'Splain it To Me Lucy

For those of you too young to have watched Lucile Ball & Ricky Ricardo in "I Love Lucy", this was the cry from Ricky each time Lucy and her sidekick Ethel got into some wild scheme. It was all pretty tame because of the censorship in the early days of TV, but it was in re-runs daily for years. Our economy is in a wild scheme and the Federal Government is making moves they think will correct it. I liken it to the famous chocolate factory job Lucy has where she started stuffing candy bon-bons down the front of her blouse.

Now, let me see if I can 'Splain the Feds moves. I am winging this so if I get somewhere off the beam, I apologize in advance. A while back, some banks and lending institutions started aggressively loaning money to people buying houses. They would make a loan and then turn the debt into stock in rapidly expanding finance companies or sell bonds to cover the debt as the baby boomers were looking for ways to build their retirement funds. Yes, as the market caught fire because of the expanding money for housing loans the prices of housing went way up. There is a terrible disparity in the housing market. What can be bought for $100,000 here in the Heartland is worth almost a million in New York or Southern California. Add this to the expanded Student Loans and you can see that there is a lot of debt out there built on a house of cards. For the purpose of this discussion I won't even start to explain the crushing credit card debt out there at 18% or more. How people can do that to themselves almost defies logic. Not even The Feds have a good answer.

While the Citizens of the good ole' USA have been sheltered from the truth or have an inability to read the truth, the World Banks can sense the problem and have devalued the dollar. That is the biggest reason for the price increase in Gasoline. When the value of the dollar fell against the Canadian, Euro and the Chinese Yen, gasoline costs more in terms of the US dollar. This increase in cost was not based on much else. The rising cost in goods from the stores is a lot based on increased transportation costs (Diesel is over $4.00 a gallon).

Under Alan Greenspan, when the economy started to falter, the Fed under his leadership would cut the interest rate and all would be well. Well, boys and girls times are changing and the prime interest rate is now 2% (That cut is due today or tomorrow) and the Government is going to start mailing out checks this week to get us to spend the economy back into prosperity.

The question of the week is, "Will all this manipulation work or will we find ourselves in a deepening spiral?" I think I can explain it, I just don't have the expertise to prognosticate the million dollar answer.

My fear is that all the problems will lead to inflation as the house of cards starts to fall apart. The candidates for the Presidency are talking about a lot of things but expansion of the Government and its programs (focus on health care for everyone) will put more pressure on the demand for the dollar. Sometime in the next year or so, the demand will drive up the cost or continue the devaluation of the dollar. In the 70's, this led to interest rates to raise to 13-17% for housing loans. It will be great for those building a nest egg for retirement, but the increased costs will erode what they have saved.

If you don't think the rising cost of real estate is a local problem, all you have to do is look at Idaho. The people in California as they retire are moving to Idaho in droves. This has increased the housing costs there to record levels. The traditional Republican's are being out voted by Democrats moving in and they now are a change in progress in the face of their Government. A house that sells for a million can be replaced in Idaho for a couple of hundred thousand. The extra money goes into the money investment pit and the ride continues.

Where the wheel stops no one knows. The impact in the long term will be a tough ride for some. I hope you have a book of tickets and can hold on. The real problem is that not enough people even know what the problem is. Where in the reading of this did your eyes glaze over and you lost interest?

Oh well, What the Hell, What the Heck do I care?



Will this be the Day?

The professional Liars, aka the local weathermen, have promised us 70 degrees today. It seems like forever since we have had a great day out there. By the time it starts to get warm enough to get out and work or play it is almost dark. Will this be the day that the gentle southern breezes bring a nice day? We'll see.

I am thinking that I need to start putting my recumbent in the bed of the truck with a sign, "What'll you do when you run out of gas? Get Bent! (Recumbent Bikes that is.) It is clear that we have way too many narrow roads to really get out there and ride in traffic. The good news is there is a lake with some great paths not too far from here. Do you see a theme developing here?

Yes, I do have some work to do but I think I need some "Play" today also. The Valley Brook house needs to be scraped, primered and painted. I also need an outside faucet to help clean up the painting mess.

OH well, whatever happend to day, it won't start here on this machine. Gotta run, er ride!


Champions Again!

Unless you were totally not a Basketball fan, you well know that KU beat a great Memphis team for the 2008 NCAA Basketball Championship. A wonderful team won and now we move on.

A very small item in this weeks paper mentioned that the KU debate team won the NCAA 2008 championship for debaters. I think that this should be a widely a celebrated victory as the basketball championship. After all, we can all debate with others and we are not all great round ball players. The debate team represents what students should be in school for. I hope that every student asks why and has an answer when they complete their formal schooling.

God Bless the debate team! God Bless America.


System Problems

I know there is a loose nut behind the keyboard on this machine. In addition to this, our E-mail programs are both playing stupid. My HP will work for a little while and then the Mac will not. The Mac works and then mine craps out. Then to add insult to injury, AT&T/Yahoo will send me this little note that I am sending unencrypted mail to their server and it pisses them off. They send me to a link that goes off merrily to a page that won't load because of my unencrypted attempt to read it. Another link tells me to locate the account settings for your particular client. Hell, it is their program I am using, they should know how to do that, I sure as hell don't.

Oh well, it is a beautiful and cool day here in the heartland. At least there is some sunshine so there is hope that the temperature will get above 50 (do I hear 60, boys and girls?)

Two Dogs, I was all set up to take pictures of the food yesterday and right in the middle of all that I just plum forgot to get the camera. It was all good and everyone had a good time. There was the usual take home bags of food for the attendees. The wife said I can't cook a new item until we eat our way through the leftovers.

OH well, what the hll, what the heck do I care. MUD



9,866 people have visited my site since I put the counter on. I'm not sure when I started that counter but I have been blogging since September 2006. It is really time to write that damn book and go there. Oh well, back to the cooking, cleaning and getting ready to have fun.

