Dennis is a retired Colonel living with his wife, Barbara, in Tecumseh, KS. Some of these Posts are filtered through the memory of a "not so Young Man" and you might have to utilize your built in crap detector to filter truth from memory errors. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. If you wish for peace, prepare for War. Our current Congress is "Stupid with zeros on the end...
The ground has gone from brown with cracks to green to brown with water covering it.
Stupid Things about me!
I have always had an obsession with stupid old Chevy's. I have owned a Ford but hated almost every minute of it. Wouldn't buy one today. Not even a Mustang!
I graduated in the bottom third of my High School class. (hell, I'll bet it was the bottom 10%) I was supporting an old chevy, a girl friend and working damn near full time. Who had time to study? I think it was an amazing feat to have graduated at all.
It took me ten years to get from High School to my college degree. OK, there was a war on and that took three years of that time. The end was the goal so it didn't matter how long it took me.
Just as I finally get to a point in life where I really could afford a corvette, I couldn't afford the gas. (or the insurance, property tax, depreciation and the aggravation it would cause with my wife)
I sing. Loud and often. Sometimes just to myself.
My best friend built my recumbent bike. I gave him a dog just to share the love. No, I haven't sent dog food but I did send him dog biscuits for Christmas. The dog won't accept money.
For most of my life I have been very impulsive and make snap judgments. This works about 85% of the time and really pisses off some people. You either like me or you really hate me. very few people just know me and don't have a care one way or the other. But, neither do I.
Did you know that you can get everything you need and still find it boring? Just thought you might like to know There is no shortage of things to do but here I sit on this idiot box. At least it isn't a cell phone while I'm driving. I may be unsafe at any speed but I'm not going anywhere right now.
I hate rainy weather and could not live in a place where I couldn't see the sun, a lot! Went to Seattle one year for Christmas and hated every minute of it. Well, not every minute but most of it. Spent one year in Vietnam and went through a Monsoon season. Some time watch Forrest Gump and the part about his time in the rain there. Yes, it started to rain and four months later it stopped.
Gotta run, perhaps I can convince the wife to escape with me.
Build that Ark and do it fast!
What do you do when it rains for several days straight. I gave up drinking so that's not an option. I have read until my eyes feel like they are bleeding. I have cooked a lot and even Barb is beginning to complain that I'm spoiling her weight watcher's figure. Oh well, you will probably just get more of me here on the blog site.
Yesterday I even updated one of my old Vietnam stories. I did have a lot of trouble telling facts from nothing as I just couldn't remember a lot of the details in any sort of an organized fashion. I guess that only with spell checker can I be an editor let alone an author.
Did I mention the rain? By the water level in the yard art and dog bowls, I figure it has rained about 4 inches this week. The good news is that it was a slow steady mist most of the time. Just south of us there are flood warnings as they have had a steady rainfall. For our family in the west, imagine if you will that your entire rainfall for the year fell in a week in May and now a week in June. It has rained a lot in June but usually in the first week of June when the National Guard is in camp at Fort Riley.
I know, post some pictures! that is always good for an hour or two. Read the paper, looked at the ads and in spite of some good prices have no desire to go shopping. 4357
We are Americans
My wife Barbara was a teacher and has a lot of ideas about the implementation of things different than I do. When we really sit down and discuss our goals, we are both mostly on the same page. We agree that we need to have good education to help our students be the best they can be. We agree that it should be well funded and both agree that teachers have a tough job and are underpaid. Our real only argument is where in our system the funding should come from and what limits should be put on it. My contention is that is you have the funding at the State or National level you will find a lot of rules placed on you from those levels.
Now, go out there and play nice boys and girls. I am a conservative and my form of change is to do the right thing each time and don't make any laws you can't, don't or won't enforce.
Blood, Guts and Glory Pt2....
There was a family just up the street from us that had at least a hundred chickens one year. We would spend hours there watching those dumb chickens. There is nothing more stupid than a chicken. There is also nothing more smelly than 100 of them.
