Hi There!

It was an early preview of  summer this last week with 90 degree tempos and 105 Heat Index.  It cooled off over the weekend and it is darn near perfect out there today.  I will sing with the Barbershoppers on Sunday Morning but then we will take a little road trip. We both need to get out of town for a few days. 

We had a new driveway pad poured last week and it sure beats the heck out of the 3 inch difference between the driveway and the garage.  It was really strange to see that right up next to the doors, there was almost a 2 foot gap under the driveway.  The contractor put about 1/3 of the old driveway in the hole as fill.   It still took another dump truck load of gravel to fill the home.  We won't be able to drive on it until middle of next week.   We just park the cars out in the driveway and it is no big deal.

I am about fed up with the press doing their best to make the Supreme Court decisions about Obama.  They decided that the laws needed changed and said so or not.    In my opinion, no one won or lost.  Can you imagine what hell this Country would have to go through if nothing ever changed?    I ama conservative but mostly in the area od Money.  I will to the day I die feel that income must be equal to or greater than outgo.  What that means is that the real job of congress is to find ways t pay for the things they pass, not just pass everything and then figure out what they won't fund.  If a law has no money to pay for it, it should go away.  Period.  I think there is a lot of slack in the budget and we can have a lot of things but they will have to do double duty. 

Oh well, better get running.




I love that song from Annie, "The Sun will come Out Tomorrow."   I guess I have always tried to be the guy that really didn't care if the glass was half empty or half full so long as there was a place to fill it up and a place to pee.  One of my favorite jokes as a young soldier was about the man that died and went to hell.  When he got there, he found himself in a bar and much to his amazement, the beer was free.  Like all young soldiers, he drank often frequently and deep.  After an hour or so, he asked where the bathroom was.  He was directed over to the doors in the corner.  When he went in the bathroom, he then noticed that he had no way to empty his bladder. (For those of you that don't know, that is an equipment issue, or lack thereof.)  He ran back out into the bar and shouted that he really had to pee and no way to do it.  The Bartender said, "It's hell isn't it." 

Last night, there was no treasurer or Secretary for a Board meeting at the Barbershop scheduled meeting.  Instead of a formal board meeting it turned into a  BOGSAT.  For those of you non Acronym people that's a Bunch of Guys Siting Around and Talking.  Without the Treasurer there, we really didn't have any way to ask the stupid questions about where did we put that expense or where will we put another this year.  I have always been troubled by the fact that people try to build the solid budget and make it a rule rather than a guide.   When I voiced my displeasure with the Rules and Law and Order guys, several of the guys were kind of gruff.  I then asked them just what is the purpose of our organization.  We have CD's of almost $20,000 and we should be able to pay our debts but not to amass a fortune.  I think we need to reach out to the community with our music not with our money.  We should bring the joy of our acapella music and sing.  We have music and uniforms.  What more do we really need.  Someone then asked why the expenses from our Valentine sing outs were twice what we have made in previously years.   By the results we didn't make any money in that endeavor and I sure wondered why we didn't.  I guess that's a question we will discuss at the next board meeting.

Last night, we had a few discussions about some of the topics in the Headlines today.  First, I pointed out that the Confederate Flag was last a banner of significance about 150 years ago.   It should be relegated to the museum and viewed there.  I can understand why it flies in the face of many people.  See, I can make a joke about it.  Then we discussed the gun issue.  My point is that if more gun laws would fix the problems, there would be almost no crime in Washington D.C. and in New York.  They have some of the toughest gun laws.  I am pretty sure that my guns are under my control and they do not have a mind of their own.  In fact they are locked up with a combination and I can't remember the combination for that safe.  I do have it written down and I hope I can remember where that is written.  The final point I made is that we need to laugh more at our own weaknesses and tell the News agencies to lighten up.  I am sure there are several hundred things to laugh and put smiles on our faces.  If you think the race relations are bad today, you should have been here in the 60's.

I guess I have spent enough time here on the computer.  Lawns to mow and gasoline to expend.



Father's Day

Like most of the Baby Boomers, I no longer have my father to spend some time with today.  Pops would be 95 now and I'm sure that time would have not been good to him.   What was good to him was the time he spent with my mother.  They laughed traveled and enjoyed life about as well as they could.  I can remember being over at their house and Dad would say, "Virginia, would you put some ice in my tea or Would you put some tea ion my ice."  Dad took medicines that gave him dry mouth and he almost always had a glass of something near him.  After his bout with Hepatitis he didn't drink like he did prior to that.  For months after he died, I would start to call him to tell him about a program on TV about planes.  We didn't share his love of golf, bowling or Nascar but we both loved to watch things on TV.  I'm sure that the program "How It's Made"  would be one of his favorites too.

