Freedom of Speech?

The MG updated me on free speech this AM and she reminded me that just because something is in writing doesn't make it so. In some books, Monkeys Fly. Here is the Wakepedia illustration of Dorothy being carried off by monkeys. The other two people in the picture are Toto and the Tin Man.

Today one of the MSM articles talks about two people that spoke out on the Gates "Stupid" meeting and have been hit hard. One is a Boston Police Officer and National Guardsman that has been suspended for using racist remarks to describe Gates and the other is an Aide to a Democratic Politician that called the POTUS, O'Bama. Check Spelling

Where does the system shout fairness when the POTUS can call an action "stupid" and other people can't even e-mail or facebook about it? Don't get me wrong, anyone that calls a Harvard Professor a "Jungle Bunny" is just pushing the outside limits of my thinking. On the other hand, I have all sorts of problems with not allowing speech unless it is hurtful not hateful. Where is the ACLU when that bastion of our constitution is attacked?

Chris Rock has a skit on youtube on being black and not getting your ass kicked when you are stopped by the police. While I think that no one should ever have a traffic stop or an arrest elevate to the baton beating level of Rodney King, the part about the Police having the right to fight back should be a lesson that everyone hears. My momma told me to never raise my voice to anyone with a gun. The police have batons, handcuffs, Mace (or pepper spray), Tazers and guns. That qualifies for people that I try my best to be polite to, face to face. Not that having a badge is an absolute qualification for the label, "Smart". That mostly means that when they are doing their job, let then do it and discuss with their supervisor later if they cross the line. There is an old Union directive that tells workers to do what they are told and "Grieve" the action later. Unless the action is so dangerous as to cause bodily harm, that ain't bad advice.

But, back to the Free Speech side of this discussion. If being a little impolite is a problem, my pal Two Dogs and I are headed for trouble. Perhaps the MG will guide me on this subject. Perhaps hell, she asked me if I had any idea how many posts I have done in the last 24 hours... Yes I do and I don't care. I write this crap and it is up to the readers to decide if the want to read it. I know some of you are creeped out by snakes so if you are, skip the next post down this list.



Nature Ride

There is a bike trail in South Lawrence that runs from the ball parks to the lake. There is an abundance of wild things there are very interesting. Such as this

Snapping Turtle
He had a dead frog in his mouth that appeared to be very dead

Down by the parking area is water and snakes love water

He came out of the water and into the grass

Across the sidewalk and into the pond on the other side

Yes, that little water snake was a copperhead and we had to tell the three boys to leave it alone. One had a net, one a fishing pole and the third just a small stick. Sounds like a bite was bound to happen. The snake did not back off or slink away. He went where he wanted and was a beautiful creature if you like snakes. I don't. You notice that I'm not in any of the pictures near the snake.
UPDATE: On the news yesterday, it was reported that a Lawrence Professor at KU was bitten by a copperhead as he weeded his garden. These little fellows are hard to see and aggressive. Barb has seen one out by our butterfly garden and she normally just walks right in to weed. Guess she will change that behavior.

Helicopter Revenge!

Over the last couple of days, I have shared with you my hatred for helicopters. This little story is about the 2LT that killed one of those suckers and I got my revenge. Buckle your seat belts as it just gets funnier than hell here.

I had been told the date I was to rotate home and who my replacement was going to be. The Battery Fire Direction Officer was going to move up to the Battery XO position and a guy from Kansas was going to replace him. The problem was that that guy was in a school in Pleiku and he wouldn't be finished right up to the day prior to my leaving Country. For some reason we had a bright and shinny 2LT that was a West Point Graduate assigned to us but they were afraid to let me go and turn things over to him for even a day.

With two short weeks left in country, we made a move down off a mountain top position to one about 5 miles north of Pleiku. There was a dirt road out to us and we could even have hot rations once in a while. Heck, the mess team even brought out one of their stoves and we had hot eggs and coffee for breakfast. Things were pretty good for about a week.

Somewhere near the end of the first week, we got a radio call from Artillery Hill there in Pleiku that a LOH (Light Observation Helicopter) was coming to visit us and they were bringing a couple of honest to god round eyed Red Cross girls. Talk about your novelty. Hell, those bare footed mountainyard women were starting to look good and here comes the Donut Dollies. They would bring cookies and cool-aid and spend a lot of time just visiting with the guys.

We were told that the LOH did not want to stay on the ground there with us and we cold use it to send some things back to Artillery Hill if we wanted. There was one piece of crap 50 caliber machine gun that no matter how hard we worked on it would not work. I told a couple of the men to gather that sucker up and send it in to Battalion Maintenance. They were standing by the landing pad near the edge of the battery position.

As the LOH started in, the 2nd Lt I mentioned earlier grabbed the machine gun, put it up on his shoulder and like John Wayne was marching out the the LOH just as it put his skids on the sand bags of the landing pad. One of the girls jumped out of the back of the bird and started to dash out of the rotor blast. Te other girl was still sitting in the seat by the pilot and watching that Dammed dumb Lieutenant walking right towards the helicopter. The Pilot waived his hands parallel to the ground in an effort to get the LT to duck down and not get hit in the head by one of the rotors. Like the real idiot he was, he bent over at the waist and came forward.

Now how do I explain that the gun barrel was like the top of a capitol T and when he bent over at the waist, the front end of the gun went down like a tetter totter and the back end went up. The only reason the gun didn't break his neck was he had it on the right shoulder and the blades threw it off to his right as all hell broke loose. Helicopters are very well balanced when the rotors are equal and moving fast. Knock a couple of inches off one with something solid and it was one jumpy frog. It hopped up and down and the skids beat themselves through the sandbags while the pilot did his best to keep the bird in one piece. As the blades made their final revolution you could hear what sounded like a gallon jar full of ball bearings poured into a 30 gallon metal trash can. Scrunch, chrunck, blonk, more crunch and a few growls then the sound of silence.

The Pilot jumped out of his seat ran around to where the 2lt was sitting on the ground and pulled his pistol. I swear he was prepared to shoot him but what saved him? Scalp wounds bleeding like a mother made him look like the last man standing in an ass kicking contest only he was seated there wondering what he heck happened. I did hear the pilot give that idiot holy hell for about five minutes and we all watched and had hopes we would get to see someone shot right there.

When the pilot calmed down, he went back to his bird and made sure everything was turned off. He made sure there was no fire and turned the master back on to call his base camp to have them send a bird to take his broken toy home.

The girls spent about an hour laughing with the guys and finally a couple of huey's showed up to take the girls and the broken bird home. I'm sure that a lot of the guys have fond memories of the day the 2LT brought down a helicopter with a .50 Cal Machine gun. I always felt like it was my revenge on the bastards.



Helicopter Hate Part 2.

