10/23/2014

What a Day

Yesterday I had a furnace company come in to Dave's house to replace the furnace.  It was a mess to find the floor almost rotted out and we had to build a floor under the furnace.  About the time we finished that, the repairman said I probably would want to replace the sheetrock wall and I did.   The guys left and will be back Friday.  It was a good thing that this is being done as the duct work was rusted out and was leaking air under and not into the home.  It is all good now and I'm sure that things will be for the better. 

I am a fair weather baseball fan and the sun shined last night.  I skipped back and forth between other programs and the game for the first 4 innings.  Then I finally turned the game on and saw the Royals go on a tear.  It was great to see the Angels use up their bullpen trying to stop the scoring.  Then it was time for the royals bullpen to step in and shut them down.  It was a great time to watch a great game. 

We are having a heat wave for October.  It has been about 10 degrees warmer than normal so far this month.  It finally did rain last night and it will be a beautiful end to the Fall season.  The leaves are turning and it inspired Barb to get out her watercolors and do her best to replicate the beauty of  a few leaves.  She is almost as good with the watercolors as she is with the camera.  Anyone that has seen her pictures knows that she has a great eye for photos.  Did I tell you she is sneaky?  She used a long lens at family gatherings and takes a lot of candid shots.  Fun stuff.

Twice this week, I have slightly injured one of my hands and bled lit no tomorrow.  I guess it is time to cut back on the aspiring for a while.  I have had a sore back and the extra aspirin has seemed to help.  A little goes a long ways I guess.  Did I tell you that I hate to get old?  I guess when you consider the alternative, old isn't all that bad. 

I am not sure what it means, but this year I have seen several snakes when one or two is a normal year.  I won't go into detail, only to say that with my eyesight not getting any better, it takes me longer to recognize good from bad snakes.  I also found a snakeskin in Dave's shed that was at least five feet long.  That had to be a black snake and they are good to keep the mice at bay.  We have one we call Jake that lives under our front porch and he is one that my motto of live and let live applies.

Today one of the friends I have on Facebook posted her Meyers Briggs profile.  I am an Extrovert that is thinking, sensing, and Judgmental.  I think that I can discern the facts about people and have a lot of good experiences to figure things out and believe in do the crime, do the time - not mercy.   Give me a juicy problem and I will generally work with a group of people to find the answer.  I hope that people like to be in this process but I am sure that some don't. 

I am not sure what I will do today but it won't be as hard as yesterday.  Whatever it turns out to be, better get rolling.

MUD, Closet Baseball fan.  I only come out when the Royals win.

10/21/2014

Taking a Day Off


With a lot of things going on right now, I decided to take a down day and just see if some of those naps I missed can be made up.   I guess that is really beyond the scope of naps but not an impossibility.  I really am just fooling myself, as there are always things on the too do list it is a matter of when to get them done. 

It might not be pretty but it works for me.
Yesterday was a singing day.  We started at the Topeka Library and sang for at least 1/2 hour in the front rotunda.  It is just one of those places where there is not a sharp edge and the sound just rings.  It is a little different as it is kind of hard to hear the tenors from the far side of the formation.  The people that listened to us really seemed to appreciate our efforts.   I know that we all performed a lot better because of the feedback.

One of the songs the chorus sang years back is called Friends.  Most of the guys just know that song down pat and I have never seen the music or listened to a learning CD.  A couple of weeks back, I went in to our small music storage room and I found a lot of the CD's from the past 5 or 6 years.  I also now know where the old sheet music is stored.  I now have what I need.  Now to figure out how to get it all loaded in Roxio so I can put it on and find it on one CD. 

I am on the E-Mail list from the Adjutant General's notification list.  I get a notice when any of the Guys I served with pass on.  I say Guys because most of the women I served with are much younger than the guys and they haven't started to pass on as often.  I think the women also took better care of themselves.  Smoking and drinking were habits that a lot of the guys had that have led to shorter lives.  It does make me wonder what I really want in my obituary.  Have you ever sat down and written one for yourself.  I have and am not sure where it resides on my computers.  I have the desk top size and a lap top size and the documents are stored in there.  Yes, this seems morbid to some of you, but that's how I roll.    I hope to complete over 3000 blogs with a million visitors before I stop writing this silliness. 

