Automotive Obfuscation

Tom & Ray Magliozzi

The local NPR station carries the automotive program "Click and Clack, the tappet brothers". They laugh with each other and make up solutions to car problems when unsuspecting callers relate their woes. As I sit here writing I am trying to pay attention to their witty banter as well as write whatever crosses the front of my mind and falls out on this page. They related the latest puzzler and said they have obfuscatory rights from the person that sent in the puzzler. For a couple of guys with higher degrees they sound like they have eighth grade education. No matter what they say it is always worth a laugh. I have always thought that My brother-in-law and I could do the same kind of program with him giving good advice and me making stuff up and laughing. I doubt that we could last long as he would just have to sucker punch me with a socket wrench and walk away disgusted.
I looked Tom & Ray up on line and they have a lot of experience and education. In fact they run a shop where people can bring their car in and do the work themselves. It started as a local Boston talk radio program and grew from there. According to one of the fund raisers it is one of the highest cost and most listened to program. I guess a lot of guys like me listen avoiding doing what they should be out doing.
I am not sure what will be on the agenda today but I suspect that mowing will be high on the list. Whatever I do I will try to wear a long sleeve shirt to keep me from repeating the sunburn from earlier this week. I may even give window washing a turn as it is kind of fun and not all that much work. Lots of dust bunnies need killed but they aren't high on our list of to do's .
Whatever you choose to do today try to have a little fun.


Another Flash from the Past

Last night as I sat watching TV, the phone rang and the caller ID told me it was a long lost buddy Mike D. He was calling from Best Buy and had just been talking to my son when they both realized the fact that they both knew me. A quick phone call on the cell phone and I hope Mike will be reading this blog again. Im not sure if he will gain any insight into the real world but at least he will have a view of the warped perspective I call mine. HOWDY Mike!

It is amazing that he and I spent as many years together in the Guard and both managed to reach retirement. He has almost the same perspective on the whole thing as I do. We neither one will spend a lot of time or effort to stay in touch with that system. What we wanted out of there was us and a retirement check. Mile will come eligible early next year for the Military check and he has plans to retire. He did mention moving to somewhere in Colorado. I came home to Fort Carson in February from Vietnam. I was immediately sent downrange and spent most of my time there in the field. After 90 degree days, those minus degree nights were so cold that I nearly froze to death. On top of that I had a low grade fever the entire time from Malaria and I'll bet I ate a bottle of aspirin a week. The Malaria didn't break out until I got out of the service and returned to Wichita to go to school. Needless to say I don't have good feelings about Colorado. In fact they couldn't give me the entire State if I had to live there.

Yesterday Barb and I went over to our rental house and hauled away two trailer piles of tree branches. We made a dent in the pile but it still has five or six more loads to take to the burn pile. We can and do burn legally at our county property. The City has some goofy rules about burning so we can't burn there. I also went to the lake for a ride on the bent and then worked on the trailer tie downs for about a half an hour. Not until I tried to clean up did I realize how sunburned I was. I know that I am prone to skin cancers so I should be a whole lot more careful. Oh well, gotta die of something.

Better call a halt here and go do something worthwhile. Too windy to burn trash piles and too wet to paint.


Dang Weather!

Yesterday I had a lot of things to do outside and I almost had to wear a jacket until noon. It never did clear off and have sunshine. Today the weatherman said 10% chance of rain and it is cloudy to the point that I just don't think it is safe to paint. Little too windy too. Perhaps I need to work on my motivation and worry less about the weather.

Did you ever use silicone of a glass project you were working on? I had a side window in the truck to replace and man does that stuff ever make a mess and it is a real pain to get off. I have resorted to the old razor blade scrape to get it off. So far the window works well but I just don't know how long that will last. Sure would love to get that right door adjusted so I won't have to use a bungee cord to hold it shut.

As you can see, there is a world of things out there and here I sit writing on this stupid computer like I had anything worthwhile to say. Bye!



Words of Apology

Under normal circumstances, pictures on my blog will get really big when you click on them. The one's in the last post were some that I copies from Barb's message to her family. I should have known they were shrink wrapped to send by e-mail. They just don't get any bigger than they are on the post. Dang I hate it when that happens.

I was one of the millions that saw the new Indiana Jones movie over the weekend. It was kind of weird to have a sci-fi mixed into an action flick. I won't tell you much other than it kept us in our seats for most of the picture and I clapped at the end. I will tell you that all that water rushing in that damned big hole did put pressure on my bladder. At least I did have good sense to not drink one of those great big drinks. I do kind of find it hard to not buy the ginormous drink/popcorn combo with free refills. Yes, I know that $5.00 for a big ole' tub of popped corn and $6.00 for a giant drink really isn't a bargain at $9.00 for the combo, free refill not withstanding. If you have some time to kill, that movie is worth seeing just for the old cars shown when Indy was at his college.

I am on our last round of seed for the outdoor birds. The woodpeckers have gone through 9 suet blocks in two weeks and the finch feeder just is draining like there was a hole in the bottom. Normally the sunflower seed feeder is half full but today it was bone dry of seeds. When the rest of the seeds are gone, that's it until fall. Let 'em eat bugs.

Do you ever wonder what your effect has been on the lives of others? I read in today's paper that a great friend is going to retire tomorrow. Karen has been the one person I could always go to in the Human Relations Office and get a straight answer. I didn't always like the answer, but her help always stood the test of time. I guess after 35 years she should be good at her job. Oh well.



Green and gettin' greeener

This is Barb's parsley flowering it's little buds off. Barb has a bunch of herbs this year.

Along with green comes green bugs. This one must like the pine trees.

This is an Asiatic Lilly that is blooming.

Most people live through dog days. We have cat days. Tiger is out catching some rays on the deck.

This is probably one of the wettest springs we have had in quite a few years. Things here are growing fast and green. The view to the south of the house is almost completely blocked by the abundance of plants. You have to look hard to see the squirrels as the forage right outside the window.

Barb being the gardener in the family is loving the weather. I think it should wait at least two days before it pours again. Perhaps three days between rains would even be more ideal. Most of the yards nearby look shaggy because it is flat too wet to mow. For me it has been a week but looks like two weeks. I have about 7 acres of grass to mow and it just is a pain when I no more than get one series done and it needs it again.

