January 21, 2022

News And Lots Of Photos

There is going to be some old fashion rambling in this post today. It was something I would do more of in the past. I can only blame it on the cold weather we are experiencing and remembering cold winter days a few years ago when I would take off rambling when writing a blog post. There is going to be a lot of hound photos along with the dog on this post, as well as some Verizon updates and some other topics that seem to get attention of the news. So grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy.

It is a hot 21° this morning but the past few days when I have let the hounds and the dog out for their first trip outside, in the dark right after getting up, it has been as low as 12°. That does NOT seem to bother the hounds but the dog will only stay out long enough to do his early morning job. Yet by 8am they are all outside playing like it is a hot summer day. When they saw me come outside today they came running at me to play. Have you heard the news that people are being tracked by Apple AirTags? I wonder if they know where Henry is while his is flying there on his collar.

I received news from a Mac Twitter account I follow that there was a bug in the latest Safari update. Like PC users know, hackers could access our browsing, collect user names and passwords, which could possibly lead into your financial accounts. It was suggested that Safari users changed to Firefox or Google Chrome until Apple sends out an update to plug that security hole. As of this morning Apple is still working on it and no fix so far.

So I did what they suggested. The other day not only did I go to Firefox for my internet use I also deleted all the user names and passwords that I had Firefox and Google Chrome keep with my permission. After I deleted all of them I changed settings in both browsers not to keep user names and passwords but also don't ask me for permission. That was working pretty well until I started this blog post.

I always go into the HTML option of the new post to upload all the photos at one time and re-size them all at one time. That works great but Firefox didn't want to play that game today. Even after I turned off the ad-blockers it would load the photos okay but would not let me hit the enter key to move space between photos to write the content. I rarely want to do anything with Google Chrome, so to get this post to work I went back to Safari and it is working perfectly.

The thing is the Apple system is safe and rarely has there been reports of millions of users getting their information hacked, if any at all. Even in the past the FBI has had to order Apple to open a phone account of a suspect they have arrested or killed. So I guess I will take a chance for about an hour, using Safari to write this post.

Yes, the yard is as hard as it looks. Hard as concrete but like I said this morning, the hounds and the dog are like NFL players and they don't care about temperatures in the teens and their "field" being hard as concrete. They had been playing for about 30 minutes before I changed into some clothes and made it outside. Once they saw me walking out with camera in hand they started running full speed all over the yard chasing Watson. 

Sorry that the photos are not centered in a few of them. They were moving faster than I could adjust the zoom length and to capture them in the view finder. They play like this in the morning and later in the afternoon, every day ... except when it is raining or has rained. So far we are a little under 2" of rain for the month. 

I wasn't able to capture Walter in his aggressive mode. In fact in these photos he looks like he is scared in some or timid. Yet when I looked out the window while grabbing some clothes inside, he had Watson on his back, pinned to the ground by using his shoulders and grabbing Watson's jowls and pulling them.

Henry on the other hand is big, strong and has no trouble getting Watson down. He does have to jump to do that because his legs are too short to get shoulder to shoulder. 

My Verizon nightmare is officially over. I got another call from Verizon Executive Relations the other day telling me my refund on a debit card had been mailed. It showed up in my mailbox two days later. I went to their website, a 3rd party company for Verizon and transferred the funds from the card into my savings account. Case closed and Verizon is currently out of my life. I will never say "never" because you don't know what kind of services are available in future but it will be when hell freezes over before I use their services again.

You will notice that Henry has all four paws off the ground. It took a high speed run and jumping into Watson to get this photo. You will see below that he knocked Waston down with that body slam while Walter looked on. 

I have had only one basset hound bigger than Henry. Max was from a rescue service coming in at 84 pounds and barely fitting into the front seat of my Miata for the 5 hour drive home back in 1998? His previous owner told me he would only eat dry kibble if I put cottage cheese on it. LOL I just bought better kibble with no cottage cheese and walked him every day. Years later when he died he was down to 62 pounds. The last time Henry was at the vet to be neutered he was 73 pounds at 14 months old. He is a very laidback basset hound though and has some of Winston's personality. Watson will be 9 months old next week. He is going to be HUGE just like his dad.

