No School Today, Yea!

There is about an inch of ice/sleet on everything and the wind is blowing hard. The wind Chill is about 1 degree above zero and the powers that be decided there was just too much of a chance for accidents and injury to have the busses out on the road. Yea! I get to stay home today.
It doesn't seem possible that we set a record High temperature just a few days ago. It is supposed to be 45 by Saturday. Lordy, it will be 40. Then 0 then 40. Kansas, land of change.
Yesterday I went to Barb's school and one of my favorite little guys was there for me to help. He was working on a computer aided training session and every time the lesson ended he would say, "Teacher the machine needs your help". It really sounded nice to be called a teacher. This little guy is one that I would take home in a minute if he needed a place to live. Heck, there are a lot of them that I would take home including stray dogs and cats.
The TV weatherman is showing the storm blowing up from the south and if it snows half as much as the storm is big, everything south and east of here better have snow shovels. The only good thing is that west of here it is flat too cold to snow.
Oh well, I'll try to remember some of the funny things later today after the second cup of coffee kicks in. It is way to early for my funny bone to fire. Dennis


What a Day

I am substituting in the Berryton Elementary School BD program and I had no idea there were kids out there with such high needs in our schools. When I saw two of the team carrying a kid down the hall to the BD room I should have known. I guess this has been the pattern for two days this week. The little guy just isn't handling the pressure and acts out. I think they need to look at his meds also.
On the other hand, there are some instances where the kids just need someone that really cares for them and treats them with respect. I am going to be there for them as much as I can and do my best to help them get by. I have two little friends that will do anything I ask of them and do their best.
Today one of the two students I was assigned didn't come to school. The parent of the other came by at 1:30 and took the second one home. I clocked out and went to Barb's school. I worked with two of her students until the teacher vs student volleyball game started. I then came home and checked on the dogs. They got fed and I came in after it started to sleet so hard it was almost like hail coming down.
Winter is here with a vengeance. It is about 23 degrees and everything has a coating of ice. All new moisture is coming down as sleet and is slick as a stack of greased BB's. Where the sand trucks have been it is ok but the rest is treacherous. I'll let you all know more tomorrow. Dennis

How can you tell?

Barb has discussed with me that I need to use some of the funny things that happen to me in my blogs. (like the fart story?) I told her that a sure sign of the meds wearing off is the falling out of his chair for the third time. I asked her if there is a rebound effect from being so good that causes more extreme behavior. She told me that in my words, "Rebound is a Bitch".
KU absolutely destroyed Dartmouth last night. iT was like a Junior High team playing against the Hawks. Everyone played and almost all scored for KU. It almost wasn't any fun to watch (Yeah Right)
I am scheduled to Para Sub for the next two days 9AM to 4 PM. Should be fun. I think I will be in the Resource Room all day so we will see.


Freedom to Fart Freely (FTFF)

Yesterday was my first official day of substitute Para work. I had a nice little kid assigned to me and for most of the day he was great. When his meds wore off he was a character but I'm sure I fit that mold a lot at the same age. The reason I brought this up again was that during a work session with the OT in the afternoon he was sitting at a computer in the Resource room and farted. He was in one of those plastic chairs that are molded for a 9 year old's butt and it echoed like no body's business. He was an instant hit with the other little boys in the room. I'm sure that they all wished they had one good fart to liven up their day. Barb and I had Mexican for dinner and the beans help me produce Methane gas and this morning I was sitting here reading the other morning blogs and I slipped out one and it was a noisy as if I had been in a plastic form fitting chair. I am in a leather chair with a form fitting butt dent. The sad news was there is no one here to hear it but me. Even the dogs are outside. I think I am in need of a job where the social conditions are such that the FTFF factor is high. Firemen, Soldiers, linemen for the power companies and other male dominated jobs where they guys work outside are high FTFF jobs.
Don't ask me where the sophomore humor comes from. I just tell it like it is, or like I would like it to be. Making up acronyms was such a part of my life in the Military that FTFF just rolls off my mind. If it was a true Acronym it would be Freedom and Readiness to Fart (FART) but that would be redundant. Farting a FART just takes the fun out of seeing women wrinkle up their noses even outside of the stink radius. Denny! Why don't you do that in the bathroom? Do you know how hard it is to fart standing up? Your friend in need of a life, MUD.


Went to work today

I was called about 8:30 by Barryton Elementary school to see if I could sub for one of their Paras that was sick. I worked with the nicest kid all day. Until about 1 PM he was focused and showed his intelligence and got a lot done. After the Meds wore off, he was a monkey without the ability to sit down or focus. I was a zoo keeper after that.
You know, this is a lot like work. I enjoyed doing something during the day and it will pay something in the end. (By the time I pay taxes on it, it will cover lunch and gas money to get there.)
Oh well, better get up and get something on the table for dinner. Ya'll have a great day out there.


Great Day in the Morning!

