Random Thursday: The Tuesday Edition

Hey, it’s been awhile! Glad you stopped by, although I’m not fooling myself by thinking it’s for any reason other than you’re bored to death by social distancing and the continuous stream of bad news on the doorstep (quick…name a song with that phrase!). Regardless, I’m happy to see you and to serve you some nutrient-free content.

Let me assure you that this is a virus-free zone. I’ve personally scrubbed and sanitized every pixel of this post, so feel free to cozy up to your monitor as if it was an adorable puppy named Tinky.

Say, let’s talk about footwear, shall we? I’m now the proud owner of a pair of snake boots. Pretty stylish in a Blake Shelton sort of way, aren’t they?

Photo - Snake boots

I’ve wanted a pair of these for a couple of years, ever since we moved into the house on the creek that’s inhabited by snakes that might be cottonmouths and which might NOT be but I’m not taking any chances. Plus, we have vacant lots with tall grass and fallen leaves which form a perfect resting place for copperheads and, possibly, rattlesnakes…although I’ll admit to having never seen either of those species in our immediate vicinity. Anyway, these boots will give me a lot more confidence when I’m weed-eating outside our fenced yard, or setting up and retrieving game cameras.

Unfortunately, they’re so hot that I’ll probably only wear them in the winter when there’s no serpents around. It does sort of make me wish we belonged to one of those snake-handling churches, although I suppose wearing them to services there might indicate a certain deficit of faith on my part.

Speaking of shoes, the snake boots aren’t the only new ones I’ve dealt with lately.

I ordered a new pair of everyday, walking-around shoes in my brand of choice: New Balance. When they arrived, I was amazed at how heavy they were. I was also puzzled by the tag attached to the shoes warning me not to remove the “Electrostatic Dissipative” insoles.

Photo - Steel toe work sneakers

Well, as it turns out, what I had ordered was a pair of steel toe work sneakers weighing a pound apiece that are designed to not generate hazardous static electricity in case I wanted to be employed by a nitroglycerin factory or a meth lab.

The lesson here is that I should actually read the description of whatever I’m buying instead of just thinking, “oh, that’s a pretty cool looking shoe for someone who’s as uncool as me.” Oh, and the irony of a retiree ordering work shoes isn’t lost on me. Anyway, they were packed for return shipping the same day they arrived. Replacements are on their way…although I probably need to double-check to make sure I didn’t order the high-heeled, Swarovski-bejeweled models.

Speaking of work, I’ve done some this winter.

Alert Gazette readers will recall that MLB painted our fireplace, An unfortunate-but-inevitable result of her efforts was to require that we build fires in the newly-renovated POS (Pit Of Smokiness, of course), and that in turn seemed to require something to burn. After getting a second mortgage to finance the acquisition of those artificial “logs” made of unadulterated carcinogenic nuclear medical waste, I came to the sad conclusion that we would need actual wood. So, I went out and bought a big honkin’ maul (which sounds much more manly than a “steel wood splitter”) and forty bucks worth of cut-but-not-split oak logs.

My first attempts at splitting the logs went poorly. An 8 pound maul will wreak some havoc on a piece of wood…but only if it lands on target. I had many excuses: the wind threw me off balance. The sun was in my eyes. I had my glasses on upside down. Also, I didn’t have a suitable surface on which to rest a log before whaling away at it.

I remembered a vacant lot a half mile away where someone had felled a pretty big tree, cut the trunk into a dozen sections, and left them undisturbed for almost two years. One of those sections seemed to be a perfect candidate for use as a whatchamacallit…also known as a chopping block. (I think.) I backed my little truck up as close as I could to the section of tree trunk and opened the tailgate to load it…and only then realized that the block weighed pretty much the same as me. OK, that’s not all that much, but you try lifting a stump of your own body weight into the bed of a truck when you can’t use the principle of the lever to your advantage. (Yeah, I don’t really know what that means either, except the result is soreness in bodily places where you didn’t realize you even had places.)

I did finally manage to roll the stump over to the truck and oh-so-ungracefully wrangle it into the bed for transport home, where it now resides.

Photo - My chopping block and maul

Even with the chopping block, I still managed to miss the target log about a quarter of the time, but the setup works pretty well apart from operator error. Unfortunately, as we often do in Texas, we jumped directly from winter into summer, so there won’t be any firewood splitting for another nine months or so.

OK, I think that brings up pretty well up to date on the goings on around Casa Fire Ant. In closing, here’s a photo of a red-shouldered hawk.

Photo - Red Shouldered Hawk in tree

And, in final conclusion, the following is presented without comment. Stay healthy, y’all.


  1. Lee, Lee, Lee…you know it’s all about the narrative. Even a blogger with mad skillz like mine can’t write an interesting post about *buying* firewood! (I know; “interesting” is highly subjective.)
    Besides, I have a neighbor with a pile of oak deadwood that’s already cut and just requires splitting.
    But, good job about identifying the ode to Buddy Holly. 😉

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