10/01/2014

Just a Thought

Mad in Front of Wal*Mart
Each Morning I read the paper and look through the Obituaries to make sure I am not there.  I see a lot of people are putting their pictures in the paper but they don't seem to match the age of the person.  Here are a few Pictures of me and I wonder what you think I should have Barb place with my Obit?
MUD at One



Not One 
A Bit Stiff 1997

Fun Times
 
Basic training 1966

 
If you had the choice, what would you use?  The picture that really looks like you or the one that you think you most resemble in you mind.  The good news is that the Master Gardener will probably not use any picture because of the cost.  Dang I hate it when that happens.
 
MUD - Alive and well (For now)

Why?

As I read the paper and watch TV, there are a lot of things that cause me to ask WHY?  In my heart of hearts, I refer back to my rule to "Follow the Money" about a lot of things.  When I read about the dumb things that people do, the reasons often get blurry.  I will say that in a lot of cases, they didn't have my mother to think about.  Not that I didn't do a few things that I won't brag about, but there was always the thought in the back of my mind that what would my mother think if I did. 

Dad always wondered how I didn't go to Jail.  Mom just Loved Me.
With that said, I don't blame the mothers, the schools or the Government for the weaknesses of men.  We often just do things that are less than acceptable and need to stand up and be accountable.  I always wonder what I would have really done in school if I had worked as hard as a I played.  An almost full time job, a car and a girl friend just didn't leave much time for me to do that dreaded homework.  I was there and involved enough to get by with a lot of D's and only got A's and B's in the things that were performance based.  Choir and PE were a couple of those things.  I could play and sing my butt off.  Did you note that?  I gave you a reason but mostly it was me! 

Yep, Me in all my glory

Instead of wondering why the Government doesn't make me a rich man, I did finish my degree, went to work and worked  hard to get promoted.   Once I got the income under control, we worked on the outgo.  In the end it all came together and we have a nice good life.  I still buy Lottery Tickets from time to time but all I would do is get into trouble if I won.  Well. not if Barb has anything to say about it. 

Do you know why the Congress is so worked up about the Secret Service's need to protect the President?  Think about it..... If anything happened to Barack that would leave Joe Biden in charge.  I can't imagine how anyone with his ability to hire good speech writers could say so many stupid things.  I am sure that the Presidents that really set high standards in their speeches knew the value of good speech writers.  Then, they read what they were given to say.  The inspired us not confused us with unconnected things.  The great ones did not say I a lot and never blamed it on their predecessor. Many of us didn't like Harry Truman but he knew where the buck stopped and when it was on his desk, he said so. 
The Doe stops here
I am still thinking about the list of the top 25 things Congress should work on.  The problem is the complexity of what I would put on the list.  Does National Defense include what happens to Iraq or Afghanistan or what happens right on our southern border.  Does stopping the flow of Illegal Immigrants seem important or is it the flow of drugs that goes with it.  I am still torn between sending all those children back to Central America or taking two or three home to raise.   Those cute little kids are  such have great smiles and don't eat much.  There is always the budget where we are spending millions on wars in places and then having to borrow that money from ourselves and the Chinese.   No matter what is done, there is always the NIMBY (Not in My back Yard) group that thinks they are being treated unfairly when the government plugs loopholes they paid someone to put in the laws.  I can't wait for the explanation for the problems when Yellowstone volcano finally erupts.  I am sure that it will be blamed on the CO2 levels or Global Warming.  That park is like the hope diamond.  Very pretty to look at but it could be the worst thing to own.  Oh well, I did love to go there and someday might even go back.

In Short, the only answer I can really leave you with to the question of Why?  in Because!  Make up your own answer.

My Pal Rocky


MUD

9/30/2014

Really?

When I didn't have a smart phone that notified me every time an e-mail message arrived, I didn't notice that I am now the recipient of a heck of a lot of advertising.  Now that I do have a semi smart phone, the ads chirp my phone at least once an hour.  I would call it a smart phone but I am too dumb to make it do only what I want it to do.  After being hacked last month, I am kind of shy about just who and why they are using my data on their sites.