For those of you that don't know and can't tell, I am a Graduate of KU's School of Business. I am also one of their biggest fans and truly enjoy college sports. I felt lost when they got beat by Missouri in football yesterday, but that was soon replaced with the joy of their win over Number 1 ranked Florida last night 82 to 80 last night. We kept waiting for a meltdown but those young players just worked and worked and played their butts off. I wouldn't trade two Joaquin Noah's for one Julian Wright.
As I went out to get the paper this morning, I was amazed to see how warm it stayed last night. There was a cloud cover and it must be almost 60 out there. The animals here at Rabbit Run are all feeding at their respective stations. I do wish the woodpeckers would eat the suet block and leave the house alone. Its not like there aren't enough old trees to work on here. The cat has started sleeping under the old ford instead of the cat house. Night before last I saw why. There was a 25 lb possum on the deck cleaning up the cat food bowl. We won't leave it out at night with food in it from now on.
I am not sure what Barb has on her schedule today. I did see her start a load of laundry so that will fit in the schedule. Have a great day and if you stayed up to watch the game catch a nap. MUD


Black Friday

Well Sports fans, KU snatched another game from the jaws of defeat. They managed to find some offense and win last night in Vegas. I promise their game tonight won't be pretty unless they settle down hard and often. They are playing in a tournament and have drawn Florida on ESPN2 (10PM Central). I won't say that KU doesn't have potential, it is just a matter of what team shows up.
Barbara is working at Michael's again today. It will be a long one from 0800 to 1600 (8AM to 4 PM for those of you that aren't MILSPEAK literate) She did take a turkey sandwich and one of those new Honey Crisp apples.
I am going over to Wally world (WalMart) and get some containers that are able to go from the freezer to the Microwave. I am going to take the leftovers and make up some TV dinners from the scraps of Turkeyday. The icebox is full and we couldn't possible eat it all before it goes bad.
Wish you were here to help.


Dutch Uncle Talk

I am not sure where the term "Dutch Uncle" came from but I am always one to kick in his two cents worth even if not invited. This past week two very pretty and talented writers both listed their 10 things they wanted to accomplish in their lifetime (or in the next year, to young people it is all the same) A new truck for their hubbies was on the list (I think this is an Oakie thing but it might be just something here in the heartland) I think this was going to make them happy. Well, lets talk about goals and objectives and programs.
My goal at an early stage of our life (OK, Barb inspired me with her's) was to have a retirement that I could a). Live on. And b) Have enough money to do a little travel. The first objective in this goal was to find a job that had a fairly good retirement program. There was Law enforcement, Fire fighting, Mail Carrier, State Employment or Federal Civil Service. We both knew that having a College degree was important and that was an objective in our life programs. It was almost a perfect match when after I graduated from KU that a Civil Service job working for the National Guard opened up. It was an area that I knew a lot about and for the most part enjoyed. The pay was just a living wage at first and we had to focus on the end not the today. The program that we used to achieve our objectives was at first property ownership, retirement programs, then IRAs (Tax deferred), 401(k)s and then investments. We tried several small stock purchases and I will have to say they have all been a total Disaster. I have never seen so many companies go broke with my money. We started small (Thank God) and never lost much but the stock market with individual purchases has been a bust for me. On the other hand, our money and property investments have been good to us. I think the rule for my investing became, "the return of my money is more important that the return on my money."
I think I can easily say that setting goals, developing objectives in those goals and figuring out what programs to fund those objectives worked for us.
I want to say here that wishing for a truck is not as good as establishing a goal to have a truck, setting objectives and then funding the truck program. I have a truck, I bought an old truck and put good stuff in that truck to make it work well. Is it painted fancy? Does it have a fancy radio? No, sadly it sits outside in a primer red but when I need it, it starts and runs great. We funded it with Petty Cash and it does what I need it to do. (I need to insert here that There is a certain brother-in-law that really helped put it into running order but heck, he doesn't want me to mention his name or tell anyone where he lives)
If you want happy, watch a Disney Movie. If you want practical, get real down to earth and talk with your spouse to set goals in your life, objectives that support those goals and fund programs to achieve those objectives. I think that being able to achieve our life goals will make us much more happy than a new truck in 2007. Besides, I had my one new car in my lifetime but that is another story. (Barb says I can have a new truck if I win the lottery -Talk about your wishful thinking)


