7/29/2014

Politics

Seems like our phone has been ringing off the wall with "Robo calls" supporting all sides of every argument.  One sponsored by one of the Political Parties asked me to complete a survey.  It was a blatant attempt to get me to support them financially with a donation.   Not me!

The move to give equal time to every candidate they are looking for every little thing they can.  A local candidate for the State House  has raised $20,000 and they consider this news.  The fact that the Lt Governor has loaned the Governor's campaign $500,000 twice is news but the small amount a candidate raises isn't.  It almost makes me feel like I shouldn't even write it here.  Your cost of reading this blog is that I have to write about something.

The more we hear about the problems going on in Gaza, the more it seems that the world doesn't understand that the Muslims hate the Jewish State and want them dead.  Not moved, but dead.  I would think that the first time I shoot a rocket at them and they blow up the street it was fired from, I would understand.  I think the disparity between the number of  people the Jewish guns kill and the number the rockets kill would cause most people to think about it.  The tunnels into Israel will soon be covered by the News Media and it will be plain that there was a major incursion planned.  When that all comes to light, perhaps the Jews will get some positive press.

Have I mentioned that I hate John Kerry.  When I came home for Vietnam after doing my duty for a year in a place where the enemy tried to kill me on a regular basis, I was dammed by John Kerry for being a Baby Killer.  I think he might have been right to say that the Vietnam War was one that we could not win politically, but my conduct and that of the men that served with me isn't just fare game. We were dammed for the conduct of a few by an over educated boob.  As far as I am concerned his being out of touch was so obvious in his run for the Presidency.  All you had to do was to listen to him lecture us and you got the idea of his feelings of superiority.  I would call it delusions of adequacy.   His silver spoon was so apparent that I could hardly stand him then and even more now.  I can't imagine what the world thinks of us with him representing us.

Our practice last night was a roll out of the Christmas songs that are being considered for this season.  I honestly hadn't heard two of the songs.  I thought I had listened and or sung about any song ever written for the Christmas season.  Not so Bucko.  I have found that there is a pretty good representation of all the Barbershop Music on YouTube, but there are a few holes in that repertoire. I did find a pretty large selection of CD's in our own Chorus files and I made a copy of all that I could find.   The quality of the CD's vary but it does let me hear the songs while I practice.

How do you learn?   I am the kind of person that learns by doing something over and over.  I do like to see the music a few time at first but I would rather just sing along with something.  In the Military I liked to read the directions (Mostly a Field Manual) on how to do something and then do it. The more I could put things in the right order the easier it was for me to do it.  Then my secret is Practice, Practice and more practice. 

Oh well, the dogs are gone so I need to get busy removing the nose prints on the doors and windows.  I love them but they are a pain to maintain and clean up after.   It is a lot like having children.  I guess they give and at the same time have a cost in time and money. 

MUD


7/28/2014

Dogs

Our " 'Nother Daughter" from Texas is here for a stop enroute to a visit to Colorado.   She is traveling with three dogs and it helps me get over wanting to have a dog.   They are like little kids as they steal your attention away from what you are doing to take care of them.   One of the dogs is a two year old and is deaf.  That adds to the burden of watching them.  The deaf dog can't hear your commands and is cognizant of you only if she happens to look your way.  She also barks at full volume when she barks and about anything moving outside elicits that response.   She went out with me to fetch the paper this morning and I basically ignored her most of the time.  She was waiting on the porch for me to let her back in when I got there.  I think that Barb and I both understand the desire for pets, we just don't want the hassle.  

One of the three dogs here right now is ill and old.   I know that our guests won't let her suffer but the cost of medications is fairly high and they are willing to spend the money rather than face the inevitable a little early.   I guess it is their decision and I need to stay out of the fray on that one.

I am looking at the schedule for tonight and see that the second half of the night is the summer sing out songs.  I think I will slip out early because I wont be here in August when we have our next Church Sing out.  Just for kicks I will listen to the songs today.  There is one song that I don't have a recording of but the Little Apple Chorus from Manhattan, KS has a version of "I believe" on YouTube that is spot on the music we use.  I really like to listen to the music and look at the music at the same time.  The bad news is that every once in a while the Director will have a minor change and I get too locked into the old way.

Barbara has announced that she is going to have a garage sale on the 9th.   I am not sure what we will sell, but there is no shortage of things that need to go away.  I could probably rent a dumpster and fill it if I tried.  A good deal of that could come from my part of the garage and the storage building.  Oh well, 

Better get back upstairs and visit with our guests. 

MUD

7/27/2014

Sunday Sing Out

Today was the July date that our Barbershop Chorus sang for three churches.  It puts our name out there  so the public will know who we are.   It is a lot of fun to sing three of our six songs and it is very nice to have an audience clap when we end.  The one thing I can really say is that most of our songs have a great Tag at the end.  It is seldom that we don't have a ringing effect on the chapels at the end. 