A week or two prior to Thanksgiving 1968, I was in a Howitzer battery and got volunteered for a job that I neither wanted or asked for. When the battalion XO came to me, that should have been clear. He always wanted me to do something he didn't want to do or something I didn't want to do and sometimes it was both. He had a royal case of the red chapped Monkey Butt because I asked the Battalion Commander to replace a Battery Commander that had been drunk for a week and stayed that way. The first night, he got roaring drunk and passed out without much trouble. The next night he and my Chief of Smoke got drunk and passed out. The next night he and a couple of the gun section chiefs played poker until they all passed out. By the end of the first week, I was the only sober son of a bitch after it got dark. I went over to the Fire Direction Center and requested the Battalion Commander come out to our fire base the next morning. He arrived about 10 AM and the rest of the leaders were all asleep nursing hangovers. He loaded up the Battery Commander and told me I was in charge until he could find a Captain. I'm not sure why that pissed off the XO so bad but he just hated me openly and I got the shit details from then on.

One of the batteries was moving from a fire base west of Kontum and when the flying crane hooked up one of the howitzers, something went wrong. About half way to the new position the howitzer started swinging so bad that the pilot or the crew chief just punched that sucker off. A 155MM howitzer dropped from several thousand feet became a large lawn dart and fell barrel down until it reached ground level and then stuck everything down and deep. On the tail end of the howitzer is a round hitch to connect it to a truck. Only about a foot of the 25 or so feet was sticking up above the ground. As that howitzer played lawn dart, the wheels that stuck out on the side were ripped off and they bounced at least a hundred yards away. In the tall grass, they were almost impossible to find. My job was to go out and find that lawn dart and make sure it was no value the enemy.

We started with a scouting party by helicopter to see if we could locate anything before we went out on the ground. I spent most of one day in a light observation helicopter (LOH) blowing the grass around in a area that was not controlled by either side. About the time we were out of flight time, I spotted one of the tires. I did a map spot of the location and we went back in to our base. The next morning a huey came to our location and took me and a recon team out to a Special Forces camp. There we were given seven of the little guys and a Green Barret Sgt to go out and get on the ground. We located a flat place not too far from the tire and offloaded the team.

We traveled the better part of an hour and went fairly right to the location where the tire had been. There was a perfect impression where it had been and lots and lots of footprints where it had been pushed off to. The Green Beret Sgt went almost crazy as he was sure we were going to get our asses shot frequently and deep. We set up a perimeter and sent a couple of the little guys out to see if they could find the howitzer/lawn dart. About an hour later those guys came back to our location laughing. One of them had literally tripped on the lunette sticking up out of the ground. They led us right back to the howitzer as it was only about 45 feet from our location. The grass was about 8 feet tall and cou could have hidden an elephant in the grass.

Now let me tell you about the problem we had. The howitzer must have weighed two and a half tons and there was no way that we were going to be able to lift it out of that damned hole. There was no way we were going to dig it up or really do anything worthwhile. We could see the breech block down about 15 feet in the hole and that is where our imagination took over. All over Vietnam there were secure radios with thermite grenades on top so they could be destroyed if the unit was hit. The Green Barret called his base camp and they sent out a LOH with a box of the thermite grenades.

We dug down a ways and made the hole bigger so we could lower a guy down to set the grenade where it would burn a hole in the breech block. The little guys were fairly efficient in the use of explosives and they rigged the howitzer with thermite grenades and set them all off. When the smoke cleared you could clearly see the breech block with a big hole in it. End of mission. We were able to get a helicopter to pick us up and take us to the Green Barret camp for the night.

The next morning I found myself getting ready to spend three weeks in the Plei Trap Valley. I was volunteered because I was already in the Special Forces Camp where the mission was going to start from. All of that was due to some chopper pilot dropping one of the guns. Those three week were the worst of my life and I'll tell you about it sometime.


I Don't know 20 people on Facebook!

Amy tagged me to answer the following question and then told me to tag 20 people. The People I know on Facebook are all on her list. So here is my answers to her questions:

Three names I go by:
1. MUD
2. Dennis
3. Colonel

Three Jobs I have had in my life:
1. Started as a Gas Station Pump Jockey
2. From Private in the Army to Colonel in the Guard.
3.Instructor for a Call Center. Taught Customer Service.

Three places I have lived:
1. Wichita, KS - First 19 years of my life
2. Fort Leonard Wood, MO - Fort Sill, OK - Fort Irwin, CA Vietnam then Fort Carson, CO.
3. In an 8X38ft Traielr in Wichita for a couple of years.

Three favorite drinks:
1. Water
2. Beer - But I don't drin it anymore.
3. Single Malt Scotch.

Three TV shows I watch: When I have time to watch TV
1. Law and any think, Order, Special Victims unit etc..
2. Saving grace
3. The Closer.

Three places I have been:
1. San Antonio, Texas; love the river walk
2. Denver, Colorado; used to go every year and miss the mountains dearly
3. St Louis, MO with the family. had a ball there

Three people who text me regularly:
1. What the heck is Texting? Is that a cell phone thing?

Three of my favorite foods:
1. Itallian; I love my carbs
2. Mexican
3. Smoked meats from my grill. Hickory smoke rocks!

Three things I'm looking forward to:
1. Pictures of Austin
2. Basketball season. GO KU!
3. A trip this fall. May go East, may go west, but may go both...


Why I hate Helicopters!