Barb and I have been discussing cars as her Buick is approaching 100,000 miles. We want a car that drives nice and gets at least 25 MPG. It would be nice if we could get 35 but comfort s almost as important. It would be nice if we could spend less than $10,000. Did you read that Former Governor Graves of Kansas who is heading up the Truck Driver's association is pushing for the speed limit to drop to 65? Shades of the 70's. If trucks can't get good mileage at 70, they should slow down. Perhaps if they had a mileage meter rather than a speedometer things would be different.

The local paper ran an article by a teen age girl. She complained that she uses a tank of gas a week. If it was going to work I would feel sorry. The only thing sorry in the article is that she spends that tank of gas going shopping with her friends or jst riding around. They need to get a bike and pedal around town.

We have a nearby lake with excellent trails to walk or ride. The only problem from here is the narrow little roads to get there. I won't let Barb take that risk so I load up the bikes in the truck to get over to the lake. I know it almost defeats the purpose but hy, we need the exercise. Perhaps now that school is out it will be safer to ride our little streets. We had a guy killed a couple of years back by a student driving into the sun with a dirty windshield. He just flat ran over a guy on a bike and killed him. But, bu the same token we had a pair of bike riders hit head on last year on out lake trail and it killed the lady.

Barb just noticed that Tulsa got three inches of rain and Skiatook is under flash flood warnings. They will need cars that can run on the water as well as on the road. Our rain last night was less than an inch. I'm pretty sure that we are nearing total saturation and anything we get will run off.

Better close here. Write if you get a message or the urge to write one,


Monday and it is a Holiday?

One of the things about being retired is that Holidays seem a whole lot like any other day. If you don't have to go to work, a day off is well, another day off.

Here in the Heartland, it had been wet and rainy for what seems like weeks. We got a break early last week for a couple of days and I spent them on the driveway fixing the mowers. Seems like all I did for three days is fix mowers and mow. I needed to paint the Valley Brooke house but I also needed to mow. Now that the rain has started there is just no way to paint in the rain. Oh well.

I think I hae convinced Barb to come with me to see the Old Indiana Jones's new movie. It should be fun to see what Hollywood thinks a 60 year old action hero can do. At that age he should be writing a book about his adventures not out having new one's.

Have a great day out there.



Cute Story

As my family all knows, I don't tell jokes as much as I tell a story that has a cute joke or laugh built in. Mainly because I try to remember punch lines and not the entire story word for word. This is one that I stole from another blog but she had copied it out of a book.
John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barry Obama were walking down the street in the Capitol and they saw a homeless man. Senator McCain went over, gave the man his card and told him to come to his office tomorrow and I'll get you a job. He handed the man $20.00 and told him to get a good meal. Senator Clinton was pretty impressed and when they saw another homeless man, she told the man to go to the unemployment office and get a job. She took $20.00 out of Senator McCains pocket, deducted a $15.00 processing fee, gave the man $5.00 and told him where he could get a free lunch. Senator Obama was really impresses and when they saw another homeless person, he went right over to him and said, "Don't worry, change is coming." and they all walked away.



More Moron Avoidance Part 3

I read somewhere that kids are likes snakes. They don't listen to us near as much as they watch our feet. Stupid kids are often just doing what their parents do.

There is no promise in this world that no matter what you do, you won't from time to time do something stupid. It is the repetition of stupid acts that puts you in the category of moronic. Simply put, do what you did and you will get what you got. This is just a list of things that I did to try to not be considered a moron:

  • Find a system that works for you. For me it was the Franklin Planner. I sat down and worked the entire process from Vision down to plans and then attempted to schedule each day and attempted to work that plan. Did every day go as I wished? Hell no, but a lot of things got done that might have just died in my in-basket. I spent the last 15 minutes at work setting up the next day. Even if you are working later in the day, spend the time to plan tomorrow. I'll bet people wondered why the muttering came out of my office as I re-wrote things down that I didn't get done. wish I had started that about 10 years earlier.
  • Money just doesn't happen. With the rule, "Income must be equal to or greater than Outgo!" in mind, find a way to budget your money and stick to that budget. When Barbara and I first decided to get married, we went to Arkansas to visit my Grandparents. My grandfather said if you can save 7.5% of everything you make you can retire at 50. We exceeded that and put money in plans from almost the first. IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s were all ways to put those dollars to work for us. It doesn't hurt that we also had jobs that put money into forced retirement plans. I had both the Civil Service and the Military retirement working and Barb had the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and Social Security. Did I mention that we worked? That plays a big part in this list.
  • One thing that worked for us was Real Estate. I am not sure that with the inflated prices today it would work as well, but it sure as heck did for us. Every house we owned inflated in price and we never lost money. With a Tornado, we lost a house but even then the insurance money was inflated each year to keep up with the cost and we were covered. Right now I have several rental houses and while they are a royal pain to keep painted, they do help keep me active and involved. If you can keep a good sense of humor, build a house in time you can have it paid for by the time you retire. We had a rule that if it was structural, mechanical or not a pretty part of the house, it was my job. If it was style, color or very visible, it was Barb's job. Don't let the "Petty" decisions eat you up in building a house. If you don't really care what outlet covers you will have, don't sweat the small stuff. There will be hundreds of decisions for all.
  • Work is one four letter word that just says it all. From the first job to the last job, try to do your best. Working hard will help you appreciate really tough jobs and make them less of a problem. In the military we say we should "Train in peacetime to bleed less in war time." You don't have to be selected as the employee of the month, but if you work hard it is not hard for a supervisor to select you as the best. It always amazes me when I hear someone say they dodged a bullet in not getting a hard job or assignment. Don't they realize the boss didn't select them for the job because they weren't possibly up to the assignment? Somewhere I read that if you are given two choices at work, always take the hard job.
  • Learning by making mistakes is a cost of doing business in this world. But, always admit your mistakes to your boss. Going into your bosses office and saying you made a mistake up front is a lot easier than having to explain to him if he uncovers that you lied because you made a mistake. In fact, making simple mistakes early and seeking help will often let him give you good ideas and make him feel better about you. If you have to brief a group, always give the briefing to a small group first. They will help you not say or show something that is wrong. I always had my subordinates present a briefing to me first before we took it to the General. Only made that mistake once.
  • Sing, laugh and enjoy. Find something you like and do it as much as you can. Ride a bike, go for a hike and take a camera. Nothing is worth being a old negative person. I wish I had bought Budweiser stock rather than Budweiser when I was young, but that was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. Booze was a colossal waste of time and money. I have never tried illegal drugs because I am pretty sure that I would have liked them.
I feed the birds out of the south side of my house. That simple pleasure is so worth the money I spend. Having a series of woodpeckers line up and squawk at each other to get to the suet block is a hoot. Good luck on your journeys.