When we finished our last performance we were on the way out of the church when our oldest member missed a step and fell pretty hard.  He hit his head and it looks like he might need stitches.  Wilmer is a WWII Veteran and other than a bum knee is a great member of the Chorus.  I think he has been with us about as long as the Chorus has been together.  I sure hope he gets well soon.

In August, I will probably be on vacation when they have that sing out.  Looks like a road trip to Idaho is on my agenda.  The good news is that we will probably won't really start working on next year's music until sometime in September.  I think on Monday we will  sing a couple of new Christmas songs.  I am going to try to find a way to record anything new and get it on a CD. 

I think I mentioned the car wash yesterday.  It is amazing how clean the car got with just a little soap and a wash mitt.  I think the dirt was just so imbedded that a good scrub was needed and I shouldn't rely on just a soap spray.   I think it needed a good Kansas rain to help work it loose but parking it in the garage just didn't let it get wet.

I really hate getting old.  I stopped by the store on my way home and I needed some marinade for the chicken.  Like a big goof, I picked up some chicken that I didn't need and some marinade.  It really is just some robust Italian dressing that I add some soy sauce to.  I have a Garlic and herb sprinkle that I add and it turns out yummy. 

Oh well, better get cooking.  The company will be here in a an hour or so.   Going to try grilling some peaches and perhaps some green beans.   I think I will fire up both grills to do that.

MUD

7/26/2014

350,000 Hits

I just checked and found that I have had 350,000 visitors hit my site since I started writing.  I don't know if I should be pleased, surprised or just confused.  What could I possibly know that attracts that kind of readership.  I am like the great Salt Lake.  You will have to walk way off the shoreline to get into the deep water.  I have been described as a mile wide and an inch deep.  It kind of makes me proud when Barb tells me that if we were to be washed up on a deserted island, I would be the person she would like to be stranded with.   Give me a roll of wire and a pair of pliers and they is not much I can't put back together.  Throw in a roll of duct tape and I'm sure that there would be a boat in there somewhere.

With that said, I hope you have a great weekend.

MUD

Dirty Car

The other day I took the Crown Vic to the car wash and the end result was that after $3 worth of quarters the car looked as bad as when I started.  I found some car wash in the garage at the rental house and decided to do a hand wash on the car this morning.  I realized that the car wash soap I found had to be in the garage prior to 1990 and needless to say it was a gel not a liquid.  It did re-hydrate back into a fine wash and when the car is dry I will check out the results.  It did dawn on me that I hadn't washed the car since I started putting it in the garage.  Some of the gunk on the finish was just petrified dust and droppings.  I really had to scrub in places. 

If you were going to feed a large group of people next weekend, what would you cook?   One item on the menu will be a beef brisket that I will grill about half way done with a good smoky fire.  I will bring it in and put it is a pan.  After a night in the fridge, I will slice it and apply a liberal dose of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce.  Put it in the oven low and slow for a couple of hours (Or the crock pot) and I have never had much left over.    I also bought some good Rib Eye steaks and a couple of packages of chicken breasts.  I will freeze the steaks until Wednesday and probably cook most of the chicken tomorrow.   I will pick up some fresh chicken for the cook out on Thursday.   Sam's club had some good looking green beans and the last bunch I cooked on the grill were just the best.  I will make a boat out of aluminum foil and cook them with a little bacon and butter.   Smoky goodness.   I haven't decided what starch to cook but I'm leaning towards a good hot German Potato salad in the crock pot. I am making myself hungry just writing about this meal.  Perhaps we will throw in a good salad. We have enough tomatoes to send some home with everybody  I'm sure that Barbara had some great dissert ideas that include chocolate dipped strawberries and perhaps some watermelon.

Tomorrow, the Barbershop Chorus will sing at three churches in the area.  It is designed to give their choirs the day off.   We sing three song out of the list of five.  They are Amazing Grace, I Believe, I'm Feeling fine, Lost in the Stars and Spiritual medley.    We generally show up with about 20-25 singers and because the songs are just the greatest we blow the doors off the churches.  Mom would be proud that something gets me inside of a church.

The weather here is so changeable that it is not funny.  When the wind blows from the north, it gets down in to the 60's at night.   80'S in the daytime and low humidity.  When that wind turns to the south, the humidity goes up at least 20 percent and the temps match that and then some.  Yesterday the Heat Index was almost 110 in the late afternoon.  We went across town and the parking lots there were brutal as the air gets superheated by sun and I'll bet it was closer to 130.  Oh well, we didn't dawdle outside.

I am sorry to say that one of my class mates just got dropped from Facebook for inappropriate language.  I tried to tell her that it was inappropriate but she told me that it was her favorite word.  Oh well, she can use it anywhere she so desires, just not on my Facebook Page.  I try to not be a prude about such things, but I do have a couple of young teen age friends that just don't need to read inappropriate stuff like swear words.  Had they been used really funny, I might have let them slide.  In this case it was an attitude described by Fecal Matter.  Bye, Bye, my old friend.

This morning it dawned on me that this Friday I'll be 67. (2014-1947 = 67, I think)   My real birthday present is our visitors on Thursday.   I hope to have a good time with them.  They always seem to come to Kansas right when the weather is at its worst.  Oh well, it is a moist heat.  Is that a good thing?  

