Come on over

This is our five year old friend from Morocco. Kendra is about as sweet as they come.

Big sister Katrina is seven and sang us songs in French.

This is the stash of dolls from Auntie Barb. They have a school room and a kitchen.

This is Julie and Peg. They taught Kindergarten together.

This is Mary, Julie and Paul. Paul is the source of KU Tickets for the Petty Family. If you ever get to Lecompton, Paul hosts the Museum there at Lane University.

This is Julie, Mary Davis, Barb and the girls.

This is the Wilton Instructor and the Special K's decorating cup cakes.

We invited several of the teachers from Tecumseh South to come over and see Julie and her family today. We had a great time .



Cars of today for tomorrow

This is the Chevrolet Volt. I would recommend you google it and read the details. It has a generator and an electric motor built in. Notice the plug in laying on the floor

This is the Tesla sports car that is powered by Lithium Ion batteries and the batteries alone cost $30,000 of the $90,000 total price. The body is Carbon-Fiber and it is one quiet and cute little car.


The future of Transportation

Tom & Ray Magliosi

Last night, PBS had a program hosted by Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers as they looked at the future of transportation. They looked at conventional transportation, electric cars, Hybrid cars and methods of producing fuel. It was pretty clear to me that a lot of work is needed to define the problems and then find the solution. Not every car will work in every situation. I propose as a start;
  • We work on developing a small electric powered car that will support two people for "In and Around" trips. There would be limit of 40-50 miles and mostly be powered by batteries and charged up at night on the off peak times.
  • Second would be a more intermediate car that has a trailer for hauling things and room for 4 people. This could be a hybrid car that runs on E-85 ethanol or a combination like the prius with an electric motor and some internal power generation ability. Nothing would be wrong if this car could be also charged at night, using off peak electricity. I would think it would be nice if there was a generator trailer that you shared with other families that would allow this car to be used for trips of 1000-1500 miles. Above that Commercial transportation should be used.
  • Work on the continuation/development of solar, wind and Nuclear power for electric generation and use the Natural Gas to power what is now the diesel fleet of trucks.
I wouldn't eliminate the current fleet of vehicles and there would be exclusions for rare and antique vehicles. Wear and tear will cause these vehicles to be replaced soon enough. I think motor cycles are dangerous but they would fit in this plan.

If this is so easy for me, hy doesn't the Congress or one of the Presidential candidates propose some legislation that takes us towards some, and or part of this plan.




Not in my farthest thoughts did I think we had as much stuff as we do. With our marathon cleaning for our visitors, we have gone places and seen things that have not seen the light of day in years. The Master Gardner likes to send Christmas presents to the grand kids and try to buy things on sale after Christmas for the next year. That leads to all sorts of things that get overlooked. Not to mention I'm pretty sure she thinks all the toys she kept from our son will some day be valuable. We were headed towards a good thing until Star Wars was brought back and that original set of figures were replaced by a whole bunch of guys with new names. There was a box of stuff that we sent to Morocco that got returned also.

There was one seat sized sheet of Lambs wool that had Mr Petty written on the back of it. Neither Barb nor I could remember me ever having such a critter. Then it dawned to me that my Dad was also Mr Petty and he used it in the seat of his wheel chair. Duh Dennis!

For Father's day my son gave me a gift certificate to a very good local meat market. I am always grilling something up for them and I'm sure that they know that giving something that I will share will pay big dividends. I went there yesterday and bought two Porterhouse steaks and a rack of pre-cooked ribs. Danged if I didn't have to get out some money to pay extra. Those great big porterhouses cost $39 and with tax the whole mess came to $59. Oh well, I can hardly wait to smack those steaks on the grill tomorrow. Got some Chicken for the distaff side. I am going to try some terriacki sauce this time for the marinade instead of the Italian dressing. Wednesday will be a wild rice salad with some of the chicken, grapes, water chestnuts a light dressing (I like to add balsamic vinegar ad sugar to mayonnaise) and a final sprinkle of cashews as each serving comes to the table.

What kind of coffee do you like? I am pretty much a normal Colombian blend kind of guy and brink it black. Evey once in a while I like to go down the custom mix aisle and blend up something special. I did that yesterday and now the whole damn kitchen smell like some kind of chocolaty almond kind of Foo Foo coffee. The smell was so strong that I made a pot this morning and with some sugar and a little cream it would make a wonderful dessert. Oh well, I'll probably drink about half a pot and throw this stuff out.

Some day I'll recount my caffeine problems but for today, I'll just move on to the final once over with the dust rag and a re-mop of the kitchen floor.



Final Leg of the Race

We will have our house guests starting tomorrow night so we are on the final leg of the frantic dust bunny hunt. Things are looking pretty good here so a once over with a light mop and a dust rag is in order. The Master Gardner is in the spare bedroom performing miracles in one of the closet so the doors will close without bulging out into the room. I guess buying 12 storage containers should have been the sign. At least it is organized stuff.