Moron Avoidance Part 2

I don't care how damn cute it is, don't give your kids drinks out of your beer can. Keep them in the dark about what it tastes like.

Yesterday I started a post that talks about ways to grow up anything but a moron. This is part 2 in the series so hang on and see where this thing goes:
  • Find someone in your life, that doesn't talk about just today but looks at the future. If they can't tell you what they want to be in pretty concrete terms, how the hell can they ever make it happen. It doesn't have to be a spouse, but if you do find that person and they are available, marry them. I found that Barbara Schmoe of Yermo had a plan and it was only a matter of who she would allow to have along on her journey. In spite of all the bad press about the girls of California, I found the most level headed and thoughtful person in the world.
  • Get things out of the way early. Buy that new car early in life so you can understand just how stupid a new car is. They are transportation people! One new car in your lifetime. Then look for solid transportation and drive the wheels off it. You will lose $5,000 the first year in depreciation on a new car. Compare that with a couple of thousand in repair bills on a used car and you will get the picture. Taxes, Insurance will be so cheaper on a used car that it will make your head swim.
  • Get an education. There should never be an end to learning. Never be afraid of learning something new. I promise you that the technology and processes will change and you need to be always looking forward with an eye on what the new processes are. Never homestead on a technology or at one education level. You will find yourself with an Apple 2E wondering how you can make it work. It took me 10 years to get my college degree but I kept at it until I got it done. I wish it had been easier then to get a Masters degree. Today there is a college on every corner with great programs to take you there.
That's it for today. MUD


Round One - How to Not be a Moron

My Pal, Two Dogs suggested that as full of it as I am, I should write a column about how to not become a Moron. The real problem with that is that on definition of being a moron is having a mental age between 8 and 12. I am not sure if I can grow up beyond that, but I will give you some introspection to how I think I have. I am sure that there were many people that thought I would somehow screw up the future and was in serious danger of being a Moron. I made it to 60 without going to jail and with enough money to live. Here are a few of the steps I advise you to consider in your journey to being anything but a Moron:

1. Read, read and read everything you can when you are young. Magazines, books, news papers and even a school text book now and then. The informal schooling was to me as important as the formal part. Perhaps one great aspect of public school was the access it gave me to a great library.

2. Only believe half or what you see or hear. If you doubt this see the picture above.

Barb says I write these things too long so more steps will come tomorrow.



Did I mention Sticker Shock?

As I walked around the Buick dealership this morning I casually looked at the stickers. The cheapest car on the lot was $27,000. It was about the same size as the Skylark I was driving and by the window sticker didn't get much better mileage.

The one that floored me was this big white GMC SUV with a sticker price of $57,000. It averages 14 in town and 18 on the road. I'll bet it takes $100.00 to fill up the tanks on that beast. Oh well,


Customer Service

What's with businesses today? Have they forgot that the easiest way to have customers is to keep the one's they have? We had the wheel bearings replaced on our 97 Buick last week. They recommended I replace the motor mount because it was down to bare metal (The rubber part was worn away. ) Sure why not let me pay you $200 to replace a part that is worth $29.95. On the way home, I noticed a clunk sound when I went from reverse to forward gears. I stopped in yesterday and the service writer said all his mechanics were swamped and asked me to bring it back in at 9AM. At 9:00 on the dot I drove in the bay and was told they would get to it this morning. Wait a damned minute, I came back to have your screw up fixed and made a damned appointment. I want it fixed because I am going to wait for it.

Within 5 minutes the mechanic that replaced the mount showed up and drove it down by his bay in the garage. It was pretty damned obvious that one bolt had either been left out or fallen out and the second was loose. He had to replace the missing bolt and tighten the other. He did manage to make it at least a 10 minute job because he had to go get a bolt from the parts counter. The service manager came over and gave me the estimate on replacing the head gasket that has a very slight leak. $2,259. fricken dollars. Guess who won't get that job.

I know the leak needs to be fixed as the replacement motor would probably be $6,000 in a car worth about $4,000. I also got the story from the mechanic that the heads on those cars crack bad when they overheat and that could be part of the problem. Crap, Double crap.

Oh well, we did get some good news. Our friends in Morocco will be here this summer and will be at our house the end of July for a few days. I'm sure that I will fix a lot of good red Kansas Meat on the grill. I can hardly wait to se them again. Smiles and giggles always brighten my day. Giggles to you.



Who We Are

I think most of us are fairly comfortable in our bodies for the age we are. Inside I am still that 20 year old stud that walked the hills and valleys of Vietnam for days on end. The reality is that I would have to have massive doses of Aleve (Naproxin Sodium) if I was to even attempt to spend a few hours on my feet.
Sitting here at the computer, I am having all sorts of thoughts about the past. Truth is I couldn't find my car keys if I didn't have a great place to put them at the end of each day. I make a trip to town and keep running over and over the list of things to do and when I get home, Barb will ask me if I got her watch battery. Crap! I blame part of the problem with the roads here in eastern Shawnee County being shut down but the real blame is that short term memory problem that its problematic for over 50% of those over the age of 60.
Oh well, better get back on line and find that damned Ramsomes Mower Dealer in KC.



Just a couple more Photos

A couple of years back, Barb sent off fro some plants and I asked her for some asparagus. About each day for the last couple of weeks we have been blessed with a nice two person serving fresh from the garden. Today I threw a hand full of cherry tomatoes and five stalks of asparagus in the microwave with a tblsp of water a little salt and a little pepper and man was that tasty. Don't tell her that I put a dot of butter on it right before it came to the table.

This is the cake that Barb made for her friend that retired. Man did it look great. Did I tell you that Barb teaches cake decorating with the Wilton method at Michael's? She is creative and artistic. Guess I'll just have to keep her.


Spring, Season of Graduation & Retirement

The Monday Topeka paper is normally an anemic 24 pages of left over ads and the comics. Most of the good stuff was used in the Sunday edition and other than a couple of car accident reports it doesn't have much that takes time to read. Today's paper had 8 pages of graduations. It started with the Universities and then moved on to the local High Schools. Lists of names sorted by city then alphabetically in page after page of mind numbing work if you were the poor slob assigned to get it all down and get it right. Yesterday was party central all over the State. I'll bet more people ate BBQ and beans yesterday than anything else. I for one had a big plate full of BBQ followed with a big ole' piece of COSCO Coconut cream pie washed down with several glasses of great iced tea. Other beverages were available but I declined. I barely made it to Lawrence and the Target store to visit the facilities. We had to stop and get a comb for the cake. Of course Barb wanted one that had not been used. Something about lining up the writing on a cake for the second half of this epistle.

