Denny's Thoughts part 1

The following is just some of the thoughts that invade my life from time to time. Some of them are from others and some are mine. I would give credit to the authors if I could just remember who the hell said them. You will just have to slog through them for a grain of truth (if you want) and put your own credit on them if you do. Here they are:

  • 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 financing ($1,000) 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 $20,000? 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 replacement. 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 (at best). 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. The expenditure list is where it really goes.
  • 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.
  • There will come a time when your description of friends will include the terms “He or she died”. The older you are the more it will be used. As the member of a class that graduated right when the Vietnam War was building up and I already use it a lot. I don’t even begin to count the people hat died in car crashes I didn’t read about.
  • When old people say, “I hate it when people say I’m, such and such, because of my age” they really are not looking at the alternative to old age. The leading cause of not having people “arm pit deep” is death. If we really want a solution to the population problem, we need to issue everyone cigarettes and fast cars for their 60th birthday.
  • People talk about the “perfect game” in sports. Duh, it is a game and that’s why people play them. You win some and you lose some and next year everyone will be different and a different group will lose and a different group will win.
  • Why does childhood seem so great in our memories? We remember the times we got ice cream and presents and forget the times we learned lessons the hard way. I look at the scars on my hands and know I was one, learning son of a bitch. The problem is we get distracted and often overlook some of the best lessons we learned earlier.
  • The rule of unintended consequences should be a class in college and everyone should have to take it. We have some of our best minds “working” our economy and the things that are happening just seem to pop up when if looked at with an open mind it would be apparent that things happen equal (and sometimes greater) to any other action. For example: NAFTA should equal out the jobs in the Americas and make everyone come up to the same level of pay and lifestyles. No stupid! What it really means that the Mexicans making $1.00 an hour will make $1.50 an hour and a lot of our good jobs will flow to Mexico. If we build a fence and deport all the illegals, we will have to mow our own yards and our labor costs will double.
The cycle of life is interesting. As a small child I wanted to learn to read. I then wanted to do adventurous things. For a while I did a lot of those things and now I want to read about adventurous things while my eyesight is still good enough to read.


Say IT Ain't So!

KU got beat? Can't be. We own Bramlidge Coliseum. It is a bad dream and I'll wake up and find out it was all in my mind. No? OK, K-State played one hell of a game and beat the hawks.


Birds, Birds and more damn birds

Right in the middle of transferring pictures to this blog, the power left. My notebook kept working because of the battery but the connection to blogspot.com went Phhhst. again! This blue Jay only stood still this long because of the snow.

One old Black bellied buzzard showed up for some reason.

This is a female Downey Woodpecker and they are pretty.

This Cardinal is eating seeds opn the ground and I have played with the picture several times to sharpen and make the color better. Oh well, The power is back and I'll save this while I have the chance.

Free Speech and Political Incorrectness!

The other day I was riding with my son and a truck passed us with something hanging from the hole where the trailer hitch should be. Not driving gave me a lot more time to look around and I finally figured out what it was hanging below the bumper. Truck Nuts.
After a good laugh I started to wonder why would someone put such a thing on their truck. Is that a form of free speech? What does it mean, other that you can and someone made them so you could. Is stupid speech in the category of free speech? I guess the coffee cup that was shaped like a breast and you could drink through the nipple was in that poor taste but free category. That cup got passed with laughter at our family white elephant gift exchange until some lady in the family finally "dropped" it. I'm sure that was a literal and figurative drop. Whatever she did, it failed to come back after about three years.
On one of the blogs I read (It is a Canadian and man do they have trouble with the free speech issue) the issue of Jokes about other people, races, places and things was discussed. They said that must contain a grain of truth to really be on point. Kind of like the old KKK joke that we need to do something about the blacks because they have so many children and they'll outnumber us soon. Guess what Bubba between the blacks, the Mexicans and the Muslims we are soon to be the minority here in pick-up land.
I have been re-reading a book by a long lost cousin, Mark tiger Edmonds, called "The Ghost of Scootertrash Past" He rants about a lot of things including the smoke free issue. Our morning paper had an opinion column where some guy was pissed that people could drive SUVs and not not be allowed to smoke in a restaurant. Guess what guy, if you drove your SUV inside the restaurant you would be banned from there also. Why is it so hard for people to realize that what they do does effect others if they blow columns of blue smoke in the air while I am trying to eat? Hell, the EPA should step in and make it illegal for bar workers to be expose to the kind of air they suffer. I'm sure that if it were an assembly plant they would have a million dollars worth of fines or would have to install air scrubbers to keep the air clean. Mark does his best to look like a 60's biker but he rides a BMW. "Kerist on a Crutch" how can anyone who rides a motorcycle that cost more than my first house complain about what anyone else does. For what his bike cost, he could have bought a good truck. He could have traveled in all kinds of weather and had a place to get into out of the rain and sleep if he wanted. He spends a lot of time complaining about the cost of Motel rooms and the fact that they are all run by Pakistanis.
Oh crap, I'm starting to sound like tiger. Oh well, it just started to snow.


Its Windy Out there!