I guess there are a lot of people out there that are just allowing their data get into systems and don't realize their debit and credit cards can track their purchases and tell telemarketers a lot about them.  Yes, I  know this sounds a little like conspiracy theory, but the reality of the increase in advertisements coming in on my cell phone has some basis in truth.  I am just not sure if it is my truth or theirs.  This week I needed a pair of gloves and Harbor Freight wanted my telephone number as I was paying cash for the gloves.   I said no thank you politely and the girl said why?  Because I don't want you to think you are free to call me day and night.  With all the Robo calls coming in during the season of elections I just don't want someone else start calling.  The good news is that I can screen the calls with Caller ID and don't answer calls I don't recognize.  That 800 Service number can just stop calling I don't want to answer a survey or donate money to any political party.    

Last night the Barbershop chorus had its usual Monday night practice.  As I have nominated myself as the program guy for next year I am thinking about how to make the practice sessions fun and alive.  I mentioned to the director that our practice last week felt really good.  We were in the Mall and didn't spend about half our time trooping back and forth to the risers.  I mentioned that the chorus could benefit from sitting down and running through the music one time with the music and then stand up and sing without the music.  We just don't show much emotion when we perform.  We have a good sound but I'm sure we look like a zombie chorus,  No wait, at least zombies want to eat brains.

What does it mean to you when you don't have the coordination you once had?   Yesterday while I was moving a new toilet down stairs to replace one that doesn't work well, I fell down outside on the hill.  Seems like I just got my feet tangled up and made as good a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) as I could.  Skinned my knee and elbow a little but at least I could get up and keep moving.  I did have a visit to a neurologist a while back and was notified that there is a follow up visit next month.  Perhaps he can help me understand that old people just fall down sometimes.  I am trying to limit my exposure to falling but that is difficult when I have been so able in the past.  Perhaps I need to get more regular exercise that cross trains my muscles. 

I fully expect that the Politicians tell the truth in their advertisements.  Our Governor talks about all the money he is directing to education and anyone that was awake last year knows that the Kansas Supreme Court made him restore the funding cuts to education.  He claims to have grown up on a farm but his father won't let him drive a combine.  Doesn't he know that every kid that knows anything about farming thinks he is a dork if he can't anything as simple as operating a piece of farm equipment?  Heck, even a city kid like me drove a tractor as a young teen ager.  Another thing is that there seems to be some stigma about attending the convention for your party.  I would think that anyone so dedicated that they run for an office would attend the nominating committee for their party.  Can you tell that I am strongly into the Never Re-elect Anyone (NRA) mode?  I think we need to change them out on a regular basis unless or until they start getting things right. 

I am glad that I am not in charge of what the news programs show each broadcast.  To be fair and balanced, is a thankless task.  How does the killing of one person in Oklahoma stack up with a bus wreck where several died?  How long does the protest in Ferguson, Missouri need to be a nightly coverage?   Where is the fact that we are digging a debt hole deeper each day.  Where is the idea that while the Affordable Health Care act is a good idea, it plainly isn't delivering what it said it would do?  Why does the Government get to decide what is enough insurance for me?  Do I want a Government that tell us they may run out of Social Security Money somewhere out in the future holding the purse strings to our health care?  Oh well, tough decisions without much rewards.

Better roll.

MUD

9/29/2014

Who Are You

I have a habit that somewhat troubles me.  I ask myself several stupid questions and I guess I expect a different answer each time.  Well, perhaps sometimes would be more correct.  

What Do I want out of life? - Well duh, I have everything I need and most of what I want.   There will always be the thought that I might want something more I guess.  
 
If I could Live Anywhere where would I want to Live?  After searching for a couple of years, we finally found the best spot in Shawnee County, Kansas.  With the help of our Niece Carrie, we designed and built our dream home in the perfect spot.  Why would I want anything different?  Perhaps a good visit to other places now and then.  Did anyone say Costa Rica this January or February?

