BlathrWayne Lorentz

Blathring in April, 2022.

The smell of a bakery?

Saturday, April 30th, 2022 Alive 18,631 days

The Japanese garden at Hermann Park

Grass, flowers, turtle, rock. Everyoneʼs looking in the same direction. Except for me. Iʼm looking at them looking at something else. Must be quite a show.

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Three

Saturday, April 30th, 2022 Alive 18,631 days

A pair of turtles think deep thoughts in the Japanese garden in Hermann Park

“Hey, Frank.”

“Yeah, Morty.”

“How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”

“Ask Mr. Owl."

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Honk!

Saturday, April 30th, 2022 Alive 18,631 days

Aggressive geese

You know what happens when geese lose their fear of people? They stand on your foot and rip a page out of the paperback youʼre trying to read. Naughty goose.

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Dumbo gumbo

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 Alive 18,628 days

Seafood Gumbo at the Grand Galvez Hotel

Me: “I'll start with the seafood gumbo.”

Waitress: “Shrimp, crab, sausage, okra, rice.”

Me: “Shrimp.”

It turns out she wasnʼt asking me what kind of gumbo I wanted, she was listing the ingredients. It has all of those things in it. Lucky for me, she was tactful and didnʼt point out my dumbassery.

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True grits

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 Alive 18,628 days

Shrimp and grits at the Grand Galvez Hotel

The bowl is deeper than it looks, and submerged beneath the sauce is way more grits than one digestive tract can process.

Shrimp and grits at the Grand Galvez Hotel is Gulf shrimp, smoked cheddar grits, andouille sausage, peppers, and onions under a green chili sauce.

Itʼs food that sticks to your ribs. And your pancreas. And all of the rest of your major organs. A good way to replenish your energy if youʼve just wrestled a shark out of the maw of an alligator while snorkeling off Seawolf Park.

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Lillies, sans water

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 Alive 18,628 days

Sprouts defy the sun-baked earth

Nature finds a way.

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Murder log at two oʼclock

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 Alive 18,628 days

An alligator cruises the canal

Itʼs not the ones you can see that you have to worry about. Itʼs the ones you canʼt see.

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A very special set of disposal skills

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022 Alive 18,628 days

A swamp on Lake Anahuac, near Turtle Bayou

I donʼt know why the mob bothers hiding the bodies of its enemies in Indiana corn fields, or New Jersey stadia, or Nevada reservoirs. Chuck a corpse in a gulf coast swamp, and itʼll be chewed up, digested, and reduced to gator nuggets in a matter of hours.

Even if the F.B.I. knows where to look, the agents will be like, “Yeah, weʼll just let them have this one.”

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Radio and records

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 Alive 18,627 days

The KRBE album The Sound of Houston

I found the record The Sound of Houston at the record store today.

In the early 1980ʼs, KRBE Radio held a contest where its listeners were asked to compose a theme song for the city. The winning entries were then pressed into a record, and 40 years later here they are today — in the value bin, priced at 99¢.

The songs are very very 1980ʼs. Lots of power ballads with saxophones, clarinets, and chimes. Surprisingly few have much of a country twang, but many would fit in with the local TV news themes of the era.

It seems sad that the heartfelt work of a dozen recording hopefuls has been reduced to just 8¼¢ a piece.

Listening with 2022 ears, none of them are very good. But they are an audio time capsule of a certain era, and a certain place.

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Radio and records

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 Alive 18,627 days

The KRBE album The Sound of Houston

I found the record The Sound of Houston at the record store today.

In the early 1980ʼs, KRBE Radio held a contest where its listeners were asked to compose a theme song for the city. The winning entries were then pressed into a record, and 40 years later here they are today — in the value bin, priced at 99¢.

The songs are very very 1980ʼs. Lots of power ballads with saxophones, clarinets, and chimes. Surprisingly few have much of a country twang, but many would fit in with the local TV news themes of the era.

It seems sad that the heartfelt work of a dozen recording hopefuls has been reduced to just 8¼¢ a piece.

Listening with 2022 ears, none of them are very good. But they are an audio time capsule of a certain era, and a certain place.

1
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But they made you a lilly

Saturday, April 23rd, 2022 Alive 18,624 days

A lilly made of milk foam

Itʼs always a shame when bad people happen to good coffee. That seems to be whatʼs happening at the Canary Cafe location on Fulton just north of Cavalcade.

The store is nice. Good decoration. Good furniture. Even a cozy backyard in which to savor and chill.

The coffee is good. The sweets are excellent. I had something that was something like a cross between a peanut butter sandwich and baklava. Trés scrummy.

But the people running the place donʼt really seem to know what theyʼre doing. Itʼs like they came from another planet where everything they know about serving coffee came from watching reruns of Friends. As if theyʼve never actually been to a coffee shop, themselves.

Maybe itʼs a new location, and these are just growing pains. The newspapers are full of stories about how restaurants canʼt find quality workers, so maybe this is evidence of that problem.