It is a cloudy, windy day and it has rained a little bit here in the Heartland. Probably means that the humidity will pass the 80% mark all day today and tomorrow. The poor old air conditioner runs as hard as its little feet can run and it only removes about 20% of the humidity in the house. Barb is also on the economy kick and lets it get up to 82 during the daytime. Dang, if I didn't run a fan, I would stick to the couch.

I am seriously looking at a way to improve the mileage of the vehicles here at Rabbit Run farm. The 57 and the truck both get near 15 on the road but seem to only do a little over 10 in the city. If you have any ideas let me know.

Better get my dust rag out and get to dusting those bunnies. Never know when they might get to multiplying. Stay Cool.



Another Published Note

Not long ago I posted a note I sent to the National Guard magazine. Just yesterday I got my new Super Chevy September 2008 copy and they published another of my Letters to the editor. I am serious about getting my 57 Chevy up to 30 MPG. The Super Chevy Guys continue to push big motors and 600 Horse Power. Is it any wonder that the environmentalists want to turn all our old cars into plow shares? (Click on the article if you care to read it)

This is just a quick note to say that I am not sure if my pushing the issue makes me the butt of the joke or if the joke is on them and at 10 MPG they will soon run out of people that can afford to do much more than read their magazine.


1968 Continued

In 1966 you were either going to school with a deferment, on an ROTC Deferment or you got your butt drafted. I didn't apply for a deferment and sure enough on my 19th birthday I went to Kansas City for a "Pre-Induction Physical" and found myself on the 6th of September 1966 in the Army. I went to Fort Lost In the Woods (Leonard Wood) then on to Fort Sill, OK. There I attended the Officer Candidate School or the School for Wayward Boys, the Cannon Cocker College of Guns. I went to Fort Irwin and in early 1968 I deployed to Viet Nam.

On one of our rare moments with the gun battery, we had a visit from Sebastian Cabot who was a TV Star in the series called a Family Affair. Those two smiling guys seated on the gun were my recon team at the time. One was Sgt Bailey (No kin to Beetle) and the other guy, I just don't remember. We had been out on a three week trip into a part of Vietnam that was scary.

One of the best young Sergeants I met in the Army was Rudy Rousell (on the left). He was from Baton Rouge, LA and knew his business and was the spokesman for the team we had in Ban Me Touit. He took care of the men and I did the paper work and scheduling. The other Sergeant was a Guy named Bass that managed to sent to the rear area so he could have a couple of beers every day. He was a shadow to Sgt Rousell and basically stayed out of my way. (and out of the distance I could smell his breath)

Every Gun battery had at least one puppy. The guys would feed those dogs and play with them and train them. Mysteriously, they would disappear about the time they were big enough to eat. And guess what, a new puppy would somehow show up. This little girl was Janet and the guys trained her to hate anyone Vietnamese. Didn't work, she disappeared like the rest.

When I was in Pleiku, I went out with a Basic Training Company of Montagnards and months later we were setting up outside of Special Forces camp and low and behold two of the young soldiers I had been with showed up as we sat our guns up. Yes, that is a can of beer in the front soldier's hand. I was as dry as a popcorn fart and he brought me a cold one from his camp. They were daily visitors and we laughed a lot. They were the two hardest workers in their unit and I wish they were some of the guys that got out in the end of that war. Probably didn't and there was a good chance they were killed in the closing stages of that war.

This is Lt Bud Allen who went on to play Professional Golf. He was very professional in his duties and was glad to extend in Vietnam so he could go home as a civilian and play more golf. Never did get together later on or keep in touch.

Even in 1968, in a combat zone, I managed to keep a smile. Not sure if I was crazy or went crazy, but I didn't get and stay scared. I loved the people I met and places I saw. Was there a time or two that my soul leaked out my ass? You bet! but for the most part the smile you see is what I had on my face.

This is a trip down a path I took 40 years ago and by now the night sweats are gone and I remember more good times than bad. Just so you will know, we won that War and came home. It was when the Country decided to not to honor our commitment to come back if they were again attacked by North Vietnam that all was lost. I hope you are paying attention about what is being preached by Barry and our commitment to Iraq. If we pull out entirely in 18 months I predict another war will be lost by 2011. Oh well, I'm not in charge of anything more than the vacuum cleaner today. Gotta bust those dust bunnies.



Smile, Damn it!

We live in the most prosperous Nation in the World. Think back to when you were a kid and see how things are better now than they were then. I grew up in a house without central heat. We had linoleum not carpet and if you wanted a car as a kid, you had better go get a job and pay for it yourself.

What did I learn from that? I learned that you get what you get based on how much education you got and how hard you worked. Guess what? It worked and I will now continue to smile for the rest of my life.

Is it really important who is the next President of the United States? NO! either Congress will start working on the problems or we will elect a new bunch. Their approval rating in the single digits will solve some of that problem this election cycle.

I look around and see all the opportunities to everyone and marvel that we have the freedom to be winners or whiners. Pick one but I will be smiling when I do.



The Cream Of the Crap

From this view of the Beech Aircraft plant along east Central, you can see the houses along Byrd street. As if living in an un-air conditioned house wasn't enough, imagine a thousand cars in the parking lot behind your house generating more heat.

