How Y'a doing Dennis?

Fine as Frog's Hair!

It is spooky when a prediction I make comes true and the wife acknowledges it as accurate. Looks like next weekend will be the first all number one seed Final Four in San Antonio. First let me say that San Antonio is one wonderful place to be even without Basketball. The Alamo Dome is a great big place that is worthy of having everyone play there once or twice in their career.
Now, my predictions:
When Memphis played the other night, I said they look like the Hawks do when they all show up to play. As much as I would like to see UCLA play KU I am afraid that they will have their dance card full trying to play with that Mad House of fun called Memphis. Winner Memphis 83 UCLA 74.
As bad as the hawks looked when playing Davidson, they will be up for a wide open full throttle game against a North Carolina team that almost looks like them in a mirror. If KU doesn't have to let Sasha Kahn be the savior, it will be a game that will set records in most books. KU 108 - NC 103.
Monday night will bring a battle royal and may the best team win. If it were a shooting contest, you could put a quarter on the shot group and declare them all the winner. (In non shooting terms, it is almost too close to call.) I will go out on the limb here and say KU will play Memphis and it will play out to a 90-80 score for the winner. First team there will win. Yes, I am for KU but I'm stupid, not crazy.

Bring on the roundball!


Sunday Morning in the Heartland

Well, I finished my second glass of coffee and I am all set to write here at 0753 AM. I think I am turning into my Grandparents who would get up at the crack of dawn (most of the time it was still dark) and start their day. They would also take a couple of naps during the day and be lights out by 8 PM.
I am officially taking today off. I worked hard this week on the Valley Brook house and need a few moments to let my muscles un-tighten and relax. It is also for those of you that care,iy is a day for the Hawks to enter the final four arena. They do have to beat Davidson but should make it a pretty game and win by 20. It looks like Texas will have to fight their way through Memphis to get into the final Four. It would not surprise me that all four of the Number One seeds get to the final.
Here's my assessment:
North Carolina - Great team with good depth. They deserve their number one of the number one seeds.
Memphis - If they can whip those Cowboys, they will be in there until the Championship round.
KU - Great team with good depth. They can be a bit inconsistent and if they show up and play their "A" game they will be in the Championship.
UCLA - Good team but that pesky Memphis team may make it rough.
Texas - Second best team, in the Big 12. On the right day they can beat anybody.
I personally would like to see UCLA and KU in the final but fear it may be a NC- Memphis game.
At this time of the year, only the great ones are still playing. No matter who gets there, the road to the end has been a great one.


Money and Debt Discussion

The wife and I had a long discussion this morning about debt, the interest rate and the cost of money. Part of the discussion centered around the fact that short term money rates have been lowered by the Feds and it has not caused a ong term interest rate to decline. I think we really got wrapped around the fact that we both know what the facts are and when she wants things to change I take it personal when I try to explain the "way it is". In a perfect world, the short term interest rates being lowered to 2.5% would drive the long term rate down by a corresponding amount.
In the real world, the volatility of the housing market and long term costs of money have held the 15, 20 and 30 year rates up to nearer 6%. (5.8% today) Cost of money is in the long term expressed in risk and that the higher the risk, the more money will cost. Part of this was due to the fact that the housing market that has been a high flyer over the past 25 years is now showing some softness. In the bad old days, you needed nearer to 20% to buy a house. For the past five years (or so) you could buy a house for nearly nothing down. The housing market in the major markets is now so soft that there had been nearly an 8% decline in the value of houses. Here where the houses cost darned little, it is practically no big deal. In California where a small ranch is $450,000 is is a big deal.
I agree that Barb has the right basis for her thoughts, just that it doesn't always do the same thing in the big picture. The law of unintended consequences will almost always bite a good argument in the butt.
For example, one cure for the problems in education is to pay teachers better. It should attract better teachers in to the field and the kids will get a better education. The net effect today is that teachers would get more money for doing the same job and that higher cost would generally be taken from the education budget somewhere else and the kids would suffer today. In the long run it might be a fix, in the short run it would not.


Gravel Day

I am scheduled to get a load of gravel at Dave's about 10:30 today, lord willing and if it doesn't rain.
I'm not sure if she thought I needed to get a load on or if I was full of it. Barb thought the driveway guy was a little too expensive so I get to do it by hand. Oh well,


Simple Thoughts that Work for Me!

