The Aughts, 2000-2009

As we close the 2000-2009 years, or the aughts, I thought it might be a good time to talk about them as objectively as I can. Keep in mind that I warn you from the beginning that these are a collection of my thoughts and you might have to have a built in crap detector. (and use it)

The Good

Life has been good to us and other than the minor disagreements a liberal and a conservative have in our discussions, things are pretty damned good for us. We have the kids nearby and they are always a joy. They are kind, thoughtful, we love having them with us for meals and Da Barbs love to shop. Our planning for retirement has turned out to be better than we expected. Because of the pre-Tax dollars in our retirement accounts, in 10 years you can expect me to be complaining about all the taxes we have to pay. I know, Poor MUD, he has to pay taxes and has the money to do so. From the sports side of the house, we are Jay hawk fans and other than the bump in the road with the football coach, we have had a good ride for several years. Coach Self brings to the game a great demeanor and I am really looking forward to seeing the era of Turner Gill on the football field. KU had the National Debate Champs and we really enjoyed watching the Ladies play in the NIT Final. I am blessed to have many good friends and Barb has the Master Gardeners. We have our 18 acres to grow things and great cars to drive.


I am sad that the United States of America are such an odd place in the world. People line up to come here (Hell, the actually break into the place) and yet the Muslim world hates our guts. We have such a cross section of religions from the non believers to the fundamentalists. We are one of the few countries that elect our leaders and don't have violent overthrows every few years. If we stop spending at a National level, the Oil Rich countries will go broke so fast that they might have to eat oil. (My fantasy, just so you will know) We have at our core belief the right to free speech and yet there are parts of the population that would shut down Rush in a "New York Minute." For over 200 years we have been proud of the "Republic for Richard Sands." People forget that we are a Republic and not a true Democracy. Somewhere out there there are people that voted for Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Hell, those people in Minnesota actually voted for Al Franken. But, they also voted for Governor Jesse Ventura (Janos) Talk about your wide swings of the population.
Oh Boo Hoo Dennis, get a grip and deal. We were right in the middle of WWII and had to hold bond rallies to pay our way out of the war. When someone realizes that we need to find a way out, there will be a bunch of people working on it. The "it" I am speaking about is the elephant in the room that a bunch of people don't seem to notice. We owe right now a national debt that is equal to our Gross National Product. If every dollar we had went to spend went to debt elimination we couldn't pay it off in a year. Remember when there was talk of a balanced budget? That point does not pay any of the debt. In the future, out go must be smaller than income to pay off the debt. Remember the last time we seriously tried to do that Jimmy Carter was the President and the inflation rate went up to about 14% on houses. Instead of the Johnson, Bush(s) years of Guns and butter, we will be damned lucky to have bread and margarine.
I am sure that there are a lot of you out there that are starting your lives as we go into the 10's. The challenge won't be dealing with problems, but remaining enough flexibility to be able to deal with everything. There is almost no end of games, movies, music and TV to get people to a point where they forget what the hell the big deal is. Heck, a goodly percentage of people don't even vote to maintain our Republic. Happy New Year.
To borrow a line from Ron White, "I have the right to remain silent, I just don't have the ability."


Kansas Winters

This was sent to me by my friend Harvey. He is an ex-Kansan.

It's winter in Kansas
And the gentle breezes blow,
70 miles per hour at 25 below!

Oh, how I love Kansas
When the snow's up to your butt;
You take a breath of winter air
And your nose is frozen shut

Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
I guess I'll hang around.
I could never leave Kansas,
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground

We got an additional two or three inches of the fluffy stuff and set a new record for December Snowfall.
Stay Warm.


Funny Stories

Colonel Terry Maple

More than 800 dedicated men and women are proud to serve the citizens of Kansas as members of the Patrol. They work hard and strive for excellence in public safety and traffic safety.

Since 1937, Kansas State Troopers have offered Service, Courtesy, and Protection to the residents of the Sunflower State and to its millions of yearly visitors. The men and women of the Patrol look forward to continuing this long-standing tradition year after year.

Thank you for your interest in the Kansas Highway Patrol. We continually update our Web site with new information, so please visit us often.

My wife worked with COL Maple's wife for many years and they are a fine pair of Kansan's. I dedicate these jokes to the men and women of the Kansas Highway patrol. These stories were told to me by a Highway Patrolman now retired. This isn't to add veracity to the tales, just thought you would like to hear what they talk about.

When he was a fairly new Sergeant he was out on patrol one Holiday weekend and a trooper asked for help on the radio. He said he had been on an on ramp and clocking the traffic and a car had gone by so fast he couldn't catch up. The Sergeant asked how fast the car was going? The reply was that the headlights were going at least 130, the taillights were going 130 and he was pretty sure everything in between was doing the same speed.

When a patrolman stopped a speeder, he told the driver how fast he clocked the car. The driver swore he was only doing 70. The patrolman said that he was proud to witness a miracle. The driver asked what the miracle was. The patrolman said that while the inside of the car may have been going 70, the outside was doing 85.

On his last day in the field, the Lieutenant was out in his patrol sector and spotted a speeder. He pulled the guy over and told him that in his 20 years on the force, he seldom hears a new story. He said that on his last day out on the highway, if the driver could tell him one he hadn't heard, he would be allowed to go free. The driver said there had been a mistake. About a month ago his wife had run off with a Highway patrolman and the driver was just sure that the Highway Patrolman was trying to bring her back. The speeder was allowed to go.


Post Snow Blues

I am always amazed at the pictures Barb takes with our camera. I would say it is mine but in her hands it is a much more useful tool. I want to get out with the shovel and move snow and she sees the snow as it is and doesn't feel compelled to do anything with it. She is more like the Buddhist and I am like the bulldozer.
I spent most of the morning yesterday working on the drive with the tractor. I managed to have a flat tire and bust the steering linkage. With the transmission not doing well, it bucks and that is not conducive to smooth operation. I won't brag about the snow blade as the good blade is buried in the snow and I can't manage to get it put on by myself. The drag blade just isn't what the doctor ordered. Mostly because I am so old that I can't stare at what's behind me anymore.
If this sounds kind of like a fine whine, it is sorta. Just when I have life where I want it, I don't have the physical strength like I once did. I guess I will just have to figure out what I really can do and forget the rest. My brother is really having a bad time right now with his back. I guess i am lucky to be able to do what I can. I think that one big difference is that my five years have allowed my back to freeze into whatever shape it is and I no longer get that pinched nerve like I once did.
I am going to go out in a little bit and put some cement bags in the trunk to see if it will help the Ford get up the driveway. If that works, I think I'll go do what old Military guys do and get a haircut. Perhaps I might stay home and polish my shoes or watch a John Wayne movie.