The other sign of spring was highlighted by Barb's clock-radio going off early so she could get a cake off to one of her friends as she retired. Susan is the Librarian at Tecumseh South and Barb made a really lovely book cake. I would get invited to come to the library and read Dr Seuss every year and I read Hop on Pop, The Cat in the Hat and Horton the Who. Of the selection, Hop on Pop made my mind and mouth hurt the most. I loved it when the kids would laugh if I said something stupid. I'm sure that I made a couple of mistakes on purpose just for that joy. Barb and I share the common thought that almost half of the teachers we know are eligible to retire in the next five years. I know there needs to be room for the new and the old must leave. When I read the Guard Newspaper, I don't know any of the key players as all of my friends have retired.

When I was young, spring was a time for joy as it was the time for beer, parties and if I was lucky a little sex. Now that I am in the fall of my life, I will have to read about the parties and parting of others in the paper. It is a sad joy and I am partly happy and partly sad to see the changes. I do know, that so goes the rhythm of life and it will continue so until there is a time that someone writes a short obit about me and someone else will feel sad and joyful about that.

Some people make history, some people read history and most people just continue on un- effected. Have a great day out there.



On TV Today

  • Barack lacks the experience to be the President - You are a racist.
  • Hillary doesn't have the votes or delegates to win - You are a sexist.
  • McCain is too old to be the President for 8 years - You are an ageist.

The polls have Obama and McCain in a virtual tie at either 44 or 45% each. Who will be worse for the long term. There is a group that feels that we are headed for some tough times and it is good for the Republicans if a Democrat is in the White house.

In terms of registered voters, the democrats are the majority 2 or three to one. Why do we still have elections?

Oh well, I had a wonderful day in Kansas City with the Craig's as we celebrated the graduation of their son Owen. Man does he have a nice girl friend Jenni. Wish you were all there.

Grdauation Salute

This is for all the Graduates out there

Have a great Day


Cactus Cuties Sing the National Anthem

This morning I was reading one of the regular blogs I go to each day and there was a U-Tube video of the Cactus Cuties singing the National Anthem. I don't care what political leaning you have, this is just fine music sung with five beautiful voices. I cried that I was not there and just had to listen to this in a video.



National Slogan!

I propose that for once we all read what it is we should all agree on. It is only the very diverse parts of our society that strongly disagree. On the Petty scale, I propose that the Ultra Conservative be given a C5 rating. On the extreme Liberal side those people should be given a L5 rating. There is a good bell curve and about 60% of all the people are between l3 and C3. From issue to issue people probably swing in this range fairly easily. I estimate about 15% are either L4 or C4 and that leaves about 5% at L5 or C5.
That 10% could not agree on anything even with themselves.

It looks like this:

Liberal L5 - 5% , L4 - 15%, L3-L1 - 30%

Conservative C1-C3 30%, C4 15%, C5 5%

I don't think it is hard for us to agree that life, liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are our goals. It is how we get there that we disagree on. I don't think there is many that feel the basic rights in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are a great first step to get there. That is probably where the majority of the 60% agree. It gets tougher at the extremes.

The laissez faire side of the spectrum feels there should be no restrictions and it is the Government's job to ensure that is enforced. In a lot of cases they feel that the Government should go so far as to redistribute wealth and prop up the unfortunate to the maximum level. The other side of the spectrum sees the Government intrusion as the thing that holds us back from being as happy as we can be.

In the real world, our Government has been spending money like it was free and have put a burden on our future that will be a bill to be paid big time somewhere out in the future. We should all be pissed to the max.

Do you notice that for the most part of this discussion and the previous post, there has not been a mention of political parties? There are parts of the US where the Republicans are the liberals and other parts where the conservatives are Democrat. For the record there is almost a 3 to 1 edge of Democrats over Republicans and yet the split in elected seats is no where that limit.

What's wrong and what's right? Your decision, your right.


My WalMart Story

Earlier this week I shopped at the home of everything, WALMART! Barb and I stopped in for a few things and just as we got to the checkout line, she left me to go look for something in store. I got in a line that had one woman in it and she appeared to be almost finished putting everything her cart would hold on the conveyor belt to check out. You know it is a conveyor belt as it converts your money into things conveyed to your home.

The lady stood there with a blank look on her face as the clerk put things in those little white bags. It rotated past her and she made no effort to put any of them in the cart. When the clerk finally rotated the carousel of bags to where there were no empty one's , the clerk stopped ringing up items and started to put bags in the cart. Needless to say, this made what was a tedious wait longer, if that is possible. The clerk again filled those little white bags until again she had to stop and put bags in the cart. The lady shopper had no intention to help or inkling that her not helping held up a line of shoppers that piles up behind me. (I did get to smile with a little one year old buy behind me and we had a good time , even if his mother was by this time pissed)

Finally, all the bags were placed in the cart and the total was given to the lady shopper. Then and only then did she make any effort to get her cards out to pay for them. Totally unaware of how to make them work, she tried to use gift cards to pay for the items. After about five minutes of her futile attempts, the clerk took the cards and ran them through her machine and told the lady to just sign where the x was on the screen. Both of the cards were for a very small amount and she seemed surprised that the clerk told her that there was an additional charge of almost $100. The lady stopped and got out another handful of plastic and tired to use three of them only to find that there was not sufficient money in any of the accounts to use them as debit cards. I swear she dug deeper and found a credit card that worked. She finally pusher her cart away from the counter and acted pissed off at the clerk.

When she was just a few feet away, I asked the clerk if that lady thought WalMart was just going to give her that cartload of crap. The clerk laughed and said it happens all the time. As the little white bags came around to me, I put them in the cart. As the clerk told me the total I had already swiped my debit card through the machine and all I had to do was push the button that $74.96 was OK and I didn't want any money back. The clerk handed me the receipt and I walked away.

Are you a part of the solution or a part of the problem?


Liberal vs Conservative

This morning Bobwa and I had a discussion about the issue of liberal or conservative label placed on people. I feel that everyone places labels on things to help simplify their lives and it is a natural thing to do. She is opposed to using the labels and doesn't feel it is the right thing to do.