  • They call work, work because all the other four letter words were taken.
  • In the long run, income must be greater or equal to outgo.
  • The media reports only the things that are troublesome or a crime. When was the last time you read about the good things that are happening? Not very many years ago, the DOW was at $5,000. The fact that it has doubled is lost on the nay sayers. Sure Health insurance is expensive, but what the heck isn't. The average car costs more than our first real home. Hell the 8X38 foot trailer didn't cost as much as the motor in my truck.
  • As I get older, I find I want a riding mower and a Health Club membership.
  • Did you notice that most of the trucks are too fancy to ever haul anything?
  • This was the coldest and wettest winter I can remember and yet the media runs around and tells us that we are in the middle of global warming.
  • One lousy ice berg breaks off and everyone tells us it is the end of the world. Wasn't it an iceberg that the Titanic hit? Wonder how big that berg was?

Now get back to work.


Photos from the past

This was in early 1968 somewhere near Pleiku, RVN

Tis was my dad at Great lakes Training Center. Sometime in 1943 or 44.

This was Dad at Christmas 1985 at 544 Byrd, Wichita, KS. Just sitting in his recliner. He had been ill with Tick Fever and about this time his liver was in bad shape.
This is my Grandfather Earl Petty at Camp Robinson, AR cutting hair. He was a barber and a sign painter. He was an ambulance driver in the Army.


Happy Easter!

Did I mention that if you are a fan of the Big J,

That things are,

Just Ducky!

From the Hunny Bunny to you, may all your dreams be chocolate coated and you naps be sweet.

Brought to you via the Best Damn country in the world in spite of what the media is trying to make you think. If you think things are so bad here, try to get a job and live on the wages you would make in Mexico or China.


Takin Care of Business

I guess if we are ever going to get this damn thing finished, someone has to lose. One of the first Big XII teams out was Baylor. Damn, I thought that team that put almost 100 points on the hawks would hang in there but, Slam Bam Than you man and they were out of there. K-State won one and lost one and they are done. Now the Hawks will play a darn good team from UNLV coached by a great guy, Lon Kruger, and the game is just starting.
Close of business we will be down to the Sweet 16 teams. Later guys,
KU Just finished running the Rebels off the floor by holding them to 27% shooting in the second half.
Moving on UCLA is going to play Texas A&M. Barb says this will put Shirley's team out of the hunt so she will be able to do her landscaping.


2 Fer!

Kansas ans K-State took care of business yesterday in the opening round of the big dance. I hated that the National feed kept cutting to Duke and some podunk game when the Wildcats were whipping up on USC. Today is take care of business day for me and I probably won't get back to the games until this evening. Ih Well, no one I want to watch today.
PS - I think it is great that Lon Kruger and his UNLV team will get to watch KU play. They might even make it a good game if Lon is the coach I think he is. Another good Kansas boy in the bright lights of Vegas.



I have been fortunate enough to have 8,888 visitors to my blog site. I welcome you with open arms. At first I was bother that many people visited but didn't comment but I now just watch the counter and realize that you read and I write. If that isn't enough, that is my problem. MUD

Yes, It has Started!

Well, Hello Sports fans! Some people will say that the Tuesday Play-in game that resulted in St Mary's playing against North Carolina was the first game, but I prefer to call today the first day of the NCAA Tournament that will end in a couple of weeks. Today at 11:30, KU will play some hapless team in Omaha and ;ater, K-State will slug it out with USC. There has never been a number one team eliminated by a number 16 team. They are 0-92 all time. Several people have recommended that with the number of automatic berths out there, there should be a play in game for them and the number one and two teams in each bracket play against some of the winners of those small conferences. That could allow some of the better teams from major conferences into the big dance and keep it more exciting. Winning a tournament should not our weigh the entire season. Everyone knows that anyone can beat anyone on a given night, it is the long haul that makes a difference.
The later game will pit two freshmen against each other and will be a preview of their ability to go to the NBA and make bunches of money. Most college basketball players should stay and get an education. The maturity and skills they sharpen while in college will also help them prepare to a world without the NBA dollars. In the case of Michael Beasley and OJ Mayo, they have demonstrated the skills and ability that will let them play at the next level and make millions of dollars. I think of it kind of like the three years I spent in the Army. I came out with the GI BIll to help me pay for college. They will come out of the NBA with enough money to pay for college and then some.
The weather here was 65 yesterday and will be at least 60 today. It will be in the 70's over the weekend and by the expanded garden centers springing up in mall parking lots all over, it must be time to get out and grow things. It hasn't greened up enough to make the grass need mowing yet but that is not far off. With the amount of rain we have had, the subsoil moisture will carry over to mid summer. We haven't even really hit our stride with the May/June rains yet to come and the ground is just one soggy doggie.
Have a great Day. I will!


