Texas Heat


sunny-day-in-cheshire

Another 100 degree day
no wonder I don’t want to play
outside or work on the ponds
or hike the trails where it is hot
too hot for comfort.

I get out early but by eleven o’clock
it is already 90 degrees
and I am soaked with sweat
and my body is telling me
to quit.

I have two choices that I can see,
the first is to drive around in my air conditioned car
listening to stories written
by authors much more skilled
than me.

The second is to stay indoors
trying to write
bad poetry about the Texas heat.

Today’s Thoughts, June 21, 2015. Father’s Day in America.


Rainy and Foggy Day

Rainy and Foggy Day

Today is June 21st, Fathers Day in America. We are probably the only country in the world that can come up with all of these dedicated days to celebrate something or another. Most official Holidays in most countries are usually religious holidays but here, in America we celebrate anything at anytime. More often than not, it is driven by commerce as with every “special” day, there goes along with it gift giving or at the very least a celebration of some sort that involves spending money. I sound like a cynic which I probably am as for me, I was a failure at being a Father in a couple of times of trying. Maybe I am just a sourpuss because no one is making a fuss over me not that I would want them to as I feel uncomfortable when I get any special attention. Pity my dogs don’t know what day it is as I know they would make a fuss over me and give me doggie kisses. Maybe I’ll tell them. Doggie kisses? Maybe not.

Anyway, be that as it may as I’m sitting here looking out of the window and watching it rain .. again. I read in the paper that Austin, a city that normally gets about 30 inches of rain a year has already passed that mark and we are only 6 months into the year. Today, in 2012, the temperature reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit,a record for that day and today, 2015, we will be lucky if we reach 85. I’m not complaining mind you as 108 is bloody hot even by Texas standards.

We can use as much rain as Mother Nature wants to send to us. Both Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan are still down from the perceived normal levels and although, the rain has helped quite considerably, we still need more.

I was able to complete my pressing outside projects. After several false starts due to the contractor going on vacation and not being able to get a pump truck because of the wet weather and Memorial Day floods, I ended up doing the entire project myself. I saved a bunch of money and lost a few pounds in the process and learned more about septic systems than I care to know. Anyone got a septic question? Bet I can answer it. Just kidding as learning is an ever ongoing process and every day brings new knowledge. Wonder what happens to those memories that I forget or have to spend considerable time in either retracing my steps or doing some serious thinking about what I was thinking about?

As I had to tear up the majority of the big deck in order to get to the septic system, I took the opportunity of replacing the wood that was showing signs of rotting out. After all, the deck has been there almost 30 years and although I replaced the original cedar with wolmanized after about 10 years of use, even that starts to deteriorate after 20 years wear and tear and weather. While I was at it and really in the swing of things, I completely tore out the lower deck and rebuilt it. So, all of my decks are in good shape and should see out my lifetime, however much longer that may be.

Power washing the deck

Power washing the deck

I wanted to power wash all of the decks and then re-finish them with some new fangled paint that is supposed to be 4x thicker than normal paint and after it is applied, one can dance barefoot on it! Yeah, right. The very thought of splinters is enough to send shivers up and down my spine. I got out my power washer from the shed and gassed it up and to my dismay, the gas poured out the other end as I poured it in my end. Damn thing had dried out again. Same thing happened last year and I took it to the shop to get it repaired. I think I used it once after I got it back and now this is “take two”. I loaded it onto my trailer and made the short trip (5 miles, short by Texas standards) to the repair shop who told me they were so busy that it would take a month to repair. I had no choice other than to leave it with them as it was no good to me like it was. Now, if I can only get into the habit of gassing up and starting up all of my gas-powered equipment throughout the year then maybe, I wouldn’t have this problem every time I want to use a piece of equipment.

My neighbor, Chris has a power washer and very willingly allowed me to borrow it. His worked just fine and I spent a busy couple of days washing everything that looked like decking. I was able to pretty much strip off all of the old red stain to bring it down to bare wood in most places. Now, all I need is to decide what color for the barefoot paint and for the sun to shine for a few days to dry out the deck. It will be interesting keeping the dogs off the wet paint!