What Do I Want To Do Today? There are a few ongoing maintenance items that I have on my "to do" list but the big blocks of time are generally open for my leisure items.  After working most of our lives, I think we deserve a lot of free time.

Am I Happy? Well Crap oh Dear, We are the source of our own happiness and if that doesn't work, there are medications that help.  Thank God I have access to the finest Medical Care in the World.  In addition to Medicare, I have the Military Medi gap insurance called Tri-Care for Life.  Moving on.

At one time, I wanted to live between a Liquor Store and the Library. Now that I don't drink or smoke, I guess that having a great library in Town will do. 

A lot of People think that Wal*Mart is a bad place.  I love to go there and walk around in the store in inclement weather.  When we travel, we try to stop at Wal*Mart Stores to walk around a couple of trips and visit the restrooms.  We have also been known to pick up snacks and any missed items we forgot to pack.  Once upon a time there was only one in Topeka and it was clear across town.  Now we have four and one is very close.  As a guy that buys his clothes wherever, I look at whatever is on sale.  On our last Trip to Oklahoma, I was not happy with the shirt I brought with us.  I had intended to pick up a shirt in the closet and forgot.  As we walked through Wal*Mart, their clearance rack had a shirt for $3.00.  Bonus...   You shop where you want, and I'll Shop where I want.

For everyone out there, I recommend you travel to Bentonville, AR and see Crystal Bridges.  It is the American Art Museum built by the Walton Foundation.  The Museum is a treat even if they didn't have any artworks.  My Friend Harvey Blinn was one of the Superintendents on that job and took us on a tour during the construction.  Now that it is finished, it is American Art at its best.  You can spend a day there and don't forget the great lunch menu items.

Oh well better get rolling for the day.

MUD

9/28/2014

There Be 'Nakes Out There

The other day I was walking up the stairs and looked at the front sidewalk to see if the squirrels have covered the walk with nut hulls yet.  (Or again) 

When the watermelon season ends, Nuts are ready
There was a black looking snake out there in the sun.  I called Barb over and asked her what she thought it was.  It was mostly dark colored but where the body was swollen with what had been a mouse it had a lot of color showing.  They were the pattern of a Copper Head.  Interesting enough for me to get a shovel and go out to see up close and in person.  I don't love snakes but arm me with a shovel and I don't fear them.  Sure enough, the distinct shape of the head showed the arrow head shape and it was a nasty little bugger.  He didn't like the shovel and struck at it fast and often.  I will skip the details, but only will assure you that he won't be in the garage for the winter.  I think he was looking for a way in.  Not going to happen Skippy.

I am afraid that I am softening on the idea that I need a dog.  I am sure that it will take a lot of coaxing to get Barb to approve that choice.   Like many of the other things that cross my mind, it will take time and perseverance to overcome the objection.    If I had to choose today, it would be a German Shepard.  Yesterday it was a dachshund.  Oh well...



In today's paper there was an article that was reprinted out of the Wall Street Journal.   It was aimed at us an I am sure that a lot of people don't follow the simple rules or have a clue how to be financially stable and able to talk about retirement.  Like most businesses, people have little expectation of retiring with a good income to let them remain in a good place to travel and enjoy life. The typical business treats their employees as a simple input to their process and have little loyalty to them and their future plans. 
 
How Could you not fall in Love with this dog?

The article went on to talk about the wealthy as not just greedy monsters that make money out of the sweat of others.  Simply put, they point out that most of the millionaires live fairly simply and got that way because they saved money for and in the long run.  I think you have read many times here that I strongly recommend that you make a budget and understand that income must be equal to or greater than outgo.  I thought about what put Barb and I in good shape.  We both contributed 7% into a retirement fund.  (Hers -Social Security. Mine - Civil Service)  In addition, we heavily contributed to any place that we could legally put money.  It started out as simple IRA's then 401Ks.  Barb started with a 503b for teachers early and often.  We got used to spending less than we made and didn't have a new boat or new car even though we could have afforded to do so.  I would be less than truthful if I didn't also admit that my National Guard Income did allow me to have some fix up the car money and to have a slush fund to finance some toys.   The real nice thing about the Guard membership is that at the age of 60 it has started paying me a real nice retirement. 