Is it warm enough, yet?

This is last year on the recumbent bike. I am waiting until I get the truck fixed and it warms up a few more degrees. Can't wait. If you have problems with a regular bike seat putting your privates to sleep or killing your back and neck, you just have to try a recumbent. Miles of smiles
Thanks Ken.

Just Some Random Photo's

This big old oak was on Avery Island and I just love the look of spanish moss hanging on the branches. In the bad old days, The Military guy in me would have wanted to police it all up and get rid of it. Now I am a little more relaxed in my standards and will allow it in their trees.

Another alligator in the pond. There was a green moss covering the entire pond and he was just sitting there in the middle catching rays. The egrets were all in the next pond over.

This was about the only flowers open during our trip except those in the greenhouse the day my battery died. Pretty scene.


When it rains it Pours!

Yesterday we had a cloudburst of well over an inch of rain. To add to that, one of the rockers on the engine on the 53 Chevy truck took the opportunity to just break. That led to the lifter jumping out of the hole and the push rod dropping down into the galley. Yes, it will entail me being out on the drive taking the intake maniforl off this afternoon. Oh well, at least I can (still can) and will.

The Valley Brook house is about to be occupied by our other daughter Mel. (Dave & Barb's best friend who has agreed that I'm a better cook than her mother) She wants to buy it in the future and we are going to accommodate her for a while to help her get her new job and work record in order. She was over earlier today and painted about half of the bedroom. I went over and worked on the kitchen floor and the bathroom.

I better get out while I have daylight.


CHANGE! (Damn it)

I struggle with all the talk of change. From what to what? If a conservative wants change does he want to unchange the advancements and move back to "the way it was"? If a liberal stands on the podium today and shout change what do they want. The DOW back at 5,000? The interest rate at 13%? Higher taxes? More unemployment? More Government an the higher cost to us all?
As much as I thought the throwing out of Saddam was needed, I think we have lost the bubble on what to do. How many more billions are we going to pump in there without exacting a price in oil and demand that they either put up a Government or shut up. Where are the Saudis in this. They could plug up the holes with our petro dollars and fix about any problem.
I am appalled at the talk of income redistribution and really don't want a cap put on the CEO's salary. I do want some sanity in the equation and firing workers should not produce a profit for the company that results in the CEO getting the money saved. Our corporations should have a social conscience and feel some responsibility to the workers. I guess in this free to all society (not free for all) no one but big Government owes us anything. The same system that created Social Security and is letting it run dry is who we want fixing our problems?
Bill Clinton actually said a couple of weeks ago that the way to stop Global Warming is to cool off our economy. Yep, a good recession would do that Bill but with you having your Government Pension all sewed up and a wife in Congress you won't have to troll the bread lines to eat. If the average temperature has risen 1 degree over the last 100 years, doesn't the lower temperature this year have a pretty large effect on that? Here it is in March and it is in the lower 40's and raining. Ain't no heat wave going on here.
Oh well, most of you stop by just to see the pretty pictures and don't take the time to read this crap. Moving on, the KU Jayhawks will play as a number one seed in Omaha this Thursday. The had to play their tails off to beat a damn good Texas team. With 6 teams from the Big 12 in the Big Dance it should be a fun ride.


Time of Day

I'll bet this old cactus was shot by 30 different people in our class. Phoenix was a blast but it was in the past.

Different time of day and a little wider shot. This was a great time of the day to shoot.


Mo' Birds

This is one of those Louisiana Birds again slipped in to bring us to a warmer place and time.

These finches remind me of the reality of a cold cloudy day and how hard they work at the feeder to get enough food to stay warm.

This is the JayHawk statue in front of the Student Union in Lawrence. It represents the student we all want to be. It is a dignified pose and friendly guy.