5 - Buckle Overshoes

To a true photographer, a new snow is an opportunity to get out and take pictures of pretty things in pretty places. To an old curmudgeon, it is the opportunity to get out and shovel the crap. Barb says there is an amazing number of tracks in the snow after a couple of days. Mine included.

From my Military days, I should have remembered long before this, but I wore them big old overshoes to keep my feet dry and warm. I had forgotten how well they worked for dry as well as warm. Yesterday, Da Barbs had cabin fever and a quick trip to the store turned into a trip past out Army Navy Surplus store. There on the shelf for 29.00 was a pair of new size 13, 5-Buckle overshoes. Throw in a pair of heavy wool socks and today my feet will be warm and dry when I go out to clear the driveway.

It is nearly 30 degrees out this morning and a lot of melting will probably get done today. The sad news is that on Thursday there is a new 3 or 4 inch snow fall headed this way. Oh well, a little snow never hurt most people. Killed a few, but only those out driving like idiots.

Barb is reading a book called "Freakenocomics." In the chapter on Unintended consequences, they said that it is safer for a drunk to drive home than walk home. Not so much for the other guys, but for the drunk himself. The story goes into detail about the perils of the drunk walker from falling down and freezing to mugging and all sorts of mayhem. In some locations, drunks have gone home ans tried to sleep it off on the couch. The next morning the family of the house awaken to find a strange drunk on their couch. I like the good old days when the Police would just gather up the drunks and put them in the drunk tank without the arrest and heavy fines. How many westerns did the town drunk get hauled in to the jail and spent the night safe and warm only to be kicked out when the cell is needed for the band of bad guys.

have a great and safe day out there.


Snow's S'not Funny


Things here in the heartland are pretty, pretty deep in snow. Here I am trying to get my tractor over to where the snow blade is located. Old me, old car and a flag in the background. Hey, isn't that the title for a Country Song. Took me about an hour to get the tractor started and the chains on. I made one pass out the drive and blew a chain. I came in to warm up and didn't get back out.

I am not sure if I will even try to get out in the snow again today. I may attempt to make it to the store as Barb tells me we are out of dish washing soap, popcorn and hot chocolate. We seriously have enough food to last at least another week.

I cooked my first duck the other day. It was very expensive and didn't yield near the meat that even a chicken does. A six pound duck was barely enough meat for four people. The package had an orange sauce in it and "Duck la Orange" was pretty good. I was put off by the greasy meat when I de-boned the duck. After a short stay in the fridge it wasn't bad. Don't think it will be on my short list of things to eat soon.

I think I will go up and make the last of the smashed potatoes into pancakes for breakfast. That and a good cup of coffee just might inspire me for another adventure in the snow.

Dave just called and he was finally able to dig his car out of the drift and made it in and out of his driveway. I saw some red way up the drive out by the mailbox and found three days of newspapers in one package. Now if the drifts will let me get to the store so I don't have to do dishes by hand.



Deep Snow

The snow is now blowing around and some of the streets are closing. We have at least 9 inches of snow on the level and some drifts a couple of feet deep. Dave's car is in the middle of one of those two foot deep drifts and after digging and working to get it out, it is still stuck in the middle of the drift. I could get in his drive to almost near his car but I think Barb's car has better tires on it.

I am now going to stay in and stay warm.



To My Best Friend Ken

He knows why. Merry Christmas


Christmas Story

In 1965, the girl I was dating and her family moved to Seattle, Washington when Boeing cut back their Wichita operation. I think the little town I was in was Kent but it was a suburb so who really counts. The week prior to Christmas it was rainy and foggy and cloud covered the entire week. I had a bad case of lack of sunlight.

On Christmas morning, the room I was in was bright and light shined in the window. I started down the hall to go to the kitchen and I heard a feminine voice say, "Oh, isn't it pretty" I glanced to the right and there was my girl friends mother looking out her bedroom window. She was starkers, nakid, and jumping up and down on the bed.

When I got to the living room to look out the picture window, there was the ground covered with a couple of inches of snow, the sun shinning and a beautiful view of Mount Rainier. I count that day as the day I saw the sun, the mountain, the snow and a moon all in one day in Seattle.

Merry Christmas


Christmas Eve

Yesterday was Zoo Day at the local Dillon's Supermarket. I know that most people were listening to the storm warnings about the blizzard headed our way. A few days ago, I thought it was too dry to snow much. We have had a couple of days of rain and warm wet winds blowing up from the south and bingo, the perfect meeting of a cold front and warmer wet weather. When I went out this AM to get the paper the rain has turned to sleet and there is at least a 20 MPH wind blowing those little ice pellets. Later on today the sleet is to turn to snow and they are saying 8 inches on the level but with a wind up to 45 MPH there won't be level. There will be no snow in the wind blown parts and up to several feet in the backside of wind blocks.

I guess I really started to talk about Christmas Eve. I don't remember any Christmas traditions from growing up that stand out. The one I do remember is Christmas eve 1968. We fired right up to the Midnight cease fire and at midnight we stopped. Instead of the peace on earth I expected, I felt like it was one of the spookiest times. It was dark and quiet. That combination was not a good thing. To really make it feel bad, we couldn't fire illumination rounds when other people felt the same way. I don't recall too many battles breaking out, just a feeling of being unsettled. In our Fire Direction Center, there was always a good game of rook being played. We all hoped that we would get a new version of Jeopardy from home. I don't know how many versions we had at the time, but we had played every game several times.

One special treat I allowed myself there at the start of the cease fire was to dip into my stash of scotch. My sister Myrna sent me a bottle of cleaner for Christmas. I wondered what she was up to until I opened it and smelled the aroma of a good scotch. That went into a 2 quart canteen and mixed with H2O it was a wonderful treat. I'll bet the guys wondered what the hell the LT was up to sitting over there with that silly grin on his face.

I hope you find a Christmas tradition you like and spend your time with family.



Sucker Punch

You would think that after 40 years, I could smell a sucker punch coming a mile away. Not so much! This morning, the love of my life asked me what I thought about the General in Iraq that said that female soldiers getting pregnant in the combat zone would get a letter of reprimand. Well Duh, what do you think that a guy with over 30 years in the Military would say. My feeling is that that in the time of war, making yourself (OK, I know that's not possible) not available by getting pregnant should warrant a letter of reprimand.

After several minutes and a significant rise in my blood pressure, Barb asked me if I had taken my pills today. I think she was hoping I wouldn't stoke out. Silly me, get drawn into a discussion/loud arguing match before lunch. She was awake at 6 AM so I'm sure she had time to think about it. Me, not so much.


Here It Comes!

I am not sure which I would rather have happen. Do I want it to snow and blow hard and not know it is coming or just sit around watching the weather channel to see when it is going to get here? Should be a good couple of days to stay inside and get a few things done. There are cookies to eat and coffee to drink. Thanks to Kimmy, there is a whole pile of those Prey books to read. What? no cookies?

