This is another maker's tag
Dennis is a retired Colonel living with his wife, Barbara, in Tecumseh, KS. Some of these Posts are filtered through the memory of a "not so Young Man" and you might have to utilize your built in crap detector to filter truth from memory errors. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. If you wish for peace, prepare for War. Our current Congress is "Stupid with zeros on the end...
Berber Woven Items
This is another maker's tag
Sunday at Home
There is just something about being home after a trip that just makes it all seem more special. A fresh pot of coffee, Barb's biscuits and some bacon all seems to feel just right. We will miss our dear friends from Ifrane, Morocco but share a warm glow in our hearts for them. We are still on an interim stage in the jet lag as we both were wiped out early last night and up way too early this morning.
I am not sure if I know enough yet to make any decision about the Hispanic Supreme Court nominee Mrs Sotomayore. She was after all a Bush 41 appointee to the federal Court system. Just because she thinks a woman may be more able to make/decide on laws than a man is nothing new to me. I'm sure that many conservatives out there would think Barb is too pushy. After over 40 years I have found that a strong independent woman is a blessing not a cross to bear. She might be a little bear if crossed but hey you chose yours and I'll chose mine.(I wrote it as bare but Barb told me I had my homophones wrong) I was mid drink of hot coffee and Barb told me "If Rush doesn't like her, I do!" I at least could stifle the urge to snark hot coffee out my nose and down the front of my shirt. Had it been orange juice I might not have been able to do an Archie Bunker and "Stifle". As if what I wrote wasn't true enough about Barb, she was critical of my pharaprasing Sotomayore's comment. Everything I write is a paraphrase as the information is stored in my brain not some kind of card out of a camera.
After two weeks of not mowing and some good rain, everything is a jungle out there. I was all set to ride the mower yesterday but somehow did not get around to it. It rained last night so it is too wet to mow this morning. Perhaps later on today it will be dry enough. Oh well, if not there is always tomorrow. "Inshalla"
Sometimes we find truth is strange places. "Even Jesus didn't like the Money Lenders" From Doonsbury the comic strip
This is the sheep hearding village where a local church helped the women start making rugs to sell and they are living a better life each month. This was a brutal winter and they lost a lot of livestock and trapped in the village for days at a time. The roofs are covered with old milk cans flattened and overlapped like shingles. There is one wind powered generator visible and plastic to help the roofs turn water.
Late nigh in Ifrane
This is a good part of the reason we are here. Katrina is 8 and Kendra is 6. Here is Barb's view of a pretty picture.
This is a typical building on the University Campus in Ifrane. It is very much like a swiss chalet town. It is a beautiful place and we are here between classes so it was nearly empty.
From the splendor of the University, we went to a sheep hearding village. It seemed like we lost a hundred years but the people were so wonderful. The women are now making rugs and have purchased many things that make their lives better.
Inside the rug hut they showed us their wares and Barb bought some to bring back.
I will wait a couple more days to tell you the whole story of a country so rich in beauty and moving forward as fast as it can.
This is the Mosque of Hassan II. It reportedly cost a billion dollars in 93. It sits on the coast and is so beautiful that there was no end of new things to look at. The sky was so blue and colors so vivid that it all was breathtaking.
We have arrived in Ifrane and it is like Vail Colorado in how pretty everything is. I will also tell you more about the beauty and the beast of this magnificent country later.
ON the Road, MUD
Stand by for News
For the longest time I have been meaning to make pictures of the house for the insurance company. Finally yesterday I did. It is always fun to see how may home made touches we have in our house. Barb and her family are very talented and there are many things that are a one of a kind thing here. Probably one of my favorite and one I touch almost every time I go down the steps is the metal KU Jay Hawk made by Ken. I wish I could own a metals shop just to see what he will make next. He has made many brass things and one titanium coffee cup. It gets way too hot to drink coffee out of on a regular basis but it is about the best looking cup in town.
This morning I get to play plumber. For some reason after 20 years I have to fix a toilet lid and snake out a drain in the downstairs bathroom. I will wait until the hardware store opens up and then make a parts run. Will fix breakfast and then go.
Better stop here and get the paper. A good cup of coffee and the morning paper rocks.