Fajitas Day

Barb Sr., Captain of the Tecumseh Jay Walkers, has organized a Fajitas party for her team. As the chief cook and hear laborer here at Rabbit Run, I get to handle the food. We all participated in a project called "Walk Across America" and reported our mileage. We made it the requires 420 miles. I think it is just a reason to do some serious spring cleaning but hey, back to the food.

Most of my meals start with serious grilling of copious portions of meat. I prefer to do steak but it seems like the chicken is the healthy choice, the popular choice of the ladies and it turns out very tasty. I marinate the meat in plastic gallon sized zip lock bags with different flavors. The steak generally gets some combination of soy sauce, garlic and Worcestershire . One bag of chicken got some soy sauce and Italian dressing. The other bag got some garlic hot sauce and soy sauce. All the meat got the smoky grill trick with plenty of hickory smoke. I hardly ever expose the meat to direct heat but hold all the coals on one side of the Webber with a log of hickory. That allows the log to burn and smoke. Something about the design of the Webber grill causes the logs to burn brightly when the lid is off but then just make smoke when the lid is on. I always come in from the patio smelling like a hickory fire.

I will serve the meat with a copious quantity of tortillas, Spanish rice, chips and lots of toppings/fixings like guacamole & con queso. If you go home hungry from a dinner at Rabbit Run it is your own damn fault. I think Barb has also made a fruit salad using strawberries and pineapple. I will also have Ice tea and water. I know a good cerveza (beer) would be great but I had to give that up and save my liver.

Yesterday must have been wildlife day here at Rabbit Run. Barb saw three deer, a Baltimore Oriole, some kind of Taninger and a purple bird that I thought was a bluebird until I saw it in the sun. It was kind of cloudy most of the day so I didn't get really good photographs. Should be a better day today but I'll be kind of busy and Barb Sr. has a cake decorating demonstration at Michael's. She teaches the Wilton cake decorating class and once a month she has a demonstration at the store. I have high hopes that she will continue to teach classes and do less work as a cashier. I think from the questions she relates to me that she mostly is their "go to guy" for questions none of the kids can answer.

Having been involved in the store set up and having a wide range of practical knowledge she can either help them or tell them where to go. I mean that in the nice sense, as Barb Sr. generally can get all the mean out of her system by focusing it on me. Not totally undeserved I might add.

Oh well, I can smell the coffee and my cup is empty. Have a great day out there.


Won't go there!

I have decided that those blog sites that have the authentication feature turned on won't be getting anything from me. I refuse to fight the crappy feature anymore. You can eliminate spam with one click and I can eliminate comments to those sites. See ya later Alligator.


Funny Picture

Just goes to show you that poking your nose in places can in fact kill you.

Just a note!

For those of you that have those letters we must copy on your blog. All you have to do to get rid of offending comments is to click on the trash can below the comment. It is a simple thing to do. I probably have to do it about once a week. That would save a bunch of us from having to figure out what the hell they want. I seldom get past that filter on the first try!

Earth Day in Topeka

To celebrate Earth day/green week here in Topeka, the local land fill has decided that Saturday AM we could have a free trash dump day. Does this sound right to you? Shouldn't it be a free recycle day?

I do know that we have accumulated the biggest assortment of crap of anyone, no wait one person comes to mind, I know. We do have two or three garages full of stuff and a pile at the 29th street house.

Better get organized and get some of the stuff done that's on my list.

Martha Stewart Junior, aka Barb Sr, aka Bobwa is calling.



Wednesday Morning

Barb puts together family pictures for a calendar every year. This is the April picture. It is Coach Jenn and my Mom. Two nicer people couldn't be found any where.

It was 70 here yesterday and we spent a lot of time outside. I ran out of steam about noon and wasn't worth much. I will start cleaning for our Saturday Fajitas party. Barb's "Walk Across Kansas" team is invited for good food and great company this Saturday. The toughest job will be removing the fine coating of dust that has accumulated.

PS, Is anyone else as tired of the primary coverage as I am? Is anyone else surprised that the "Most Liberal" Senator is ahead?

OH Well, MUD


Another Day!

Yesterday turned out to be a better day that it started out. Barb and I went to Tractor Supply and bought some fencing to enclose the garden area I tilled up on Sunday. Finished the fence last evening and rested.

Up and at 'em early this morning and went over to the Valley Brook house to finish the ceiling in the back porch. It is one of those hanging grid systems and at least 11 of the drop in pieces and some insulation needed replaced. I had about 8 and bought three more. The paint job on the outside and an additional hose attachment on the back side and it will be done for a while.

I would begin the list on the other rental houses but that will all happen in time.



Today in the Heartland

Today started out with an overcast so it didn't cool off last night to the 30's. They are predicting a 30% chance of rain and that makes it hard to plan much outside work. I'm sure that after tilling up a couple of new flower beds, barb has some planting in mind. I just might go out and pick up sticks again today. Every time a wind blows up another storm, I'll have to repeat that process.

I did have a couple more pictures from Arnold's Greenhouse but my computer or the server didn't seem to want to take any more. They were just some more unknown flowers so I figured that it was no big deal.

For those of you that can read this blog fairly easily, I am using a slightly larger size font as a test. My niece had a blog with tiny green font on a black background and those of us with old eyes just couldn't read it. Kind of like double spacing your papers in school to get credit for more pages. More space instead of more content!

Oh well, better wrap this up and move on smartly!



Things I probably won't ever do, Again?

The other day as we drove down 45th Street here in Topeka I saw the roller rink there on the south side of the road. From no where, the thought came to me that I'll probably never roller skate again. I fall down enough without adding six inches to my height. As a kid I skated all the time and fell down a lot. Then I was able to bounce back up and go some more.