This is the real Jay Hawk. He will play smash mouth basketball with the best of them. He doesn't care if it is in Lawrence, Manhattan or Africa, not wait that was Beasley's saying and he didn't get to play them in KC so he will just have to sit and spin. I'll bet he is home watching the Texas/KU game on TV and waiting to find out how low in the brackets they were placed. In spite of winning (or losing all but ) 3 out of their last 9 games they will get an invitation to the dance. They just aren't good enough to be a sweet 16, elite 8 or final four team. Texas and KU are!


The Good News and the Bad News!

The really good news is that KU will play a good Texas Team for the Big 12 Conference Championship Tournament today at 2 PM. Both teams will dance in the NCAA Tournament and only the selection committee will know where they will start. Some people say the winner of today's game should have a number one seed and I personally don't care. After the first game it is all a game played by student athletes and it all equals out. Beak 'em Hawks!

The bad news is that in spite of a scheduled protest here in Topeka against the Freddy Phelps Westboro Baptist Church it probably won't be nearly as offensive as their protests. They are already saying they will publish their church times in the Topeka paper and according to the law (made to make WBC stop picketing a Church) pickets cannot picket for 1 1/2 hours prior to, during and after their hours. Crap! Another example of bad protective Legislation protecting the bad guy. The Law of unintended consequences strikes again.


Special Picture

My brother-in-law, Raymond Ikenberry, shot this picture of a Pilated Woodpecker near his home in Lawrence, KS. According to the bird lover/photographer that I live with, there have been only five reports of such sightings on Project Feeder watch in Kansas this year. I salute his ability and offer this picture for your enjoyment.

Big XII Tournament

Yes, Colorado did their best to play themselves into the big dance. K-State did their best to play themselves out of the dance. Nebraska held the Hawks to the lowest score of the year for a half of basketball. Their rubber legs in the second half just couldn't keep up with the speed and intensity in the second half. (Whew for that) If all comes to form, Oklahoma and Texas A&M will get to watch the Longhorns and Hawks play tomorrow. (The number 1 & 2 seed in the tournament) Both teams are in the big dance it is all about a number one or two seed. After the first couple of games it is all about showing up and playing.
PS Michael Beasley will go play in the NBA next year and make millions of dollars. He can buy a school when it is all over.

What's wrong with this picture? Part 2

The morning paper seems to cause a lot of controversy here at Rabbit Run. Here is some more of the things wrong with this world:
  • It appears that Elliott Spitzer's paying between $4,000 and $5,000 to a hooker for a one night stand has more people upset than the fact he was committing adultery. If it had been a $20 hooker in the backseat of his car, would he have escaped the hue and cry to remove him from office?
  • If Spitzer's replacement can't see, how can he tell if someone is robbing him blind. (Yes, this is truly tasteless and tacky Barb)
  • Barak Obama's minister has stirred up a bunch of heated debate. "We (The USA) deserved 9-11" "Hillary has never had a taxi pass he by on the street because of her skin color" He went to Libia and visited with Morimar Kadaffi. Who cares what an old Black minister says? I think it is more important to see what Barak thinks. Was his wife's statement that "for the first time she is proud of America" an look into her true feelings?
  • By the way, that Old Black minister could be a guest speaker at the Reverend Fred Phelp's church. He is right on their target.
Barbara and I discussed "Are People just crazy"? Seems that the homosexual issue has reared its ugly head again. They are the latest target for hate and again have been given the blame for that which ails us. From the beginning of time man has looked for someone to blame for all our problems. The Jews, the Christians (The fed them to the lions in Rome) the blacks, the homosexuals, the... Well, you get the picture. Why does it take less effort to find someone to blame than fix the problems? Yes, that weakness is one of the problems. How can politicians find fault in a system they are working in to stay elected?
I think that most people regardless of their category are doing their best to survive and live in this chaotic world. Peace

More Favorite People Part 3

I had to go back a year to Christmas 06 to find a picture of Joe Craig. Yes, this is a bottle of wine but I'm sure that he didn't get to drink it. Perhaps in the European tradition a taste but...

Dan Craig was gifted this wonderful cat picture. I'm sure it will be the fodder of many re-gifts in the exchange in years to come.

