While I was Out Yesterday

There is a really great guy that runs a bike shop over by Washburn University here in Topeka. He was in an area that was slated for upgrades and he didn't want to move. The Developer finally built around his shop and he remains in business. I thought that this Country was built on fairness and the right to own your property. It seems that the City of Topeka has joined in with the developer to put Jerry out of business. Here are a few of the injustices done to Jerry.
  • The city condemned the parking area behind his building and took it for the Developer to make money off of. Don't let anyone tell you that the laws only support public works.
  • The City dug up the parking area in front of his store and connected the gas lines to the two adjoining stores and cut his off. He has only a wood stove to heat his building.
  • He is being taken to court and sued for $250,000 or the right for the developer to change the decor of Jerry shop and Jerry has to pay or it.
  • One day Jerry's sewer stopped working and he realized that the city cut his sewer line off. He has to put a porta potty on his sidewalk to use the bathroom.
  • The city tried to say that the porta potty was blocking the sidewalk and when they finally saw it the realized that it didn't. Then they tried to say it was on the easement but it wasn't.
If there was ever a guy that should hate the city and the developer, Jerry is it. I am going to cut a load of fire wood and take it to him as the weather cools down. I am also going to buy a new headlight/taillight outfit from him even though I can get it cheaper on the Internet.

One other note is that Jerry doesn't carry recumbents anymore. He said that at the bike show this year almost no one was at the Bentrider's booths. I did notice that they are all over a grand each and I'll bet the inventory cost and the pending legal problems don't help.

Oh well, I think I'll go for a bike ride and get over it.



Went to the Dog Show

Just as I got there my favorite kind of dog was being judged. The Dachshunds had done each category of Short hair, long hair, wire hair and standard and the best of the four types were being judged. A black and Tan long hair won best of the breed.

She was a pretty as Grissy and her hair was so well groomed that it shined. I did notice a hair ball on one ear that I would have combed out but the handler didn't seem concerned.

Right after the judging I saw two of the cutest dachshunds in a crate that I hadn't seen in the long hair competition. They were as blond as a pair of Cocker spaniels and were a sweet pair. Their handler was pissed off that they weren't selected in their category and kenneled them up and walked away. I didn't see the owner take them away.

For me the toughest class to judge would have been the Dobermans. There were 35 of them and other than a chocolate one now and then they looked almost identical. What a bunch of pretty dogs and not one guard dog in the bunch. They were all sweet and loved to sniff strangers and get petted. One came up and nudged my camera lens and I had to clean off a nose print. He was thrilled to have me pet him and I was thrilled that he didn't tear off my arm or something. It was a fun day and my feet hurt.


One Day's Haul

The Master Gardner came in from her daily trip to the garden with a load of newly picked produce. I love fresh stuff from the garden. Every once in a while I do want to go consume copious quantities of meat but hey, it's a guy thing. Have a great meal out there.

A little Help

Just so you will know, the Master Gardner here at Rabbit Run has a Masters Degree in Special Education. As she racked up the Graduate Hours, she attended a lot of workshops and classes while writing more papers than I write blogs. All good stuff, but some was more fun than others. Most notable of the entire process (at least for me) were the Love and Logic workshops given by Jim Fay.

In addition to being a pretty straight forward person with a very logical approach, he is funny as hell when he tells you about the real world examples of his process. Whenever Barb went to one of the conferences, I tried to sit in on at least one or two of the instructional periods. He mostly tells you to focus your reaction to the child's behavior to the action and shows you how not to transfer that to the child as anger. It also helps you watch others as they parent their children and know that their frustration could be a lot less if they just had a little help from Jim & Company.

The real great thing about Jim's work is that he really has reached out to the schools and his material is available through most school counselors. There is a really good DVD set that gives you a bunch of coping strategies and let me show you how they work.