I awoke this morning hearing a growl outside. The wind has been very unsettled all day. It has been between 15 and 25 MPH from the South all day. Must be some really big front headed this way. Almost always as a big Low comes down from the north, the warm moist air from the south rushes up to greet it. That is why this part of the world is called Tornado Alley. Several years in a row, I-70 would be closed by a blizzard in western Kansas and a tornado would visit SE Kansas.
I hope everything near Tulsa is OK.


On a Serious Note!

Am I the only person troubled by the giant give away planned by the Democratically controlled congress with a 25% approval rate? Lets see, it seems like yesterday that everyone was running around and saying the President is a jerk for spending all the money we don't have and it is ruining the present and the future for our children. Now, we are going to give, not spend, give everyone $300.00 so they can spend our economy back into shape. Yea!
If everyone reduced their debt by that much or saved that much it would be a great thing. I predict what will happen is most people will rush to WalMart, Radio Shack, or the local gas station and spend it as soon as the check clears. It will raise the trade deficit and help the economy of China and the oil producing countries.
Oh well, the snow is melting off fast and soon we will be able to go out side in light coats and track in a little mud. Mud is a good thing.

Take This 2 Dogs

Warning: The following photo has pictures of my buns and you may be offended. I was sent a picture by two dogs and it made me so mad that I just had to retaliate in some manner:

Then again, this is a G rated blog. You didn't think I would post a picture of my 60 year old buns did you? Really?


KU Vs Nebraska 1.26.08

I don't have a clue who these two beauties are with the JayHawk but Barb sure takes a great picture. They were taking a photo op and Barb took their picture.

One of the fun things to see at the games is the JayHawk mascot interact with the kids. He is a great big bird and the little guys just have to get a hug.

One of the seniors is Darnell Jackson and he is playing like a man possessed. I think he wants to play pro ball next year and I would sign him up just because of his attitude and hard work.

This is two of the freshmen, Cole Aldridch and Conner Tehan. They are the future of KU Basketball.

After a good stretch, a warm up and the National Anthem they gang up and celebrate who they are.

The voices in the Field house sing the Alma Matter and it is a great moment for the fans. Hail to thee...

My niece Jennifer and her friend Jodi met us at half time. It was Jodi's birthday present to take her friend Jennifer to the game. Jodi's husband stayed home with their 4 boys and watched the game there. Jenn had not seen the new Museum in the front of the field house and they are standing in front of the Jay Hawk from the 70's.

The half time score was 47 to 19 and the final was 84 to 49. It wasn't Nebraska's best game and the hawks were spot on in their defense and offense. I had a great time and you can see that Barb shot some great pictures. This will be our last game to attend in person this year and we had a great time. I want to thank our good friend Paul Bahnmier for selling us his Home game tickets for January.

Grissy, Part II

This little guy is Hero, Ken's first dachshund, and the reason I was pretty sure that Grissy would go to a good home there in Lapland. or Idaho. Hero was a neat little dog that would dig his way to China if told, "There he goes" and point to the ground. His desire to find any predator is legendary.

I am fairly sure that Grissy would eat about anything Ken would hand her. All those years of not getting enough food just programmed her for eating. In fact, Ken has to work hard to control a person there sneaking snacks to Grissy. You know who you are!

This is a fairly typical scene of Grissy out in the snow. How he got her to slow down and stay long enough for a picture is a miracle. She lives her life at a run and loves to go over to Grandma's or Sandy's. Just the mention of those names and she is off the chair and at the door.

This picture is one from the first trip out there and shows you just how loved she is. I think Ken would hold her in his lap and let her sleep any time she so desires. No, she is very alive and thinks she is a puppy sometimes and sometimes a person. Both Grissy and her person, Ken, are very special to us and we hope they have a long time together. If you are ever in need of a companion, consider a long haired dachshund. They might sleep through having an intruder in the house but are a wonderful and affectionate pet.



Back in 2004, I read about a breeder near Garnett Kansas that had been placed on a warning by the State for running a puppy mill in an improper manner. He was raising dogs and keeping them in cages and not feeding them enough. They took about 27 dogs from the breeder and after they were released for adoption, I tried to get one of the dogs. I found out that they would be for adoption in Lawrence and Topeka. I put my name on the list in Lawrence and they showed me the dogs. They had 14 and had the first 13 pledged to families. I asked to see the last one and they weren't sure they were going to let her be adopted. The said she was mean and would bite. I reached into the pen and sure enough, she blocked my hand with her nose. It wasn't a bite but fear that someone was going to hurt her. Grissy was one dirty matted little long haired dachshund You can see from the picture above that Grissy is very skinny when we first got her home. You don't even know how hard it was to get Grissy to accept Barb. She would bark and bark and shy away. Makes me wonder if the breeder had a woman that took care of the dogs. Barb is a caring and warm person and tried to be friends.

Grissy was not housebroken and in the picture above, you can see her ribs showing. She was one little dog that didn't know what a kind word was or how to be a dog.