In Vietnam, the only way we could get from our base camp to most of the fire bases was by helicopter. For the most part, these were administrative trips and they were boring. There was always the occasional trip into places where the enemy had been and there was reported anti aircraft guns but that wasn't the reason I hated helicopters. Being shot at by the enemy was a part of war that I accepted. It was the occasional idiot I had problems with. Here is my version of the first of them. I'll post part two tomorrow.
The class "A" agent in our unit went from fire base to fire base to pay people that basically had no place to spend money. I was assigned to pay three forward bases and was given about two hundred thousand in Military script and the actual Vietnam currency. Time after time guys would report to me and want only a partial pay if any. There was one firing battery that always had a big poker game going on and they all wanted at least $100 in the Military script.
After spending the better part of three days going from base camp to forward area to rear staging area and back, I was pretty much helicoptered out. We were as far north in the II Corps area as we could get and headed back to Pleiku. As an officer I always got a headset to listen in to what the fly boys were saying. That particular day I had over $100,000 left in my briefcase and I heard one pilot say to the other, "Just how fast do you think this thing will go?"
For those of you that haven't flown in a helicopter, think of the blades on the roof as being a big propeller and the more they are pointed forward the faster you go. If you are sitting in the back seat, and the ground is visible through the windscreen, you are in the "Go Fast Mode". What should have been a leisurely trip back to our unit on Artillery Hill turned out to be one of those moments in time that the pucker factor gets high for little reason.
We just happened to be flying along the river between Kontum and Pleiku as fast as that little whirlybird could fly. I could see the airspeed and it was wound up over 100. I could see it but because I was about 15 feet from it I couldn't see it clearly. The vibrations also hindered my 20/10 vision from reading it. Until....... All of a sudden there was a vibration throughout the helicopter and the dash of that bird lit up like a Las Vegas night on the strip. I mean there was a chip indicator light, high temperature indicator and the most amazing to me was the master caution indicator that I had never seen flashing it's little butt off... The most amazing thing was the sound of silence when the turbine just stopped. Remembering that helicopters fly like rocks when the blades stop turning, my individual pucker factor reached an all time high.
The crew chief tapped me on the shoulder and said, "No sweat, but we might crash". Holy Shit Batman! those words still to this day get my tongue tied when I try to tell this story. The pilots immediately pulled the nose of the helicopter up and I watched as the ground seemed to be rushing at me a lot faster than I wanted. I am not sure how far above the ground we were but those two did an auto rotation in and the blades were still turning as the bird fell the last three or four feet. There was a village nearby and we managed to find a corn field and not the 40 foot trees every where else along the river. 100 yards either direction and they could have picked up the mess with a shovel. Adrenalin does funny things to people and for me they spark the fight or flight response big time. I got out of that bird and was 50 feet away so quick that I am sure I could have set an Olympic record for the 50 feet, adrenalin sponsored stagger. As I stood there, my knees were shaking and I was amped up with nervous energy.
One of the two idiots that had been called pilots earlier in this story came up to me and said that it would probably take an hour to get the Chinook out there to take us back. Now, I wasn't so worried about Mrs Petty's boy as I was the money I had and how long it would take her to pay it back if some enterprising VC or NVA trooper wanted some. I told idiot number one to get idiot number two over to where I was standing and do it damned quick.
I told them that I was listening to the headset and got a front row seat to the speed contest and the resulting failure of the bird. I wanted a ride out of there right now or I would have a talk with their commanding officer about the danger they had exposed me to. In fact, I wanted them to use their little portable handy talkies to flag down the next passing by helicopter and ask him to land to get me and my two armed guards. Did I mention that I had armed guards with M-16's that were locked and loaded? Oh well. Ace the sky pilot was on his little handy talkie and we were on a helicopter very soon. They had called out a mayday and several came to the area.
True to my word, I didn't turn those two idiots in. Mostly because I had about half of my tour left and I needed their damned helicopters to get around. I still wake up from time to time hearing the words, "No Sweat, but we might crash!" End of round one.


Rainy Tuesday

To me, the only thing worse than a cloudy Monday is a rainy Tuesday morning. There is a cold front that is trying to pass the Heartland and for some reason is sticking around and giving us more moisture. Normally a warm front and a cold front meet overhead and they rush past each other and a few hours of clouds later it is sunny. For some reason there is not much in the cold front and it has met a warm front that is just hanging around and.... Well Rain. You can hear the rumble of thunder in the background but the wind doesn't seem to want to do much. The rain falling on the leaves is making more noise in what normally is a symphony of wind noises.

I just spent about an hour looking at the experiences of Andrew Zimmern and his travels across the US. To me, that would be the perfect life where you get to meet fun people, eat fun foods and laugh your butt off. This morning I have traveled from Palm Springs in California to rowing on the Charles river near Boston. There was a stop in Milwaukee and Chicago thrown in for the cholesterol. I'm sure that I gained five pounds just watching him eat. The best of the artery plugging was in Wisconsin where he ate a butter burger. That sirloin burger was fried on a grill, topped with cheese and the only condiment on the bun was a dollop (a whooping couple tablespoons) of butter. Normally I would use the term slathered to indicate it was smeared to coat the bun. In this case I think plopped on the bun might be the best. Can you imagine what it would be like to go to Ben and Gerry's and get to invent your own brand of Ice Cream? Andrew got to eat a scallop that he cut from the shell and cooked on the grill with pork belly pieces fried in the deep fat fryer as a tasty tidbit on the plate. No, I think I gained 8 lbs, I had forgotten the trip to the Bratwurst factory. Then to share the hand made brats with a group of people in a bar. How sweet is that?

My latest project here at Rabbit Run will be an arbor to support the wisteria out in front of the house. I have put it off until the wisteria has almost completely covered the ground for about 25 feet and has started up the house. I spent most of the first day on the project just clearing things so I could get in there to run the chain saw. Yes, after 20 years, Barb has decided that I can cut down a couple of the trees to make room for the wisteria arbor. I think the proof in the pudding for her came after I cut down one tree that was dying and the resulting hole was closed up inside of a year. Give a tree and inch and it will grow a foot. I am struggling with the idea that there will be some gymnastics required up on a ladder and I only have two hands. I guess I do have boards to build a scaffold and clamps. We'll see. If all of a sudden by blog stops, you will know that somewhere the combination of ladders, chain saw and clamps have taken their toll. Or as that age old book of Lumber jacking is titled, "For whom the saw cuts." I really want it to be a what it cuts not a whom, who or any good parts. "Parts is Parts" works for me unless they are my parts.

This morning I was reminded of an old quote. "Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things." I offer you this tidbit to help you get through the day with a smile on your face. That follows with the other side of my twisted sense of humor and that is, "Smile and make the bastards wonder what you have been up to."



Monday Morning

I read the paper with an eye towards the things that try to make fun out of things that are on the edge. Quite a few of the funny paper panels ended with comments that made me smile but not laugh out loud. One of the Blogs "Support Your Local Gunfighter" wants to "Moon" those that doubt that Apollo 11 went to the moon. Seems like my day may be headed for one of those conclusions that make me want to go somewhere and be alone. I will spend my day smiling and making the bastards wonder what I have been up to.

Our car hunt is ongoing and we haven't found the perfect set of wheels, yet! Barb still wants a car that costs less than $10,000 and gets 50 MPG. My desires include enough room to let me get in and drive without knocking my elbows or my head as I do so. I drove the Morris 850 (think Mini Cooper without the Cooper power plant) in high school so I know what little is. Once upon a time a family member had a little blue Dotson for sale that was cute as a bugs ear. I went out to look at it and then tried to get inside. If I drove with my head tipped to the right it was great. I am going to try to avoid that in our next car. I want to be able to get in the car and 8 or 10 hours later be able to get out without feeling I spent the day inside a snow globe.

I have flashes of wanting to call Dave Ramsey and asking him to talk to some of the people that really get his program and what a difference it makes in your life. For me the secret is wanting what you have and not getting what you want. Save until you can spend cash and then do it only after really looking at almost all of the options. It is nice to be able to plan the purchase of a car and not to be up against a wall when the old one breaks down. I dated a girl that when her parents took off in a 57 station wagon with over 100,000 miles on it had to replace it in mid trip. Needless to say they got screwed on the trade-in and on the price of the new car. They wound up with a Nova that was so ugly that the dealer sticker on the back end made it look better. I think it had a 4 cylinder and was so loosy goosy when it drove that they encouraged me to drive it. I think they wanted me to wreck it so they could get a replacement. My little brother will forever remain in the happy place for wrecking a Volvo that my dad hated. Rick will tell you that a drunk caused the wreck. I wonder how many beers Dad had to buy that drunk.