One the sons about my age and I were out in the back yard and one of their yard dogs came over. That dog was losing most of her hair because of the mange. I mentioned to my friend that my dad had used coal oil to remove a glob of tar that got in his hair and it cured his dandruff. My friend reckoned that if coal oil would kill dandruff, gasoline should cure the mange. I stood there like an idiot when he poured about a cup of gasoline on that poor old dog’s back. I had never seen such a transformation. One minute she didn’t seem to have an ounce of energy and the next she was a leaping, barking, yelping imitation of the hound of the Baskerville’s. She charged at us and we climbed up on top of a pile of boxes to escape being bitten. She commenced to bark and chase around the boxes for about 15 minutes. She just stopped and fell down on the ground. I asked my friend if it had killed her? Nah, she just ran out of gas!
About the middle of September, the parents decided that it was time to kill and clean all the chickens. In a stupid way, I volunteered to help. If you don’t like chickens, don’t watch 100 of them get killed and cleaned. It was miserable work and we started early and worked late into the night. We established an assembly line and one person killed a few, dunked them into a boiling tank of water and then we would pull off feathers until there was a pile of dead chickens. We took knives and cleaned out the entrails. We were as careful as we could be at the start but by the end it was cut and gut. The older boy would cut out the gizzards, hearts and livers from the mess. The carcasses went in to the house for a final cleaning by the mother. Mrs. Lawrence would wash them and wrap them in butcher paper. They had a big chest freezer and a couple of coolers. The birds would be put in the freezer and after it got full they put some of the birds in the coolers. The whole darn mess was taken down to a locker plant and frozen for later use. After about 14 or 16 hours of killing chickens I had had enough. They gave me a couple of the chickens and I went home. Mom thought it was nice that I brought home some food but I was just too tired to eat or care. I took a shower and went to sleep. It just might be possible that I did not eat what I saw killed that day. I had seen enough blood and guts to last for a few days.
About the 9th grade, I had a paper route and traveled the streets of the neighborhood twice a day. Somewhere in early spring I saw an old dog get hit and killed by a car. He fell in a ditch and died very quickly. The next day I saw the dead dog lying there in the ditch and saw that it was frozen solid. Over the next two or three months it warmed up and I checked on that dog each day as I went by. From time to time I would turn the dog over with a stick to see what insects or maggots were eating the remains. I observed this process until finally in mid summer there was nothing left but skin and bones. I didn’t hurt the dog or do anything cruel, I just observed the natural process of decomposition.
One fall we went to Arkansas and Grandpa decided it was time to butcher a hog. Man was that a spectacle and a lot of work. Gramps shot that old hog and lifted him with the front scoop on his ford 900N tractor. Right there they dipped the whole hog into a barrel of boiling water. We scraped the hog with sharp knives to remove the hair. When he was a clean as we could get him, Dad gutted that hog. Man did I get a lesson on how many guts an animal can have. Dad then sawed the carcass up into two pieces and we helped as each half was cut into smaller pieces for the women to wrap. As the hog just got smaller and smaller, Grandma began the process of rendering the fat and made cracklings. There had been a time I would eat fried pork rinds by the bags full. Once I spent a day smelling them and seeing where they came from I am not as enthusiastic as I was. Most of the odds and ends of that hog got taken to the processing plant and made into sausage. I’m not sure why grandma and mom didn’t grind up those hog parts, but they didn’t. I also didn’t watch the sausage being made so I can still eat sausage today.
When I was a little kid, our mother would make the most wonderful meat salad sandwiches for us. They had a lot of onion, mayonnaise and pickles cut up in with the ground meat. I had no idea or little care what kind of meat went into that wonderful stuff. That is until I was home sick one day and mom made a batch. She started with a cow’s tongue and two hearts. They were cut up, cleaned and put in to the pressure-cooker that make that stupid hissing sound for an hour or so. She took the cooked stuff out and ground it with a big meat grinder that fastened on the kitchen cabinets. I’m sure that mostly because I was sick, I really lost my appetite for that treat again. Did you ever see a cow’s tongue outside of their mouths? They can use that thing to pick and lick their noses for Pete’s sake. Oh gross!
In the service, we were first exposed to blood and guts through the movies on driving safety. One of the first was a film about two soldiers that were on leave from Ft. Leonard Wood and en route to Saint Louis. They had a faulty muffler and fell asleep behind an 18-wheeler. They hit that truck at about 70 and ran clear under the truck until the front end hit the wheels. That caused the car to kind of flip back out. The film showed the two people completely decapitated and in full color. I remember that one of the trainees was so upset that he was discharged from the service. He could not have handled the gore and blood in combat. At the time most of us thought that guy was an idiot but now I wonder just who were the idiots?