I had another surprising phone call on Wednesday. It was the tree service company I had called last November to have them cut the Bradford Pear tree down, that is in front of my house. She told me they had notified the utility company to come and and check for any underground lines for gas or electric. They would mark if it was okay to ground the tree trunk 6" deep below the ground after they cut the tree down. I see they came out sometime yesterday with a yellow and red flag by the base of the tree, along with red and yellow spray paint saying it's okay to work in that area. That tree should be gone in a couple of weeks. I noticed yesterday there are some large limbs that have split in the center of the limb, lengthwise.

I have finally gotten away from Realtor dot com, deleting bookmarks of different towns of interest and houses for sale in the local area. I have been looking at houses for sale just in case those "airport LED lights" come on again next door. Looking at houses is like me looking at cars. It's addictive in a way but much more expensive to do a transaction compared to buying and trading cars. I am finally mentally settled so to speak about living here.

It is a great house, great location, great city but the high SE Arizona desert and the Huachuca Mountains are missed. I admit, at times it has been a very hard adjustment even living in a great location. Housing prices in Sierra Vista have almost moved out of my range. I know what I would want to spend although I could spend much more than my self imposted limit. As of this morning there are only 7 houses for sale within my limit.

All but one of them are older houses in the older part of town. They have swamp coolers instead of central air conditioning and a flat roof that needs to have a sealant applied every few years. The type of house I lived in and sold last May is now priced at $25,000 more than last May, just 8 months ago. So I will look off and on but I really doubt that I will find what I want in my price range. The next option is to find something smaller, older and cheaper for a winter home. Yet I went through that analysis back in 2018 and 2019 before moving and didn't want to do that.

So far even with temperatures in the teens, it has felt warmer than what I experienced for 22 years 90 miles north of here. I have never stepped outside here early in the morning and feel my nostrils freeze shut after inhaling, like I did "up there". And the two newsworthy snow storms forecasted did just like the rains and tornadoes did ... went around us. Just like I read it would last year before deciding to move here. So really, it's all good. Great place for the hounds and dog, along with me.

I had a rude awakening the other day at the dog food store. I feed Watson puppy food that is within the limits of calcium for large breed puppies. I feed Walter and Henry adult dog food, both foods with same brand name ... Fromm.

Watson needed another 33lb bag of food which will not last a month. Those bags are on the bottom shelf. So as I was leaning over to grab the bag I needed I see a price tag on the front of the shelf for the 15lb bag ... $47 !!!!! What ????? No way. So I get down on my knees and lift the edge of the bottom 33lb bag up so I can see it's price tag .... $88 !!!!!

I love my hounds and the dog but I will tell you right now, I will NEVER pay $88 for any size of dog food, EVER!!! Plus the bags continue to get smaller as time goes by. Of course with all my prior research and spreadsheet analysis I always have a backup just for situations like these. Watson is now on Victor Elite For Puppies. $52.99 for a 40lb bag. It is a good price but I bought because of their quality in food that FITS in my price range. I had been spending $65.99 for the bag that is now $88.

At that store I spend so much money on dog food they are always sending me $10 coupons, plus every 10 bags I buy, they give me a free bag in the same size. I will look but I don't doubt that Henry and Walters food will also go up in price and then I will move them to Victor dog food. Some people tell me I am wasting my money and I would see no difference in the condition of the hounds and the dog if I were to buy those 55 lb bags for $22 of Purina Dog Chow. 

I have analyzed all of that too. Looked at ingredients, read about the bad stuff, watched videos with veterinarians agreeing the Purina Dog Chow is good enough. I have even asked myself if I am guilty of falling into the dog food marketing 'guilt trip', only wanting the best for my hounds and dog. Since feeding the higher priced food, staring back in 1988 ... ALL of my basset hounds and bloodhounds have died of cancer or from large tumors. Think about that for a second. Whereas the dog I grew up with, lived to be 16 years old and died naturally eating canned food and table scraps.

All of that brown grass is Bermuda grass. I don't like Bermuda grass but don't want to spend the money to dig up my whole yard to plant a different type of grass so it would stay green year round. Plus where would the hounds and the dog go while the new grass was growing?