Meeting my First Homosexual

A long time ago at a fort in the middle of no where called Camp Irwin, CA, I was assigned as the supply officer for a unit training up for and deploying to Vietnam. Getting all the stuff issued was a giant task but because The supply room just acted as the transfer agent, the supply room was busy but not hectic and we could train a lot. When the training got over, we had to figure out how to box all the stuff up for the trip to Vietnam. There is a Training Manual on Logistics that describes how everything must be put in the vehicles and Connex (Big metal) shipping containers. It would have been nice if all the stuff to hold the shape of stuff had been available. Perhaps somewhere in the system it was but at Camp /Fort Irwin the inserts and cardboard boxes were just flat not available.
We had a regular run to the commissary and the PX to get as many boxes as we could and the stuff began to pile up in the supply room until it was just full of stuff. To add to the piles, the supply sergeant and the head cook also had managed to acquire a bunch of things they were told were hard to get in Vietnam. (Five pound of coffee could get you a jeep in some places). We had a kid that could leave with $20.00 and come back with a jeep full of stuff and generally have $40.00 to restock the coffee fund.
One day I was just so tired I could not handle any more pressure and I went over to the Orderly Room to see if I could get some help from the Battery Commander (BC). When I got there, the First sergeant saw me headed to the BCs office and said sit down here LT (Short for Lieutenant) the Ol'e man is as mad as he can be right now. You had better leave him alone. Tell me what you need.
After a short story (explanations don't help you vent and I needed vented) the First Sgt said have I got just the man for you. He'll be over to the supply room right after lunch. Right here is where I should have stopped and thought, what is the first shirt doing helping me a lowly 2 button LT. Being an egocentric stuffed shirt, I just assumed that I deserved the help and accepted the gift without looking that gift horse in the mouth.
The young man that showed up reported to me and we gave him the job of counting everything as it got packed. He would count, recount and get it right. He managed to bring the chaos to almost a normal level. He quickly moved his cot over to the supply room and slept there at night working from first light to late every day. No one in the supply section ever complained about him and the work was getting done. He was a great help and I never once noticed what he did besides work. The Army was full of Beetle Bailey's that would go into a supply room and sleep on the blankets but this kid always finsihed a job and came right back for more to do. Even the Supply Sergeant went home at a reasonable hour each day to help his wife pack their stuff as we were leaving.
Bright and early one morning the young soldier came into the supply room wearing his Class A Dress Green uniform with nothing on it. There were no insignias, ranks or name tag anywhere. I asked him what was up. He said he was being discharged today and he would take the bus to Barstow and then one to Vegas and fly home tonight. Our supply room was at one end of the post and the bust stop for Barstow was at the other end. I told him to throw his stuff in my car and I would drive him over. I took him to the bus stop and shook his hand as I wished him good luck. He saluted me and thanked me for my kindness. When I returned to the supply room, a young soldier asked me, "Hey LT, did he kiss you good-bye?" I asked what the hell he was talking about and he said, "didn't you know he was queer?" Thats when it hit me that the 1Sgt had sent him over to get him out of the line of fire in the barracks until his discharge went through. Moving his cot out of the barracks kept him from getting beat up by the thugs in the gun sections. There is just something about the gun sections in the Active Army that draws (or selects) very physical young men for the guns. I'm sure there were some of higher intellect but the association of the others lowered their thoughts to the lowest common denominator. Homophobia is a past time that some people revel in.
I had no clue nor any reason to think poorly about that young man. I didn't hate him, and I didn't have any reason to apply any of my stupid preconceptions to him. I grew up in a poor neighborhood on the east side of Wichita. Don't get me started about all the stupid things I said and did while growing up there.
If asked, I worked with a young homosexual and found his work to be excellent. I don't get why any man would want to have sex with another man, but hey, he didn't go to Vietnam either. Hum, who was the wrongest, strongest and most stupid? Oh well, I have long since found that I have people in my close family that I love that love people of their same sex. I just treat them the same way I do all the heterosexuals. What they do in their bedroom isn't one interest to me. If they are nice to me I am nice to them. After all, isn't love and sex two different birds? MUD


Thanksgiving, Then and Now

This the propaganda photograph from WWII to help the Servicemen remember what they were fighting for. It is the Grandma and Grandpa serving a Turkey to the family gathered around the table for a Thanksgiving feast. The CBS Sunday Morning program said that we have gone a long way from the traditional meals. There were several statistics quoted about the success of the kids that ate Thanksgiving in the old traditional manner. I think they left out the most important factor and that is a family that cares enough to get together and talk to each other.
They said that the most normal meal nowadays is a rushed sandwich with a cell phone in one hand and a coke to wash down the bites so you could talk to someone else eating a sandwich some where else. I had a great photo of Hillary Clinton eating a sandwich and my computer said it just couldn't process the picture request. Must be a conservative computer. The TV program went on to say that the normal diet today is about 2700 calories with a lot of that coming from the large soft drinks made with high fructose Corn Syrup. This is up by over 20% from the 1970's.
No wonder that the Diet Centers are swamped right after the First of the year. I can remember the first 16 oz. soft drink and it was more than most people wanted to drink. On a hot day a big cold soft drink was my drink of choice. Today I would rather have a big glass of unsweetened tea. ( In between times it was beer but I have recovered from that)
I will feed somewhere between 10 and 14 people Thursday and will have a ball. This size group is small enough that we will have time to visit and enjoy the company as well as the meal. For those in Tulsa I will do a start time of about 3 PM so there will be time for you to get up here.
Eat and be merry, keep your powder dry, don't count your chickens (or turkeys) and have fun.