Your child comes home in a really bad funk. He or she throws he books down and announces that "I am never going back to school". Instead of being angry about the book throwing, Jim would tell you to ask the child to do something with you that you know they enjoy. After spending a while regaining their emotions (and giving you a chance to figure out what you are going to do) in a very non emotional setting be the adult and lead a discussion on how you love them and why you feel that education is very much worth the hassle. Your example of Love in a calm environment gives them hope that they will someday be able to be calm when their hormones cause them to think the world is out of control.

Yesterday at Wal*Mart I saw a child very angry that her mother had told her to sit down in the cart and not to stand up. Mother told her," For the third and last time, I am telling you to sit the hell down or I'll blister you butt". Jim's approach would have been for the mother to calmly tell the little girl that she is loved so much that if she fell out of the cart she would feel so bad. Everyone would be mad at mother if she got hurt.

If you are struggling with a relationship (especially children) got to your school and see if the counselor has some material from Jim Fay to help you make a difference.



Volleyball Story

The school I attended from Kindergarten through the 9th grade had a focus on Volleyball that just made it a part of every recess and gym class. Because there was two bus runs, there was also volleyball prior to school from the time the first bus run arrived until the first bell of classes. It was a fun and easy game and most of us played as much as we could.

In the 8th grade, I didn't make the volleyball team for some reason. I think the boys coach didn't like me because I didn't play basketball that year. Whatever, but the team went to a tournament at another school there in Wichita. The entire team left the gym after their game and went across the street to the DQ. The Coach fired the entire team. That day, the coach selected an entirely new team and I went to the tournament with that group the second and third night.

Our team, the second best team in our school, went to that tournament and cleaned the clock of all the teams we played. I have always had a fondness for winning and that cemented my love of the game.

In Officer Candidate School at fort Sill, OK, the Company Commander asked us to put together a team to play in the post tournament. We didn't have any time to practice but we did have several players over six feet tall. We went to the tournament the first night expecting to have a little fun and if we were lucky win a game or two. We waxed a team of one of the training units and played a second team in our side of the bracket in a tournament. We won both games the first night and played a second night. We won both games that night and played for the Post Championship and won that game. Because we were in Training to become officers, the second place team went on to the All Army Championships. I'll bet we could have won at least a couple of games but alas it was not allowed for us. I have always wondered if had we been a regular unit if we could have gone on and perhaps put some players on the Olympic Team. Instead, we all pinned on the 2nd Lieutenant bars and went on to our first units. Mine put me in line to go to Vietnam as a Forward Observer and I went. Oh well, I still enjoy watching volleyball even if they have changed the rules so I have a tough time keeping score.


Critters n such

Living here in the Heartland has dangers other than the misplaced bag of Zucchini. I have posted the Northern Black Widow and my brother-in-law killed a two foot copperhead with pictures on his e-mail. My niece was visiting her father in Texas and got stung by a wasp and her picture was so gruesome that I wouldn't post it here.

Yesterday I went up to Dave's place in search of some metal edging I was sure was in his storage shed. Not paying attention, I opened the door to find a six inch wasp nest, fully manned on the back of the door. One got me on the neck before I retreated out of their territory. I went back armed with some flying insect spray and got stung again on my finger as I sprayed the nest. At least I did find the edging I needed.

Later on, I went out to the other shed and got the riding mower out and there were wasps everywhere. They were working on a nest on the ceiling and at least they weren't as mad over my shaking the door as the last bunch. This time I had Dave's Black Flag and it sprays a stream about 10 or 15 feet and they were an easy kill.

The sting on my neck is just a small bump this morning but the finger is kind of swollen and sore. I guess that wasp was really inclined to get me and the other one just wanted me to go away.

Today it is kind of overcast and we have thunderstorms predicted for later on. I had some plans to do some roofing at the rental house but it will have to wait for a better day. Have a great day out there.



Leadership Vs. Management

I firmly believe that people need to be good mangers of their assets. You need to make money and spend less than you make. You need to spend a little on preventative maintenance and replace those things you can't fix. Good managers understand needs and wants and spend on the priority of needs first and wants when there is money. I won't get into the whole carbon footprint thing but if you can reduce yours, why not.