I don't want to make this a sad post, only to say that we all needed our dads even if we were around a non biological dad.  I think our next door neighbor, Art Longhoffer was as much of a dad an mine was.  I was the son he didn't have and I loved to go out with him to feed his cattle.  I'm sure that he would much rather sit in the truck and drink beer while I did most of the grunt work.  I was rewarded often with a dinner that was mostly German food that Mrs. Longhoffer would fix.  I'm sure that she learned to cook Art's favorite food over the years and I loved every bite of it.

Most of the kids that attended Minneha Elementary in East Wichita attended Kindergarten under Mrs. Longhoffer.  I remember it being about as much fun as I ever had in school.  We played games, took naps and ate graham cracker snacks.  The room we were in had the alphabet in a circle around the middle of the room.  Somehow we all wound up learning the alphabet through our play.  I loved Mrs. Longhoffer and she treated me well in school. 

I am not sure what we will do today but I'm sure it will be somehow involved in getting out and doing something.   I'm sure that Barb will take her camera and take some good shots of the wildlife nearby.  I can still spot things far off but her eye on the close up details are what makes her photography so special.  I am the Macro kind of guy and she is the Micro kind of photographer.  Give her a flower with a bug on it and she is happy.   I am the one that see's the deer in the middle of the field or the snapping turtle in the yard near the road.  She is the one that captures those shots in way I can't. 

Our BBQ yesterday went well and we managed to send home a great deal of the leftovers with the Petty's and the Parks.  I also found my new favorite cake.  Unlike my mother that thought pie was always the best, I have always loved a good slice of cake.  Barbara found the recipe for a Chantilly cake.  It has fresh fruit between the layers and a cream cheese frosting on top.  Man was it good.  I managed to snag 2 pieces at lunch and one late night piece.  Needless to say, there isn't more cake laying around today.

Do you have any rules in life?   I have a few but a lot of how I react is from the things I learned as a kid.  I have never been afraid of hard work.  I have a lot of good tools and there are few jobs that I can't or won't handle.  I like new and shinny things on old cars but have kept one grill bar that is kind of rough to remind me of where I started and how far the rest of the car has come.  I would love to say that I have treated everyone the way I want to be treated but many people tell me that I don't seem to notice when others are really having a bad time.  I also fall on the side of Justice a lot more than mercy.  I am one of those do the crime, do the time.  Oh well.

The one thing I have done well is earn a decent income.  Throw in Barb's willingness to save our money and it has been a good combination.  I won't throw rocks at her income over the years either.  She has always made a good income and saved a great deal of that money.  I guess we have been a pretty good team over the years.   47 by my count. 

I was amazed by one of the articles in the newspaper today.  They said that farm income was down by about 10% last year.  With the heavy investment farmers have to make, it won't take very many years of that to really hurt.  I know a lot of farm wives that are working in schools and offices to help make do.  I know that at one time farm property would keep going up and even if they didn't make a lot of money while farming their legacy would leave them pretty well off.  The sad news was that with all the hard work a lot of farmers didn't live long enough to see that benefit.  Oh well, it is father's day not farmer's day..  

Better get rolling and see what is in store for the day.



Just Gotta Grill

We are celebrating Father's day and a couple of birthdays today and I will be out in the yard smokin' and jokin'.   Just so you know, spell checker didn't like smokin" or jokin' nearly as much as I do.  I will fire up the Weber grill and get some good hickory to make the brats and burgers taste really good.   In the past, I would pre-cook the brats inside but the last time I cooked them 100% on the grill they were fine.  I will start the brats a little early and do the burgers last.  The Brats can sit inside on the warmer until the burgers are ready.   Throw in a side of watermelon and perhaps some baked beans and it will be a wonderful meal.  Barb  is making a cake that is decorated with fresh berries and I'll bet it will be a hit too.  Did I mention that Barb was at one time an instructor for Wilton's at Michaels?   She can whip up great baked goods and do an even better job of decorating.  The half life of her cinnamon rolls is not even measurable as they don't last that long.

Today I was reading my Facebook page and there is a large number of 55-56 & 57 Chevy lovers on one of the sites I follow.  I have decided that I should coin a new term.  Shoe Box Socialism.  That is where everyone is "entitled to whatever he can pay for."  One guy wants to find an old 6 cylinder 4 door car and drive it and another wants to spend $60,000 on a kit to build one out of new parts.  I say what ever floats their boats.  When you figure out what a new car costs, having an old one as a daily driver isn't all that bad.  Yes, I am working on getting my energy up and fixing the 57 to drive as a daily driver.  I will have to talk to the insurance company and determine just what that will cost.  Right now it is a garaged queen that can go to shows now and then.