That thought made me think about all the things I have given up because of age, intelligence or sheer fear of hurting myself. The reason for the question mark in the subject of this post is there are things I have never done and probably won't do for the first time. Here are some:
  • Skydiving. I know Bush 41 did it late in life but I just never did have any thoughts that I would willingly put on a parachute and jump on or off anything. When the subject of jump school came up when i was in the service I asked them who the other two people would be? What other two? those big som'bitches that it would take to throw me off that plane.
  • Hunting Even without VP Chaney, I probably won't go out and take pot shots at Bambi or the birds. I have been known to ambush a squirrel or two when they start eating the house but that is hardly hunting.
  • Throw a rip roaring drunk. I may not be sober for the rest of my life but I am sober now and will probably remain that way. It has been 15 years or so, so I'll probably not do that.
  • Go to War. It isn't that I am afraid for my life, but damn, I need a nap now and then and those sneaky enemies might just get me . They sure as heck could find me from the snoring.
  • Driving a race car. I can't turn my head fast enough at 70, I can't imagine what it would be like real fast.
  • Climb Mountains. A guy can get hurt doing things like that.
I guess I'll just continue being the same old boring guy I already am. Writing this crap may just be as crazy as it gets.


Arnold's Greenhouse, Leroy, KS

On our way home from Tulsa, Barb asked me if I was just sold on driving all the way (2 more hours or so) home ofif we should spend the night in Independence. Sure, OK by me. I didn't even remember the sign that Arnold's greenhouse near Leroy KS was up the road. It was too late on Friday sna by the time we got there on Saturday the joint was jumping.

This is just one small bench of flowers and the green house rivaled the Superdome with at least 1/2 acre of trees outside.

Rows and rows of tables with flowers of all kinds. Don't ask me, I don't know an annual from a perennial.

For the guys, I threw in a picture of the roof system in the greenhouse. It appears to be some kind of fiberglass/plastic fabric with the ability to open for ventilation.

This picture is supposed to be a hanging basket but I did get another view of the roof.

Yep, them are flowers. Don't have a clue what they are but the master gardner I live with does.

This is an escargo plant that pinwheels off the main stem. Pretty cool Huh?

Same kind, different color.
OK Guys, they have this cool old 51 International Harvester/Studebaker truck in there just to keep the guys interested. Little rusty and in need of a lot of work.

This cute little girl stopped and stared at me after splashing in the water. When you look at a guy with a camera, you get your picture taken. That's all for this trip. Barb will have me out working on the flower beds soon. I won't tell you what a trunk load of flowers cost. She didn't complain when my steering part cost over $100.00 (with the shipping)

Have a great day out there.




The main part of the bierock is the filling. I use a combination of hamburger and the filling from bratwursts. I brown the meat, add onions, garlic and chopped cabage. Salt and pepper to taste. I do not overcook the cabbage.

There are several ways to make the dough. Barb's favorite is to buy the frozen loaves of bread dough in a package. Let them thaw overnight and then take them out and let the raise and make sure the dough is warm all through. I have put the dough in a metal pan and put that in hot water in the sink. Barb had made some pie crusts and I put the dough in the oven with a dish cloth cover. Cut a pie off the big dough ball and roll them out with flour and a roller.

Barb sprays pam on the pan and places the filled dough balls making sure that there is some room between balls to raise. After they have raised heat the oven to 350 and let them cook for 20 minutes or until the rolls are golden.

Barb takes them out of the oven and puts butter on them while they are hot. I wish I could recommend a good way to eat them. I love them hot, cold or anywhere in between.

I have been told that these simple rolls were a pretty big staple in the German farmer's lunch. My next door neighbor, Art Longhoffer who was a second generation German American ate pretty much German food as that was all his mother knew how to make. During the depression they grew cabbage and onions and Kraut was the filling. If one of the boys could shoot a rabbit that was the meat in the filling.

Good luck and good eating.


Buffalo or Bierocks?

On our trip south on US 75, there is a town called Buffalo, KS. We have driven by there so many times that curiosity got the best of me. We side tracked to the down town just see the grand sights of Buffalo. There was a building right across from the...

Bar and next door to the ...

US Post Office. Man were we underwhelmed. We did see a church and probably both of the county employees working on the street. One was using a road grader and the other a bobcat filling in holes the road grader didn't fill.

Salute to those wonderful people in Buffalo. Next time I'll just honk the horn as we drive by on the highway. No wait, we don't have a vehicle with a functional horn. Dang!


Tulsa Family Pictures

We made a trip to Tulsa and helped Mom celebrate her birthday. (86 years) Here she is with Rebeca holding a birthday pie. Barb made four pies and this was a chocolate one that went home with Beck.

Here is my other niece Kristy and her son Ethan. They are a sweet pair and we had a nice visit with them.

This is Rebeca with he daughter Melanie. We had a nice visit after running into them in WalMart. That's another story for another time.

This is the future Rock Star Kristen. She brought her guitar over and played a few songs for us.

This is the love of My Mom's life. Sassy, has turned into a real lap cat and goes everywhere Mom does.

What the hey?

For several years barb and I have passed this sign on the road leading south out of Lyndon, KS. As we returned from Tulsa, we saw the sign on US 75 as we headed north just on the Kansas side of the State lines. I just had to take a picture and see if any of you historians have ever seen the sign.

It seems the Creek indians had a pretty rough time during the war of 1812 and after that war were forced to move to Oklahoma. (Read about the trail of tears and see how bad it was) As the Civil War broke out half of the Creeks asked President Lincoln for help and the Texas Forces did their best to keep them in Oklahoma or kill them. They managed to escape from Oklahoma but met with such tragedy in Kansas that they might as well as stayed in Oklahoma to die.