With that said, it is leadership that is the most misunderstood. Leadership is that gentle persuasion of others to do what they know is the right thing and have them think it is their idea. Motivate your kids and subordinates to feel good about positive things and learn from the mistakes. It is hard to understand the difference between motivators and dis-satisfiers. For example - One time a General officer made a comment in his big opening meeting that one of the mess halls at Camp Ripley was so ugly that people just didn't want to eat there. It turned out that the mess hall he pointed out was mine. I found out that my mess team had fed almost 500 more people than we were told to expect. Damn right it wasn't pretty, but the food was good. I spoke with about 25 people that ate there and they bragged about the leadership my Mess Sergeant used to meet the crush and get those people fed. I looked that General up and personally told him that he was all wet and I felt his remarks were ill chosen and a dissatisfied to most of us. Instead of using the example to praise how people can raise above the circumstances he chose to punish in public those that should have been praised. Had he brought that Mess Sergeant to the podium and given him an award he could have raised the standard across his Brigade. By using a negative he failed. To add bad to worse, food is not a motivator. It is only a dis-satisfier when it is bad. When you have a lot of work to do, you eat to stay fueled.

The next time someone makes a mistake, give them a hug and say that they will learn from the mistakes and to do the best they can. Look for a few positive things to say about your kids and subordinates each day and pretty soon they will think you are a miracle worker. Hit them and they will learn to hit. Berate them and they will learn to say bad things about others.

After all, what would we think of JFK if he had said, "Ask not what you can do for your Country, ask what our country can do for you." He made a mistake in the Bay of Pigs fiasco and moved on smartly.

Think about what you can do to have a positive impact and not worry about the "what ifs" unless you are using them to motivate.



What Do you do when it is Zuccini Season

After you have taken about a million pictures of the flowers, insects and deer, what do you do and where do you eat?

After you have eaten all the spicy chicken at Churches that you can stand, what do you eat?

You make a zucchini, diced tomato and Garbanzo bean chili and dig in. I noticed that there were two cupcakes yesterday and Barb admitted that it was a part of her balanced diet to eat cupcakes to offset all the zucchini. You never know how a meal that is good for you will attack. I haven't eaten garbanzo beans enough lately to know if they are powerful like regular beans.

But most importantly, in the Heartland, lock your doors as most of us that have them have them in quantity and the zucchini grow fast and big. Be afraid, very afraid. You never know who will sneak a bag of them in your car and slink away.


Just List'n to tunes

This morning when I got all ready to write here on this blog, a CD by the Prairie Rose Wranglers just fell right off the shelf and into my lap. So, I am listening to cowboy songs while I try to write this. It makes singing along kind of hard but I don't think anyone will notice.

The Prairie Rose Wranglers sing at the Prairie Rose down by Benton, KS and put on a great show. You go in and eat a chuck wagon meal and then get to laugh as they sing and tell jokes that are just my speed. They take the kids into the next room and let them watch movies and then to sing a Deep in the Heart of Texas when they all come back into the dinning room. Great evening. My favorite song by far is the "Cool Clear water" song. I have a tenor falsetto and get to sing the words "water" as a kind of over harmony along with the CD. Puts a smile on my mug that will last all day. I don't want to be serious when I listen to a comedian or attend a show. Ron White is just almost too cerebral for my taste. Good old Jeff and his redneck jokes are more my speed after 7 PM. Speaking of Jeff Foxworthy, did you hear my Red Neck Joke? You might not be a redneck if your car has a Bra and your wife doesn't need one.