If you want to make your head hurt go to Wakepedia on line and start reading about the terms. About half way through looking about liberals I ran into the term disambiguation and my mind went fuzzy and the whole thing just lost focus. One point made throughout the discussion is the protection of Liberty. A true liberal believes one of the major government roles is to protect everyone's right to liberty. I find it distressing that as a conservative I find government intervention the major threat of my personal liberty. Conservatives feel that they have a basic set of rights by the constitution and Liberals feel that a lack of positive rights are the threat. I have argued this was the root cause of the Civil War and that Slavery was a side issue. As in the rest of the world, slavery would have died as a way of life and freedom would have evolved. On the other hand, the Civil Rights Act was needed to help a more uniform enforcement of the rights of all. If left to the absolute conservative, the right for women to vote would have been a States issue. Would it evolved in to law or action if left alone? (I'll bet there are some people out there that would not have let women vote or own property - I am not one of those so inclined)

When compared to most of the rest of the world (even Canada) we have more freedom that almost anywhere. I think a lot of the unrest is just how does everyone feel about those freedoms. Do you think our constitution guarantee the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (Conservative) or do you feel that additional legislation is needed to make them happen (Liberal)? Obviously from the beginning many people saw a need for changes via a Bill of Rights. I feel that the things not included in the constitution are left for the local governmental (mostly State) solution. This allows people in more rural States to solve their problems and ensure their liberties in the way they choose.

I don't like the term fair or equal. Life is not equal or fair in that success won't happen unless your get an education and work for it. If you are happy to do what you do, I don't expect Government to come in and make you happier or to give you some of my money to make it fair. If that makes me a conservative, so be it. I don't hate the idea that as I am now enjoying the fruits of my labor, I am opposed to having some of my fruit taken and put in your bowl because you didn't get a degree or work two jobs your entire adult life. I do believe that as a parent, I am doing everything I can do to help my on get a degree and live better. That is my right and responsibility.

I am going to end this with a story. As President Bill Clinton was out jogging one day, he spied a child pulling a wagon that had a sign on it. The sign read, "Free Democrat Kittens" He stopped and talked with the child and said that he might come back in a couple of weeks and adopt a Democrat kitten for Chelsi. The kid said, "Oh no, in two weeks they will have their eyes open and will be Republican kittens".




This picture is from 1958-59 school year in Minneha on the east edge of Wichita. M -I-N-N-E-H-A, Minneha, Minneha Yea, Yea Yea! The teachers there suffered with me from Kindergarten thru the 9th Grade. That was the same school where Mrs MUD did her student teaching. Poor Bobwa.

A few years back, I was responsible for the computer design that would take the Guard into the new Century. To put it mildly, we didn't know what we didn't know. We spent hundreds of thousands on technology that was outdated before we got it installed. We built on line computer training centers that cost well over $50,000 and that is now replaced by a notebook computer at less than $500.00. A little later I was assigned to the job of chief Training officer for the Kansas Guard. We were killed by the rigid requirements of the Brick and Mortar crowd that insisted that an Artilleryman must go to Fort Sill, OK for 8 weeks, not mater what!

Just this morning, National Public Radio (NPR) had a piece about virtual schools and how they are "cherry Picking" students away from the Real Schools. My thoughts are that times and technology are changing and schools should keep up. I always thought that Kicking out a student for bad behavior was a reward not a punishment. Make them attend a virtual school and do the same work as if they had been in school. But, the Brick and Mortar board people don't want to change and they just want to eliminate the other guys.

In my dream of the future, my little friends Katrina and Kendra in Morocco, should be able to go up on line from there and attend classes with a class in Topeka (Or Timbuktu if that is where their parents want them to go) Yes, I realize there is a time differential but tape delay is possible. Once a day they could be on a conference feed and touch the life in the class room.

Just as I started this, Barb told me that our son is taking a Distance Learning class this summer. I think it is darn near past the time we can go to school anywhere, anytime.

Yes, I do realize there is a need for students to have a socialization component in their lives but that is available anywhere. I'm also not sure that some of the play behavior I was involved in was social or even legal. I damn sure wasn't politically correct by today's standards. Oh well,



Happy Birthday!

Today is Bean's birthday!
Happy Birthday!


Cute Picture

This is Bobwa's family minus two sisters that came later. I did a little photoshop work on it but there is just no way anyone could make a cuter photo. Bobwa is on the right. Thanks to her Mom and Dad for the photo.

Our Choices for President

This picture is typical of me as a child. I like most politicians needed changed often. This is my patient sisters putting up with me in my normal over reaction mode.

As the Democratic Party tries its best to narrow down who will represent them for the race to the Presidency, I want to re-state some of my feelings. First, I do not oppose either Hillary or Barry (Obama) on reasons of sex, color, race or religion. In fact I do not find the discussion for either germain to what I expect them to do. First of all the President needs to be a leader. This person must be a figurehead that inspires us to stand tall and do our best. I find it unfortunate that we have lacked this type of person since the Regan era and he was just an actor playing a role for all it was worth.

I want someone in Washington to wake up to the fact that our country is having problems. Our dollar is being devalued and our energy costs are on a rocket spiral to the top and not one damn word is being said about ways to fix this problem. Well, that is not totally true, Hillary and McCain have both wanted to suspend the tax on Gasoline for the summer. This idiotic solution just generates a greater consumption when we need to quit driving our cars to town every time we get a whim. The Republican Congress did cut taxes and it spiraled up the economy. The Dems are now talking about eliminating those taxes. How about someone back there just doing the obvious and cutting pork barrel spending? More money should be spent on making alternative energy sources work. I need to study schools and spending before I just throw more money at that issue. I do wonder why we pay an NBA rookie several hundred thousand dollars and new teachers get less than $30,000.

In discussing the issue of a write in candidate for President, Two Dogs feels that he would be better served as the VP. The title of First Black Girl Friend just left Bean undecided. She does sweeten her tea and eats ditch crickets (Crawdads) but other than that I refuse to discuss her color or race. If TD thinks she is good enough for him, she gets my vote. Is it illegal or just stupid to discriminate on sweetening and eating habits? She professes to just be a normal young woman, hell I knew that. I don't understand young women, oh hell, I don't understand women at all. Aren't they like most of us and have their own dreams and hopes for the future. I think they get a little too invested in their children but hey, after all the pain they go through to birth them, shouldn't they be pretty damn invested in their future? I just will have to appoint a woman to my cabinet to help me understand. I would nominate Bobwa but it has taken me 40 years to establish a stable life with her, why change that?

Therefore, those of you that have gotten this far in this diatribe, I ask for your write-in vote for me, Dennis Petty for President and Two Dogs as VP. If it looks like this crazy idea takes hold, I promise you I will get his real name for you to write in.