Abigail looking for attention

Abigail looking for attention

Talking of dogs, life is continuing on without Abigail and although we are all still grieving, it gets a little better everyday. I swear that the other three dogs know she is no longer with us as they have all acted a little strange and out of character(for them) at different times.The temptation to replace her with another rescue is pretty strong but we will wait awhile before making any of those decisions. If you are wondering what happened to Abigail, she fell into the unguarded septic tank and drowned when my back was turned. By the time I got to her, it was too late. There is a poem about her at http://pondblog2011.mlblogs.com/2015/05/22/ode-to-a-dog-abigail/

My next project is to remodel the master bathroom. When I say remodel, I am only talking of the bath itself. I want to take out the bath and install a shower base with sliding doors and of course, all of the miscellaneous stuff that goes along with it. I am waiting to get a quote on it and will see what the contractor wants to charge before I make up my mind whether to contract the entire project out or save a bunch of money and do it myself.

I just took a walk around the garden in between the showers. As you can imagine, with all of the septic/deck work going on, only the bare necessities like feeding the fish and cleaning the filters has happened in the past 5 weeks or so and with all of this rain, the garden is now almost completely overgrown. I have to quite literally, push my way through the growth just to walk down the pathways. I thought maybe that I would be able to get to cutting a few of them back today, but with the rain, that idea is out of the window. Maybe tomorrow…One thing I am very grateful for is that my ponds were not on the Tour this year. With all of the septic/deck upheaval, I would have had to cancel as the yard was in no position to accept visitors.

Talking of pond tour, The Austin Pond Society has just completed theirs on the weekend of June 6,7. It was an unqualified success and although the number of visitors was down, that is mostly due to Austin being such a busy place with so much going on that it is generally recognized that nearly all events are not as well attended as in the past. Even so, I took that weekend out of my busy schedule to visit all 19 ponds and have written about them on the http://www.austinpondsociety.org website. I took over 700 pictures over the 2 days. One of the ponds was on the night tour and I took some really interesting pictures from daylight through dark as the evening transitioned. Below are a few of those pictures.

 

 

Boxing Day


I wrote this last year and decided to re-publish it.

As an ex-pat from England, I will spend tomorrow celebrating the day after Christmas as most British people do and that is to sit back and relax and spend the entire day feasting on left overs, drinking beer and watching game after game of football (with a round ball) on the English Premier League.  I am an ardent Man U fan.

The day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day in the UK to most and Saint Stephen’s Day to the religious. Most Brits think of it as another day off to recover from overeating and drinking on Christmas Day and of course, the opportunity to watch football. For those of you that want to know more about this holiday, read the article below from Wikipedia.
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Etymology
The exact etymology of the term “boxing” is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive.[1] The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to theMiddle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen,[2] which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.

In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.[3] This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys‘ diary entry for 19 December 1663.[4] This custom is linked to an older English tradition: Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.

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I gave in…


2014 Ford Escape Titanium

2014 Ford Escape Titanium

Well I did it. After months of speculation and denial, I bought a new car.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t have done it but I succumbed in a moment of weakness. That is my only excuse. Well that and the fact that my last bill at BMW was $1800 for mostly routine things like getting the front brakes redone and the replacing the rubber grease boots on the steering. Like all good repair shops, they always do an inspection to see what else will need replacing in the future and the list they gave me was fairly extensive so I know that down the road, I was looking at least another $2000 or so worth of work and that would be no guarantee that I would still not break down in the middle of nowhere. With 160,000 miles on the clock and with the constant feeling of mistrust, it was time.

So, I opted to go look at new cars. My timing was terrible as I had just paid for another year of registration for the BMW and I couldn’t get any of that back. I wasn’t sure what I was going to buy this time around so while my car was at the BMW repair shop, I took the opportunity of looking at used X5′ and even X3’s but the best I could afford was a three-year old model and even it cost almost $40,000  It didn’t seem to make much sense to pay that sort of money for another used car as I would only be gaining about 6 years of car life, 2003 for the old car and 2009 for the one I was looking at and could afford. So, very reluctantly, I decided that I had owned my one and only BMW and it was time to move on (or back) to something else.

1936 Austin 10

1936 Austin 10

I have owned a lot of cars in my lifetime starting with a 1936 Austin 10 (the year I was born) and in my younger days, it seemed I was always buying yet another different model. It was not until I was much older in life was I able to afford a new one so many of the used ones were not always in the best shape. I spent a lot of time under the hood and the benefits of that was that I had a good working knowledge of car repair and could usually get myself out of any difficult moments that came up.

That was until I arrived in America. The first time I lifted the hood of an American car and saw that bloody great V8 engine that filled the entire engine compartment did I realize that I was way out of my depth in terms of mechanical knowledge and from that point on, I left anything that required getting my hands greasy to the trained mechanics. I do the mundane things like topping up the radiator or putting in a quart of oil without too much difficulty and can keep the tires inflated and top up the windshield washer fluid but anything beyond that, I take it to the garage and let them deal with it.