Drop Dead Dumb Saturday Headlines
- A father in California was arrested for holding his 7 year old son down as a gang tattoo was applied to his son's butt. It was a dog paw print that signified the bulldog gang. This is my vote for reason to appeal the cruel and unusual punishment ban. This guy should have stupid and mean tattooed on his forehead.
- Yesterday they found the bodies of the last two of three people that tried to swim across the Colorado river a while back. In addition to being one wild and muddy river, the water is way too cold to even want to get into even in the summer. The three men jumped into the river and it took three days to find one body and the other two about a month. I'll bet the families will want to sue the State of Colorado for not posting warning signs.
- In Florida three guards were fired and two resigned after their kids were tazered during "Take our son's and Daughters to work day".(Note this weapon is spelled tazer and taser depending on the manufacturer) If this headline wasn't bad enough, the article said that it happened in not just one but two different Florida prisons. Here, hold hands and see if the current will pass through all of you. Another case for the appeal of cruel and unusual punishment ban to be lifted. Number one, what the hell could anyone be thinking for allowing children to be allowed into the prison for any reason and then in not one, but two locations they got tazered.
- As if all the stupid articles were enough, the following article to the kids being tazered case, there was a report that someone reported a cougar in a drain pipe near Detroit and the cops tazered the cat. It was a stuffed cat stupids, it wasn't real. The fact that they couldn't tell a stuffed cat from a real one was overshadowed by the fact that it was so dumb that it actually made it into the newspaper.
OOPS, Waymond Tisdale didn't do what I credited him with. I have been informed that Stacey King was the culprit. rip Waymond....
Now that you have been filled in on the stupidity of today's news, I hope you feel refreshed that your day couldn't possibly be as stupid. Go out there and act like it.
Lie or poor Memory?
Bronze Star Medal for Dad
In my humble opinion the Bronze Star Medal is one of the best looking medals. It was the first medal presented to me during Vietnam and one I wear proudly. Perhaps the next time I am in Idaho I'll help Mom put together an awards case for Dad. I know she has a uniform jacket to pin the medal on.
Lots to do and a few days to get them done.. See ya later.
Things it would suck to be!
- A Chrysler Dealer. 780 of them got layoff notices. You and your staff are hereby notified that you are gone by June 16.
- One of the 11oo GM dealers that were notified that their dealerships will be eliminated as soon as possible
- A Saturn Car dealer. Or one of the remaining 1400 dealers GM will eliminate this fall. The 2009 models were probably the last model year for Saturn, Hummer and GMC.
- A GM Stock Holder. From a high of almost $75 to $1.00. Thank god I only have 14 shares. There are a bunch of people that GM issued bonds to that the Government just said, sorry Charlie.
- Nancy Pelosi Galore. Watch out for the bus Nancy, It has your name on it. First she did,, then she didn't. That sounds like that guy that voted for the war and then against it. You know, the Swift Boated guy who's wife owned the Ketchup fortune.
- People who work for Blue Cross & Blue Shield Heath care company if Barry has his way.
- People who want Government health care and aren't watching what's on the horizon for MEDICARE. These same people think that Social Security will last longer than MEDICARE. Oh hell, they can just print more money.
- People without wheel barrels when it takes a whole barrel full to buy a loaf of bread. Print more money, pay it back with inflated dollars until they are not worth much. Do you wonder why WAL*MART doesn't want you to use cash?
- Those poor people that thought the Government was bailing out the Credit Card Companies only to find that their interest rate is now 30%. If only you could refinance your house and pay off the credit card with negative equity. Dang I hate it when that happens. The Bail out is working for the Democratic party to push through bigger Government until we can no longer pay for it.
- People that are paying attention to the water boarding torture crap when the government is about to lay our Health Care program back 100 years. If socialised medicine is so bad, why are people from England and Canada coming here for treatment? Don't you guys know that only three people were tortured and one of them told about the plot to fly a plane into LA? It worked, it worked, it worked... Move on and pay attention.
- That poor smuck that lost to Al Franken in Minnesota. How bad could he be?
- Wanda Sikes who's claim to fame is that her lesbian lover had twins and all she could do is lay an egg. Come on Wanda, Is all you could think of is to tell Rush to die. Rush got sober, you will still be a few jokes shy of a comedian. With you in Washington for a visit, a villiage somewhere is short an idiot.
