From My Buddy Two Dogs

How to Recognize a Stroke

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. A stroke victim may suffer permanent brain damage when people fail to recognize what's happening. Now, doctors say any bystander can recognize a stroke, simply by asking three questions:

* ask the individual to smile.
* ask him or her to raise both arms.
* ask the person to speak a simple sentence.

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 911 immediately, and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. Researchers are urging the general public to learn to ask these three questions quickly, to someone they suspect of having a stroke. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of a stroke, and prevent permanent brain damage.

The warning signs of a stroke are:

* Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
* Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding.
* Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
* Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
* Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.


What a Day!

Yesterday we had dinner with Sandy and her Mom, Dave and Barb, Kyler and Austin. Larry, Sandy's husband and Barb Jr's dad was somewhere en route between Vegas and here. It was a hoot to see the kids spending time together playing games on their equipment and phones. It never stops making me be amazed to see the kids pick up a new piece of equipment and without instruction start playing. I have had my iPhone for two weeks and still don't have any music or "apps" (whatever the hell they are) loaded on it. I am starting to use the calendar feature and notes but nothing else-Yet. After a great ""On the Border" dinner we came home to the start of the KU-KState game.

In my opinion, that was the greatest game since the overtime win against Memphis. K-State fans rocked the temple of Doom all day and the Purple Pride team came ready to play. I have no idea how many times the lead changed hands or who led the teams in scoring. All I know is that when it was needed, Pullen and Collins both gave their fans what they wanted. There near the end of the game, to see Aldrich stay on the floor with 4 fouls amazed me. Great teams, great coaches and a great atmosphere made for almost three hours of fun. The only thing that would make it better would have been another case of laryngitis by Dick Vital. Digger Phelps was there for the game day activities but not the game coverage-What the hell? Dick Vital is the most obnoxious commentator on TV. He would talk about the most inane things during the game. I know he is there because he provided color to the game but in my opinion the color is often so far from what is happening in the game it is not funny. At one time he started to list the names of all the players on both teams. Perhaps the ESPN fans didn't know their names but we sure as hell did.

Yesterday morning we awoke to find about a 3/4 of an inch of snow on the ground. All day the temperature worked its way up to just reach 32 at about 4 PM. Where the sun shined on the ground, the snow melted. Where it didn't, the snow is still there. This is typical of the winters in Kansas. Sometime in February or early March we will get one more good snow of several inches. It will last about three days and the daytime temperatures will start their climb into the daytime highs of 50. By the time it reaches 60 for the average, people will be without coats and the kids will be in shorts waiting for the bus in the morning. If you look real hard, there are a few patches of green where the snow covered the ground for most of the first half of January. By mid march green will start to show and by St Paddy's day we will have some flowers here and there.

One lone fat squirrel has shown up this morning to eat all the sunflower seeds out of the mix I put down for the juncos. I'm sure that they will also eat the cracked corn and leave the mullet and milo for the juncos. About a month ago, a sharp shinned hawk started to show up about once each day to pick off a bird out eating here at Rabbit Run. I was watching one day and he caught a squirrel when I jumped up to get the camera, he let it go and took off. A couple of days later, the cat had caught a squirrel and I assumed it was the same one slowed down by injuries. Now as I watch, there is a squirrel that comes down to eat and can't stand up straight and as he eats he leans far to the right until he falls down. I call him Richard Nixon.

My motto is to be sure that I can still laugh at as much as I can. Without joy, sadness is wasted. With out hate, pride is wasted. With beer, everyone (except Barbara and I) can get wasted.



Election Thoughts

The only thing worse than the following is the fact that I didn't think of it sooner. Lord do I wish these were all my quotes:

From Grissy's Owner - There should be a term limit of 2 for all politicians. First one in office and the second in prison.

NRA - Never Re-elect anyone!

I am sure that getting elected to any office causes brain damage. The never seem to remember what they promised during the election.

If it costs so much to live in Washington D.C., how come most people sent there come home a lot richer than when they went there?

Here in the rest of the USA, Income must be greater than outgo. I Washington, not so much. I would like for you to google the national Debt and see what has happened over the years. Even when under Clinton when they had a balanced budget (once?) nothing happened to the debt. Like that fairy Tale nose or that vine when the magic beans were planted, IT GROWS, IT GROWS, and IT GROWS.

Perhaps Dave Ramsey needs to be appointed to secretary of the treasury. Baby step 1, spend less. Baby step 2, sunset all laws. Baby step 3, put everyone on a budget unless they earn their own money. Baby step 4, Cut Taxes and see if the economy grows to offset the revenue lost. If step 4 works (no reason to think it won't) do it again. Step 5, If not, raise taxes. Step 6, Pay off the National Debt in 15 years. Step 7, Make all politicians promise to never let it happen again.


Perhaps it is preparing for the battle on the KAW later on today that put me in a fighting mood.