Today is the first game of the World Series and last night someone said to not be surprised to see the Royal's lose their first home game.  After 8 straight wins in post season it just might be a shock to the KC Fans.  What will be the really big shocker is how much of the team doesn't get traded off for the big bucks after the season ends.   I think they know how hard it is to build a winning team but the lure of making money off the players is hard for management to not take advantage of.  Our Center Fielder Cain is just one of those spectacular player that I can see in Pin Stripes with a NY logo on his hat.  The pitching staff is just spectacular.  If you don't take a lead into the 6th inning, you just can't beat the Royals short reliever staff. 

The weather here in the Heartland is just spectacular right now.  They are talking about the warm trend going into November.  The leaves are turning right now and it is great to see the vibrant reds and yellows everywhere.  I do see them as potential work as I have to do the raking but it is not really that big a job.  I have a big compost pile and will have it pretty full by the end of the season.  Good compost by next spring.  That will put a smile on the Master gardener's face.  (Like where else would you expect one to be?)

A couple weeks ago, we had some friends over and their oldest child used my computer to play a game or two.  He put his password on a sticky note and it is still here on the front of my computer.  I have mine all on sticky notes and in a notebook here on my desk.  There are so many codes, passwords account numbers I use that there is just no way I can remember them without an aid or two.   One job I had had a training system that required passwords and I rotated between the kind of cars I owned.  At that time we had the 57 Chevy, the 53 Pickup and a 50 Ford.  I didn't realize that the students were watching me as I entered them and one day I was locked out a program and one of them said did you try 57chevy?   I DID AND IT WORKED....

Well, I had better get on with the day.  You have a great one.

MUD, aka Bwana Petty the mouse killer.  it is cats 3 Bwana 7. 



10/20/2014

Monday

Most of the Baby Boomers remember the Mamas and the Papas song "Monday,  Monday."  I find myself humming that song a lot on Mondays.  Part of the singing is the love of the song and the other part is that I practice for the rehearsal of the Barbershop Chorus tonight.  We are going to the library and sing for about 30 minutes and them move over to our normal location.  It is always fun to sing somewhere different.

Today I went out to Dave shed and looked at Dave's accumulation of stuff there.  Part of the stuff is leftovers from the person we bought the place from and some of it is junk that doesn't have a better home.  There is a stack of old HI Fi records that is really just a pile that we didn't throw away for whatever reason.  I did find there is a sheet of plywood that will help me repair the roof on the other shed without a trip to the lumber yard.   Right on top was a really long snake skin from the big black snake I have found near the shed a lot.  I'm sure he helps keep the mice down. 

The day started cool here but it is sunny and looking better by the hour.  Probably will be near 75 this afternoon.   I have an appointment with a plumber at 12:45 so I hope I can shut the water off and it will be a nice day. 

Barb just asked me to go have a look at her mower.  I bought her a self start mower a couple of years back and she uses it a lot of clean up the garden and to make mulch.   Better go see what the heck...

 MUD, aka the answer man,  What was the question?

10/19/2014

Money Fears

Like a lot of people, I have saved hard to get to a point where I feel comfortable but I am always afraid of the effect on our economy of the best  (and only) investment place fails.  I am talking about the Stock Market. It has been on a wild and wooly ride for the past couple of weeks and I know that a lot of the baby boomers are watching just to really see where it is going.  I will promise you that you should never listen to me for advice in that area.  The only way I have ever made any money there was to give that money to  fund manager and just stand back and watch. 

The local paper has started running a couple of pages on Sunday out of the Wall Street Journal.   It is very interesting to see several of the indicators are up but there is still a several Billion Dollar Deficit.   It does concern me that there is about 16% of the population with wages below the poverty line.  Actually that is down to just under 16% but even a little is a problem.  The same pages indicate that inflation is not a problem in the next couple of years but falling farm prices is.  Oh well, Rabbit Run is only an 18 acre farm and the crop here is apples and Asian pears.   We did have an abundant tomato crop this year but it does not turn into money.   Just for the record, the deer get most of the excess apples and Asian pears. 