Grissy wouldn't come out of her cage the first three or four days she was in our home. She would come out to eat and pee on papers if no one in the room. I worked hard to make her feel good and know that she was going to be treated well. After a week she would come out of the cage if I kind of pulled the blanket out with her on it. I got her in my lap one day and I said you know, all this petting should make that little tail wag. I kind of touched her tail and I got my first wag. There was a lot of work, love and attention in those first weeks.
I worked with her for a couple of weeks and then took her to Idaho to be with our friend Ken.
I will show you some of the pictures of that happy little dog with her family there tomorrow.



Well Sports Fans, KU whipped another good Big 12 team by their usual 80-60 score. It was 83 to 59 but who is counting. You would think our friends in Tulsa would whip those pesky Memphis guys last night but I guess it will wait for the big dance in March. The big guy on the tickets is Sasha Kaun our Russian import that has been replaced in the starting line up by Darnell Jackson. For some reason his tail feathers got lit up this summer and he is playing like a "Man Amongst Boys". Sasha Is good but he doesn't play with Darnell's intensity.

The other day I mentioned I was having a tough time getting started for the day. I actually went over and worked pretty hard and did the same yesterday. I am removing some of the flooring that just can't be cleaned up and needs replaced. There is one room where the vinyl was so cheap to start with that it just needed replaced and a couple of carpets are in pretty sad shape. I am also patching holes in the walls where picture were hung and cables were run.

Last night was another bitter cold one. It was about zero this morning but the wind was calm. It is going to get to about freezing today and tomorrow through Monday it will be in the high 40's or near 50. That will be welcome. I could tell that it was cold because I found Barb sitting at the breakfast bar upstairs with a heat vent blowing up her robe. Normally she would be in the living room sitting in the sun but the sun isn't up enough yet to provide that warming glow.

In the past I thought Barb's intensity over issues was a trait shared by her sisters and I called it the Schmoe Girls Effect. After thinking about some of her Father's run ins with the local City guys I think I am going to change it to the Quixote Family effect. They sure love to tilt windmills big or small. Barb's latest round was with KU over them letting ESPN put a KU game on ESPNU or the pay per view channel. I thought it was kind of neat to go to the local Sports Bar to watch the game but I'm sure it will be a lot better when they ban smoking here in Kansas. Both or us had stuffy noses and headaches the day after. Might be partly from the dry air caused by the furnace but a lot of it was because of the smoke.

Three games in a row, we have failed to bring our fancy dancy camera to take pictures. I have high hopes that we will remember it Saturday (our last game) and capture some of the highlights. It will be Nebraska and they played about as well as any team we have played so far. It was another or those 80-60 games. You know the kind, everyone starts out running with the hawks and for about 10 minutes either hold them down or match the score. By halftime the Hawks have a 10 point lead and over the next 20 minutes push the lead out to 20 and drive their score up to near 80. Within the last five minutes the KU Students will start chanting "Conner Tehan" and the Coach will put the favorite five players that normally sit on the bench. KU plays normally 9 or 10 deep with the last 5 for those games when we are enough ahead to nor jeopardize the final score. No one player generally dominates the game with real even and balanced scoring from the top 6 or 7 with the bench giving the starters a good rest. There are three guards with equal talent and four more n the bench that could play for a lot of teams.

Oh well, that about wraps up the scene here at Rabbit Run and I hope your days are filled with things you want and that 2008 is a good year for you.


Just Can't get Started

I have a house over on Valley Brooke and it sits empty ready for new paint and some flooring. I just can't seem to get started on another project. It is cold and snowy and the truck is a hog on ice so I really don't want to get out in it much.
The weather here is not to get above 20 today or tomorrow and the two or three inches of snow should stay for a couple more days. So far, it has managed to clear off between snows and this is the time of year that we should get to keep our snow for a week or two. The good news is that each day is now getting longer and soon it will be warm and nice out.
The other day I was over at the VB house and when I raked up some leaves the Iris underneath had put up some lite green shoots. I'm sure they will freeze off now that they are clear and snow covered. We'll see. If the bird activity at the feeder is any indication it is and will be really cold for a while. We have all manner of birds right now. The only bird that seems to be missing is the Tufted Titmouse. The normal are here in Mass and eat a lot of sunflower seeds from the feeder. Not many of them but the juncos and finches make up for it eating food put on the ground and in the finch feeder. I almost never look out and not see a woodpecker on the suet block. They are going through a feeder full in one and a half to two days.
The father of our renter died this past week. I am going to take a food basket over. I know how nice it is to have lots of extra food so cooking is not a worry. Better get rolling.


Martin L. King Jr. Day

Once or Twice in every man's lifetime there should be a spokesman that grabs him by the front of his lapels and makes him aware that the injustice we often heap on our fellow man must be made right. I believe that Martin Luther King Jr. was such a man for me.

He made it clear that the poor white man is just as oppresses as the poor black man. He made it clear that getting an education and working hard was the way to overcome. Only through our efforts will we be rewarded.

It is not the color of a man, but the efforts we give that make or break us. Those that make fun of a man's color often do it not just to press the other man down but to pick them selves up and be above someone.

I would encourage you all to Google MLK today and read one of his speeches. He is hated by some for his grand and great ideas about men, for all men. I think it is right that we honor this man once a year and look at ourselves to make sure that we aren't being what we are for ourselves. If only we could give everyone a dream for what life could be and not what people must give us. I too have a dream and wish one for you.