In 1995, the Governor of Kansas signed a proclimation and dedicated US 75 in Kansas a the Opthole Yahola Trail to honor these brave braves.

OK, That is more than I knew. If you look the name up on the WWW there are pictures of the current day survivors of this family.



Oklahoma Bound!

Last weekend we were going down to Skiatook to see my Mother and the creek went out of the banks and you couldn't get there from here unless you you knew the secret trail into town. We would like to see more of Mom but I do get to talk to her on the phone on a pretty regular basis.

We will stay at the local Indian casino. I say that with a smile on my face because it is really one smoky room filled with weird slot machines that gobble my money faster than a teenager at the Thanksgiving table. So far I haven't even had a kind word let alone a free drink.

Got the dogs fed, the trash out to the corner and the dishwasher loaded. A shower, a little light packing and we're off. Going to take the camera but it is going to rain most of the way down there.



Barb's Family Art

One of the first pieces of stained glass was the window shown above. It has been in three houses now and It always catches the eye of people that come to our house. It is in a west window and just glows in the afternoon.

Barb and her sister love wisteria and this is a window in the air lock justinside the front door. It is absolutely gorgeous and is one of the first things people see when they arrive here at rabbit run.

What house would be complete without a handmade Jay Hawk on the wall. There is just no way to do this justice in a photograph. It glows with the love the maker had in his hands and heart.

This is another metal art piece of my bent with a hand blown replica of a long wheel based dog on a long wheel based recumbent.

Years ago one of Barb's sisters turned pen and ink drawings out of photographs. This is one of three. As an Artilleryman, the section firing their cannon at Old Fort Scott just makes my day.

One day I was in the yard of my in-laws and found a number of faucet knobs. I collected a bunch and asked to have them made into a piece of art work. Never has a better bunch of flowers ever graced a shelf. The spider is another hand made piece of glass that is another gift.

Barb's kitchen is graced with a hand made shelf that had hand applied items applied to a wooden shelf. On the shelf is many of the hand made items from Barb's family. The watercolor picture is not from her family but from a loving friend. There is also a hand made cup made out of titanium on the shelf that is one of the most unique and beautiful pieces I have ever been given.

Now, why put these up on my blog? They are all a part of my life and made by people we love. With the large number of things in our house how can we not tell everyone who made them? OK, I will protect their information at their request but it is tough. Every once in a while I will slip and use a name but at 60 who remembers to do something every time.

How to Tell You are Getting Old

You are old when you jump down out of the back of the truck and strain or sprain you knee. It is especially bad if it is the good knee and the bad knee hurts almost as bad without injury. It hurts to use it much but it hurts worse if I just sit and let it stiffen up.

I replaced the power steering rack on the truck last week and it has been driving funny. Like herding cats, all over the place. I thought I checked it and had it pretty much on zero tow in or out. WRONG! It was towed in about an inch or two. With Barb's help holding the tape on one side it was pretty obvious. I about ruined one of them big old fancy Kelly tires, It was showing steel cords on the outside. Time to make a trip to the tire store.

Do you need to make a serious effort to find a place for all your stuff? I have stuff in three places and they are all full. I would build another garage but all that would do is let me get more stuff or centrally locate it all here where the wife could see it. I am not supposed to be a hoarder but I am an accumulator. Kind of like dust here in Kansas, it just shows up.

A few weeks back, Barb got some information about "Walk Across Kansas". She got six people to agree to keep track (OK, Make something up) and report it weekly. Somehow, this team has walked about 420 miles so far and there are a couple of weeks to go yet. Yep, that is about how far it is from east to west in Kansas. Kansas is pretty much a rectangle 400X200 with a dog ear out of the North East Corner where the Missouri river meanders.

Guess I had better get on getting on. Have a great day out there.



Spring Things

Yesterday I found out that the speedometer on the bent quit over the winter and I needed to update my riding shoes (actually sandals) A quick trip to WalMart and al of $26 later I am now set. What happened to the cost of sandals? Last year I got a pair for about $38. This year they were $12. Yes, I think they are fake leather this year but surely it costs more than $12 just to ship them from China. Hell, I airfreighted a steering part to Kansas from Ohio and paid almost $60. Crap, I have a degree in Business and don't have a clue how things are getting so damn cheap. er, inexpensive. I'll tell you if they were cheap if they don't last the season.

Our friend Mel is living in the Valley Brook house and I did some tile for the new breakfast bar I finally installed. Someone had cut a hole in the wall and started to make a shelf and I finished it. Mel picked out some pretty tile and I had it all stuck in place but needed to grout it today. I'll go over tomorrow and seal it and finish the ceiling tile on the back porch. One of these days I'll also bring a bunch of my tools home. Crap, more stuff for an over "stuffed" garage.

It is warmer right now than it was yesterday but the wind is blowing and it doesn't seem as nice. I will try to get out sometime after lunch and get in a few more miles. It would be nice if I could ride from here but I need a couple more weeks of regular riding to be able to ride as far as the place I normally ride. It is also a heck of a lot safer to ride at the lake until all the dog walkers get there. I do have to be careful, we did have a bike fatality last year when a 250lb man on a bike hit a woman on hers. They both had the normal head down posture of the upwrong bikes and the collision killed her and put him in the hospital. The paper never did say exactly what happened but from the scene I would say he was doing at least 25 and came around a corner and they met head down. Sad. I try to not ride that fast even on the downhills. There is one road that I have hit 35 on a couple of times but it is in a wide open area and I wear one of those green shirts that the highway workers wear. I have to wear my sunglasses when I wear it outside.

Have a great week out there Sports fans.


50 degrees, a calm wind and 6 miles

You can probably see the smile from there. I just got back off the Lake Shawnee trail and man was it ever nice. Perhaps just a little cool when I would get up about 15 MPH but it was great. I aired up the tires, cleaned and oiled the chain and rode with the wind. You all need to get out there and do something fun in the sun.