For the sake of the dead, I will not go into the details of the horrible deaths I witnessed. Many young men died in my company and none by my hand or fault. I felt like I was one of the best Forward Observers ever in combat. I knew how to read a map and how to locate myself on the ground. It only took once or twice for me to shoot a marking round and be accurate as to the direction and distance to convince new commanders that I knew what I was doing. Every night I shot a few rounds around our night position to have a defensive concentration available if we got attacked.
The thing I want to say here is that my life prepared me for the blood and guts I saw. The glory came from my safe return from combat and the next 40 years.
Blood, Guts and Glory, Part 1
I think I grew up in a fairly normal way in a family that lived a pretty normal life. I lived in the neighborhood, I called mine, until I was about 18. It was located right on the east side of Wichita and just up the street from Beech Aircraft Plant number one. During the workweek, the parking lot behind our house was filled with the cars of Beech employees. During the weekends and after about 3:30 each day it was almost empty. Lord forbids that you were out on the streets of my neighborhood about 3:30 to 3:45 each day. More old dogs dies during that time period than any other as the Beechcrafters rushed out to get away from their workplace.
In this more rural neighborhood than city, we had neighbors that had chickens and for some reason we seemed to have a lot of live chickens that my dad killed. The first animal I saw die was a chicken. Dad swung that chicken by the neck and jerked the head off. That chicken flopped around the yard much to the laughter and delight of the kids over to watch.
When my sisters were in High School at South East High, a carload of kids raced around a corner in Forrest Hills and smacked a tree in what became known as dead man's curve. I heard about it and curiosity got the best of me. I knew exactly where they hit the tree and it was about a half mile from my house. I got one of my friends to come and we rode over there on our bikes. By the time we got there the only signs of the accident was the broken glass and different fluids on the ground. There wasn’t any EPA in the 50’s and no one much gave a damn about fluids from an accident leaking into the ditch. At the base of the tree there was a pool of dark, almost black fluid. I couldn’t tell if it had leaked out of a person or one of the cars. I put my finger in it and saw that it was a dark red. In those days most of the old cars didn’t have automatic transmissions so if it was red it was probably blood. I later heard that one of the kids that were killed was trapped in the car up against the tree so it probably was blood. I sat down and tried to imagine what it must have been like there in that scene as life left that poor guy.
I continued to be exposed to blood and guts because my Grandfather loved to hunt pheasants up in north central Kansas. We also killed our fair share of rabbits and least one skunk that dad shot after it sprayed him. My grandfather Curly Fruits would clean the birds in the most curious manner I had ever seen. He would cut the birds head off and split the skin from the throat to the rear end of the bird. He would then basically pull the skin and feathers off in one complete piece. He would then take his knife and gut the bird. The birds were taken into the house where my Grandmother played her magic and made the most wonderful tasting fried pheasant you ever ate. I think she would soak the carcasses in salt water for a while and then cut them up. After a slow baking in the oven for a while she would then coat them in flour and fry the pieces.
I’m sure that during my childhood I saw about every animal in Kansas and some in Arkansas get cut up and eaten. Squirrels, birds, frog legs, turtles, fish and all the normal farm animals were cleaned, cooked and eaten. I watched most of the cleaning and had a large curiosity about the process of death and cleaning. I had a real talent in eating then and it did not slow me down one bit to see something killed and then eat it. I thought that was a normal way for most people to be. I know my grandfather and my dad sure ate what they killed and cleaned.
On one trip to Arkansas, we went over to Table Rock Lake to fish. When we returned home, we took the fish down to the spring to clean them and get them ready for Grandma. I was sitting there on the ground and had a stringer of fish in the pool of water in front of me. I was scaling one of the fish I heard my dad and grandpa Curly giggling like a couple of kids. I looked at them and asked them what was so damn funny. Dad pointed to the stringer of fish. Right there in the water within a couple of feet of my feet was a damn water moccasin trying to eat one of the fish. Those darned fools didn’t tell me anything about the snake. Much later on I saw a nature program about snakes and they said that the cottonmouth or water moccasin was generally one of the least likely to bite you if it had something else to do. I did, I jumped to my feet in one fell swoop and threw the fish scaler at the snake. It wasn’t funny to me but the men had a real laugh at that one.