But I deviate from the new car story. I was torn between what I should buy this time around as I knew that I had had my one and only luxury car so it was time to talk of more down to earth models. I am an avid gardener and very handy with my hands when it comes to building things or repairs around the house. I know that I will always have these interests as I have spent my entire life in construction and will continue to work on this stuff as long as I am physically able. What this meant was that I had three choices in terms of the new vehicle. I thought briefly in terms of a car but quickly put that idea out of my mind as not being practical. That left me with two choices. I could buy a pickup truck, either small or regular size or I could go the same route that I was currently at and this is with an SUV and the 4×8 garden trailer that I already own. I opted for the latter.

As there is only me most of the time, I do not need a full size SUV so that narrowed the search down to the smaller models. I had owned a Ford Escape before the BMW and although had not been 100% satisfied with that particular model and in truth, could not wait to get rid of it after a couple of years, I decided to go online and take a look at the current version to see what was different about the latest models. I knew what I was looking for as I have a friend who has just bought a new car with the most fantastic electronic gadgets imaginable and, like a little kid with a new toy, I had to have that stuff in anything that I was going to buy.

I was sitting outside one of the Starbucks with a friend when this lady pulls up with this very nice looking car. I had no idea what it was but it caught my eye. She was getting ready to leave so I approached her and she very willingly showed me her car. Turns out, it was a Ford Escape, the latest model and I was sold.

I had printed out the information I had found on the web on a particular model that seemed to have everything that I wanted and took it with me to Covert Ford on Research Boulevard. I had never had any dealing with this company before but I was lucky enough to have a very attractive and knowledgeable sales lady named Stefanie who found the car I was interested in and then walked me through the entire process of buying the car. We walked the lot and she showed me similar cars so I had a very good idea of what I was going to buy. My car, or should I say, the car of my choice was on a different lot and had to be prepared for sale. As it was getting late, Stefanie put me in an Escape loaner and my trip home was also my test drive. I was not disappointed.

I did have a bit of a scare as I was caught in the evening traffic on Mopac on the way home and I heard a ding from one of the warning signals and spotted that the little gas pump icon was showing telling me that I was low on gas. Not yet understanding the intricacies of the different things on the dashboard, I panicked and pulled off to put in a couple of gallons. I discovered the next day,  that it comes on when there are 50 miles of gas left in the tank. Oh well, better safe than sorry.

The next day, Stefanie called me to say my car was ready and we arranged for me to pick it up. We had already unloaded the BMW of my personal items and I had said goodbye to the car. It had been a very good car from my perspective and I had been more than satisfied and more than a little sad of letting it go after 8 years of service. But what the hell, out with the old and in with the new and besides, the new car has a lot of electronic gadgets to play with.

So, I am now the proud owner of a 2014 model Ford Escape Titanium in Silver Grey with all of its bells and whistles, turbo charged engine, flashy lights, warning signals, and back up video camera. If you wave your foot under the back tailgate, it opens automatically and the bloody thing is even supposed to be able to parallel park itself. Can’t wait to try that out.

I do have to go back next week to get the towing package installed but they have promised me a loaner for the short time it will take. I thought that the BMW was probably going to be the last car that I ever had need to purchase but I just proved that idea wrong. Still, I said the same thing when I bought my last pair of soccer shoes when I was 50 or so years old thinking my playing days were almost over. Turns out, I played until I was 72 and bought a couple of pairs of new soccer shoes in that time.

Funny old thing, life although I wouldn’t have it any other way…

Austin Pond Society August Meeting – 8-19-2013


APS Logo

APS Logo

The third Monday of the month as some of us know, is the Austin Pond Society Monthly meeting night and as usual, the pond enthusiasts gathered at the Zilker Garden Meeting Room to share good food, good company and this month, a presentation by Vance Shultie, Owner of the Tank Hollow Fisheries in Poteet, Texas. Some members of the group had traveled to visit the farm a couple of weeks before.

This weeks food offering by our very own Chef, Sonja, consisted of either Ham or Chicken sandwiches with the fixings and as usual, topped off by a wonderful desert. The members, as the pictures show, really enjoyed the food offered to them. Many thanks to Sonja and her husband for providing such good food.

The usual order of things was changed a little bit at this meeting as Vance and his family traveled more than 100 miles to make their presentation so the APS business part of the meeting was held over until Vance Shultie of Tank Hill Fisheries had finished his presentation.