Thinking of warmer days

While I tromp through nature, Barb always finds the pretty things to photograph. These are just a few of them to help you think about the warmer times. No, I don't have a clue what they are.

These are unedited and just downloaded on my external hard drive. Barb would probably edit them some but I just look at them and know they are there.

There are several hundred more to look at and sometime I'll post a bunch more.

Is there anything warmer than a good friend that likes to have her belly rubbed?


Barb and I have settled that the Hawks can beat about any body when they score near 80 points and play hard. Yep, they won with 76 points over the Missouri teams' 70. The first half was a battle royal with the lead changing hands about each trip up the floor. Our thoughts were that we had the Tigers right where we wanted them. "Run they littl' feetsies off" and they will drag in the second half. The end of the game was a foul shooting contest for the hawks and it didn't work for the tigers. KU Coach, Bill Self, doesn't care if they will get the Number 1 ranking now or not. Memphis and KU are the only undefeated teams in teams in Div I. In spite of winning 19 in a row, the Hawks are as likely to lose a game or two before the end of the season so who cares? My desire is for them to play to the end and do well post season. Everyone wants their team to win the Big Dance at the end but hey, these kids are playing and it is fun to watch. Jenn will tell you that athletes row, everyone else plays games!
We were kind of pissed off that ESPN decided to put the game on a "Pay Channel" but the local sports bar carried the game on their big screens and other than a little smoke it was a fun time. To make it even better, the food was good and we enjoyed the time out. Glen Petty would have said we needed to get out and blow the stink off.
Did I tell you about the time I used that phrase with the pre-school kids? It was one of those cold but sunny days and the kids hadn't been out in a couple of days. I told them we needed to get out and blow the stink off and one of them said, "But Teacho (r's are tough for little guys) we don't stink!" I thought I would die laughing at myself quoting my dad.
We had our coldest night of the year last night. The cold has arrived from up north and without a lot of clouds to hold in any heat left from the 13 degrees for the daytime high, it just flat got cold. I let the cat spend the night in the garage and it stinks to high heaven today. I guess I will either have to get rid of the cat or get a litter box. I can coax him out for food but anytime the door is opened to leave he will blow in at a run. Once inside he hides until everyone leaves.
I found a book by one of Mom's cousin's, Mark Edmonds. It is called "the ghost of scootertrash past" It is his tales of driving his BMW motorcycle all over America and the adventures/mis adventures of doing so. He is an English professor that lives in Florida and is trapped in the 60's for a life style and the life on a Campus. His escape was riding and now it is telling of tall tales about the rides. I could see myself riding a motor bike across the US but it would be the Holidomes for the night for me. He tells of getting stranded by storms in local parks shelters and I would be in the local sports bars. I do smoke an annual "birthday Cigar" and he smokes and complains about the no smoking rules. Oh well, we can't win them all.



This morning about 7 AM I put my coat on and went in search of the morning paper. It was so cold that the snow squeaked as I walked on it. It was cold with a calm wind and that kind of cold just creeps into your coat without the full frontal assault of a normal north storm breeze. I swear the other day even my warmest coat was no match for the north wind but today I could have survived perhaps 20 minutes. It is so cold that the birds water dish is giving off steam. I bought one of those heated dog water dish and keep it full of fresh water for my feathered friends.
I have been putting out some extra seed on the ground for the juncos and doves. The back porch is sheltered by an overhanging deck and that one small patch of snow free concrete becomes the home to a mob of birds once it warms up enough to get them stirring. They also seem to make a stop late in the day to fuel up for the long cold winter night.
One of Barb's friends and coordinator of the Master Gardner course is our County Extension Agent, Phil Sell. He writes for a weekend magazine in the local paper. Today he tried to put all the links between gardening and the Legislature. After talking about thorns, pruning, cutting and growing his final comment was "Compost Happens". Had his writing been more pithy I would have copied more for you. It hardly put a smile on my face so he will remain unpublished.
After searching through the Elderhostel catalog Barb finally hit on the right place at the right time for us to go celebrate our 40th Anniversary. I wouldn't think it possible that we have been married that long but I noticed that the new Attorney General of Kansas was born the year I graduated from High School. Barb has selected Lafayette, Louisianan (Yes between those two names I had to rely on spell checker to get them both right) in late February. It is one of those photo classes with an emphasis on digital. It sounded warm and out of the hurricane season for that part of the world. One thing we had to do was fly there because of Barb's teaching a Wilton's cake decorating class on the Sunday so we are flying into New Orleans and renting a car. The weekly rental car rate was about the same as Boise but there are about $70 worth of taxes and airport fees that were not in Boise. Oh well, I will go and try to keep a smile on my face. Put it on plastic and pay it when we get home. At least we do have the $ to pay it.
Better get on with the day and put a smile on my face. MUD


Lie, Cheat, Steal and Copy!