This is an interesting time in our history.  We are 150 years from the end of the Civil War and 70 years from the end of WWII.  We have forgotten a lot of the lessons learned from those wars.  The cost of freedom is very high and worth every dollar  we have spent.   Just this week there was a program that advocated that we mandate that every 18 year old have to spend a year in National Service.    That works well in Switzerland but I am not sure that our diverse economy and social strata's would allow it to work.  I know that it did wonders for me, but we were in a war and there, you either lived or died and that's not a price I want our young people to pay. 

There are a lot of interesting Dave Ramsey posts on Facebook and many make me want to post a few comments.  We were Dave Ramsey fans before we knew who he was.  To us, it was pretty simple to pay off your debts as fast as you can and do your best to not have new one's.  The rule that income had to be greater than or equal to outgo was a given.  I know that our willingness to work while going to College and a little help from the GI Bill made it work for us.  The idea of saving any extra money we could was just a given.  Our extravagance was a few monthly long distance calls to California and then Idaho so the wife could stay in touch with her parents.  A small price to pay for the wonderful; life we have had.
I am reading a lot about Rand Paul's desire to have a flat tax and do away with the IRS that bothers the hell out of us taxpayers.  I want them to change their focus on those places where we make money and them leave us alone.  Thin about all the interest income that doesn't get reported.  Those under the counter salaries would stop and everyone would pay their share.  I would start with the thought make a dollar and pay a dime.  I think the nearer place we need to be is about 15 cents but heck, we can pay for everything we are getting now.  Change the focus of taxation and I'll bet we can find a lot of places where people have just stopped paying.

This last Memorial Day, I went over to the cemetery and decorated Mom and Dad's grave with a flag and sunflowers.  As I drove by this last week I saw that they were still up and doing their thing.  I am sure that they would be proud. 
Glen and Virginia (Schawo)  Petty



Great Start for a Friday

This morning Barb and I took the bikes over to the lake for a short ride.  I did a little over  8 miles in about 35 minutes.  For the recumbent, that's a nice little ride.  I really love the smoothness of my bike and the back support of the recumbent.  It takes a little longer to get used to the ride but it is an easy thing once you do. The big difference is you need to stay on top of what gear you are using.  You cannot stand up and pedal so if you stall out you fall down.  The good news is you don't have far to fall. 

Biking on the cement bike path.

I got the new part for the zero turn mower and it took me all of about 10 minutes to put it on.  Most of that time was spent taking off the tire so I could get to the part without standing on my head.  Thankfully the brake part on the other side was not broken so it was easy to see how it worked.  4 lug nuts and two 3/8ths bolts and it was all good to go.  I even took a little time to give the mower a much needed bath.  There was a lot of mud splashed from the lower field. 

Tomorrow we will have the kids and the Parks over for lunch.  I will grill some brats and burgers and there will be a side of red beans and rice if we can get the recipe to work out.  I hear Barb upstairs making a cake so I am sure that dessert is covered.   Some hamburger buns and a bag of ice and we'll have it all covered. 

I have a relative that co-signed on a credit card and it has her credit score all screwed up.  My rule is that we do not co-sign on anything that is not a real thing and it must be in our name.  If I am going to pay for it, I will bring it home.   We also have a rule that if we loan money to a relative we don't give more than we could really afford.  If the loan goes bad, no big deal.  In fact Barb has an account that she stores a few extra dollars in just for that purpose.   Life is way too short to hold a bad loan against someone.   With all that said, anyone that wants money from us has to convince Barb and she is no easy sell.

Oh well, cleaning to do so I'll close here and again say that if you think Guns can think, you are a cinch to believe in Global Warming.



Hate Crimes

As if the News commentators need to make it a bigger deal, they are saying the shooting of nine people in a church in South Carolina is a hate crime.  Damn straight, Skippy, I'll bet that dumb Som'bitch had nothing but bad things on his mind when he unloaded on those people at a prayer meeting.  In fact, Unless someone is just a sociopath, wouldn't you have to hate someone to take their life? 