Austin Pond Society August Meeting 8-19-2013 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo

The entire process is very well documented and I found it quite fascinating especially when breeding time comes around at my house.

As to the presentation itself, I have watched the Koi in my  ponds in their crazy attempts at breeding. It looks more like a rugby scrum or no holds barred wrestling match than the gentle art of lovemaking that humans usually associate with the deed. In my ponds, 2-3 male Koi chase the female around until she drops her eggs and then presumably add their own semen (milt) to seal the deal, so to speak. In the meantime, the rest of the Koi in the pond that are not actually involved in the mating ritual, follow along behind and gobble up all of the fertilized eggs having a field day with all of that protein. If I needed more fish, I might be upset at the banquet provided for the gallery but if the very occasional fish does make it, that’s fine by me. As you can imagine, I was very interested in the way that professional fish breeders perform their work under controlled conditions.

Watching the slides and listening to Dan discuss how he does this was a real eye opener. It is a real science as basically, the fish are drugged with a general anesthetic enough to slow them down so they can be handled (literally) and the eggs are “milked” out of the females into a dish followed by the male semen or milt as it is called, using the same procedure. Each milking produces up to 15,000 eggs many of which will not get fertilized. The eggs then go through a series of very carefully controlled steps until they end up in the large fish tanks where they remain for a couple of weeks after which they are sein netted and very carefully sorted and the culled fish are fed to the Bass that Dan also raises. The “saved” fish are sold depending on their quality either to other breeders or to fish stores, garden centers and the like.

So when this coming Spring rolls around and my Koi are madly dashing all over the ponds, I will have a much better idea of what is going on even though, unlike Vance,  I will have absolutely no control over the process.

Austin Pond Society Business 8-19-2013 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Following the presentation, the Pond Society members turned back to the more mundane things that make our Society tick. Things like looking for a new Newsletter Editor, the position recently vacated by Mary Word and discussions of the upcoming meetings. One part of the meeting is devoted to members questions or “problems” and for this meeting I had a problem that I wanted to discuss and bring to the members attention.

Basically, I have 4 ponds, 2 of which are joined by a weir and share the same water. The other two are totally separate, the oldest of which is about 5000 and the new one completed about 3 months ago is even bigger at about 6000 gallons. The joined ponds  are 2500 gallons and 1300  gallons respectively. I first noticed that the fish in the 2500 gallon pond were all huddled together quite literally one on top of the other, under cover in the deepest part of the pond. I immediately assumed that the Heron had started coming around again as the fish that have had a Heron scare, can take up to a couple of weeks before acting normally. Then I noticed that the goldfish in the lower pond were dying so quickly figured that it was not a heron problem and had to be something else. In the next couple of days, two of the very large Koi were floating on the top and I noticed one more that was upside down on the bottom. These Koi were probably 24 inches long and over 10 pounds each and I hate to lose fish that big. I checked the water and all of the readings  were in the normal range but I decided to do a water change in both the upper and lower ponds as that sometimes cures a lot of fish problems. A bit like turning the computer off and then back on to get it to work right.  It’s no simple task to do water changes as first you need to pump out a large quantity of water and find a place for it to run and then conversely, to fill the ponds making sure to add dechlorinator as the ponds fill. The whole process takes several hours.

While all of this was going on, the fish in the first pond, the 5000 gallons pond, were all showing the same symptoms but none had died so once more I did a water change of about 3000 gallons, again, no mean feat. Then, the fish in the new pond, started to do the same thing. The water in this pond is only about 3 months old so I decided to hold off on the water change and see what develops. In the meantime, I added sea salt to all of the ponds and it did seem to help as the fish began to perk up. All of this happened over about a months time period. To date, things appear to be back to normal. The fish are acting as they normally do just lazily swimming around unless I walk by with fish food then they all go nuts as they look to feed. I am still not sure what the problem may have been and whether it was a one time thing or whether there is a chance of it reoccurring. Needless to say, I am keeping a very close eye on things.

The rest of the meeting was devoted to the drawing and final announcements one of which by Glen regarding the upcoming APS Calendar and the need to get in pictures, Jeanne talked about a trip to San Antonio and the Ragan’s discussed holding a members only get together at their house on September 21. Details will be posted in “Ripples”. Stay tuned.

The next meeting will be on September 15 at the same time and place.