Another view of Dog Patch and some planes on the parking area at the plant.

I grew up on the east side of Wichita in a part once named Travel Air City. It was started as a housing area for people working for Beech Aircraft. Beech owned the land from Central to Kellogg along Webb Road. As the post WWII years progressed, the neighborhood continued to decline until it was called Dog Patch after the Al Capp Cartoon city. The neighborhood was about four blocks by four blocks with two trailer parks and if it didn't have enough run down properties, they drug in what looked like two story Military Housing buildings that had made up a housing area called Beechwood. The should have been torn down but as late as last year, they were still renting them to people too poor to leave. Dog Patch was the home of a few professionals and a lot of Rednecks and trailer trash. The Oakies and Arkies settled in Dog Patch and the games began. There were some that had jobs, but a lot those people worked just long enough to buy some old junker and enough beer to get good and drunk. By being the kids of one of the people employed at Beech we were self titled "The Cream of the Crap".

I think you could say that it was a little better than some parts of the city but I have seen two adult women roll out in the street fighting and cussing. It was normal for me on my morning paper route to find a car parked in the yard with more than one person in the car so drunk they didn't even get into the house. Until they tore down the "Past Time Gardens" that was on the end of Byrd street, it was almost comical to watch the drunks stagger home when the club closed.

As the neighborhood grew (The baby boom effect) there was no shortage of kids. One house right down the street seemed to have families of bunches of kids. The first family I knew had six girls and one boy. The next family had four boys and three girls. The last family that lived there had a bunch of kids and I didn't even keep track of the number. They were a dirty faced snotty nosed bunch of kids that were never seen alone. If you saw one, there would be at least five of them. Their mother would come over to our house to escape the tribe and they would come over and sit on the porch. That is unless Rex, the wonder dog, was outside. For some reason he hated those kids and they feared him. He loved to launch himself off the porch and chase them home. I never saw anyone bit, but they screamed and he chased. Such fun.

The salvation of the neighborhood was the school. The patrons of the district from Forest Hills and Eastborough kept putting in enough money to expand the school until it was one big school. Nothing was too good for their kids and if a few of us "lesser" slipped in it was of no concern to them. It didn't bother me, because those rich kids just backed down when you cussed and spit on them. If could outfight most of them and damn sure outrun the rest.

I often wonder what would have been my lot in life if I had married my girl friend right out of High School, or as some did, during high school because of kids. A lot of the old gang of guys went to work in the plants there in Wichita and some progressed up the chain until they hit some plateau and are just waiting to retire. Some did not listen to their body and died. Two just didn't go to the hospital until they died ugly and hard. One of the smokers has had more cancer than I care to think about and is lucky to still be alive. There is one of my friends that has evolved in to the neighborhood drunk. He still lives right in the middle of that place and wonders why many of us moved away and on with life.



"A Dark Knight"

Went to see the new Batman movie this afternoon and it is one brutal SOB. Every moral question is made to stand right out in the daylight and cut, stabbed, shot or burned. Keith Ledger's version of the Joker will be the standard for a long time. The movie kind of left him hanging.

I couldn't figure out why the movie seemed to especially dark and as I left the theater I realized I had my sunglasses on. Duh Dennis! The only thing I would have changed was at the very end the announcer was saying something and the music just drowned out any thought of hearing it. OH Well. Five Pop Corn boxes for anyone over 16.


It's Official

With the official price at $20.00 a truckload, I am now a certified Manure Shoveler. I took my tiller and tilled up a path about 20 feet long and covered it with a truck load of Manure from the dairy up the street. I tilled the manure into that tilled area and now am waiting for it to get a lot more mellow. I will add grass clippings and turn it a couple of times this year. I may plant a green manure grass (Rye Grass) on it this fall and turn that in next spring. I'll bet it is some kind of great garden soil next year.

So, if you are curious, the Master Gardner has given me the title as the guy most likely to shovel it with the big boys. From Head Laborer to Head Shoveler Man it just keeps getting better.


Puns and Pains

Today in the paper, the Dear Abbey replacement writer, had a submission from a person that likes puns. I think word games that are the punchline to jokes are the best. Here are a few of the punchlines, make up your own jokes.
  • It was the (bear or beer) that make Mel Famey Walk us.
  • People that live in grass huts shouldn't store thrones.
  • Arrows, Hell, I didn't see the Indians.
I profess to be funny but am a complete amateur compared to my Nieces husband Kriss. His Chinaman act with a popcorn bowl over his head absolutely is the funniest skit I have ever seen.

Laugh out there.



Do you remember your dreams? Are they some insight into your mind and you work through problems and find your answers to those deep questions? Do they reflect how you feel on a conscious or subconscious level? I can't answer that for you, but i would like to share my last night's dreams. Or at least the one big one that occupied my mind for most of the last part of the night.

