Random Thursday: “Stuff I Like” Pt. 2

Hello…yeah, it’s been a while. Not much…how about you? Oh, sorry…I was channeling England Dan and John Ford Coley for a second. I fear I’ve been listening to The Bridge on SiriusXM too much lately. I made a foolish vow not to stop listening until they played Locomotive Breath, so…

You know what? I wasn’t going to embed that YouTube video, but it started playing and — well, let’s just kick this pseudo-special edition of RT:SIL off with…

The Mad Flautist Himself

Ian Anderson, the Scottish frontman of Jethro Tull, single-handedly made the flute cool for rockers. I’d be very interested to know how many spare flutes he has on stage during a performance. Also, has he ever set one on fire? I mean, literally on fire…he’s figuratively aflame here:

This Whitetail Buck

We found it quite odd this morning when we didn’t see a single deer until we were 2 1/2 miles into a three mile run through our neighborhood. There are normally throngs of them (OK, if you define a throng as 6-to-10). Even then, the three does and a young ‘un didn’t make much of an impression. But when we hit the 2.9 mile mark, this guy was waiting for us:

Photo: 8-point whitetail buck
Photo: 8-point whitetail buck

He actually had the audacity to paw at the ground a couple of times while facing us before he decided he had better things to do than gore us to death.

My New Pressure Washer

Having lived most of our lives in desert-like environs, I had never felt the need to have a pressure washer. But now that we’re living in a more humid area that — up until this year, anyway — gets a lot of rainfall, access to a device like that is essential to keep things from molding and mildewing. Sure, I could hire someone to do those chores, but I’m too wise with my money cheap to do that. So I’ve invested in one of these bad boys:

Photo: Greenworks Pro 3000 psi pressure washer

That’s right…it’s a 3,000 psi electric pressure washer made by Greenworks. Now, I’m not even close to being an expert with these machines, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more powerful electric pressure washer. (It also costs ~$500, so perhaps I’m not that cheap after all.)

Using for the first time was an eye-opening experience, as it quickly revealed just how yucky our back patio had gotten over the years.

Cupcakes From Heaven

Debbie and I don’t eat a lot of sugar, but we do like something sweet at the end of each meal, and these cupcakes from Wal-Mart, of all places, are dangerously addictive.

Photo: Filled chocolate and vanilla cupcakes

Don’t be fooled by the “filled” description, as the frosting barely makes a dent into the cupcake itself…but the sugar-crusted pile on top of the cake more than makes up for that little white lie. If you choose to go down this confectionary path, find someone you trust and agree on a safe word.

The Honeybee Jazz Ensemble

I spotlighted Honeybee Jazz last week in a photo-centric post, but they deserve more than a picture.

I don’t know a lot about the Austin-based group — our first exposure was mid-October when they played an outdoor concert on one of the Resort’s golf course driving ranges (which is a really cool venue, btw) — but the vocalist and songwriter, Melissa Raquel, is the one constant in a revolving group of musicians…and those musicians we heard in the October gig are heavy-hitters.

Photo: Honeybee Jazz quintet playing an outdoor concert in Horseshoe Bay, Texas - October, 2022

The trombonist, Andre Hayward (aka Big Butter), performs with such luminaries as The Duke Ellington Orchestra, and Wynton Marsalis. The drummer, Tom Brechtlein, has played with Chick Corea, Al Di Meola and Jean Luc Ponty. Floyd Domino (keyboards) is a fixture in the world of Western swing; he’s played with everybody who’s anybody in the world of country music, as well as fronting his own band. Chris Jones was on upright bass; I couldn’t find out anything else about him, but he more than held his own in this fine group of musicians.

And then there’s Melissa Raquel, whose vocal talents range range from playful to sultry and everywhere in between. She’s performed with Willie Nelson and LeAnn Rimes, among many others.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Honeybee Jazz performance, you won’t regret taking advantage of it.

Our New Deck and Patio

We finally saw the end to the construction of our new deck, pergola, and patio, and, frankly, we’re thrilled with the result:

Photo: Drone's-eye view of our back yard

In case you’re wondering why there are no cushions on the chairs, we don’t yet have covers for the chairs and rain was predicted for the evening of this photo, so they’re in a storage box.

The fire table is at the edge of the patio, under that tan cover. We haven’t used it a lot yet, but it’s going to be great:

Photo: Flame-lit fire table on our back patio

This fake-but-accurate movie poster, courtesy of myself

In closing, everyone in the wacky world of social media is all aflutter over the apparently apocalyptic acquisition of Twitter by our favorite flibbertigibbet billionaire, Elon Musk. Depending on who you talk to, it’s either the end of democracy, or the emancipation of hitherto-held-hostage freedom of speech. But, whatever…at least to the former CEO, CFO, board of directors, and possibly thousands of employees of Twitter, Musk is:

Fake movie poster: Elon Musk as The Terminator


  1. The patio looks great. I saw Mr. Anderson and his crew 3 or 4 times in the ‘70’s and never saw him set fire to a flute. Doesn’t mean he hasn’t at some point in his career.

    1. Kelly, I’m a little jealous that you got to see them in concert. While that’s never been a bucket list item for me, I still would have enjoyed it. But, really, Ian should be adding a flaming flute to his repertoire.

  2. Love to read your blog. I always learn something new and am entertained by your description of things. Patio is beautiful! You will really enjoy it this fall. Keep writing!

  3. We too have our first power sprayer. I love new equipment. That is why things are a bit crowded in the garage. My son-in-law and grandson shared turns with me trying to drill into our brick hanging patio curtains. We honestly thought we had a hammer drill. I bought a new super hammer SDS drill and LouAnn tried to video me mounting a video doorbell. Already feeling defeated, I hit the trigger and it went deeper faster than I needed it. I wanted to practice on the neighbor’s bricks (if they said anything I was going to tell them about brick termites). We live in the land of almond croissants so I am quite happy. I love seeing your discoveries except for my spending money trying to test your cool finds.

    1. Norman, I too experienced the thrill of victory/agony of defeat when I discovered that 3000 psi of carefully directed water spray will eat right through Austin stone. I’ll say no more about that, other than to thank you for the termite tip.

      I will remind you, however, that man does not live by almond croissants alone, and although I’m sure you’re loathe to darken the door of a WalMart, those cupcakes are worth going through hell to procure.

      And, finally, knowing that I’m helping spend other people’s money is one of the major joys of my life!

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