KU 39, KSU 20

To all the doubtful out there, I witnessed the KU football team whomping up on KSU today at a local sports bar. No, they were in Lawrence and I was at a local watering hole with Barbara. It was a thing of beauty to watch the KU team play football as a team and beat a team that whipped Texas last week. I am reminded from time to time that the 1988 KU team that won the National Basketball Championship from the Best team Oklahoma had ever put on the floor. In fact that Oklahoma team beat the Hawks twice that year and cut down the nets that signified the conference win on the Allen Field house rims to the chagrin of the KU faithful.
I guess the point of this is they call the sports played by athletes a game not a certainty. It sure was as much fun to watch the KSU fans moan as the Hawks snatched the ball and scored on several errors by the Purple shirted players. One thing you can say is the game wasn't boring. Perhaps the KC vs Oakland Raiders game tomorrow will be as exciting.
I hope that all is well with you and yours. Peace and wisdom to you.


Where Do We Go From Here?

This beautiful Bronze work of art sits next to the butterfly house on the Kansas State University Campus in Manhattan, Kansas. It is a young person reading a book and pauses to look at the beautiful bushes and butterflies. It is an inviting place to sit down and ponder what it is all about and where do we go from here. It is a place of quiet and beauty in the wonderful garden on the main campus. I wish you all could go there and see how KSU has made their old dairy barn into a showplace.
I would also recommend you go to the Konza Prairie nature walk and see what Kansas looked like before all the cars and fences. I didn't get over by the buffalo enclosure but if it is anything like the one at Fort Riley it is spectacular. Last night the local PBS station aired an 1988 program that showed the buffalos there. A big male walked by the camera and I swear the ground shook from his size and magnificence. I understand we didn't know better but it was a shame to kill the buffalo in its natural setting. The white man thought that was the only way to control the red man and a bunch of hunters did the deed.
David's Step-sister-in-law is still in a coma after having her heart episode. They said she opened her eyes yesterday but there was no response other than that. The family is just ripped apart emotionally. I only hope that it doesn't drag on forever. My choice is that she opens her eyes and says "howdy". We'll see. Barb Nicolle (Dave's wife) is nearly a basket case. She is so tired and stressed and then can't seem to rest when she does close her eyes. We took her to dinner last night and she and Barbara always have many things to talk about. It was a fairly quiet dinner. After we took her home, we both fell asleep on the couch watching whatever was on about 8 PM. I hope Barb did the same.
Be safe out there, Keep your powder dry, plant your corn early, don't count your eggs.... MUD


Help Me I Can't Spell

Welcome Sports Fans,
Yes, Rebecca there is no Santa. ORU brought a guy that had hit 2 of 13 three points shots all year and last night he hit seven, three points shots in a row. We are Vealy shocked. They came to play and KU was playing like it was a preseason game that didn't count. ORU has a big guy named Green that truly is a man in game full of boys. It was just that, a game boys and girls. In the end, someone loses and someone wins. ORU will go on and do well and the Hawks will go on and perhaps do well.
As soon as I finish this I will get ready and go to Barb's School to help them get ready to serve their Holiday Lunch to over 500 students and 200 parents. It should be a lot of work but I always try to have fun and laugh as I help nice people feed nicer people.
I went over to the School District head office yesterday and turned in all the paper work. I will be able to sub for the classified staff starting after the school board meeting next Monday and as a Substitute Teacher as soon as I get my certification back from the State Board of Education. (3-4 weeks) I turned in my name for all positions, any time any place. I could be a janitor in an Elementary school, a para-professional or a teacher in High School. Should be fun. I need to listen to Barbara's stories more and evaluate how a teacher must react. Barbara uses "Love and Logic" a lot. Dr. Fay from Colorado Springs, Co developed a process to deal with students that separates what you do from the emotion of the moment. An example is, I like you too much to argue this point now. If the student does something bad or improper, you tell them see me in the morning (or at recess) and we'll discuss it. But don't worry about it! (Send them home with the monkey on their back) The main thing is to not react now but think about the situation and deal with it later when there is not the high emotional level. The real kicker is that when the student admits the fault, you let them offer what the consequence should be. They almost always are tougher than you are.
For Christmas I want Blogger to put spell checker on the comment sections. I misspell, mistype and flat put the wrong letter in places. Sold may come out cold, dole, plop or old. (yes, I know it if is a real word, spell checker won't help) Oh well, hang on tight for a great basketball season. There are a bunch of games out there and we can hope this wakes up the Hawks. After all, they have won 6 of the last 10 Big 12 season Championships. Rock shocked, Jay Hawk.


