Just checking in

I'm trying to give myself time to mature before I come back to writing, but I think my immaturity is a strength.

I'm so conflicted.

The Truth comes out

After years of denying who I am and how I feel...

After a lifetime of hiding the true me from my family and friends...

Having failed at trying to be what others want me to be...

I've decided to stop being ashamed and embrace the truth:

I am a cartoon.

Pause Button

Sometimes when my fantasy job (writer, photographer, cartoonist) interferes with my real job (teacher, bus driver), it's time for me to stop and reflect on the meaning of life.

But not for long, or someone might measure me for a coffin.

It's been a cruel, cruel summer

Contrary to previous reports, Summer 2011 is not over.

After waking up to early morns in the low 60s and highs in the mid 80s for the past few days, the Texas heat gave us a big kick in the butt today with a high of 106.

Not only that, but the National Weather Service issued a Fire Weather Watch for our area today which means hot retorts could burn the state to a crisp.

If this heat sticks around until December, I'm moving to Antartica.

Dining With Grasshoppers

By Tracy D. Farr

My name is Fred;
I don’t care what you say.
I like to eat my food
In bites just this way.
And if you disturb me
I’ll hop on your face,
And chew on your nose
Without saying the grace.

Yes, my name is Fred,
Now just leave me alone,
Or I’ll call my friends
And we’ll eat up your home.

Dining With Grasshoppers

The heat is gone, but drought and wildfires linger on

I live less than 60 miles from a wildfire that has claimed two lives and destroyed more than 1,300 acres. You can see the smoke plumes from my house and they are visibile on satellite photos of the area.

This past weekend, a co-worker and her family were evacuated from their home for awhile while another wildfire burned north of us.

Wednesday night a small fire broke out just up the road from us, with about 10 fire trucks and related vehicles on scene.

And Thursday I had to take a detour on my bus route because a fire had broken out near one of my rider's home.

I found this spider on my porch, and he didn't seem to be giving the fires any thought at all.

Big Spider

The heat is gone

This past weekend was just like all the other weekends of the Texas Summer of 2011 -- hot, hot, and damn hot.

But Monday morning, Labor Day, a cool front came through and the morning temperature was a chilly 65. And then the high for the day was in the mid 80s. When Tuesday morning came around, I had to wear extra layers on my motorcycle ride to work because the temperature had dropped into the mid 50s.

The only thing we Texans are worried about now are the grassfires -- that and the possibility that Rick Perry could become president.

It's the end times, I tell ya'. The end times!

A Summertime Goat Poem

I have these two goats. Sometimes I write about them. Sometimes I threaten to turn them into goat burgers. But they don't listen. They just sit and eat and contemplate the meaning of their existence, I suppose.

What Goats Would Think About If They Could

By Tracy D. Farr

I have two goats that like to sit
And contemplate why they exist
Outside, when each would rather be
Inside, both watching Goat TV.

"My dearest Mother,
I would so like it if we
could sneak inside and see
our favorite show 'CSI: Goat Farm.'
I promise not to harm
the upholstery
if you would just come and sit with me."

"My dearest child,
the last time we went wild
and entered their house, they went beserk
when they found us watching the 'Cable Goat Network.'
So if you don't mind,
It's best for our kind,
To sit here and munch on whatever we find."

So there my goats do eat and sit
And contemplate why they exist
Outside, which ain't so bad, it's true.
'Tis better than being turned into goat stew.

The Goats

Lessons never learned

The first hot link is always the best.

After Hot Link Number 8, you can't remember why in the hell you ever grilled a dozen, but you can't stop eating them with only a couple more to go, so you don't -- but you wish you had, and the next day you feel like crap.

You would think over the years I'd learn this lesson, but I haven't.

I love Pittsburg Hot Links.

Home improvement shopping quandry

It's not right that small towns like mine should have a Lowe's AND a Home Depot. Sure, the more McDonalds and Burger Kings in town the merrier, but when you have more than one home improvement store, THEN you have to decide where you're going to shop.

And I hate making decisions like that.

Do you shop at the one that's closest to your home, or do you shop at the one with the better prices?

Do you shop at the one with the friendliest helpers, or do you shop at the one with the biggest parking lot?

Or maybe you shop at the one where you know someone who's working there -- your next door neighbor, or your own child.

Well, I decided to base MY decision on something completely different: The name of the store.

Lowe's doesn't really have much meaning to me. It actually sounds a bit depressing. Instead of calling it Lowe's, why didn't they call it High's? Sounds more positive I think.

Home Depot, on the other hand, has more meaning.

"Home" is where you live, where you eat, what you need to fix before the walls come tumbling down. And "Depot" conjurs up images of trains and railroads, The Orient Express, Bing Crosby riding up to Vermont to sing and dance to help "the old man" bring in a White Christmas.

So for me, it's Home Depot all the way.

Not a very scientific way to base a decision, but these sort of things never are.

Home Depot sweet home

When I get home from a hard day at work, my family may nod their heads in my direction, or grunt a hello, but that's about it.

When I walk into Home Depot, four people ask if they can help me before I even remember what I came in to get.

When I'm at home and can't find a hammer to nail up a picture, nobody gives me any sympathy because they all know that I was the last one to use the hammer, and I didn't put it back in its proper place.

When I'm at Home Depot looking for a hammer, somebody will point me to the correct aisle, tell me exactly what each hammer is good for, and thank me for buying one.

When I leave the house for work, everybody is asleep and can't wish me a good day.

When I leave Home Depot, everybody is awake and begs me to come back anytime I like.

I'm not really trying to imply anything; these are just observations of my life.

Have a nice day!

I've got to change my evil ways

I have a friend. He and I are the same age. He's in great shape, but ...

... he just went through a quadruple bypass heart surgery.

I, on the other hand, am not in great shape.

I think about exercising, but that's about it.

Sometimes I eat Klondike bars for supper.

I'm so totally screwed!

How low can it go? Part 2

How low can it go? Part 3

Two days ago, my neighbors across "the lake" were out mowing the grass under their boat dock. See what the lake looked like 28 days ago HERE!