I had my heart all set on smoking a duck on the grill. Looks like it Will be one of those days I will want to put the grill on hold and just use the oven. Dang I hate it when that happens.

I am going to try out a new motto. IO had been using the I have everything I need.... and now I think I will try out. "There is no end to new things electronic and I have a son who works at Best Buy." Kind of catchy isn't it. Like his wife says, "Not so Much." Oh well, I will have more time to ponder over the next couple of days.

I would wish you a Merry Christmas eve but as Pickles in the funny papers said it is only December 23rd.



Did Ch'a Notice?

That a half gallon of ice cream is now 1.75 quarts? Where the hell did they get off driving the price to over $5.00 a half a gallon and then reducing the size by .25 quarts. The Blue Bunny needs to be ashamed.

One more day of warm weather before the cold front arrives means that there is more warm moist air moving up from the Gulf of Mexico and we could be up to our wazoo in snow for Christmas. We weren't going to go anywhere but you never know when we need to sneak over to Walgreen's for Eggnog.

On the coffee front, I bought a big bag of freshly roasted beans and put them in the drip pot today. (I ran then through the grinder at the store.) Pretty sad. Either the big heaping tablespoons weren't enough or the beans were weak. I'll put more in the basket tomorrow and see if that is the problem. I sure hope so as the coffee beans weren't the cheap ones. They also stunk up the house so at least they have a strong smell.

Yesterday I trimmed the branches that have grown up on the back of the garage on Valley Brook. Yes, today I have to go over and fix the guttering I knocked off. Oh well, it'll all look good when it is done.



Merry Christmas?

Once upon a time, there was a bright eyed kid on the East side of Wichita that believed in all things Christmas. He loved the colors, smells, and sounds of everything that happened in December. He would sing the songs of Christmas and hope there would be a little snow to make it look like the winter scenes on the Christmas cards. He never rode in a sleigh going to Grand Ma's house but that didn't stop him from dreaming. While he never got everything on his Christmas Santa letter, he did get a lot of love from his parents, his family and friends. I am sure there are about a million Christmas cookies that have passed through his taste buds to brighten his Christmas's. For some reason, the red and white striped candy cane cookies were made in abundance and he never met one he didn't like.

Now with at least a half a century of stored Christmas memories, where do the facts start and the thoughts (or stories) end? Who knew that the prettiest girl and the best singer in the High School choir would wind up kissing like a dead fish? Who knew that the guy who threw his fatigue hat in the ditch as he drove out the gate at Fort Carson would wind up retiring as a Colonel from the Guard? Who knew that the guy that worked for General Motors would drive a Ford? Who knew that at the end of his career, that kid would find out that he loved teaching when it was far too late?

I guess all I can say is that I hope your dreams, fantasies and realities get mixed up and you to can find a good reason to have a Merry Christmas. Yes, I will not give up to the Politically Correct Crowd and wish anyone a happy holidays. You celebrate yours in your way and I will write what I want in my blog. After all, it is my blog.




Carrie Craig
For our White Elephant Gift exchange, Carrie got a can of fish assholes
in a cheese sauce. Do you think we'll see that again next year?

I am re posting the meaning of my name one more time. In a time far away, and a city a couple of hundred miles from here, I worked in a gas station. It was a Phillips 66 station and it was owned by my brother-in-law, Rich. My sister would stop by every once in a while and in the back of the station wagon were the loves of my life, Janet and Carrie. I loved to go out and stick my head up and growl at them and they would shriek and giggle. Most of the time I would get a kiss on the cheek and a hug after our fun.

One hot summer day, I snuck up slowly and I am pretty sure the girls didn't see me. I did my growl bit and they both reacted in the normal manner. Only, this time Carrie got her feet caught up in a blanket and she fell. Back in the day, Station Wagons had fold down seats and across the back of the 2nd seat was a metal trim piece that wouldn't make the safety grade today but hell, most cars then (1962) didn't even have seat belts. As luck would have it, Carrie as she fell hit her mouth on the edge of that seat and broke a couple of teeth.

As she was eating an ice cream bar to sooth the hurt, She sobbed, Mean Uncle Denny! Yep'er, MUD's the name. This story came to you based on a request at the Family party. Yes, as you can see from the picture above, Carrie is a beautiful woman today and has a pretty set of teeth.



Soup's On

This is Owen Craig who attends college
in Saint Louis and plays soccer.

One of the parts I love about the Petty Party is that we make soup and everyone tries a lot of different kinds. I have been working on a Seafood Gumbo for a couple of years and have it about where I want it. I need to take it to a family gathering to have other people to eat it. The MG doesn't like seafood, except Tuna - Which I can't abide. Oh well the stock is ready and the seafood all cooked. All I need to do is to warm it all up in a couple of hours.

Just so you know, it is snowing a very fine snow out there and it is about 30 degrees. This is the kind of weather that in February has been known to bury us in a foot of snow. For some reason, I don't think there is enough moisture in the air to let it really dump on us.

Today is known as Giant Saturday to the retail outlets and I hope Dave can avoid getting called in. Oh well, Merry Christmas to you all.

Can you believe that they found pot on Lil' Wayne's tour bus? Duh, that's like going to McDonald's and finding a happy meal. When are we going to expect the police to start arresting the real criminals and quit busting the low hanging fruit for MJ? How many people are we going to put in jail for Pot and avoid the Cocaine traffickers in Southern California? It has been said that the Police in TJ make more looking the other way when drugs are involved than they do as Police. It is a hell of a lot safer also.




This pretty smiling face grew into one of the most competitive rowers I know. She was a member of the national Rowing team in 1996 and coaches Junior rowers for the KC Rowing Association. Meet Jennifer Lynne Johnson Jewett. Many people want to come back in another life as one of her dogs.

I saw a sign last night that said only 7 days left to shop before Christmas. I think we are approaching the point where "if you can't wear it or eat it, we don't need it."

How do you get your wife to go to a BBQ joint if they don't have a salad or baked Potato? I wonder if this is one of the reasons guys die earlier than women. Lets see... Dream meal - start with a dozen oysters on a half shell. (Buffalo wings for red necks) Rack of ribs, side of beans and fries, end with a small DQ cone. Dip that sucker in chocolate and there is nothing better. In the old days, It would have been washed down with copious quantities of beer and finish the meal with a cigar.

I read that there is a bus full of people going caroling and drinking beer. Hey guys, I don't drink beer but I love to sing. I would pay my own way. There is nothing better than singing with a bunch of drunks, no one notices that you are not in tune. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to work on my soup for tomorrow. Oh hell, I forgot the Okra for the gumbo. Good thing I thought about it. ADD is more than a math symbol in this family.