End of Part 1, 4292
The Cox Cable guy showed up to shut down the cable. I showed him where the box was and he even used my ladder to unhook the system there at the house.
We talked about life and he mentioned his son was going to Washburn. I told him that Dave was going there and doing ok. He said his son took 12 hours this last semester and passed only three. I guess the no one watching if you show up to class was such a novel idea that he stopped going to a couple of his classes. The Cable Guy told me that he had a heart to heart talk with his son. It seems that from the beginning the Mom and Dad have saved for the college education. The kid was going to go to classes and work hard or they were going to send him out in the world to make do on his own. The Cable Guy told his son that they were going to spend the college fund money on them and he would have to pay for it on his own. The son what are you going to buy? The answer was a Corvette and a Boob Job. Sounds like a pair of winners to me.
My first experience with Buck tools was when a member of my Fire Direction Team asked his wife to send him a knife and a small hand hatchet. Her parents owned a hardware store so she went in and asked them what was the best they had. You guessed it, Buck Tools was the answer. We were all asked to examine the fine tools when they arrived but not allowed to use them. Most of us had our own stuff and it wasn't a big hairy deal, just a deal. I didn't rush home and buy Buck Tools but I did remember the quality and filed the information away for future purchases.
What do you get for the man who has everything he needs? One Birthday I asked my wife to purchase a tool/knife combination so I would have a screwdriver or a knife when I needed one. I had seen a "Leatherman" but just didn't see the quality I needed. (Probably a stupid perception but hey, this is my story)
My loving wife made the same purchase decision that had been made in 1968 and asked for the best and the salesman handed her a Buck Tool. Fine quality, locking blade, stainless steel and almost any tool/blade combination you could want. I wasn't too proud of the nylon holster but figured that they must know what they are doing to put such an expensive knife in a non-leather sheath.
As luck would have it, I wore it at my side for almost a year. I was up on the roof of my In-laws place and noticed that it was missing. I stopped what we were doing and luckily found it under a pile of roofing material we had removed. That was a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. I sent the nylon sheath to Buck and they replaced it. I figured that it was probably just a fluke and poor workmanship. Put the knife in the sheaf and wore it on occasions when I needed it, not daily.
This past month we went on a road trip out west and I again put the knife on my belt. Somewhere in our travels, I started the day with it and finished the day without it. The crummy sheath broke down and it fell off. Wouldn't you think a Company that builds a $30.00 + knife would know that they just can't put it in a crummy sheath?
Guess they just don't want to maintain their reputation. Every failed product is shared with at least seven others. Good products are mentioned but often go unnoticed. Shame on Buck Tools for selling a product that fails. Kind of like the Ford Exploder that had faulty tires and would roll over when one of them blew.
- First of all computers are getting cheaper and more efficient. I see their playing a bigger part in our lives in controlling and reporting essential services. Their ability to measure things on time each time will help us move air from areas of the house too warm to areas too cold. Combine this with alternate energy (and renewable) and it should allow us to cut our energy costs.
- The movement of fiber optic cable into our homes will create some new and easy ways to get and send information quickly. I see AT&T soon being able to provide out phone, electronic surveillance (burglar alarm), cable (or at least streaming video) and feedback such things as the electric meter reading, gas meter reading and water meter reading to the utilities.
- Books will change and libraries will someday get out of the $25.99 hard cover business. It may take introduction of a better way to read the books than DVD or CD but there is a change on the Horizon. After all how long has it been since Green Mile was serialized and changed a lot of perceptions of how we buy books? The history channel has brought our history to life. Perhaps a lot of what we just read will now be video stories or perhaps live pictures from the event. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech is a hell of a lot more impressive when you see him speak those great words from the Lincoln Memorial.
- We must brace ourselves for the coming change. As we move from a society where we produced most of our own products to one where we import them things will change. Jobs that were once important will go away and there will be a new group of terms and technologies arrive on the campus.
- Teaching has a big opportunity to be different. On the leading edge of this was the i-pod. Students in one of the schools nearby had the opportunity to listen to a book on a great sound system as they read it. It brought the book to life for them and I think I learned a bunch more from hearing and reading the book. Computers have the ability (and lack of boredom) to provide the student with individualized instruction. Students can be introduced to a subject and tested with periodic reviews to renew skills and influence retention of key facts. There will always be a need for teachers but the job is changing as we speak. For the price of books for a couple of years, we can purchase and plug our students into technology. Now for the Schools to catch up.
