How do People Do It?

I suffer a little (OK, a lot) from the disease that whatever crosses my mind often falls out of my mouth.   I often wonder what it would be like to be so introspective that I can shut up and listen more than I talk.  I guess it takes a lot of practice and I don't have that down yet.  Perhaps in the next 68 years, I can figure that out.

One thing we are going to do today is to replace our answering machine.  It seems to work when I call it from my cell but others say they left messages but there is no record.  Oh well, minor stuff.  Perhaps I can leave a better message on a new one.  I have lost the booklet that told me how to edit my message on the old machine.

I did have a fun time talking to the class members that I went to Minneha with.  Probably more so than the High School Group.  We did have a couple of them show up that didn't go to our High School as there were three choices. 

We were given a tour of East High and it was really kind of funny that the Principal took us all around the new stuff and most of that was is the Junior High building next door and a new addition between the two schools.  The old school looks a lot like it did when it was built.  It was way old when we went there and that was 50 years ago.  SHEESH!  there was some discussion on the different way they do things today.  There was also a discussion on the fact that they can't seat the entire student body in the new or the old auditorium.  The made the old auditorium smaller  and there has been a big decrease in the student body population.  They haven't solved the drop out rate since we were there either.  It is approaching 80%.  Can't figure out that one. 

From a sociological stand point, there was one statistic that stood out.  Back in our day, the choice was black white, native American or Spanish.  When they opened the category to mixed race the black population dropped about 7% and the new mixed category went to 7%.  Not sure what that means, but I did find it interesting. 

Security of the school was found to be very interesting.  Seems like there are only 3 security officers from the School District and one officer from the Police department.  He isn't assigned to the school only so he does patrol the local neighborhood.  During the day they have only one door open and that port of entry is manned.  The Principal said that back in the 70's they would confiscate four or five guns a year.  He said they have only had one in five years.  Wonder if it is poor screening or fewer guns.  Oh well, Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys.

Again I will shut off here.


The Day After

Many of the class of 65 met last night at a local Country Club.  I went to get in the class picture and little else.  The best of our reunion was the 53 year reunion of our Junior High Class and it was where I got to be with the kids that I spent 10 years in school with.  By High School we were a pretty diverse group and in a school of 5,000 and a class of 1200 was hard to stay in touch.

This dedicated to the Minneha Hawks.  May we always remain vigilant.

 One of the girls wondered why we didn't have more minority students at the reunion.  I told her that I was pretty sure that the next reunion would love to have her chair the minority invitation section.

Is there a real reason we go to reunions that hasn't soaked into my brain housing group?  Do we go to lord it over others, to see how good they look or to try to see how young we look?  A very small part of me wants to say "what if" and another part of me says "Whew, I dodged that bullet."  In no way do I want to say anything bad about where I got to.  We worked darned hard to get here and I am glad we did.

One of my friends that I grew up with lives in Kingman, KS.  I looked him up on his land line and call phone and got no answer.   Kingman is just a short drive west of Wichita so we just drove over to see.  Our first sign was that his name wasn't on the mailbox.  When we pulled up in the yard, it was clear that there were no tractors or old cars there anymore so I figured he didn't live there any more.  I drove over to the High School where he had been a teacher and sure enough, he was there.  I now have an address and a cell phone number.  It makes me think that in this day and age when we have all this instant communication, we need to keep someone posted how to get in touch with us.  When Mom and Dad were alive, they were my home of record but those days are long gone.

Today will be a turn around for us as we are nearing a trip out west.  We are taking our Daughter-in-Law with us so it will be an interesting trip.  I know the Barb's enjoy time together and I will probably be the odd man out.  But that is nothing new to me. 

In the Military, I think one of my strengths was in the area of planning.  I just wish my memory was as good now as it was then.  The weakness is not that I don't plan well, but I forget some of the things I had cross my mindI guess  I will need to start taking notes one of these days.  Perhaps like the Nursing Home where they had a sign that said, "Today is Monday, the 28th of September."  Probably will need to have a to do list posted below that.  Barb does spark my memory when she asks me what's on my agenda.

This weekend when I got to see a lot of my old friends, I had cause to wonder if my memories of back then are absent because they were not memorable or if they were forgotten to protect the guilty?   I know that I would have been on Ritalin back then and probably would have been a better student but it wouldn't have been as much fun. 