I read a great quote and don't have any idea who it came from. -Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"

Gotta run, miles to go, people to see.



Small Note

Yesterday on the radio one of the hosts said "Goals are wishes in work clothes."

Thursday Thoughts

What's this guy got to smile about? Three Million dollars worth of reasons. The KU Athletic Association gathered that amount to pay him for going away and not saying anything. Stuck on the front page almost right over the Mangino article was a post it note telling people they can apply for unemployment on line. I don't think he'll qualify.

Another picture in the Christmas ornament collection of the Petty's is Kristin DeMauro, who is now an Honor Student in High School. She also plays the clarinet in the marching band and I hear she is pretty good at "Rock Star". One of our favorite people.
Today is going to be one of the last days it will get almost to 50 for a while so I am headed over to Valley Brook to do some outside work. There are new leaves to pick up and and gutters to clean. See a bunch of you Saturday.


Wednesday Words

In our family, we have had a bunch of cute little guys over the years. The Petty boys are a lot alike and for the most part pretty smart. Ethan has a smile that just wins you over. They have these chubby cheeks that they outgrow.

Yesterday I made a Road trip over to Fort Riley. Talk about change. It is amazing that the main post is mostly the same rock buildings as it ever was and the outlying areas are so modern. The joke, told forever, was that General Custer told them I'll be back is a month or so, don't change anything. The new PX is down by the gate into Junction City. The old PX up on the hill is now a furniture store and clothing sales with a food court thrown in. For the most part, Camp Forsyth was WWII Barracks and a place where ROTC and the National Guard camped. Not any more. That area has been updated and is filled with houses. Talk about your busy traffic places.

I am playing with the way I make coffee. I have one of those auto drip kind and a French press. It takes two different kinds of grinds and need to settle down and use just one. I love the convenience of the auto drip and the fact that I just throw out a filter, coffee and all. I also love that I am not left with a bunch of grounds that need to be rinsed down the drain. I haven't quite found the right amount of coffee for the French Press. I guess a lot of the difference is the fact that I need to break down and buy a better coffee for the auto drip. In Alabama last year we had the Starbucks morning blend and it was pretty great. I have been buying the house brand in the 3 lb can at Dillon's and it is just OK. What do you use?

Better get rolling. Places to go, people too see.



No Drillin'

I think my visit to the Dentist yesterday was not the most fun I had all month but it could have been worse. I had a tooth that was a little sensitive and after being X-rayed it wasn't bad. There seems to be a new crack in the tooth right ahead of that tooth but no big deal. We will put off drilling until a later date. I guess I'll just have to continue a high rate of maintenance and try to keep the teeth I have.

Each morning I go out to get the paper and try to guess the temperature. Yesterday it started cold and got colder all day. Today it is cold and hopefully will warm up some. The indicated temperature was 6 with a slight "Wind freeze factor". Not the kind of day that most of us want to spend outside early. I'm not exactly sure where the cat was, but he was johnny on the spot when I called for him with food in my hand. I'll bet he is out on the deck in the sun soon.

This week has been an interesting piece of work. I have been reading a couple of books I read much earlier. I am surprised of how little I remember from either one. The Naked Prey book by John Sandford was the book that got me interested in the Prey series. I guess I will need to try to find the entire series and read it in order. The only thing I don't like about it is the fact it is set in Minnesota and I hate to read about cold places when it is so darned cold outside.

I am beginning to wonder when the "Barb" stays home temperature is reached. Yesterday with it just getting colder all day and a pretty good breeze, Barb just didn't want to go out at all. Normally when it is snowy, I can find Barb camera in hand outside at least once a day. Not yesterday, most of the snow went away the day before and it never cleared off. Neither did she.
Is that truly the happy stage in life when you can stay where you want most of the time?

For all you KU Fans out there, I hope you are as thrilled with the new coach as I am. Turner Gill is a winner and his offensive and defensive coordinators are from the same mold. A new style and attitude will blow into Lawrence next year and in a couple of years we will see Football back in the winning place. With the addition to a couple of big running backs they could play with any body.

Oh well, better get on with my day. have a great one out there.



Decision Making 101

My friend Andy has a question to answer and he is struggling with all the possibilities. He didn't tell us what the problem is so I can't just give him the simple answer. If it were my problem, I would look to find an understanding that probably will fall on the side of Justice not mercy, fact not opinion, simple not complex, cheap not expensive. I think that most of the time people that know me will think that is typical of my problem solutions.

On the other hand, my brilliant son David, will often take out a coin and flip it for the answer. I would like to believe I find the right answer more often than he does, but sadly he knows the answer is seldom correct but a choice and he doesn't struggle with the problem or worry about his answer once it's made. Love that kid.


Monday, and I have an Apt with the Dentist

And What do You Mean that the Christmas Presents look inspected

I guess the good news is that I don't have to take off work to see the dentist. This is scheduled for the semi annual cleaning but for the first time in a long time I have a tooth that feels a little sensitive and will probably get a new filling. I'll bet it was one of those damned kernels from Pop Corn. Oh well, such a small price for such a great treat.

With Christmas only a couple of weeks away, the MG went shopping with Barb Jr. They came home with an arm load of stuff and I can see the presents starting to pile up around the base of the tree. Da Barb's get into Christmas and really enjoy decorating, baking, shopping and Christmas in general. Me, not so much. I enjoy the people when we get together but the presents aren't near as nice when I have all that I need, most of what I want and a Wal*Mart nearby. I'll bet you are really getting tired of that saying aren't you. I'll try to work on a new saying for the New Year.

I am not sure which team I like better. I'm not sure if it was worse when the Chiefs played so poorly that there was no chance they would win or the chiefs that defense their ass off and then lose. Yes, I again watched the Big Red on TV. They manage to fill the stands but it was harder this time to get people out. The good news was that at at noon Sunday it was the warmest day of the week.

I think KU has picked a winner for their new Football Coach. Turner Gill was a winner at Nebraska and will represent the University well. Will he be the last coach they every fire or replace. NOT! he will be a good coach and bring a great staff with him. Personally I think KU should start with finding Lew Perkins a new place to work and find an AD that is worth the big bucks he makes.

Oh well, I had better get my ball rolling this morning and get ready for the trip to EDTA.



Words to the Wise!

One of my new blog buddies down there in the country where they eat ditch crickets gave us the advice that all good Christians should forgive Tiger Woods as he is no worse than the rest of us. I've been a thinkin' about that and realized that I am just all full of advice and haven't unloaded, er shared it with you in a while. Here is my good advice, and worth exactly what you pay for it:

  • If it is stupid and works, it ain't stupid.

  • If you do more than your fair share on a regular basis, you will be given more than your fair share to do. (Success is its own punishment.)

  • If things are going well, it's probably an ambush.