- Can you imagine a Government so well informed that some of the things mentioned in the book 1984 will be bypassed. Will I carry a device that identifies me and my desires? Will I no longer have to write a letter to the editor as he will know what the public thinks/wants? Will this influence the lives of our children?
- Transportation will be different. I see a time where I won't own the car, but chose from a car pool the kind of car I need based on what my plans are for the day/week/month. On those days where I am not going to go anywhere but around town I could have a single seat modular vehicle. If my wife wants to go we can add her module to the vehicle. If we need to haul something perhaps a trailer for groceries? Could there be a time when the transportation system could be so advanced that I won't need a car to travel to Idaho? Perhaps the same module with a generator in the trailer to power the vehicle? Alternative fuels? Stop by the local dumps and pick up a supply of methane gas? Sooper pooper unleaded? Can we compost our own waste and bio-solids?
- Investing will become a lot more controlled. You will be able to plug an amount into the system and have a near guaranteed return on your money. Changes because of unknowns will become minimal.
- I think there will be an increased use of computer "modeling" by decision makers and they will put us on a stable track. So stable that we will probably have to resort to some random generation thrill programs to fully enjoy life.
Why I shop at Wal*Mart
Do we not all love to go where the choices many and the prices low? I am not saying that we all drive Rolls Royces, but we all drive.
Now on to a rant I am building up inside. The Chevrolet Division of General Motors hired me right out of College. They were building gas hogs and got caught right in the middle of an oil crisis (1st of Many) with cars that got lousy mileage and were at worst tanks on wheels. At best they were tanks to avoid getting hurt when you got run into sitting in a gas line by a passing Toyota. Yes, Boys and Girls, I bought a VEGA for the mileage. That was the first disposable car that self destructed in 50,000 miles and if you replaces almost all of the running gear it would rust away at 100,000 miles, I swear the last time I raised the hood on that car, the hinges had rusted away from the forward radiator support and the hood fell forward and knocked off the fan and water pump. I think the salvage took it without charging me but only because of my superior negotiating skill. I think I threw in the CB radio and the 8 Track tape to sweeten the deal.
Now, I listened to a GM official talk about the real hard standards coming out of Washington for 2010. His comment was that for every 100 lbs the average weight of the fleet is reduced the death tool increases .037%. This would be true if everyone continued to drive SUV's and Suburbans. Have you driven by a used car lot lately? You can buy large vehicles cheap. I think the word is out that gas is expensive and getting more so each week. This GM guy had the audacity to talk about people not being able to tow their travel trailers with smaller cars. So stay in Motels with the money you save. Tow one of those damn things across the US (Georgia to California in 2005) and you will understand that it is a whole lot like work and not cheap.
I guess what I mean to say here is that not enough people really understand that we can buy darn near anything we want at Wal*Mart and should celebrate our good fortune. 4226
- A bird in the hand will probably bite you or poop on your fingers. Even if they are very costly and worth a lot of money at "Pet Land". Try to get one of the nasty little buggers to fetch a stick.
- He who dies with the most toys, dies!
- A penny saved isn't worth very darn much. Talk about dollars and you might be on the right track.
- You are your own worst critic. The other guys just get under your skin!
- If the going is easy it probably is an ambush (Murphy's rules of Combat but who the hell was Murphy?)
- Kids learn to read until about the end of the second grade. After that they read to learn. Reading is the most important thing a parent can do with their children. Make it fun and good and they will continue to read and learn. I can't imagine a house without reading material. A child ought to want to go to the Library as much as he/she wants to go to the DQ.
- Do you know how to get out and stay out of debt? Want the things you have rather than wanting the things you don't. If it is important enough to have something, save up until you can pay cash. Get out of debt and stay there. Most people don't appreciate having a budget and living within it. You aren't the US Government and can print money. It sure a hell isn't worth anything if you don't have any! Why don't schools teach about money as important as it is to us?