A lot of my family lives in Kansas City and they are really big into the Lenexa Chili Cook Off.   I have been there a couple of times and it is fun to taste a lot of different styles.  Lately they have also entered into the homemade Salsa contest and have done fairly well.  I hope they can send some over to the Thanksgiving in KC.  I would even buy a bag of those corn chip, "Scoops." to try it out.   

The weather here in the Heartland is very fall like and we are having fall weather.  It warms up during the day and you need a jacket at night.  Not being one to get out at night a lot, that is just a small problem. 

Yesterday I went to a 90th Birthday celebration for a member of the Barbershop Chorus.  They held a reception in the basement of the church and it was wall to wall people.  We sang Happy Birthday and Friends for him and the group. I can see that I need to find the music for Friends and study it.  We ended the song at the end of the first verse and it had a second.  Oh well, the audience didn't know.
Wilmer is just a great guy and I hope that when I am 80 I am half a sharp as he is. 

Better go see if I can get everyone to the breakfast table.  I thought that cooking potatoes would
bring the troops to the table.  All it did was make me hungry as all get out. 

MUD  aka Trouble (My mother's description. She would say here comes trouble)

10/18/2014

What are Your Day Dreams?

As baseball is overtaking the thoughts of a lot of us, do you wonder what would have happened had you tried to play in the minors and then the Majors?   I was a good hitter and played a good first base and would have been a good catcher until my knees wore out.  But at the age of 67, that pipedream is long over and kind of like thoughts of girlfriends past.   The reality is that now that my life is nearing the place where there are fewer new avenues to experience, I am just pretty happy with where I have landed.  That doesn't rule out flights of fantasy now and then.

Have you ever heard of the rules of Unintended Consequence (UC)?  That is what sometimes happens when you get what you want.  It also applies to Government when they pass a law and find out that it just hits the people right between the eyes with a heavy burden when it hurts more than it helps.  A lot of the UC things become a lot more visible after the fact and we just don't have the mechanism to cause our laws to have an expiration date or a review process.   In fact, what happens is that a lot of laws remain on the books and the money to enforce that law just doesn't get funded. 

Here in October the Football season for High School is nearing the end with the playoffs being held.  It is a lot of fun to see the teams win and how excited the kids are.  Our local high school, Shawnee Heights (aka, Scrawny Whites)  is doing well.   I wanted to play football in high school but in a school with 5,000 students I was just not big enough to survive.  I think I have said that I compensated by having a car, a girl friend and nearly a full time job to pay for all the fun.  Looking back, I am well off to be where I am.

Thanks to the people that stop in to see what I write.  Today the count hit 555,000.  That is a daily count of over 2,500. 

Have a great weekend and get your gear ready for the World Series that starts on Tuesday.   Go Royals.

MUD,  aka ORAG -Old Retired Army Guy

Is it Just Me?

The idea that we need some reform in the area of Health Care, is evident but I think the Government doesn't fully understand that we just couldn't afford the ACA the way it is written.  It caused most people to pay more for their health insurance when it was a program that let us buy what we could  afford.  Perhaps there was a need to help the poor pay for insurance but we threw the bathwater out with the baby.  

OK, You got me Skippy.  I am a closet conservative that feels that less Government intrusion is better.  I don't think that we need an overreaching help from the Federal Government to live our lives.   I think the Congress needs to take a few "Selfies" and study them.   When will we stop spending a lot more money than we are taking in?  I for one don't want to hit bankruptcy to find out it doesn't work.

The city of Topeka has taken this Spend it all attitude lately.  For the second time in a few years they are tearing up the improvements on our Downtown Kansas Avenue.  Right in the middle of this, the paper published that most of the businesses in that area are behind many thousand dollars in property taxes.  Many of us think it is just adding a pretty bow to what is basically a pig.  The people have voted with their feet that unless you work downtown, we just don't want to go there. 

Add to this expense without income, the city has started a move to purchase the Heartland Park racetrack south of town.  From the beginning that place has not paid property tax to the School District  or to the County.  Now the City wants to buy that property with money we taxpayers have allotted them to control.  We started a petition to block the buy without a vote but they are doing their best to find ways to block that vote.  Another governing body that has forgotten that we send them there and can not send them again. 