Better get moving. 




I can't fully express the feelings I have at my 50th High School Reunion this weekend.  Am I supposed to look back and wonder "what if"  or thank god for where life has landed me.   I find it interesting to see where life has landed some of the kids I grew up with and sad to know that the ones that came to the reunion have a lot of the same feelings I do.  Where did the really poor kids land? 

Oh well, I am glad to know where  I am even if I don't seem to have a clue sometimes.  As I re read the previous paragraph, I realized that I talked about life on terms of landing as if it is more fate than the result of hard work.  On one hand I do accept that luck does play a lot onto what happens to us, but I don't want to minimize the hard work we put into it to get here.  One of the songs we sing has a line, "My memories take me to" and I want to continue to look at the future and not back.

If this seems a little disjointed, it is almost 2 Am and I am typing this in the dark so Barb can sleep. I think it is a lot more of a questions period without the clear ability to provide the answers.  The one thing I don't want it to be is an Oh Poor Me post.  I consider myself to be a darned lucky guy and when I die, I want people to laugh at a lot of the funny silly things we all did together.  If I can't make you laugh at us, I hope you can at least laugh at me.

What makes a good marriage?  One of the girls at our reunion talked about the alcohol fueled decisions that she made right out of school.  She said that she feared that the path she was on was flawed and she made some deliberate steps to change where life took her.  I guess guys always had the Military and girls had maternity.  Here I always thought War was hell but didn't think about the kid of hell others went through.  It is kind of staggering to see the divorce rate of the class of 65. 

Yesterday I met the most beautiful German Shepherd dog.  You could tell that she was getting old as she didn't even bark as strangers came to the door.  I wonder how many of us would love to be like that dog and lay on the cool floor and just watch people come and go.  The only time I felt kind of bad was when she had to get up  and I could tell she hurt like I do when I get in and out of the car.

Oh well, I am going to send this on like I really know the answers.  Oh hell, I am not sure I even know all the quesions after 68 years.



Once Upon a Time

I am going to start writing a book that I hope will be as much fun for my audience as it will be for me.  It will be Faction in that there will be some facts that will keep it in line but coated with a lot of fiction to keep me from having my butt taken to court too many times.  I don't think I will write it on this blog but I think the Blog Format might not be a bad way to go.   I guess the format of Forest Gump and in installments like the green mile.  The big difference will be the fact that I have no intention of writing for profit.

Where do you see yourself in a few years?  I always thought I would be right here at Rabbit Run and doing about the same things.  The only problem with that is I didn't factor in the age difference and less than stellar ability to get everything done.  If I could just get started, I can do most things, but I don't always get started.  There are a few things I need to contract out and expense. 

I am really kind of concerned that this fall trip might be the one that really points out my weaknesses.  I have high hopes that riding in the car doesn't pose problems like the episode right prior to Easter.  I am darned sure that I don't want to be in the hospital again for any reason.  We'll See.

How does the name Dog Patch, USA sound like for a title to my story?  I think I will close here and find a good home for a blog with that name.




This morning as I went out to fetch the paper, I really felt the cool starting and it makes me think about all the days between now and next summer that won't be warm.  I don't know why, but in the spring, the warmer weather is such a positive thing and in the fall I just begin to be a little sad.

In a couple of weeks, I will be attending my 50th High School Reunion.  I really have mixed feelings about attending.  The one real positive note is that my first friend in life has agreed to be there and that will make it all worthwhile.  My Friend, Harvey and I will have talks that just start where the last one's ended.  We have walked the same streets and miles for so long that we know almost what the other person is going to say.  Barb is probably thankful that I have someone else to share my stories with.

If modern technology is such a great thing, why doesn't someone create an App that helps me organize all the paper here around my computer.  To save them money, they put their instructions on line as paperless.  I have to print all that crap out and now I need to have help organizing.   I have one notebook full of all the passwords I need to sign in and out.  The other day I needed to change the bank I use for one little auto pay and I had to print out three pages of instructions and had to create another password.  I always feel so great when a new system tells me that the password I chose is "Strong."  Generally they are so strong that even I can remember what the hell I typed. 

The other day, I used Firefox and now Google has inserted some kind of instructions in the upload that completely blocks me using it.   I am pretty sure that it is some kind of a Google plot to block me from using Firefox but I could never be sure.  If they really were so protective of cookies, they would hunt down the girl scouts and leave me the hell alone.

