The Dog Poem

I believe I first heard this on The Russ Martin Show yeeeeeeears ago, either the first time he was on 97.1 or while he was on 105.3 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

I had forgotten that I still had this on the ‘old version’ of my website (which wasn’t linked to, but the file was still there).  So, after learning of a friend losing a dog this week, I went digging for it and decided it should be linked to on the ‘new version’ of my website.

Dogs Don’t Have Souls, Do They?

I remember bringing you home. You were so small and cuddly with your tiny paws and soft fur. You bounced around the room with eyes flashing and ears flopping.

Once in a while, you’d let out a little yelp just to let me know this was your territory.

Making a mess of the house and chewing on everything in sight became a passion and when I scolded you, you just put your head down and looked up at me with those innocent eyes as if to say: “I’m sorry, but I’ll do it again as soon as you’re not watching.”

As you got older, you protected me by looking out the window and barking at everyone who walked by.

When I had a tough day at work, you would be waiting for me with your tail wagging just to say, “Welcome home, I missed you.”

You never had a bad day and I could always count on you to be there for me.

When I sat down to read the paper and watch TV, you would hop on my lap looking for attention.

You never asked for anything more than to have me pat your head, so you could go to sleep with your head over my leg.

As you got older, you moved around more slowly. Then one day, old age finally took its toll, and you couldn’t stand on those wobbly legs anymore. I knelt down and patted you lying there, trying to make you young again.

You just looked up at me as if to say you were old and tired and that after all these years of not asking for anything, you had to ask me to do one last favor.

With tears in my eyes, I drove you one last time to the vet. One last time you were lying next to me.

For some strange reason you were able to stand up in the animal hospital – perhaps it was your sense of pride.

As the vet led you away, you stopped for an instant, turned your head and looked at me as if to say: “Thank you for taking care of me.”

I thought, “No – thank YOU for taking care of ME!”

— Charles B. Wells Jr., Palmyra, N.Y.

Respectfully dedicated to two friends I’ve lost over the years, Bandit and Buster, as I sit here, looking at Anna with tears in my eyes; her completely not understanding why I’m emotional.

Anna :


Force Windows 10 Fall 2015 Update (New Installs, Before 31 Days Elapse)

I recently updated my laptop to Windows 10 because my desktop finally became stable enough that I felt comfortable updating the laptop.  Come to find out, when you upgrade a machine to Windows 10, it only updates to the initial release version of Windows 10.

I’m sorry, but the initial release version is the one I did not want on this machine, because I had some stability issues with the initial release on my desktop!  *facepalm*

So, I did some digging and I finally came across some info on how to “force” Windows 10 to update to the Fall 2015 Update, even though I was well within the 31 days that Microsoft won’t voluntarily offer the update.

The short version : Run Disk Cleanup, go to System Files, and remove the previous version of Windows.

But, here are some screen shots and a bit of a walk-through.

Before I got started, I verified I had the “shipped” version of Windows 10.01

Checked for updates, none available :

Ran Disk Cleanup :03

Selected the OS drive : 04

Clicked the “Clean Up System Files” button :  05

Selected the OS drive again :  06

Then selected “Previous Windows installation(s)” (as well as anything else you feel compelled and ok with cleaning up) and click OK : 07

There was an “are you sure” type of window that popped up, but I neglected to get a screen-grab of that.  But, click yes or ok or whatever the confirmation button is to remove the previous Windows install.

PLEASE NOTE : Doing this will remove your ability to roll back to the previous version of Windows that was on your machine!  Do this ONLY if you are 1000% sure you want to roll-ahead to the Windows 10 Fall 2015 Update!

After the clean up completed, I ran Windows Update again and the Windows 10 Fall 2015 Update was available. 08

Update complete!  Woohoo!  🙂 09

Thanks for dropping by and reading this far!

Belarc Advisor and Windows 10

You can see my previous post here talking about Belarc Advisor.

I had to replace an OS drive last night and decided I should probably grab the Windows 10 key before swapping out the drives and doing a clean reinstall.  So, I went to my old post, used the link there to download a new copy of Belarc Advisor, and I ran it.

It works with Windows 10, too.  Awesome!  🙂

During the install process for Windows 10, I skipped the “enter key” sections, yet it still re-activated itself, all on it’s own.  Also awesome!  🙂

2014 Louisiana Trip

A few pictures from my 2014 Louisiana road trip.  Most of these are shot regular.  A few are shot using a camera I’ve had modified to shoot infrared.  I have a LOT to figure out on the post-processing for the IR shots.


Finding Windows 8 Key With Belarc Advisor

I’m replacing a disk drive in a laptop and I realized that I wasn’t sure which Windows 8 key I had used on the laptop.  So, I did a couple of searches and I was referred to Belarc Advisor.  I downloaded it, ran it, and it gave me the information I was looking for.  Sort of.

Unfortunately, the product key that was listed for Windows (under Software Licenses) was not on my list.  The reason for that is that I had already upgraded from Windows 8.0 to Windows 8.1.  So, my product key for Windows had changed.  The product key that was listed for Internet Explorer, though, did match one of the keys on my list.