Nothing Really Ever Changes

On a trip out west, I found a statue that caused me to laugh and feel familiar. Kind of Like Yogi's saying "De Ja Vu all over again". Not Yogi the Bear, Yogi Berra the Yankee Ball player/skipper. I am pretty sure that the statue came from my mother-in-law and for years it sat on the shelf in our computer area. As I looked for childhood pictures of me one day, I found the first birthday picture and it just blew me away how much the statue and the picture looked alike. The statue baby was from a Radio program called the newlyweds in the 1930's. The picture is from 1948. (a long time ago, I know)
I use this as a reminder to all the young whippersnappers out there that nothing really ever changes, it just repeats what has happened before. We live through an endless cycle of births, lives and deaths. Just because you don't remember it happening doesn't mean it didn't happen a lot like it is happening today.

We want our Mothers, friends and dogs to live forever. We will find that there is always the memory of them out there to grab and treasure and there is always another dog to lick our hand and warm our heart.



Screen Savers

Every time I turn on my computer I get to see this beautiful smiling face. I can take about any picture and make it wallpaper and this is my choice for now. Katrina has always been the nicest little girl to go with her beauty. I'm sure that her little sister will be a beautiful but in a different way. Kendra will always struggle with being the little sister to this smart and pretty one. I will probably put their Halloween "wings" picture on as my wallpaper next week. This is Katrina's first day of school picture.
My last post created a lot of discussion and I'm glad. The reason we have free speech is so people can discuss how they feel. I feel sorry for people that don't feel confident about their own position and are afraid to write for fear someone will take a different position. It is kind of like a basketball team that only plays defense. Low scoring game but O never wins.
One of the things I won't give in on is my right to Bear Arms. So long as the population has the right to protect themselves, there will be some type of civility forced upon them. Lawlessness isn't the criminals with guns, it is the average citizen unable to defend himself because someone took his guns away. I don't understand why people want machine guns or automatic assault rifles but I'll be damned if I want to ever start down that slippery slope by having them taken away.
Another Issue I feel strongly about is Taxes. We just got our new tax bill and we will have to pay over $5,000 in property taxes this year without considering our Income Taxes. Geez Louise. Add about $2,000 in property insurance and that comes to over $600 a month in fixed costs and I own the places. Oh well, this is still the best place I would ever want to live in.


Conservative Vs Liberal

These two terms have created a lot of controversy in our household. I guess I need to make sure that people know that no matter what end of the political spectrum you are on, we really do share more common goals than we want to admit. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are some of the basics of our government. I guess once you start spending a large amount of money in supporting those goals it is control of the process that becomes controversial. Even as tough and conservative as I sometimes project myself, there are a lot of things from the other column that I support. To wit.
Abortion - I personally do not think abortion is a good way to manage birth control. By the same token, I do not want my Government to be involved in the decision between a woman, her god and her doctor.
Gay Civil Unions - I think you can tell by the wording of this that while I support some legal basis for homosexuals to protect their rights and form some legal basis in law, I just don't want it to be called marriage. While a lot of my family members have been divorced and probably don't think as much of the word, I just don't want their choice to trump my union. Homosexuality is more than a choice, I will admit it I don't get it, but it does exist. I don't want to know what goes on in your bedroom and I respect your rights.
Immigration - I know that somewhere in the past, my ancestors came here as immigrants. For the most part, we have been a family of middle class people and probably have had to work for most of everything we have or had. I don't want the chance to come to America to be shut off as I am not an isolationist. There needs to be a flow of new people into our country. I also think there needs to be some way that people can come here and earn money and go home when the work is over. (Braceros Program, Green Cards for workers or some legal controlled program) Where I object is the idea that workers not from here or willing to stay here earn rights to our Social Security Program. I also think Amnesty for those not here legally is wrong. I have read that there is a 50 Billion (yes, with a B) debt out there in the Soc Sec program if Amnesty is offered to all the illegals here now. Yes, I know they have in some part been paying into the Social Security Program using ficticous numbers. I would start over and make illegals pay an earning tax not an income tax or Social Security Tax. If we use them, we also need to provide some support to them such as health care and schooling. They need to pay a part of the cost and that is the role of Government.
The United Nations - I believe that at its core, the UN is a good idea. I think there is a role out there for the UN to have a lot of control of the World and say so in the way the world operates. One of the problems is the real conservative part of our country believes that giving the UN any rights over us is treason. I would support the UN and help it Govern the World. I would also keep a strong Military here.
Power Projection - Here is one area that goes almost without discussion. How big an Armed Service do we need to have to be able to protect ourselves? Is an Armed Service the best way to accomplish what we want. One of the best Couples we know are working in a Moslem Country and I think that helps bring our culture to them in a way that having tanks there would not. That family has a long history of service to our Nation by helping others in Foreign Countries and I think their efforts are often overlooked. I am not advocating another Peace Corp, just some effort to be able to reach out and help with some recognition by our government. I think the cost of projecting power into the world is very high and could be controlled. The age old question of guns or butter will always be a tough one.
Change - If ever there was a tough nut, it is change. To its core, conservatives feel that if it ain't in the Constitution it isn't the role of Government. That is just too strong a point. I feel that there needs to be change in governments just as there is a change in society. Too little change and there will be a revolution. To much change and no one believes in the Government. I do want the Judicial Branch (Judges and Courts) to get back to their role and stop legislating from the bench, but if the Legislative Branch isn't doing its job, where does change come from? I think it is good that the pendulum is on a swing away from the conservative side and to the middle in Congress. Now I want congress to do its job and decide how much of the Executive plan of our Government we can afford. The time for our Government to be spending like a bunch of soldiers on payday should now be officially over.
Education - If there was ever an issue easy for me to cherry pick from the other side, it is the issue of Education. We must be willing to spend what it takes to ensure the next generation has all the education possible. How in the hell will we ever be the leaders of our world if we aren't willing to step up and educate the following generations to the maximum extent possible. It would be nice if the Military had a bake sale to build new and exotic weapon systems and the schools had enough money to make "No Child Left Behind" really work. We also need to have goals for our schools, but they should be achievable and funded.
There are issues that I won't be flexible on, but hey I'll bet you have some issues you are inflexible on too. MUD.