- Barac Obama's scheduler that got him the gig to speak at Notre Dame's graduation. Isn't that kind of like .... Well, I can't really think of anything much more stupid.
- Anyone that wants to be appointed to any Cabinet position. You know we all lie on our taxes and surely something they left out or under reported is going to bite them in the ass.
Someone who needs to write a blog and all this negative crap just had to be let out. Sorry about that. You try to write this stuff if you think you can do a better job.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Had the kids over last night for Fajitas. Those wonderful tortillas filled with great grilled meats and other things are just what the Doctor ordered. I have a little rice, vegetables and chicken left over for a chicken fried rice dinner tonight. Those wonderful Vidiala onions are in the stores and one all sliced up and fried with some butter made a wonderful addition to the fajitas. The kids don't like the peppers like I do so for once I left them out of the meal. I had some re fried beans as an addition so everything was fine.
The other day, I was flipping through the TV channels and there was a program on HGTV about rocks. I went upstairs and sure enough, Barb was watching that same program. Yes, we went out and looked for rocks to put in her gardens. Most of the rocks here are the red glacial rocks that came down from Minnesota during the ice age. They are from 300 to 700 lbs and not easy to get from one place to another. I'll try but no promises.
Better get on with my day. have a great one out there.
Old Vietnam Vets
He asked me where I served and I told him that I spent most of my time in the Central Highlands. He said he flew out of Pleiku so we spent a lot of time in the same area but in a different war. Most of his time was in 63 and they supported the Special Forces Camps. Most of my war was spent supporting conventional American Forces. I did draw most of our ammunition out of the Ammunition Supply dump over by the Army Airport in Pleiku.
He told me that he was retired out of the Army with 19.5 years because of a macular degeneration caused him to not be able to fly. He was given a 10% disability, a swift kick in the butt and sent home. He has since got the VA to re look his case and is now on 100% disability but he had to fight to get it. I told him about Mother's macular degeneration and how well Ocuvite had helped her. he said he had the "Wet" kind of degeneration and is nearly blind now.
The saddest part about the whole thing was that all of his life he had hoped to travel and now he and his wife do little but sit at home and shop at WAL*MART. He even had a pickup and a camper already to travel an he lost his license because of his failing eyesight. His wife won't drive the truck with a camper so now they sit at home and are waiting to die. They do have some grandchildren close by that liven their lives some but what a crappy thing to have happen.
I feel so lucky to have my health and to be able to travel. I would like to have a camper but Barb doesn't so we will just have to stay in Motels and eat at Restaurants. Such an indignity to have to travel like kings.
Tip Toe down memory lane with me as I recall the days of old when times were easy and life was simple.
My mother thought that waffles were a great Sunday supper. For some reason I thought they were for breakfast and it always seemed sort of out of place to eat waffles for supper. Perhaps even then I would have a flush of sugar rush followed by a real down period so they were not for me. Even today I try to eat some Bacon or ham when I eat pancakes or waffles. To tell the truth, I can’t remember when I had my last waffle. I am pretty sure even if I did have one, it wasn’t the toaster kind. Given free reign, I will eat ham and two over medium with hash browns and dry whole wheat toast.
As kids, we generally got a couple of pairs of shoes a year. Seems like at the start of school and sometime around Easter, would find us in the Shoe Store. I remember that one time we went to a store that had Buster Brown Shoes. You would put them on and go look at your feet in a machine that showed how your feet fit in those shoes. I’m pretty sure it was a fluoroscope and there is no telling how much radiation we were exposed to just to see how our feet fit in those shoes. I recall doing it a couple of times with different shoes and today I don’t have cancer of the feet.
I know that from the neighborhood we grew up in, we were at best, upper lower class or the cream of the crap. We never went hungry or without clothes but it was easy to notice the difference between the kids in Forest Hills and the Travel Air City kids. In fact the nick name of my neighborhood was changed to “Dogpatch” after the Al Capp cartoon city. We did have a real collection of Oakies and Arkies that came to Wichita during and right after WWII. There were no blacks in our neighborhood. They wouldn’t live in such a trashy place.