The following is a Political Comment. Why does Barry not have a sense of humor? You can't tell stories about his name, his ears, his wife, his friends, his birth certificate and the list goes on... I can't believe that anyone really takes himself that serious unless some thing's wrong. I don't suffer fools gladly if they take themselves too serious. If you read this blog, you probably know that making fun of myself is a past time I enjoy. Did I mention John Edwards? A man with a wife about to die from Cancer needs to keep his pecker out of the payroll. What a dick head. Speaking of "Dick Heads" did you hear that Bill Clinton gave a speech about monogamy and its link to stopping the spread of Aids. (Instead of calling him Mr President, I capitalized dick head) That is about as strange as if the Pope made an advertisement for the Tiller Abortion Clinic. For the record, I think Abortion is a wrong thing to do, but I sure as hell don't want the Government involved with a decision made between a woman and her doctor. I damn sure don't need people telling me what they want if they have signs and yell at me. If you want to be committed, go to the Mayo Clinic.

Did you read that The "Reverend" Freddy Phelps's bunch of protesters tired to go to Canada to show their signs. Got stopped at the border as being undesirable. Man I wish there was some way we could do that right here in Topeka. You never know when you will be driving past some church or public building and there they are all signed up. If they weren't so stupid, I might think it was OK. I can't tolerate people using the first amendment to protect them when what they say is just so dumb that people shake their head and say, "That ain't right".

Oh well, on with the day. Listened to the CD twice and this is all I can think of writing.



I Don't mind Them picking them...

But I do mind if they eat them all and don't share. This is a photo of our new deer visitor and her two fawns. They are basically out in the open in our orchard and eat the apples. I haven't taken any pictures of the turkeys eating the grapes but the neighbors say they see them all the time. Oh well


Forgot the Dang Camera

This is Julie and the girls as they arrived in Wichita almost a month ago.

We went over to a party in Julie & Gerald's old neighborhood here in Topeka and met some mighty nice people and got to update my Special K hugs. But, wouldn't you know it, I forgot to bring the camera so warm feelings is all I have to show you for my time. Take my word for it, Julie and Gerald just know how to bring special people together. I guess it is their kindness and love that just brings out the best in people. It remind me of the warm and big hugs I would get from my mother when I was little.

I have bleary eyes from reading two books and watching the Olympics at all hours. Some darn nice young folks did a lot of hard work and their work shined as brightly as their medals. The Chinese brought Yau Ming home to highlight their basketball team but the US just creamed them. In their honor, I had Chinese food yesterday but an hour later I wanted to be home watching the swimming. The only thing prettier than watching the men's 4X100 free stile win over the French was the clip of Natalie Coughlin on the program this morning. That is sure a couple of purdy young thangs. Speaking of the French being beat by .08 seconds, they should be familiar with that feeling. From Napoleon to Vietnam, the French have been on the losing side more times than most people remember. I am amazed that when the Russians moved their tanks into Georgia, that the French didn't run up the white flag. I am still mad that one of my family members said that my name is a derivative of Petit and not English Petty. Those dang French can't be trusted to get something as small as my name right.

I really do hope that the Russians and the Georgians smooth their problems out soon. Just once in my lifetime I would like to see the UN get their act together and bring that stupid incursion to a halt.

Quick, raise your hand if you care who is the VP nominees for Barry and John. The choices enumerated on the TV this morning are as varied as Kathleen Sibelius for Barry and Lieberman for McCain. That's just too weird to think about this early in the morning. Perhaps when I have my third cup of coffee I'll be able to get my head in that game. (notice the sports reference after how many hours of the Olympics)

I tried to find some way to use bleary eyed that was better. Kind of like "Blearily" he said. (Spell checker didn't underline that so I guess I can leave it in)

Oh well, miles to go ad things to do. Have a great day out there.



13,000 Visitors

Thank You to all the people that visit this blog. I'll try to keep it light and variable. If you have any ideas, sound off in the comment section and I'll try to comply with your wishes.



Pornography, Heartland style

My readership is down a little so I thought I would experiment with things that might improve my readership. I will start with Male Nudity

Follow that with female nudity! (Naked Ladies)

Wild and wet party goer.