  • When in doubt about what to do, always try to do the harder thing to do (But remember the fair share saying above)

  • Income must in the long run exceed or be equal to outgo.

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  • The best system in the world to get out of debt won't work unless you pay off your debts.

  • If you do what you did, you will continue to get what you got. If you are in a hole, quit diggin'.

  • If you aren't the lead dog, quite often the view won't change.

  • Can mind your elders and don't mind your elders both be true? They lived too long to learn new lessons so why fight to change them.

  • If someone offers you a deal too good to pass up, pass it up and do it real fast.

  • Interest is based on risk. There is no such thing as a guaranteed high rate of return unless it is 100% and then it won't pay much.

  • They need to rename it from a Ponzi Scheme to a Madoff scheme. Ponzi was a piker.

  • If the temperature is below 32 degrees, it is a wind freeze factor not a wind chill. You can put on a sweater for a chill. Below 32 degrees you damn sure better have a coat handy.

  • The important things are always simple.

  • The simple things are always hard. (Huh?)

  • Planning is great until the first bullet flies and then get ready to change. Failing to change when it gets tough will leave you in places you shouldn't be.

  • If you are given a chance to cry or laugh, Laugh your ass off. Drives them crazy. The Petty corollary to this is smile and make them wonder what you've been up to.
  • Every once in a while, move you might just be in someone's cross hairs.

Venting 101

Joe Craig for President

Man, did Barb's little article stir up a bunch of people. Even her mother called about what she wrote. I haven't looked but the comments have passed the 66 mark and most of them are people that are taking shots at each other. No where in her little article did barb talk about the Federal taxes. She and I agree it is the spending at the federal level that causes us the big problems. We fear that the only cure to the past spending is future tax increases. If for some reason, the point eludes you that Barb thinks our local taxes are necessary to have good schools and protection hasn't got through, I can't help you. I think that railing about the Feds problems must be needed so rail on people.

The Basketball gods must be in the right place when KU destroys a team and KSU goes to Vegas and runs the Rebels to ground. Beating a number 18 team can't hurt their chances in getting into the big dance in March. I don't think there is a coach out there that wouldn't love to look down his bench and see the talent 14 deep. Right after the first of the year, KU will have Brady Morningstar back and another 7 foot tall player. I think that makes them 16 deep but who's counting. When Sherron Collins goes 1-12 in shooting and the team beats another by over 20 who really notices. Now that Xavier (Zav-i-a) Henry has decided to attack the basket, it will be a long year for teams. Get one of the Morris Twins in trouble and your reward is the other one comes in and plays hard. Fun times in Lawrence. KU has 6 players that play the perimeter and darn few of them don't stroke 3 pointers with ease.
I think it will finally get back above 40 today. It didn't get below 32 last night and where there is snow, there is a film of water making it slick as snot. Other than that, boys and girls, there isn't much else new here at Rabbit Run. have a great day out there.


55 Posts about Barb's Opinion Article

Barb wrote on CJ Online:
We all need to take stock of our values right now. What is it we want from our government? Because of the decline in tax revenues, we cannot continue to expect the same level of services.

Do you want the police to protect you and your property? Do you want the fire department to respond quickly when you have a fire? Do you want our children to get an education that leads to a job that will support them so they can pay taxes?

The way we pay for those needed services is with taxes. Tax is not a dirty word - especially at the state and local level, where we see the benefits of our taxes every day. Politicians who say "No new taxes" are only kidding themselves. We've gone backwards in funding many basic services. It's time to move forward.


This caused 55 comments to be posted in the comments section. A whole bunch of people didn't get it. I think Barb's trying to get people to look at the entire question and not to close their minds to all taxes. First of all, let me assure you that Barb pays a chunk of taxes and she doesn't speak from an empty position. She isn't just sitting back and letting you all pay and not paying her fair share. She is basically saying that at the local level, we get what we pay for. You want great schools, you have to pay for them. You want Police and Fire protection, you have to pay for it. Taxes aren't the cause of our problems, it is people that vote to close an intersection for six months to build a roundabout and spend several hundred thousand dollars without considering the benefit/cost ratio. I think a lot of our problems stem from the fact that people are not paying attention to what the politicians are doing and don't get out and vote the rascals out of office.

Like I said yesterday, we should teach our kids to think and not shut down what they think about. We should have a generation of people out there that think about the hard things and work on solutions. Our lives should be full of ways to develop ideas about the problems today and not a bunch of FACEBOOK games to play away the hours.



Science vs Philosophy - Is God Real?

First of all, let me start this with the fact that I do not care what you believe. Your choice to believe or not will not change what I think of you. I am going to have this conversation as I saw it unfold on TV last night. Ben Stein is a very smart and funny guy. I admire his tenacity and whit. I wouldn't mind having his money and his ability to make more.

Ben Stein reported that the Scientific Community has in effect censored the discussion between scientists as to the facts about God. He has a video that talks about the problem. http://www.expelledthemovie.com/ It seems that the Schools have been shutting down anyone that tries to prove if god is real. I think it is still OK to ask the question in the Philosophy Departments but god help you if you are in one of the physical science departments.

I don't get it. If there is a way to prove or disprove if God exists, why is it wrong to look? Shouldn't we examine every rock if there is a possibility of a superior or supreme being existing? With all the scientists out there, surely there is one or two that could be allowed to look without our world shutting down.

On to the Philosophy Department. I would think that anything that could be done to prove or disprove a theory would be welcomed. I am not sure that how to think is more or less important than what you believe. I think you can understand political systems without being a communist, a socialist or a Republican. I do have trouble understanding how failed systems get replicated and why people don't see how bad some types of Governments are.

One of the things Ben Stein said was that an underpinning of our country was Freedom. We were a country started with the intent let you believe what you want to believe. I don't think there was any idea that we would almost split into two camps with many people not wanting to allow there to be a difference of opinion. Who died and made you god? Oh, that's where this little discussion started. Oh well.


Thoughts of Winter

Did ch'a ever wonder if there is really too much to do right before the holidays or do we slow down with the decreasing number of daylight hours? Think of the days when you worked all day, came home and worked in the yard until 8 and then sat on the porch till dark and then cleaned up after dinner. Seems like in the summer there is a lot more time and energy. For some people Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing and for some of us it is an excuse to sit huddled under a blanket and watch TV. Dang, wouldn't you know that DIRECT TV also gave me 90 days of Showtime free. Another excuse to watch movies so bad that they didn't get to the theaters for general release.

I think this is my Older sister Myrna

I would apologise for not knowing if it was Myrna or Carol but they were older than me and I never saw either one of them at this age. Another one of the cute Petty kids.

