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Number two son was invaluable in helping me put the patch-stuff on the drilled-out cracks.  I couldn’t have done anything without him.


And so, we have all the cracks now patched.  I can breath a little easier as the pool fills.



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Pool Break

Yes, my pool is broken.  I am busy today trying desperately to fix it.  It looks like a total disaster at this point.  I do not know how things will turn out.


Work today.  Feel sorry for myself tomorrow.

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The Chasm Grows Deeper


I barely slept last night.  I am angry at the world right now.  I spent good money to drain the pool before we left for a two-week trip to Iowa.  It is cracked and needs repairs that I can only afford to do myself because the expense is more than I paid for my car.  Even removing the pool will break my fragile little retirement budget.

Well, when I got back from Iowa, the city inspector showed up immediately to look at the progress I made with the pool.  It had standing water in it.  The danged weather dumped in almost as much as I had taken out before leaving.  So I got a ticket.  That I can pay for.  But he decided I deserved no more time to work on the cracks.  He filed a court case against me for the pool not being up to code.  If I don’t have it fixed and running in 20 days, I am out more than 8 thousand.  The city will come in and do the work with a contractor, taking the pool out, and charging me by placing a tax lean against the house.  If I can’t fix the @#$%! pool and can’t get it done ahead of the hearing, I may end up losing the house.

Sorry.  I am not feeling very funny today.  The humor will come later because humor is how I heal.  But I am mad at the world right now.


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The Road Back to Texas


The Iowa Trip is now over.  Time to go home.  We had homemade ice cream this evening with uncles, aunts, and cousins.  The drive back to Texas awaits.


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Away to Ioway


Yes, I probably won’t be using this road to get there.  This one is north of the family farm and I will be coming from the south.  But, it is time to head home again to the Land Where the Tall Corn Grows.  My parents are aging.  My sister will be visiting there too.  I need to spend some of my retirement time in the place where I was born and raised.

The Road Home

I am much more likely to take this road, US Highway 3, that takes us from Interstate 35 to Rowan, Iowa.  The town is over the hill in the blue distance.

Travelling is the reason for today’s short post.  We are going to try to make the long journey from Texas to Iowa in a day.  We’ve done it many times before.

So, wish me smooth sailing.  I know I am probably going by car, but it is cool to imagine taking one of the airships from our D & D game.


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Publishing Smublishing

class Miss M

Already twice today my computer has interrupted my blog-post-writing with a computer brain fart instantly erasing everything I had written and was unable to save.  It reduced the essay to nothing but a title twice.  So, have already written my 500 words twice today, I settled on a simpler, shorter post.  Page Publishing sent me back the proofs of my novel Magical Miss Morgan again.  Once again they made new proof-reading errors that changed something so that I have to go to the trouble of changing it back.  It isn’t that the chimpanzees have valid improvements to show me and I am just being Grumpy Mike about changing.  They are making silly omission errors and showing me sentences that don’t make sense any more.

Page Publishing was a big mistake.  But since I have already paid them and am close to getting published, I will push forward rather than hiring a lawyer to sue them.


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How to Be a Wizard

On Cartoon Network’s Looney Tunes show, Daffy Duck has decided he wants to be a wizard.  He even had business cards printed to be one. mqdefault

Being a wizard is almost as easy as that.  But becoming one is not what Daffy thinks it is.

wizard (n.) Look up wizard at Dictionary.comearly 15c., “philosopher, sage,” from Middle English wys “wise” (see wise (adj.)) + -ard. Compare Lithuanian zynyste “magic,” zynys “sorcerer,” zyne “witch,” all from zinoti “to know.” The ground sense is perhaps “to know the future.” The meaning “one with magical power, one proficient in the occult sciences” did not emerge distinctly until c. 1550, the distinction between philosophy and magic being blurred in the Middle Ages. As a slang word meaning “excellent” it is recorded from 1922.

The word comes from wisdom.  Being one requires wisdom.  Being one requires you to look to the future and use your hard-won experience to predict how the future will unfold, and what you can do about it to benefit yourself and others.  You know, “magic”.


But to become a wise-one, a wizard, requires hard experience.  It is possible that Daffy has acquired some over time.  He’s certainly been subjected to all sorts of slapstick cartoon injuries and insults over time.


Remember this one?  Daffy swallows dynamite, drinks gasoline, this bottle of nitroglycerin, and then throws a match down his throat.  The results are spectacular, but Daffy has to admit that he can only do the act once.

So maybe he hasn’t become a wizard yet.  To be a wizard, you have to learn from your hard experience.  You have to gain knowledge in order to work spells and do magic.

For instance, my struggles to breathe from COPD have taught me to use magic potions like ginger tea and French onion soup to open my air passages wider and make breathing easier.   When the siding on the back of the house deteriorated to the point that the city wouldn’t tolerate it any more, and I couldn’t afford to pay a contractor to fix it, I googled spells for siding repair on the internet, using articles and YouTube videos to magically fix the damage myself.  I also consulted other wizards at Lowe’s and Home Depot, where they are happy to give you advice if you buy supplies from them.

Unlike Daffy, I think I do qualify as a wizard.  I have six incurable diseases and am a cancer survivor.  I taught in a public school for 31 years.  I taught middle school children.  I lived through the years of the Kennedy assassination, landing men on the moon, the Civil Rights Movement, Ronald Reagan’s trickle-down economics, and 9-11.  I lived through the Cubs winning a World Series.  And all those events and hard experiences have given me more wisdom than, perhaps, any sane person would want.  Of course, I’m not sure in all my years I have ever actually met a totally sane person.

Mike the Wizard

You may notice that I had to get a new magic hat.  My old black Walt Whitman hat flew out the window on Interstate 35 the other day.  This one is a fedora made of woven straw, a grandpa hat. Who knows?  I am not a grandpa yet technically, but maybe one day before I curl up my toes and go for a long dirt nap… and grandpas count as wizards too, don’t they?


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