Vote early and often.



Presidential Write Ins

This is a picture allegedly of Two dogs from his blog. I can't be sure because we have never met except on line. The forehead he is kissing is Bean. Someday I will be passin' thru the Sip (Mississippi) and stop in for a cold ice tea. I'll bet Bean puts sugar in her tea but I'll drink it any way.
This is a picture of me in my Army suit. It is probably 20 years old but it as good as it gets. Everything since then just makes me look old. I refuse to be old!

One of the best blogs I read is written by "Two Dogs" at: http://liberalsmash.blogspot.com/. I would encourage you all to consider a write in for Two Dogs for President and MUD as the VP. I'm sure that one of the moderating influences on TD is his significant other, companion, girl friend and recent deployee/ returnee to/from a War Zone, LT Bean. I doubt that she has much more of an influence on him than Bobwa has on me but it is worth a try.

I can't speak for his platform, but I promise to never wear platform shoes or claim to have any soul other than on the bottom of my shoes. I stand for ensuring that each child out there understands that success is fueled by an education, hard work and going to work each day. I will proposed a balanced budget that says, "Income must be equal or greater than Outgo". I absolutely will not talk to anyone that makes a point of race, religion, gender or sex, well,, perhaps I will talk about sex off the record and in private.

I can't speak for TD, but I can say that I am one of the most boring guys you will ever hope to meet. I don't smoke, drink or play around with wild women. I will shovel Bobwa's dirt, but with a shovel. I will pay my taxes, fix my cars and do my best to be as nice as I can be. I will try to cook as many meals as I can if I can find someone that loves to clean the kitchen after a great meal. My cabinet will definitely be in the kitchen. I refuse to dance Disco but have tried that Cajun two step and might dance at the inaugural ball if there is a Zydeco band.

So, if you are refusing to vote in the Presidential election this fall, get out and write in Two Dogs for President and MUD for VP. Now, to be honest, I haven't discussed this with anyone but me and I agree it is a good party.



Be Careful What You Ask For!

For Mother's day, Barb asked for a truck load of dirt. With all the mud right now, all I could supply was this toy truck full of potting soil. When it is less muddy here in Kansas I'll get her all the dirt her little hands can stand. I also found a card that played the Cajun version of the Chicken Dance. Happy Mothers Day out there to all you mothers. MUD

Go Figure!

This morning I read in the paper that Bush 43's popularity or approval rating fell t0 19%. That is compared to Harry Truman's 22% and Nixon's approval rating of 24%. Just last night Dave (aka MUD Jr.) said that he saw a bumper sticker that said, "I never thought I would miss Nixon".

The good news is that a lot of the Presidents were pre polls. I can't imagine that Millard Filmore would have been very popular after the Tea Pot Dome scandal was discovered. I can't imagine that Hoover after the collapse of the economy would have been all that popular. From what I read, the election of Abe Lincoln led us down the path to a Civil War. Any way, liars figure and figures lie.

The other day, Bobwa was looking for the attachment that lets her download things to an SD card. I hadn't seen it since our return from Louisiana. I am pretty sure I had it there but it has gone missing. Bard looked in all the obvious places (where she though I had left it) and during that search she looked in all the pockets of my suit case. She didn't find it there but she did find a $20 dollar bill. In spite of my protests to to her keeping it, she felt fully justified in keeping it. I relayed that story to Dave and his wife Barb and they both said "Laundry Rule". I guess that anything you find in the laundry when you are loading the washer is yours. I do find it strange that a few coins in the pocket of a pair of jeans does kind of excite me a lot more than if they were just piled on my dresser.

This was the week of the College Championship on Jeopardy. It never ceases to amaze me the limited experience of today's College students. The runner up and $50,000 winner could not identify a picture of Senator Humphrey. I guess it shocks me when I do the math that a college student today could have been born in 1990. Geez. What seems like yesterday to me was 40 years ago. The care free days of the 1950's (other than the threat of having an atom bomb blow up our lives) seem like yesterday. Seems like just yesterday that the teacher showed us the position to get under our desks and to cover our eyes from the flash. I always added, And kiss your ass goodbye!" But, I was just a kid so what did I know.

Yesterday we went with the kids to Lawrence and had dinner at the "Mad Greek's". I had things I could not pronounce but it was all good. We decided to have Mother's day out a day early. We know that the restaurants will be way too crowded today. We got caught in the middle of a drenching rain storm. It was precipitating in the manner of a bovine urinating on Portsmith Limestone ("It was raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock" for those of you not from farm country) I tried to run and found the knees just don't run fast anymore. I didn't realize just how soaked I was until we got home. I was even a little chilled and found my sweats a nice change of clothes. This morning it is in the 40's and there is about a 30 MPH wind. Not nice.

Oh well, see you on the flip side.


Copyright and what does it mean?

Barb noticed that the picture I used about Ticks was copyrighted and had the author's seal and name on it. It was my impression that as long as I didn't use it for commercial purposes of make any money off of it and it was properly attributed to the author, it was fair game use as a part of a blog post. I'm off to do some research so there will be an update:........

From Cornell University's online publication of the Public Law.

TITLE 17 > CHAPTER 1 > § 107

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Now I am just confused. IF the author published the picture as an employee of a Government agency, it can be reproduced. If the photo uses the copyright seal and it is properly identified and not used for profit, is it fair use? I am pretty sure that my use did not substantially diminish its value and I damn sure not going to profit from it. It is intended for non-profit educational use to demonstrate what the buggers look like. What do you think? Does anyone care?

Added Note - The photo of the Ticks was from an Iowa State online reference work. I really think I'm OK here but I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. MUD



Living right at the edge of the hardwood forest and the tall grass prairie, we have all kinds of animals and pests. One that a lot of people think about this time of year is the Tick. Those pesky little insects will latch on to you every time you go out unprotected. There is a place in the garage where the floor looks dark from all the over spray from each time Barb goes out. I would love to be the official tick inspector but she claims to be able to handle the task herself.

I think there is some official life cycle where they spend some time on the bunnies and some time on deer, but the real problem here is the dogs. I have them sprayed, dipped and collared against the tick but I see them all the time no matter what. The life cycle that I cannot abide is any time on a human host. The good thing is that the dogs spend all their time outside so at least I don't have them bringing them into the house.