Someone said blame it on the guns.  I cry BS on that!   My guns are in a safe and they don't know the combination.  In fact, I have to remember hard to remember where I hid the combination so I can get them out.  They have absolutely no free will.  If you ever read that MUD has shot and killed someone, you can write premeditated on the charges because it takes time and planning to get my guns ready.  I fully want to go on the record that unless I really hate someone or something, my guns will stay locked up.  Well, there might be from time to time I will take them out and shoot at paper targets and then clean them.  If I were to be asked right off the top of my head, I am not sure how many guns I have here at home and how many are on loan to the Museum of the Kansas National Guard.  I darned sure don't know how many bullets I have only that I do have most of the clips loaded for the 9mm.  The .22 and the shotgun is just unknown . 

On that vein, I have listened to people ask the question Why?  Over and over people say They don't understand why someone would murder someone.  I think that sober people with any sense of a conscience wouldn't kill someone.  It has to be a pretty damn big Significant Emotional Event to piss me off enough to get the guns out and go to a gun fight.  Those that murder just shouldn't be out on the street walking around.    I did hear one pretty significant comment one time. A The friend said that he doesn't understand suicide.  He does understand being so mad that might want to shoot the Som'bitch that mad him feel that way.  That I can understand.  Just random shooting of unarmed people is beyond my level of comprehension.

I am not mad at the President for saying guns are a problem.  How could a social activist and community planner in Chicago feel different.  In fact, there probably is a lot of support to go him to into the cities and have the community planners and social workers try to take the weapons away.  Might solve a couple of problems.  If only we could get the lawyers and Politicians in on that action.  They would probably just screw around and want the Military come save their hides.  That I would object to. 

This morning I went up to my son's house and finished mowing his three acres.  I rebuilt his Troy Built mower deck and it is just a mowing machine of the finest kind.   I did see that my rat trap was empty and the bait was gone.  I found that when I put the mower away I must have knocked the trap rod off and it didn't work.  I bought some peanut butter crackers and put one in the trap.  I also bought one of those rat feeding stations that promise big results.  It will take a little time to see if it works.  Yes, I too like peanut butter crackers.

Better run, things to do and places to go.



Going to the VA

I went to the VA a few years back because my hearing is shot full of holes.  Barb thinks it is all those years in the artillery and I answer Huh?   To get a simple hearing test, they enrolled me in their care program and gave me a category 3 rating.  That means that if available, I can get a lot of the services for free that the VA offers.  Today I went in early for the lab tests for the physical visit at 2:30.

I am looking forward to talking to the Doctor about the connection to my Agent Orange exposure and the blood clots I threw when I was sick and lost a lot of weight.  My research on line tells me that the Agent Orange is stored in the body fat and can be released when the body undergoes a weight loss.  I went from 268 to 227 while sick with the flue in February.  By Easter, I was so sick that I went to my family doctor and was put in the hospital.  I had blood clots in my lungs and there was no other known causes.  Will be an interesting conversation.

Does anyone out there have any idea what the blood thinner Xerelto is?   I wonder if it is one of those new drugs developed from the venom of a snake.  The one thing I do notice is that I used to have a cast iron stomach and now I have acid indigestion.   It really takes the fun out of coffee when you have to take an after breakfast Tums.   Oh well, they have some creamy mints now so it isn't all bad.

Yesterday I brought Dave's mower home and reworked the mower deck.  About a year ago I replaced one blade tower and now the other one was making a slight grinding noise.  I replaced a blade tower and now that sucker mows like mad.  It also helped that I took a mouse nest out of the engine.  I am sure that it could have been running kinda rough because of that.  Yes, I am again on the hunt for those pesky pack rats that have taken up residence in his storage shed.  They are just suckers for peanut butter on bread.  I have a trap that catches them and I do away with them.  I am sure that I'll have to keep at it for a week or two to get them all. 

Have you listened to all the madness the TV could provide this week?  Just when Texas was starting to dry out, another tropical storm is blowing in with massive rainfalls.   Throw in Bruce Jenner's conversion and the white woman trying to be black and now what could make it all worse?   Yes, Donald Trump has thrown his hat in the Presidential ring.  Yesterday, the talk radio's were talking about how it is like Ross Perot's running and causing Barack Obama's win in his first election.  It is enough to make me want to go to a dark room and have a good cry.   I would have a cold beer if I was still drinking.

When I was in the Guard, a couple times a month I would go to the Grover's Smokehouse and have their Rib Tip Special.  Yes, I know it was not good for me but it was so good that I couldn't feel bad for a week.  Now I read that the last Grover's smokehouse here in Topeka is closing down.  Bummer! There are places with a better selection from Barb's stand point but I really liked the place.  Another good place bites the dust.

Better get a move on so I can get some things done.