School Lunches

About once a year I try to get to Barb's school and have lunch with the kids. Today was their Veterans' Day lunch and I got to eat there. There was a Chicken Fried Steak (Really a baked piece of meat but good) mashed Potatoes, gravy, corn, applesauce and big o'le honkin' roll w/real butter. Man, I was in hog heaven getting to talk to all the kids and then eating with the sixth graders. One of the topics was what was our favorite meal. Many like the holiday menu with turkey, green beans, gravy, mashed potatoes and pineapple chunks. The final accolade went to the chili and cinnamon roll dinner. Most of the kids said they could live without the chili but the cinnamon rolls are the best.
This took me back to my days at Minneha where I went from kindergarten to the 9th grade. They could sure put on a great meal. The only thing I really couldn't stand was the tomatoes and bread served as a vegetable. It looked so gross that most of us just couldn't eat it. I found out from my sister Myrna Sue that all those years I had to eat it, she would just put it in her empty milk carton. Duh Dennis! Oh well, I loved their spinach and could eat my fill. (I think that was another milk carton treat the girls avoided. )
Wednesday it was 85 here in the heartland. Thursday it was 75 and today it is 45 with a 30 MPH wind blowing from the north. That makes it somewhere in the teens with the wind chill factor. Brrrrrrrr.
Have a great weekend. MUD.


Veterans' Day

At the 11th Hour, of the 11th Day of the 11th Month we all need to remember the men and women that have served us all to protect our right of freedom. That right has been paid in blood by many of the soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guard. We all need to think how fortunate we are to have parents that survived the conflicts. Pictured on this page is my Father Glen W. Petty as he completed Navy Basic Training in Great Lakes Naval Training Station. He wanted to enlist shortly after Pearl Harbor but Mom asked him to wait until he was drafted. He wanted to fly but settled for being an aircraft mechanic. He served in the Pacific and returned home in 1946.
There is a lot to be said about those that have served. You do it and be done with it when it is over. Most of us have put our medals and bad memories in a drawer somewhere. My father kept his uniform in a cedar chest and really didn't talk about the service much. Perhaps many of you might say he didn't do direct combat, but the Pilots of the planes he fixed sure would tip their hat to him. Doing your part is what it is all about. I think we all owe the men and women that have served a big round of thanks and a few moments of silence at 11AM, 11 Nov.
Dennis E. Petty, COL, (Ret)


This is a 1962 photo of Barb's family. I goofed up and made it black and white instead of color but hey, this is only a blog and not "Newsweek". I'm not sure why Pepsi made it in the picture so big but hey if it was my family it would have been beer.

Went to a KU Basketball game last night. They played Emporia, a Div II team and had a tough time in the first half. They absolutely dominated in the second half. The person that gave us the tickets gave us a parking pass to the lot right across the street and it was such a treat. I could do more of that. For the rest of the season I'll probably just watch on TV.

Man did the elections here go pretty much as expected. The only shocker was the Nancy Boyda win over Jim Ryan. The polls showed Boyda ahead a couple of points and the Republicans sent in the VP and the President. That caused the margin to open up to 10% from about 3. Bad choice for Ryan to embrace the Pres. The rest of the races went about as expected. Throw mud in an election in Kansas and expect to go down in flames.

Lots to do today so I'd better get back on it. MUD.


