Monday, January 15, 2018


Sunday, January 14, 2018

I love happy cactus so much.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

~ My 2018 Birthday Extravaganza Day Twelve - Epilogue! ~

I had a pretty good time this Birthday Extravaganza go around.
I hung up my longhorn hook thing whatever it is that I bought
at Boot Barn, although I am going to redo it with the screws that
I bought at Walmart yesterday.

I absolutely LOVE my cast iron pan that I found at Target.
Got a great price and man, I cannot wait to use it again, and
again... and again. Finding this pan was one of my main
objectives for this Extravaganza. The awesome
price was the cherry on top.

I had a very nice time talking movies and life with
an older woman I met at the theater when I went
to see "The Shape of Water".

And the bag I bought at Home Depot for my knife
maintenance overflow turned out to work great.
Everything fits inside and...

...the strop fits perfect. That was my main concern,
the strop. Good luck abounds.

And I also loved listening to the bullfrog croaking away in
the huge field/marsh(?) next to REI. That was terrific.

I go back to work tomorrow and it is an early early day so I have an extra
early bedtime. I am finishing off the leftover pizza (it is a'WAY better than
it looks) while watching a few of my favorite folks on YouTube.

I am thankful that I was able to do all of what I did during my Birthday
Extravaganza and that I was brought home safe after every journey. I am
thankful that my family is all at home and safe. That is it! I hope to do
this again sometime down the line.

Thanks for joining me and adios for today!

Friday, January 12, 2018

~ My 2018 Birthday Extravaganza Day Eleven! ~ 
It is another beautiful day at El Rancho De La Tex.

The lemon trees are loaded down today. Time to enjoy the next
to the last day of my Birthday Extravaganza Week.

One last movie to see...

"The Shape of Water". I have no idea about this movie.
It was directed by Guillermo del Toro so it could be kind of...
different. Popcorn and Diet Coke at the ready. Let's go!

Hey, I LIKED this movie. I really enjoyed it. And yes, it is a
different type of movie and I will be buying it when it comes
out on Blu-ray. Again, no spoilers except to say that among the
other good performances, Richard Jenkins is a treat again. He
continues to surprise me. And if I can put Michael Shannon's
real life politics on hold (difficult), I will say that I thought he
was great as well. I will rate this movie 7.5 out of 10 "His what
comes out of WHERE?!"s.

 After the movie I went over to yet another Target to look around
and see if they had "The Lion King" Blu-ray on sale.

And this I cannot understand. Well, I can and I can't. I can understand
all the vinyl records I have seen all over the place now as a nostalgia
thing, but I grew up with nothing but vinyl albums. I still have most of
them. If you ever had to schlep these things around to listen to music,
with a very limited number of songs, well, you would love CDs or MP4s.

I have over 5400 songs on my beloved iPod. That is just about every album
I have ever owned and then some. Sure, there are no pops and hiss on my music
now... but I can overlook this for the convenience factor... And no turning
over of records to hear the other half of the album. And "shuffle" is awesome.

Here is another thing I cannot understand. Of all the vinyl
 to put out there... THIS? Really? I mean, what's going on?

Oh, they had "The Lion King" Blu-ray on sale. I have had this movie on
my list for some time. I just never wanted to spend for it. But for the
Extravaganza? Done. This was the first movie we took our son to see. It
brings back memories. Especially the ending credits with "Can You Feel
the Love"... Makes me misty.... Ahem... Next!

One more stop. I need some screws to hang the metal
longhorn steer thing I bought at Boot Barn on Monday.

I bought some "stormproof matches". I am almost embarrassed that
I bought these. I don't take Walmart's stuff like this too seriously. I'm just
going to play with them.

Oh and I got this 24" grabber/magnet thing. These guys can save your bacon
if you drop something juuuuust out of reach. I have a really cheap one that
I bought at Harbor Freight years ago and it has really helped me a few times.
This is an upgrade. The magnet is much stronger and the grabbers are too.

And I also got the screws. Success! Victory is MINE!

I guess that is all for today. Tomorrow is my last day off. These days off
have been fun. This is only the second time in my entire working life
that I have had this much time off. I on occasion will have a long weekend,
you know the three day things. But I am going to do the more days off 
more often if possible.

One more day! Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

~ My 2018 Birthday Extravaganza Day Ten! ~

Not a whole lot planned for today, but it IS my Birthday
Extravaganza Week, and I am taking time off of work that
I do NOT want to waste, so I decided to go to the movies
again today. I enjoy going to the movies a lot and I get more
points in the rewards club, so it is allllll good.

Today? "Insidious: The Last Key". This is Part Four in the series.
I have One through Three on DVD and pretty much enjoy them,
so I think this will be good.

Okay, Insidious 4 was okay. I had a good time with it (and the popcorn
and Diet Coke). No spoilers. There were not many other folks in the
theater with me, but there was a couple sitting about six seats over from
me in the same row. This couple made me feel like a pretty seasoned
horror movie goer. Every time there was a scare (jump scare or not) the
whole row of seats would jerk back violently. I saw most of the scares
coming, but not them. I thought is was pretty funny. What? Nawww....
Even though I see the scares coming, I still enjoy them. No worries there.

Anyway, I give Insidious: The Last Key 6 out of 10 Not So Empty Suitcases.
When it comes out on DVD, I will buy it to complete my collection.

Just one last stop today, World Market again.