A week from tomorrow we will have our family gathering over in Lawrence. We have made it a tradition to have everyone bring a pot of soup, at least one old paperback (most bring a sack full) a white elephant gift and a good smile. If you go home empty or sad from a gathering like that, it is your own damn fault. We are just getting most of the little kids out of High School and are starting a new round of new members of the Clan. We have Bubba Austin now and will add Asa Bob's little one, Ellie May, sometime soon. For some reason Elizabeth has already been given a nick name and no one liked my idea of Lizzy. I guess that poem about Lizzy giving her mom 40 whacks just keeps that one from reaching popularity.

Barb finally got her letter to the editor published. It is a pro Tax letter right when we have several thousand in property tax to pay. I guess she is right that the local taxes go to support the fire department, the sheriff and the schools. We deserve to pay for the best they can give. It is those pesky federal Income Taxes we pay on retirement income. I guess when you have it to pay, you should just pay it and shut up.

Oh well, don't stress over the Holiday preparations. Don't sweat the Petty stuff or pet the sweaty stuff.




Our Friends in Morocco reminded us that EID was a holiday there in Morocco and it seems that each family sacrifices a sheep during that holiday. It has taken me many years to overcome my experience with mutton. I will eat those great lamb chops at the Star in Elko, Nevada but only once in a while. Here's why.

As a kid, My uncle lived with us during the summers and worked second shift at Beech. I think he was attending a Junior College in Hutchinson and working on a teaching degree. One summer, I noticed that Hazen had a first baseman's glove in his car. It had laid in the rear window until it was black on one side and brown on the other. I asked him if I could use that glove to play little league. "Sure Kid." I was in hog heaven. Then I realized that the glove was so stiff that it was all I could do to hold it open to catch a ball.

I asked my dad if we could go to the hardware store and buy some neatsfoot oil for the glove. Nah, I have just the thing for the glove. "Tallow." Now imagine, if you will, that someone takes a very old sheep and puts it in water. That horrible old smell of wool condensed into a grease that was way beyond rancid. Rub that stuff on the glove and even the dog wouldn't chew on it.
In fact, that glove smelled so bad that when I used it, the team would make me leave it outside the dug out between innings. I don't remember anyone ever asking to use it.

I went to Vietnam on the USNS Geiger and we were served meals in a pretty fancy dining room. The waiters actually took your order and served you. Somewhere mid trip, Mutton appeared on the menu. The kid from Kansas had no idea what the hell it was but at least once I would try about anything. The first bite of mutton tasted like that glove. The more I chewed that mutton, the bigger it got and the more convinced that there was no way I was ever going to swallow any or all of it. I finally had to spit it out in my napkin and excuse myself from the table. At least I could take an apple and get the taste out of my mouth. There wasn't even any booze on the ship to help get rid of that taste.

OH well, no mutton for me.


Zero Degree Days

MUD, Christmas 1947
Almost every morning, I go out to fetch the paper and take a hand full of food for the outside cat. It keeps him outside and I can close the garage door without a garage kitty. This morning even the lure of food couldn't keep him out with the temperature at or near zero. In fact when I tried to show him a warm place to be, he bit me. I think he thought I was trying to lure (or throw) him outside. It wasn't one of those bites that draws blood, only the kind that says you don't hurt me, I won't hurt you. This weather is more like what we have in mid January and way too early to be this cold.

The juncos are here early this morning picking up any stray thistle seeds beneath the finch feeder. Before it got too cold, there was a possum that would come each night but at zero, that possum is playing possum somewhere down in the woods. A fluffed up finch just showed up to see if there was anything worth eating. I just went out and filled the suet block feeder as they had pecked that basket empty in one day. There were two red bellied woodpeckers sitting on the porch post that didn't fly off and lose their position in line. There is almost always one on the post and one on the feeder all day.

What is it that brings out the insanity of people when the roads are slick? I drove to the Post Office and the Grocery store yesterday and returned home safely. There were a bunch of accidents out there and one that left two in critical condition. One truck slid down an off ramp and almost totaled a police car parked by another accident. It ain't the getting too fast that's the problem people, its the stopping. You would think 4 wheel drive would some how equate to 4 wheel stop. Not so much. It just means that you are in a 4 wheel skid faster. If your wheels aren't in contact with anything that provides friction, you are just going to go whatever direction you were headed. Oh well.

I am kind of keeping track of what kind of mail we get. So far this week it has been only bills and Holiday shopping guides. No, wait, Barb got one letter from the Master Gardner's and it was a photo copy of an e-mail. If that isn't irony, I don't know what is. They have her e-mail address and should have sent it to her as an e-mail. It was a wasted 37 cents.

Yesterday when I was at the Post office, a guy bought a book of stamps. You know, those forever stamps that are forever good for one first class postage. (Or until you lose them in the desk) I told him to make sure that once he used up the stamps on the front of the paper to be sure to look on the back. It is covered with stamps too. I'll bet a lot of people take off the last stamp on the front of the paper and throw it away. Another guy asked the head guy if they needed him to deliver anything. He said he was a retired postal worker and does part time work during the holidays. There were two customers in the post office and three people at the counter. The rest of the world was home safely with the exception of the idiots mentioned earlier. Just for the record, the paper said that fully equipped, the police cars are just shy of $40,000. Those computers, radios and shotguns are expensive.




Our Son Dave and Big Bird

The paper this morning had an article about a past headline that read, "Woman Blankets Unit." A woman sent her husband's unit blankets to help out the local people in Iraq. They said that Unit is a hidden reference to the male appendage of a man and it caused a furor. Does anyone else remember the nickname of one of the big basketball players? "The Big Unit." Does anyone with a modicum of Military experience know that unit is a Military term and used almost by everyone. What unit were you in in Vietnam? I refuse to step so low as to stop using Unit because one "jackanape" misused it. I am very tired of Political Correctness also. Do you know what is big and black and filled with seamen? "A submarine."

Gee, aren't you glad that there is so little that gets my blood boiling. With the cold weather last night, only traffic accidents and stupid comments are the sum total of the paper news. Oh no, an ambulance was called to Tiger Wood's house because his mother-in-law was having stomach problems. My mother and mother-in-law would both be having kittens if I was caught doing stupid things with bimbo's. I'm pretty sure that dad's bones would have rattled in his grave were I to do something so stupid.

As I look out of the house to the south, it is pretty and cold. The birds are fluffed up to almost look fat and they are working the feeder hard. The ground has about three inches of snow on it and the branches have about one inch of snow. It has warmed up to 6 degrees at 8:30 AM and the wind is blowing between 15 and 25 MPH. The other day, my brother-in-law was out and the temperature was near zero and they said the wind chill was below zero. I think we need to have another word when the temperature is zero. When you talk about the effect of the wind with the temperature below 32, it should be "Wind Freeze". There isn't any chill in it.
I am working on the framework of a pretty good rant. It concerns my true feelings about where the Government has been taking us for the last year. If we were on a slippery slope for 8 years, now we are on the mother of a Roller coaster ride. If Washington was spending money like a drunken sailor then, what would be an adequate description now? When will the current administration stand up and take full responsibility for where we are going. After a year, it is pretty clear that the Bush Administration is not still working on Cap and Trade and a health Care Bill explosion. This one belongs to the current President and the Congress.
Oh well, when asked if I am happy, your answer should be, "Not so Much."