I am nearing my 62nd birthday and am actually going to get a little Social Security. You can bet your bippy that I will take as much as I can as quick as I can. Over the years I managed to put 7.5% of a lot of income into the fund and think I should finally get some of it back. Yes I know it really some of the money going in today and it won't last forever. Bite me! For what I have paid in taxes over the years I should get a lot back and won't. Oh well, I will put it in that can of cash buried out in the yard and apply it to a good project some day.

Better go find something to do. The kids are coming over tonight and we will feed them something made with all the "Planned Overs" we have on hand. I have something from all of the meat groups and most of it is grilled with lots of hickory smoke. They will go home full. My motto is anyone that goes home hungry from Rabbit Run does so only because they want to.



Dang, I hate it when this happens!

I did this just for Amy. She posts those cute Kirkland baby picts.

1. What time did you get up this morning?
1 AM, 3 AM and 7 AM... Drank three glasses of Tea at dinner last night. Had company.

2. How do you like your steak?
Yes. Grilled medium rare and with good friends.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
"Taken" while we were on the road. I loved it but it was a little brutal for Barb.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Law and Anything. On the cooking channel Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
On the beach at Rabat Morocco wasn’t bad but right here at home in Rabbit run is just great.

6. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Cashew Blueberry Pancakes made by Barb. Great stuff McGee.

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
Yes. Eating about anything is fine by me. I like to cook on the grill but am just at home with a pot of Ham and beans.

8. What foods do you dislike?
I tried Boiled Peanuts once and am not the biggest fan. Other than that, pretty much see it, eat it.

9. Favorite Place to Eat?
Right here at home.

10. Favorite dressing?
Blue Cheese dressing and in a pinch Otts

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?
53 Chevy truck

12. What are your favorite clothes?
This is a girls question isn’t it. I wear clothes because it is ugly for a 60 year old guy to run around naked.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
East Coast of the US in the fall. North out of Idaho into Canada and then east and come back down through Montanna.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
I have everything I need and most of what I want so what do you think?

15. Where would you want to retire?
Rabbit Run, Tecumseh, BY God, Kansas

16. Favorite time of day?

17. Where were you born?
Wichita, KS at Wesley medical Center

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
KU basketball

19. Apple or PC?
PC. Apples are great in a pie.

20. Favorite quote?
A Journey of a 1000 miles begins with he first step.

21. Book you most hated having to read for high school English?
Kansas History

22. Vegetarian or carnivore?

23. Are you a morning person or a night person?

24. Do you have any pets?
Two dogs, two stupid birds and a porch kitty.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?
Most of the news is so political nowdays that I go out and make my own. Read ridingwithmud@blogspot.com

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
Older. With money

27. What is your best childhood memory?
My friends, Ronny, Harvey, Wayne (Not as Much) Danny Rex.

28. Are you a cat or dog person?

29. Are you married?

30. Always wear your seat belt?

31. Been in a car accident?
Yep’er skippy. Rolled one over and over and lots of little one’s.

32. Any pet peeves?
Stupid people that go out of their way to prove it.

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings?
See number 22. Omnivores love it piled on their pizza.

34. Favorite Flower?

35. Favorite ice cream?
I am trying to remember if there is any I don’t like. There is a new Wells Blue Bunny “Berry Me Please” that is wonderful.

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?
Got food poisoned at “taco bell” so that ain’t it. Wendy’s for a simple burger works.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?
none, Passed it on the first try in a car I had never driven before.

38. From whom did you get your last email?

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Never happen McGee. I try to spend cash and quit when it is gone.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
With my mild ADHD everything is spontaneous. I have to plan to plan.

41. Like your job?
I am retired what’s not to like.

42. favorite veggie?
tomato, but I really like all veggies

43. What was your favorite vacation?
Morocco and Spain.

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?
Had to be Dave and Barb

45. What are you listening to right now?
The squirrels out on the porch.

46. What is your favorite color?
Damn girlie questions... I guess Black for the t-shirt and blue for the jeans.

47. How many tattoos do you have?
none Do I look like some swabby or queer?

48. Favorite song from your teen years?
Hell, I can’t remember my favorite song from yesterday let alone 40 years ago.

49. What time did you finish this quiz?
8:55 AM

50. Coffee Drinker?
Yes but never after noon in the day. Can’t sleep if I do.


They are Here

Our hosts in Morocco are here for a short visit and we got to repay some of their hospitality last night. I'm sure that they are about talked out because they have been visiting with their friends for the better part of three days. We had a great meal and a nice short visit.
Have I mentioned the Rib Eye steaks from Sam's club? Their choice Maker's Mark steaks are about as good as I can find anywhere. They aren't cheap but to spend about $5.00 for a steak that would sell for $15 to $18 at a steak house ain't bad.
On Jenni's site "Prairie Air" she talked about a hot, Hot Potato salad. It is seasoned with a Hot Wing sauce and I added a touch of additional hot by adding a couple of very small Jalapenos from the garden. I didn't listen to my inner voice and left the potatoes in larger chunks without mashing about half of the potatoes to make it more creamy. It was good but the Hot German Potato salad with cheese is pretty good also. Perhaps I will find a way to combine them and have a killer hot potato salad.
I have found a cheese in the Mexican section they call Casa fresca. Does anyone have a good recipe to use it with. I saw Emeril make a cheese dip with it and think melted into a sauce it would make a good burrito sauce. May give it a try today and pass it off on the masses when they stop in for Planned Overs. Spent a couple of hours on the grill yesterday and have a bunch of cooked meats for meals later on this week.
Barb worked the Shawnee County Fair yesterday and talked to a lot of people about sunflowers. You could tell she was having fun and in her element. Sure like that lady as well as love her.


Barb's Pictures

As you probably know by now, we have a darned good camera (NIKON D70) and Barb loves to take great pictures. I offer you this selection to keep your head from exploding with all the controversial things you read on this and other blogs.

This is a Mexican Sunflower and the actual color

What do you buy for a man that has everything? A new car? (Scroll Down.
No, A New Hood Ornament of the Porch Kitty

Barb will spend the afternoon at the Fair. I get to cook dinner for our Morocco friends that are in town for a couple of days. See you tomorrow.

Dang, I hate it when this happens!

For years, we would go to visit my grandmother and Grandfather in Arkansas and she would cook up things with cherry tomatoes is them. I asked her how she always managed to have some and she said she would pick them and freeze them on a pizza pan and then store them in a zip lock bag. Ours never seem to last that long. Put a bowl out of those sweet little treats on our counter here at Rabbit Run and they just seem to disappear. Dang, I hate it when that happens!
My other tomato story was about the man near Wichita that bought a truck load of treated Human waste from the sewage treatment plant. He put that black top soil on his new yard and almost as soon as things started to grow, it was obvious that he would have more tomato plants than grass. I guess the tomato seeds just go through the human system undigested. Even the next year tomato plants sprouted up and he couldn't decide if he should eat the fruit or not. Dang, I hate it when that happens. Fertilizer is fertilizer.
Have a great day out there.


