Friday, February 23, 2018

Old blind man lost in a parking lot

While parking at Kroger I noticed an old black man who was taking very slow, careful steps. He was leaning unsteadily, crouched over a cane and dragging a small shopping cart behind him. As I stepped past him, he looked up at me and I could tell from his cloudy white eyes that he was blind. Something about his expression caused me to pause and turn back to him. The man, weak and barely able to speak, asked a question that broke my heart:

“Can you tell me where the bus stop is?” he asked, his wide eyes pointed at the skyline above my shoulder.

After giving him directions the man asked if I would walk him to the bus stop. The parking lot was large and it would take him quite a while to reach it, so I pointed his cane toward the bus stop and instructed him to walk “that direction.” Then promised to meet back up with him when I returned from the store, just in case he had wandered off course.

As I neared the entrance, a woman stepped out from her car to ask what I had spoken to the old man about. I explained that he had asked where the bus stop was.

The lady, clearly concerned said "he has been out here for hours. I was here earlier and came back to pick up a few more things.” She observantly pointed out, “he’s wearing that big jacket in this heat. I asked the store to call the ambulance but I don’t understand why they won’t do anything. No one will do anything. It’s too hot out here for him to be walking around like that.”

Now worried about the old man, I promised to call the constable if he had not made it to the bus stop by the time I finished shopping.

While checking out, I looked up the constable’s phone number, then stepped out of the store to search for the old man. He was nearly to the bus stop but was stuck at a curb, unable to lift his shopping cart over it. I rang the constable and they responded that a unit would be dispatched to take the old man to wherever he was going.

The woman who I had spoken with was now holding the man by both hands, helping him to step over the curb. I watched as she helped him sit down on the bench and hand him a bottle of water while a young lady lifted his cart over the curb.

The old man had finally made it to the bus stop, after spending over 3 hours wandering in circles, presumably with every passerby responding “I don’t have any change” before he ever a chance to utter such a simple question: "Can you tell me where the bus stop is?"

Situations like this should remind us how important it is to sometimes just stop and listen. He could have died from heatstroke today, had it not been for a nice lady who recognized that he was simply an old blind man, lost in a parking lot, trying to find his way home.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Fun in the woodshop

My buddy (and neighbor) Alex and I decided to have some fun one night after the tools "went to sleep"...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Snow! In Houston!

Winston is cold...
The neighbors got to my yard before I woke up

A week later....uh-ohhhhh...

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Pet peeves

Growing up with an interior designer has taught me many things. My mom always pointed out how details matter. Here's a great example of how a minor change can make a room feel more 'together.'

Brushed knobs reflect light differently, based on the direction of the brushing. Here's what happens when the knobs are not all set with the brushing in the same direction:

A quarter turn of the knob makes a world of difference:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Gonna need more clamps for this. Part 2

17 Window sashes to go.
Definitely gonna need more clamps for this.

...sneaks over to neighbor's to borrow his entire collection of woodworking clamps

Woodworking woes

Borrowed a friend's router to shave down some ill-fitting joints on my windows. Failed to recognize that there's a tenon in the way...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fight night!

BBQ fight night at the neighbors house! Yes that's a a projector and yes it has surround sound. Ah-mazing!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The fascinating history of my home

So.... in 1921, the second owner of my home accidentally shot himself to death, in the living room, while handling his pistol.

His wife and children were playing in the front yard when they heard the shot fired, turned, and saw him fall across the bed. His mother-in-law was in the backyard at the time. He died shortly after his wife reached his side, which is to say, it was a rather brutal shot to the stomach.

The story was on the front page of The Houston Post:

Here's a closer look:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Big Daddy

About a year ago it occurred to me that I needed a truck. *NEED* This is not a "want"--it is a necessity. It's simply too difficult to haul sheets of drywall in a sports coupe, let alone impossible to haul a yard of soil, bricks, plywood or whatever is needed on any particular day.

So I began the search, only to discover that trucks are OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive.

Heated leather seats? Add $10,000.
Navigation? Add more $$
Orange exterior? Rare.
Premium sound system? Virtually nonexistent. (No, Bose speakers do NOT count)
Sexy interior? Completely nonexistent in pickups.

What could possibly be more discouraging? My trade-in, which had all of the above, was valued at a pitiful $4,000. And that was before the front suspension went out ($3,000 repair).

My car, nicknamed 'Ginger'
My car's interior

So I eyed all the vehicle resale websites for 6 months, seeking something I could finance. Zip, zero, nada. Everything that looked good online turned out to be flooded, have < 150,000 miles, have a crappy Triton engine, or simply be out of my price range (thanks, law school loans...)

Then one day I saw that a local dealership had a GMC Sierra for $11,000. Having no idea the condition of the truck, I stopped in to investigate. It was dirty, it had cloth seats, lacked all of the above preferences, but was steal of a deal. So we negotiated and I signed a price agreement for $10,000. We went to finance, and the deal ended there. Despite superb credit, the banks weren't willing to finance a 9 year old truck with 130,000 miles on it--at least not for a reasonable APR. I walked, said 'give me a night to think about it.'

The dealership called back with an offer that cut the interest rate in half. Now they had my attention.

The next morning, the AC compressor went out on my car. It's 100+ degrees out, 100% humidity. Utterly miserable. This lasted one morning. I called the dealership back, soaked from the 15 minute drive to work, "Get the papers ready, I'm coming in to sign."

So poor Ginger is off to the auction, and I'm at home with 'Bog Daddy' as my neighbors have named him:

Saturday, July 22, 2017


The neighbors and I secretly plotted a welcome home prank for our buddy Alex and his wife while they were vacationing in Florida. {Mwahahahaha!}

They arrived back to a hundred flamingos that had followed them home!

A few days later, Alex texted, Your extension cord and lights are under the blue tarp. Not sure what to do with the pink birds yet

I'll come get them after work today, I replied.

Mischief got the best of him. As I pulled up into my driveway, I caught him red-handed with a mischievous grin on his face—much like the grinch who stole Christmas— practically rolling in laughter on my driveway. Alex had just relocated the last flamingo to my yard!

they were in the compost pile:

drinking water:

on the front doorknob:

and yes, these two were even doing the birds and the bees: