Man I hate getting Old (er)

This week I read that one of Mom's friends died. I helped her get flowers and took them to the Funeral home. Instead of the joy her life brought to everyone that really knew her, the family is split as to what to do with her estate. Is the world so crazy that people think a few dollars from some old lady are worth one moment of anything but joy for having known her? There were snide comments made about the fact that she had kids mentioned from her first marriage but there was no mention of him in the Obit. If you find yourself not liking Mom's Obit, know that she approved it herself.
I find myself having senior moments much more often lately. Perhaps it is that I am using my brain hard as a sub and have sat way too long idle and need to brush out the cobwebs. I went to the store yesterday and couldn't remember Sarah Sewell's first name. I see her at least twice a week and you would think I could remember the name of a beautiful young cousin. She is such a sweety and has a nice smile for us when she see's us. I know that it won't be all that long and I will be able to hide my own Easter eggs.
One of Barb's co-workers told Barb she was going to give us a Cockatiel. When we got there, she really gave us a pair. So now we have Angel and Chris Piper the birds. They chirp from time to time and throw seeds everywhere. The lady that gave them to us told us they eat a cup of seed each bird/day. No, they throw at least a cup of seed on the floor outside the cage and about 1/4 of a cup inside the cage and leave a bunch of empty seed debris in their food dish. I do see bird poop in the cage so I know they are eating. They also crap in their water dish - nasty buggers.
I haven't figured out what they do/are for yet so I will reserve judgment on that for now.
Barb is off today and I am not sure what is on her agenda - Yet. Hope she wants to read her books and relax. Happy New Year.


2007 Questions/Decisions

Barb and I discussed some of the things in 2007 we need to decide:
  • Should I run for the School Board. Do I want change or do I really want to be on the Board?
  • Should Barb continue to work one more year? We need to do the financial numbers and see where we will be.
  • Should we go to Morocco this summer. Need some information from the Reimers as to their plans. Hate to travel there and not find them home.
  • What will we do when we go to Vegas for Dave & Barb N.'s renewal of their vows the first weekend in June. Do we fly? Drive, Bus or Train?
  • What do we need to do with our cars this year? Kill the Corsica or fix it and drive it into the ground.
  • How can we help Dave and Barb the best?

That is just the start of the list and we will be working on it more as the next weeks progress. Hope you have a great New Years.



I'm a Runnin'

Barb and I have been so upset with the local school board that I am going to run for the Board this year. I have until the 20th of Jan to register and the election is in February. I would take office in July so I could continue to substitute teach the rest of the year. I turn 60 this year so I will have my Military Retirement kick in starting in August. After that I won't need to work but might, just not in this district.
Yes, I know that I need to be careful what I ask for because I might get elected and have to work on Monday nights for a couple of years. Oh well, I'll work hard for the children and try to help make it a better place.
Yesterday I was looking at the 57 Chevy and realized that the dew dripping off the car just hadn't dried by the rear wheel. I also noticed the brake fluid level had dropped off in a big way. Yes, the rear wheel brake cylinder had just decided to give up and die. It turned out to be an easy fix but I also found that one of the brake shoes needs replaced and I should do it on both sides not just one so it will be a bigger deal (When I get around to it) For now the leak has stopped and the car stops so I will park it back in the garage for a while.
I am putting a new electric wiper motor on the 53 Pickup. I finally got so tired of trying to unhook the old one that I took my trusty little Drimmel with a cutting wheel and cut the bolts off. I fiddled with it for about an hour trying to fit it back on and finally quit. I'm sure that I will be able to get it working today. Good thing, it is going to rain the rest of the week.
It only got down to 40 last night. That is our normal day time high here in Kansas for December. It was in the 50's yesterday and will be again today. Great weather to be outside and working on a car. May even go for a ride this afternoon. I need to get a little exercise.
KU and K-State both have a game starting at 7 PM today. KU's game is Basketball and K-State is playing in some football bowl in Texas. They play Rutgers? I didn't know Rutgers even played football anymore.
OH well, Barb and I will watch basketball and look at updates.
Have a Happy New Year. MUD & Bobwa


Post Christmas Day Thoughts and Wishes

Yes, I got almost everything I wished and wanted for Christmas. There were some omissions such as World Peace and to win the lottery but I did get everything I wanted or needed. We were able to share our home with friends and family and had a group of 10 here to celebrate with.
Our new daughter, Melanie who is really a friend of Dave and Barbara, came over and added a lot of nice conversation to our group. I have my fingers crossed that the new possible job will be hers after the first of the year. She is one of those creative people that just works harder than the job and everyone loves her. Security Benefit Group here in Topeka is expanding and she is a part of that rare growth.
Barb N's nephews were a part of the festivities and man did they score from Santa. They had so many toys they couldn't play with them all. The solar car just didn't have enough solar power to run by the time we got it together. They are two of the nicest little guys and we love to have them here. The littlest one wore Dave out. Man is he going to be a good father if he doesn't get too old first.
It has been warming up during the day but the 20 degrees in the night has all the animals eating as much as they can to build body mass and keep warm. At first light the birds are working over the suet block and black oil sunflower seeds, hard. The dogs sit by the fence and bark wanting snacks and tidbits from our meals. Tiger the outside cat is off on his rounds early today and I don't have a clue where he is. He got the giblets from a 5lb chicken yesterday and left that damn dry food. He had been in a cat fight and had a few patches of fur that fell off when I petted him. He was not in a playful or petting mood yesterday and I haven't seen him yet today. I hope he comes back but I haven't invested much in his upkeep. A couple bags of the cheap cat food and compared to either dog, he is a bargain.
Barb and I are getting busy in life and have senior moments. We both need to have one of those signal devices that when you clap your hands it beeps. The problem is that we would need so many that the whole darn house would beep every time we clapped. Just a moment ago she was hunting for her shoes. I think she has hunted for those shoes at least twice and I think three times this week. Once she found them in the storage room where she got the Christmas Tree ornaments. How did they get there?
I am going to start a movement that outlaws the term "Whatever". I think it is passive aggressive and people use it when they don't want to make a decision. I will say where would you like to eat? "Whatever" as I start to Rosa's (Mexican) Barb will say oh no, it's too greasy. I will say pizza and she will say too fattening. McDonalds is out for anything but breakfast. So in the end we will wind up at Anny's Place eating a salad and air fries. She will say "Whatever" but means Anny's Place. Passive aggressive if I have ever visited the term. My student, Diamond B. (name changed to protect the guilty) will say "Whatever" but will add a hand waive. (generally with a set of hands that are so dirty I can smell them) We had a page of hard math or four pages of easy math. A "Whatever" and I gave him the tough stuff. After checking the first three and two of them were close but no cigar, he thought four pages of the easy stuff was the ticket.
The last day of school this year we had hamburgers for lunch. "D" thought it was neat to put all the Cheetos in the top bun and make a cheeseburger like arrangement. As he dripped ketchup and cheeto debris on his plate he just smiled and kept pounding more food in his mouth. To his benefit, he is like me and has a check mark for yes in the food column. So far I haven't found anything he doesn't like. For some kids on Meds that is hard but not for him.
Well, looks like Barb is about ready to go so I had better get my act together. I hope you Christmas was merry and that you new year find you prosperous. MUD


Few More Pics

These first two pictures are of Sue's Boys and for the life of me I can't remember their names.

This guy is Joe and the bottle of wine that kept coming around to him.

This is Fred, Dan's Step Father.

Picture Titles

If you look at the following pictures, you will see the wonderful group of people that were at the Petty Party in Kansas City on Dec 16th, 2006. If you were there you know everyone. IF you weren't, don't sweat the names just know that we had great food and great fun. We have tried to make the Christmas gathering a time of friendship and family and forget the commercial part of Christmas. In fact we all bring "White Elephant" gifts to exchange and have a great time swapping and opening. Merry Christmas

Petty Party Pictures Part 1

Kenny & Austin

Dan & Owen (I don't have Joe?)

Janet & Sue

Myrna Sue & Becky

Petty Party Pictures Part 2

Mom & Kim

Jennifer & Mom

Janet & Mom

The Host, Carrie & Mom

Petty Party Pictures Part 3

Alan & Carol

Barbara N. & Mom

AJ & Mom


Great Weekend

I have been a little busy for the last couple of days and am sorry that I haven't posted more/sooner. We had a wonderful family gathering at Carrie Craig's house on Saturday and as usual she was a wonderful host. We had our usual soup lunch and white elephant swap. It was a great meal followed by a fun time. There were a couple of gifts that made the swap about each choice. I'm not sure if the wine, the penguin with the $20.00 gift certificate or Barb's lobster that drew the most comments. (Ok, I know most of the comments about that damn lobster came from me)
We had a nice visit with Becky as she stayed an extra day to help Mom shop for some things. She is always a fun visit and I'm sure that her family needs to break the dependence on her that they have. Man I would have shut off that darn cell phone and left it off for longer than she did. It rang and rang and rang. I know she makes a lot of her money working "on call" but shees, I wouldn't have one if it bothered me as much as her's does.
I tried to download the pictures this morning and again this evening. So far I have them still in the camera but not in the file where I want them.
The Hawks are playing some team tonight and it will be a short night as the ref's are sitting on their whistles to get the game over fast. Ku has played more players more minutes than a usual game. Some of the subs that never see much time are working on 10 minutes in the first 20 min half. it is 45 to 21 at half time.
I work Wednesday and Thursday and am then off until the 3rd of January. I will probably spent the entire time getting over the germs I have picked up this month.


Metrosexual, Ubersexual, Militarysexual?

I was reading a Blog and someone described the transition of Metrosexuals into Ubersexuals. I think I am comfortable with the term Old Retired Army Guy (ORAG and nom-de-plum I use like MUD) I think I am a Military Sexual. I like clean, shiny polished things, a good haircut and John Wayne Movies. I start out my day with clothes that are clean and neat but by the end of the day look like I have lost the battle.
I guess that as I approach 60 things like appearance just aren't as important to me.
I think it is important to not look like a three year old. You know, those unwashed hands, the uncombed hair and the fly that is always unzipped. I have had some of my students come to school wearing the same stained shirt they wore yesterday. I actually scrub their desks to help control some of the germs. This time of year a runny nose is the norm. "Please use a kleenex and then throw it away. Yes, pick it up off the floor and put it in the can. Now, go wash your hands, I can smell them from here."
God I love 'em but the more I am near them the less I want a hug.
Gotta Run. Write if you get work. MUD, aka ORAG


Can anyone tell me why I am having so much trouble posting comments. First it was pictures and now it is comments. This sucks!



What the hell is the meeting over the holocaust doing being held in a Moslem Country. That is like having the KKK meeting to figure out what the reparations for Slavery should be. Duh, people who hate can't be trusted to tell or understand the truth.
I have really about had it with the people that think 9/11 was a hoax. 3,000 of our fellow Americans died. More than the number that died in Pearl Harbor. Any one that thinks our government is capable of pulling off something of that magnitude without the whole world knowing in a nano-second is just stupid. Kind of like the Help Desk attendant telling someone to box up their computer and sending it back because they are just plain too stupid to use one.
Lets see, the earth had an ice age and a hot age where oceans covered Kansas. Now man thinks he is so damned important that he can cause Global Warming. Heck, cows create more methane gas than all the cars. Give me a big bowl of beans and I contribute my share.
The Democrats are welcome to Washington. I'll bet they don't cut one tax or rate. Let them see what a tar baby Iraq is and we'll see how long they can ignore North Korea and Iran.
Speaking of Iraq, I have also about had it with people saying that the President is stupid on one hand and then saying we were fooled by the president. If you get fooled by a fool, aren't you more foolish than the fool? Stupid is as stupid does but sheesh, boys and girls Good Ol'e GW would have to get up pretty early to fool most of us. Now, that's not to say that MUD would have done business in Iraq differently. I would have made damn sure the current Government (Except Sadam) was in charge and maintaining law and order until things were allowed to change. Throwing out everyone was like throwing out the bathwater with the baby. Heck, wouldn't it be just the dangdest thing if it took a killer like Saddam to make things work there? Oh well, I'm not in charge so I won't kick my ball into that court. MUD, the Para-Sub.

Whew, a day off

This work stuff is like, well, you know -work! The school I was to go to called last night and said they didn't need me after all. This morning when they called to ask me to come in today, I was not available.
I am working on cars to make them run so I have a way to Kansas City on Saturday. Barb will need to take her car because she will have to be back in Topeka by 3 PM.
The weather here is glorious. It didn't get below 40 last night and will be in the 60's today. Great weather to work on a car. My back is acting up a little and I can't get under the dash near a quickly as I want.
I have been doing some small tasks for Barb and we hope to have the Christmas boxes sent out either tonight or in the morning.
Better go get some work done. Write if you get a chance. Dennis, MUD, AKA the Sub-Para, soon to be a real SUB.


Another Day

Just when I thought I had a day off, Barb called and one of her Para's had to go home. I went to T.South and worked the afternoon away. Great little guys that are working hard.
Visited with Mom at lunch and she had eyes bigger than her appetite. She loves Chicken Thighs and potato salad. Add a little chocolate pudding and she just loved the items just didn't have the capacity to pig out. She was in a very good mood and we had a nice visit.
Barb has most of the Christmas packages ready except for no Divinity yet. I'll probably do feeds Ground as soon as we get it all together.
Gotta Run for now. Dennis


Ain't Life Sweet?

Over Thanksgiving we had the Tulsa crowd here. Two of my favorite people Kristy and her son Ethan don't get here often enough but we were fortunate to have them here. This is just another one of the many nieces that make up for my lack of daughters. I am so proud of all of them that I could bust. There is a lot of love in our family and this is just typical of how much we hug and kiss our kids.
Man is my life full. I am working every day but one the rest of the school year. I spend my days helping little guys and gals learn and do well. In one or two cases it is a lot like herding cats but I smile and keep doing what we can. In some cases it is more fun that I can stand and in some cases it is all I can stand. All I can say is that anyone that thinks every kid is going to be able to do "on grade work" is seriously doing drugs. There is a group of people out there working hard but reality is not everyone is equal and some kids need to work real hard to do what they do.
Today I worked two 4 hour shifts so I had different kids in the morning than I did in the afternoon. It was a very different experience and it took a lot to make everything work as well as it did. Both kids are at least two days behind and working hard trying to make it three. I think we were on task but didn't get much of the past work made up.
Barb and I spend at least an hour laughing at how similar our days go even though we have different kids at different schools. Different monkeys and different trees but they all eat the same bananas.
Have a great day out there. Dennis, MUD the Para Sub.


It Arrived!

The Kansas State Board of Education finally sent me a copy of my license as an Emergency Substitute Teacher. I am now legal to substitute in a regular class room and as a substitute Para-Professional in the LD/BD or Interrelated Resource Classroom or Center. (IRC) The good news is I can make more money as a Teacher Sub but I'm not in this to get rich. The bad news is that I can stay busy full time as a Para-Sub. In fact I have only one day between now and the Christmas break that I haven't committed to. That one day I am on the hook to go help make frosting for one of the regular class room teachers. We'll see how it all works out. I need a haircut but it mak have to wait until some Saturday.
The good news is that Barbara and I compare notes and laugh at how similar the kids are no matter where they are. The funny story that Barbara uses is that Julie would say, "I smell something funny. Does someone need to wash their hands?" I have started using that and the kids just roll their eyes and go wash their hands. I also spend a few minutes at the start of the day to clean the desks of my students. They just don't realize how dirty their things get. It is amazing how many of them start to use Kleenex instead of their sleeves when you point ot the Kleenex box. Now both Barb and I are noticing the stalling tactics they use when they blow their noses. If you use Kleenex for a minute and then go wash your hands and then go throw the Kleenex away you can take almost three minutes out of a scheduled math session.
I hope you all can find ways to enjoy life and live to the fullest. Barb and I are both tired at the end of the day buy generally end the day with a kiss and a smile. MUD

People We Love

In our normal mail, we often get strange publications from a lot of different sources. The "International Institute for Christian Studies sent us their Fall 2006 flyer. Barb started to throw it away and I asked if that was the organization that Julie & Gerald are with? Inside we found their information in the section introducing new IICS staff.
I am sure that your are probably growing tired of hearing about our wonderful friends in Ifrane, Morocco. I couldn't be more proud if they were our family and not just truly our friends. Julie and Barbara started teaching together and they really grew close. If you were able to spend much time with them you would also grow to love them both as I have. Julie met and married Gerald and they have become like our children while they lived in Topeka. They started a family and they shared their children with us and we "doted" on them as if they were our grandchildren. Our Halloween treat was to go to their house and troop the neighborhood. We have watched Katrina and Kendra grow and have marveled at their intelligence and ability to laugh. It is so much like their parents to teach them school studies and a way to live with a smile. I'm sure that a lot of their life is filled with their faith and they can truly make a joyous noise.
I miss their giggles but am filled with the wartm feeling that they are living with two of the greatest people we have ever met.


This Work stuff is a lot like work

I went to all the schools in the district and gave them a copy of my resume and told them I was available to work as a para sub. It is nice to be needed but hey a day off now and then would be fun. You know why they call work, work? All the other four letter words were taken.
Gotta run, Barb's school called and I have to be there by 8:30. I really do love working with and meeting all the little kids. They are a hoot and I smile almost as much as when I am riding my bent.
I am sure that working while also putting $ in the college fund, keeps me off the street. Besides, who can pass up $2.60 lunches? giggles, and some really great people.


Blogging should be fun

I started this blogging stuff a while back at the urging of my niece, Rebecca. I have had a good time with it and feel it is good practice to help me get my creative juices flowing. I have about had it with blogspot.com for the following reasons:

  • The failure to post my pictures was frustrating even when I spent time making them small enough to not clog the internet drain.
  • Offering a Beta that screws up with regularity should just not be done. Beta's should work for the most part. If it gets screwed up, fix the damn thing.
  • The fact that I lose about half of my comments nowadays is just crap on top of the cake, not frosting.
  • The fact that I have to log in one day and not the next is very frustrating. Find a place and stay there.

If the problems are caused by stupid little shits screwing with the programming, I hope they die and their computers burn in hell. I am pretty sure that it is not the old farts screwing with the programming. Most of us just want to use the damn computers the same way from day to day and enjoy.

END OF RANT. I will stick around for a few more days but I am nearing my limit. MUD...


Be a part of the Solution

I have not said enough about the BD teacher at Berryton. Mr D is a great guy that works his butt off and you can tell he is just a natural person that truly likes the kids. One day last week he was leaning on the door as an in-school suspension student kicked the other side of the door and calmly talked to a little girl about her problems. My natural tendency would have been to open the door and shout at the kid on the floor but I am learning. I guess it is kind of like being in the middle of an operations center when all heck breaks loose and being able to remember who is doing what and where.
Being a Substitute Para, I feel kind of like that guy that goes to the prom but really hates to dance. When the phone rings in the morning, it means someone wants me. They need me and I am kind of child like and excited to go. When it doesn't ring, I feel a little deflated and sad. I should be glad to have the day off because I have two major projects to complete today but I feel somehow less loved. (well, liked would be more appropriate)
Now, back to the Title subject. I think one of the things we should all do is go to our schools and get involved with the lives of the kids there. About 50% of the kids today are from broken homes and need a positive male role model. Don't get me wrong, they have a lot of positive female influence but it just doesn't hurt to have male role models. If you have high school diploma, you can be a substitute Para-professional. If you have an Associates Degree you can be a substitute teacher (I have applied for this certification but don't have it yet) If you just want something in your life that makes it worth while, volunteer. It is way too easy to complain about the problems in our society and not to do something to help. One trip to the BD room and you will come away with an appreciation of how much they need your positive help.
On the subject of money, I really don't even know how much I am making per hour. I am probably making less than Barb does at her second job but I'm in this for more than the money. In fact, I think I will go to the store and get some muffins and take them to the school secretaries that call the para subs. It never hurts to have your name known by the people that actually call. I figure there are between 9 and 14 para's at the four elementary schools and someone is probably absent each day. When I get my teaching certificate multiply that to over 20 and I should be pretty busy.
If you see an old grey haired guy walking down the halls of your local schools with a goofy smile on his face, it is probably me or someone like me that is getting younger by the day just for being with the little guys and gals. I even learned about the WWE and some of the wrestlers. You might be better for the effort.
Think Globally but act locally. Dennis


Top 100 Catchphrases

Obviously I can't type all 100 in one setting but I will share with you TV Land's top 100 catch phrases over the next few blogs. For those of you that wouldn't notice, these will be in alphabetical order. If you need them by numerical order, go see TV Land on line.
  • "Aaay" - From Fonzie on Happy Days.
  • "And that's the way it is" by the Godfather of news - Walter Cronkite.
  • "Ask Not what your coutry can do for you, but what you can do for your country" Inaugural Speech of John F. Kennedy.
  • "Baby, you're the greatest" From The Honeymooners -Ralph Kramden played by Jackie Gleason)
  • "Bam" - Mr. Cooking himself, Emeril Lagassee on Emeril Live.
  • "Book 'em Danno" - Steve McGarrett on Hawaii 5-0.
  • "Will ________, Come on Down!" Johnny Olson, the Price is Right"

The d-g's will be next time, I have a car to work on. Have fun out there and play nice.


I just love weekends now that I'm working part time. They were just another day (or two) in the past but now they are adjustment days. Man do I need an adjustment after spending my week in the DB room. Friday, one of the little guys that is way too round for his height, (I prefer to say he is under tall not overweight) said I had a fat belly. I told him that I had spent my entire life feeding that belly and I was proud of it. When he gets old, he too can strut around looking like the beginning of his second trimester. None of that probably made sense to him and the fact that that I didn't return the charge that he too was fat probably confused him.
I am being careful not to use names to protect the guilty.
One of the other things that hit me funny this week was the fact that two of the little guys thought the use of the word Butt was funny. I told them it was inappropriate but they said it was OK with the teacher. On Wednesday I asked Mr D what was an appropriate thing to be saying and of course their word was on the verbotten list. One of them said he only said it because the other one liked it. Wrong is wrong and I'll police things pretty strict from now on. One little guy thought he could listen to little Bow Wow's rap songs until I asked about the language. No Go, on that one also.
Dave's car had a spell of not starting this week. I charged the battery but it didn't seem to help. I cleaned the terminals (and tightened them) and left it on the charger last night. If it doesn't work this AM I'll put a new battery in it. Probably will double the value of his car. Oh well, can't think of a nicer guy to spend my money on. Better get started on my day.
PS Beck, I posted the photo this morning on my machine. No Problem
Dennis, aka MUD


Don't Hit, Don't hit, Don't Hit

The BD room is a where Education meets crowd control. Over and over, I say to myself Don't hit... Yes, I am saying it to myself as a control measure. Really I don't want to hit, just hug the life out of the little rascals.
There must have been something in the water today. At least two of the little guys had complete melt downs and a third was in "In school suspension". My little guy today finally accepted my help about noon and had meds and that was the end of his day for him. I might as well have been home and him tied to a chair for all the good he did in school that afternoon. Oh well, I am going to do the best I can do and move on from there.