Rant from my side of the street

I have been a person that has had to change my ideas a lot in the almost 60 years I have been here. In my earlier years, couples of mixed races were really shunned in the Oakie & Arkie infested neighborhood I grew up in. I have come to understand that color has no boundaries to people that are in love. I have grown to accept it and moved on to newer things.
Now, I have the subject of Same sex Unions/Gay Marriages to deal with. I would hope that those out there that need, want or desire some form of legal union for same sex couples can grow to understand that it is the word "Married" that upsets the conservative right. I think what is wanted is some legal term that establishes the rights to same sex couples that the rest of us have. I fully understand that desire and need. I would hope that out there some smart person can come up with a mutually agreed upon word that will fit that bill and give that most needed protection to their rights. I have no desire to know what goes on in the private lives of couples of either/same sex. Your privacy is not something I want to violate. Here is a short list of some of the terms I would start the list with: Civil Union, Common Law, Love bond, Same Sex Contract. Add your own terms on the end of the list but understand that the word Marriage for same sex couples is just as volatile as the "N" word in our language.
those that know me know that I have gays in the family and as friends. I love them as much as my straight friends and respect them for who that are.


Monday, the Laundry Chair Day

Today is Monday and it is the day I have normally set aside to do laundry. It will be a strange day as I will also have to do some serious house cleaning also. I have neglected my duties in favor of riding and now must pay the piper. We are set for some house guests on Wednesday and I am ill prepared.
The picture I have posted is a photo of a Wildcat from the K-State Campus. I would love to be able to bring some of the large bronze works to Topeka but will settle for driving there to see this beautiful art work. To make up for the lack of bronze kitties, I can generally go out and have a lap full of all the kitty I want. Tiger has learned to accept that I mean no harm and will let me pet him while I nurse a cup of coffee. He does have a couple of bad habits that I wish would go away but hey, I won't change him any more than he can change me. Cats often flex their claws as you pet them. Tiger's are sharp as they can be and he often gets right on the edge of hurt with them. At least once a day he gives me a love bite that never breaks the skin but again is on that ragged edge. Oh well, I don't understand cats, I will just tolerate it, or not!
Barb and I talked with her Mom last night. Mom had taken a tumble earlier in the weekend but is ok. She was just on the return side of a trip to Jack-Pot, Nevada so I guess she wasn't injured too much. My father-in-law has won over $100.00 two weekends in a row and Mom was a little envious. After all, she's the one that actually gambles. Dad's favorite pastime is to go to the Coffeeshop/restaurant and get treated like a king. The staff there know what a great guy he is and treat him better than the owner. (He tips pretty well also) In fact, he has been invited to graduations, weddings and all sorts of events of the lives of the staff there.
It was nice to send Barb off to work during the daylight. The flip side of that is it will be almost dark by the time she gets home. Can't have everything. Better run and get on with the kitchen. It will take at least two loads in the dishwasher as I let the dishes pile up. See Ya!


This is a Test Post

Mongolian BBQ

Last night Dave, Da Barbs and I went to a new restaurant in Topeka. We were celebrating Dave's 31st Birthday. The Mongolian BBQ format is one where you go get your ingredients and then watch as it is grilled on a circular grill. There is a team of cooks that go around the grill preparing the grill(Cleaning it between customers), placing your food on the grill, stirring it and then serving it. Last night there were five workers. They had a pretty organized system where they went in a circle and the guests went in a circle going the other direction and it seemed to work as everyone got the food they picked out. It was an all you can eat place so you could go back if you didn't get enough the first trip.
Yes, I went back but the second time I focused on vegies. Grilled tomatoes were the best. They also had a nice selection of oils and sauces to make it good. It was a little pricey but anyone that went away hungry do so because they wanted to.
After dinner we took Dave over to Michaels and set up a couple of his pictures for new frames. Barbara had a coupon for a 50% discount but even with that the cost for the frames exceeded the cost for the print.
The weather here is beautiful. I intend to go for a ride shortly and it will be 75 by noon. I went 8 miles yesterday and will double that today. I wish you all could ride one of Putt-Putts bikes and see what it is like to cruise down the street on a comfortable recumbent. Bike riding is just one of those things that put a smile on your face and takes you back to your youth. You see so much on each trip that it makes you smile inside and out. Better go reset clocks and get ready for the ride.


Go Cards!

What else needs to be said? Can you feel the love? I will leave well enough alone!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! This is the poor skinny creature that started showing up at our house a while back. One day he came over and let me pet him. He was so skinny that he was pitiful. After feeding him a couple of bags of cat food he is finally looking like he may last out the winter. I am feeding him a dry food that is a little higher in protein than the normal stuff and he is responding with steroid like growth. He would like to come in and sleep in the sunshine but the cathouse is all his for now.
I would like to congratulate Putt-Putt on the win by his favorite team. Yea Cardinals! The World Series is finally over and Football is mid season. Can Basketball be far behind? Only the J-Hawks could have their starting center get suspended and still get ranked third in the National pre-season poll. They are tall and talented for a team. In fact, their starters from last season had better keep their act together or they won't get to play much.
Barbara and I have spent the last few Halloweens with the Reimers and will miss the Trick-or-Treating with them. Barb said we should put on costumes and go visit all the adult friends we normally don't get to see. I think we should get K-State sweatshirts and go as Fans. They are a little lacking in that category so we might be able to help. (OK, KU is 0-4 in the Big 12 so far) Barb thinks this is the one time of the year we should be able to just drop in on people. If you are reading this, look out! I think our lunch with Rhonda Grahm prompted her to think she has so many good friends we just haven't seen lately.
My eye is healing nicely and as soon as the redness goes away you won't even be able to tell anything was done. I wanted a big red scar so I could tell people I fenced (no not bob-wire, you know, with those skinny swords) in Germany. Perhaps if I wore a monocle on that eye and put some eyeliner on it. I know, an eye patch made out of some material I can see through. I can be a pirate.
OK, enough Halloween ideas. I had better get on with RWS (Real World Stuff) and go shopping. See Ya!


Busy Friday

Hi there sports fans. This is a picture from my baseball days. I played first base because I could catch and that lasted until they found out that I could also throw so I moved behind the plate and was a catcher. We had the best battery and one of the worst records. You must be able to score runs and defense on the rest of the field. Oh well, it was fun.
Today was one of those days that started early and went by fast. I had an appointment to have the stitches removed in the morning. At noon Barb and I met with one of our friends for lunch and this afternoon I took Mom to the Doctor's office for a visit. She has been feeling kind of poor and we went in to discuss it. First of all Mom stopped taking one of her pills that she thought was a blood pressure pill. It turned out that it is a pretty important pill that helps regulate her heart beat and not taking it let her heart not beat well. Poor heart beat with a bad heart and it is no wonder that she didn't feel well.
Tonight is game five of the World Series and many of us are hoping that the Cardinals can finish this whole thing before the first snow starts. Actually it is supposed to be near 70 tomorrow and 75 on Sunday. I think the series will move back to Detroit if it doesn't end today.
With a break in the weather, I hope to be back on the bike some this weekend. Sunday for sure.
Yesterday was Dave's birthday. He turned 31 and boy does that make me feel old.



For those of you that haven't seen "Flags of Our Fathers", I would like to talk about one of the lead actors and the role he plays in the movie. Adam Beach is an Indian Actor (I would say American Indian but he is Canadian) and his portrayal of Ira Hayes. For those of you that have seen Code Talkers about the Navaho Marines in the Pacific that were radio operators and confused the Japanese, Adam played the main "Code Talker" assigned to the Nick Cage character. It didn't take any time for my mind to get around the actor's portrayal of Ira Hayes. He was a Marine, assigned to do what Marine's do.
The main point I want to make about Adam Beach is that as an actor he can fit in many roles and like the actor he is, you don't see him, but the character he plays. Lets face it, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne were themselves and played in movies. Adam became the characters he portrayed in the two movies I have seen him in. As a recovered drunk (Alcoholics go to meetings) I really felt a bond with the Ira Hayes character. It is very easy to feel bad and slip inside the bottle to escape. Having escaped that problem I felt bad that such a fine Marine died without escaping that situation. To survive the war and die in a drunken pile of humanity was a waste. Adam Beach is the fine actor that took you there to The Battles of Iwo Jima and as Ira died as just another drunk Indian. I can't express the sadness I felt as his body was viewed by the kids that found him. The finest thing you can say about an actor is he became the part. If nothing else, go see Flags of our Fathers (FOOF) to see this fine actor, Adam Beach, become Ira Hayes.