I can remember most of the cars we owned while I was a kid. It all started with the Kaiser dad bought right after WWII. I can remember that we wore that car out right down to the seat springs. We had to finally put blankets or the springs would hurt our little legs. Dad bought a Volvo and it was one of the first cars I drove (Legally). I did steal the Chrysler keys and drove it down the driveway. Dad had to know from the rubber on the driveway that I had laid rubber with that hemi powered beast. Dad bought a 56 Chevy, a Nova and later a series of new Volvo’s. One of my favorite stories was that Nova. Dad bought it from our neighbor when he stopped driving. Pete told Dad that he really likes those back-up lights, especially at night.
Back in the days when no all cars came from the factory with air conditioning, my Dad would buy and install an “under the dash” model. If you sat right in the front seat it would blow cool air on you. For some reason they didn’t hold the Freon well and Dad was always adding a can of Freon to make them cool well. That was of course back then no one gave a good crap about the effects of Freon on the Ozone layer. Most of my friends had a set of hoses so you could add Freon when needed. As I recall, it was cheap and you could buy it by the can t almost any store.
Do you remember seeing your first aluminum bat? I think it was a softball bat that we bought Dave when he was little. It really cracks me up to hear the crack of a ball hit by a bat being replaced by the “pink” of an aluminum bat.
I still consider myself the king of the BBQ grill. I can remember going to grandpa’s house and having chicken cooked on a grill that was a 30 gallon barrel cut in half and reinforced with pipe. I’m sure that one of the Oil Field workers would make them and one year one made it our way to Wichita from Western Kansas. Ours really didn’t last all that long. Seems like that grill rusted apart in short order. Today I have a couple of Weber grills and lots of hickory wood. I wouldn’t even think of using one of those dirty grills in the park.
There were two games back in the day that we wouldn’t get caught dead playing. Tennis was one and soccer was the other. I know that today a lot of kids play them both. Back then we played baseball, kick the can, hide and go seek and that was pretty much it. My sisters had a couple of those big clunky tennis rackets with the wood press to keep it straight. Seems like those darned cat gut strings just didn’t hold up to hitting rocks.
Oh well on to part 3 later.
Do You Remember When (DYRW)?
What events do you remember in your life that sparks vivid memories? Remember that the facts of the events are filtered through your perceptions and recalled from your memories so they might not match exactly the event as the world recalls them. This is part one of DYRW as seen by the Wichita Flash as he is now known as Mean Uncle Denny or MUD for short.
Yesterday I went to a car show and saw a torpedo shaped window air conditioner on the side window of a 55 Chevy. Somewhere back in the days prior to having a real air conditioner, there was an accessory that you could buy, fill with water and if, and only if, Mom kept jerking the lever to dip the media into the water it blew air that was a few degrees cooler than the outside air. It cooled with the principle of evaporation and didn't work if the humidity was high. I think Dad even put in some ice once and how we all laughed as when he went around a corner it peed that cold water on mom. That was back in the days of the 4X70 air conditioning or four windows rolled down and the speed limit was 70.
Dad bought a 55 Plymouth and called it a “Plemon”. He drove that stupid car for about three years until he found a 57 Chrysler on a used car lot. That Chrysler had a hemi engine and air conditioning. The transmission was controlled by a button arrangement by the left front of the dash and you pushed a button to select the gear. That car would get out on the road and gobble up the miles as smooth as you could want. The air conditioner was in the trunk and there was still room for a family full of suitcases. I remember that our family dog, Rex, loved to sit in the back window shelf and fart. That would be picked up by the air conditioner air intake and blown to the front of the car where Mom would shout, “Damned Dog” and roll down the window. I am pretty sure it was the dog, mostly.
Our family vacations were for the most part trips to Grandma and Grandpa Fruits house. It was really neat when they bought a cabin and some land in Arkansas. We would go down there and rough it for a couple of weeks in July each year. We would get to swim in the Buffalo River each afternoon and man do I ever love the memory of those Black Diamond Ozark watermelons dripping cold juice down our chin on a hot day. Instead of just going down the hill to the Little Buffalo River, we would drive over to Pruitt and swim there where highway 7 crossed over the bigger river. There was a nice sandy beach and a bluff to jump off of. Someone even carved steps up that bluff so you could walk up without the fear of falling. I can remember how hot those steps would be and “hotfooting” it up to jump off into that cool water. I remember that I learned to swim underwater before I learned to swim on top of the water. I would find the fresh water muscles and crush them with a rock to watch the perch come up to eat the meal I served. I remember the day when I got out a little deep and a great big catfish came to lunch. Scared the hell out of me.