Is this the face of a guy that would copy the works of someone else? You bet your ass I would if it is funny. The serious stuff can go somewhere else but anything funny should be laughed at and printed. I try to give the author adequate credit but hey, it's my blog and the rules of Literature don't apply unless it is really literature. Hey, this stuff is free and you get what you pay for.
I am mad at ESPN. They are going to move the KU game to a premium "pay for view" channel tomorrow and unless you subscribe to that service you won't get to see the game. The local cable channel will let you see it for $4.95 if you already have their digital service. (That's another $19.95 per month) I have DIRECWAY and I'm sure that I can't get the game without paying the $75.00 fee to watch the rest of the College Basketball season. I may go to the local Sports Bar and eat a cheeseburger to watch the game. I hate the smoke in those places and until Kansas catches up with the rest of the world we will just have to pay or put up with the smoke.
Barb is off today but isn't that a Smother's Brothers punchline? Would you rather be More off than a Moron? That is somewhat near the comment that pissed off Lyndon Johnson and when he complained they lost their show. I reminded Barb that their show co-in sided with my time on active duty and the 66-69 TV season's just are lost on me.
For the record, Barb and I saw the strange woodpecker and identified it as a Yellow Bellied Sap sucker. That is the only one with a red throat in the book we have. The birds have been hitting the feeders hard this AM with the temps near 10 and a wind chill below zero. The cat came into the garage when I took out the trash and even a promise of more food in the kitty dish outside didn't coax him back out.
Have a great day.

Idaho by Ken

If there's 2 feet of snow outside, and parts for the
broken snow blower are still in Kansas...
you are in Idaho!

If you slip on an 'Idaho spud' while exiting your bed,
you are probably in Washington,
but were dreaming about Idaho.

If you hit a deer,and he gets up and asks
you for your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance,..
you ARE in Idaho, but your car is wearing
California plates.

If you just finish cookin' one side of a $20 steak,
and a drunken farmer smacks the power pole
next to your house.. Trust me...
you are from Idaho.

When the picture onyour driver's license
looks like a cow pie and smells like a dairy...
you are definately from Idaho.
The above fine words about Idaho are from Ken and Grissy. Two of my favorite people. Well, Grissy thinks she is people. MUD


Kansas, the Land of Ahs!

The following was sent to me by the sister of my best friend. Please excuse the formatting.

Jeff Foxworthy remarks on being or living in Kansas

- If you're proud that your region makes the national news at least 96 times
each year because it's the hottest or the coldest spot in the nation, you
might live in Kansas .

- If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his
forehead, you might live in Kansas .

- If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in
Kansas .

- If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in
Manhattan , Kansas .

- If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Kansas .

- YOU KNOW YOU ARE A TRUE Kansan WHEN "Vacation" means going east or west on I70 for the weekend

- If you measure distance in hours, you might live in Kansas .

- If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you might
live in Kansas .

- If you often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again, you might live in Kansas .

- If you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, wthout flinching, you might live in Kansas.

- If you see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings),
you might live in Kansas . (This is so true!)

- If you install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked,

You might live in Kansas.

- If you carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use
them you might ;live in Kansas.

- If your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue
spruce, you might live in Kansas .

- If you were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.., you might live in
Kansas .

- If Going Down South means Oklahoma , you might live in Kansas .

- If a brat is something you eat, you might live in Kansas .

- If your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed, you might
live in Kansas .

- If your idea of going out to eat is a tail gate party , you
might live in Kansas .

- If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car; you might live in
Goodland , Kansas .

- If you find 0 degrees to be "a little chilly", you might live in Kansas .

If you actually understand these jokes, you might live in Kansas.


Snow on the Ground and COLD Headed this way!

It started early yesterday and ended sometime after midnight. We have about 4 inches of new snow and some drifts that will go a foot easily. There is an arctic air blast coming later today or tomorrow that will have much colder temps and some wind. Having lived here in Kansas most of my life I have seen these winds turn into a ground effects blizzard and the roads blow shut. It won't get warm enough today to cause the snow to crust over so wind can be a big problem.

I apologize that I called yesterday's post a political rant. It was hardly a whimper. I am probably a lot like most of you and have people I wouldn't vote for but haven't made up my mind who I will vote for. I shudder when I hear that there are politicians that think a way out of our problems is more spending. What we need is a leader that asks us to be more responsible and tells congress to do the same. I hear a lot about the cost of the war but a lot of that cost is the sunk cost of having the soldiers anywhere. What do you think it costs to have 18,000 or 19,000 soldiers at Fort Riley? If you want to do something about the gross cost of lives, get the drunks off the street and make people wear seat belts. There was a Canadian basketball team that had an accident and 7 or 8 were killed. They were ejected because they weren't wearing their seat belts. DUH! We are up to what 5,000 killed in three or four years? We lose 50,000 a year to traffic accident s here in the US. Our teenagers drive in groups and don't wear their belts and hardly a week doesn't go by where there isn't some student killed when they are ejected from their car.

I think everyone needs a dose of reality and to tighten their belts, go to work and pay their bills. The Government has no place leading us not into temptation and saving ourselves from ourselves. I love to listen to the Saturday "I'm debt free" programs. They advocate paying your bills from the smallest to the largest and getting a second job if you need to pay your debts off quicker. No one is totally out of control if they can get a second job delivering Pizza's. Everyone needs to start with a good education first and build on that. The hardest thing is to realize that you are your own best friend and work is the best way to earn money.