Flags Of Our Fathers

Today I went to see the new Clint Eastwood Movie, "Flags of our Fathers" How could the baby boomers "Cowboy of all Cowboys" not make a great War Movie? I knew what to expect and knew it would be intense and it was. It made me think about all the brave soldiers, sailors, marines and other Service members were all willing to fight the fight they were given. To make the whole event more meaningful, after the movie I went to the cemetery and visited the grave of my father. It was a dark and drizzly day and that just added to the somber thoughts in the cemetery. It was deserted and I had only the light breeze to accompany me to the grave.
In the movie, the Doc (Sailor, corpsman assigned to the Marine Unit) died at the end of the movie and apologized to his adult son for not being a better father.
I guess that caused me to think about my relationship with Dad. He was not the best Dad when I was growing up but at the end we really had some nice chats and I would like to think we bonded. At least as good as we could. I'm not sure I gave him much room in those early years. It does take two to tango. I do know that when I took the General over to the VA, as I was promoted to Colonel, Dad cried. I think they were tears of pride but hey, who knows?
I am not sure the movie will hit home with all the young people of today because of the fact that a lot of them are tired of hearing about war. The guys that fought in the 1940's are now in their 80's or like Dad no longer with us.
As a Vet of the Vietnam war, I know that combat doesn't make a whole lot of sense to the people engaged in the battle. Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian, said he wasn't a hero, he was only trying to stay alive. Duh! What the hell did he think the rest of us were doing? I did my best to help the enemy die for their cause and not get killed doing stupid things. Ok, there was this one time I was really stupid and lived in spite of the recoilless rifleman trying to blow me off the top of a fire base as I shot at him with a 155mm Howitzer. It just pissed me off and and I wanted to shoot to keep him from killing all of us.
I salute all my comrades that have served and hope they all have done what most of us have done and gone on to live a long boring life. MUD


Fears, Phobias and dogs

This may seem like a rant to you, but I think of it as a clearing of my gripes.
I guess one of the first fears I remember is the time I was at a party and I sat my plate down. A spider crawled across the plate and I could not eat the rest of the food. If you had known me in my teen age years you would have thought that was not possible. In the food column, there was a big red check mark under YES! After a trip to Vietnam, that sucker had better get off the plate and not eat much. I am as likely to sumsh him with the spoon, wipe it off on the leg of my pants and continue eating. I am not fearless, I am just one of the less afraid people I know. I think some people are wired to stop think and not do things. I am one of those that do, and forget to learn much of value from the experience.
OK, there is one phobia that I suffer from and that is claustrophobia. I hate small spaces that restrict me. One time when I hurt my back I put on a tight Rugby shirt. I could not get it off at all and the more I tried the more I hated that feeling. I had to get a knife and cut it off. One time there was a discussion of being trapped in a mine or in a dark shaft. I can't really watch programs on TV about such things. I just merrily go on away from such matter.
The other day I was watching the Dog whisperer (sp?) and a lady thought because her dog looked sad she had to carry it into another room. Geez Louise, dogs don't feel sad, happy or bored. Dogs are happy, hungry, sleepy or not, but they don't think. Anapomorphism is the assignment of human thoughts and actions to animals. My mother has either the smartest animals in the world or she is way too busy giving them talents. I think it is a lot more the latter.
People give animals way to much latitude in their lives. Dogs might be sad until you get there, but they will jump for joy and forget you were ever gone in a flash. I wish I had a good answer for cats. I have never spent any time trying to decipher their activities. They are an absolute mystery to me. I guess they probably would be a better pet for me but I just can't abide litter boxes.
With all the good technology out there you would think the Surgeon would use a telfa or non stick pad on my eye wouldn't you. Wrong. Last time he just used tape this time he taped gauze on the wound. It is stuck like someone super glued it to my face. I guess a good soak is what I need now. See Ya!


Recumbent Exercise Bike

This is a picture from my wild child days. I could out run, Out fight and out cuss most of the other guys. I really never did get that habit of spitting down so I didn't do that too much. I did carry a pocket knife but I managed to cut myself at least once a week. I am sure that my background as a Petty also gave me the gift of BS and I could tell better tall tales than most of the guys in my neighborhood.
I am currently working on trying to find a way to turn a weight bench and an exercise bike into a Recumbent exercise bike for indoor use. The problem I am having is the lack of something solid to hold it all together. I'm afraid if I take it out to the garage to put it together I won't be able to carry it back down to the basement. I also want it to be adjustable so I can make sure I don't hurt my knees as I stay inside. The ideal would be some kind of large rollers that I could use my actual bike on but I'll make do.
The birds are working at the feeder pretty hard. It is amazing how fast they go from having tons of things to eat in the wild to eating at the feeder. I guess the black oil sunflower seeds are too good to pass up. Now it makes me look at the window and realize how dirty a few spiders can make one window. Windex here I come.
Yesterday it was rainy most of the day and it just kept getting colder and colder. Tiger, the Outside Cat (OC), hung around most of the day. I made sure there was enough food to keep him full and the cat house kept him dry. The dogs have a nice house but Taco, the black slob, doesn't like to be inside. I have seen him out in the blowing snow just sitting there like it was a warm spring day. So far I haven't put them on winter rations and they still look pretty good. I think Taco could fast for a month or so and still be big.
This is going to be a long week for Barb. She will take off tomorrow from work to drive me to and fro to the Surgery. She will work all day Wednesday and Thursday. (Parent teacher conferences.) and then work Friday night at Michael's and most of the day Saturday.
I was going to apply for a substitute teacher job as soon as the face heals up some. I saw in the paper today that a lot of the Goodyear employees are also doing that. Perhaps I might want to apply at the new Ace Hardware store opening near us.
Better get on with my day


Becky & Roy

Becky is my Niece and lives in Oklahoma. The TOTO wanabe is Roy, her dog. I don't understand how someone that dislikes germs as much as she does can tolerate a dog in the house. I guess with a husband and two kids there permanently and one step son on weekends she somehow adapts.
We went down to Tulsa last weekend and we had a great time. We were the first overnight guest in Rick's guest bedroom and had a great visit.
We got to meet Laurie, or lexi or someone with a name that changes from source to source. Either way, she could be a member of the family. Laurie's dad is a Southern Baptist Minister and Laurie can make up stories to rival any member of the Petty Clan. I have read a lot of the story she and Becky have written and can't tell when one starts and the other ends. I have high hopes they can be as successful as they are nice.
I found a small jar of Vicks "Vapo-Rub" and can at least breathe for now. The headache went away as soon as The dripping started. Now I am back to going through boxes of Puffs at a rapid rate.
I have started feeding the birds again and there is a rapidly growing crop of finches and Junko's. I am also keeping a bowl of water filled outside. It is one of those water bowls that are heated so it won't ice up when it starts freezing.
I wish I could come up with some witty repartee but for the most part I am still under the weather enough that you will just have to make you own fun today. Write if you get work. MUD


Sicky Poo

Barb says I am the worst patient she has ever seen. When I get a code (stuff your nasal passages with tissue or snot and say cold) I am miserable. Part of the reason is my intolerance of decongestants. My blood pressure skyrockets if I even say the word out loud. I suffer with either pressure in the face or a drip that I generally don't feel until it reaches my chin.
The usual fall cycle is that one of those little school monsters comes to school and gives it to Barb. Thes she gives it to me and I am the sickest one of the bunch. Oh well, enough of my whineing.
Fall is in full swing here in the heartland. 70 one day, 50 the next and then 70 by Friday. I would probably ride more if it weren't for the darn wind. It just seems to blow me all over the road and make it fee a whole lot colder than it is. The guys on the Bentrider Bulletin Board complain about leaves turning to a slick paste if there is a little rain but those are the days I just stay home.
Well, I need to get ready for the day and perhaps to make a Puffs run to the store. At the rate I am using them I'll be out by noon.


Did I say Cold?