Today one of our Barbershop Chorus members is having his 90th Birthday party.  Many of us will be there to sing him happy birthday and to sing Friends to him.  Wilmer is a great addition to our activities and we need to celebrate his birthday in style.  It is also a chance to get out and do something that is just play and not work.  I may see if I can get Barb to take me and shop while we play.  She needs to get out also.  Then perhaps we can have a lunch or a nice visit while we are out.

Oh well, better run.

MUD,  aka Mean Uncle Denny

10/17/2014

Trash Day

On Friday's, the trash goes out here at Rabbit Run.  It never ceases to amaze me how the amount can vary.  One week, the trash can is full and the recycle bin is almost empty.  The next week we will have three cans of trash.  I guess it doesn't require a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on.  I am going to take a load of trash to the dump this morning.  It has a lot of residue from Dave's house and a couple of toilets I have removed from houses.  I will put the bill in the pile for reimbursement but am not sure if they will pay it or apply it to the deductible. 

This morning I went to Dave house and checked the mouse traps and emptied the water bucket.  I have a small leak in a PEX pipe and the plumber won't be here until next Monday.  The mice are there because Dave lives in a field and the mice always try to find a winter home.  I have the same problem here at Rabbit Run and I guess I will just have to start my Defense in Depth there and here.  I set multiple traps in a row out in the garage.  I have four traps set at Dave's and have managed to catch two of those furry critters. 

Dave's furnace is about 25 years old and it has been the subject of discussion and replacement.  The outside condenser has had to have some pretty heavy duty rebuild over the years so it is time to just replace the entire system.  I am pretty sure that the insurance company does not consider the replacement a part of the fire damage but it needs done.   It costs more than a breadbox and less than a car. 

I got the trailer ready for a trip to the dump.  A while back I needed some connectors and was at Harbor Freight and bought one of those boxes of 500 connectors.   While I was working on the trailer connection, I had the box open and sure enough I stepped on the box and had to sort 500 pieces from the rocks in the driveway.  One of these days I'll bring it in the house and pretend it is a puzzle and put the pieces all back in the box all sorted.

It is sunny today and a pretty nice day.  With the temperature in the low 60's, it makes me want to wear a long sleeve shirt but shorts.  Yes, I know that is kind of silly but that's the way I roll.

MUD

10/15/2014

Schedule Getting full

Barb makes a Calendar for her parents each year and tries to use pictures of the family members with birthday's in that month.   It also serves as the scheduling place for posting items we are involved in.  I noticed that as I finished posting the rest of the year that it is starting to get full.  Old retired farts are not supposed to be that busy, I think...  I guess it is just a list of the things that could be done and not an absolute must do list. 

This last week I went to the Barbershop Chorus Board Of Director's meeting.  There was a discussion of variances from the budget for the year and it made me think of how that should be handled. Clearly there is nothing in our Bylaws or Chapter Policies.  I think I need to rectify that when I rewrite them.  To me, the budget of an organization is just a guide of what we think what we will have as income and a general guide on how that income should be spent.  Variances should be expected and it is the reporting part that needs fine tuned.  My experience with budgets comes from years of working with one in the Federal System and then watching the hoops jumped through at year's end.  At least with the Chorus Budget there is no need to spend it all and carry over is a good thing. 

O well,  enough of that business crap...   The weather here in the Heartland is a little cool overnight but the days are pretty nice.  The sunshine yesterday made it very nice outside.  The good news is there is not much to do outside right now.  As soon as the trees get the annual leaf drop  finished there will be great piles of leaves covering the landscape.  I will do my best to mulch them into a pile and let them compost. 

In the past, I have commented on the good things done by the sports teams I follow.  In some cases I have felt that my positive comments have jinxed their success.  I am not sure that there is any of that going to happen to the Royals.  I am sure that there are a lot of people holding their breath as they watch the Royals go undefeated in the Post Season.  For some reason the camera men on last night's game kept showing a couple of Fans in the stands as their team was losing.  The lady was kind of cute but they weren't doing anything special.  Those 2 to 1 games are not as much fun if your team has the one.  Watching the bull pen relievers come in after the 6th inning and shutting down the other teams is fun. 

Better get running.  Have a great day out there.

MUD