The following is Political!

I am pretty undecided about the upcoming election. Being a fiscal conservative, there just isn't anyone out there that even starts to appeal to me. If you think the President's popularity is low at 30%, read about the popularity of the congress (20%). I think it is time for some fresh blood in Washington and for that reason I won't vote for anyone currently in the senate for any seat or office. A site I went to said that Fred Thompson was the person that closest supported my views. He has little chance to get there unless something changes fast.
Speaking of fresh blood, the Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sibelius, has been selected to give the pro Democrat view of the State of the Union on January 28th. She is supposed to be a very good across-the-aisle person and challenge everyone to do better. She is a little liberal with our money but she is a darned good Governor and Barak could do a lot worse than select her as his running mate.
Somewhere out there a reform idea on taxes has gone astray. From an idea of a flat based tax of 13 to 15% on all earnings there is a proposal to make it about 34 cents on the dollar and collect it on sales. This consumption tax flies in the face of all the planning I have done with my income over the years. I have my retirement dollars locked in so they are to my best advantage and slam bam, thank you mam someone wants to change it to a sales tax and base it on consumption. Oh well, I'll have to think about this some more and see. The illegals have to buy food. Tax the wire transfers from Western Union headed to Mexico and that would help.
I think the tax situation is kind of like energy. Perhaps a little alternative (savings as opposed to spending) might go a long way. Pork belongs in a sandwich not in our Government spending. In fact, a pulled pork BBQ sandwich sounds kind of tasty right now.
I am tired of reading about all the people in the world that think we are the devil and then form long lines trying to get in here. Hell, don't they know if they go to Mexico and establish citizenship there they can probably sneak in across the border and be granted amnesty as soon as the congress gets around to it. It won't happen during this election year but wait a while and it probably will happen. Instead of trying to round them all up, give the s Social Security Card and make them all pay the right taxes like the rest of us. Crap, doesn't that play into the hands of the consumption tax?
I have a question. When the politicians start nationalizing health care (and they will) what will happen to guys like me that are paying for their own right now? Do you think I will continue to fork out the big bucks to BS/BS when I can get it for free? Add that to the cost.
Oh well, smile and move on smartly. What ever you do, Vote in the National election. Don't let the majority of a minority elect someone without your say so.

Fickle Weather

Here in Kansas we never know exactly what the weather will be only that it generally isn't the same for very long. After about 4 days of fairly mild weather for January, a big old low is moving in. The weatherman said we are right on the edge of the area that will be rain or snow. We have been getting a light rain all morning and about noon it will change to snow or remain rainy depending on the forward progress of the front.
The picture I have selected today is a flock of wild turkeys taken not far from our house. A few years back the Fish and Game guys brought in some to start a State-wide re-population. It has worked and now there are flocks in several areas that are growing. When cars hitting turkeys become as big a problem as the deer we will have some turkey eradication program initiated. Just yesterday I saw a friend of the family and their grandson hit a deer with his truck. Those tricky deer just wait for passing cars and trucks and then dodge out into the road. I'll bet it is some kind of game to them.
Well, it is only 10 AM and the rain just turned to snow flakes. It is still above freezing so so far it is not sticking. It will in a couple of hours if the snow flakes continue.
Have a great day out there. MUD



Another great game in Lawrence. I hope the game was as good on TV as it was in person. One thing you could not have felt or heard was the noise. About five minutes into the game I had little hearing left and when it got quiet as one of the OU players fell hurt, the silence was missed. The paper said this takes the JayHawks into uncharted waters at 17-0. Thy beat a team that just barely lost to K-State on Saturday.

The only part of the game that made this tough was when we stayed until the end, the traffic was terrible. It took us 30 minutes just to get out of Lawrence. It only took us another 25 minutes to get home once we were on open highway.

I hope you all find something that you enjoy as much as we have been enjoying the basketball games in January. Our friend Paul put us in the bleachers and we love it. MUD


Oklahoma, where the "Win" comes roaring across the Pain

Tonight, is the second of four games Barb and I will see in Lawrence. Yes, I know that it is an ESPN game and we could stay home and watch it but I couldn't, not go when I have tickets. The only tough part is the game is one of those 8 PM starts on ESPN and it won't get over until 10PM. Barb may have to drive home if I get sleepy. I know I won't want to leave the game until the sounds of "Rock Chalk, Jay Hawk" echo in the field house. Over the weekend, Oklahoma took a nasty loss at home from K-State and I'm sure they have the taste of blood in their mouth they want to cleanse.
KU traveled to Nebraska and it looked like the coach played everyone a fair share of minutes keeping the team as fresh as he could for tonight's game.

The weather here is as nice as it can be for January. All the snow is gone and it will be 40 today. I have a bunch of computer parts to haul off so I'll be in and out some today. I need to get the door on the truck adjusted after I put the new one on. It leaks air big time and the heater just is able to keep the cab warm when it would burn you out prior to the replacement. Oh well, more on the list of things to do.