Dare I say Pussy:

A Picture of my buns:

And Finally a naked beach picture.

If this causes you to be ashamed of me, I apologize in advance. What else doe you have to do on a rainy day. Read a book? Watch the Olympics, write stupid things on your blog? Oh well...


Art Imitating Reality

After a long career in the Military, I am a little hard of hearing. It started on the rifle range and ended in the Field Artillery. The Master Gardner (aka Head Gardner) is always after me to get my hearing tested. I know what's wrong, I hear poorly in one ear and can't hear out of the other. My right ear is worse because of a concussion and that is side she sits on when I drive. Add a little traffic noise and I can't hear her when we drive without her speaking a lot more loud.

The Olympics are in full swing and yes, I will watch things that I would normally not watch. So far I watched the USA Women defeat Japan in soccer and their is dressage currently showing. I wouldn't normally watch horsing around unless it is in an R rated movie. Now if they could include something like a tractor pull in the horse show, I might watch eagerly. Yes Marv, it was a full pull for that horse from Jamaica. That Clydesdale isn't pretty and jumping that hurdle just wasn't possible but look at that form and distance.

It will be a lot cooler today here in the heartland and we might even get a little rain. I do have a little house cleaning to do and a load of dishes to wash. With a good book and the Olympics, there won't be any shortage of things to do. Hope you all have a great day out there.

MUF (That is MUD to those of you with good hearing)


Oh My God!

Don't get me wrong, but I think Bill Self getting 3 Million dollars a year is obscene! He is the coach not a player. If he repeats as the NCAA Champ there are incentives that could drive that up to 3.5 Million. Oh well, he can afford to drive the SUV the Lincoln Dealer gives him to drive.

I woke up this morning with a really bad taste in my mouth. That damn cigar is still haunting me. I am pretty sure that it isn't just the tobacco smoke in my nostrils making the smell turn in to a taste but after three cups of coffee it just is still there. It is just slightly less annoying than the poison ivy I have on my arms. Must have got into some at Dave's place yesterday.

Did you know that you can spot the K-State students around Manhattan KS by the skoal can wear marks on their back pockets? Do you know what the most popular flavor ice cream is on the K-State Campus. Vanilla for the girls and Skoal for the guys.

It cooled off to the mid 80's yesterday and in typical fashion I went out and overdid. This will be a two Naproxin Sodium morning.

Have a great day out there.


Dang, I Hate it When this Happens

For a lot of my adult life I smoked a pipe. Recently I had to have some oral surgery to check a place on my cheek that had been dried by the hot pipe smoke for all of those years. It wasn't much but the surgeon removed a quarter sized place instead of just taking a biopsy.

I tell you this to make sure that you know that I don't want to smoke and face that again. On the other hand, I have promised myself that if I am good for a year, I would get to smoke a "Birthday" Cigar each year. They keep getting more expensive and I find them less and less enjoyable. This year's cigar was a hand made Honduran that was supposed to be as good as a Cuban. It was a nice looking cigar and was just under $10.00. The picture above was just borrowed off a cigar magazine ad.

I borrowed the cigar cutter from the smoke shop and they gave me a lighter. I did the whole routine and pre heated the end and then lit it. At first it was a little bit if heaven. A warm smoke and it was fairly mild. The more I smoked that critter, the less I enjoyed it until I was dizzy as an old cow eating loco weed. I am glad that I got home quickly and didn't run into anything or have to stop and hurl.

Needless to say, my adventure with a cigar will wait for another year. I guess it is kind of like my annual catfish dinner. I have to have it about once a year to remember how much I hate catfish.

Oh well,


Family Notes

This is Amy and the babe. Somehow I got overlooked on the distribution list.

This is the Mom and dad of the newest member of the family. Their son, Austin Michael Kirkland is in the hospital in Birmingham, AL and expected to come home tomorrow. He was kind of little and typical of small babies had a jaundice problem and his oxygen levels weren't s high as the Doctor liked. Grandma Janet and Aunt Mandy are there right now but they will come home tomorrow.