I went out in my basketball shorts this AM to get the paper. To say I was under dressed is an understatement. It was near thirty degrees with at least a 20 MPH wind. I can't imagine what the wind chill factor is. Three cups of coffee later and I'm still cold. That wind started in Northern Canada and swiftly move to Kansas. There isn't anything between here and there but a few barb wire fences.
Barb made the observation that yesterday's post was nearer to her ideal blog. She said that people with a real life don't have time to read three pages of drivel. My work drivel? OK, guilty.
I have been reading several other blogs and there are several things I have come to hate. Bare, bear, beer (Pick One) with me for a few rants. Black backgrounds with off color print is a horror for old eyes. There is also an itty bitty font size that I can't read. Pictures are a plus but I don't understand people taking their own pictures with goofy looks. Especially with the addition of alcohol impairment. (That could stem from my own sobriety and an aversion to drunks) Why would you type He, he, he, he... adnauseum? I think a normal reader can tell when you have amused yourself. Did I mention those little silly smiley faces and dumb things that move? What ever happened to real communication without animation?
I am only a few days from having Dr Baraban go back in and do the deep tissue biopsy. I have high hopes that there is nothing to worry about but it is a little like a minor tooth ache that you don't know if it is a minor cavity to fill or if the tooth needs pulled. Either way if there are a few days early next week that I don't post, don't worry. I'll let you know as soon as I know. MUD


Tulsa Pictures

This is my brother Rick and me. He's the cute guy with the Glen Petty Haircut

Here is the other special K's. Kristen, Kristopher & Kris

This Mel and her Boy friend

Odd Morning

It is one of those fall days that will be warm, overcast and windy. There is a front inbound and tomorrow it will not be as warm as it was cool today. I am sitting here wondering what the heck? Several things cross my mind to blog about and none spill out of my fingers on this page. Lets see if there is anything worthwhile?
  • Truth - I always want to follow this with Justice and the American Way. The more I think about truth, the less I find. About the time someone tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, a revisionist comes along and changes it. That means that the truth is only a vision of what someone thinks or can prove with come convoluted experiment. My reality is mine and you can't change it. Oh, perhaps you can. I can't be bought but I can be had.
  • Privacy - How can people say the Government should not look into their private life and then go blog their complete lives to anyone that stops at their site? There are those of us that are so public that privacy is not a concept that captures us. I also know people that are very private and in reality no one really cares about their lives anyway. Kind of like having a tattoo on your butt and never showing it to anyone. Who Cares?
  • Piercings and tattoos. I think the human form is pretty darn good. I don't understand the art of changing what we have. I really don't understand making a tatty out of someone on your body. They will change and the tatty won't. Who wants to see a baby picture on the arm of a 70 year old guy? Especially if the baby is now 50?

That is all I can stand of trying to be introspective. I'm sure that it bored you about as much as it did me. What, no pictures? Deal with it No, I do not watch deal or no deal.



Random Ramblings & Photos

This Belle of the Ball is our wonderful friend Julie, the mother of the special K's. (Kendra and Katrina) She is dressed up for a presentation at her church and made a lovely anti bellum belle. As you can see, she has a lovely sense of humor and we would be proud to be her parents.
In every life there are a series of people that you meet that have an impact on your life. Barbara has had a series of young teachers just starting out in Special Education assigned to her school over the years. Most of them have grown to love Barb as much as I do. She has become a mentor, a friend, a co-worker and mostly like family. We get cards and notes from far flung places in the world. One went to Japan for a while and now we have a friend in Morocco.
It is Julie our friend in Morocco that I write about today. I am not sure what words to use to describe her. Sweet, caring, intelligent, pretty, nice and accepting all come to mind. She has a joy in life that must stem from her strong Christian background. If ever there was a need for a role model for what every young woman should be like I know where to look for all the attributes in one place. Until Dave married his wife, Julie was the surrogate daughter I needed to round out that side of our life in Topeka. Her acceptance of this Mean Old Uncle Denny is a tribute to her faith that god put something nice in everyone.
Julie is the daughter of a Doctor that practiced Eye Surgery around the world. She has spent time in Afghanistan and still holds fond memories of her time there. Her mother’s family was missionaries and traveled worldwide. Julie’s parents settled in Hillsborough, Kansas but I’m sure that they can truly claim citizenship in the entire world. U nfortunately Julie 's father passed away and is now serving a group of people in heaven. Gerald’s parents live in western Kansas in Meade. Julie still has brothers in far flung places and is fortunate to have one in Morocco.
Julie came to T. South with her maiden name Friesen. She was engaged to Gerald Reimer at that time and had all the enthusiasm that new teachers have. She spent about half of her day over at the Middle School and really didn’t like the administration there. She was thrilled to be assigned full time to South in her second year. They made a great team at South and I heard nothing but great things from Barb about Julie and her work with the kids. At one point in time, Julie married Gerald and they opened a second chapter in their life. I’m sure that they dedicated their lives to being good parents and members of their church and community. As usual, it was on a National Guard weekend they got married. You know, you don’t get buried or married on Denny’s drill. If you do, I won’t be there.
After a couple of years in the Special Ed classroom, Julie asked for a regular education class. This was almost never done in this school district but I’m sure they could see what a special person she was and let her move into general education. Barb would often come home late from school and if we drove by the school, Julie’s car would still be in the school parking lot. Julie worked long and hard to make sure her students were successful. In fact, she and Barb even cooked up a scheme to have me come and help one of the students after school. For a couple of months I would come by after school and we all would eat a Snicker and do homework. Julie spent most of her time grading papers and making lesson plans while I worked with her student. From time to time I would have to ask Julie what something meant and how the heck to do some of the math. My methods were old school and the new methods were not a part of my processing. I swear I am missing a couple of math genes but make up for them in my verbosity.
Julie and Gerald were like most young couples and after a while decided that a family was what they needed. Julie worked until their first daughter was born. She became a full time mother to Katrina and Barb and I became surrogate grandparents. We were allowed to baby sit all we wanted and were there if an emergency arose. We loved their daughter as much as anyone could. Smart, cute and funny was the best I could describe her. After a year or two they decided that an additional child was needed and they were blessed with Kendra. Typical second child that tries to keep up with big sister and is another cute and smart child. Kendra is far from the copy of Katrina I expected. She is different in a lot of ways but we loved her, nonetheless. I call them, them the special K’s.
Over the years, Julie has allowed us to be a friend and share their adventures. These adventures continue today as Gerald is teaching at a University in Ifrane, Morocco. I find it interesting that through their blog and e-mails we stay almost as in touch as we did when they were here. One thing I will miss is the Halloween Trick-or-Treating. Gerald and I would go out with the special K’s and the big girls would stay at the house enjoying the costumes. Julie and Gerald would take the girls to the houses on their street mostly to say hi to the neighbors and the guys would go over a block or two. I hope you allow me to divert my writing every once in a while to talk about people that are special to us. I know that this is only a surface description of a very complex person. How can one person describe another person other than to compare how they interact with your life? I wish you all could have met and spent time with Julie and grown to love her like we have. I know she would want to say “God Bless You and May he protect you.” As salaam Alaikum.


Saturday in the Fall

Saturday in the fall means reading about the High School scores and reviewing the NCAA Div I games set for today. Barb got up early and had a hair appointment prior to reporting to Michael's for her shift. I think she has some plans about a road trip but until she gets home after 3 today I'm not sure. Something was said about a Monarch that came out this week and neeing a ride south. Perhaps Tulsa isn't a bad direction with them having 72 degrees today.
These are some of the pictures of me in my Minneha years. Can't you see that little imp of peverse in those eyes? He wouldn't lie to you if you asked him not to but he could make up stuff with the best of them. The haircuts were the result of my dad thinking he was a barber. I think he had a set of clippers and he would remove anything that looked like style or hair.

Did you check out the first shirt? I told you earlier that I wanted to be a cow boy. That is until I found out that cows are nasty and cowboys walked tall because of all the "scat" on their boots. Yes boys and girls, that is the educated word for the green stuff that comes out of the south end of a north headed cow.
I didn't get in much of a bike ride this week. It was flat cold and the north wind of 10 to 15 MPH just made it a lot less fun than I wanted. I will do a little house cleaning this AM and then get out on the bike for a ride at the lake. Mom called and thinks my step brother might come by about noon so I'll probably stop by to make sure he doesn't seal the china as he leaves. (Actually if there was any china he would be welcome to have it. I was speaking metaphorically)
A couple of people commented that there was no way to make comments on my posts and I finally worked out how to get that to show up. To date, no one has used that feature. I comment on other people's blogs all the time. My favorite is to post on the first time bloggers sites that I'm number 1 to post. I know, get a life, Dennis. My next great add will be how to add links to other blogs. I'll get there. It is kind of nice to see my name on Beck'y blog and with the click of a link go to this site. I will link you to Morocco and Tulsa as my first move.
I'd better get on with my cleaning or Ill find myself explaining to Barb what the heck I did all day. Keep the sun in your face, the wind at your back and I hope you are sober enough to keep the road where it belongs.