- Everyone at least once in a lifetime should have a new car. That's it, only once. The cost of depreciation the first year can be as much as $5,000. Add the taxes ($1,000), insurance ($1000) and you can see why at the end of the first year you owe more than the car is worth. Ask yourself if a one year old car on the lot at $12,000 is as good as a new one at $19,000? Those first 20,000 miles are a costly bitch. (divide $9,000 by the 20,000 miles) It makes the cost per mile for that first year at .45 cents per mile without the cost of gas, oil or further depreciation. I estimate the cost of a new car at somewhere about $1.00 a mile. Like I said, everyone needs a new car once in a lifetime but after that you need transportation.
- Why doesn't Super Chevy magazine care about the cost of gas and mileage? They talk about an engine that generates 455 horsepower but don't care that most of the hot rods get around 10 MPG. I want to get at least 25 MPG with my daily driver. I'll let the 57 stay stock at 13 MPG and just not drive it on a daily basis. HELP!
- If you want to know what is going on in your schools, don't look at the budget, look at the expenditures. That's where the money really goes and is the important thing. A budget is at best a "guesstimate" of what they are going to spend it on.
- If you think the quality of our educational system is a risk, get off your butt and go there to see. Every parent needs to spend at least one day a year in the classes with their student. Yes, learning is inspiration, but it sure as hell is a lot of perspiration. Been there , done that!
- You'll miss your mother and father when they are gone. It doesn't matter how close you were or how old you are. You'll miss them.
The one thing that hits me is first and foremost is that people try to Manage People and not lead them. True leadership helps the people understand why they are doing things and gets them to do what is needed while they think it was their idea. Screaming and yelling is not needed in most cases.
There is an old adage that says a plan lives about as long as it took to put the plan together. If you spend a long time making everyone understand and coordinate the plan well it will survive for a longer period. Leaders understand that things change once the bullets start flying and encourage subordinates to learn how to change and adapt. These managers that cling to a plan and operating procedure in spite of the failure are the one's moist likely to fail in the long run. This is the biggest failing in Total Quality Management as it stressed adherance to the process and is way too cumbersome to make changes.
I am thinking about having the leadership training as a symposium and developing talking points or discussion points using some of the great leaders as the place to start. Here are some points:
- Leaders Lead People and Managers manage things. (Dennis Petty)
- Management isn't a bad thing.
- A Journey of a 1000 miles is best taken by the enemy. Let the battle come to you rather than go there to fight on his ground.
- Attack the enemy where he isn't the strongest.
- Praise in Public and Punish in private.
More on this in later posts. Tell me about your worst boss and your best. 4180
Good Morning America!
The weather here today is a mixed bag of clouds from the south and a cool front from the north set to collide somewhere over the heartland. It is only the luck of the draw if we will get some much needed moisture or some real severe storms. The air outside is so heavy with moisture that you can almost taste the rain. Normally it does feel a little more damp in the morning but this is more like almost 100% humidity and the sun is hidden behind a heavy layer of clouds.
We had the kids over for dinner last night and had a good time. They brought our "other daughter" Mel and she always adds a nice touch to our conversation. To make it even better she liked my fruit salsa. I knew Dave wouldn't are for it but neither of Da Barbs's liked it. Thankfully Mel took some home or I would have eaten the entire bowl. It was Mangoes, onions, pineapple, peppers, cilantro and a little lime juice. It was sweet and spicy. The Fajitas were as good as usual. I used a pretty good steak and a grilled chicken so the meat was good and tasty. I even have enough chicken to make some chicken and noodles. (Don't tell anyone but there is a couple of nice pieces of steak set aside for a dinner also.
Every once in a while I remember a story about Vietnam. I have to go back over the stuff I have written to see if I have it recorded in my stories for a book. I am beginning to think a bunch of my stuff put together as short stories might be the way to go. Hell, I am not sure if I have it in me to provide enough continuity to make it a history or biography. Besides, by this time the facts and the war stories have so melted together that at best it would be Faction, or just the memory of an old war horse.
Keep it simple boys and girls life is complicated enough out there. 4163
The latter was about mudslides along the Interstate when it rains but hey, Mean Uncle Denny or MUD is Mine! What, no copyright for common words? Oh, Never mind. 4153
New US Motto
- In Canada they say Ah (Pronounced "A")
- In Mexico they say Si (Pronounced "C")
- I vote for the new US Motto of Be ( Duh could it be anything but"B"?)