Things that Refuse to Change

Virginia Dene Lee Petty Schawo (1925?)

Thankfully, my mom is one of those things that refuses to change much. She is slowing down some but in the long run is still pretty sharp and a joy to visit with. I won't even try to changer her.

With that said, there is a bunch of technology that needs to be hurried up and changed. We need to cut our dependence on fossil fuels as quickly as possible. We need to start building our houses with R-30 walls and R-50 ceilings. We need to have passive solar built in to our houses so the sun that heats the outside can be moved inside to even out the temperature. We need to allow more people to move stored energy into the grid during the day and find a way to get it back at night.

How inefficient is it having a fiber optic line brought to our houses and not being able to use the full capacity. Why do we have a Cable TV, a land line phone, meter readers when a very small modem can do all of those things? I predict that someone will finally figure it all out and make a small fortune. I am waiting for AT&T to morph into the Fiber Optic Network and bring us everything we need. OK, change that to Fiber United Network and call it FUN for short.

When is there going to be a simple storage battery that makes transportation cheap and easy. Imagine a Prius that has storage batteries for the first 100 miles and the gasoline motor is used only to get home. Our solar charger is collecting electricity during the day and that charge is applied to our electric vehicle battery at night. We have a small generator to make electricity and the exhaust heat of that generator is used to heat our home. If you really want to go amazing, use the sun to breakdown water into Hydrogen and Oxygen and burn that as a fuel to heat our homes.

Nothing is free, but limiting ourselves to the old technology when we should know that not investing in some of the changes will pay its self back is stupid. As a prime example, Russia and the United States could have carpet bombed Afghanistan with money for all the money they have spent there in a war. Go as far back as the English and we could have moved every man woman and child from there to anywhere in the world to live in a lifestyle of the rich.

Oh well, enough of this change talk, it makes me want to take a nap for a change.


Getting Ready for Christmas

Melanie Brewer Thompson
I found several of the tree ornaments we had a few years back. Barb made them using baby pictures of the family. I'll be posting some of them until Christmas, or at least our family party on the 19th.

Someone left the Refrigerator door open and it snowed about three inches last night. They are predicting a lot more with a pretty good wind by this evening. We will do OK with just snow, but throw in the wind and the road crews can't clear as fast as it drifts. We'll see.

A really good question for the day is when is the Post Office going to become obsolete? Most of the mail I get is junk mail with a few bills thrown in. When everyone starts to pay their bills online, there will be little use for the Mail as we know it.

Thinking outside of the box, there is also a new handheld computer move out there that gives us connectivity to the net without a lot of computing power. I am also hearing a lot of talk about "Cloud Storage" that will take the need for software out of our hands. The program we would use for writing, record keeping/storing, processing pictures and memory storage will reside in the hands of our server. I'm sure that the big guys are saying speed costs money and just how fast do you want to go? Imagine that TV's will have a built in slot for our handhelds and the screen will be the display for times we want to see our screen in a big way. I saw a flexible keyboard the other day at a store for $14.00. It rolls up into a 3" log about four inches long.

Oh well, off to play in the snow.



1st Winter Storm

The weatherman has put us right in the middle of a three day storm and has issued a winter storm watch. So far, the moisture has been limited and mostly it has been just cold. I'm not sure where they think the moisture is going to come from but for now it seems too dry to snow much. The bad news is that it is right on the cusp of freezing and that has resulted with some ice on the roadway. There was one accident yesterday where a pick-up drove through a yard, over a decorative boulder and through a wall at a Quick Shop. The reporter said that excessive speed may have been involved. Ya' Think? That's the problem with the cowboys in those big 4 wheel drive rigs. They can go fast but it is the stopping that will kill ya'. I guess when all else fails, take on the block wall of a Quick Stop. Wonder what the insurance will charge that fool's insurance for loss of business? I think seat belts are wonderful but every once in a while thinning out the population base of idiots may not be the worst idea.

If the birds are any reference it is cold and miserable. They are going through suet blocks and seed like no body's business. I notice that the cat is also staying close to home and every time the garage door is opened he dashes in like it is the last refuge for the cold. The good thing is he is a sucker for food and will go out for a hand full of 9 Lives. Not me, I would hole up and stay hidden.

The Today Show said that "Blind Side" has replaced that sparkly vampire movie as the number one box office show this weekend. It is a true to life story and a feel good movie for the holidays. There is a cute story for the ladies and enough of Sandra Bullock and football to appeal to the guys. Most of all, it is a tribute to hard work and an education that appeals to me. People that don't work with kids don't realize what a handicap having single digit percentile scores has on a child. Are they an accurate representation of what the child knows at the time or his potential? Does being labeled as below average put the child in a box that keeps them there? Does not having the needed education then limit what teachers and people expect from low performing students? I think we all have an almost unlimited potential and with just a little help can do about anything.

I am not sure why, but from a financial standpoint things are going well for us. Yes, peaking right when property taxes are due might be a good thing. Turn that around and the second half of our property taxes will fall on the heels of our IRS bill. Oh well, warm meals and a dry place to sleep is really what makes it all worthwhile.

In setting up the Christmas tree, Barb seems to have aggravated her back. She says that sitting and standing aren't bad, it is the transition that hurts. having been there, I fully understand.

Oh well, stay dry and warm out there.



Important Announcement from PFISER

Attention to all those men over 60. PFISER, the manufacturer of that wonderful pill Viagra, has announced they have a new drug. It is called Viagrabiloba. It is a combination of Ginko Biloba that improves memory and Viagra. If the Viagra part doesn't work, it helps you remember what an erection was like.

This is the follow on drug in the testing that included LSD and Viagra. That drug was reported to make you think you had an erection if the Viagra didn't work. That drug was withdrawn because of the adverse reaction in Texas where the test group already had delusions of grandure.

Thank you for your time.


Kenny's 50th Birthday

Last night we attended the 50th Birthday Party for Kenny. It was a nice party and a lot of my family was there. We had a great time visiting and it really made me aware of how long it had been since I had a chance to catch up with everybody. We do communicate on Facebook a lot but it just isn't the same.

This is Kim, Kenny and Austin

AJ, Aka Andrew
Janet, Carrie, Dan and Amanda

This is Jenn and Amanda. Two great people.