Morning Musings

This great fisherman is my brother Rick. I don't remember when or where these fish came from but if they became dinner they were good eating. This was taken in Arkansas over near Pruitt and the Buffalo river.
Barb mentioned the other day that she didn't care for fish until she ate my Grandpa Curly's fish. He would filet them, soak them overnight in a light salt water and fry it in a beer batter. Mom said that she liked the filets poached and with a little salt and butter. Rick was named after that Grandfather. Richard Milton Fruits became Curly to all of us. He and Erma were two of the funniest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. They taught us to love, laugh and sing.
Last night I took Da Barb's out to dinner. We went to a Mexican Restaurant and the food was so good that I had to talk to one of the cooks. I asked him how he got the onions so yummy and he said marinate the cut up onions for 20 minutes prior to saute'ing them in butter. The vegs were grilled on an open grill and it was one of the best meals I have had in ages.

This is a gift from KS of the new Art team KSSK. It is a scale model of my recumbent bike. I couldn't be more thrilled. It is all stainless steel and made of spare bike parts in the KS supply yard. You all saw the flowers in a recent post from them.
By the way, KS mentioned that I had sent a picture that was way too big for his slow connection and his server. I got to looking and somehow I had a glitch that was making all my photo's BitMaps not JPEGs. They would be enormous and my computer was slow as Molasses in January. Once I got the settings right this blog just uploaded these picts in record time. I guess it was the loose nut behind the lens, or perhaps the system operator error behind the key board.
Today is the day that all the "triscadecaphobic" people out there hate. Friday the 13th is a day for some people to stay home in fear that bad things will happen. Never been that way for me, but hey no one ever said I was one to not take chances. Heck, I went to Vietnam and had a blast while everyone back home aged years for that one year I spent there.
It got down to 30 last night and will get to 60 this afternoon. Will it snow out the Playoff's tonight? Both Chicago and New York are going to be cold tonight. Perhaps they need to shorten the year by a few games. Perhaps the Royals will loose less than a hundred games if they do. MUD


Be Very Afraid

A few years ago I worked as an instructor for a Call Center with a contract to GTE, a large telephone provider in Texas. As an introduction to the material, we talked about the background of the Telephone Companies (Tel Cos) and the legislation that caused the breakup of AT&T into Long Distance and small Tel Cos. The Department of Justice ordered the breakup because they were the big dog and the could wag the market. Here in the heartland we were order served by South Western Bell (SWBell) and there was Mountain Bell, Pacific Bell (PACBell) and a lot of smaller companies to include new cellular carriers. I'm sure there were new companies formed since that were not even thought of.
For some reason, AT&T was able to convince the Dept of Justice that if they owned SWBell it was such a small bite of the market and the market was so competitive that it wouldn't cause the consumer to pay higher rates. Just today it was announced that AT&T is being given the OK to purchase Bell South and oh, by the way that move also gives them control of Singular wireless. AT&T is busy putting back together their big cash cow and some time in the future they will want a bigger bite. Be afraid, be very afraid that our Government is not paying attention to this and it will result in fewer providers and less competition. Just so Dave will understand how this impacts his economics class, more demand and fewer providers will allow for higher prices. Not cause, allow.
I apologize that there are no pictures today. My computer and the Blog server are in conflict today and I get about half way through the download and everything dies. Words are all I can send today.


Random Photo's

From time to time I will try to load a few Photo's that are a visual reference of my past. This site takes a while to load and puts the pictures at the top of the page. I will do my best to make them attractive and put labels on them.

This is MUD reading to Katrina. Can you tell who is having the most fun? This is the closest thing I have to a grand daughter for now. Doesn't she have the prettiest smile?

This is my brother Rick and his daughter with his grand daughters. I love them but have granpa envy.

Short Tail Tale

My first dog was a brindle Manchester terrier. Brindle is a fancy word for a muddy colored dog with enough black to keep him from looking clean and neat. I called him Rex and he was far from his royal name. Today he would be required to have papers but they would be environmental impact statements or papers to pee on. On a good day, rex was about a foot tall and a little longer than he was tall. If he ate everything he was fed, he might go 15 lbs on his fattest day. I’m pretty sure that he wasn’t blind but he darn sure couldn’t tell that he was the smaller dog in most fights. He seemed to be fairly bright for a dog but what did I know, I loved Rex as much as he loved me.

Rex was one of the puppies born to the dog down the street. Candy Bandy was a black and tan terrier/Chihuahua mix that looked more like a Chihuahua than terrier. She looked like the little Min-Pins of today but she was a little calmer than they are and had an injured front foot and would carry it up and kind of hop as she walked. Somehow a Manchester terrier got in the yard down at the Bandy’s and mated. There were about six or seven pups in the litter and only two that wound up in the neighborhood when they were given to people that wanted a cute little pup. Dennis Laws got one of the pups that had a smooth coat and a solid black color like his mom. For free, I didn’t get pretty.

Rex started out as a noisy runt that demanded to be fed about every two hours. He would eat and immediately poop and go to sleep. Somewhere about two hours later he would wake up, eat, poop and sleep some more. It seemed like a couple of months before he would sleep all night and skip the two-hour feeding. He would howl until I let him sleep in my bed. As a pup he was pretty nice to sleep with but when he grew up later on he hated smelling like a dog and would roll in dead things. He could smell like things that would gag a maggot.

Because of the Manchester terrier influence, rex had a snout that was a little wider than most terriers. He had a broad front and strong front legs that would help him run like the wind. We left his ears and tail long and he almost always had his ears pulled back and his tail held high. If he didn’t stop too fast, sometimes one or both of his ears would be flipped open and they would stay that way until he shook his head.

Across the street there lived a family with two collies. The male, named flip, would bark whenever we can out of the house and Rex would run across the street and the two dogs would run up and down the fence barking at each other until one or the other got tired. To add insult to injury both dogs would stop and hike a leg up on the fence. As rex was about a foot shorter he often would come home a little damp. He would almost always stop and rub himself dry on the grass in the front yard. Unless there was something dead nearby and he would come home damp and smelly.

My favorite Rex story happened the year I had a paper route. Rex would get out with me and walk everywhere I would go if it was warm, sunny and dry. Early mornings, late nights or bad weather would keep him home. Did I mention that I thought he was pretty smart for a dog? On those days when we would walk the three miles on my route he would act like he was a retriever when I threw a paper towards a porch. He would never bother to pick up a paper and bring it back, just chase it as it flew towards a porch. One day as we passed a house on the southwest part of my route, Rex just disappeared. I noticed one time there was a chain link fence and a little dog in the yard but really didn’t pay too much attention. A couple of months later the owner of the house stopped me as I walked by his house. He invited me into the back porch of his house and showed me a box full of little brindle pups. He had the audacity to be mad that Rex had dug his way under the fence and visited his pure bred dog. Yes, a dog whose name never graced the pages of AKC papers clearly bred her. Can you imagine he didn’t even want to give me pick of the litter.

My second favorite Rex story was that same year on a nice warm spring day. Rex was playing chase the paper when he charged down a sidewalk in an apartment complex. Right where the sidewalk made a 90-degree change in direction there was a small depression that seemed to be full of fur. Being the brave, impetuous guy he was, Rex just had to take a mouthful of that fur just to see what it was. What it was, was the biggest male cat I have ever seen. I think it is called a Maine Coon cat. I’ll bet that cat was as pissed off as Rex was surprised. He jumped up out of that hole and made a sound that was somewhere between a mountain lion snarl and a siren. Meeoroar! Rex wasn’t stupid and took off for “far away” places as fast as his little legs would carry. The cat was hot on his trail and about every 10 paces would snarl and take a swipe at Rex’s retreating posterior. Every time the cat would hit home, rex would make a “yipe” sound. It seemed that the sound faded but at least two blocks away I could hear snarls followed by yipes.

It should be no secret that I did not see Rex for the rest of that trip throwing the Wichita Eagle Beacon. I finished my route and went home. I asked mom if she had seen the dog. She laughed and said that about a half hour earlier Rex had hit the storm door and scratched and barked until mom let him in. She said he was in my room and hadn’t come out. I went in and had to look for Rex. I found him under my bed whimpering and shaking like a leaf. I then noticed that caught in his front teeth was the cat fur that he had snatched from that cat. He wouldn’t come out until I got some dog food for him. Even then he didn’t calm down for a couple of hours. It was funny but he never walked down that part of my route again. He would always find some bush to pee on and be on the next block when I got there.

About five years later I got drafted and Rex of course couldn’t come with me. I went home for Christmas and was given the bad news. It seemed that one day a couple moved in across the road and had a little female dog. One day dad let Rex out and Rex made a beeline straight out in the path of one of the few city busses that went down our street. So I guess Rex died in anticipation of action and was buried in the back yard. As long as the family remembers Rex stories he will always be in our hearts. I have a lot of other Rex stories but remember this is a short tail tale.


Who are these Guys?