Monday, Monday!

Seems like almost every Monday that song by the Mommas and the Pappas just pops out in my inner voice. I would love to get involved with a group that can make a joyous noise. I went to a Barbershop Chorus production this weekend and again found myself humming out loud. Thankfully no one sat near where I was in the first part of the program. You can take the old man out of the music but you can't take the music out of the old man.

Barb is always interested in the Monarch butterfly migration. It seems they are stopped about the Oklahoma border because there just isn't much to eat up here. We are two weeks behind and those butterflies need nectar to eat and milk week plants to deposit their eggs on. Last night it got down into the mid 20's and if there were any trees starting to bloom they got their little buds nipped.

I got a note from my niece, Becky, and she told me that Mom's friend Charles dies last Thursday. He was one of those childhood friends she had from El Dorado, class of 1940. Charles was in the War and made it back. He was a lifelong bachelor because no woman could stand the scrutiny of his momma. By the time she died he was too old to be a ripple in the gene pool of life.
When we first moved my momma to Topeka, once a month we would drive down to El Dorado and meet with her old friends. That group just kept getting smaller and smaller until it will soon be a passing memory.

I have it marked on my calendar that by Wednesday it will be in the 70's. One of those professional liars said it might even make 80 one day. I will air up the tires and lube the chain and get out there on the trail and ride. Hope you can get out and enjoy some nice weather this week.



Whew, What a Day!

I managed to go to several stores today and I think I bought one diet Coke. Way to save stupid.

I managed to get in a much needed nap this afternoon.

I got the front door at Dave's house to work.

I got Dave's taxes done and had them sign them. They are now in his hands to mail, or not. I think the refund they will get has them willing to make sure that gets done. It didn't hurt to have almost $5,000 in tuition fees from Washburn that earned him a credit of over $900.

I am now taking a few moments to read the mail for the day and then I may take a nap to rest up from resting up.

Have a great week out there.


Just a Few Answers

First let me remind some of the new readers where the appellation MUD came from. One of my dearest nieces, our architect, and soon to be the mother of a High School graduate, was injured in one of my games. She fell and broke some of her baby teeth out and I felt bad. As she ate ice cream to sooth the hurt, she sobbed, "Mean Uncle Denny". Being the acronym junkie that I am I shortened it to a meaningful term MUD. Yes, Carrie named me MUD. (You can hear the chanting party! party!party as we get to go over and eat BBQ to celebrate with them in May)

Once upon a time Barb took a class at Wichita State and the instructor told them that students need to have a built in "Crap Detector". That was to ensure that they are not unduly influenced by any one source (especially us conservatives). For a while Barb would use the term crap as it had been legitimized. She hasn't used that term in a long while so I wonder if she has grown immune to my crap or just cleaned up her act a little. Compared to mine, her's is a s slick as a whistle.

The term Rabbit Run came from the year we were overrun with bunnies. The coyote population wasn't as big then and we didn't have our little short legged long wheel based friend Grissy to chase them. waskly wabbits. As we would drive in the drive you could see rabbits running everywhere. Our 18 acres AKA Rabbit Run.

I am a conservative but not in the sense that I hate change. I think that all things must change some and when things change the technology should improve the performance or lower the cost. Where I am the most conservative is on the subject of Government Spending. Yes, the Republican party has driven me nuts but cutting taxes to increase revenues and then spending more than they take in. Simple rule if everything "Income must be greater or at least equal to outgo." Now it is the Democrats that are helping set new levels. We can only pray that they won't increase taxes to lower revenues and continue to outspend the income.

I do not ride a bicycle. I ride a recumbent or "bent" for short. Way back in elementary school a good friend and classmate, Leon Riga, was a bike maker and he would take pieces of bikes he had and make weird bikes out of them. His dad had a trash route so there was no shortage of bikes in his yard to rebuild. I guess tinkering and building something new out of something else has always appealed to me. When my brother (OK, in-law if you insist) started making recumbents I just couldn't help but want one. I got to see him at work and his ability, artistic touches and great personality made the experience one to treasure. If I could bottle anything to sell it would be his ability to teach, practical hands on, work with a torch. When I win the lottery I am going to build a great big shop with all the toys in hopes that I can entice him to teach me how to use everything. He is also tolerant of my forgetting as much as I learn. His having a great little weenie dog doesn't hurt his stock.
Some of the long list of things I am or do; I sing, I am a retired 60 year old. I served 40 years in the Army, (Active, National Guard & Reserves) I served in the Civil Service system for 25 years. I am married (1968 to Barb, really, 40 years?) and have one son, Dave. I have two sisters, Myrna and Carol and a brother Rick. I do not have any grandchildren YET ( Hint, hint) I have a 57 Chevy and a 53, 5-window Chevy Pick-up.
Oh yes, one or two more things. I cook. I love to cook and I love to eat. I have a great camera and often forget to take pictures when I should. Take me some place new and I'll burn up the memory cards.
I am pretty set in my ways by now and if you want to change me, sorry, that ship has sailed. Read my crap or not. If you like what I say, laugh or at least smile. If you don't, I will remind you of the family motto, "Arguing with a Petty is like wrestling with a pig. Everyone gets dirty and the pig loves it." And I am the muddiest pig wrestler in the bunch.


To My Bike Muse! Help!

I am not sure what you would call it, but I need some device attached to the seat to help me want to get out and ride when it is below 60 degrees. I think it would deliver either a transport to a warmer climate or a swift kick. What do you think there in the land of 70 degrees.
Signed /30 degrees and snowing here in the Heartland./

Same Here!

Just the story of my life! Just do it, heck, Its already done before I wind up in the corner.

