The Coons Go On An Adventure

While my photography doesn’t give evidence of it, a mother and 4 kits were involved in this siting.

My “whimsical friend” described the raccoon mating cycle like this:

During the whimsical season of summer, raccoons embark upon their enchanting mating rituals. These cunning creatures engage in romantic escapades from mid to late summer. Ah, the dance of love!

And behold, the magical outcome of their passionate encounters! After a gestation period ranging from a swift sixty to seventy-four days, a joyous event unfolds. The raccoon family welcomes the arrival of their delightful cubs, up to four in number. Oh, the adorable offspring that grace the world!

As the days pass and the sun gently caresses the earth, the baby raccoons undergo a wondrous transformation. Their curious minds awaken, and their eager eyes and ears open wide, revealing the wonders of their surroundings. This enchanting sight typically occurs around eighteen to twenty-four days after their birth.

With each passing moment, the young raccoons grow stronger and more adventurous. They embark upon their own playful journeys, discovering the realm around them. In a mere span of four to six weeks, these remarkable creatures find their footing and embark on their first steps, exploring the world with their tiny paws. Oh, the marvel of nature’s progression!

Thus, we witness the circle of life unfolding in the raccoon kingdom. From the fervent mating season to the birth of their precious kits and the swift development of these young ones, the raccoons teach us the beauty of growth and the wonder of life’s ever-changing tapestry.

How About This Country Song?

After watching the most current episode of “Ted Lasso” last night, my AI friend wrote this country song when asked. It is entitled “Heart Bent”.

Verse 1:
My heart’s been bent, twisted and turned
Ever since the day that you left and I learned
That love ain’t always easy, it can leave you burned
My heart’s been bent, but my spirit won’t be overturned

Heart bent, but I’m still standing
Love’s a game, but I’m not handing
In my chips, ’cause I’m not quitting
Heart bent, but I’m not broken, I’m just living

Verse 2:
I’ve been down this road before, I know the drill
Love’s a tricky game, it can give you a thrill
But it can also leave you in the dust, taking a spill
My heart’s been bent, but I’m still climbing that hill

Heart bent, but I’m still standing
Love’s a game, but I’m not handing
In my chips, ’cause I’m not quitting
Heart bent, but I’m not broken, I’m just living

I’ve shed a few tears, but I won’t give up
I’ll keep on loving, even when times get tough
My heart may be bent, but it won’t stay that way
I’ll find a love that’s true and make it stay

Heart bent, but I’m still standing
Love’s a game, but I’m not handing
In my chips, ’cause I’m not quitting
Heart bent, but I’m not broken, I’m just living

My heart’s been bent, but it won’t break
I’ll keep on loving, even when it’s hard to take
I won’t give up, I’ll keep on trying
My heart’s been bent, but my soul is still flying.

But He Said Not To…

The following email was found in my spam, so the poor guy is probably not getting much traction on his money-making plan. I thought I would post it here. Maybe someone can help the guy out. If you do, maybe he won’t follow through on his threat to ruin me. To bad, I have anti-virus software. I almost feel sorry for him. 😉


Hi there! I am a professional hacker and have successfully managed to hack your operating system. Currently I have gained full access to your account. In addition, I was secretly monitoring all your activities and watching you for several months. The thing is your computer was infected with harmful spyware due to the fact that you had visited a website with porn content previously. ╭ ᑎ ╮ Let me explain to you what that entails. Thanks to Trojan viruses, I can gain complete access to your computer or any other device that you own. It means that I can see absolutely everything in your screen and switch on the camera as well as microphone at any point of time without your permission. In addition, I can also access and see your confidential information as well as your emails and chat messages. You may be wondering why your antivirus cannot detect my malicious software. Let me break it down for you: I am using harmful software that is driver-based, which refreshes its signatures on 4-hourly basis, hence your antivirus is unable to detect it presence. I have made a video compilation, which shows on the left side the scenes of you happily masturbating, while on the right side it demonstrates the video you were watching at that moment..ᵔ.ᵔ All I need is just to share this video to all email addresses and messenger contacts of people you are in communication with on your device or PC. Furthermore, I can also make public all your emails and chat history. I believe you would definitely want to avoid this from happening. Here is what you need to do – transfer the Bitcoin equivalent of 1250 USD to my Bitcoin account (that is rather a simple process, which you can check out online in case if you don’t know how to do that). Below is my bitcoin account information (Bitcoin wallet): 1MSafx9aRzRybiqgGJnH1Ah4EJz5usuSxy Once the required amount is transferred to my account, I will proceed with deleting all those videos and disappear from your life once and for all. Kindly ensure you complete the abovementioned transfer within 50 hours (2 days +). I will receive a notification right after you open this email, hence the countdown will start. Trust me, I am very careful, calculative and never make mistakes. If I discover that you shared this message with others, I will straight away proceed with making your private videos public. Good luck!