I am a person that loves a good book if it has a great plot and a lot of Adventure.  I read Clancy (RIP), Patterson,  WEB Griffin, and a host of others.  For some reason, I have been buying the WEB Griffin books and have a pretty complete collection.  The latest book back in the Philadelphia COP series just didn't seem to be nearly as good as his books in the past.  Oh well, another case of my taste changing with time. 

How come the clerk of the court can get divorced three (or four) times and yet profess that she won't allow Gay Marriages?   What God brought together  let no man put asunder was a part of at least one of her vows yet she can dictate others cant even bring it together.  I am strictly a letter of the law kind of guy in a lot of areas.  I hate the idea of Abortion, but I adhere to the letter of the law.  I damn sure don't want zealots to make that kind of decision for other women. 

Have you noticed that I have kind of backed off from the criticism of the Catholic Church?   The pope has lifted the excommunication of women who have had an abortion.  At least now they can tell the truth and stay in the church.  Now if they will open the church to more women in higher rolls, things will get better.  Not that I really care from the outside.

Better get with the program.  Lots to do today.  Might even work in a bike ride.



Growing Up Poor

I have often wondered if a good start to the reason I hated being poor was that's the way I grew up.  In my neighborhood, we were probably near the top of the income bracket or as I called it the "Cream of the Crap."  I didn't hate the fact that we were poor as much as I hated not having the money to do what I wanted to do so I got off my butt early and worked.  It took me from 1965 to 1975 to complete my degree but I did it.

I mowed lawns, pumped gas and did odd jobs for a friend of my mother.   One job I was not paid for was feeding the cattle with Mr. Longhoffer but that was not a regular job.  Several times a month I would see him and he would invite me to throw hay out of the back of his truck as he sat in the cab and drank beer.  The real payment for that work was that once in a while I would get an invitation to have one of those wonderful German meals Carrie Longhoffer would make. 

I am so fortunate to have married my wife Barbara.  She helped me save some of the money we made and it is paying off in spades now.  There were a few things I wanted back in the day but there is little today I want.  With that said, there always was a problem knowing the difference between a want and a need. 

Yesterday we went down to the Capitol Building for a Book fair.  After walking through the fair, we went inside and toured the Capitol Building.  It sure looks nice in there.  I guess after all the money we spent redoing it, it should.  Some day in the not too distant future, I am going back to take the building tour and go clear to the top of the dome.  Barbara probably won't want to do that.

I am seeing a lot of Ben Carson's information show up on Facebook and in the Media.  I think it is a shame that he has to follow Obama.  There are a lot of people out there that will not vote for him because we don't think Obama is a great President.  Oh well, we all have things to solve.

Better go get the day started.  Did some beer can chicken yesterday.  It is plenty moist but somehow I haven't figured out how to impart a great taste in chicken cooked that way yet.  Will work on that.



Repost from the past


Different View of the Small Stuff

Over the past few years, there has been a change of attitude about the security of Government installations in other countries.  I won't go back to the times Teddy Roosevelt sent the Marines in strange places but I will go back to Iran where our Embassy was invaded and hostages taken.   If a country does not provide security for our installation there, why do we send people there?  Tell those countries that they will not have our presence in their country. (and our foreign aide) If they do not provide security and protection why do we spend one moment trying to provide them with a place in New York that is safe. Overrun one of my embassies, and I will throw you out of my country is not a too strong position for me.  Unless the UN and the USA start taking a hard line on this, things will continue to get worse.
I do not believe in complete isolationism but I do believe that places that do not perform their duty to other embassies should not benefit from our help.  Other countries should also join in when one is attacked. Now that we have been brought face to face with the inevitable downfall of our economy without a lot of hard work, why so we continue to send dollars to other places, especially those that don't  treat us as friends.

There are people in the world that hate me.  I do not spend one minute trying to curry favor with them or spend one $ trying to influence their opinion.  Why does the USA work so hard to do just that?

I think the old saying that says - "Work for peace but prepare for war."  Is that such a bad saying?   

For the next year, we will be forced to focus on the hard problems here at home.  Iran, Afghanistan, and any other country that causes us to lift our focus from here at home is just out of luck.   