Yes, I got off my duff and Voted. Hope you did too.

This is Mandy, Janet and Amy.



What Goes Around, Comes Around

This is a bouquet of Flowers made for the Master Gardner by her brother.

In today's Capital Journal there is a picture of a guy that makes art and one of the displays is a bouquet of flowers using faucet knobs.

I think ours is the best but it just shows you that great ideas can have many fathers.


New Holiday

Last night at dinner our daughter-in-law, the other Barb Petty said that she couldn't wait until August 16th. Not one person at the table could remember anything that stood out about that day. She smiled and said it is German Chocolate Cake day. Typical of her humor, she was just making it up and we all laughed. Sounds like a great holiday to me. So Happy German Chocolate Cake day to you out there.

In the good Ol' Summertime

Yes, I know that a lot of people are on vacation but there seems to be a bunch of people that don't think they need to keep the rest of the world informed when they travel. I'll bet almost every house I have visited this past year had internet and I could update at will. I need to see some pictures to the newest members of the family. There is a new Austin in Birmingham, AL and Mandy's new puppies somewhere. I would sure like to see some pictures.

With that said, I need to get out to the yard and do a few chores before the temp soars above 90. I slow way down at that temp and about 95 retire to the basement. I figure I have about three hours at best.

I hope you are all having a great summer. It will be fall soon enough and we'll all get a lot more done for a couple of months and then it will be inside book reading time. The other day I had the AC man come out and put some more gas in the compressor. I found Barb on the couch with a blanket the other night. Sheesh! Oh well...



This is the view from the back seat of a huey looking forward. It is two pictures taped together.

This is skinny Dennis after a few months "In Country" (Vietnam 68)

One of the blog sites I visit has "Base camp" legends or stories about adventures in the wild. I thought I would share with you a time I was as scared as I could be.

In the middle of my tour in Vietnam, I was called into the Tactical Operation Center (TOC) in our Base Camp in Pleiku. I reported to the Battalion Executive Officer as ordered and he gave me the straight skinny on an assignment that I had not expected. I had expected to be made the Executive Officer of a Gun battery and here I was going out as a Forward Observer (FO) like some brand new 2nd LT. They gave me orders to report to the 3bn, 503rd Inf (173rd Airborn Infantry) clear the heck down by the coast and south of Saigon. I had been in the Central Highlands for most of my tour and had high hopes this had nothing to do with the swamps and the delta down south.

I flew to Saigon and then hopped a ride out to the coast and found the 173rd headquarters along a runway and near the beach. They told me that a Forward Observer from Augusta, Kansas had been called home on emergency leave when his father had a heart attack. He was due back in 10 days or so.