With that all said, the article said that only about 38% of the married couples ever really sit down and discuss where they are and where they want to be financially.  Barb said that a lot of the couples don't have those meetings to avoid stress.  I contend that getting your life on track financially is one thing that has contributed to the stability of our marriage.  She says no and I listen.  No, some of our largess was a happy accident and a lot was the result of saving.  Please don't take this as a plea to feel sorry for us living so poor.  We worked hard to pay off as many debts as we could and not to amass new one's.  In addition we saved money for the future with no thought of using any of it for today's needs.

Now get out there and live like you mean it.

MUD


9/27/2014

Oh No, it is Fall Already

After spending a half an hour writing this post, I made a minor correction and the entire thing went poof and the machine saved, right after deleting the entire thing.  The end result is that I am re-writing the entire things and not going to use any of the other post.   Oh well, here is as much as I can remember it.

I will first have to admit that I live in Kansas to have 4 true seasons and think the fall season is very pretty.  The biggest problem is that winter's here in Kansas can be cold and not near as nice and the other three seasons.

Looks like fun compared to shoveling

Having worked outside in most types of weather, I have to admit that I am a lot more fond of warm. In fact had they not being trying to shoot me, I didn't hate the weather in Vietnam.  No wait, the monsoon season sucked and I would have skipped that part.
 
 
 
The other day someone asked me how I was doing.  I have found that retirement is a hoot and had I known just how great it was, I would have tried to do it first.  After years of preparation, I find ourselves right where we want to be.  I am pretty sure that I wouldn't change much if I could.  No wait, I can change about anything so ignore the previous sentence.
 
Notice the big goofy smile


I think today might be a good day to go see if the paths at the lake are clear enough to ride.  Between the goose poop and the pedestrians the weekends are not always the best to ride.  We skipped riding this week and I miss it.  Keeps the knees free and moving. 
 
MUD

9/26/2014

IDK

Because I spent 25 years in the National Guard I am still getting updates on personnel changes.  The few people that I do know once as Captains and young Majors and are now retiring.  The only person on the latest list that I did know was a young Civilian when I first met her.  One day there was this young girl came into our office and we were all told that she was the new clerk.  Within a year, she had joined the Air National Guard and was moved to a position in the Air National Guard staff.  This young lady, Julie Burns worked her way up the ladder and finally went to OCS and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.  She is now Maj Burns and I hope this move to the Inspector General's Office will get her a promotion to LtCol.   This is the kind of person that shows me that there is no glass ceiling and promotions are based on merit and ability.   Way to Go Julie.

Now for the rest of the story, those personnel updates are a checklist that I move down and say IDK (I don't Know) who that person is, person after person.  The few updates I do know are the death notices as my friends are dead or dying.  In fact, a guy I met today said that one of our friends Frank Magistro is not in very good shape.  This guy claimed that Frank is a victim of Agent Orange and it gave him lung Cancer.  Last time I met Frank, he had his usual cigarette in his mouth.  Three packs a day and going strong, Cough-cough. 

Today there was a Facebook story about a young man converting to the Muslim religion.  He got fired and went to the main office and beheaded a lady and was going to stab another person when he was shot.  Seems that one of the Officers in that Company is a part time Deputy Sheriff and had his gun with him.  I think that guy's permit should be revoked because he didn't shoot center of mass and kill that fool.  My big hope in life is that we don't have to start playing Cowboys and Muslims here at home.  If they want to go visit Allah, let it be on them not because I had to shoot one and send him there.  Besides, knife proof vests are way too hot to wear in most of the country. 