I was hoping to find the hot handle holder for my cast iron pan, the one
that I really want. Nope. But I am going to try these until I can find that
one. Deja vu going on here.

Coming REAL close to the end of my Extravaganza now.
A little more to come.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

~ My 2018 Birthday Extravaganza Day Nine! ~

Another beautiful Extravaganza Day. I am far from El Rancho
today. My primary destination for today is REI. But this Best
Buy is in the vicinity and I have a few things in mind, so I
stopped in here. Turns out I will have to keep the things I had
in mind in mind. They did not have anything that I wanted.

On to REI...

The REI store under beautiful Southern California skies. Two
of the ONLY nice things left in California, the sky and the sun.

Well, I had been planning for two months for my visit to REI today.
And wouldn't you know it? They had zero in stock of the items I had
been planning to purchase. Zero. I am starting to feel a little strike-ish
out-ish today. I did get some Lodge scrapers for my new cast iron
pan. I also bought a hot handle holder for the pan. It is not the
one I want, but it will fill in until I can find that one.

Here is something kind of nice.
This is the left side of the REI store.

And if you look across the driveway...

...and through or over the fence...

...there is a pretty big field, or should
I say marsh. Maybe it is a marsh.

Pretty dang big for this area. I took a break here for a while. It was
surprisingly quiet. And there was a big old bullfrog just croaking
away. It was really pleasant.

Onward. Two more stops.

I went into Walmart to look around. This Walmart is FAR from The Ranch
and I am just going to see if they have anything fun that the Walmart in my
area doesn't. As it turns out, not really. But hey, they have knives and I am
going to buy one that I have had my eyes on for a number of years that I
never would fork over the dinero for, but what the hay, it's my
Birthday Extravaganza Week.

I bought a CRKT (Columbia River Knife and Tool) knife. It is called the
S.P.E.W. Is that a terrible name for a knife or what? Anyway, the name
stands for Small Pocket Everyday Wharncliffe. Wharncliffe is the blade
shape and I have to tell you, that is a new one on me. I had never ever heard
Wharncliffe before. But then again, I have never ever had a Wharncliffe blade
style before. I am going to have fun with this neck/belt knife.

Jerry Brown is an idiot.

I also bought this movie that I can't WAIT to see. "Mother". Polarizing
movie. It stars Jennifer Lawrence and Gosh save me, I really like her. This
movie is supposed to be weird. It was directed by Darren Aronofsky of
"Black Swan" fame. I like him AND Black Swan. So we will see.

Holy cow the sun is going down and I
still have another stop to make!!!


!!!! More to come !!!!!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

~ My 2018 Birthday Extravaganza Day Eight! ~

Another fun day lined up. I am heading out to Best Buy as
the movie "IT" (2017) is being released to Blu-ray today.
It has been raining all night and it is raining as I leave
El Rancho De La Tex.

Arriving at Best Buy. Still raining.

I did get "IT" on Blu-ray. I also bought "Under the Skin" with
Scarlett Johansson. Between "The Avengers", "Ghost in the
Shell" and "Lucy", I really like her. I also bought "The Belko
Experiment" which I have heard a lot about. These last two movies
were really inexpensive. Especially since I used a Best Buy
Birthday 10% off coupon and a gift card that I received when
I bought my phone from Best Buy. So I only paid..... NOTHING!
Good deal says I.

 My next stop since it is in the same area is Fry's Electronics.
I have a little list for this store.

Oh man. I have had "Arizona" (1940) on my Amazon Wish List
for YEARS. And I found it here, for only $4.99. Excited for this
Western. The Old Tuscon Studio in Arizona was built expressly
for this movie. This is Western Movie History. 

I also found "THX1138" on Blu-ray for a really really good
price: $5.97. I have the DVD, but this George Lucas movie is
really good and I wanted the Blu-ray upgrade. When I got it
home I discovered why it was priced so low. The Blu-ray case
is thrashed. Not to worry. I have spares.

Impulse buy, kind of. I did want one of these Gerber Shard tools.
But the opportunity never presented itself until I reached the
register today and they were sitting next to it. Semi-impulse.
Gerber years ago made really nice knives. Now? Not so much.
They have gone WAY downhill. We will see how this little
Shard tool does. And by the way, when are they going to
stop putting bottle openers on everything? When was the last
time you used a bottle opener? Yet they have them on
EVERYTHING. Can't understand it.

(Oh yeah, I bought some coaxial cable I needed and some
lint free cloth things for our TVs, phones and computers.)

Two more stops for today. The first one will be Tom's Burgers
for a bit of lunch. When I am with my son we eat inside, but I am
alone today so I am going through the drive-through.

  I think I forgot to mention that as I was leaving The Ranch
on Monday's Extravaganza Day, my car took a dive. I was just
hoping and praying that I would be able to use another of our
cars or my Extravaganza would come to a halt. THANKFULLY, I WAS
able to use another car. BUT, the driver's side window on this car
does notwork, so I had to wait with the door open for the guy to get
to me and then order my food. I took a shower. Literally.
The burger was good.

Last stop. Gas. I am glad I spotted the "Sorry, Out Of Service" cover
on the gas pump before I got out of the car. What? You have done that
too? Yeah. That is noooooo fun. Hey! My pocketbook feels a'WAY
lighter after that fill-up. Thanks Governor Jerry Brown.
You are my frickin' idol.

Well, I have to get to bed. Stuff to do
really early tomorrow. Yep.