The Operations section got me a ride out to the forward staging area and because they didn't have an FO they had been on perimeter duty around a Howitzer battery. As soon as I arrived the company was sent out to the bush and another company came in for some time on the fire base. We crossed out through the wire and mad good time getting to a location where there had been some reported activity. To me is was a walk in the park and great to get out in the jungle with a good recon team, a map and good radios. I worked with the team to make sure that they were squared away and found them both well experienced and knew their stuff. I had the Company Commander bring in one mortar Sergeant at a time from the platoons and made sure they were good at map reading and calling fire. By the end of the second day out in the jungle I reported to the Company Commander that he had a good team and I felt it was the best bunch of gunners I had served with.
On the third day, I woke up with a bad feeling. In spite of all the well trained people I was with, there was just something gnawing at back of my brain all day and I was on alert for possible ambushes and places that we could be in deep stuff quick. About 10 AM an Aerial Observer saw an enemy resupply group with elephants. Damn, big old gray smelly elephants, Should have been a fun day but I'll be dammed if somehow between the Guy in a plane spotting and us blocking most of a valley if we didn't draw a blank. There must have been some good caves somewhere and we just lost those damned elephants. That took us most of the day and I still felt like someone was watching us at every turn.
As it was getting late in the day, the Captain selected a nice gentle rise to be out night bivouac position. Not the greatest place to defend but it was mildly OK. After setting up our positions and assigning fields of fire most of us broke out dinner and started to eat. Damn pretty green snake there looking at me. Damn, it was a Bamboo viper if that sucker bites you there is no time to get you in to the hospital in time. Whack with my machete and then I hear someone over by the medic say snake! and you could hear him whacking it with an entrenching tool. Then someone by the command group killed one and danged if we didn't load up and move out smartly of that area. There must have been 10 or 20 of them little snakes killed in s a short time.
That put us in the move without a lot of time to get somewhere before it got dark. Even then we wouldn't have time to set up as good as we could and it just left me with a dark cold empty place in my stomach. After 45 minutes we found a good place and stopped. The commander set up his outposts and because it was almost dark we didn't do as god a job digging bunkers and fighting positions. I just felt naked and alone.
About 10 PM, one of the outposts reported movement in the jungle out in front of his position. I called up the battery supporting us and shot a few rounds out in the direction of the movement. No more than the first rounds hit and one of the outposts to our east reported movement. I got on the radio and got a second unit to shoot a few rounds out that direction. About that time the 105 Howitzer battalion commander got on my fire net and he gave me all three batteries of support. I had them firing all around us and the outposts were still reporting movement. About that time the Artillery battalion told me that they had a 155 howitzer battery that could also shoot. Man, I had the hee bee jee bees so bad that I included that battery of big boys and commenced to rain steel on the jungle.
One of the outposts reported that they were about to be overrun and a hand grenade went off right out side of their position. One of the guys was hit by the shrapnel and had a finger almost blown off. Shit oh dear, the next thing we knew, the trip flare on that side of the perimeter went off and that whole damn team was running in to our position. Those trip flares work great to illuminate things if needed but absolutely kill your night vision and as soon as that sucker burned out it was so dark that no one could see anything. You could hear the artillery all around us but not one machine gun or rifle was fired. I shut the guns down one battery at a time and kept them on hold until someone could sort out this mess.
It seems that one of the guys on the outpost thought he saw something and threw a grenade without telling the other two guys. When it went off and one man was wounded they ran back to our position. No one had thought to bring the machine gun, the claymores or anything. I thought the Captain of that unit was going to have a heart attack he was so mad. The platoon responsible for that outpost was ordered to load up and get out there and find that M60 and re-establish that position. Right Damn NOW!
Need less to say, I didn't sleep at all that night. I was on edge and so was most of the Company. At first light, we sent out squads to see what it was that had been making all that noise. According to the reports, there were blood trails all over the place. The artillery had made short work on what ever had been out there. Then the first report came in that they had found bodies. It seems that a pack of monkeys had tried to cross over our position and we had probably spent $50,000 worth of artillery, lost a nights sleep and all we had to show for it was a bunch of dead monkeys. We sent the wounded soldier in by helicopter with explicit orders that he was not wounded by enemy fire and there had better damn sure not be any Purple Heart Award made.
I don't think I was ever that scared again for the rest of that year.

It is HOT!

It didn't cool down much last night and it has steadily been getting hotter all day. I got the big mower out and mowed until about 12:30. After we ate lunch it was just too danged hot to be out side. I went out and put all the toys away and man am I glad that I waited to shower until that was done. In about 10 minutes I was completely a sweaty Petty.

This afternoon I will pretend to watch TV and probably get in a little nap. We will have the kids over this PM and make Fajitas out of the leftover steak and chicken. It will be great stuff and I am confident that the dogs won't have to eat much in the way of leftovers. I will try to make Spanish rice out of some leftover brown rice and I have a backup if needed.

The final touch is water melon that is hogging the bottom shelf in the fridge. It thumped like it was good and getting cold is just a bonus.