TSSAS 2013 Annual Meeting – Dedicated to Carlos Rodriguez and my last as Administrator


Carlos Rodriguez - 2006

Carlos Rodriguez, taken in 2006

I attended the TSSAS Annual Meeting held in Houston, this past weekend, August 9/10. I was not to know this at the time but it turns out it was my very last meeting as TSSAS Administrator following the interviews on Saturday. After ten years in the job, the Board, in all of its wisdom, chose to appoint a new Administrator. I have many fond and happy memories of the times spent working and talking to my friends and soccer cohorts over the twenty or so years that I have been attending. Most are gone either having retired or some have passed on to that soccer field in the sky where all soccer players eventually end up. I would like to have continued on but it is not to be.

This once a year meeting holds special memories for me personally as it was one year ago on August 8 on my way down to San Antonio that I had the misfortune to somehow get a blood clot in my right calf (Deep Leg Thrombosis) necessitating me having to quickly return to Austin and the following day, to the Emergency room. Incidentally, that drive home was an experience all by itself and took an hour longer than normal due to frequent stops, not to mention the pain involved.

This turned out to be a bit of a life changer as I had to give up coaching the little kids and with it ended my physical involvement with the beautiful game. Sadly, all things come to an end but I guess it was time. After all, I am now 77 and soccer is considered to be a young man’s game. Tell that to my many 50-60 year old friends who are still playing.

This time, I allowed extra time and stopped several times on the way to Houston to get out and stretch my legs and arrived safe and sound.

As is usual, Friday evening was the Board of Directors business meeting followed by dinner at an Italian restaurant called Ciro’s. The food was excellent and the company was very amusing. All in all, a  good evening. It took all of my willpower to not indulge in one of the very fancy desserts that the rest of the table was sharing.

The following morning, after a very restless evening at the Hotel, probably due to not having the four dogs to keep me company, I was up at 6:00 am which I never do. Under normal circumstances, I am an 8:00 am person unless there are some other reasons like a doctor’s appointment to warrant an earlier rising. Luckily, the hotel also has its own Starbucks making me one very happy fellow. Armed with a non fat latte, I was ready to face the knowledgeable group of Registrars and other League officers as I lectured them on the finer points of running a league from the Registrars perspective.

The meeting went well and I was ably assisted by Neal Backes, the TSSAS Webmaster on the laptop and the overhead, showing the different slides of the documents required. Even though we started on time and that I was allowed an additional fifteen minutes, I was still hard pressed to finish on time. Guess I like to hear the sound of my own voice too much.

At 10:15 am, the training session ended and the members broke out to attend their sessions of interest, men, women and coed as each of these groups have their own commissioner and are run by their own specialty rules for things like the State Cup. For many years, Carlos Rodriguez, San Antonio Soccer Association, was the men’s commissioner but with his passing, the division was left without a commissioner. But, all was not lost as Gloria Rodriguez, Carlos wife,volunteered to step in and fill the role. It is a well know fact that behind every good man there is usually a good woman and Carlos and Gloria were no exceptions to this rule. Gloria has gone one step further and has volunteered her services to visit the Valley and talk to the leagues down there to see what TSSAS can do to help them. We have long recognized the fact that the Valley, both by location and by its very large Hispanic community, has not received the attention it deserves. Hopefully, Gloria will help to change that. Thank you Gloria for both stepping up to be the Men’s Commissioner and for taking on this additional role.

At noon time, we adjourned to the dining room for a luncheon that was held to commemorate the many years of service that Carlos Rodriguez had been involved with soccer and for his many roles with both USASA and TSSAS. Pascal gave a very nice speech to commemorate the occasion with Gloria giving the response. Again, I outdid myself and chose an apple over the scrumptious looking deserts that were offered and had to put up with a some harassment all in good fun, from Neil. I think I made him feel guilty as I noticed he was chowing down on a piece of pie.

The meeting itself went very smoothly with discussions mostly on the revised Constitution and Bye-Laws and of course the Budget took up some time. Funny how money can make the quietest person sit up and take note. We did not have any earth shattering things to decide. Pascal was re-elected as the President and he made it very clear that this was going to be his last two years in the job and he warned the members to start looking for his replacement. After the final Budget discussion, the meeting was adjourned.

Coming down, I traveled on Highway 71 from Austin until it intersected with Highway 10 and once I got past Bergstrom Airport, the speed limit changed to 75 all the way into Katy just outside of Houston. it was wonderful to legally drive so fast and the drive down, even with the three stops that I made, was very quick.