Perhaps one of these days we will figure out that no matter what we do, that part of the world will continue to hate us.  Seems like they should hate all those people with the oil money and not us.  In 200 years, we have figured out ways to build a country with 50% of the wealth.  I would think that they would use our model like a Dave Ramsey class and want to duplicate what we have done, not start a war with us.  Oh well...

MUD

500,738

Thanks for the reads.  Today this little blog went over 500,000 hits. 

MUD

CPT America


One of the most memorable people I met in the Guard was a colorful Captain who will remain unnamed to protect the guilty.   Somewhere along the line, after serving in the navy for 4 years as an enlisted man, he decided that the nearer we got to Vietnam the more he wanted to be an officer.  He joined the Guard and went to the Kansas Army National Guard OCS.  He was in the accelerated class that went on Active Duty when the 69th Brigade got Activated in 1968.  Somehow he managed to apply for and was accepted into the Special Forces. I suspect they wanted rid of him and let him apply with a favorable recommendation.  He remained on Active Duty until in the 1975 time frame  when the Reduction in Force cuts sent him home.  He did not have a college degree and the Army needed reasons to cut the force size.

The first time I met him, I was working full time in Ottawa as the Battalion Training Officer.  We were in Ottawa and CPT America (as I will call him henceforth)  was living in Lawrence right up the road.  I think we were short staff officers and he joined us to utilize the GI Bill and the Guard pay to help him pay for college.  Had I known what a turkey he was, I might have tried to get him in another unit.

Somewhere in the short circuit brain of CPT America  all the unconventional training he had led him to believe that rules were made for normal mortals and he was somewhat exempt from them.  He loved to pull pranks on people and pick on personal weaknesses of other officers, rank was no concern.  The real sad part was that CPT America was at least half way through 20 years and he was doing his best to not be successful in completing the other 10.  Now that I have my retirement in hand, I can tell you that it is nice to have that extra check each month.

In our Battalion was a guy that had played college football and for some reason had no sense of humor what so ever.  He had the potential to be a pretty nice guy but no one wanted to spend hours with a guy that never smiles. CPT America was about 50 lbs lighter and about a foot shorter and could not resist pulling the big guy's leg.  Finally one day, it erupted into a skirmish where the big guy just picked up CPT America and threw him on his head on the concrete floor.  Greco Roman Wrestling was one of my favorites and I had never seen a better throw even in the Olympics. Like I said, he hit on his head and it was not apparent that any damage was done.  I think that it was about that time the Battalion Commander decided that CPT America needed some command time in a firing battery.  We also needed a battery commander really bad.

CPT America was given one of the batteries and he immediately set about challenging most of the rules. He wanted the unit to be able to wear red baseball hats and Tiger fatigues.  he adopted the John Wayne greeting "Ya Ta Hey"  as their motto and even had a banner of that they flew on their Unit Guidon.  They had some fine junior officers that accepted the wild appearance of the battery and for about 6 months things were hunkey Dorey.  Somehow CPT America got in touch with the Adjutant General and conned him into letting them wear the red hats and tiger fatigues when they were at their home station.  Much to the amazement of our Battalion Commander. 

It was the money for the fatigues that got CPT America in the most trouble.  In the fall his first year, they began to collect money to send off and buy the Tiger Striped Camouflaged Fatigues.  About Christmas, we got new guns and were scheduled to go to Fort Sill, early in March for Annual Training.  Word got out that CPT America had "Borrowed the Fund" to pay his tuition for second semester.  It took having a Field Grade Officer at the end of the pay line to collect the back money at the end of that AT.    CPT America wound up back on the battalion staff after that and it wasn't until the next year that he managed to get fired.   The battalion commander gave him a direct order and he did not comply.  He told the Commander that he could not fire him and guess what,  The Brigade Commander had two MP's escort him off the post.  I never did see the relief for cause Officer's Efficiency Report that terminated that career.  I'll bet it gave off smoke when you read it.
MUD

9/25/2014

Friends

As I think back in my life, it seems to be a series of interactions with friends and family.  Early in life it was more family but that seemed to go away after leaving home in the mid 60's.   Friend after friend have trooped through my life and made many impressions on me.  Here are a few random thoughts about that process.