Was this a cast of a 1970's TV series? Was Rick a closet Cowboy.


Why was this little guy so Spoiled?

Once upon a time, My Mom and Dad went to New Mexico and they brought me this indian head dress and a drum. Didn't they know I WAS A COWBOY and wearing feathers was just enough to make me cry?

This special person was the oldest of my two sisters Myrna Sue and was the chief spoiler. I loved to sit on her bed and listen to her read.

This is Carol Lee and she spoiled me almost as much as did Myrna.
Carol would take me to Griff's Burger Bar and feed me cheeseburgers.

Now for the promised Elephant Legs in the Cafeteria story:
As a child in Wichita I attended a school that was trying to grow as the “Baby Boomers” flooded the district with new students. Our little four-room school at Central and Webb road grew into a three building complex up the road that housed elementary, secondary and Junior High school. I attended Minneha from Kindergarten through the ninth grade.

The families that sent their kids to Minneha were from three pretty distinct social strata’s. The really rich kids came from Eastborough, which was a private community with their own police force. The upper –middle class kids came from Forest Hills and the rest of us came from Dog-patch, which is one of the poorest sections in our school district. Some of my friends felt outclassed by the rich kids but they didn’t bother me. I could out run, out wrestle and darn sure out cuss any of them so they pretty much left me to my own devices. What does a little kid know about class anyway? I made friends with all of them and beat-up as well as got beat up by the bigger kids no matter where they came from or lived. I guess early on you could tell the differences from the clothes and probably later on by the smell.

By the time I started second grade, there were three or four classes in each grade. All the class sizes were 25 to 35 depending on exactly how they split the classes. The new elementary school building was completed as I entered the second grade and just in time to be filled to capacity.

I am sure that there was a lot of thought on how they split the classes and they were sure to not put Denny L and Dennis Petty in the same class. The same went for Eugene and some of the other neighborhood kids. Some learning could happen if the real troublemakers were split into small groups. Kind of a divide and conquer approach to mass education.

The new building was an architect’s marvel with new and innovative designs throughout. It was open and airy with high windows that let in a lot of light. The main halls between the classes were probably 35 feet wide with a narrower hall in the middle by the offices and cafeteria. It looked kind of like a giant hourglass lying on its side.

One of the highlights of our day was recess. I’m sure that the teachers used it as an excuse to let us blow off the stink and calm down from the sitting in one place as we were pounded with new facts and the processed called math. Social studies meant learning not to spit on the playground and not killing each other when we played. Our games took on creative names like “smear the queer”, full contact soccer and bombardment with the kick balls. The smear the queer was kind of like tag only everyone was it and the queer had a flag and we all tried to take it away from that person. The game didn't get fun until someone got knocked down and everyone piled on. Bombardment would go on until someone went to the teacher crying. Usually it was one of the smallest kids in the class mad because they didn’t get to hurt anyone else. You get hit and you are out of the game.

Each day somewhere around noon, we were taken down the hall to the cafeteria. It was also a bright open room filled with smells of cooking food and laughter of children. After you went through the line and got your plastic tray full of food, each class sang the Doxology. “Praise God from who all blessings flow. Praise father, son and Holy Ghost – AMEN!” And to think today they can’t even say a prayer in school. Kind of like singing for our supper except it was lunch but we were little kids and who knew?

I don’t know what it was about school lunches that I liked the most but I liked about everything they served. The cooks would add a little extra sugar to sweet things and always had lots of real butter for bread and butter sandwiches. I lived for the call of “Seconds” and always ate at least two or three extra bread and butter sandwiches. I don’t remember if we had much of "mystery meat" that was served later on in High school but the one meal I do remember was chili and cinnamon rolls. I don’t have a clue what else was served that day except a carton of milk. I lived for that treat about once a month. To this day I could eat a lunch of chili and cinnamon rolls but I would want to wash it down with a Pepsi.

Four, one foot thick pillars to held up the cafeteria roof to make it appear open and yet strong enough to stand up to a snow load. Someone had the bright idea that to keep the poles from showing fingerprints they needed a linoleum wrapper from the bottom to about six feet up the side. That gray wrapper had a curious design and even a more serious bad smell. You guessed it. We called it elephant hide. Because there were four pillars they looked like, smelled like and were appropriately called elephant legs.

Each day as we would finish our lunch, it became a contest to see who could stand by the pole and sniff the smell the longest. In our terms the smell would “gag a maggot.” I don’t remember anyone smelling it so long that they actually puked, but it was close. The braver (read stupid in adult terms) you were the longer you could stand there and sniff the pole. As one of the instigators of that little game, I had to prove my mettle first.

I’m not sure if the term champion would accurately describe the winner of that game. Only the brave could or would last long standing there by those poles. I always did my best to be one of the guys that lasted the longest. I’m sure there was no written list of people that could do stupid things the longest but my name would have been there in Gold letters had there been such a list.

The smell the pole game would end, as it was finally time to be herded out of the cafeteria. We would go by the slop bucket and clean our plates of things no one would eat. There was some kind of bread and tomato mush they served that to my knowledge no one ever ate. The can looked like someone had been killing chickens on that day as it as running red with non-eaten tomatoes. I like spinach but I’ll tell you that I was one of the few that did. When ever it appeared on the menu the slop bucket would be green. It would have looked like Christmas if ever breaded tomatoes and spinach were ever served on the same day.

We would adjourn lunch to be sent out on the playground. Real smart to let them stuff our stomachs with food and then go outside to run and play. I’ll bet there was at least one merry-go-round puke each week.

I’ll end this little ditty with a warning to parents out there that you must pay attention to the “Law of Unintended Consequences”. If you build something that is smelly stupid or just not normal do not be surprised if kids don’t find something stupid to do with it. Remember the “Elephant Legs” in the cafeteria.

Denny Stories, (Cont)

This is Denny and Rex about Christmas at 544 Byrd in Wichita, Kansas. As the margin says, it was 1963 so I would have been 16. Rex lived another 4 years and I am still hanging around.

Here is the rest of the story I started a couple of blogs ago:
Curiosity was a fault that just drug Denny into many adventures. He just couldn’t seem to not get into things or play with things especially if he thought it was forbidden by the rules. By an airport near his house there was an “honest to god” Marine Corsair sitting outside. As soon as the kids learned how to open the cockpit, it was fair game to be played with. For hours and hours Denny stood in the seat and pretended to shoot down all the Japs that ever flew through the plains of Kansas. If you sat down without a parachute on your butt and a seat cushion, you could not see out of the cockpit. Denny could either play with the joystick or work the rudder pedals. Most of the kids saw the plane once or twice and then went home. Denny played with that plane until he learned to open the storage flaps in the wing and take an ammo boxes out. Somewhere in his parents move from Kansas and return, that ammo box got lost. I doubt that he would ever have a need for a .50 cal machine gun ammo box in real life but hey, in the pretend life of a kid it was one neat thing. He filled it with tent pegs for when he went camping. It was cool that he knew what it was and everyone else did not know.

Dennis was a Boy Scout in a troop that met at the local fire station. The troop leader was an ex-marine that had a lot of contacts with the local Marine Reserve unit and a lot of the equipment was excess marine stuff. It was cool to have a WWII surplus sleeping bag and old GP Small tents. The troop really looked different when they went camping with other Boy Scout troops. There was a real emphasis on camping and field survival but not as much on rank in the troop. Denny was a pretty good cook and for a lot of the camps worked with the adult leaders and learned his way around a Dutch oven. The one big advantage about cooking was the cook didn’t have to clean up. He cooked until one month they made his a patrol leader and assigned four or five of the Byrd street gang to his patrol. Man was that ever a wild group. They could create more wild adventures by accident than a whole troop could on purpose. I think several of them made 2nd Class Scout and perhaps one or two made 1st Class. Only one scout tried to make a lot of rank and he was a Star or life scout, which I think is a grade below Eagle. He always was an eager beaver and his dad was one of the troop Board Members. The rest of us just enjoyed scouting for what it was and rank didn’t matter. Knowing how to tie a bunch of knots wasn’t as important as knowing how to tie a bowline and keep a person tied to a tree. (Around the tree, down the hole and pull tight was the memory aide for that knot. Once a scout, always a knot tie-er)

M-I-N-N-E-H-A, Minneha, Minneha Yea, Yea, Yea! From Kindergarten to the Ninth grade, Denny went to the same school. It was a curious mixture of the kids of the really rich and the kids of the poor. The advantage was really good food and for the most part the teachers were pretty good. There were a few exceptions but in the years of mass production with the Baby Boomers the teachers were pretty good. I can’t remember any that were below par in my mind. There was always a lot to learn if you were motivated. Too bad I wasn’t.