Writer's Cramp

Normally when I make a mistake on this blog, it takes the machine about 5 minutes to make it to published. This time it went to publish and back twice before I could get it back under control. At least it let me delete the blank one and add to this one.
You have got to read the fearing robots blog. I wrote him and told him how much I loved his stuff and he did a bit about Tecumseh, By God.
Go to http://fearingrobots.blogspot.com/ . Barb isn't as thrilled at his work as I am but she tends to see things in Black and White.
I went to the School Board yesterday to pick up the applications to be a Substitute Teacher and Sub Para. I have writer's cramp of the hand filling out all the applications. I had a TB test yesterday and will get fingerprinted today.
YES I VOTED! I kind of looked at the results and think my record puts me a lot more in the middle than at either end. I voted for as many Democrats as Republicans and as many women as men. The only area that I am almost an extremist is I vote no for retaining all the Judges. They are appointed once and unless thrown out they stay in office. Except for a good friend of mine Cordell Meeks. He was a black Judge Advocate in the Guard and this last year he died. He was about 60 and thought to be in good health.
Another good case for sharing the Heart Attack information with all my friends. If your chest feels like you have a band around it and it is tight and hurts, Call an Ambulance. If you are having pains that make you want to get into a fetal position, Call an Ambulance. If the pain starts to run down your left arm and up your chin, Call an Ambulance. If you try to stand in the middle of all that and you faint, Call an Ambulance. You will have drenching sweats (You'll know what this is when it happens because your shoes will go squish from all the water your system dumps out all your pores) Call an Ambulance. If you take an antacid and it doesn't immediately cure your heart burn, Call an Ambulance. A good friend of mine was a para-medic in Olathe. They found him dead in a rest area on I-35 surrounded by the paper remnants from a roll of tums. The newest statistic is that women are at least as likely to die from heart attacks and act just as clueless as men. Think how funny it would be to have an ambulance to the hospital and find out that it is ok. Think how unfunny it would be to not go and die.
Gee, this turned out to be a morbid post. I hope you are all well and you live long and prosper. MUD


Oh my Achin' back

Yesterday was still a little cool but I got on the bike and rode to the lake anyway. It is amazing how a short layoff can ruin your conditioning. I hurt in places I didn't think about. It was nice to ride but I either need to do more or less.
I think I am going over to KU to get a copy of my Transcript. I'm pretty sure they will require it at the State Board of Ed to get certified as an Emergency Sub. I am thinking about taking my bent and parking off the campus and riding to the Administration Bldg. Parking while classes are in session would be nearly impossible to find.
I watched some nice football this weekend and have about had it with the local programming. There is more hate in Kansas politics than a KKK rally. The political ads reflect that mud slinging. There is more mud slinging than a bog rally. The President came here yesterday to help Jim Ryan salvage his campaign. Jim must really be in trouble. It will all come down to the voter turn-out. The only way your vote will count is if you get out and use it.
I had better get rolling. See you later! MUD


Where are they Now?

This family is my wife's. They are scattered from California to Idaho. I am proud to be a member of the family and really enjoy visiting with all of them.
The other night we had dinner guests and they noticed a lot of hand crafted things here in our house. I began to tell them who made them and for the most part everything came from one of them. Talent and an artistic flair runs in that family.
One of the things that I noticed early is how much they are like my family. There are small Petty fights from time to time but don't pick on one unless you want the whole group mad at you. They are glad to have what they have and work darned hard to get them.
I think this picture was taken on Easter Sunday 1954 or 55. Could be as late as 56 but I am trying to go from the sizes and birthdays I know of. Heck no, I won't tell you any of them.
It will be a beautiful fall day here in the Heartland. The front that was supposed to get here today has slowed down so we will have sunshine during the day. Again the wind (and a few good football games) kept me off the bike yesterday. I promise to make it to the lake today.
I have started to feed the birds again and they are working on the seeds and suet big time. I saw Tiger make a mad dash after one of the birds but they are pretty much off the ground and up on the feeders so he doesn't stand much of a chance. Besides, he is getting fat as I have been feeding him pretty well.
Better get a few things done. Probably will go to the State Board of Ed tomorrow and apply for a job as an Emergency Sub. I will probably also apply at the local School Board as a sub for the para's.


Thought for the Day!

This is one of many little trinkets that adorn the shelves in our house. Like most, I'm unsure who made it or where we got it. It is a cute little bear sitting in a coffee cup reading. The saying on the cup is what I appreciate the most.
Barb had to go to work by 7 AM this morning. This is the first annual Michaels sales associates meeting. She also worked last night after working all week. Perhaps there will be time for her to go shopping at Penny's after the meeting and prior to work.
I hope to get in some riding today. It was warm enough yesterday, but the wind was brutal most of the day. It was gusty up to about 30 MPH and that just rips the heart out of my desire to ride.
On Halloween we went "Trick or Treating" and visited several of Barb's teacher buddies that we normally don't get to see during the year. They have moved to new schools and it is a treat to see them. As it probably is with most of you, one of the friends is just recovering from surgery and they aren't sure if they got it all. We hope Donna's wild sense of humor and good spirit just won't let some stupid group of cells defeat her.
Have a great day out there and enjoy the fall while it is not winter.


Funny Blog Site

I would encourage you to go to one of the funniest sites I have ever visited. It is http://fearingrobots.blogspot.com/ The guy that writes that blog is as strange as I would like to be. I think he is the kind of writer that looks things in a way that just kills me.
Give it a shot.