So, if you need to reinstall Windows 8.x, can’t remember which of your keys was on that particular machine, you started out on 8.0 and upgraded to 8.1, give Belarc Advisor a try, find the Internet Explorer license key and that “should” be your original Windows 8.0 key.

Good luck!

Update : An additional note, you might want to make sure to activate Windows 8 before letting the Windows 8.1 update install.  The 8.1 update pulls down a new product key, which is not valid if 8 was not activated before it was installed.  On the “you may have a counterfeit copy of Windows screen” (no, they don’t call it that), click “enter key,” enter your Windows 8 key, and it will activate for you.  (If the key is valid and hasn’t been used too many times, that is.)

“New” (old) pants

In December of 2008, I ordered some pants from Amazon.  They “almost” fit, but not quite.  So, I hung them up (tags & all) in the closet, where they’ve been gathering dust ever since.  The thought was “some day, I’ll get back into those.”

Well, that day, I ordered more pants of the same size, but with “comfort fit” waist.  Comfort fit is code for “has some elastic and will stretch a little, but you can fool yourself by thinking you’re still wearing the same size ‘because the label says…’!”

In July of 2010, I ordered more of the “comfort fit” pants in that same size.  But, when they arrived, they didn’t fit.  I set those pants aside (tags and all) and ordered some BIGGER “comfort fit” pants.  At that point, I think I didn’t return them because I was a bit embarrassed about “how big I was.”  Boxing them up felt like I would have to confront something within me and I just wasn’t ready to do that yet.

Those pants actually didn’t even make it back to the closet.  They ended up mixed in with some other stuff in a different (non-clothing) closet and forgotten about.

This morning, I was looking for some things and I happened across that second order of pants.  I looked at the tag and wondered “How far away am I from fitting into those?  Probably a while.  But, what the heck!?  Try ’em on and see for yourself!”

So, I did.  They fit.

“They fit!?  WOW!  They actually fit and they weren’t too tight!  AMAZING!!”

The next pair was a LITTLE more snug, but not uncomfortably so.  That eventually led me back to the first closet, where those 2008 pants were still hanging (tags and all).  They don’t quite fit, yet.  But, maybe by the end of the year!

More progress that I can feel good about!  Woohoo!!  🙂

Cuco’s Sandwich Shop

Let me start by saying I am not a professional food reviewer.  I have had no formal culinary training and I receive no compensation for any reviews I post here.  I just know what I like and I occasionally decide to write about a place that I have some sort of strong feelings about.  Usually good feelings, but not always.  🙂

Today, I’m going to talk about a sandwich shop I found, thanks to Groupon.  Actually, I think I heard about Cuco’s Sandwich Shop before Groupon sent me an email offering discounted food.  But, my feelings were pretty much this.  “A sandwich shop is a sandwich shop.  Why would I mess with driving over to Rufe Snow to check out a sandwich shop?  Ugh!”  So, Groupon’s offer of discounted food gave me a little more motivation.  “Cheap food!  Woohoo!  I guess I can deal with Rufe Snow for that!”

Every time I’ve gone, I have had a sandwich.  I think I usually get the Cuco’s Deluxe, figuring “if they put their name on it, that’s probably the one they’re the most proud of.”  I like it.  Don’t get me wrong.  But, the sandwiches aren’t the main reason I go there.  I mean, c’mon, if you put some standard meats together, slap it on some bread, and throw it in a press, you’re going to get a certain commingling of flavors that may be good, but probably aren’t going to slap your taste buds and say “You’ve GOTTA come back for more of THIS!”

Besides, I usually get the sandwich to go, which means I’m eating it cold from my fridge, several hours later.  So, I’m probably not getting the best version of their sandwiches, by the time get around to eating them.  So, I’m probably partially at fault for my “good, but not great” attitude towards the sandwiches.

Their lunch specials, on the other hand..  I like those a lot!  Due to their limited hours (closed Sundays, only open 10a-3p Mon-Sat), I can usually only get over there on a Saturday.  I try to get there by a few minutes after 11.  The closer to noon it gets, the more of a lunch rush there is, and at that point, they have more customers than places to seat ’em.  🙂

I usually go back & forth between the fried pork and the roasted pork with congris (Cuban rice & beans), a salad, some sort of drink, and their little bread basket.  I’m not big on salads (if you’ve ever seen me, that wouldn’t be a surprise – hahaha).  So, if the food comes out quickly enough (it usually does), I don’t dwell on the rabbit food too much.  I really like their pork, though.. and the rice & beans.. and the bread, for that matter!  I suspect the bread isn’t made on site, but I haven’t asked.  It goes well with everything else, though.

Cuco's Roasted Pork and Congris Saturday Lunch Special
Cuco’s Roasted Pork and Congris Saturday Lunch Special

So, long story short, if you’re ever in the area of Glenview & Rufe Snow and want to try something a little different, give Cuco’s a try.  *I* prefer the lunch specials to the sandwiches, but either option is a good choice!