First, I hope you can find friends that will share with you as much as you share with them.  Those times where it was more one sided, the length of time they spent together was limited.   It didn't matter how intense the relationship was, it as the lack of balance that always nipped it in the butt.  Yes, I know the word is bud but I wanted to mix that metaphor. 

An example of this was my friend Larry Parks.  We worked together in basement of the State Defense Building and in different offices.  It seemed that he and I had about the same schedule and we would catch a coffee break together once in a while.  I would describe this as a casual coffee friend.  Later on, My son was dating a nice girl and her father asked him if he was the son of MUD.  He wasn't sure but he admitted as much and now my daughter-in-law is Larry's Daughter.  Amazing.

Back in my teenage years, my friends were a mixed lot of guys with a lot of different things going on in their lives.  A kind of common thing was cars.  One of the guys built a hopped up V8 motor and put it in a jeep.  That sucker could reach 60 in a block but topped out at about 80.  gearing was all wrong.  We did manage to go places and see things in that jeep that we probably would not have seen in a car.  Note- What looks like a concrete speedway on the river flat just might turn into a mud bog if you get too close to the water.  Most of those friends made it through the Vietnam era without getting killed in the war.  The first to go was my Marine friend killed in an auto accident in Southern California.  The second was a guy that just didn't go to the Doctor and his wife found him dead in bed over a minor thing most of us would have gone to the emergency room for.  The brother of my Marine friend was a truck driver and got the flu.  He came in off the road and took to bed sick and no one found him for a week or so.  Yep, again had he gone to the emergency room they probably would have given him fluids and he would have recovered. 

That leaves me with two close friends from that group.  One is a retired school teacher that probably has reached the mental age of 15 by now.  The other is a Construction Superintendent down in Dallas an one of these days I will get to see him.  It is amazing that our meetings seem to be like we were together just yesterday. 


I would be remiss if I didn't write about my closest and dearest friend in life, the Master Gardener.  We are probably the odd couple in a lot of ways but it seems to work.   When we met, I was on orders for Vietnam and stationed near her home near Barstow, California.  She was a strong willed quiet person and I needed a friend.  I convinced her that I was an OK guy and she agreed to marry me right before I went to Vietnam.  46 years later we are still together and I hope it works out.  It is pretty easy when we agree that we have everything we need, most of what we want, money in the Bank and a Wal*Mart nearby.  In fact on Oct 8th we will have a new Wal*Mart really nearby. 


I often have moments where I think about past girlfriends.  Kind of like when I left Wichita I thought how nice it was to have it in my rear view mirror.  I do think about just how things might have turned out but I know that like most of my friends and family it would have probably wound up in a divorce. Barb was the kind of person that had clear goals and it was like a journey to go with her and watch where we would wind up.  The other girlfriends had no clue what they were going to do or wind up.  Some days you get bear and some days you wind up with a bear.  I wound up with a dear deer. 

Better get on with the day.

MUD

Volvo Man

Over the years, I have had a number of nicknames.  In this Blog, I use the appellation MUD for Mean Uncle Denny.  No, I will not tell that story again, at least not right now.  What I do intend this short blog to cover is my nickname Volvo Man. 