I tell a story about Minneha. One day something bad happened and one of the teachers said who did that? a little green frog came out from undera desk and said "Petty-did-it, Petty-did-it". Most of the time he was right. Except one time...
I can't remember when it was for sure, but the elementary school kids were in the new building and the Library was in the old building. Once a week we were marched over to the building and allowed to check out books. We did the normal line up like ducks and followed our line leader to the library. We had no more moved outside and the teacher stopped us and said no talking! If I see you talking I will send you back to the classroom. Forward March! Stop! Stop! Denny Petty ou go back to the rom! But, but I didnt say anything. Go back and wait for us. Not me, If I go back, I won't be there when you get back. I'll quit this chicken outfit and go home! Dennis you go back right now and you had better go to the room. I did an about face, walked back in to the school, put one foot in the room and promply left to go home. I went home and told mom that I quit and wouldn't go back. Mom called the school and made an appointment to meet with the teacher and the Principal. I had to go back and I think I came to school early for about a week to make up the time I missed.
Next time I'll tell the story about smelling the elephant legs in the lunch room. Stand By for more adventures of "Denny the Dumb".


Great Saturday

Konza Prairie This shot is of a flock of male turkeys that was taken at the Konza Prairie Nature Walk. It was a group of males that didn't seem the least bit concerned that it is turkey season. They obviously live in a preserve and didn't mind our presence.

The Konza Prairie is a Nature Preserve smack in the middle of the flint hills in Kansas. It lies along US77 south of Manhattan and north of I70. It is a great example of what it is I love about Kansas. There is a 3 mile trail that takes you from a pasture of wild flowers, along a stream and up to the wind swept hills with a view that is spectacular. I was so taken back by the view and the beauty that I forgot to take a picture from the top of the hills. I wish I could take you all there and let you enjoy what it is that I find so dear. I will have to wait until my wife's pictures are developed to put some of the other part of the walk.

Being Saturday and having a home game at KSU, we stayed out of Manhattan until the game started. It is no place to be when thousands of people wearing purple are trying to jockey their cars into the stadium to watch their team play OK State. KSU won and KU lost.

On the KSU Campus there is an area that Barbara and I love. It is their garden area . They have a butterfly enclosure and a Bug Museum. It isn't open late in the day and by the time we got there the exhibits were closed. Oh well, we'll go back as Kansan's we know that no matter where kids go to school they are learning. Our Biggest disappointment was the fact the ice cream store was closed also. Their Dairy Classes make some of the best ice cream in the world.

On my walk through the garden, I met a man with his dog. Guess what kind of dog? My new favorite a dachshund.

From Manhattan we took the back road back to Topeka. US 24 is the old Military Road that ran from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley. It is four lane in places and two lane in most. It runs along the Kansas River and was in its Fall colors. We stopped in Wamego Kansas and went to the OZ museum. It was a great trip back down memory lane. A lot of the displays were about the 1939 movie, "The wizard of OZ" but a lot of the exhibits were about Frank Baum the author or the stories. There were 15 or 16 books written about OZ. It was science Fiction before there was outer space. I spent one fourth of July in Wamego attending a Car show with the 57 Chevy. I would recommend to anyone to attend a fourth of July in Wamego, KS. The noon parade of tractors and tricycles is what little rural towns in Kansas are all about. Tour the Dutch windmill, eat a Brat, see the car show and visit the OZ museum. Doesn't get any better than that. You can have your Disneyland with long lines. Give me the simple life in Kansas.

In 1983, our house in Topeka was blown off its foundation. The insurance company called it a total loss and I let a moving company have it for the salvage value. The co-owner moved it to Belvue Kansas and put it on a foundation. Here is a picture of it as it is today. I think it is even painted the same colors as it was then. One the bottom left of the picture is just a basement was and it was the garage area when we lived in it.

Oh well, life in Kansas is never the same. I hope you all can get out and enjoy where you live. After all, gas here is nearer to $2 a gallon now and it just seemed reasonable to get out and see the fall in Kansas. Doesn't take much to keep ol'e Denny amused.


Stories of my life

I have decided that some stories of my life are appropriate. You will see that I changed my header a little and you now will have to walk through the "facts" and sometime there will be a little fiction written in. It will be not just because I make stuff up or don't remember the truth but have filtered my memories through my perceptions. One Man's dream is another man's war story.
This picture was on a card my unnamed spouse got for an event this week. She said that it reminds her of me. I could fall asleep anywhere at a moments notice. (as could Dave) Flat out and then crash is the way she described it.
Put on your seat belt and hang on: here goes:

Denny was a blue-eyed blond haired kid that while he was a little cute as a small kid; he grew ordinary in a lot of ways. He didn't stand out as being so smart that he blinded you with his insight, but he wasn't so dumb that he could be easily taken advantage of. Many thought he was more active than the average kid and probably would have been evaluated for ADHD and given Ritalin if he were born a generation later.

Denny had blue eyes and a medium build. His blond hair soon turned brown and was unremarkable and the only distinguishing mark on his face was the man made dimple on his right cheek. Denny's uncle, Hazen Lee, had tossed a Lincoln Library volume at him and he ducked right into the path and one side of his face hit the floor the same time the book hit the other side. It chipped a bone and gave him a shiner. It also left a divot on the left side that could be confused as a dimple. Dennis had a pretty normal nose but his chin was a little crooked on one side. It seemed that about half way to growing pointed, one side stopped about a quarter of an inch before the other side.

So unremarkable in his younger years and yet he grew into a tall young man. At the beginning of the 7th grade, Denny and Robert Younkin were the shortest guys in the entire grade. By the end of the ninth grade Denny and Krostin were the tallest. At 6 foot one inch that was pretty tall but not so remarkable for today. He did grow a couple of inches later on.

Denny was taught to read by his older sisters before he went to school. In the first grade when everyone else was reading See Spot Run, Denny breezed through the book on the first day. He calmly asked if he could go to the library and get more books. From day one in school he read, read and read. Each year he would be given new textbooks and he would read them once and other than the math book never open them again. He used what he read from memory and got a lot of Ds in school. He would seldom re-read any book and schoolbooks were things he hated to read twice. During the classes, the teachers hated it when Denny would be reading a biography when everyone else was reading a history text. The teacher often stopped and asked Denny questions. A lot of the time he could answer the question and the teachers would finally leave him alone.

One pastime Denny was involved in was wrestling. It wasn't the fancy WWF or anything that involved tights, it was the honest to god get dirty and wrestle on the ground until someone said uncle. It was called fighting but seldom until much later was any real injury involved. Mostly it was just honest get dirty and roll on the ground grappling. I think that the fights were pretty much with Eugene and Ronny. He gave as well as he got.

About the beginning of the 5th grade, Denny's mother grew frustrated with the Ds and went to the school to see if she needed to consider Denny for some kind of a trade school. The principal pulled the records and told Denny's mother to sit down. It seemed that Denny tested in the top of his class in spite of the poor grades. In fact, Denny tested higher than his sisters did and they were on the honor roll, a lot. It wasn't intelligence, just a lack of motivation and organization. When he loved a subject he could make As without breaking a sweat. Most of the time he couldn't be bothered with the mundane when there was so much reading to do and so many books to do it with. The ADHD helped him to do the homework and promptly forget where he put it. I'm sure the desk monster ate a lot of hid homework.