What Do You Say?

Yesterday, at the local grocery store, I had a couple of lottery tickets to check. The store has installed a stupid set of barriers that prevent people from just walking up to the lottery ticket machine to self check your ticket. I walked to the end of the line and as I got to the front, the lady with three children went to cash a check. (or the amount on her welfare cash card). One of her tribe was playing with the lottery machine where the light shines out to scan the bars on the ticket. I asked him to move so I could check my ticket and the lady said very loud, "Don't touch my child" I hadn't and we both looked at her with a dumb look. She said again, "Don't ever touch my child." I simply walked away rather than confront her stupidity. Let me cite the reasons she should have known I didn't touch her child.

First, he wasn't crying from the knots on his head he deserved.
Second, he was still standing and no on the floor for the swift kick he deserved.
Third he could still hear because I hadn't boxed his ears.

When I walked back to the front of the store the lady and her tribe was no longer in the customer service line. I went back over to purchase new tickets and she and her tribe walked by and they all glared at me like I was a criminal.

To me, telling child to do the right thing is the role of adults. If I am in the bathroom and a little guy starts out the door without washing his hands, I will remind him to , "Wash your hands". I think that is how civilized adults act around children. I will tell a child to pick something up hen he throws things on the floor and remind them to no touch things when they shouldn't.

What really bothers me about this the most is that no matter what happened to that kid from then on, he is going to think his mother is going to fly to his defense. There will come a time when she helicopters in to save him and he is going to think he is deserving of saving no matter what. Instead of saying come over here she raised he voice to me.

What do you say to an adult who is wrong and is doing it in front of her children. I walked away but I really think she was wrong and ignorant to boot. Kind of like the POTUS to take the side of a black college professor not knowing the details.



Funny story

Today we judged foods made by young adults. Kids do and will say the darnedest things. One pair of brothers brought half of an order of brownies to be judged. The older brother worked hard to top his brownies with choc chips, nuts and caramel. They were excellent.

Hid younger brother brought the other half of the brownies in with a thin layer of frosting and miniature marshmallows. He told the Judge that he would have put gummy Bears on his but his brother ate the bears. The Judge looked at the older brother and thanked him as she said she didn't like gummy bears. The older brother looked at the younger brother and said," I saved you again."


Fair Today

When I signed up for the Master Foods Volunteer training, I committed myself to do 40 hours of volunteer work for the County in exchange for the training and materials. A part of that work is helping the food judging at the Shawnee County Fair. I will be assigned to team up with a trained judge and do whatever comes up. I have high hopes that it won't be the cherry pie judging but I will do what I have to do. My sisters were in 4-H as we all grew up ad they had to bake what seemed like an almost endless number of cherry pies getting ready for the Fair. I don't hate cherry pie but I think I have eaten my share of them in my life.

Our friends from Morocco are back in the United States to catch up on their dental work and to see their parents here in Kansas. We are not sure how much we will get to see them but have high hopes that we will get to spend some time together. There is so much we feel that we need to pay them back for that we could host them for the entire time and still feel that we need to take care of them. Barb made a scrapbook of our trip and it seems like there is so much in the few short days we spent there that we couldn't have done a lot more. Heck, just spending a few hours with them on the beach was such a treat. The girls love of the sand and water put a smile in my heart that will last all year.

My new thought is I fear we are drifting more apart as a nation not more together. Having the first black President should be a marker that the opportunities are unlimited and prove to all that my theory of an education coupled with hard work will make a person successful. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of things that the POTUS and I don't agree on but hey, he is the POTUS. Almost every article I read talks about how his numbers are falling and he is facing his Waterloo. Don't people remember that no President has finished as popular as he started? There is a bunch of people that don't try to remember history so they don't know what they don't remember. Lindon Johnson was able early on, after the Kennedy assignation, to get a bunch of programs passed and started. He withdrew from the race as POTUS because he felt he might not get re-elected (Plus some health reasons) Jimma Carter was the man from Plains, GA that was going to bring about some intelligence into the spending of our government and he was sent home with his tail stuck between his legs over the failing economy.

I am not asking in any way for the people out there to stop being mad over what our Congress is doing to the economy. I am telling you that the problems have been in place for three years under Nancy Pelosi Galore and Harry "Snake eyes" Reid. The problems are not in the intelligence of the POTUS but the failure of the entire congress to keep our $ in control. Ask anyone that has filed for bankruptcy if they could spend themselves out of broke.



Oh My God!

- The crazies out there are still talking about the missing Birth Certificate for the POTUS. Don't you know that if for some reason he was removed we would have Joe Biden as POTUS? Better the devil we know than the fool who no one knows what he will say next. Send a TEA bag to your elected representatives and let them know that we are watching and will not send them back during the next election unless they figure out a way to bring sanity to Washington.



Proud Conservative

I consider myself to be a conservative for the following reasons. I am convinced that our form of Government is so structured that if you work hard, get an education and live within the laws you can be a success. Don't try to tell me that if you are from a poor family or had a rough neighborhood you can't succeed. I'll match Dog Patch there on the east side of Wichita with about any neighborhood. I don't think the Government needs to jump in to protect my liberties or spend one more damn dime to make things better. Inf act, I would bet that if the MG and I were in charge we could strangle quite a few dimes out of that budget. She would spend it on education and I would want to return it to the citizens and let schools be funded at the local level.

I understand passionate liberals that believe that our government needs to do more to help others. I have a sister that stood on the street corner in Lawrence and shouted against the horrible war for Oil. I don't agree with her, but I understand taking a stance and to be willing to be there when they feel the need to protest. The side that I really don't get is those people that hate conservatives but are unwilling to call themselves liberals.

I struggle with the discussion that the Republican Party can't find room for conservatives and moderates. The history of our country is ripe with politicians that were elected from the middle and governed from a more extreme position. One side that keeps us from joining together is the right to life side. I think abortion is a horrible way to conduct birth control but I absolutely hate the thought that our government needs to pass more laws to intercede in the decision between a woman and her doctor. How can anyone claim to have conservative beliefs and want more government intrusion?

'Cides, the current law is on their side boys and girls. If you don't like something, get in the fray and change it. Don't tell me I don't have the right to disagree. I fought for my right to own guns and have free speech. Mess with those rights and you will find me less than friendly to your side.


Stupid Weather

For some reason mid July here in the Heartland is mild. Our highs are in the 80 all week and we have been almost jacket weather in the mornings. Global Warming my ass! The only problem for me today is if and when is it going to rain. I got started picking up the broken deck boards and it started raining. I stopped and covered everything up and it quit. I decided to give it 30 minutes - nothing. you wait and as soon as I start again it will start dripping and then quit. Crap oh dear.