MUD

7/25/2014

Rule of Three

Once upon a time I was told there is a rule of three and things don't happen just one at a time but three at a time.  This has been the week for door problems.  The first was the renter asked her husband to make like a tree and leave. (leaf?)  I went over to the rental house and it took me an hour an a half to change two dead bolts and door knobs.  It was a new lockset that is designed to let me change the keys without changing the entire system.  My biggest problem was getting everything to align in a dark room.  I guess I am now at the age where a good light is better than the right tools.

The second lock to need replaced was the knob between the garage and the kitchen.  The Schlagle  latch failed and I did not have one in the vast collection of parts I own.  I have a dish pan full of knobs, dead bolts and screws.   I went by the Rental property and when I opened the garage door, the dead bolt broke off and I had to break in.   When I went to the hardware store, I bought a new knob and latch for our house and a dead bolt wrap around reinforce for the garage.  

The garage door took almost an hour to reinforce and make it work.   I also had to reinforce the door and the frame because of the age of the wood.  That done, I returned to Rabbit Run   The good news is that the new knob and latch went on fine and it all worked great.  Easy Peasy.

Because of the advanced Heat Index today, we went for a bike ride early.   I ride about 8 miles each time and Barb rides until she see's something worth taking pictures of.   At least it is mostly flora and fauna at the lake and not me. 

Yesterday, I took the crown Vic to the car wash and there must be something wrong with the machine there.  Instead of rinsing off the car with water, it looks like it waxed the car.  It left a serious coat of something that is attracting dust big time.  It looks almost worse today than it did yesterday.  At least I did get the vacuum to work so most of the rocks are gone.   

At noon, the Heat Index is 98 and not going to get any cooler until much later today.  What ever else I do, it won't be outside. 

We are right in the middle of the tomato harvest here and I'm pretty sure that we can't eat all that are on hand with a new basket full each day.  I made salsa but that didn't dent the supply much.

MUD

7/24/2014

Salsa

This morning Barba and I decided to work on making things out of all the tomatoes we have.  Barbara made pasta sauce and I made salsa.  I have to be careful to not touch my face after cutting up the Jalapenos.  I will let the salsa sit in the fridge overnight and then decide what to do with it. (if THERE IS ANY LEFT AFTER AN ATTACK OF SCOOPS)  

I have been assigned a new project to see if Roxio will add music to a slide show.  I may have to set up a stand for videos of the pictures and overlay the songs.  Oh well, I'll try anything once.  I am far from an expert in Roxio but I have been able to make copies of music on CD's for the Chorus Music. 

Won't be but a few more days and our friends the Reimer's will arrive from their travels around the world.   Their daughters are growing into such fine young ladies.  The sad part is they just get over being shy with us and it is time to leave.  Oh well, it is like an ice cream cone, enjoy it for as long as it lasts. 

Yesterday the wind was out of the north and there was almost no humidity in the air.  This morning the good old south breeze was back and the grass was wet with a heavy dew.  I guess I can't have perfect weather all the time.   The good news in Kansas is that nothing lasts very long except for dry spells.  Nothing like out west this year but there have been years like that.  The gardens, the corn and the soy beans are all liking the rain this year.

My brother has a Prius and it has almost 200,000 miles on it.  It is running strong and doing well.  Makes me wonder if that is just the car to buy.  They aren't cheap, but dollar per mile sounds like they are a bargain.  Speaking of cars, the Ford started making a strange sound out of the rear passenger side brake this week.  I guess I'd better get it up on jacks and see if I can repair it.  Most of the time if I catch it early enough I can do it fairly cheap.  Might check on the brake pads on the front wheels while I am out working on it.  Pads are cheap and if done in time, I can sometime not have to replace the rotors. 

Have a great day out there.

MUD

7/23/2014

What a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Another of those strange July "Cold" fronts passed through yesterday and today it is a lot cooler and the air is dry (for Kansas).   Barb convinced me to get the bikes loaded on the car and we went to the lake for a ride.  I swear it couldn't have been much nicer.  We try to not ride on the weekends because of all the foot traffic.  Today the numbers of people was way down and even the dog walkers seemed to be at a minimum.  The only thing I would change is that we need a little rain to help out the tomato and soybean growers.  We don't have any beans but the tomatoes are taking over.

While I was loading the bikes on the car, Barb went to the garden.  I told her to not pick any more tomatoes and she came back to the car with one in her hand.  She said it fell off the vine and she just had to bring it.  In her defense she did give it to one of the ladies working on the gardens at the lake.  A little while ago, Barb asked me what I wanted for lunch.  I told her that as long as there was bread, lettuce, bacon and tomatoes that was the answer.   Silly girl.

I am going to take the Ford over to the car wash and give it a good bath.  I'm not sure where, but some birds thought it looked like a lavatory.  It won't hurt top give the inside a good vacuum.   It is always the small things that keep me busy.

Oh well, better get moving.

MUD