At the age of 60 (nearly) most of the baby-boomers no longer have living fathers. We are in a lot of cases the patriarch of the family and need to act like it. With that said, I do miss my father in spite of a lot of his short comings. No, I am not going to use this as a rant and list them, I am going to just think about my dad and how I can be the best father I can.
One of my flaws is that I try to do too much and often get lost in the projects. When I focus on one task I generally do it well, but often have a lot more started than completed. It has been said that I would rather learn a new computer program than use all the one's I have. Right now I have an external drive hooked up that for some odd reason I have to re-boot each time I use it. The host computer just has one file that it can't remember to save when I shut down. Yes, one of these days I'll get it all figured out but not today.
I hope that all you fathers out there are as proud of your kids as I am. Our son is bright, articulate and hard working and suffers from the CCS syndrome as I do. (That is Can't Complete Stuff) He has a series of projects around his house that aren't complete either.
A couple of posts back there are Pictures of Dave and his wife Barb renewing their vows on the deck of the Star Ship Enterprise in Vegas. That youthful outlook is one of the special reasons we love them so much. Traditional lockstep fundamentalists (Name omitted) have a tough time trying to figure out why I want to go back to Vegas and renew our vows. The kids are a lot like Nike and "Just Do It!". It was a hoot and I hope they will enjoy the warm glow of friendship for a long time.
Today on my father's day, I will do the one thing I really enjoy and can get done, I'll cook. I grilled up a chicken on the new rotisserie and some steaks. This will be the foundation for some great Fajitas when the kids come over this evening. I have invited their best friend and our other daughter Mel to come with them.
Better move on and get some of the prep done. Barb has discovered a Guacamole at Sam's Club that is better than anything I have ever done and at lest there won't be some strange green stuff turning brown and thrown out when it grows fuzzy in the fridge. I will try to re-make my fruit salsa pretty soon. 4148
Immigration: The President has offered 4.4 Billion (Yes Billion) to strengthen the border. This is a part of the offer to pass a law by congress that will in effect grant amnesty to 12 Million illegal immigrants. Now, don't get me wrong, I love most of the Mexicans here in Topeka and have personally benefited from having a roofing crew that was mostly Mexican re roof my house. It is the idea that we have spent Billions of Dollars overseas and allow our border to be so porous. It is to me a simple deal. Kind of like taxes. Enforce the laws against employers that employ illegals and when the jobs dry up the illegals will go home.
Health Care: On the other side of this ugly coin about illegals, there is a shortage of health care workers to provide support to the elderly just as the baby boomer's are hitting the age where a little help will go a long way. Most of us have visions of living a long and happy life in our homes and yet do not have a good way to get around and stay there if we are "Mobility Impaired". having someone to come in a few hours a week or each day will keep us in our homes. If this pool dries up because of the above paragraph, we will wind up in nursing homes.
Health Care 2: How come the cost of health care goes up over 10% when the inflation rate is less than 4%? I know the cost of an education is on the increase but there must be a lot of sticky fingers in the pot causing this rate increase. I would think our Government should put together a panel to look into this but that too would add to the cost probably more than the other fingers. Health care needs to be free at the opposite ends of life. The young and the elderly need to be protected form the great increases in cost for health care.
Gasoline: Having just returned from a road trip of 3000 + miles, I am concerned that the true cost of gas is on the way (way, way, way) up and we as a nation are not prepared for it. People are still dragging around travel trailers with pickup trucks all over the place. Yes, I know how convenient it would have been to have my own place to stay on this trip and yes, the lodging cost as much or more than the gasoline. If I had doubled my gas cost, added taxes and insurance on the buses and trailers I'll bet I could have stayed at motels for the difference. Europe is paying over $5.00 a gallon (I am aware that they buy the stuff by the liter and pay with Euros) When the full effect of China's increased consumption hits, we will be in big time gas shortages or in for big time cost increases.
Pornography: Here in the Heartland there has been an increased enforcement of prison time and fines for purveyors of Pornography if it has minors in it. By the same token, a 38 year old man was put on probation for having sex with a 14 years old girl? Our laws don't make sense to me and I am confused. At least one of our really liberal judges has informed us that he will not run again in the next election. The above act is one of the reasons I always vote no for the judges on any ballot. They should come up for some public scrutiny like the rest of us.
Other that this short list, things here at Rabbit Run are Hunky Dorey and it is great to be home. MUD
Just What is a Blog?