Carrie Craig and our niece Amanda enjoying the gifts (and laughs) at the Christmas party.

I'm sure the camera made this picture blurry. Even if there was any alcohol there, neither photographer imbibes. Dan and Owen were just moving too fast.

Carrie and Owen Craig. Two non goofy people in a picture only a mother would love.


What's Wrong With this Picture?

Today's paper was just weird. Here are some of the things I think need changed!
  • Automatic weapons being discussed in the KS Legislature. This is an obvious plant to bring up gun ownership by taking and talking about the extreme. There is ust no reason for citizens to have automatic weapons or sell them in KS. If you want to shoot a machine gun, join the National Guard.
  • The US Senate passed voted down a bill to stop the process of earmarking items in the Federal Budget (For those of you out there that don't understand Pork Barrel this is probably way over your head) The Senate needs to understand that it is our dollars they are spending and 2 million for a museum at Woodstock is pork barrel and not needed. Never Re-Elect Anyone!
  • There needs to be a cap on how much executives get reimbursed for legal fees when they get brought into Federal Court for stealing millions from the Company they represent. Whittig is asking for $700 an hour to pay for the NYC team that is keeping him out of Jail. We are paying for this and there should be a cap somewhere.
That's all for today, Barb says you hate it when I rant on for paragraphs.

The fight begins

KU will meet Nebraska tonight in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. It will mean little in the real world but I wish the hawks good luck anyway.


Funny Place on the Web

Dave recommended that I got to icanhascheezburger.com and I did. It is about as funny as anything I have seen lately. Give it a try and see if stupid animal pictures

Just For The Fun of It!

This is a picture from 1981 of Dad with a stringer of fish out of Beaver Lake. There are mornings when I look in the mirror and wonder how my dad got in there.
These lovely young ladies are Janet and Carrie beside dad's boat. Oh to be that young again.
I wonder where Curly got that silly hat. I want one. It looks like a hillbilly hat if i ever saw one. (Is this the hat Janet was wearing in the previous photo?) Just noticed it. You can get so inside the photo that yo don't see the big picture.
This is my sister Carol Lee holding my little brother, Rick and MUD the Navy Seal. I'll bet I explored the Buffalo river for hours in that face mask. I was the Lloyd Bridges Jr in those days.
The edge of the photograph says 1955 and I'm pretty sure it is in the Buffalo River at Pruitt, AR.


Who the Heck are these People?

This little Guy looks like a Johnson to me. Is it Asa Bob?

Another Johnson to me. Kimmy?
This picture is a complete mystery to me. Perhaps there is a mother out there that can put a name to the face. Is this Janet?

Now clearly, this my mother, Virginia and her mother Erma but who the heck is the young lady in between?

Any Guesses? MUD

Tribute to Mom

This is my Mom and and my Aunt Mattie Jean from Denver. This was Mom's 85th Birthday party and a little dated but hey, it's my blog so either look at the pictures or not.
The second picture is my Sister Carol's family. We are minus a couple of the little guys from Texas but we had fun with those that came. Tie third picture is my Uncle Warren and Kathy's friend Dewayne with Jax his dog.
The fourth picture is Becky and Kristin. The picture of Big Daddy and the kids just didn't load.
The last picture is Kathy, Rick and MUD.

There were a whole lot more pictures I wanted to load but I seem to be out of room in blogger. Imagine That?

March Madness Symptoms

Well Sports Fans, it is that time of the year that all things unimportant get pushed to the back burner and Basketball comes to the forefront. I would like to thank Readers Digest for the cartoon in this blog. I'm not sure if I have to or want to but I do feel appropriate to share with you where the cartoon was published.
The AP did not put any one KU player on the first team "All Big 12" but most of them were on the second team. It reminds me of the Shawnee Heights wrestling teams that would go to the meets and not win any individual firsts but win the meets by having most of the team place second or third. I guess someone forgot to tell the AP that Basketball is a team sport. Ask K-State if they would rather have Michael Beasley have 23 "double-doubles" or win more games by the team.
The good news is that March Madness is here. The bad news is that it will soon be over and it will be another long hot summer until it gets here again. I will settle for the here and now and be glad we aren't headed into winter. I can sweat with the best of them but I freeze in misery.
I really can't wait until it is once again in the 60's and 70's so I can do some of the outside jobs I have saved. I need to replace a fender on the truck, put brakes on Dave's car and repair the gutters and paint the Valley Brooke house. I'm sure that there are a few hundred other things on the list but they will all have to be worked into the March Madness schedule. In spite of the sadness I will feel, having the KU team lose does free up my schedule. Did I mention that a month ago I spread the 2007 taxes out on the table and have them waiting for a date closer to April 15th. I should file the Kansas because of a refund but the Federal is scary.
Oh well, What the hell, What the heck do I care?