There was one trip to Brownsville, TX to see Dad’s Uncle, Truman (?). I really don’t remember his name because all the boys went by their middle names so it doesn’t much matter what I called him. What I remember the most was the hot two day car ride on the way down and back. I have seen picture of us on the beach on the gulf of Mexico and I remember that Rick was in a diaper so he would have been a little over a year old. Somewhere in my memories there was a car trip where we saw a tornado revenged town and a flood. Can’t remember if it was on that trip but because I was only 6 or 7, I get it all thrown together. I fell off the counter at the highway Patrol (or sheriff’s office) right into the water and we were invited to spend the night with some strangers. The lady of the house gave me a pair of her son’s underwear to sleep in.
My dad had a run of bad health about the time I played Little League ball. I had to walk to my games in the early evening. I remember one evening I was a little late so I had to run across a field to get to the game. Just as I saw a big clump of grass, I decided to jump over it and at that same time a covey of quail came out of that cover. I remember hitting the ground on the other side and my legs had turned to rubber. All I could do was slide to a stop. I’ll bet my heart was beating its max rate and I had to squeeze to make sure I didn’t wet myself. I made it to the game on time and from then on, I always ran around that brush pile.
One summer I went up to Beech Aircraft’s lake, north of our house, to go fishing. The only thing I had for bait was a pocket full of raisins (lint and all). I baited a hook there by the dock where the perch were and sure enough those little perch hit those raisins like they were good. Well, at least they didn’t have any lint left on them after being dipped in the water. I cut one of those perch up and used him for bait. Pretty soon I was catching bigger fish and it was kind of like I worked myself up in size until I had some pretty nice fish. There was a guy there that I gave my fish to and I’m sure he told some tall tale when he got home. I sure did.
I remember that in grade school we would “Duck and Cover” in case of a nuclear explosion. We would duck under our desks and the guys would all whisper, “and kiss your ass good bye”. It was great stuff for 3rd graders. I remember that one year the school bussed us to either Whitewater or Clearwater (There is both near Wichita and at that age I didn’t have a clue where we went.) I do remember that one of the Mom’s showed up in her convertible and left the top down as we drove with all the other cars to our lunch site out of town. The other kids were all jealous of us until they saw how sunburned we were the next day.
The school I went to would have a day at the end of the year when we would all go roller skating at one of the rinks near us. We even went to Augusta, Kansas one year. It was always a hoot to see how clumsy everyone was at the beginning of the day and how good we were at the end of the day. For some reason the Beech Aircraft Employees club would have a roller-skating party fairly regularly and Dad or Mom would take us there to get us out of the house. I always knew how to skate and going in the circles was a hoot to me. I always hated when we would have to stop and do the “Hoochie Coochie”. You remember, put your right skate in , put your right skate out and then shake it all about”. Fall on your butt and laugh it all about….
Enough for part one. Next time.
Barb and I just had that discussion about free speech that crops up from time to time. I am wary of good intentions to stop stupid speech or speech where the speaker is wrong. Having some organization in charge of making sure the "Fairness Doctrine" is the law of the land is not a good idea. I feel that moving towards that slippery slope will muzzle free speech. Yes, I understand that you can't holler "Fire" in a crowded theater and I understand that liable laws apply when a person is not in the public eye. It probably would be more prudent to say I disagree with the Government leaders than to say they are a heard of stupid cows. (Mostly because I think other than methane, cows probably don't do anything that deliberately hurts us and I love a good steak)
IMHO, or In My Humble Opinion, should be applied to any blog and electronic message. The problem is how do we ensure that Facts and opinions are duly noted? How do we make the print and electronic Media connote that fine line when they cross it? This discussion has been held for a long time. In fact read Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" or Orwell's "1984".
Oh well, Happy Mother's Day for all you mothers out there. Try to enjoy what you have and not focus only what you want. I buy lottery tickets to focus my wants on. When I win the lottery I will..... Hire a Lawyer to make sure I have as much free speech as I can afford.