I was selected to be on an 8 man jury type panel and we were given two days to argue/discuss issues as a four man group and then debate the opposite side of the question. We spent three hours in discussion/preparation of our material and then we had a one hour debate. Our job was to discuss Capital Punishment from both sides. I am very pro punishment and remember the first debate where we supported the issue as being very easy and fun for my group. In my dream, we creamed the other side. That afternoon we had to take the other side and it was a struggle to pull the team together to defend not taking an eye for an eye. We failed miserably in that debate and the other group used much of our material to cream us.

I woke up before the second day was in full swing and had to write that dream down before it slowly goes away. It always surprises me how vivid the dream is and how the memories drift away as the day progresses.

Just so you know, I love to work with groups and have been a debate judge for my son's debate class when he was in High School. I love to have a good argument and spending a couple of days doing a project like that would charge my batteries. It was a good dream not one that I would hate to really live.

I have had dreams like this when there was a big question to work through. I have not had any this organized or complete.

Have a great day, or sweet dreams...



Life's Challenges

If you go over to The Righteous Buzz and see her post, it is a challenge to all of us out here in the real world to realize our challenges and how small they are. There is a video of a (SP?) who was born without arms or legs. His comment is, "To a man born without arms or legs Nick Vujicic should be thankful for that little chicken leg of a foot." He has never given up and feels that a man without purpose has no meaning. A Man without meaning has no hope.

The most amazing thing about the video is that he laughs and talks about how he has a purpose in spite of his limitations. He said he has no limits only limitations and they are few.


Published Author

If you are interested in reading this, click on the body of the text.

The July issue of the National Guard magazine published a letter in their Mail Call Column for good Old MUD. (That's Colonel Mud boys and girls) I am working hard to practice writing for my book and have now had two letters to the editor published. One was to Super Chevy and the other was the NGAUS Magazine. Some day I hope to put it all together and write that book.

Some day I'll be able to say, see you in print.


Mental Health

You don't have to be crazy to read this crap, but it sure helps. My last blog had a post from a "not Tall" person and he felt forever challenged with his lot in life. The reality is that his reality is his reality and I can't change it. The person responsible for your well being and safety is you. If you find yourself in a rut, there are competent people out there that will and can help you understand that being negative is part of the problem and you are the solution.

If you did what you did, you will get what you got. Geez, 30 years of feeling crappy about life should tell you that something needs adjusted and the stature, eye color or appearance isn't often the problem.

I laugh, love and enjoy life because I can. An old Colonel would say, "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king" Being a friend is all I can offer. A handshake doesn't know your height. A good story well told doesn't either. My best teacher in elementary school was a big lady until I met her while I was in High School. She was at best 4 foot six inches. She taught me more than anyone I know. My best friend is the most talented man I know and he can get under the dash in my truck and fix things I can't even imagine doing.

I am back to my line, laugh, love and live and if that doesn't work, there are some great drugs out there to help.



Sense of Humor, or Lack Thereof

This month, the New Yorker magazine ran a picture of Barry Obama and his wife on the cover. The first thing I saw was the ears and realized without reading the article that it was a satire. That picture was about everything that Barry has failed to laugh at. His wife, his ears, his middle name, the flag pin and oh go Google the New Yorker and look at the picture. If you don't laugh at it, you need to have your attitude adjusted.

Today in Pickles, two old men were sitting on a bench complaining that it costs 2 cents to make a penny. One wondered if there was more they should do than sit there and whine. "We are a nation of Whiners" not winners.

Dear Abby's daughter Jean Phillips had a letter from a lady that was complaining that everyone is just enjoying life and she, the consummate ant is saving for the winter days. They are playing grasshopper and have boats, houses at the lake and no sense of tomorrow. I refuse to let that kind of small stuff get me down. I got an education early, worked hard and am now in my retirement years and not wondering where my next meal is coming from. I love to read the funny papers (or the Infantry News as we called it in the Artillery) and have a good laugh. I get to spend a few minutes looking at things people find funny and then go on about my day.

In one article today, a community in New York have an ordinance that baggy pants will no longer be tolerated. There is a $25 dollar fine if you show three or more inches of your underwear. My god, I would glue my pants on a pair of underwear at 2 1/2 inches and wear them just as a form of protest. (Being chicken, I would also carry a tape measure to display my compliance with the law. Geez, I would think the butt crack exposure by old men like me with a big belly and no butt would put us in Jail for life. At least a big fine would ensue.

Whatever you do, see if there isn't something out there that makes you smile. Go pet a dog, feed a kitty or do something that you enjoy. I personally am going to put some deck wash on the redwood today and smile as I think about all the funny things in life. My biggest smile will be because I love the things I have and don't whine at the things I want.



Walnut Caterpillars

We have a lot of Hickory trees here at Rabbit Run and the first trees to get hit by the Walnut Caterpillars are the Hickory's. I just bought a new pump sprayer because the little one we had wouldn't get to the top of Dave's Cedar trees. The new one will spray a stream about 45 feet in the air. I really wouldn't mind these cats eating the leaves on the hickory trees if they would do their damage out in the yard away from the sidewalk and driveway. Any moisture and the droppings (Yes, Poop) turns brown and stains the concrete. I have been spraying for two days and probably have killed every living thing in the yard.