I was planning on stopping and taking rest breaks on the way back to Austin just to be on the safe side and so I decided to take an alternate way back home as I hadn’t driven Highway 290 for a very long time and wanted to see what might have changed. The speed limit was posted as 70 for most of the way and as everyone, including me, were driving a bit more than that, it didn’t take long to reach Austin. I have to say that compared to the other route that I took on Friday, things have not changed very much along Highway 290.

I arrived home around 6:00 pm to be welcomed by 4 very happy puppies. It’s so great to have that sort of welcome committee. Almost makes it worthwhile to be away although I was not “out of touch” with them as I have a surveillance system set up that allows me to watch them on live video on my iPhone. It’s pretty cool and it is very re-assuring to me to see they are OK as they go about their daily business, which incidentally, comprises of the occasional bark at something outside and then back to “napping”. Must be a great life to be so worry free as to sleep anytime you feel like it.

And they call it a “dog’s life”. We should be so lucky…

Goodbye to my friends as I fade away.

Fade Away

Fade Away

It can wait until tomorrow.


DSC_0994I promised myself that today is  the day
when I braved the heat and went outside, not to play
but to do some work cleaning up the yard
moving dirt and stones to a different space
into the two bins I just built-in place
which was not hard for me to do as I used
landscape lumber, you know the kind
I measured and cut and stacked them up
and drilled holes through them to make them secure
for in those holes are pieces of steel
hammered into the ground for an even keel.

Now they are finished awaiting the dirt
that I plan to move into the bin
as currently, a pile by itself stands
as I moved it there when building a pond
until a better place I could find
knowing that all along
I planned to construct a place for the dirt.

Why, you say do you need the dirt
to start new plants out in the yard
to give them a chance to grow big and tall
before re-planting them along with the rest
I also have small river rocks and stones
that are used in the top of the pots for the ponds
to stop the Koi from washing them out
as destructive of all of the things that I plant
out of boredom or maybe its just their way
and they are just having their say
in shaping things or maybe they play
by destroying the plants that I put in their way.

For two mornings now things have come up
to stop me from completing this work
yesterday I had to go to the store
to purchase some parts that I needed more
than shovelling dirt and when I was through
it was way too hot to start work outside
so inside I stayed where I did hide
writing in my blog stories like this
bad poetry is how my words come out
about stories that I like to tell
written as I do not speak well
not for money as no one will buy
but to satisfy my urge to write
is why I try.

Today, I was all set to move outside
when the phone rang to let me know
that Harvey, my AC man
was ready to come and fix the drain
from the AC unit in the house
that was blocked and making a terrible mess
with water all over the hallway floor
so I stayed inside to open the door.

Two hours later he had finished the job
by then off to Time Warner I went
to change out the DVR that I had
as it didn’t work for it was bad
I came home with the new one expecting the best
and plugged it in and you can guess the rest
it did not work either so back to the store
to ask them to give me just one more

Back home did I go with my new box in a bag
and plugged it in and to my dismay
this one does not work either and will not load
so on the phone to Time Warner I called
and now have to wait for them to send
a repair man tomorrow the problem to mend.

It rained overnight for that I am glad
but it means that the dirt will be too wet to move
so another couple of days will be gone
before I can go outside to perform
the simple job of stacking the dirt
into the bin that I have just built.

The moral of this story be told
that even the simplest of task can become
more complicated than first thought of
and the best laid plans of mice and men
are subject to changes now and then.

Fear not for the work will get done
as I plan to do it in a couple of days time
when the dirt has dried out and the TV is fixed
and the AC is working to cool the inside
I will get up early to beat the heat
and will work hard to finish the feat
that is unless the phone rings again
to tell me of something else to plan.

Wait, Wait I have something new
I went outside to look at and view
the work that needed to be done
it was early and the heat and the sun
had not yet risen to uncomfortable heights
I picked up the shovel and went to town
moved all of the dirt and then I found
that I could move the stone and still not content
tidied the area shoveling dirt on high
on top of the compost which reaches the sky
moved the bins and their contents keeping them intact
and the trailer and cart all stacked in a row
I still need to sort out the pots in their place
as Richie disturbs any semblance of shape
as he searches for rats and mice in his quest
to be the head ratter and to chase down the pests.

Thank goodness the work is finally done
the last of the projects the rest will be fun
as weeding and mulching and watering too
all are things that I need to work on its true
but I have all summer to do these things
which will also give me time to work out at the gym
something I have neglected for a while
time to change that and my lifestyle too.