I cooked the chicken in a separate pan with a little oil, some soy sauce, salt & pepper. I cooked the wild rice blend with a little butter, about a teaspoon of chicken bouillon, and salt and pepper. The package of rice needs two cups of water for each cup of rice and the package holds two cups of rice. It takes a good 50 minutes to cook the wild rice so don't hurry to cook the chicken. In fact, I actually made the chicken and then put the chicken on top of the rice for the last 10 minutes to keep the chicken warm.
I served microwaved California blend vegetables that I under cook a little. I love it when my vegs have a little crunch left in them.
In About a Week
The rain here in the Heartland has slowed down a little. We have had only about one inch of rain this week and is it ever green out there. I have places that need attention and the places I mowed early this week are pretty ragged and need it again. I'm pretty sure that we will return to a jungle and have to spend a couple of days on the mower.
In case you are wondering about the pictures on the post from yesterday, I really haven't gone completely around the bend, only my weird sense of humor leaks out now and then. Things are so crazy out there that one of my blog buddies talks about wearing aluminum foil to protect him from the crazy thoughts. Another guy wrote about duct tape so what better thing to combine than an aluminum foil hat held to my bike helmet with duct tape.
Better get on with the day. have a great weekend.
Newest Hat Styles
Where should the trial of the US Soldier that is accused of killing an Iraqi family and raping a 14 year old girl be held. First option is in the US and not in a Military court as he is no longer a soldier. The second option is in the US in a Military Court (Recall him to Active Duty) and the last option is in a court in Iraq. There are Status of Forces Agreements that in most cases preclude the last option. He is currently being tried in a civilian court.
OK, if that is easy, here's a tough one. An Air Force truck driver in Japan is driving his Military Vehicle and doing his Military job and for some reason a persons steps or is pushed off the sidewalk in front of his truck. Where do you hold that trial? Military Court or Civilian court? No so easy this time... The correct answer is that what is the SOFA agreement with Japan now that we are not in a War Time. (I don't know the current agreement but I would say Military Court.
Take that same airman and now he is off duty and he goes to a local store and robs it. Where should he be tried?
I guess that as I have said in the past, Fair sometimes ain't fair. There are many of us that feel mercy should always prevail and those that feel justice should prevail. In many cases both can't and mostly don't. As Sully rightfully pointed out on a comment, "It depends on how the arguement about is, is decided as it is debated". Dang, I hate it when that happens.
Slippery Slope 1st Step
Read the first step here : http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-1966
Then read about: In March and April of 2009, the DHS under Janet Napolitano, issued two very disturbing special reports on what the new administration considers to be the most dangerous terror threats to the Homeland. These reports were issued to local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/inquiry-into-controversial-dhs-report-sought-2009-05-06.html
What Has Happened to Free Speech?
Hell yes, soldiers returning from the War are unhappy if they can't find work. I would think they would use their GI Bill money and go to school like a bunch of us Vietnam Vets did but hey, it is their life. To claim they are any more prone to do stupid things with their training than any other group of trained soldiers is just not fair. I'm sure there might be a Tim McVeigh every once in a while but that was an aberration not a rule.
The People that feel they have been Taxed Enough Already have the right to shout at everybody in Congress and no one party can thump their chest that they have tried to protect us from new taxes. It isn't a Republican effort, it isn't a conservative effort, it is a taxpayer effort to tell the congress that they are expressing their right to let the Government know they are pissed off that no one is acting like they give a damn about the guy that is paying the taxes.
Those guys standing on the border and yelling, "There goes another one." are trying to get the attention of our Government that we are being invaded and those invaders are bringing drugs, gangs and sending money home that should stay here in the US. I love my brown brothers, I just wish there weren't so many of them here illegally. You should see the smile on my face when I eat the food at the Fiesta here in Topeka. I know that a lot of their sales money is going to their schools and their kids will be better for it.