Looks like we are going to go to Appleby's for lunch with the kids. Always a good break to spend a little time with young ideas. Not that I understand everything but they always have a good time and are good for a laugh. I think smiling and laughing is one way to stay young, or at least not notice how old I feel.

Better get going miles to go.



1968 Memories

This photo was taken in the early 50's, but it really showed how I felt when I had to leave my new bride and go to Vietnam. I wasn't as scared as angry that there was a damn good chance that I could get killed and make that wonderful woman a widow way too damn early...

We went to Vietnam on the USNS Geiger which was a slow boat. If it had had a damn keel it would have not wallowed its way across the ocean. I was assigned as the morale officer and asked to organize the activity as we crossed the international dateline. I picked the smallest guy on the ship to be King Neptune, a very hairy bellied baby to be out son and made myself the Queen and in charge of the activity. Each of the members of the battalion that could not prove they had crossed the International Date Line (into the realm of the dragon) had to kiss the belly of "baby" after it was smeared with ketchup. It was one fun day in about 19 days of boredom
Did you notice the photocubes taped on the pillow? Had to give the guys something to look at besides my ugly legs.

On the back of this picture I wrote that I was only 15 feet from my bed and a beer? Not sure what that meant but again I was in the middle of no where. I'll bet my rifle was just out of the picture.

This was taken as we prepared to go outside of the wire and set up an ambush position. I somehow got a carbine with a sawed off stock from someone. I had a radioman with me and my part was to call artillery. If it came down to me and the carbine we were way too deep in it to do any good.

This is the view of the hill top artillery position we were on in January 1969. An enemy soldier got on the far hillside and shot recoilless rockets into this position. As the battery Executive Officer I went out and directed the gun crew to shoot back at that sucker. We turned the gun 90 degrees and fired at least one round at him for each one he shot at us. When it was all over every sandbag in this picture was laying on the ground. Every member of the gun crew was wounded and I walked away from the gunfight without a scratch. I remember that each time one of his rounds would come into the area I would hide behind this tree stump. After the battle was over I walked around looking for that stump to kiss. I tripped over this 2" stub that wasn't over 3" tall. I don't know I thought I was covered but I sure felt safe. I was less than a month from going home at the time and should have stayed in the bunker. Just couldn't let that happen.

I returned home from Vietnam in Late January 1969 and started on the rest of my life. We lived in an 8X38' trailer and went back to school.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.



When? 1968?

I won't presume to speak for her, but this was the best thing I ever did. February 11th, 1968 in the Chapel of the Bells, Las Vegas Nevada. Barb, I love you as much now as I did then.

Middle Of No and Damn Where!

The kids in the Petty family today have Grandma Erma's House on Beaver Lake to visit. My sister Carol and her husband bought the property and have welcomed the family to go down to stay there. It has a great view, close to the lake and if you like to fish and swim it is a wonderful place to visit. Now that they have rural water and a new septic system it is pretty close to home. The reality is that once upon a time Erma and Curly lived in a part of Kansas that was far different .

I described it then as the middle of no where. Now I have it changed to the middle of "no and Damn where". If you go north out of Hoisington about 8 miles you run into a little town called Susank. Go about 2 miles west and two miles north from there and you run into a Shell Oil field with the superintendents house along the road. This picture is taken along the driveway of that house. It is my little brother Rick and I. He was about 1 and I would have been about 6.

Did you see the horizon in that picture? Flat and other than the curve of the earth there wasn't much to see out there. Now, the adults managed to have a lot of fun out there and on occasion I also had some fun. Mostly it was watching the drunks run into the ditch and try to get to their cars after a night of drinking and fun.

One constant was that about 100 feet south of the house was an oil well that had a John Deere one lung motor on it and it pumped about half of the day and night. For the edification of the younger group, that motor had a "Pumpety- Pump, Pumpety pump , pumpety pump" sound the entire time it ran. You either got imune to the sound or went crazy like some weird form of water torture.

There were two places in the world where the water was almost undrinkable. One was grandma Bessie's house in Eldorado and the other was the water hauled into the house there by Susank. Both had severe oil well contamination and the sulfur was so strong it was almost undrinkable unless it was cold. Some way, the crew house there on the oil lease had an ice machine and there was almost always a lot of ice.

Thanks for coming along on this little trip of nostalgia. It takes me back to the first 10 years of my life when one of the places we went on vacations was to Grandma's. Back in those days, there wasn't money to go to wild and different places like National Parks (unless you consider driving by Cheyenne Bottoms a treat).



Hydraulic Filter

Unless you are a Tractor junkie like I am, this picture probably didn't do much for you. I would have taken a bigger picture of the tractor but there was a hydraulic oil stain in the area between where I took the picture and the tractor. Barb likes the fact I am handy about fixing things but hates my messes. Perhaps some day I will have an outbuilding so I can make messes somewhere but on the driveway. OH Well.

Green Thoughts

I read that there is a guy in Sweden is powering his car by wood gas created in a small stove in the backseat. Makes me wonder if there isn't some way to capture the heat from a combustion engine and add to the ability of it to power a vehicle and get nearer to that 50 MPG goal. Perhaps we could use the combustion heat to get the oil out of the Oil Shale? The latest figure I read was that up to 80% of the products from a combustion engine (mostly heat) goes out the tail pipe.