For some reason I have been having military dreams a lot lately. (I wonder if it might be because the Military channel is on a lot) It seems that I wake up about 6 AM and then dose back off. That's when the dreams occur with a lot of hurry up and wait in them. Seems like there is always something not done or needing done better.

Barb just brought me a BLT for breakfast. I love the produce and I make sure there is bacon all crisped up in the icebox just for such a snack.

Tonight the kids are coming over and we'll have enchiladas. Some will be chicken and some will be taco seasoned hamburger. I'm not sure what side we'll have but if the past is any indication black beans and rice will fit in there somewhere.

Better get cranking, the weather is going to just be cloudy (I hope)



Warning Signs

Master Gardner's Prolific Produce
Mystery Pumpkin

One that got away
Barb was out in the garden and pulling grass and weeds. She noticed a cucumber vine going through the fence. At the end of that vine was one cuke that was growing like mad. Almost got away but it is still the size we can eat.

MUD Working on Deck

I woke up this morning with that stiff and sore back that tells me that I need to stop lifting those deck boards with my back. This has, in the past, been the precursor to a pinched nerve and about three days of bed rest. Might just take it easy today. Wait, that's how I always take it.

Somehow my fifth grade math has just allowed me to make another mistake. I measured the deck on the south side and computed 24, 12 foot deck boards would cover it. I didn't even allow for a 1/8th inch gap and still seems like I am a couple of boards shy of having enough. I'm not finished yet so I'll reserve judgement as the pile dwindles. Now that the truck is running good a trip to Lowe's might be just the ticket for some time off. Who knows until the lumber pile is exhausted.

Did I mention that I love this time of year? The garden is starting to really produce and the produce at the store is really especially tasty. Barb found a cantaloupe yesterday that is bigger than most of the water melons. What's up with the water melons? All we have here are about the size that last one small meal. If there were three Petty's, it would have to have a twin to feed that many. Back to the plethora of produce. I hate it in the winter when the tomatoes taste like they are made out of cardboard. This time of year they are sweet and almost don't need salt to really hit the plate with a bright taste. To make it even better, I think we hit a new all time low temperature last night. It was in the mid 70's yesterday and was great weather.

Better go up and see if that melon is good enough to support all this fine talk. (It was)
Barb has a good eye and told me were the great pictures were on the camera. I added the four pictures to share.



'Nother Rainy day in Kansas

Just as our garden is starting to bring in the harvest, the weather has been cooperating by keeping everything watered this week. Many tomatoes, a few beans, a zucchini and a small eggplant are waiting for the magic of the kitchen. There are cukes and onions in vinegar just waiting.

To add to this is the plethora of "Planned Overs" that I did on the grill yesterday. Barb picked up a big old package of chicken and I picked out the steaks. I was showing Dave the kind of steaks I really likes when one of the Sam's Club butchers came out and was restocking the KC Strips. I described the perfect marbling that made a steak taste good and the butcher said, "Like this". Just perfect steaks under the label of Maker's Mark Choice.

The truck needed a new starter and I pulled out the old one today. I always take parts to the parts store to see if they are good or not and man did that sucker smoke. The good news is that a rebuilt starter was less than $50.00. About two hours work and everything is working fine.
Sure love the old cars. I'm not sure if I could find the starter on Barb's Buick. Even then I'm sure I would have to stand on my head or jack up the motor.

Have a great day out there.



Hot Thoughts on a Cool(er) Day

I look out to the south of the house and see the piles of boards that were once decking. It lasted 20 years and was in need of replacement. The sun beating down on the wood has caused it to check and crack to the point that it needed replacement. I am using the composit decking as it is impervious to the weather and age. I guess that my deck is a better place than the landfill for all those plastic bottles and what feels like fiberglass.

After 20 years, the needed maintenance here at Rabbit Run is beginning to make a long list. There are inside things that will keep until this fall and winter but there are some things that are outside things that just need done when it is warm. The deck maintenance was high on that list and the arbor for the wisteria in the front is another.

Here is an old saying by Hillel the Elder that I keep by my computer:

Watch your thoughts; they may become your words.
Watch your words; they may become your actions.
Watch your actions; they may become your habits.
Watch your habits; they become your character.
Watch your character; for it will become your destiny.

Have a great day out there. After the cool front brought rain and cloudy weather, I am going to take a day off of the decking project.



Fun Visit

Every couple of months we make a mad dash to Tulsa to visit my brother who is hosting my mother's extended visit. It is always a pleasure to visit with them. Rick has gone out of his way to make mother feel welcome and I for one am very thankful for his love. His job travels him all over Northeast Oklahoma and even after hours behind the wheel he has a great smile. He wore a KU shirt for years but living there near Tulsa has changed his allegiance.
Mom is holding up well for the age she has reached. We know she loves Ruben sandwiches and try to do them when we visit. For some reason Wal*Mart in Skiatook didn't carry pastrami up until this visit. Not sure why, but they did have it this time. Barb does the veggies and I do the sandwiches.

This young lady is our niece (Grand-niece?) Kristen. We have watched her grow up and love to have her visit. I have a lot of pictures of her and Barb doing things. She said she made straight A's this last semester in school. I sure hope she can continue this path to success. I am not sure if she is always quiet or if she couldn't get a word in edgewise.

Meet Mr edgewise. Kristen's Dad, Kris, is about the most fun guy I have ever met. His gift of gab makes the time just fly by. He is a Firefighter and just started to volunteer with the Sheriff's office. He has a pile of stories that he shares and a way to share those stories that is great. He is not a comedian, but a story teller with a view of life that makes you smile.

The latest story Kris tells is about his visit to Wal*Mart. It seems that they have a cashier there that is a couple of french fries short of a happy meal. As they went through the checkout line it seems the subject of marriage came up and the cashier said Kris is lucky to have such a pretty wife. Kristen was the person with him and not his wife. Kris said," You know, some people think she looks young enough to be my daughter. I'm sure glad we met over at the Family reunion over there in Arkansas." I am pretty sure that the cashier didn't get it. I'm just glad I didn't have mouth full of water or I would have laughed it up and out my nose.


Cherokee Nation Oklahoma

What does this fine pair of people have in Common? They were both born in what was the Oklahoma Territory around the turn of the century. The soldier is Geary Schmoe, Barb's Grandfather and the fellow in the hat is Will Rogers.

Both were born near what is now Oologah, Oklahoma
We looked but there weren't any statues to Geary but right in the middle of the street is Will and his horse in Bronze.
I had the experience to only see Will in the Movies and I was impressed with his down to earth view of the people he met. Geary was a special kind of man that smiled easy and made me feel welcome from the first time we met.

Out on the Lake is the Will Rogers Birthplace.