Denny had a lot of good friends, as a kid but there was a problem when more than two of them would get together. There seemed to be an inability for the guys to get along with each other when there were three or more. I'm sure that a lot of the normal competition played in to the equation but there was still some unknown factor at play. Ronny and Denny could be together all day. Wayne and Denny could be together all day. Denny and Harvey or Denny and Eugene were a fine pair. Throw Wayne, Denny and Ronny together and there was a fight to be had.
Ronny's mother wanted to make sure that Ronny knew how to swim. She took him to one of the community pools and she always offered to take Denny. I wonder if it was to make sure that Denny bathed in the summer. The pools workers would make the kids shower before they could enter the pool. Denny had been going to the lake with his parents on vacation for years. He had also been going to swim in the Buffalo River in Arkansas and couldn't remember when he learned to swim, he just could. In fact he could swim better underwater than he could on top of the water. He could swim like he could read. He didn't remember when he learned he just could. My sisters didn't immerse me in the water like they did reading. I can thank them for that.
More next time of the life and times of Denny the wierd and his wonder dog Rex.---MUD


Gifts from Special People

People who must remain un-named made a special gift for an unknown event for a special person. The names and occasions have been left out to protect the innocent. Unless the computer starts acting better, the picture may be left out also. When we were out west in June, there was a discussion that occurred about art and what it was and how to make it. All a simple kid from Kansas could do was listen as I have a good ability to make function but almost no talent in the way of art. I have a good heart but a lousy eye.
After several minutes of discussion one person said that a bouquet of flowers made out of faucet knobs could be beautiful. All I could do was walk around for a day or so and see if there were any knobs there. I found a few and gave them to the artist/welder and walked away. I did not expect to ever see them again or in such a beautiful state. The faucets are soldered to copper tubes and that was fastened to a red brass fitting and that was fastened to a steel plate. The steel plate was turned blue by heating it to just the right temperature. All in all it is so stunning.
Another person, also unnamed made a Black Widow spider out of glass. The new owner had me get some fishing line and tie the spider to the bouquet. The entire piece is stunning. I know the picture doesn't do it justice. This same artist put a glass bee and made centers for the flowers out of small glass beads. KSSK is the new name of the enterprise whose combined talents are responsible. Needless to say this art work went to school today and will probably remain there until after Halloween. I'm pretty sure it will be displayed on the shelf in the dining room.
My mother-in-law sent a couple of really nice gifts also. We got a gravy boat for the china dishes she gave us. There was also a little girl with an umbrella that is "Hummel" like that will join our collection. A sister-in-law from California had been sending books and someone put distribution labels on them and added some of the books to the package. All in all a special person had a big Ol'e smile all evening. There were several phone calls that also brightened the evening.
Ok, enough about unnamed people on unnamed days. It wears me out but that whole group asked for anonymity so I'll do my best to comply. After all, this is supposed to be about me and my life, someday I'll try to get one. If you hear someone say mean things about me, tell others what they said. As dull and boring as I am I need all the help I can get. I do ask you to leave my wife and mother out of it. They are a couple of pretty darned special people and I will defend them with a vengeance.
I am following a blog where a personal trainer is trying a new sleep procedure. He is taking 30 minute naps every 4 hours and not sleeping for any extended periods. This sounds like a natural for retired people. You do have to be careful the first week until your body learns to go into REM sleep quickly. It takes a well rested person about 30 minutes to get to REM sleep, so for a week or so you will not be as well rested. Slowly your body will slide into REM sleep quicker. I will let you know if this system works. I might give it a try. Another benefit is that you use more energy as you are awake more. Might be a way to stretch out the day and loose weight. Stand BY for News on that. I do know that for extended periods I have been able to get by on five or six hours of sleep. I have always been able to take cat naps quickly when I need them.
It will be just my luck that I will find myself sleeping 8 hours at night and taking 30 minute naps every 4 hours too. Wait a minute, I just described my life. Retirement is hard work but someone has to do it.
You should see what 42 inches of HD Plasma TV looks like in Mom's living room. It is sparkling and you can see the pores on the news caster's noses.
Keep your days light and your nights dark.


Fall In Kansas

This Pile of Nuts is only a small sample of the debris our Oak trees dropped this year. The Burr Oak acorns are over an inch long and the small Red Oak acorns are about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. The Burr Oaks have a tough cover and they aren't too bad. It is the little smooth rascals that get washed into piles by the rain and are like walking on marbles. This is one of the reasons we have squirrels. We really could call this place Squirrel Chew not Rabbit run.

The acorn shells are also a hazard because they get chewed open and left all over everything. At least they are fairly biodegradeable and don't last forever. We have hickory tree that drop a nut that is almost forever. I cannot mow my yard in shorts because of the hickory nut hulls being sent flying by the mower. It is almost like hand grenade shrapnel and will wound your legs. The Black Walnut nuts are almost as bad. They also have an outer husk that stains anything they land on. Especially if the husk is chewed into pieces and left on the deck or sidewalk.
Today is a unmentionable event for a person who's name shall go unnamed. She went to school on this most important day. I will take her out to dinner tonight to celebrate. There is a package that was delivered yesterday but I have been sworn not to mention its contents until she gets a chance to thank the responsible parties. I will include pictures, perhaps tomorrow.
I had a nice visit with my Mom and sisters yesterday. I stopped by to pick up Mom's Nitro prescription and take it to the pharmacy. It was dated 12/01 and I wanted to know what year. It expired on Dec of 01. It had not been filled since Jun of 2000. Mother said it didn't do much the last time she used it. DUH! The pharmacist would not even let me take the old bottle back for fear Mom might use it. The bottle is so small that you cannot put a label on it so I guess it was not clear when to replace it. I guess every 6 months is probably a good idea.
It is my understanding that Kris DeMauro who's picture is in the last post blew out his knee yesterday. He is scheduled for an MRI to determine what they need to do. If you go to an orthopedic surgeon, guess what he'll recommend? Surgery! He makes his money on that part of his business. Medicine is and art they practice. Surgery is a business they make lots of money doing. Having that little bump removed under my eye was billed at over $1,000 for about an hour's work. Thank God BC & BS paid all but $90 of that. That was in the Outpatient Surgery Center and thank god it wasn't in the hospital. It would have cost five grand there. Either way, I hope that they can fix it and he recovers fully.
Did I mention the weather? On Monday it was 95 yesterday it 65 and it didn't cool off below 59 last night. I didn't get in a ride yesterday and I will this morning. Perhaps not the 20 miles like I did on Monday but 14 or 15 doesn't sound bad. It will be long pants day and perhaps a jacket.
I have two Blogs that I check daily. Reimer Ramblings and The Rants of an Ornery Brat The first is Julie & Gerald's updates from Morocco and the last is Becky DeMauro's. They are two of the nicest people and I enjoy being updated on their lives.
My sister, Carol, mentioned that she reads my blog and didn't understand how the size multiplied so fast. She kind of wondered how I managed to have this much to say. I think of this as practice for when I write my book. I want to be old enough to not be embarrassed by some of the stupid things I did. At almost 60, I am still just young enough that there could be some repeat performances of stupid, so maybe I had better wait a while or start writing fiction. I know, Faction - a lot of lies built around a framework of facts. Perhaps I can turn some of those war stories into cash. You do know the difference between Fairy Tales and War Stories. The Fairy Tales start out Once upon a time...
Oh well, I'll go make up something else on my time and let you get along with your life. Keep Riding. MUD


The Demauro Family

This is the Demauro family from Oklahoma. Kristen, Becky, Kris and Melanie (The big senior this year). They will be up this weekend to go to the renaissance Fair with David and Barb. There is some weird plan to have dinner with Dracula but I don't have any control over that endeavor. This picture is almost a year old but if anything the girls are prettier. Kris must have the patience of a saint to live in a house full of girls. I'm sure that he loves them as much as we do.
In the summer months, I ride fairly early because it gets too hot later on. Now I find that I wait until it warms up a little and then ride. So far the only problem I have had is the large number of nut hulls on the sidewalk at the lake. I worry that one of those sharp nuts will poke a hole in my tire. I rode about 20 miles yesterday and feel the need to go back for more today. I will probably borrow Dave's bike so I can take Kris Demauro riding on Sunday. I think he will love the recumbent bike and enjoy the fall scenery.
Julie Reimer in Morocco finally posted updates about the girls. We really miss them and have spend the last few Halloweens with them. Will seem strange to not have them to go Trick or Treating with this year. They were a hoot. One year Kendra wore a pigs nose and it kept slipping down because she was so little. Wittle pig, wittle pig, where is your nose. On the ground, on the ground, next to my toes.
I was reading that this is ramadan and passover. How can two religions have holidays that are based on forgiveness and hate each other so much? I think it is all the fasting that causes them to be mad. How can you smile on an empty stomach?
Barb took a class last night on one stroke painting. It is really neat to see how they dip their brushes in different colors and make strokes look like flowers and leaves. Last night they worked on Sunflowers and man did they do some incredible work. The class was at Michael's and because she is a part time employee there she gets to take the classes for free. I think that is the motto of the girls in that family. The more free the better. Barbara has many talents and not near enough time to make crafts. I think she comes from a really talented gene pool and you should see some of the work done by her family here at Rabbit run. From stained glass to pen and ink drawings to metal sculpture. I think there are a few items done by a niece that Barbara holds near and dear.
Oh well, I have bored you long enough and spent an hour here at the keyboard rambling from topic to topic. Go make something happen and see if anyone notices.


Monday a Day Late

Yesterday was a waste. I couldn't get back in the swing of things after a ride and a trip to the Doctor. The ride was glorious as the fall colors are just starting and the weather is more like June than October. In fact, it will be in the mid 90's today. There is a southerly breeze that makes the temperature feel cooler but by late afternoon it was hot out in the sun.