A good friend is working on an electric powered cart to see if he can't boost up the top end so it can be used to run local errands. If it is a good as most of his projects it will be good and also purty.

One of the local electric shops here in Topeka took a Chevy S-10 and put an electric motor in it. They estimate that on the west coast people pay about $20,000 for such a conversion. It will go fast but only has a 40 mile range. I would like a little more range (more weight?) and also be able to charge the batteries using solar when it is parked somewhere. Perhaps such a vehicle with a trailer mounted generator for slightly longer trips could be rigged.

According to the local building code there is no need to get a permit to build a building up to 150 square feet. I wonder if that includes a tower 40 foot tall on top of the 10X15 foot building? Going to need a place to put the storage batteries. May also try to incorporate some type of water storage tank so I can put up a water solar heater and keep everything warm. Just a thought. I don't have plans yet so I don't have approval from the CEO here at Rabbit Run. Just so you notice, I am the head laborer here and a voting member of the Board of Directors but not a majority stockholder.

Well, the CD I am listening to is ending so I'd better get to doing something worth while.


Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

If you listen carefully, you can hear the zucchini growing all across the United States. Do not leave your cars unlocked because you might find someone has gifted you a bag of zucchini. If someone approaches you on the street with a paper bag in their arms, run.

OK, I love the stuff and find that a little onion, one piece of bacon cut into one inch pieces in the microwave until the bacon is crispy and then one sliced zucchini for 3 minutes and I'm in heaven. Barb told me that this one was hiding under some leaves and silently growing into this 11 inch example of what I love. Good Eating.


Bad Eyesight

The person that marked this picture used some kind of a marker that with my bad eyesight I read as R Petty not C Petty. I have been informed that this is Kristy's picture and not Rick. I had never seen this picture before so I beg forgiveness for the error.

I guess as it was pointed out that in 1952, it is unlikely that a color picture would have been made. I know there were color motion pictures taken during WWII (1940's) and in professional studios there were color pictures available but, duh Dennis, a baby picture in 1952 is likely to be basic black and white. I guess a daughter should look somewhat like her dad.

Basic cleaning today. Barb incorporated a small zuccini squash into an omelet this morning and it was mighty tasty. Nice texture and taste. With a sprinkle of cheese, you could probably serve me a newspaper in the morning, but I swear this was pretty darned good. Our tomatos have been very tasty. Kind of smallish yet but good. Barb is out in the garden browsing for more tasty treats. Have a safe day out there.



Hey Congress!

I hate to be the one that breaks it to you, but your approval rating is only half as high as the President's. His is at least double digits. If you go home in August without a comprehensive plan to start work on our energy problem, don't think you are going back in the fall and stay there. I damn sure not going to help you finance another campaign. If you aren't a part of the solution, you are the problem.
First, we need to drill where we can and drill now. We need to start on the oil shale extraction process now. We need to have a plan on development of solar panels and wind energy plants QLB ( Quick Like a Bunny). We need to replace electric generation with Natural Gas and start the conversion of our wheeled fleets to compressed gas. We need to look at France's Nuclear program that generated 80% of their power needs. They haven't had an accident and consider it a part of their energy program.
I dont care what your solution is and in what order, get started or get gone.


One Book Chapter

I am not sure what the finished product will look like but I intend to write at least a chapter about several people I have met along this trip I call life. One is dedicated to Griseldis or Chris as she was known. I named a poor little dachshund, Grissy, in her honor. Hard headed German females are just too much fun to not love.
One of the first times I met Chris, we were at Summer Camp with the National Guard. We went to Camp Guernsey, WY and were going to set up an exercise with a Field Artillery Brigade Headquarters. I had been transferred to the State Headquarters and was right out of a tactical unit. That time in a field unit gave me experience in working the radio along with the Standard radio procedures. The Headquarters soldiers just did not have any experience doing that so I was roped into teaching a class or doing all the radio work myself. OK boys and girls, listen up!
One part of the procedure is the phonetic alphabet that is used to make sure that letters are understood. A = Alpha, B= Bravo down to Z= Zulu. We made a game of this and I sat the students down in a circle. We went around the room and I would give them a letter and they would say it phonetically. The first time we got to Chris, her letter was H (Hotel) she said she wasn't sure but she thought Howard was correct. "No, Chris, Hotel." The next time we got to her the letter was U (Uniform). She said that she didn't have any idea. I told her she had it on. She said, "Oh, Oh, Oh, Underwear!" Of course everyone wanted to know how she thought I would know she had it on. So that incident was from then on known as Howard's Underwear.
The phonetic Alphabet from WWII changed somewhere between 1947 and 1966. I thought the old system was great. One of our Sergeant Majors was SGM Reveles. Under the old system his name was "Romeo, Easy, Victor, Easy, Love, Easy, Sugar."
A little later on when I actually took that rag tag group to the field, Chris was left in the base camp to run the Headquarters there. There were a lot of visitors coming and going through there and there were also a lot of messages from Topeka. We had the State Headquarters in Topeka or "STARC", I was STARC Forward out in the field so she began to call the base camp unit STARC Rear. "Dis is da STARC Rear" just killed us. Instead of "STARC Guernsey", she appointed herself as the "STARC Rear." That just made us all laugh for the entire time we were out in the field. Chris didn't even blush when I explained to her later on what she did. According to her, she learned to speak in German and they talk and think different. She said she thinks in German and translates so things just come out "bass ackwards."
The last time I saw Chris, she was a newly promoted Master Sergeant and I had just been promoted to Colonel. She agreed that we both had come a long way in the intervening 15 years. She told me that she had had a pretty bad run on her health and had been subjected to a lot of surgery for cancer. She said, " I have had so much removed that I could shower with the guys."
Chris is a wonderful person with an open outlook on life. We both have retired from the Active Guard and I hope she is living a full and rich life.