One of the blogs I read is from a lady in Colorado. She claims she hasn't seen a tick since she moved there. For most of my life the only place I ever got a tick was in Colorado or in Arkansas. Now that we live in the trees we see them all the time. There was a disease that people only got when they went walking out in the high forests in Colorado and that was Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick fever. It is now common in Arkansas and getting more so here in Kansas. It is a disease that gives you flu like symptoms. It can cause liver disease and I'm sure that my father was not treated well back in the early 70's. In 1972 as I went to summer camp at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas we spent the weekend with Mom and Dad up near Rogers. Dad was in the middle of his two week Beech Craft shutdown and had spent most of the first week out mowing and cutting brush . He had several of what we now call bulls eyes around tick bites and in spite of the 90 degree weather sat shivering under a blanket on the porch. Oh if we had only known then what we know now.

The repairs on the Buick ran almost $900.00 and that didn't fix the very minor head gasket leak. Next month.



Getting Bent

This is a picture of me on my recumbent as I left to go for a ride today. Sunny, light breeze and about 70. What a wonderful ride. I always ride with my helmet, gloves and a bright colored shirt. I do have to wear sunglasses out in the sun with that shirt on. Big Thanks to Ken, my bike genius. MUD

Wow, Was I Ever Wrong!

According to the dealership, the simple bearings do not come by themselves but with the housing attached. They, with labor, run about $500. There is a motor mount that needed replaced for another $250. The very minor leak is a head gasket and that wil be next months fix.



On our way back from Oklahoma, the left front wheel started to growl a little on the Green Buick. I looked it up in the repair manual and found out that there is a wheel bearing where the axle goes through the backing plate for the brakes. At least I hope that is the problem because the CVC joints will cost a lot more. We took it in this AM and are expecting the call to tell us how much it will cost to fix. Wanna Bet? I wil bet $200 if it is a wheel bearing and $500 if CVC joints. Yes, I am pretty sure we will get the pitch for new struts but probably not this time.

We have a new woodpecker this spring. It is about the same color as the downeys but much bigger. It could be a female yellow bellied sapsucker because it has no red. The little downeys are less than 5 inches long and this bird is bigger than the suet block cage that is at least 5 inches. This is one of the first years that the doves have taken to hanging out below the other feeders. Yesterday we had about 4 on the ground and at least one in the tree.

I would take pictures this morning but someone took my camera upstairs to take pictures of her cookie bouquet and I am just too forgetful to remember to bring it down and too damn lazy to go up when I remember. I would probably get up there and forget why I was there. I would go up there, get a cold drink of water, visit the bathroom and wander back down sans camera. Man I hate it when I have ADD and a poor memory.

Oh well, better run and read some of the blogs to keep up with the rest of the world.



Crappy Weather in the Heartland

Seems like there are cold fronts stacked up out there and they roll through the Heartland about two or three a week. If there has been time between the fronts to have warm moist air fill in from the south, the weather can be fairly extreme. They predicted thunderstorms all day yesterday and last night. Based on the water on the driveway this morning we probably got about 1/4 of an inch or less. We are under a thunderstorm watch all day (until 11 PM tonight) today. It is yucky outside and not very conducive to being out and doing much.

I have noticed that the woodpeckers aren't into the new suet blocks we bought at the Grocery Store. They seem to peck them apart for the few seed and goodies. On the other hand, the blue Jays love to go right under to suet block and pick up the pieces dropped to the ground. In the winter when times are tough, there isn't a speck of anything that hits the ground. The woodpeckers scrape their beaks with their tongue and seem to relish it. The finches seem to hit the tube feeder in stages, For a week there I couldn't keep the tube filled from day to day. This week they emptied it one day and now it is almost full for the second day in a row. Barb thinks they are nesting and that keeps them busy.

I have put up a new outside light over the garage door and a flycatcher is determined to make a nest on it. I have gone out several times this week and remover all the piled up mud and grass. I am afraid that if the light comes on after a nest is built that it could start a fire. Oh well, it is mind over matter and I do mind so it does matter. If he (or she) would just move to one of the downspouts, they could build there with no problem. Stupid birds.

Barbara met a neighbor the other day as she walked around the property. That lady has a Jack Russel Terrier and was very animated about the fact that he had three ticks the other day. I'll bet they let that dog sleep with them and tick bother them more than the dog. All you can do living here in the woods is keep them sprayed, tick collared and apply that liquid stuff to their backs about once a month. Ticks are just a part of the food chain and after all, we are living in their home. Heck, Both Barb and I have spraded well and found ticks after a walk around the place.

Better run. or at least walk fast to find something to do.



Where is Myanmar?

For some of us, the question begins with what the heck is Myanmar? For others, the question is when did it stop calling itself Burma? Then where the heck is Burma? Having been in Vietnam (1968) I tend to place a lot of countries based on what I know. If you go west from Vietnam you run into Laos and Cambodia. West from there is Thailand and west from there and a little north is Myanmar. For some reason, Myanmar stretches way down to the south and takes a lot of the coast from Thailand. It is because of all this exposure that the recent Cyclone or Hurricane that hit it very hard. The official death toll is 22,000 but there are also well over another 40,000 people unaccounted for. A lot of the coastal area is a flat plain and the information is that the storm surge caused a lot of it to be inundated with a 12 foot storm surge or wall of water, that washed away many villages.

My initial reaction is to want to rush aid in there and help make it better for the citizens of the country. With a Military Regime in charge, I want to stand back and wait until they realize they need help and ask for it. So far they have not chosen to do so and what was rushed into Yangoon (aka Rangoon) is not reaching the reall needy parts of the country.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in a country where the Military has taken over. It is hard enough to have the Government over involving its self into the lives of our people. To have a Military guy (Like Me) in charge would be far worse.

Oh well, what this post has to do with the reality of things here at Rabbit Run is a good question. I am wondering what to do today. I mowed three straight days and now I guess I need to work on the mower(s) or the trailer to haul the mowers around to the different sites..

You all have a great day out there.



Be Careful Who You Hang With!

No, not like the comment of the signers of the Declaration of Independence when they said we must hang together or surely we will hang alone. I am talking about the people you associate with and you share your space with. National Public Radio (NPR) on this morning's broadcast said that people are saying bad things about the Presidential candidates because of the people they associate with.

First was Barry Obama and his 20 year association with Jeremiah Wright. Uncle Remus couldn't have written a better tar baby story about dodging that one. Throw him in the back, er under the bus Barry!

Their second target was Senator McCain's association with Bush 43. I don't agree that they are all that alike, after all Laura is a prim and proper librarian and Mrs McCain and her family own the biggest beer distributorship in Arizona. Brains or beauty and Beer!