As you see, all three of them are running at full speed. Yesterday when that happened, the patio deck had a small film of ice that was almost starting to melt. Watson ran up on the deck like now and slide clear across the deck and falling into the yard. I later was able to sweep the ice off the deck and that is why it is so clean today.

They run from one side of the yard to the other, full sprint.

A 9 month old bloodhound puppy is still clumsy. Add a frozen yard with patches of ice and this is what happens. Watson loses his footing and slid into the end of the patio deck. He gets up, does a full body shake and takes off sprinting again.

Finally all three were finished. Right after this photo, they all stood still looking at each other, waiting on their next move when Walter led them to the patio door to go back inside.

I was surprised the other day when looking at the Sierra Vista newspaper. I could not read the article because I am not a subscriber but I did find this title being the most read article since it was published last week. One example that relates to the title, last summer an older SUV is traveling at a high rate of speed on the 4-lane road, 40 mph speed zone in front of the mall. It crashed and rolled across the oncoming two lanes of traffic onto the bike path. That is just one reason I moved. 

Believe it or not, the cartels recruit drivers on Facebook. They pay them cash, $1000 per illegal, to get them from the border to Phoenix. That information is from the County Sheriff's interview in that article. It is to the point now that once the Sierra Vista police get notification that a runner is headed their way, they have decided it is best for safety of the citizens out driving, not to try to stop the high speed runner but to block the intersections so traffic is not moving to let the runner pass through free and clear. When I say "high speed", I am talking 100mph or more.

I was thrilled to see my Hoosiers beat the #4 ranked PUkes last night in Bloomington. Not only were they ranked but they are hated rivals. They had also beat IU the last 9 games in a row. What you see there is not only students being overly excited about the win but it shows what many readers may not realize.  If some of them are a college senior they most likely, due to COVID, did not have a high school prom, some did not have a normal high school graduation.

Then they get to one of the best college towns in the nation but cannot go anywhere their first year on campus. The next year they can but only if they wear a mask all the time while taking classes at home on their computer paying $55,000 for a year of college??? I am guessing at that number but I don't think I am far off. Then last year they can go to class but cannot attend games. Finally this year, their final year possibly, they can attend classes and ball games. It almost feels like college live is back to normal. 

All fall I have seen on tv sold out stadiums with college and pro football fans not wearing masks. I know this latest strain of covid is highly contagious but nothing has been reported that these sold out stadiums are the cause of the increase of positive cases, if they are not a "false positive". Now after two years I am told my blue disposable mask does not work. Not a big deal because it has been so long, I can't remember the last time I even put on a mask. 

My hermit lifestyle was probably a good thing in self isolation preventing me from getting it. Yet I do go out to eat, to buy groceries or pick up FJ parts at Toyota. I get things from UPS, FedEx and USPS and we are never 6' apart. How does the virus know not to go past 6' ?? Or how did it know only to get outside after 10pm where some cities had a virus curfew?? Highly contagious with common cold like symptoms. Which is it? A cold or the virus? I have been threatened on twitter for asking questions like that when commenting a few times.

Remember my LED light story??? If you don't then click here. Well ... those are NOT my neighbors lights. Those lights are from a friend's neighbor. The photo was taken just last night from her second story bedroom window. The house is in a rich neighborhood where houses are $750,000 and up over a million dollars. HOW could this happen in a neighborhood like that??? That is just unbelievable in any neighborhood. Surprise, they are NOT security lights and are NOT motion activated. They are on ALL THE TIME.

I had told her my neighbor problem the other day while talking on the phone. She mentioned she had the same problem at her house. Her husband had spoken to the young owners about the bright light problem and was basically ignored. They didn't care. Here in the month of freezing January they wanted to make sure their swimming pool was lit up. After all, freezing snow and ice is a prefect time for outdoor bbq's with friends and they need bright lights to see after the sun goes down.

I cannot even in my wildest dreams imagine lights of that size and that bright in a beautiful neighborhood. I was there many years ago to visit. So I guess no matter if it is the doberman barking next to me in Sierra Vista at all hours of the day and night, or the bright lights here at my neighbors house or at my friends house .... people anymore just don't care anymore how their actions might affect others. 