What Did I Want and When Did I want it.

When I was little, mostly I wanted a few pop bottles so I could go to Womack Grocery and get a bag full of penny candy. Being a Baby Boomer, there was never, repeat ever a time when there wasn't someone to play with. I swear there was between 20 and 30 kids on the block where I lived and close to 100 in the nearby neighborhood. We played all sorts of games to include baseball, kick the can, hide and go seek, Smear the queer and anything that included fights and tackling.

We were poor but really I didn't notice it that much. I had clothes to wear and if they were dirty, it was my fault. Mom wasn't the best housekeeper but she cooked a lot and in quantity. Does seem like Mom liked to cook things that only got one pot dirty but hey, there weren't dish washers in the homes in the 40's. My mom would brown pork chops in the electric skillet and then make Spanish rice rice on top of them. Man I loved that. Mom served beans at least once a week and we all loved that. If it was cooler it was chili with enough crackers and catchup to make it sweet and salty and generally hot.

About the time I turned 10, I noticed cars and girls. From then on it was my goal to own a car and not be owned by a girl. I guess by the time I had bought my first car, I also met Donna. Man I loved that car. I was working a lot of hours to support the car and a girl friend in High School so my grades were not very much what most people would be proud of. I really didn't care and had no idea what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life. I guess I assumed that I would get married and work at one of the Aircraft plants.

Well, Along came Vietnam and slam bam thank you mam, I found myself drafted in to the Army in Sep 66. I could say a lot of things about my time there but about half way through my year in Vietnam I realized that the thing I wanted out of there was me. I had met and married a wonderful young woman and man did I ever want to get home and live life with her.

Barb had a goal of graduating from college, teaching school, having a house and children. In that order. Good enough for me.

The rest of our life we spent making sure that the bills all got paid and we managed to save enough so some day we could retire with enough to live. Mission accomplished and now we are living a great life in the slow lane.

Hope you find your dreams and realize that it is your reality not a dream.


Mowin' and Grillin'

Seems like a good day for me is to spend a couple of hours on the mower followed by a couple of hours on the grill. Stuff myself with a good meal and a quick nap. That was after I spent a couple of hours working on the mower to make it run well.

Had a problem with the hydraulics on the tractor and just couldn't get it to work right. I went to the Big Boy's Toy store, Tractor Supply and found a Hydraulic Oil filter adapter and after crafting a way to fasten it on, everything now works proper and well. I added new oil after I drained the old oil out. Actually, when I cut the hose to install the filter it all drained out but it sounds more like preventive maintenance when I say I drained it out.

Barb made cinnamon rolls for Dave and when I awoke from my nap they were all gone. I was informed that "You snooze, you loose." Dang, at least I got some of the rolls which were the best.

What do you marinate your meat with prior to grilling? I found that Italian dressing for the chicken is about as good as it gets. The steaks get a rubbing of a taco seasoning, paprika, garlic and enough soy sauce to make it all wet in a gallon zip lock bag. I let it marinate for at least a couple of hours. Put that on a grill with charcoal and a hickory log and it doesn't get any better.
OK, there was a brat or two on the back of the grill while i cooked the chicken. I have to test one to make sure they are done between the chicken and the steak. With two Weber's, I could cook both at the same time but I cook low and slow and listen to the radio out on the deck. On Sunday, I listen to Money Talk and see if I can remember what the heck the investment vehicles are all about. Being retired, the return of my money is more important than the return on my money. My tolerance for risk is pretty low.

Oh well, miles to go and lots to do. Have fun and be safe out there.



Have a great day!

The weather here in the Heartland is very nice and other than the humidity being a little high it will just be in the lower 80's. I have some new charcoal and will try it out on some wonderful steaks and chicken from Sam's Club.

I hope you all can get out and enjoy yourself today and get some sun.