We are promised a mid week break in the heat and perhaps a little rain. I know the soybeans and corn won't mind at all. The yards are kinda still green so nothing is dry to death but three or four days of 100 will stress some things. I noticed that barb put some gallon cans of water out by some of the new plants. A hand full of rocks and a few small holes and their little feet won't get too dry.

Oh well, I hear a nap calling, "Dennis, time to pretend to watch TV!"



No Duh Dennis!

When is Your Birthday? "August 1st," What year? "Every Year!"

2/3rds of the people out there are math challenged, the other 1/4 is OK.

A Day without Sunshine is like a,, a,,, Oh I know.

A Night


A little Tale Well Told

This morning I was reminded of the story abut the time one of the presenters at a meeting came in carrying a cardboard box. He took out a gallon pickle jar and asked us, "Is this jar full?" My smart ass reply was it was full of air. The rest of the group said it was empty. The instructor took out several pretty round rocks and put them in the jar up to the rim. "Is the jar full?" "Yes Again" from me but then he took out a hand full of gravel and put it in the jar. "Is the Jar Full?" Duh Dennis he's tricking us. This time it was a hand full of sand and he put it in the jar. "Surely this jar is full now?" The final thing he put in the jar was a glass full of water. When I retold this story to Gerald today, he replied a very straightforward thing. There is always room for the small things if you make sure you put the big rocks in first. The trick is knowing clearly what your rocks are.

How many times do we stumble over the simple rules of life and wonder what to do next?
  • Income must be equal to or exceed outgo. The trick is you have to earn more or spend less.
  • If you are in a rut, get out and do something different. Stay in that rut and you will get run over. (My military mind wrote that as overrun the first time and I think it may be a better answer)
  • Happiness is wanting what you have not getting what you want.
  • An education is only a pathway to success. Hard work combined with an education will make it a true path.
  • Don't be surprised if you don't get to where you need to go if you don't plan on how you are going to get there. "Do what you did and you will get what you got."
  • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It doesn't matter how many times someone tries to sell you something, if your inner voice tells you it is wrong, it probably is. Kind of like what you get on your boots out in the cattle pen. 99% of the time you don't have to smell it, taste it or look closely to know it is crap. I read about a person that attended a sales seminar and they were offered a chance to buy a vacation package at $10,000. The salesman lowered the price until it was finally down to $2800 and they bought it. Guess what, it was really worthless. DUH!
  • With free advice, what you get is worth the price you pay.
Take a few minutes every day to think about what you are doing and where you are going. Life is a lot of fun and it is pretty easy to get sidetracked by the fun things and not think about what rocks you are going to put in your jar first. Love, kisses and laughs from the Birthday boy.

A Fun Time Had by All

This is me on my recumbent. The smile is a little busy as I was shifting as I rode up to where Barb was taking a picture. There also was a parking curb and a handicapped sign I was trying to avoid. I can ride at least 100 MPH if you notice the duct tape holding the bill on the helmet. I did get it up to about 35 MPH but that's downhill with a light tail wind.

As you can see, Gerald also had a smile on his face as he rode the bent. He rode Barb's bike a little while but it wasn't really set up for him properly and he loved my bike as he rode. He's a natural. The smiles are courtesy of Ken. Thanks Bud.

This is Julie on Barb's bike and she really rode well. It was a fun time and Barb and the girls played on the playground while the riders did their thing.

This is the picture as they loaded up for their trip to Nebraska. They have a wedding to attend with the Wiebe family. They have a full schedule but will be back in Topeka on the 5th. They will be with Pastor Dave and family through at least the 10th. They will make a presentation to their church on the 10th.

Having our "almost" grandchildren with us for a couple of days was my Birthday present. Having Julie and Gerald also was bonus! I think I am almost caught up with hugs that I missed over the two years they were in Morocco.

Thanks to my readers for letting me wax poetic about our chance to have these wonderful people in our lives for a couple of days. There are special people out there and I hope you all have someone in your lives that you love unconditionally.