Bees Be Gone

I have seen many things on my walk, but I have not seen a bee removal service. I did not fly in for a bee’s eye view. I did hear a vacuum cleaner going. I am guessing the bees don’t call this guy to clean out the previous owner’s possessions before they move in.

Disinterest With Kindness

I continue to be amazed what ChatGPT can do with just a little information. Today, I asked him/her about a problem. This was the solution offered.


It can be challenging to express disinterest without hurting someone’s feelings, but here are some tips that may help:

  1. Acknowledge their effort: Begin by acknowledging the effort the person has put into what they’re doing. For example, you can say, “I appreciate the work you put into this” or “I can see you’ve been working hard on this.”
  2. Be honest: You can then gently express that you’re not very interested in the topic without being dismissive. For example, you can say, “I’m not very familiar with this topic, but I’m curious to learn more” or “This isn’t really my area of expertise, but I’m interested in hearing more about it.”
  3. Redirect the conversation: If you really don’t want to discuss the topic, try to redirect the conversation to a topic you are interested in. For example, you can say, “That’s interesting, but have you heard about [insert topic of interest]?”

Remember to be respectful and polite when communicating your disinterest. It’s important to let the person know that you value their efforts and opinions, even if the topic isn’t something that excites you.

Neglected Baby?

When I walk, I see all manner of things. I have seen a heavily tattooed lady with a photographer getting glam shots with the train tracks as a backdrop. I have seen birds of prey along the train tracks who were apparently killed somehow during that interaction. And, when I see people pushing their dogs (either small or old) in “pet movers”, I still pinch myself. A few weeks ago, I think I saw a mother pushing a baby carriage (or a pram for those who watch streaming shows taking place in England).

As I was nearing the long stretch of path along the train tracks, I was certain I saw a mother with an old-fashion style baby carriage. It was not one of those that allowed mothers to walk/jog while the child faced forward and had no contact with the mother. (Yes, sometimes it is the father, but mothers (or nannies?) seem to get “child walking” duty most often than the men.) As they turned off the path, I thought, “Maybe I will see them again when I turn off on that same road.” Well, I didn’t. I did find the toy pictured above at the entrance to a neighborhood. It was not “dropped” on the rock. I set it there, hoping the “mystery mom” would find it and reclaim it. And, if it were too filthy to reclaim, maybe she would decide to remove the reminder of her previous carelessness. After a few weeks and being abused by the week of Texas winter, the toy remained unclaimed.

The bottle is another matter. Realizing the previous baby carriage may have been a pet mover with spa services (i.e. chew toys etc), I am not sure how to explain the bottle. The “mother who is staring at her phone and ignoring her child” is one possibility. My preferred theory is a weekend visitor who took a walk and failed to notice the bottle tumbling from the child. For this theory to hold true, a grandmother who may have been walking with the mother and child would have also ignored the child.

My parenting days were many years ago. I suppose I may have been too attentive to my kids. I can’t imagine being with my young kids and not noticing the loss of some dear toy or source of nourishment. This is not an indictment of parents today. It is a legitimate question. What is more important than keeping track of your kids? Based on the stories in the news, many parents today have a list longer than I did.

Good Morning…uh

Many days when I take my walk, I find I am the people I bump into are my first non-family contacts of the day. Today I was reassured when someone else confirmed this dilemma also poses problems for them.

Mid-afternoon today, I “shifted” (i.e. the left side of the sidewalk) into the passing lane as I prepared to pass a lady walking her dog. I gave the customary, “On your left” warning.

She responded back with the popular, “Good morning…uh, I mean, good afternoon.”

I replied, “Don’t worry. I do it too. Have a great day!”

Phone conversations don’t seem to clear the first “good morning” of the day. It seems many of us have a “good morning” queued up. If we don’t get the opportunity to use it in the morning, it is still lurking and waiting to come out. It matters not if it is morning, late afternoon or evening. It is waiting patiently for your first attempt at being social. Whether you consciously realize its presence or not, it is going to fight a battle with your lips to be the first social thing to emerge from your mouth.