Walk Across Kansas

What do you do when your butt is too wide and your knees are too shot? Ride a recumbent and smile, damn it smile!

Follow the gray concrete path! The Yellow Brick Path was in the movies. I plan on seeing a lot of this sidewalk in the next month or two while Barb Sr and her team "Walk Across Kansas".
I got onto a transportation theme and just couldn't help including my bike "Muse", Kenny, in at least one photo. We baby boomers loved bikes and rode them until the wheels fell off.

This is just a weird photo I saw on the internet and immediately thought of how silly I must look on my recumbent. I just keep singing, "I don't Care, I don't care..."

I said Walkies, Damn it!
Which came first, short dogs or short people? Notice all the bikes in the background.


Uplifting Thoughts

Yesterday was a little bit a downer for me so today I thought I would post some pictures of birds on the wing. This is to start the day with uplifting pictures.

This is the evening commuters coming home after flying off into the swamp and eating their fill of crawdads, mud puppies, or in Kansas speak, BAIT!

More of the evening rush with a slightly different sky. This was almost black and white just to give it a slightly Ansel Adams look.

This is a pair of the spoonbills just flying by and I shot them offhand . I did edit them out of the center of the photo but mostly it was what I saw.

Today in the paper there was an article with 24 things that just don't make sense or cause you to do more thinking than the words were worth. Barb looked at the few pages in the paper and said, is this all the news fit to print? My answer was, if it wasn't worth printing, is it news?



Over and Over, Again

In 1959, a story gripped the news in Kansas about the Clutter family in Holcomb that was brutally murdered. For several weeks the story would resurface and just when it seemed that it would drop into the file of unsolved, an inmate in Lansing Kansas told his story about a former cell mate, Richard "Dick" Hickcock, and his interest in the family.
As a boy of 12, I wondered what could possibly bring anyone to the place in their lives that they would brutally bind and kill a family of four. It wasn't until much later that the details came out of what the motivation was and the grisly details of the actual crime.
I think the capture and return of the Dick and Perry Smith, two parolees, from a jail in Las Vegas was the big time news item for a while. Then there was the delay of a trial and the five years it took to bring them to the gallows in the prison warehouse in Lansing, Kansas.
Just when the hoopla all died down and the citizens in State of Kansas started to put things back in their proper place and order, along comes a book by Truman Capote that drags the facts back out in the light of "In Cold Blood". That was made worse the next year by a movie of the book. For the time, it was a brutal story and the facts of the actual killings were shown in a blur. It made little sense, but so did the life and crimes of Smith and Hickcock. On and off, throughout the next 40 years, that story gets brought out and someone makes a movie of that horrible event. I think I have read the book a couple of times throughout the intervening years.
This weekend we have a free preview of the Show time channels on DirecTV. Wouldn't you know that the movie Capote would be playing. The movie takes place during his time writing the book "In Cold Blood". All those thoughts and feelings from my years growing up in Kansas were surfaced and I got to review the facts gain.
I do find it amazing that a person so unlike the face of Kansas could come in and capture the event. Truman Capote stood for almost all of the bad things most Kansans would not want in our lives. He was a drunk depressive homosexual and actually befriended Hickock and Smith in their time in Lansing awaiting execution. In the movie, he cried when they were about to be executed.
You would think that as a Kansas Basketball fan, I would have a smile on my face about our tie for the Big 12 Championship and the upcoming trip to the National NCAA tourney. I keep having a shadow across my psyche that even in the Heartland we have events that just keep dragging themselves back out of the box.
What major events climb back out into the light of day from your earlier years that makes you think about the past. I hope there are some happy things in there and that some good things sneak out and that your life isn't the fodder for a Stephen King book. I will go over to my photo's and see if there aren't some good and pretty things to look at.