It all started with my Dad's love of that ugly Volvo he bought back in the early 60's.  You know, the one that looked like a 2/3rd size model of a 47 Ford.  It was a four cylinder rear wheel drive four door that drove great but looked like a "Dog Turd" (Dad's description)   For some reason the Sweeds must have had a ton of OD Paint left over from WWII and they sprayed it on a lot of the Volvo's.  One applied, there was no amount of car wax that could keep that paint shiny.  I know that I personally applied a coat of wax every year for several years and it would soon shine like a brick.  If you wanted it to be shiny, you would have to wet it down with a garden hose.  The engine also had a pair of SW side draft Carburetors and you had to keep adding oil to the little damper in the carb and they never were quite in sync.  I know that one job my dad would do is about once a month was to take a screwdriver out and "Tune" those darned carbs. 

I loved my mother, but she was not the most bright person when it came to old cars.  One of the cars we had was a 56 Chevy and if you wanted it to start, you had to pump the accelerator pedal several times prior to turning the key.  Mother one day went out and pumped the pedal so many times that the carb flooded and she kept pumping and cranking until the engine started on fire.  End of that car.  When Dad bought the Volvo, he knew that there was no pump attached to the accelerator so there was little chance of mom burning the car up.   Mom, being a creature of habit would still go out and pump the accelerator prior to cranking the engine.  In fact, you could hear the linkage squeak inside the house for clear out in the driveway.  Dad and I would laugh at that but he never oiled the linkage.

Just as I was getting drafted,  Dad found a 63 Volvo in great shape and used my old Renault as a trade in.  As soon as I turned Middle Class in Officer candidate School, I could have a car.  Dad brought that Volvo down to Fort Sill.  To get it registered on post, I had to add a seat belt.  I found a Foreign Car salvage nearby and the only belt in any of their cars was a shoulder belt without a lap belt.  I put it in the car and faked my way through the inspection station.  That car did have all the bells and whistles, and they all worked.   I drove that car until I went to Vietnam.  Dad was on one of his trips to Arkansas in that car and a drunk pulled right out in front of him.  The only thing that saved him was the seatbelt I installed.  He did manage to separate some ribs because of the lack of a lap belt but he did live.  The accident was so strong that Dad broke his nose with his knee and it totaled that car.  

In spite of the damage, you could open and close all four doors on that car after the wreck
Over the years Dad bought a few more Volvo's and was very happy when my brother wrecked one of them.  It was a station wagon with an automatic transmission that would not get out of its own way.  It was a Dog and Dad hated it.  When that car died, he bought a new station wagon with a 4 speed transmission.  Dad racked up at least 100,000 miles on that wagon running back and forth to Arkansas. 

When Dad got sick in 1971, he was laid up for a few years and the Volvo wagon became excess to his needs.  I bought it from him and it became the source of my name Volvo Man.  Back then, 100,000 miles was about the life expectancy of the motor in a Volvo and I go wind of a man near Topeka that had a train car load of Volvo's that had fallen off a train in a wreck.   Imagine I could lift up the steering wheel and drive a new car under it.  I searched the rumor down and found that it was true.  There was a wrecking yard with a bunch of smashed Volvo's and I could buy one cheap.  I bought a sedan and for the next few months planned how I was going to swap it all out.  At first I was going to haul it out to California and do the swap there.  After hauling it to Wichita from Leavenworth, I saw that was a bad idea.  I did the swap there in a friends shop.   Long story short, the new engine had fuel injection and an overdrive and I loved it. 

When we wound up in Topeka, a good friend of mine here had a Volvo and I stopped by there several times to see how he was coming as he rebuilt it.  His wife one day saw me pull in the yard and she hollered that Volvo Man was here to visit.  Yep'er, that nickname stuck for a long time.  I think I lived in Topeka at the time and finally sold that car with something near 200,000 miles on it.  Not sure of the exact miles as I had to replace the speedometer part of the dash from the wrecked car somewhere in the middle.  No, I did not record it all down and sold the car as is.  It was obvious that the engine and complete drive train had been replaced.

So, if you want to get my attention, you can yell Hey MUD or Hey Volvo man.   I would buy another Volvo today but there is no dealer here in Topeka to fix it if it broke.  I love that quirky darned car and still go look at one if I see it on a car lot.  Someday...

MUD, aka Volvo Man