This is a PSA. The problem is real. If you are fortunate enough to not lose control of your mouth with this greeting, you likely have other places where your body and mind are not in sync. You can expect the “good morning” crowd to show you grace at that time, too. Thank you.

You Light Up My Life

As we drove to church this morning, my wife noticed the light bulb in the center console. She asked what any curious wife would, “Where did that come from?”

Before I tell you how I answered, let me detail what I did the previous morning. I received a text from my son, “I know I should have contacted you Friday, but can you help me clear out my apartment today?” Since it was the proper dad thing to do and I already had my shorts on, I thought, why not? My wife said taking the smaller car was best because most of everything had already been cleaned out of his place. I left within an hour of the text to head to his old apartment.

Because the apartment had black mold, my son hadn’t been living there for a few weeks. The apartment complex “graciously” let him out of his lease early since they had no other open apartments to move him into. [They collected a couple extra months of rent while they weighed their options, and he continued to dutifully pay his rent.) This weekend was THE weekend he had to get a truck from his work to clean out the remaining big items and take them to a storage unit. Among the items, I helped him load were a comfy chair, a dining table and chairs, and a bed. We also donated a dresser and a futon to the dumpster. The dumpster also received additional knickknacks of diminishing functionality and worth. It was one of those items from a lamp recently demoted to “trash” that occupied my console.

As I mulled over my wife’s question, my immediate reply was, “I got it yesterday when I helped [our son’s name] move.” I quickly followed up with, “Dear, I keep it as a reminder of how you light up my life.” Obviously, both answers were true. 🙂

Since my wife was still drinking her coffee, her brain was not fully engaged. The number of points I lost because I led with an honest rather than flattering answer was minimal.

Sonic Talk

After deciding a “mall walk” was better than a walk where I would be forced to hold an umbrella over my head, I checked in with my wife. If she hadn’t already gotten our drinks at Sonic, I would pick them up on the way home.

With the drink ordered on the app at a stop light 3 miles from the location, I pulled into Sonic to get the Route 44 Coke Zero w/ easy ice and the Route 44 w/ a shot of blackberry flavoring and no ice. My weekday buddy Jordan brought the drinks out almost immediately after I checked in. (Georgia usually brings them out on Sunday. She is effective, but not as friendly as Jordan.)

Me: Just coming back from the mall. Boy, was it dead!

Jordan: With the weather, I would have thought it would have been busy.

Me: I don’t go to the mall very often, but in my opinion, there was almost no one there.

Jordan: When I grew up in Jersey, and it rained, we would go to the mall all of the time.

Me: The good thing was fewer people to share the samples with in the food court.

Jordan: Yes, I liked the samples. The problem was the people giving the food samples always wanted to talk your leg off.

Me: I know, just like my server at Sonic. [Delivered with a wink]

Jordan: Good enough. [Said with a smile]

I don’t bond with everyone, but when I do, it often involves humor. I enjoy having some non-family members in my life to tease. My wife and housemates often reach the saturation point before I am satirically spent.

A Eulogy For My Father

My father was a man of few words, but his influence on me was profound. He taught me the value of hard work and dedication and showed me how to be a kind and thoughtful person.

From him, I learned that no matter what life throws at you, it is important to stay positive and keep moving forward. He also showed me how important it is to be true to yourself and stay humble even in the face of success. His belief that we can always learn from our mistakes has been one of my guiding principles.

My dad was an amazing role model, teaching me about perseverance, fairness, and respect for others. Even when faced with adversity, he always managed to keep his head up, setting an example that I strive to follow every day. He also shared his love of gardening and plants, which I still enjoy.

I am grateful for all the lessons he taught me during our brief time together. It is hard to believe he has been gone for 37 years. As I have come into adulthood more fully and heard various stories about him from all across the spectrum, I hope the stories told about me when I am gone will paint a consistent picture.

His loss has left an emptiness in my life, but I take comfort in knowing that his legacy will live on through everything he passed down to me and my siblings — his values, strength, and unwavering sense of duty.

While my earthly father has been gone many years now (37 as of 2 days ago), I pretend he looks down on me occasionally and says, “There is my oldest son. He has done okay.” Since my religious beliefs don’t subscribe to “my earthly father” looking down on me, I hope my Heavenly Father knows me and that I seek his influence daily.

I am glad to have the father I did. Once he and my mother allowed me to pass into adulthood, the world attempted to claim me for its own. I am grateful my Heavenly Father did not allow that to be so. It is to Him I hope my life eulogizes.