If you want to read the funniest post I have ever seen go to: http://righteousbuzz.blogspot.com/ Her copies answers to the health quiz are worth the time to read. I agree that foods fried in Vegetable oil are just another source for vegetables.


Snow on the 12th of April?

I will admit that it isn't heavy with big honking flakes like some of the March snowfalls but it is snowing this morning. This is either the 21st or 22nd snowfall of this season. There is a cold wet day out there that is just hanging around like it has nothing better to do than annoy the people in Kansas. The good news is that it brings the birds in like crazy.
About 25 feet from where I am sitting is a Barred Owl sitting in the tree and looking like he wants to blend in and not be any more wet and cold than he already is. The suet block feeder is continuously manned by one woodpecker or another. Until the flicker shows up the male downy woodpeckers seem to hog the position. The finch feeder has six stations and they are manned at almost capacity. The males are well into turning yellow and the females are remaining their nest sitting brown.
When I look at the ground below the finch feeder there is signs of obvious feeding by the possum. There must be just enough good left in the finch food (Niger Thistle) that he eats it after the finches squeeze out what they want. That stuff is pure roughage and goes right through him. He leaves scat that looks like Bag worms made out of seeds. For those of you that don't know as much as a fifth grader scat is a fancy word for crap or poop.
The furry tailed rats (squirrels to you) have started showing up to look for anything on the ground. The suet block always has a few scraps underneath as they peck the seeds out of the fat and a scattered sunflower seed or two is always near the other feeder. They are right in the middle of losing their winter coat and trying to gro a shorter coat for the summer. They look worse than normal.
As the weather turns for the better, Tiger often is gone for a day or two at a time. Just when I wonder if he has been swallowed up by the food chain he shows up and stays in the cat house for a day or two. This last time he was obviously chewed up by another tom cat in their pursuit of female cats. There are a couple of big old barns on farms close by and I think he goes there to enjoy the finer points of life. There was a pretty good patch of hair gone on his neck and two on his sides. He'll be OK.
We had a nice phone call from our son David last night. He has been working at Radio Shack in North Topeka and because he works the evenings his chance to make much money has been kind of low. He was offered a job by Best Buy at $10.00 an hour and will start there next week. It will about double his take home and I hope it opens him up to the fact he is one of the best customer service people I have ever met and a natural salesman. All he has to do is to decide on what he wants to do and he can be set for life. (That plus a couple of more years of college won't hurt.)
Da Barbs are going to go buy a bed for Barb Junior this weekend. Her old bed is a poor excuse for a place to sleep and her back has been nothing but trouble lately. Barb Sr. has been acting like a mother to her (Duh, she acts like a mother to a lot of people, me included) and I hope they can get her back on the mend. The handle Barb Sr came from the entry into the Walk Across Kansas team Barb is the captain of. She needed a way to differentiate between them and she just put Barb Sr by her name.
Oh well, another day, another smile.



Do you know why I remain positive in spite of a lot of bad things that happen?
I have literally walked through a swamp in Panama with mosquitoes so thick you couldn't breath through your mouth. I came home with dengue fever from that trip.
I have had the body of my Radio Telephone Operator (RTO) in my hands after he died in combat.
I have been mortared, rocketed, ambushed and generally had people try to kill me with live ammunition. I came home from Vietnam with Malaria.
I grew up poor in a very poor neighborhood and went to school with kids that had more spending money than my dad made in a week.
I have turned the corner and realized that I am responsible for my own happiness. I helped select our class motto in Officer Candidate School - Iligitimi non-carborundum. Roughly that means don't let the bastards wear (or get) you down.
I am 60 years old and no one can ever change me now. I am who I am and if you like me fine, if you don't, go away, I don't care. I refuse to let the things that are wearing the smile off your face trouble my heart. Bring me a good laugh and I'll laugh my butt off with you.
One of my favorite stories is the one about Harry Truman. A lady came to Bess one day and said, "Bess, you just have to get him to stop saying manure!" Bess smiled and told her, "It took me over 20 years to say manure." 9 times out of ten I can recognize it and don't have to step in it, or taste it to know the genuine article.

Got the Taxes Done!

Somewhere in the middle of February I put up a card table in the TV room and spread the Tax stuff out. I generally buy a copy of Turbo Tax and start loading the crappy information in the system and work on it in sporadic segments between Games on TV and all the interesting things I have going on in my life at the time. If it seems like there is a refund in my life I will file early and if I owe, I generally put off filing until near the end. I finished yesterday and as usual I owe the Feds and will get back a little from State. I will leave out the totals because they scare even me and I've seen them.
Barb and I were going to make a dash to Tulsa today but were warned that unless I bring a boat I cannot get to Skiatook. There is some little river on the east side of town that had cut off all but one road and after it crested last night about 10 PM that was in doubt. My brother will just have to wait for his KU Championship shirt for later. My brother and my mother have a birthday a day apart later on in April. I would love to get down there and get a chance to visit. Mom likes a birthday pie and guess what? I love pie and don't even need an occasion to eat some. I have a niece Mandy that will eat a whole pumpkin pie by herself. She is barely 100 pounds dripping wet and can eat pie like she was a 13 year old boy. I don't know how my parents ever kept groceries on the table when I was a teenager. Thank god hamburgers were less than 15 cents apiece and there was a Hardy's on the way to work. I would get a bag of burgers, one order of fries and a coke and go work at the gas station four nights a week.
This year was basketball heaven for the Petty's. My brother has started going to Tulsa Hurricane basketball games and they played in and won a post season tournament. He and his daughter Becky are just great fans and they have a good time watching those young men play. Then KU played Memphis and whipped them for the National Championship. Memphis had played rough and the Tulsa team almost played scared against Memphis. Revenge on both counts. On the good side of the ledger, it looks like Bill Self, the KU Coach is going to make a raid on the treasury here in Kansas and not run home to the T. Boone Picken's dollars at OSU. I can hardly wait to see what the KU team will look like after the NBA draft. There are five seniors leaving and a couple of underclassmen that could declare. The good news is that the KU bench is filled with McDonald's All Americans and a pretty good looking roster coming for next year. There are even a couple of Junior College transfers that will arrive ready to play. I hear there is a couple of 6-10 forwards (Brothers) that are also declared to come to KU. I can hardly wait to see just how much fun they can be.
I can't figure out the weather lately. It has been cold, rainy and yesterday windy. I had most of the tree branches picked up out of the yard when it was nice earlier this week, I'll bet there are enough branches to roast hot dogs for a month out there. We had a 45 to 60 MPH storm come through last evening and shook the hell out of the trees. No dead branches up there any more.
Our finches are right on the verge of being so yellow that it hurts to look at them when it is sunny. It isn't sunny right now and they are ganged up on the feeder eating like the teenagers mentioned above. There are even two waiting on the other feeder and on the hanging wire waiting for a hole with seed showing. There are 6 places to eat but the seed level has fallen below two of them. I just filled that feeder yesterday.
Oh well, what the hell, what the heck do I care? OK, I care a lot about the birds here at Rabbit Run.