But Iʼll certainly go back. The coffee is solid, and the pastries would make a firefighter bite a Dalmatian. Hopefully, the people problems will be worked out by then.

Peanut butter, then filo, then peanut butter, then filo, then peanut butter…
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Leaving is fundamental

Friday, April 22nd, 2022 Alive 18,623 days

The Twisted Root by Anne Perry, abandoned in Midtown

Someone left this book on a light pole support for any random stranger to find and read.

While I am a random stranger, Iʼm also about 50 books behind on my reading, so Iʼll leave this for someone else.

Itʼs nice to know thereʼs another soul out there who sets books completed free, rather than throwing them in the trash. I leave mine on trains.

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Poor little feller

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 Alive 18,621 days

A scared opossum

Not every creature of the night makes it back home before the commuters arrive. I came across this opossum cowering in a nook of One Shell Plaza.

The security guard says it happens a lot. He called someone to remove the critter, but that was hours ago, and no one has shown up. So the terrified thing cowers in the corner, intermittently shivering and hissing. Iʼd probably do the same thing, if I was him.

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Gas and go

Monday, April 18th, 2022 Alive 18,619 days

If your morning commute involves dodging natural gas tankers, you might be using the Lynchburg Ferry.

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Itʼs the Fuller Brush bug

Monday, April 18th, 2022 Alive 18,619 days

A caterpillar trying to hitch a ride home

Ever meet someone who would not take “no” for an answer? Ever meet a bug like that?

This hairy fellow would not leave me alone. I could have squashed him easily enough, but the birds gotta eat, too. So I just kept moving him to other parts of the picnic table. And every time I did, heʼd come right back and try to read my book with me.

An aggressive caterpillar
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Gone fishinʼ

Monday, April 18th, 2022 Alive 18,619 days

Fishermen on the Houston Ship Channel

Whoʼs richer? The paper pusher trapped in a cubicle in the middle of an anonymous suburban office building, counting the seconds until 5pm, or the people who spend the work day in the sun, setting lines in the water with a cold beer and a transistor radio?

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What can brown do for you?

Saturday, April 16th, 2022 Alive 18,617 days

Colored Easter eggs

The egg farmer brought brown eggs this Easter. This is the first year Iʼve died brown eggs. The colors seem richer, but also muddy. It seems to work best with light-colored dyes. Yellow comes out gold, but blue comes out black.

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Discovery “Green”

Friday, April 15th, 2022 Alive 18,616 days

Discovery Green

Discovery Green at night. You canʼt see the park for all the lights and buildings, which is mostly true durng the day, as well. There is a trend in modern park design to over-build in order to make a single park everything for everybody. The result is that very often, as in the case of Discovery Green, it ceases to be a park and is transformed into a playground for adults.

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Twinkle twinkle

Friday, April 15th, 2022 Alive 18,616 days

Downtown Houston at night
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That would do it

Friday, April 15th, 2022 Alive 18,616 days

The pool at One Park Plaza

How to get yourself un-invited from future gatherings at One Park Plaza:

“Hey, did you know your pool is shaped like a penis?”

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Donʼt worry, theyʼll get their money

Friday, April 15th, 2022 Alive 18,616 days

An error message on the Nevada Department of Taxation web site

Itʼs one thing for Facebook to have a hiccup every now and again. Nothing important ever happened on Facebook.

But when the Nevada Department of Taxationʼs web site upchucks on tax day, itʼs cause for concern.

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Itʼs not her

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022 Alive 18,614 days

The window at Two Hands Coffee

Hole-in-the-wall joints are very often the best joints. If the food isnʼt great, the atmosphere makes up for it. In the case of Two Hands Coffee, one doesnʼt need to make up for the other, because both are great.

It's a diminutive space. “Small, but perfectly formed,” as the Brits would say. Good coffee. Good service. And speedy.

Also, what do you do when the woman at the coffee window looks exactly like your high school girlfriend who you heard moved to this part of the world? Because that totally didnʼt happen to me.

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Keep your hands out of your pockets

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022 Alive 18,614 days

My iPhone telling me it helpfully called 911 on my behalf

Reason number 4,096 not to absent-mindedly push buttons on your iPhone while itʼs in your pocket.

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Button pusher

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 Alive 18,613 days

A glitched iPhone screen

You know youʼre far away from home, when the seven Home buttons that control your lights and things go away on your iPhone.

It would be less disturbing for there to be a message like “Canʼt connect to your home right now,” rather than just making them disappear.

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Package deal

Saturday, April 9th, 2022 Alive 18,610 days

Abandoned packages from Amazon.com

Three packages for three different people dumped in a corner is actually not the worst Amazon.com delivery experience Iʼve seen lately.

At least these were inside a building, and not just dumped on a sidewalk outside a skyscraper in the middle of Americaʼs fourth-largest city.

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