OH!  They also have some foods and beverages for sale (like a mini-market) that have a bit of a Cuban flare..  I’ve tried several of those, too.  So far, more hits than misses.

If you want a look at their menu, someone was kind enough to post images on UrbanSpoon.  So, click here to see the menu.  The prices are probably a little off, but you can at least see what the food choices will likely be.

Enjoy!  🙂

Cuco’s Sandwich Shop
6650 Glenview Dr
North Richland Hills, TX 76180

Hours :
Monday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sunday Closed



Where to begin

I forgot I had written this on another temporary site.  But, I guess THIS should’ve been my first post on here.


Where to begin

To quote Phillip DeFranco, “This is where I talk about newsy type stuff and things that matter to me.”  He creates his videos daily.  I highly doubt I will be writing that often.  But, when I do , it should go here!

I have started a few things like this over the last few years.  The original intent of this domain was to share things about me.  But, I never really lived up to that expectation with the site.  So, here I go again, on my own…

Doh!  Wrong millennium!  🙂

I may  still post to either of the blogs on Google (here or here).  But, my intent is to put most of the things about me  on this site.  So, this should be the source for info on me.

Rather than repost everything (what little there was) from the other blogs, I’ll just post links to those entries.

Nokia 900: Thoughts and observations

SQL Server 2008 Setup Error: “Access Denied”

The Evolution of my HTPC Experiment

Build a Bootable USB Drive

A few Windows 8 Consumer Preview Tips

Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview to VMWare Player

Windows 8 Consumer Preview First Impressions 

My Thoughts on Ting

Roku Apps: Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, and Netflix

Roku 2 XS: Initial Impressions

Why Ting Lost Out

Thanks for dropping by!

Road Trippin’ 2004 – Grand Canyon – Day 2

As I gradually convert content from my old domain to the new, I plan to re-edit most of the pictures.  So, it may take MONTHS for me to get everything converted over.  But, I want it to have a “fresh” look.  So, I think (hope?) it will be worth the effort.

I am starting with my first road trip in the TSX.  Before I get to the pictures, though, a little back-story.  A few months prior to this trip, I was visiting with my parents and I said something about “someday, I’d like to go back to the Grand Canyon, the Tetons, Yellowstone, and a few other places.”  These are all places my parents took me to on family vacations when I was little.  I didn’t really REMEMBER everything from the specific places, but I enjoyed going and seeing all these new and wonderful things that you just don’t see in Texas.

Well, to make a long story a little less long, my mom replied, “What are you waiting for!?  You have a nice car, you make good money, you’re not getting any younger, GO!!”  She was right, on all counts.  So, over the next few weeks, I made reservations to stay at some cabins near the rim of the Grand Canyon, I bought myself a digital SLR camera, and I scheduled some time off from work.

You may have noticed that this post is Day 2.  “What happened to day 1,” you may wonder.  Day 1 was all rain, trying to get out of Texas, and not a single photo was taken.  My original plan for this trip was to pretty much spend all my time in Arizona, seeing what all I could find there.  That plan didn’t work out, but we’ll get to that later.

So, let’s start on day 2.  I was somewhere in west Texas.  Based on the map I’m looking at and where all I went that day, I must have started out the day in Van Horn.

I made my way towards Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  On my way there, a slight break in the clouds caused a rainbow/prismatic effect in the clouds.  So, I stopped and took a picture.  If I’m remembering correctly, I saw some sort of rainbow at least once per day for the first several days of this trip.  I thought that was kind of neat.  But, I’m pretty sure I didn’t get pics of all of ’em.


Getting closer to Guadalupe Mountains NP.  El Cap, shrouded in clouds.  There were a LOT of clouds and precipitation on the first part of this trip.  Quite dreary, indeed.  But, I guess that should be expected for an early November road trip.


This was in Guadalupe Mountains NP.  My first site of snow for the day.  But, not my last.  I think this might have been the first time I had the TSX in snow.  It did well.


I was tempted to convert this image to black & white.  But, I decided to retain what little color there was in this image.  I do wish he had been facing towards me, though.


As I said before, I saw plenty more snow that day.  No passing zone?  No kidding!?  🙂


A lot of people really like this picture.  I do, too.  But, most folks are surprised when I tell them I didn’t even stop to take the picture.  I was going around a curve, saw the scene, slowed down, grabbed the camera, rolled the window down, snap, snap, snap.. “I hope I got it” and I kept moving.  Not bad for a rollin’ shot.  🙂


“Back that a’ way be snow!”  It’s amazing what a difference a few miles and crossing over some mountains can make for the weather!


Or so I thought.  After leaving Guadalupe Mountains NP above, I head north through Carlsbad, eventually over to Cloudcroft, and onward to White Sands, NM.  I don’t know why.  But, I’ve always liked this picture.  Something about the colors and the textures, I think…


Unfortunately, it was cloudy, dreary, and rainy in White Sands, too.  So, there weren’t many pictures to be taken that day.  But, I tried…



That day ended in Tucson, Arizona.  I’ll get that uploaded at some point.  Thanks for stopping by!