They really didn't pick on Hillary but we all know that after "Standing with Her Man", most guys think she is a bimbo and Bill can sell her anything. The only way she will be able to get him to keep his dick at home is to play Lorena Bobbitt.

As for me, Bobwa has kept me for 40 years so she is just stuck with me. After using me for the best years of my life she is just going to have to keep me. (And Thats the truth)


Just So You Will Know!

Yesterday, my better half put out an e-mail to the mail groups on my computer. Then, she didn't sign it. For those so blessed to not be on the list here is the message with my comments in red:

Dear Family and Friends,

Can you tell which of the following is made up:

1. Barb and MUD had a disagreement about whether the local government should have denied a zoning permit to a new development when the residents of the area objected. (The content of the discussion was should the business have the right to sue the commission if they didn't get the answer the wanted. The right to redress grievances is not limited to business, even if Barb thinks it is a dirty word)

2. We had a widespread frost in Kansas in May so home-grown tomatoes for Fourth of July are just a pipe dream. (True)

3. MUD has seen every John Wayne movie ever made and knows that in one of his early movies he used bacon grease on his hair and all the dogs within 3 counties followed him into town. (That last him refers to John not MUD) (My actual comment was that three dogs followed him into town but close enough)

4. Barb has accepted a new position at Michaels as the Events Coordinator even though Michaels stopped having events so there will be nothing for her to coordinate. (It is the Wilton's cake decorating classes she will be managing as well as demonstrations to get people to buy all sorts of crafty crap)

5. MUD will need to start mowing grass soon and will be on his mower 24/7 for the month of May so he won't be able to update his blog or make outrageous comments on others' blogs.(Oh if it could be true that I will lose my impetuous to make comments or write this stuff)

6. Barb's e-mail is down so now is the best time to relay secrets to MUD. However, be advised that MUD is unable to keep a secret so the secret will quickly be posted on his blog assuming #5 is made up.(Whatever I would write would at least be witty if not pretty)

7. Barb once won a family tall tale contest refuting the belief that the best liar in the family is MUD. (I prefer to the appellation of, "teller of tall tales" and yes, this was a Petty family gathering)

8. MUD knew how to spell liar but not how to spell lair. Fortunately we weren't making up stuff about dragons. (See what dyslexia gets you? Thank god for spell checker. If there are spelling errors in my material, I blame it squarely on the shoulders of Microsoft's spell checker shoulders)

Have a great day.

MUD and the newly crowned queen of BS, Bobwa


Barb's Hat (Barb Jr that is)

Dave and his wife Barb were over for dinner tonight and she needed a picture of her wearing a knitted hat. Dave took copies of the pictures home on a memory stick but I got to keep the original pictures. Barb Sr took the shots.


It Finally Happened!

Some time over the last 24 hours, the 10,000th visitor to this site stopped in for a drink at my fountain of knowledge. Or to laugh at my feeble attempts to witty or more than I am. I want to thank you all for the visits and my niece Becky for helping me put the counter on my blog. I am not sure if it does much more than my old saying about the dark suit, "It is kind of like wetting your pants in a dark suit. It does give you a warm feeling but no you hope no one notices."

I will close this here and if you can see birds at the top of the page, you are reading the update.




Most of my life I have suffered from the effects of ADHD or the inability to focus on one thing to its completion. I have always worked better in a position where I am an impetus to others or an idea man. Now that I am retired, that inability also conflicts with desires and most of the time a good nap takes care of the excess energy created by the conflict. I guess this just shows that I am a better planner than doer. I am a better leader than a laborer.

I am sure that the world is full of people that think that when they retire they are going to clean up their stuff a little at a time and soon it will be in the right place in the right shape. For some reason that just doesn't happen for most people. Retirement gives you more time to get involved in more things and thus accumulate more stuff. More stuff accumulates in the square of what you do and pretty soon you will need to take a nap because your head hurts from all the stress of the misaligned stuff. So, you will be cursed to rush through your life doing, accumulating and napping. Hey, wait a minute that isn't all that bad.

Oh well, the latest cold front brought 30 degree temps and a 30 MPH wind. Might be a good day to work in the garage or, take a nap.

OH well, MUD


May Day Tradition

I found out today that in Hawaii the 1st of May is Lei day. The tradition is to give people that are important to you a lei.

In our neighborhood we would make paper baskets adn put flowers in them and leave them on the neighbors doorknobs.

What ever your tradition id for the 1st of May, include flowers.


Dang, I Hate it When That Happens

This is not a rant about anything political or anything really important. It is the saga of the frying pan. Several years ago, Barb let me buy some great cook wear with a good reputation (read fairly high price) and one I see quite often on cooking shows. (OK, I no remember it is Caliphon, I just couldn't remember the name and it was too far to walk all the way upstairs to get the right name) I have been working hard to relearn to cook on and with it. One big mistake was every once in a while, someone (who will remain nameless) would put it in the dish washer. Somehow the heat and the dish washing soap would take the non stick properties and stick them somewhere not to be found. Then, unless you treated it like a cast iron skillet things would stick all over it and it would take another trip through the dish washer to get it clean.

Not long ago, I seasoned the pan well, heated it until it smoked and announced the dishwasher ban on that pan. So far, it seems to be working if I take the time to clean it up after use and re-season it. In fact, it is doing so well that I can now cook bacon without the brown crust forming in the bottom of the pan and go from bacon to potatoes with grand results. In fact this morning, that is what I did. I find that cutting up russet potatoes and running them through the microwave first gives you a potato that is ready to brown in the pan and cuts the cooking time way down. Great results, hot oil and they crisp up and are done in the middle. I find that if I drain them on paper towels they are about the best home fries I have ever tasted. You salt them after you take them out of the pan. (Yes, I learned that from Emerald)

I was all set to move from bacon to potatoes and then into the egg omelet. Cheese, onions, salt & pepper on the top of the potatoes and it is just wonderful. I went to the fridge (Barb makes fun of me when I call it the icebox) to get three eggs to whip in a bowl. I had seen signs of cupcakes on the counter but didn't think anything about it. Yep'er boys and girls there was only one egg left. We buy 18 of them at a time and there was only one lone soldier left in the carton.

Barb just walked through and I mentioned to her that she was the subject of a severe blog rebuke concerning the egg matter. Her reply was a flippant, "Life is Hard".

Dang, I hate it when tht happens. (on both cases) OH well, I better find something important to do.