One of the blog sites I visit is written by a Canadian. What is it that we in the lower half of North America really know about Canada? It is one big cold place with two seasons, winter and road repair. Their national bird is the mosquito and they all say "A" and talk like Garrison Keeler. See, I told you that I don't know much about Canada. Typical Damn American.
Why has our country become "Televisionized"? After years of watching programs that are neatly wrapped up in an hour we expect everything to be clean neat and done in a short period. We shouted from the sidelines when we chased Saddam out of Kuwait and 10 years later we threw him out of power in a month and slam bam everyone wants it to be over and go home. In our country where we respect freedom and privacy and public participation it took us from 1861 to 1865 to settle out civil war and many years of getting over the wounds to bring us back together. In Iraq there was a horrible dictator that ruled by torture and fear for many years and we expect them to be a functioning independent country prior to our election next year?
Hell, if we listened to some people we should say in 90 days, "it's over".
In a lot of Urban areas there are surveillance cameras capturing my lovely picture without my permission (permission hell, without my knowledge in most cases) . This is an invasion of my right to privacy but wait a minute, the killer of the Smith girl in Overland park was solved because of the Mall video camera captured the picture of the perp forcing the girl into her car. His neighbor identified the guy and called the police within days of the crime. It wasn't fast enough to prevent the crime but it did solve the crime. Dang, Is my right to privacy overridden for the public good? hum, this slippery slope is just way more invasive to my rights than I want. But, if I want true peace perhaps I want Big Brother watching. Nah.
Take all the guns away from bad guys. Wait a minute, the only people the law knows has guns are the good guys. Hum, Do I want to live in a polite society where people are nice because you just never know who has a gun? Wait, I know automatic weapons, no my 9mm is a semi auto and they would be next. Crap, just when I found out that I could carry a concealed gun in Kansas, I find out that the gun must be registered. Crap this being god stuff is hard.
OK, I want to know who is in charge of measuring what laws work and what laws don't. Oh, Springfield, Illinois was the State Capital with the smallest crime rate? What do you mean they didn't report any crime? Thats the ticket, arrest the bastards BUT DON'T REPORT IT! Wait, that's what people say is wrong with the Patriot Act.
Oh well, now you can see why I am confused. Oh Shit oh dear! I hope it didn't ruin your thinking.
I Don't Care
Right now I am in the western part of Nebraska in a very nice hotel. It says Days Inn outside but it is about the best so far.
I will be glad to get back home and make plans on how to spend the rest of the summer.
Driving in to our Motel, I saw a Perkin's restaurant sign and just a little while ago Barb wanted to get something good to eat. I headed out in the direction of a greeen sign and wound up at a RUNZA. They make beerocks and burgers. Barb finally forgave me and had their children's menu.
See you all later.
What's in a name?
WHO IS JACK SCHITT
For some time many of us have wondered just who is Jack Schitt?
We find ourselves at a loss when someone says, 'You don't know Jack Schitt!' Well, thanks to my genealogy efforts, you can now respond in an intellectual way.
Jack Schitt is the only son of Awe Schitt. Awe Schitt, the fertilizer magnate, married O. Schitt, the owner of Needeep N. Schitt, Inc. They had one son, Jack.
In turn, Jack Schitt married Noe Schitt. The deeply religious couple produced six children: Holie Schitt, Giva Schitt, Fulla Schitt, Bull Schitt, and the twins Deep Schitt and Dip Schitt.
Against her parents' objections, Deep Schitt married Dumb Schitt, a high school dropout. After being married 15 years, Jack and Noe Schitt divorced. Noe Schitt later married Ted Sherlock, and because her kids were living with them, she wanted to keep her previous name. She was then known as Noe Schitt Sherlock.
Meanwhile, Dip Schitt married Loda Schitt, and they produced a son with a rather nervous disposition named Chicken Schitt. Two of the other six children, Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt, were inseparable throughout childhood and subsequently married the Happens brothers in a dual ceremony. The wedding announcement in the newspaper announced the Schitt-Happens nuptials. The Schitt-Happens children were Dawg, Byrd, and Horse. Bull Schitt, the prodigal son, left home to tour the world. He recently returned from Italy with his new Italian bride, Pisa Schitt.
Now when someone says, 'You don't know Jack Schitt,' you can correct them.
Crock O. Schitt