Just a Few Silly Things

The other day a friend of mine asked me where I got my recumbent. I told him that a beautiful lady rode up to me and tore off her clothes. She shouted, "take what you want". He said good choice, the clothes probably wouldn't have fit. It really didn't happen that way but hey, I thought this was a funny story. Putt-Putt built my bike and I couldn't be more thankful.

I will be so glad when the elections are over. The phone here rings regularly with a message from some party or the other. The sad thing is that while this is a very important election, less than 70% (60%?) of the voters will get out and vote. That means that about 36% of the people will determine who will lead our Nation. Barbara and I really don't discuss politics much. We are pretty opposed to the way the other's party want to accomplish good things for our country. The really good thing is we agree that the Goals for our Government are pretty much the same no matter who is in the majority. Don't get either one of us started on what the spending should be used for on, for what priority.

Government's response to these goals has varied over the years as has the world and the economy. In the past, the Republican party has attracted more conservative people with a lot of the moderates thrown in(at least in the heartland, forget the South, they are still fighting the Civil War) The Democratic response has attracted the other half of the moderates and a larger number of Liberals. For some reason the current Republican Congress has been spending money and cutting taxes like a bunch of Soldiers on leave after payday. Spend it all and borrow more just doesn't set well with most of us. I know that a lot of the spending is going to support the war but that is even a bigger problem that we don't discuss. Barbara has managed to drag me financially into a pretty solid place so I can't really argue against her "save a lot and spend a little" ideals. This leads me to the Ryan/Boyda conundrum.

Jim Ryan is a six term Representative from Kansas that is a Republican that voted for the party platforms 94% of the time. He survived the early years because no one with a record of anything ran against him. I know Jim and he is a Kansan that is fairly moral and upright. He is not the brightest bulb in the pack, and I am sure that we could do better. Nancy Boyda is a fairly newcomer to Kansas and a Democrat that thinks it is time for a change. She really doesn't have a record to attack. She is a nice person that I feel sure will represent us well. She could easily be the tripwire that upsets the Republican Majority in the House. If I vote for Nancy, I will be electing a brand new congressman that will have no voice in her party, just her vote. She won't have any good seats on committees, but it will be a new start. If I vote for Jim Ryan I will be saying more of the same and I'm not sure that is what I want either. That is the problem with being a conservative. Sometimes no change smells so bad that you just have to change the diaper or move.

So, I will make up my mind the day I walk into the election booth as I hope you do. (Vote that is) It is probably a lot like wetting your pants while wearing a dark suit. It gives you a warm feeling but no one will notice. Do the right thing and get out there and vote.




This is Tiger, the Orange Striped cat that has adopted me. Last night I went out to say goodbye to our diner guests and tiger came around the house to see if he could talk me out of some food and a little petting. The food is by the back door and I was out front so I tried to get him to settle for a little petting. For a very little bit he sat there and purred. I got up to go inside (it was about 32 degrees) and he bit my foot to let me know that I had better bring out some food. I forget that he is just a wild cat and not one that has been socialized 100%. He still tries to bite me about once a day and I haven't stopped that . It is never a hard bite but a good sign to quit what I am doing and leave him alone.
Our friends in Morocco just got a new cat and other than a white patch on her belly and face looks a lot like Tiger. She is Tobila or little car. I thought people that liked cats were a little wierd and here I am writing about one like he was a fullbown pet. Oh well, someday I'll also get to hide my own easter eggs.


I Wonder Why?

I wonder. Why would such a pretty little girl not have a smile the size of Kansas? Is it possible that a spoiled little brother could have stopped the smile?

Anything is Possible!
This is dedicated to my sisters Myrna Sue and Carol Lee. Suzie and Katie.


Every once in a while I hit the next blog button and yesterday I found myself on a Pro Democrat Blog. Sometimes it lands me on a site where people are naked but this time they were just clueless. Senator John Kerry did not read his speech correctly and he slammed people that who because they don't try hard they drop out of school and go to Iraq. He could not be more wrong and it is typical that he doesn't get it.
If he would simply admit his mistake, apologize to the servicemen and move on this whole thing would blow away and be forgotten. He comes back with I won't apologize and all that does is show his true nature and dislike for those of us that have served and will serve in the future.
I am confused how a Harvard Graduate could say people that aren't successful in school go to war? He went to war. I guess he couldn't pull a Bill Clinton and get out of it. I went to was because I didn't like school at the time and the service was an avenue for me to go to school on the GI Bill. If you think the GI Bill wasn't a leveler in our society, all you have to do is look around and see all the people that used that boost and went on to be a success.
I think John Kerry is wrong and I also think that anyone that says bad things about soldiers when our country (right or wrong) is at war is wrong. I don't dispute his right to have gone to war and then come home and protest. I think time has proven him more right than wrong. I need to be clear that Free Speech is being able to allow things that you believe, at your core, is wrong. It is also being able to say I think someone else is wrong and cite examples. Hey, if I make an error I am the first one to say I am wrong. Tell'em you hate bush and OK, that is your right. Say bad things about people doing their best to do what they have to do and you will find me standing there angry at you.