Many feel that the Venus De Milo the armless statue in the Louvre is the concept of perfection. She is called the Aphrodite or goddess of love in marble. I find it very interesting that we accept the concept of a statue with her arms broken off as such a pantheon of perfection compared with how we make such a big deal out being perfect in our sports teams and our lives.

The New England Patriots are 13-0, The Carolina Tar Heels are 15-0, the Hawks are 15-0. What about the teams that are darned good and say 13-2? For who are we to say that almost perfect is way far from good enough? (Yes, I know that New England has entered the part of their year that says win or go home. It is like that when the final 65 teams play in the NCAA basketball playoffs called March Madness) There is a time that winning each game is important but perfect, run the table, no losses or we are bums? Get real!

Could you imagine if we held ourselves to that standard. Has any salesman ever closed 100% of his sales. Well, there is probably a drugdealer that has come close but his failure means jail or prison time. Can you imagine how nuts it would be to work as a car salesman if your boss expected no one to walk off the lot but drive off in a new car?

Can you imagine if you miss one deadline and you are fired? Perfection either makes people overly competitive or makes liars out of great people. I am not saying that we should not set goals that cause us to stretch to achieve them, I am saying that we should celebrate our successes and set new one's.

Somewhere in life there needs to me a movement forward that affirms our success and we need to put it in the book and move on. Oh sure, it is easy for me to say this now that I am retired. I worked darn hard at every job I held and there were a lot of nights I struggled with how to measure, display and accept my performance and the performance teams I had been assigned to.

One thing that I fight is the MBA philosophy that causes and lets everything to be measured and reported in such detail that it becomes a fog of data not information on how to be better. The statistical analysis of things such as calls per minute in a call center does not get the bell rung if the customers feel we don't answer their questions or handle their problems. Hell, that makes the employees as crazy as the customer. It may be nice to build a framework to support the call that has certain elements but the real measure of success is did the needed job get done. It may be tough to tell a person they can't have any ore telephone service if they don't pay their bill, but it is what keeps the company in Business. Ask GTE if their "GTECC" project would have made it if more people paid their bill. Ask one of the TeleTech workers if they were allowed to tell the customer to "Pay their bill". Oh sure, some MBA could tell you how long the average call was and the quality control people could tell you if all the elements of the call were included but the final answer was that GTECC failed because it lost money. The newest employee could tell you how long overdue the bills got and that no one makes money and gives their product away like GTE did.

In the final analysis, we are the toughest judge of our own performance. I think we should listen to our inner muse and either do more or do it better when we think we need to raise the goals. Put your goals in priority and do the most important things first. Work hard, laugh, love do a little cleaning and get enough sleep. Isn't that enough? Is it perfect? Oh hell, I guess this isn't perfect enough. But, it is what you get for the price you pay!


Makes me wonder who is the old guy that thinks he has all the answers. At least I have hair under the hat.

Fun Times in Lawrence

The young man on this ticket is the future of KU basketball. He is Conner Teahan and he loves to shoot the ball. I'm sure that his points per minute rival anyone on the team.
Barb's friend in Lecompton has season tickets to see the Jay Hawks. He also has a sister in Phoenix that he visits during the month of January. The solution is he sells us the tickets for the home games in January. What a great time we had to last night as KU hosted the visiting Loyola Greyhounds. If you have never seen a basketball game at the stadium, you miss the pageantry surrounding the game. Heck, I cried as they played the National Anthem, follow that with the Alma Mater song and a few chants of Rock Chalk and it was worth the trip.
The Loyola team perplexed the hawks for about 10 minutes of the first half. They ran, weaved and made cuts that were true to their name, the greyhounds. They had one or two shooters and kept themselves in the game for a while. Then the Coach, Bill Self, said a few choice words to the Hawks and they snapped out of their fog and brought on the War. It was 42 to 26 at Half Time and KU won 90 to 60.
It was neat that a very nice couple from Loyola sat right behind us and every time Loyola scored she cheered. It reminded me of the time my brother and I went to Kemper to see one of the holiday tournaments. A team from Louisiana who were the Bulldogs played in one of the early games and we were in the stands. One poor guy from way up top would yell, "Go Bulldogs" every time they made a good play. Rick and I started hollering with him and pretty soon a bunch of people were shouting to inspire the Bulldogs. One of the other school bands showed up early and they added to the sounds. It turned into a great game and I'm sure that everyone got their money's worth.
I hope my brother Rick can come up the 14th and go see KU host the Sooners. Barb has agreed to stay home and let him attend the game if he can get off work. We'll see.
Rock Chalk JayHawk fans. May all your days be winners and your balls be round, orange and score a lot. The hawks are now 15-0.


Going to the game!