Is anyone else as tired of hearing about Edwards affair? He is a spoiled rich kid living in a 23,000 square foot house and anyone thinks he represents the values of the majority of us? Now the wife is saying that he was seduced and it is all the girl friends fault. Bull Shit lady, if he was any kind of a man he could tell the girl that he is married and walk away. I have had a friend that was a lady, but unlike a well known ex President, "I Didn't have sex with that woman." I believe that my wife deserves better from me. Just because I took my wedding vows in Las Vegas Nevada doesn't mean that I didn't mean them.
Oh well, going to go do some volunteer work today. I will spend a couple of hours talking to State employees about food and health related matters.
Enjoy this ride
Click the link for good ideas set to a nice piece of music.
Trust the Process?
Process can be established, measured and studied to death but without a reason for it being the way it is, it will ring hollow in the end. In fact, I once saw a Total Quality Management program tank and everyone was still singing the “Trust the Process” mantra. Hell, they could measure performance of each and every little thing but there was never that policy link to what the hell we should have been doing. We sailed the good ship Process down through the organization without once having someone say this is why we are doing it this way. You could lie, cheat and steal so long as your performance measures were OK. That was an organization that had been based on the principle of Leadership developing policy and then enforcing that policy. The road to being successful is marked with success not performance indicators measured and reported.
I witnessed a call center bring in a staff of MBAs. They claimed to be ISO 2000 certified and started to measure everything. That was a call center and the most important thing should have been what our customer wanted/needed and what his customers wanted. The process was highlighted and followed to the letter. Right off the bat, we found out that collecting the monthly bills was not as important as getting new customers. They bled red until that whole program went into the toilet. It was founded on a great idea and with no leadership to look at how to tweak it into reality. They processed that bugger to death. The agents would get a call from a customer who was having a small problem and could not mention that the customer was three months behind on paying his bill. We had a good process to ask the customer if he could pay his bill using a check number or a credit card but our agents could not ask the customer to pay. In fact we could add services to his bill in spite of the fact they weren’t paying for what they already had. In the periods of down time our agents could have called one or two customers a day and asked them to pay their bill. Nope, didn't happen. Many customers were kept on the system inspite of bills that ofthe exceeded $1,000. It was a well known fact that if you could not get the service in Southern California, call our call center and without question they will sign you up and keep you on their active customer list forever. Instead of becoming the provider of a comprehensive communication program with great services, they became the provider of last resort until they had to shut down because of the losses. It was like someone said, “let’s see if we can lose 20 million dollars”. They should have said, “let’s make this process work and make money.”
Now and for the next four years, we have a President and a Political party that is processing the hell out of us. Not, “Why would we spend the money to stimulate the economy or how much do we need or where should we spend it.”. When the outgoing President said I think this is going to hurt but the banks and AIG need about 400 Billion to stay in business. The President trusted the process and Congress answered that we needed a Trillion dollars and then handed the cash over to the new President. (Did you read that in spite of Barry saying it wasn't going to happen AIG still gave our almost 200 Million dollars in bonuses anyway?) He fired the CEO of GM and now is telling GM to get ready to close Pontiac. He has let Chrysler go into Chapter 11 and married it to FIAT. Have you ever owned a FIAT? About one morning in five, I would pass one on the side of the road going to college. That poor guy drove it and it wasn't suited to drive on our highways. Let’s see, we authorized the Trillion dollars to keep people working and now we are closing how many plants and how many jobs will be lost?
Last year I had to pay when I filed my Income Taxes. I was getting ready to start paying quarterly additional payments and this week, I get a notice in the mail. The President has authorized a cut in the amount withheld and I will start getting more money to pay back. Who the hell is in charge up there? Right when I need to start withholding about $300 more a month, I get a $100 cut in the amount they are withholding. It is my fault and I have to write to have more withheld, or pay a penalty at the end of the year. Stupid, stupid, stupid…. This is process without Policy, and I am not sure they would recognize leadership if it bit them in the butt.
Right when we need to have faith in Congress and the President, we find ourselves about to nationalize a major portion of the Health Care System. They will automate the records and make decisions for Doctors and Health care providers on who will be authorized care and at what cost. This is the same system that people have been throwing stones at for the Social Security System and we want them now to be in charge of health care?
Instead of Leadership, we have mixed messages and leadership applied to areas that just don’t make sense. Jeez, it seems like someone should be able to say the following five things are the most important and work on them until they are fixed one at a time. We have Congress studying the College Post Season Bowl game process. How about fixing the job losses before there are more of us on the dole than working?