I have started the laundry and the first load is just rinsing. When I get that load in the dryer and the next load started I will probably start a roast in the crock pot and go riding. Barbara is going to take a class at Michael's tonight about "One Stroke" painting. I think their focus tonight is sunflowers. She gets to take the classes for free as an employee. I am glad to see that she has a lot of nice interests.

I think I mentioned that this is the year of Acorns. I picked up another half dozen off the deck this morning. I know it must keep tiger awake as I can hear them thumping from inside the house. I need to do something with them today.

Here in the 2nd Congressional District of Kansas we have the choice between Jim Ryan and Nancy Boyda. Nancy is a liberal that has a lot of ideas that I don't support. Jim is an idiot. Other than his name, as a runner, Jim claims to be working but doesn't list anything he has accomplished. They debated yesterday and was there ever no clear winner. Has it become a time for change?

Random thought. If Julie and Gerald are in Morocco, where do they vote? If you sell your home here in Topeka, what is your home of record? In the Military you declare a "Home of Record" and vote there. Generally it is an address where you own a home or where your parents live. I did not vote where Barbara was when I was in Vietnam. They probably would have had fits to have a young conservative vote in California. Barb was in San Diego during the fall of 68. My first Presidential election. I made 1st Lieutenant on the 3rd of July and turned 21 on the 1st of August. I voted in Kansas.

Have you heard that there is a candidate for Gov in Texas called Kinky? What a name. His opponents say he said things in the 80's ,when he was in bars, that he was/said racist remarks. Heck, who could stand that kind of scrutiny? I'm not sure just what all I said during my drinking days. I have little recall what I said this last month and I'm now sober. I can't imagine what "stuff" spilled out my pie hole when I was drunk. I am not an alcoholic, I am just a good old common sober drunk. I am doing my best a day at a time but I don't go to the meetings.

Well, the laundry is waiting for my attention so I'll get on with life. Smile and make them wonder what you are up to.



Report from the Doctor

I am currently scheduled for surgery three weeks from today at 0930 AM. The doctor will open the site of the cancer and take a piece of tissue out. There will be a pathologist standing by. If it is cancerous, he will continue to remove tissue until he no longer hits cancer. With luck he got it all the first time. Without luck he will continue to "tissue Mine" until nothing else is left. There is enough excess tissue on my upper eyelid to cover a hole the size of the grand canyon. There is enough fat on my backside to fill the hole first. I will refrain from being the butt of those types of jokes in the future. The good news is that BC & BS has paid all but $99.00 of the first surgery.

Funny Story

Yesterday when Mom called, I told her how to turn on the TV until I could get over and figure out what was wrong. I told her I needed to go shopping and she said she had a list also. I went over and got the list and looked at the remote. It worked like a champ. On off, Up and down the channels and sound. I handed it back to her and she aimed it at the TV and nothing. She was holding it backwards. When she refuses to wear her glasses it is a hoot.
I got her groceries home and was careful to pre-open everything. She can't open jars or cans with lids. She can't even open the lids on her favorite drink, the green tea.
I went home satisfied that she was OK for a day or two and got a call that the pharmacist had failed to put a normal lid on her new medicine. I'll have to stop over and change the lid to keep her happy. It is a hoot to visit her but
sometimes I wonder if it isn't a trick just to get me over. Oh well. We will all be old someday, I hope.

Back To the Doctor on Laundry Day

Today is the day I go back to see Dr Baraban about my eye. After three years of being told there was nothing wrong the pathologist told us the lump under my eye was Basal Cell Carcinoma. Today is a Doctor's appointment to have him look at the results of the surgery and to decide when we will go back in for a deep tissue biopsy. (Not if, but when) That will decide if I need an oncology or not. I have my fingers crossed that they will find nothing and all will be well by Thanksgiving. Stand by for news.
As much of an optimist I am, I have had that little voice nagging me for a month or so and you have probably read a few more negative things in my blog than I would have normally included. The direction turned a little more introspective a time or two but hey, this is my blog.
I wish you could all go with me when I ride the trails and roads locally. The trail around lake Shawnee isn't not finished on the east side of the lake and you do ride the East Edge Road a little while. To make up for the lack of sidewalk, you have a beautiful view of the lake and a golf course. The Shunga trail is 7 miles of great riding. It is a lot flatter but it is also at least 10 miles for here to the start of the trail. The roads over to the lake aren't bad, just a little narrow and hilly. There are a lot of teachers and students rushing to get to school so I stay off the roads until after 8:30 AM. Yesteray it was busy early but by about 5 PM most people had abandoned the hot sidewalks. I will be out in an hour or so. Laundry be damned today.
In Kansas we normally have 4 true seasons. Our springs are an outpouring of green after a cold brown winter. In the fall there is a glorious blaze of color and then a shower of thousands of leaves as they fall to the ground. You could be anal and hate leaves but Barbara and I just accept them as a part of the cycle of ife here in the woods.
This is the year of the acorn. Most of the oak trees have hundreds of acorns under them. The acorns come in different sizes from an giant 1 inch noggin knocker to about 3/4 inch marbles that make the ground hard to walk on. About once each half hour for the last couple of weeks you would hear thunks as they fall on the house and the deck around the east side. I may try to gather up some today or tomorrow, I think I'll focus on the big ones. We have so many different kinds of oaks it might be fun to try to grow several different kinds. I hope it doesn't turn into a nut hiding experience for the squirrels. They will get hungry about December or January and start digging up their buried treasures. I do have a squirrel cage to keep the pesky critters out. It looks like a giant rabbit cage. It is the only way Barbara can keep he young plants safe in the spring and not have them turn into the local salad bar. Most people have pens to keep their animals in, we have one to keep them out.
Barbara's cold is about over and she has been a lot more fun because of her feeling better. Our relationship turns to avoidance when she is feeling bad. Me, I crave attention and sympathy when I'm ill, she just wants to be left alone. Go Away, do not collect $200.00, do not go past GO!, Go away! I might be dumb but I'm not stupid.
Oh well, it is about that time that I go get the paper and feed Tiger. Might even spend a few moments looking at the glorious new day. IT was warmer here yesterday than in Las Vegas. In fact if you looked at the Map on TV last night you saw Topeka Kansas at about 95 degrees. The warmest place in the USA yesterday. Hum, you don't suppose Al Gore is right and we are having Global Warming, Nah, it still wasn't the new record here.
Stay Cool.


I am so mad at politicians!

Where does one party get off calling the other party bad names over the sins of one person. Does the Democratic party have such a short memory that the name Barny Frank doesn't even register. Don't get me wrong, I hate pedophiles about at the top of my list of things to hate but I hate people that lie about who they are more. Don't get me wrong, I can list almost as many Republicans as Democrats on the list of wrong-doers! The list of politicians that had wives and girlfriends goes way back on both sides.
Perhaps we do need a party of "Never Re-elect Anyone! I think a lot of people come to their newly elected office with good intentions and are corrupted by the power. "Power Corrupts, Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely."
For some reason I have a headache today. I think I have the starting of the cold that Barbara has had for about a week now. She got it from one of her students (Duh!) and now I think I am starting to get it. Stuffy nose and a headache. No sore throat. (Yet!)
The other day I was at Tecumseh South and a young girl came running out on the playground. There was an empty Gatoraid bottle on the ground by the trash can and she kicked it out in the playground area. I called her back over and had her pick it up. She was reluctant until I told her that we all needed to be responsible for our environment. If you walk past a bottle on the ground and don't pick it up you forfeit your right to be indignant about trash on the ground. I think this is one of the reasons I hate smokers that throw their butts on the ground around the doors at work. How much more would it take to put their butts in a container or to tear them up and put the filters in the trash. Kill yourself by smoking if you want, but don't make my place look like an ashtray. No, take your smoking outside and someplace else so I don't have to be subjected to the smell. How many times have you walked past a group of smokers and are almost overcome by the smell? Don't they realize how bad they smell. It just kills me to pass a group of teenage girls and smell perfume and cigarette smoke at an equal amount of stink. Yes, I am a reformed smoker and am fully aware that I polluted the air for my share of time.
Well, remember the quote about doing things for yourself. Mom just called and the remote on her new 42 inch HD Plasma TV didn't work. God only knows what button she hit. I reminded her that she can turn it on manually and that worked for now. I am going to the store in a little while and will stop by there and make it all better. (Trip 1 of many) What I need is a simple remote not a God Gun that does everything and requires a degree in computer programming (or at least eyes good enough to read the fine print)
Better go save Mom from herself. I also had to put batteries in her atomic clock (and set it?) Mom couldn't tell it wasn't running.
Smile and keep a good attitude.