57 Chevy Test

This is a test of your knowledge of the 57 Chevy:
  1. The top of the line in 1957 was; a. Impala b. Bel Air c. Nomad.
  2. The gas cap is located; a. on the left fender. b. under the license plate c. Above the taillight
  3. What was the name of the top of the line Station Wagon: a. Impala b. Bel Air c. Nomad
  4. Did all 57's have a brushed aluminum panel on the side? T or F
  5. The Hardtop came only on the 2 dr model? T or F
  6. You could only get the Hardtop on the Bel Air line: T or F
  7. The stock wheel size was: 14 in, 15 in or 16 in
  8. Where did the bow tie emblem appear? On the trunk, on the hood or on the grill?
  9. You could get the 57 with a 265 (6 cyl), the 283 or the 327? T or F
  10. Electric Windows and seat were available on the 57? T or F
  11. Electric wipers were available on the 57. T or F
  12. What color were the V's on the hood and trunk on the Bel Air? Silver, Gold or Brushed Chrome?
  13. The 6 cylinder motor was called? a. Torque Flight, b. Blue Flame or C. Power Pack

  1. The top of the line model in 1957 was the Bel Air.
  2. The gas cap was located in the chrome above the tail light.
  3. The Nomad was the top of the line Station Wagon.
  4. Only the Bel Air had a brushed aluminum panel on the rear fenders. Less expensive models had a painted insert.
  5. The Hard Top came in both the 2dr and 4 dr model.
  6. Not many were made, but the hard top was available in lesser lines than the Bel Air.
  7. Stock wheel size on the 57 was 14 inch.
  8. The bow tie emblem was on the grill of the 57.
  9. The 327 motor was not available in 57. There were a few Fuel Injected motors in the 283 and a power pack motor with a 4 barrel available.
  10. Electric windows and an electric seat was available in 1957.
  11. Electric wipers were available in 1957.
  12. The Bel Airs had a gold V on the hood and the trunk.
  13. The 6 cylinder motor was called the Blue Flame.
1 to 3 correct, Ford Driver
4 -5 Over 50 or owned a 57
6-9 Chevy lover
9-12 Expert
13 You either owned a 57, own one now or you cheated.


Data Mining

This is an appeal for people out there to stop looking at data and finding the answer when in plain sight, using common sense the answer is out there. For example, people say that because of the low handgun and long gun ownership the death toll in the UK is the lowest. When, in fact, there are several countries that have higher hand and long gun ownership than the UK and lower number of killings by guns. Just because you look in a field full of horse droppings, you won't find a pony in each pile. In fact you just might find:

The author had data mined and makes himself look like the south end of a North headed horse. Yep er, the real thing. And, I don't need to read, feel or kiss one to know the real thing. (at least 9 times out of 10)

Well, Lookie Here!

Even though I asked the incoming Editor of the Capitol Journal about not covering the Regatta, the paper didn't mention one word about the last regatta. Put a few rowers out in the Sunflower
State games and they put in two articles. The KCR Team didn't have many and they didn't win much but at least they got mentioned. I hope you can click on the picture and make the fine print big enough to read. This is for Jenn.


Wish I was :
  • Younger. Well, I would have to go back to work full time. Never mind.
  • Richer. Well, I have been threatening to get a dumpster to get rid of all the stuff I have and if I had more money, I would buy more stuff, Never mind
  • Better looking. Now what the hell would I do with this? Get a girlfriend and lose half of everything to the divorce lawyers. Never mind
  • Travel more. OK, I have a seven day rule that I need to be home about every 7 days or I get grumpy. OK, I'm grumpy a lot of the time. Never mind.
  • Better Dressed. Are you kidding, a 60 year old guy that cares what the heck he looks like or what he wears. Never mind.
  • Better Fed. With a wife that insists we eat vegetables at every meal I could eat better? I also have a $50.00 gift certificate from the local meat market that I haven't cashed in yet. Never mind.
  • More Verbose. Now, if I had a better gift of the Blarney Stone I could go around making stuff up a lot more regular. Lets see, I posted three times yesterday. (With Pictures mind you) Na, Never Mind.
So, I guess what I am is all I'm going to be. Hope you are too. Never Mind!


Tin Type Picture

This is a photoshopped Tin Type picture that was in some of my Grandmother's pictures. I don't have a clue who she is. As I study her face, I see a little bit of a lot of the women in my family. Fun


Beck & Kristy

Wasn't she a cute little thang?

Big sis and little sis in a group hug.

Anyone for Pig Tails?

I figured this is Easter either 74 or 75.

Kristy about 5 years old.

Beck and her girls. I think about 1990? Proud Grandpa Rick. Dang, I'm twice as old as he was in this picture and still don't have any grandkids. Oh well,


Rick Pics

This is the first picture of my brother Rick taken at Westley Medical Center in 1952. I had never seen this picture until today.

This is Rick about 6 months old. Quite the swinger as you can see.

We were in Arkansas and Rick was climbing into the trunk of Grandpa's car.

This must have been kindergarten.

1st Grade
One of Dad's Haircuts.

Joe Cool with the open collar.

Some of the teachers made us button our collars. Why? Because they could!

I assume this is about the time he was 12.

Here he is surveying the soap box racer he and dad built. It went fast and straight until you applied the brake and then look out!

This is my brother Rick with our cousin Cathy taken in 2006. Two pretty darned nice people.