This was his grandparents house

Standing on the porch overlooking Lake Oologah. They moved the house to this overlook from about 3/4 miles to the south in the middle of the lake.

This is a barn just east of the house

This must have been Oklahoma, They have a White Democrat

Barb and I have started documenting our travels and taking a few side trips. With the family interest in Oologah we made the trip. I tell you that from Tulsa this is a nice trip and I could spend hours sitting under the trees and looking at the lake. We went over from Bartlesville through Nowata. The unfortunate part of the trip was that it was Saturday and the Museum was closed. We hoped that they would have a map of the area and might find where Geary was born.
Great Travels for you.


Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh MY Pt 1.

Back in the 1970's, I commanded a battery in the National Guard that was located in Horton, Kansas. When a WWI General Died, The Headquarters sent two helicopters there and flew us and some howitzers to Caney, KS. That is about as far south on US 75 as you can get and still be in Kansas. Every time we went through Caney, Barb heard that story until I'm sure she could almost tell it.

The other day I was reading on MSM about three white tiger cubs that were nursed by a Golden Retriever and they said that it took place in the Safari Zoological Park in Caney, Kansas. Sure enough that fact got stored in my brain housing group and this trip through there, we stopped. This is not just a little road side stand but an honest to god zoo with some great animals.

On our trip to Morocco, they mentioned the Barbary lions that are now extinct. The Barbary lion has a black mane and is the largest of the lions. This is one of the Barbary males that is about 80% Barbary lion. It was after feeding and it was warm so he was cat napping.

This is the daddy white tiger and he is large. He and his mate have a three year old daughter and the three tigers that will be a year old in August. The mother hid in her shelter and slept.

This is a Russian bear that really wanted our attention. He would stand on his hind legs and waive for a cookie. Hie also did one trick where he squatted down and waived as he did his "Little Bear" routine

For some reason I couldn't get the pictures to all load on one blog so the next one is part 2.


Lions, Tigers and Bears Oh My!, PT 2

This is two of the white tiger cubs. They were so cute and you might just want to hug them if you had a guard with a gun.

This is the Mexican version of the raccoon. They cal it a coatie mundie and they were so cute.

Someone had given the zoo some coyote cubs and they were still afraid of people. These two sisters sat in a corner while one brother ran up and down the fence.

There are two of the prettiest wolves in this zoo that I have ever seen. They were Siberian wolves and had long legs and a very intelligent look to their eyes.

I could go on with pictures of the alligator, a puma, a black spotted panther, baboons, snakes, parrots and lemurs but the real show is there. If you are ever going through Caney Kansas on US 75 I would recommend you drive the 1.5 miles east of town and see this wonderful wildlife exhibit.

Danger! Warning this Blog Contains Coherent Thought

Lately there has been a lot said about the political process and what it all means. Those that felt they had to suffer through 8 years of Bush are now reveling in the Democratically controlled process and just hate it when we make fun of their side. I try to remember back to the Clinton era when we poked fun of his poking fun. I think it is time that we all stood up and admitted that the Republicans were a little better than the Democrats in controlling spending but not by a lot and for different reasons. When the Democrats felt we needed some additional spending for items to make our life better at home, we threw the War on terror in their face and told them that it was unpatriotic to complain. Now they are spending on guns and butter and to inspire the economy to bet back on track. Since the inclusion of the Minnesota Democrat they have a majority that is impervious to efforts to filibuster.

But, back to my main thought and that is what is the role of Government and are we ever going to get what we want. I think that both sides really want a Government that protects our liberties. It is the difference in ways to obtain it that makes the biggest difference. I will not include the libertarians in this discussion as they tend to believe that any government is an intrusion into their liberty.

The Conservative wing feels that Government has far exceeded any need and now it is intruding on the people through the cost of Big Government. Additional liberties protected now will result in bigger Government and there is the age old discussion of just how big it should be. The other side feels there is room for additional Government legislation and spending that will make our lives better. If we had spent the money we spent on the War on Terror on our schools where would we be? Is spending money at home better for us than spending it on programs that take man to the moon?

One of the issues that spins its way to the top is smoking. Simply put it is a habit that in the long run will kill you. The number of deaths caused by cancer is the answer to higher medical costs. If you die at 60 you can't use the health care system until you are 80. Tax the crap out of it and spend that money to run the government. I hear the dis staff side of our population say they want Marijuana legalized. Isn't that just another form of smoking? Does Government need another form of Tax just to run? I have read that California could balance their budget if they legalized and taxed MJ. Do we want another form of recreational drug in our system and is it OK to have it in California? Again, I have more questions than answers on this matter.

Somewhere there has to be an emergence of a group of people that can make sense out of all this mess. The issue of abortions, clearly a matter between a woman and her doctor's, has made us unable to even talk at the same table. Kind of like the issue of the shape of the table in 1968. Those of us in Vietnam wanted them to come sit in the mud with us and the shape of the table wouldn't have mattered. The issue of abortions, stem cell research and Nationalized Health care are issues and should not freeze our ability to talk and find the middle ground.

My vote for the number one issue is the fact that about half of the people do not feel empowered enough to join the discussion. Perhaps it is the people in charge of our political parties afraid to awaken the masses to the issues that keeps that powerful segment of our population so in check. When my 30 year old son and those of his generation take their heads out of posting to face book, writing blogs and Twittering I will think we are on the track to change. The other night our Nephew-in-law said he was going to mow and then sit on the porch with a Samuel Adams beer. I came home and mowed but I have stopped drinking.

Your side in charge, no problem. My side in charge, no problem. Yet we seem to have been drifting for a decade or two and need to be on a course to somewhere. It is where, that sparks that discussion.

Two Jokes about life - Will Rodgers said that Politicians and Diapers need changed often. Mostly for the same reason. Garrison Keeler told the new Oley and Lena Joke. Oley took the new baby into the nursery at the local Lutheran Church. The Babies diaper was obviously full and the lady asked him if he needed to change the diaper. Oley said, "No the box said up to 25 pounds and we are no where near that." Barb laughed so hard I could hear her while I was in the shower. She had to wait about five minutes to be able too tell me that joke.



Bad Joke of the Day

There was an employee at a chocolate factory that fell into and was killed as he filled a vat with chunks of chocolate. It reminded me of the Joke:

It seems that Paddy, a bottler at the Guinness Beer Plant fell into a vat of beer. He got out three times to go to the bathroom before finally drowning.

I told you it was a bad joke.



Pretty Puddy Cat

I stole this picture from http://afeverdream.blogspot.com/ . It is one of the most striking cat photos I've seen. Cick on the photo and see how the sun highlights the cat's fur.


MUD at the sick Plant Clinic, Talking good food
Lisa Martin and MUD at our display

I just wish I could find a spark of humor or wisdom today to make this blog outstanding. Some catchy title like, it is the best of times or the worst of times... The sad news is you are stuck with whatever I come up with as my thoughts that cross the front of my mind spill out on this keyboard. The sad truth is that this is really what you get for most of my blogs unless I have a good talk with the MG or read some good news in the paper.