I will not Trust the Process any longer. I will shout that we need leadership and solid policy. I want someone to step up to the plate and be responsible or quit if he can’t make it work. Don't stand before the teleprompter and read, make sure that the people who write for you know what you stand for and have them articulate that. Leadership and Policy based on solid beliefs will fail occasionally, but people understand a good program worked hard. Following a stupid process without knowing what the expected end result should be is just that, Stupid. Surely there is someone out there that has been some branch of the Military that knows how to say, This is what I stand for, “Follow Me” and count cadence when they get out of step.
Guest Column, Support a Teacher
Cinco de Mayo
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I cried as I watched
Monday, Monday, Ta Da, da da da duh!
Not My Cuppa'
My Cup of Tea:
- Coffee. Black hot and full of caffeine. Unless it is after noon and then it keeps me awake when I need a nap.
- A good Lawn mower. At least a 40 inch cut and electric start.
- A chat with a good friend. Oh for an hour or two with my friend Ken or Harvey. Both guys are the cure for, "Oh poor Me".
- A few minutes of watching the stupid young squirrels try to get into the feeders. We have a new Tube feeder full of peanuts and he will hang and swing to nibble off a little peanut. I'll bet he spends more time trying to get a free meal than if he were out really working hard to find nuts that are still edible. There is a set of second year squirrels and their mother that come to visit. I can tell that she is nursing a new set of babies but she still takes time out to scold the guys when they invade her space.
- Seeing Jenn at the Lake with her rowers. She never has enough time to talk but it is such a treat to hear her put on her First Sergeant's voice and bark orders. "OK you Juniors, go help get that Quad out of the water. You are in it next so hustle". I couldn't do it better.
- Helping a good friend do something good for the community. My Buddy, Joe, runs a Taco joint here in Topeka. El Gringo is one of my favorite places to eat. Yesterday the shopping Center had a special where you could get a free biscuit and gravy from 8 to 10 AM. I put on my El Gringo shirt and hat and helped for a couple of hours. Got to see more cute kids and put smiles on many faces. I'm sure it surprised them when as soon as the crowd slowed down I got a broom and swept the floor. I am as big a nut about clean places to eat as Joe is. For the record his taco plate with beans and rice is as good as it gets in Topeka. His hot sauce is just right for me. Not too hot and hot enough to let your tongue know it has been somewhere warm.
Not My Cuppa
- Stupid angry people. While I enjoy a good rant in a blog, I hate it when stupid people rail at things they don't know a damn thing about. I really hate it when people say things that deep down no one believes. We have a group that carries signs that has all sorts of stupid sayings "God Hates......." Fill in the blank for their latest hate. Instead of a sign that says, "Do X and you will burn in hell" (quote some cite in the bible here). They put stick figures of a buddy bending another buddy over and parade the signs all over. Most of the time the signs are carried by kids that should not know what the hell the sign means.
- Hot Tea. I love a good cold tea on a hot day but hot tea is just not normally my drink of choice. Oh Sure, I'll order a pot of tea at the Chinese restaurant when Barb is along but I have been known to drink Iced Tea even on Zero Degree days. But hold the sugar even in iced tea. Carbonated soft drinks are kind of OK but , "Sweet tea?"
- Places that advertise one thing and deliver another. If you know that you only have a limited quantity of something, say so in your ad. When I rent a car on line, I fully expect you to deliver that car when I get there. Don't offer me a Mustang and give me a PT cruiser. Normally I try to rent the kind of car I want to drive to see what the different cars are. The last time I rented they had a "Whatever" choice for a couple of bucks cheaper. I got to choose between three different kinds of cars. OK, I drove that damn Mustang. (It really was a nice car)
- Putting off something that needs done because Today's Sunday. Why in the word would I wait to mow until tomorrow? Mondays and Sundays are a lot alike here at Rabbit Run.
- Mowing in 50 degree weather. Barb and I are alike in some things. Different but similar, No, mostly different but simpatico. Hum, we are growing old together. Lets leave it at that.
- Ditch Crickets. Pinch their tails and suck their heads. I love a crawfish boil if they use shrimp.
Have a great day out there.