishing 27 requests to purchase … for $5.
  • Was able to complete the transfer of retirement funds to my financial guy, which was no small matter.  Also was able to start the process of transferring funds from another location, which has not been completed yet.  So, far, it has require 9 phone calls.
  • Gathered paperwork from the far reaches of tGCoE for obtaining a permanent visa in Brazil.

It was frustrating to be “stuck” in tGCoE, so we told ourselves to treat this time as a vacation, so these are what we did in the category of relaxation:

  • We traveled in Austin multiple times for relaxation with my sister, and enjoyed her new back deck.
  • We traveled to Houston several times for relaxation with my brother and his lively and boisterous wife.  Also was tasked with tasks that I very much enjoyed, as it was good to use my hands to work again.
  • Went to Broken Arrow, OK to see a brother and his amazing wife.  Got to work with my hands again.
  • Went to Frisco, tGCoE and visited my brother and his patient wife, and helped correct several issues with distant relatives.  Also enjoyed a few cigars on his back patio.
  • Went to a large ranch near the small community of Miami, tGCoE and visited with some very good people from the past.
  • Drove to the Destin Beach area of the Florida Panhandle and enjoyed the warm gulf.
  • Rented a condo for about three weeks near Galveston and hosted good people.
  • Took a quick trip to Port Aransas.
  • Took Dani to see the Big Cross at Groom, tGCoE.

There were other things we did, but my memory is sluggish today.  After suffering in the 100+ weather of tGCoE, we arrived in Brazil where they are still deep in Winter.  It was a cold 50 degrees this morning, and at 5:00 pm it is 55.  Not bad until you add the cold light rain that has been coming down off and on all day.  And bear in mind this apartment like most others, has no heat and the doors and windows do not seal. 

Now, before we part I must tell you about this:

We have been having light brunches in the morning, consisting of two boiled eggs, a slice of lunch meat and a slice of cheese.  Just enough to fool my stomach into thinking it is not hungry any more.  So, as I sat down to write on this, I put 10 eggs onto a slow boil with the understanding my sharp mind would alert me to the eggs after about 4-5 minutes.  A few minutes ago, I heard some strange popping noise coming from the kitchen.  I found the eggs had no more water in the pan and they did not look very happy.  I cooled them down and found two had cracked.  So, I ended up eating two 40 minute eggs.  It will remain to be seen what they do to me.

Later, D&D

P.S.  I must mention Lubbock, tGCoE and my sisters and their amazing, patient and lively husbands.  Plus my good hard-working brother who doesn’t know when to retire, and four nieces and a partridge and a pear tree.