I decided last week to try to organize my letters home from Vietnam and as I tried to put them in chronological order, I read parts of them. I realize that I was the acting XO of a gun battery for a long time before I was the actual XO. I had forgotten that the old XO went home on a 30 day leave and I just filled in for him. He did return to Vietnam but was assigned somewhere else. Then, I was given a 14 day drop on my return and got home a full 2 weeks sooner than I expected. To top it off, I found a copy of my record at Fort Carson and found that I had been assigned as the Battalion Commo Officer the last three months I was in the Active Army. I was really assigned to the DIVARTY test team and spent most of the week gone and out in the field. Yes, I realize that most of this doesn't make any sense or have any matter to you. It just makes me wonder what is reality and what is memory about the rest of the time. Oh well, it matters so little at this late date that I will push on with the Chronicles of Denny and the Guns.

I went over to the Valley Brook house yesterday and spent about 4 hours cleaning and organizing things. For the most part, things are pretty good but there are a lot of things I need to do that I'm just not sure the weather will allow. The garage needs a good coat of paint and a lot of the bushes need trimmed up. There is still a couple of places where I need to put trim back on the wall and around the door into the room from the converted garage. I will take the table saw and the cross cut saw back over one day next week and get that done.

Dave and his wife Barb came over for pizza last night. Dave has one of those early winter colds and runs between stuffed up and going through Kleenex. He can keep the cold. Since my blood pressure won't let me take antihistamines I try to keep from getting colds. Oh well, life goes on.

My renter just called and wants to put an electric stove in the storage area over on 29th. Better get my act together.



Short Story too long for Facebook

A New Coach went into his new office on his first day and there was a letter on the desk. The old coach left him some instructions about what to do when he has a loosing season. The letter read, "Open the top right hand drawer and take out envelop number one" That season because he had a short time to recruit, he had a losing season. He took out envelop number one. It read, "Blame it on your predecessor." A couple of years later he had another losing season and he took out envelop number two. It read, "Reorganize." Many years later he had his third losing season and he took out envelop number three. It read, "Make three envelopes."

Mark Mangino has been paid more money than most of us will make in a lifetime. Take the money and run. (or at least waddle fast) Go on a diet (or get a bypass), get healthy, live long and prosper Mark. You weren't the first, and you won't be the last.


Cold Days?

I am thinking about selling the 57 Chevy to make space in the garage for the Vicki. I do love that car but it just isn't fit to drive every day. I am so stupid to have spent money trying to remain stock instead of upgrades to the modern equipment. A good engine, with fuel injection, disk brakes and rack and pinion steering would have made a world of difference.

I was going to put a picture of the girl in the bikini bottoms that showed up on Kansas Avenue yesterday but the online (CJONLINE) didn't put it online. It was about 30 degrees in downtown Topeka and there was a PETA person running around in panties and pasties. BRRRRRRR!

The other cold thing today is the reception Coach Mangino got when he was finally told to pack his bags and go eat at someone else's buffet for a while. Win the National Coach of the year and two years later get fired for not winning. Such are the vagaries of the coaching profession. When is K-State going to fire their Basketball coach for the same kind of behavior? Man up and find someone to coach not embarrass young men.

It got down into the teens last night and when I put out the trash this morning, the outside kitty slipped into the garage for a nap on the tractor seat. I'll go out and take him outside to the cat house in a little while. May even move the cat house back to the south side of the deck where the sun hits it. I darn sure would be napping in the sun if I were him.

My brother lives in Tulsa and has season tickets to TU's basketball games. Imagine his pleasure seeing that TU beat OU. I guess the Sooners will have a bad day in basketball like football.

Oh well, all's well that ends....



Minor Emergency

Just as I prepared to open my blog and write a few words, the phone rang. It was our son Dave wanting to know how to shut off the water at his house. I directed him to the shut off valve and we got that stopped in short order. He told me that he could hear running water and everything was shut off. His house has PEX pipe in several places and one of the reducer/T valves had let go. The interesting part was that I had just worked the insulation and protective cover over in that area and I made a perfect trap for the water to collect in. The insulation and vapor barrier was touching the ground instead of the normal 2 1/2 feet clearance it normally had. I crawled under his house and poked holes in the water balloon. Even with a couple of good sized buckets, I couldn't catch all the water and I had to lay out some tarps to be able to get into where the leak was.

Sure enough, the rule of everything breaks in the most inconvenient place held true. Perhaps the factory that assembled the mess didn't figure that having a water reducer right above a furnace duct was any big thing. Thank god I brought the right plumbing tools and could cut the old valve out and replace it with a new one. I will leave the recovering of the entire mess until it has a chance to dry out a little and it is a little warmer. Thank god the entire foundation is secure and it wasn't too cold inside the crawl space.

We made a run to Lawrence to do a little shopping and to get away for lunch. I really like to go into the HiVee store there and pick up a few things. Their meat counter is like the old fashion meat counter and you can see what you are buying and the butcher will package it up for you. They also do some nice grilling items that I use when it is a lot warmer. I think the day time high today was only 30 so I won't be out on the grill today.

Have a great week and enjoy the preparation for the holiday.



Oh No!

Another "Gazillionaire" athlete is caught up in an affair with women that he is not married to. What ever will happen to the world. Nothing. R$ch men have been doing that for years and deserve to be chased by a golf club wielding wife at 2:30 in the morning. When thousands of people watch you play and shout your name, after a while you somehow think you are worthy of the adoration and are above the crowd. It is a shame that his father didn't teach him how to be a man and not just a golfer.

We went to a dinner for the Master Gardner program last night and man do those people also know how to cook. It was a pot luck style and the food was just great. Anyone that went home hungry did so out of their own doing. At the end of the buffet line was the desserts. There was a really great looking pie that was just calling out my name. At first I thought it was pumpkin but the bottom layer was cool whip so it was pretty clear that it hadn't been baked. It turned out to be a pumpkin colored layer of pudding with a really great spice flavor. I think if you worked with it a little, you could have used a pumpkin pie spice flavor and it would have been tough to tell the difference. I think this close after Thanksgiving everyone tried to avoid most of the traditional dishes.

Did I mention pie again? The average American eats 8 slices of pie each year. OK, who out there is letting the average down? I have had that many since the first of October. By the end of Christmas I figure I will be well over 15 or so slices. Oh well, their loss my weight gain.

This morning here in the Heartland the wind is blowing from the north at least 25 MPH. It is a cold dry wind and probably won't meet any moisture from the south to cause snow. It is only 30 degrees but with the wind it feels a lot colder. Barb started to list some of the winterising things she wanted done this morning and I reminded her that the last three days were in the 60's and that would have been a great time to bring some of that up. I want it to go on the record that in spite of watching Martha Stewart, Barb admitted to being "Not Perfect."

Oh well, I'll probably be outside this afternoon. have a great day out there.