Just a flash for the Police that are looking for motive in the killing of Steve McNair. Get a girl friend and give her a Cadillac not a ring and you'll have motive. Sleep with a 20 year old girl and tell her that you already have a wife and kids, you'll have a motive. Take your girl friend only to an apartment you rent for a friend and you'll have motive. Get stopped for DUI and take a taxi home and she is arrested and you'll have a motive. My Niece Amy said they should rent Fatal Attraction and review what motive looks like. OK, I fully understand that those TV Police/NCIS/CSI shows must be solved in an hour and they identify the guns in about 10 minutes. I think that the fact that he was shot twice in the chest, once on each side of his head and she had a contact wound on her temple should give you a good idea that the gun she has under her body is the one that was used and she had it last.

The deck on the side and back of our house is now almost 20 years old. It is in need of repair and I'll be working on bracing it up for the next week or so. I am also going to go to Lowe's or Home Depot this morning to see what redwood and those plastic planks cost. I hate to put down part of the deck new and leave part of it in the same old wood. Oh well, better get started. Got a new door put on Dave's shed yesterday and now it needs a good coat of paint. Won't last long if I don't.



Reverse Bucket List Part 2

A while back I listed some things that at one time I have done and probably will not do again. This is part two of that list.
  • The name Petty has been big in racing but alas, I probably will never break the speed limit again. Well, I might by accident on a long hill.
  • Be broke. I have found that over time it is a damned site more fun in life to want what you have rather than to get what you want. 'Cides, there is really enough stuff here to clean.
  • Fall in love with a strange woman. Dang, I hate it when that happens but alas I'll just have to keep half of my stuff and share.
  • Buy another gun. I have to remember where I wrote the combination to my gun safe as it is. I will probably take grandma's gun to the gun shop and have it blued one of these days and it does need a longer stock. That will be my legacy gun for Dave, or someone.
  • Smoke a pipe or a cigarette. Full of what you ask? Cubed Burley cured tobacco. I might have a birthday cigar or two during the rest of my life but not that pipe.
  • Really answer the question where I want to be or what do I want out of life. I keep coming back to here and what I have but hey, that's the easy answer.
  • Take off and travel at the drop of the hat. There is a "Space A" flight to Alaska next week but we probably won't get around to it right in the middle of garden time.
  • Do much more than visit the puppies in Pet Land. The outside dogs are getting old and the MG doesn't want an inside dog. There was a cute dachshund there yesterday but...

OK Smart ass what can't you do without?

  • Dishwasher. If ours breaks, the next day Will be get a new one time.
  • Air Conditioning.
  • TV and Cable
  • Old truck to haul stuff. May not haul much but at least I want one to do it with.
  • Access to a kitchen. Even if I wind up in a nursing home I want kitchen privileges.
  • Pop Corn and ice cream. Not at the same time but every once in a while I just like a snack of either one.
  • A good BBQ. Not one of those rickety damned cheap ones but a good old Webber. Now if I could just find a good stainless steel grill. The chrome ones at Wal*Mart don't last much more than one season.
  • The MG and her flowers. I grumble sometimes when she wants more mulch or something tilled but she brings more beauty into my life by accident than anything I do on purpose.
  • Spell checker.

And finally I really do love the computer and writing on a blog.



Monday in the Heartland July version

I personally find it strange that the police are so hesitant to call Steve McNair's death a murder. His girlfriend shot him 4 times and then shot herself. Unless he was some kind of miracle guy, it is difficult to shoot our self twice in the chest and twice in the head. Kind of like the punchline of the old joke, "Worse case of suicide I've ever seen." It never ceases to amaze me that married men that carry a gun, and have a girlfriend, often die of Lead Poisoning. For that matter, I struggle with the desire for two women in a man's life. I fully understand one but two?

For the first time in several years, I did not see any fireworks over the 4th. I resisted the urge to stop at a fireworks stand to see what is there. I could hear what sounded like a war on Saturday evening but I didn't even peek out the window to see what was happening. I did drive to the store Sunday morning and see the remnants of the show up on the court. The family that lives there has some little kids and they do a few of the showy night stuff. The neighbors to our immediate north went over to a family member's house this year and the conflagration over there didn't happen. This is the first year their kids are both gone away from home so they just don't feel the fireworks are a big deal either.

Today the Master Food Volunteers are setting up a booth at the Master Gardner's "Sick Plant Clinic". I'm sure we'll set up out usual two or three displays and talk about health diets and ways to use the produce from our gardens. Our bounty has just started and the cherry tomatoes are turning red by the bowls full.* The cucumbers have been growing and Barb showed me an egg plant that will be ready by the end of the week. I made the eggplant dish zaluke over the weekend. I burned the tomatoes as I tried to figure out how much seasoning to use. I think the diced tomatoes in a can tasted fine when I started over. The very first batch I made a couple of weeks ago just didn't have enough spices in it. A full tablespoon of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt really are needed to bring out the flavor. A couple of cloves of garlic through the press really does taste better than garlic powder.

* The plural rule always sounds funny to me. It is hands full not hand fulls. It is fists full of fingers not fist fulls. So if bowls full sounds funny, don't blame me. Unless you are making a Clint Eastwood movie and then it is simply "Fist Full of Dollars" and the plural goes on the dollar not fist or full. I just love the ending scene of that movie when he is counting up his bounty and when he is short, turns and shoots the last bad guy to fill up his wagon with the dead of the wanted, "Dead or Alive".

I for one am glad that Sarah Palin has resigned from office. As a private citizen she will be able to sue Dave Letterman's socks off when he makes further stupid remarks about her family. As the Governor of Alaska she had to suffer the outrageous slings and arrows and now she can collect damages for the idiots that accuse her of doing things that are not true or say unkind things about her family. Added Note - Does anyone know where I can send a check to the Palin's to help them pay off the $500,000 she owes because of the lawsuits she had to pay for to defend lies about her time as the Governor?

Our lunch guest yesterday, Dave's in laws, the Parks, are living in Las Vegas. He said that the housing boom is over in Vegas and his condo has fallen by about half of its value. His plan was to return to the Heartland in a few years and buy a house with the money he has made. Now he doubts that he will but just break even. The developers were building as fast as they could just a few short months ago. Right now there are model homes sitting vacant in un-built subdivisions all over Las Vegas. A lot of the trades people have left and the flush of tourists on the weekend is a lot slower. Dave and his wife Barb are going to Vegas in August and have a package for one of the big hotels that includes a round trip plane ticket and a room for a week for about $400.00 each.

I guess I'd better cut this off and go get ready for the day. It has been nice to chat and drink a cup of coffee here in the quiet at Rabbit Tun. Other than the chatter from the birds at the feeder, it is pretty quiet. have a great day.