A Man and his Dog

My brother-in-law has a new camera and from this picture he obviously will let my sister Myrna use it. Here is Ray on the couch with his dog buddy Ernie. He selected a Cannon and that was probably the second most numerous camera at our digital Photo class. They make good equipment and great lenses. I am looking forward to seeing many new photos this coming year.
I also hope that my sister recovers her health and they can take at least one trip to someplace that doesn't look like what I see out of my window. We both live in the transition zone between the tall grass prairie and the hardwood forests. We share a passion for birds and wildlife (you know, deer, raccoons and stuff) and photography.
Does it look like that dog is smiling?


Spring Thoughts!

Now that the Basketball season has closed it is time for my thoughts to turn to cars, trucks and things of my past. This slick 54 chevy was on Freemont Street in las Vegas last year. Makes me want to get the truck back on the road and runin'. She is up on blocks in the drive right now with a steering problem awaiting parts.
Get out there and cruise.

Yes, You can come out Now!

I'll bet the streets in Lawrence are devoid of people this morning after all the celebration until the wee hours this morning. The Hawks will arrive here in Topeka today about 2 PM and in Lawrence about three by bus. Then it will start all over again. No to say that the students and fans there are fickle but remember how easy it was to find a reason to have a party when you were in college?

Now for the naming of this event. In 1988 it was "Danny and the Miracles". Now we need a new thing to lean on for the next 20 years. Here are some of my feeble attempts"
  • Super Mario hawks Donkey Kong.
  • Mario's miracle.
  • All By my Self.
  • Ain't it great in 2008?
  • 37 and the three. (Three points hit in the closing minutes and the three losses.
  • Roy who?
  • Bill, OSU ain't got nothing for you. (Except a lot of Boone Picken's money)
I read a new title for the game today - Super Mario: The three and the overtime

Memphis should have had three technicals called on them and the referees ignored the rules. When the Memphis player took the basketball and held it and put up the number one finger and delayed our fast break it was Taunting and a technical. When the same player tried to knock down Cole Aldrich as he came back in bounds it should have been a technical. When Sherron Collins didn't have the ball and they knocked him down it should have been a flagrant technical and we shot free throws and got the ball back. There was one time late in the game when a Memphis player, on a time out, bounced the ball hard and it flew out of bounds that was so close that I would have given him one but in that case I'll accept that he was just mad at himself and make it a no call.

In the long run, those are Petty things and in the end we won. I'll just celebrate for a while and enjoy the warm feeling. Yes, it is kind of like my motto, "Like wetting your pants in a dark suit. It gives you a warm feeling and no one notices." Except, this time a lot of people noticed.


Tiger by the Tail

Barb made a Jay Hawk with a tiger by the Tail. Nuf Said.



Rock Chalk, National Champs 2008

Quick, somebody kiss Mario Chalmers. Barb never gave up even when we were down three and just seconds left. I was shaking my head and then the Mario Miracle happened.

Now go to bed out there.

Just Waiting for the Game to Begin

In about an hour, the game for the National Championship will begin. I read that out friend Gerald is watching the game on his computer in Morocco and it is closer to 2 AM there. His wife says that the game is pretty jerky and the radio feed doesn't quite match the picture.
I complained about the network in earlier games cutting to watch portions of other games. My brother told me about watching the game on my computer at NCAA.com and I tried it a couple of times. In most cases the NCAA delay was as much as two minutes. In a lot of cases I would have to rewatch a lot of the game on delay and when the network would cut back the game would be two or so minutes ahead of where the game was. It was frustrating to be watching the current game and the missed minutes at the same time.
Oh well, I am excited to see the Hawks and the Tigers as they meet in San Antonio. Rock Chalk.


How Do You Express This Feeling?