Today I bought a book from an author at the Kansas Book Fair.  He tells the story of his trip from Africa and how he now lives in Kansas.  He said he is now employed at the University of Kansas, Kansas City and is the head of Foreign Students there.  On the way home, Barbara said sounds like the Geerow story need written again.

As I found out and most people don't know, most international students have to go to one of a few universities to get certified in English or to become proficient enough to graduate.  A lot of Asian students come to KU each year and because they are generally really good in math, a lot of them stay there to study.  With really high match sored and grades, it should not surprise anyone that a lot of them wind up teaching as graduate students and first or second year graduates.

In the school of business, if you want to be a Business School graduate you have to have a Bachelors of Arts or a Bachelors of Science.   If it is arts, you have to have a foreign language.  I flunked out od Spanish in High School so Bring on Biology and Geology.  That track also included Calculus and like every good student I enrolled in Calculus.

For some reason there were three or four Business students in that class and I thought we might be given a break.  Well it started when the first day our instructor came into the class room and wrote his name on the board.  Khack Ree and I could tell that it was a guy but the stuff he was teach was Greek.  Sometime in his first lesson, he drew an 0 on the board with a slash through it.  He declared that it was a Geerow and I seemed to be the only person that didn't understand what that was.  I spent most of the first two weeks looking through the Calculus book to find out what a Geerow was.  Nothing.  Finally of the second Friday we had a review session and I asked what the hell a Geerow was.  Duh Dennis said one of my Business school partners he is saying zero and the slash is to make sure no one confuses it with the letter O.  Shit Oh Dear, was I ever behind the power curve by that time.

With the help of some extra help from my Business School buddy, I managed to pass that class with a D.  It was a passing grade and one of the ones that I was the most proud of. 

Geerow's all Folks.


Idea for all of the Ages

Once upon a time many years ago, I was a driver for the Jazz festival held in Topeka.  I got to meet and greet most of the performers for the 3 day festival as we rode back and forth between the Airport in Kansas City and Topeka.  There was and still isn't regular flights into Topeka.  I think we are the only Capitol City without a regular airline flight.

On one of the trips, there was a lady from New York extolling the virtues of her Senator, Hillary Clinton.  She had a long list of friends that Hillary and her staff had done things for.  I calmly asked her if she or anyone else in the van could tell us one things Hillary had done for America as she is a Senator first and from New York second.  To a person, no one in the van could tell us what Hillary had done for the United States.  That was where my idea started.  (This is not designed to bash Hillary, but to point out that most of the senators are like that)

Today someone pointed out how much better off we would be if the President once elected no longer had any political affiliation.   I love that idea and thing it should apply across the entire body politic.  Why does any senator go to Washington expecting to serve his state or political party?  They belong to all of us and they should do what is good for all not just any State or party.

I am not sure where we can take this wonderful idea and make it so, but nothing else is working so why not give it a chance.    Would we be better off if the President and the Vive president were the top two people in the vote count?  OK, I will let that one rest for now.



Will It Ever Happen?

Once upon a time, many years ago, I read about the effects of Alzheimer's and an effect called the Sunset Effect.  Many of the sufferers start the day out strong and by the end of the day lost the ability to function properly.  The other day, Barb asked me to read a transcript of a hearing I attended in Oklahoma and I asked her to wait until the next morning so I could be a lot more clear.  I have always been a morning person but now I wonder if the failing ability in the evening hours could be the precursor of impending doom.  There is a history in my family of minor strokes and early onset dementia.  My Father's mother and my father both slipped into a life a lot more simple as they grew older.

The thing that really started me thinking about this was the blood clots I threw around Easter and the fact that I had been ill right prior to that.  When I throw in that my mother was on Warfarin to thin out her blood for years, I fear that I might be headed in a direction I don't want to go.  

This morning as I walked out to fetch the paper, I saw a rather nice sized log that had fallen off a tree in the storm last night.  It was slightly larger than a baseball bat and probably about the same weight.  I picked it up and attempted to throw it into the brush pile just beyond where I mow the yard.  I failed to clear the mowed part with it.  I thought to myself that I could have on the past thrown it clear over the wood pile, not come up short. 

Well crap, Oh Dear, I am sure you did not expect me to show up this morning with self doubts and write this missive.  But, I assure you that it is still early in the day and typical of when I write on my blog.

I will stop here and go finish my book so this time I can return ti to the library before it is over due.