Damn those lights are bright !!!!

I deleted my Facebook account last month and was within days of it being permanently deleted unless I logged back into it and click the button saying I didn't want my account deleted. I broke down last night and did just that. WHY ???

Well without a newspaper subscription I miss a lot of information on what is being offered in this town. Carlos Santana will play a concert here in April that I would like to see. This town is full of great restaurants, all doing their business on Facebook. 

It is the only way Walter's breeder can see his photos. She like many others do not visit my blog to get even more photos. It was the only way I could keep in touch with Henry and Watson's breeders. They have websites but do all their business on Facebook. I have sent links to the blog but it is much easier for people to see the hounds on Facebook than going to my blog I guess. Most of those I know, do just that. It has been a place I have been able to find old friends that I grew up with when we couldn't find each other any other way. So I am back on Facebook while I am not a fan of it.

Can you long time readers believe I have not mentioned anything about buying a new car or truck?  LOL ... no urge because I have the two vehicles I have always loved. Hopefully those same thoughts will lead me away from Zillow and Realtor websites.

Well I have to head out. It is up to 25° and Watson is wanting his dog walk.

All is good in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana.


  1. Steve, I think you have set a new record for yourself...time between buying vehicles and now...time between looking at houses. Congratulations. I'm sure that your friends and fans will line up for the presentation dinner. LOL Your temps are colder there than ours have been. We've been having highs in the 40's or 50's and lows in the 40's or 30's. Not too cold here in the Willamette Valley. Higher up in the mountains, it has been getting lots colder and they have had a lot of snow this year. The hounds and the dog seem to be enjoying the yard, even in the cold. Ollie loves it when it's cold outside, too. He would stay out as much as we would let him. (Unless it was time to eat, of course)LOL

    1. Isn't it amazing how obedient they are when you say food, show them food or ask if they want to eat?

  2. San Bernardino County is implementing a night skies ordinance with very specific regulations on what type of light may be used at night - i.e. hooded fixtures pointing down, etc. Definitely the lights on your neighbor's house and your friend's neighbor would not be acceptable. Our lake association is no longer allowing market lights,etc. on docks. Not sure I agree with all of this.

    Loved the photos of the hounds and the dog. Seems like they are having a lot of fun playing together. Great shot of Watson doing his flying leap towards the deck.

    1. I was thinking about these LED lights the other night as I was stopped on a hill intersection with a truck facing me blinding me with LED headlights. They get along very well and play a lot, sleep together. The incidents of all out fighting over a bone or food or water is over so neutering them must have helped. I planed on neutering all of them but for Watson I was waiting for an appointment.

    2. Those LED lights on vehicles are so blinding, especially on our dark mountain roads. Not a fan of them.

  3. Steve- just some thoughts- your animals are in alt I’m sure with all the care & appreciation.You might consider touching base with a reputable landscaper & see if sod over appropriately prepared base would give the grass you wish & immediately.Perhaps a friend in the Sierra Vista area might note a rental that would suit for a month or two.Agree,society seems more indifferent to others & those lights must be really aggravating.Once some of the new electric vehicles become common,you may well develop a new interest,lol.All the best,stay well & safe.

    1. Thanks, I had not thought of that option. There are plenty of landscaping companies to choose from here, so I will give them a call for some ideas. I have three or four websites marked for rental houses. Not a lot available on a month to month rental. The out of town bicyclist I use to meet on the road during the winter all stayed in motels for the time they were there. Electric vehicles, something to think about and you might be right about acquiring a new interest. Thanks.

  4. And in the Epoch Times there is a story about Cochise County AZ where a 16 year old was hauling a load of illegals at $1000 a head and blew thru a red light at 105 mph and hit a 65 year old lady killing her instantly. Tore the back end off her car and scattered it 120 ft. down the road. The illegals and the driver had minor injuries and the kid was jailed with first degree murder and was found to have a pistol in the car. The law had stopped the chase before the accident because of the chance of a wreck but the kid kept going and had the accident. What a MESS!!!
    Don in Okla.