Unless you are a Monk in some remote place, you have been informed of the scores of yesterday's games. The true Memphis team showed up and whipped a great UCLA team. UCLA has been to the finals for about three or four years now and will be back. This was Memphis's first time in a long time and they played with the wild abandon they have demonstrated all season. The only other game I saw of Memphis was a televised "Conference America" game against Tulsa. Tulsa went on to win a post season tournament after Memphis beat them soundly in their tournament game.
Now, back to the subject, How do I express my feelings about the win over North Carolina? A part of me wants to declare it revenge to their "rat" coach Roy Williams for leaving Kansas. Another part of me wants to express nothing but pride in the team from Kansas. I want to be as magnanimous as Barb and just say, "Roy Who?" A very small part of me is still scared that Boone Pickens will open his wallet and lure Bill Self back to OK-State. I know that there are a bunch of coaches that can take a great team and win games. In fact a lot of NC's coaching staff are former players from KU learning the ropes in hope of becoming another link in the Dean Smith legends of the game continuum. Dean played for Kansas and coached for NC. Roy was a Dean Smith assistant and a coach at Kansas. Coach Larry Brown played for NC and coached at Kansas and he brought the skills of coaching to a long list of young assistants. He even had Bill Self as an assistant and Bill went on to Oral Roberts and then Illinois before coming back to Kansas when Roy left. Mark Turgeon is in Texas and Danny Manning is still learning the coaching game under Bill Self. There should be no doubt that the coaching ranks will be filled by coaches with the NC/Kansas connection.
Barb's good teaching buddy offered us tickets to all the home games of the hawks in January. We had a great time going over and participating in the festivities there in Allen Field House. To get to cheer acomplishment and sing the Alma Mater each time just made it special. I think that's what college games are really about. It shouldn't be about winning or losing, it should be about the student athletes competing as they represent their school(s).
The little kid in me still wants to shout like I did when the Yanks won the world series of my childhood. I guess it will wait until Monday night when two great teams from the list of great teams meet for the National Basketball Championship in San Antonio. I don't hate Memphis but I don't want them to show up with their "A" game either.
Rock Chalk to all my sports fan friends out there.


Kansas Vs Memphis

Roy Who? KU 84, NC 66. Rock Chalk Boys and Girls. See ya Monday night.



For the UCLA Fans, you have one of the best freshmen in the Nation and you will be back. What it really means is that the Monday night will bring a strong, confident team to the floor and whoever plays Memphis will need to play their "A" game. So far I am half right.


When It Rains, it rains!

Well Sports Fans, that damn truck will be the death of me yet. Today as I was leaving the drive at a local shopping center one of the front wheel attachments on the rack came unscrewed again and I was left, well high and wet. I will go back over when it stops raining and screw it back together and get it home. Once here, I will replace the rack and move on smartly. Doing a quick fix just isn't good enough this time.
I was going over to the Valley Brook house and put down some great looking new tile that our new Daughter-in-friend, daughter and friend, Mel picked out. She has good taste and I can make it work with a tile saw. Should be a fun job and I'll be glad to have it done. I did make the mistake of leaving my level on the rough out shelf. I hadn't made it level yet and Mel noticed.
I have managed to get the big snow blade on the trator reinstalled and working. It isn't perfect but if will push gravel around.
We had a great day here yesterday and by the afternoon I was in shirtsleeves out walking from where I ran out of gas. Yes, my attention to detail isn't always perfect.
Oh Well,


My girls are in Morocco

The closest thing I have to grandchildren are the children of our good friends Julie and Gerald. They are in a strange land far away and exposing those wonderful children to all sorts of new and exotic things. Kendra is the little one on the left and Katrina is on the right. That's their pretty mom there in the middle. They are displaying their Henna hands. I hear that the dark comes off in a day or so and the yellow stain lasts a week. I would love to hear their laughter and share a birthday cake with them again. They are coming home for a visit this summer and perhaps we can coax them to stop by with promises of BBQ meats and cake.


For some of you out there, this is a strange word that clearly meets the intent of the meaning. To 'Obfuscate" is to hide the true meaning of what you are saying by using jargon, verbosity or code. I read the sports page this week and most writers are writing about opening day of Baseball or the NCAA playoffs that will end this weekend. Few if any writers will say that the Kansas fans want North Carolina to crash and burn to get even with Roy Williams and his actions five years ago. NC asked him to come there and he swore up and down that he was a Jay Hawker for life and would never leave Lawrence. Those words came back to haunt him when his good friend (and a good friend to Kansas Fans) Matt Daugherty got fired in his second year and they again asked Roy to come back home. All of us understand doing what you love should be a life goal but we thought Roy was home and here he should stay. Dadgum it, he left and now we want plain old simple revenge. No special terms, no prisoners, we want to wipe up the floor with them, kick their butts, mangle their angle, make Tyler Hansbro cry and send them home in a blue funk not a blue uniform.

Was that clear enough? No hidden words, no code. Just straight open facts clearly stated.

Looks like Kansas escaped the bad weather and it all went south of here down around Tulsa. We didn't even get a real hard rain and we really didn't need it. The day started warm and by about 4 PM we had Idaho weather. I started in the drive about 10 AM in shirtsleeves and finished in a jacket about 4. You could see your breath there at the end.

As some of you know, I am a fan of old cars and trucks. I have a classic 57 Chevy 2 door that I don't drive much and a 53 five-window Pickup that is my daily driver. This past winter an old guy (started to say old fart but he wasn't as old as I am) ran a stop sign during a snow storm and hit my truck in the side. Took out the front fender and the passenger side door. I put on a new door but couldn't get the cab adjusted so it would latch. Yes, I used bungee cords to hold it shut until I could really figure out how to move the latch back over and adjust the door so everything would shut and stay closed. A stout tree and a "come-along" allowed me to move the door post back over the two inches I needed to have the striker plate match the door. I also was able to move the door a quarter inch towards the post with an adjustment. Now it works and I have the mirror re-installed. That new fender and door sure make it look good. Now I wonder I I should fix all the fenders and give her a paint job. It now has a red-neck paint job. You know the kind that comes out of one of those shake and rattle paint bottles that just make everything the same color and work if you don't care about runs and orange peel.
I also have in the back of my mind to make a trailer that matches the truck style. I have an extra bed and a frame, just need to have the whole thing welded together. At least I found my angle grinder in a pile of stuff in the garage yesterday so now I can start making the pieces. Perhaps I can get Grissy to bring her owner back here sometime in the next year or two.
Oh well, enough talk, keep it simple and say what you mean!