I know that it is silly to want to see the J-Hawks beat up on a hapless Maryland team (Loyola) but Barb and I have tickets and are going. It should be one of those games where everyone gets to play some and it should be fun to watch the subs come off the bench and out play the other team.
I can hardly wait to be back in Allen Field house and be a part of the excitement.
When I went out to get the paper this AM it was wet but no snow and just now about an hour later Barb opened the downstairs curtains and it is snowing. We aren't excepting much of an accumulation but we have a light dusting. It was warmer here yesterday and the day before than it was in Vegas or LA. Today it should be about 40 for a high so any dusting we get will be long gone by this evening.
We went to Walmart the other day and bought a recumbent exercise bicycle. It was a really cheap version but I could not see spending almost $400 for the Schwinn model. This one was less than $99.00. I told Barb that with Tax and snacks it came to $119.00. If you can't stock up on snacks why exercise?
Have a great day out there.


Animal Farm

We have a bunch of birds that come here to Rabbit Run to eat. In fact I would estimate that our pet food bill at over $50.00 per month between yard birds, cockatiels, cat and dogs.

The deer are frequent visitors and this day there was a herd of at least five. I did not see a buck with horns.

This is another picture of stupid "the cat" aka Tiger. He demands to eat every time I go out and would take up residence in the garage but uses the floor to pee and cat urine stinks.

Probably the most pesky bunch are the squirrels. This is just one of as many as five that regularly haunt the ground near the feeders. In fact one found that he could climb the "squirrel proof" feeder and jump to the porch railing. The violent up and down bobbing of the feeder often jars a couple of seeds free. They also have taken to eating some of the "ground feeder" food I put out for the junkos and finches. Oh well, something to look at. Must go to the old Valleybrook house and clean. MUD


The stars must be in alignment. First the KU Football team went 12-1 and finished by winning a great game in the Orange Bowl. The KU Women Basketball team is 13-2 and the men are a perfect 14-0. That is a combined record of 39-3. Barb and I will be at the game on Tuesday evening in Lawrence. AND, it is still a darned good school with a great academic reputation. MUD


Pride Post for KU

KU, A Football legend since September!
Our Coach can eat your Coach!
Kansas Football, 12-1
We aren't a one dimensional School anymore!
KU 24, VT 21 Orange Bowl 2008

Can you tell that Barb and I are smiling this morning after watching one of the best Bowl games so far this season. It was a well played, heart stopping contest that kept the fans in their seats.


New Book

You might think that after 30 years (+) I would not want to read a Military Tale well told. Well, buckaroo, you would be wrong! On New Year's Day I managed to get a copy of W.E.B. Griffin's new book "The Shooters". After a couple of days of watching College Football Bowl games and reading I find myself sadly wishing I had more to read. Griffin is also known as William E. Butterworth and has a bunch of books out there I love to read. I was afraid that his son was going to ghost write books with him as the quality of the last couple were kinda thin. This one is back to the old standards and the good guy gets the girl and gets shot but lives on with more money than good judgment. He gets to rush around the world killing bad guys and spending money like it was free. There might be a moral or two in these stories but mostly they are grand escapism and fun.
Get a good book and read, it is hard on the eyes but in this cold weather what the heck isn't. MUD


Man its Cold Out There!

The temperature here is near single digits this morning and the birds are hitting the feeders like it was free! Well, Duh Dennis! It is free. Based on the amount they eat it must be fairly good also.
After the Obligatory comment on the weather, I will also wish you all a new year. You make it whatever you want out of that. Make it happy, prosperous, joyous or whatever, because it will happen no matter what you want. Yesterday Barb and I were putting up a new calendar and when I took the 2007 one down Barb told me to put up the 2006 one. I reminded her that just because she was no longer teaching she should not put her mid in neutral steer and count down. You must count up sweety. (Neutral Steer is the condition of driving a tank and you aren't telling it go right or left, just letting it go where it wants)
Some of my New Year Plans are:
  • Work on Dave's old house and get it rented or sold. In the depressed market it will probably go on the rental list until at least spring. It will join the other two on the list.
  • Get the truck back in good shape. I have a new fender to put on and the door must be centered and finished. Right now it is held shut with a bungee cord and it leaks air big time.
  • Not to forget the four home games that I have tickets to this year. Our good friend Paul Bahnmeier and his friends in Kansas City buy a pair of season tickets and this year they all are going to be out of town in January. They weren't free but I'm sure they are worth face value. Heck, to be able to buy them from the University I would have had to donate to the Williams Fund.
  • Work on including some solar features on both houses. I think Dave's home has a lot of potential for solar collectors and the big house here at Rabbit Run needs to be a lot more energy efficient.
  • This is probably the year we will need to invest in newer transportation. Barb"s Buick is approaching 90,000 miles and it will probably become the near the house transportation with some form of good over the road, high efficiency model for travel. Heck, I would like to buy a big old truck/camper but I'm pretty sure that Barb thinks Motels are much better/cheaper/easier.
  • This is the year that I think I will start to diversify my investments a little. I am worried that the dollar is falling in value and most of my investments are in dollars. I like the idea of gold but am not sure that in a really bad market you can eat gold. Come tax time I am already land rich and cash poor.
I'm going to go to the west side of town this AM and buy the new W.E.B. Griffin book the shooters. I will buy it a Sam's Club for about $17.00. I could break down and buy one of those Book Club memberships at Barnes and Nobles but even then the book is over $20.00 after spending $10.00 on a membership. Oh well, the football and basketball games will be fun for a couple of days. MUD