Howdy Do!

Barb on one of Kenny's Recumbent Trikes

As I ride my bike down the bike path I try to say Howdy to people as I pass. People tend to stare at a recumbent the first time they see it and with the eye contact I shorten the cowboy greeting down to Howdy. No, "Howdy do" is not what Buffalo Bob's companion left in his shorts. It is the greeting that a lot of the old cowboy movies used. Yes, John Wayne used Ya-ta-he which is Apache for "What's up red brother." If you think my bike confuses people, try that greeting on them. Most of the people under 40 don't get it and think I am swearing at them.

For the record, the picture of my better half above was "photoshopped." The picture of her on the trike was taken in a park in Twin falls, ID and the background was our woods here at Rabbit Run. To me, it is an analogy of her. She is not any one thing, but a compilation of everything she does. She can walk into the strangest place and see the beauty. Most often, she takes a picture of things and while I do not understand her system can go back and find them on her computer. As she fills a card with pictures in her camera, she will only download certain ones and runs them through Photoshop@ as she stores them. Each year she puts selected photos on a calendar for her mother. She makes a different one for my mother. For people that don't understand, that's why you see Barb with a camera at all of the family gatherings - a lot. My system is to download them all and only run them through photoshop if I plan to use them on this blog. A small JPEG picture loads a lot faster than one stored right off the camera in a RAW (What the camera sees) format.

I hear that south of here there is a winter storm blowing up out of the southwest and coating a lot of Oklahoma with ice and snow. We have the lightest dusting of snow here. I am glad it is this weekend as next weekend we will be headed down to Austin, TX to see the JayHawks take on Texas in roundball. We will get to see KU vs KSU this weekend and hope that the hawks can take on and win against both teams. It really wasn't fair that in the pre-season the hawks were ranked number one against a bunch of teams that were only good teams. Now that we are in the BIG XII season they will have to take their game on the road and win against some darned good teams. In all of the pre-season games only one BIG XII team lost one home game. That has to say something about how hard teams work to defend their home court. KU has the nations record at 53 home wins in a row. There is something about entering the "Fog Allen Field House" and seeing all those banners. Not to mention the pregame video showing the Champions in action. At Halftime of the Baylor game, they brought out all the athletes that are on the honor roll. They darned near filled the floor and the women's golf team were in the middle with the highest GPA of any team.

The birds are working the feeder over pretty heavy this morning. I am going to have to make a run to Wally world to buy suet blocks and dog food. 'Cides, I will need to get out and "blow the stink off" as my dad would say. Some of his old Navy sayings were often hollered. "All Hands on Deck" was his wake up call. "Grab your socks and drop your......" No, better not go there.



Life 101

If you have a best friend that will drop everything for you,be there for you through thick and thin, still loves you when you mess up and still loves you for all your faults... copy and paste this to your status.

From time to time, I might say things about my wife in jest, but after 42 years she is truly my best friend. For every folly I have wanted to chase, she has found a way to keep us on track. For every mistake I have made, she has found a way to smile and hug me anyway. Barb has a way to see through the wants and point out the needs.

When I see her, I want to share a hug and give her a kiss when I leave. When we get out of the car, I like to hold her hand. She listens to my endless stories and ideas. I hope your best friend is all those things for you.

Earlier I forgot to say that from the first moment I saw her she was the most beautiful person I could ever want.



MEME FOR Prairie Air

I don't do these very often but for a good friend I will do it this time.
Go to: http://prairieair.blogspot.com/ to see a great blog from Jenni down there by Douglas Kansas.

8 TV Shows I Watch
1. Bones
2. Law and Order
3. Phillips 66 basketball
4. CSI
6. About anything on the Military Channel
7. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives
8. KU games on the JayHawk network when not on number 3.

8 Favorite Places to Eat and Drink
1. Anywhere with Dave and Da' Barbs.
2. Jason's Deli
3. Texas Roadhouse
4. Famous Dave's BBQ
5. Margaritas in the Market Garden in San Antonio
6. Rusty pelican in Austin, TX
7. Club 93 Restaurant, with the in-laws, in Jackpot NV.
8. Star Hotel in Elko, NV.

8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. A hug and a kiss from Barb.
2. Traveling about anywhere with Barb
3. seeing my kids grow up, strong, confident, happy
4. Seeing how big the checking account balance will get before Barb notices.
5. traveling more
6. My 45th Reunion this fall.
7. Seeing our parents, you never know when that will stop.
8. New Books by one of my favorite authors.

8 Things I Love About Winter:
1. The birds at the feeder on the back porch
2. Barb's pictures of snow and all things winter.
3. no mosquitoes, no flies
4. Basketball season through March.
5. A Little snow, not the 27 inches that stays for three weeks.
6. Coffee
7. homemade soups
8. the way red tailed hawks swooping over snowy fields. And all the hawks we notice on our way down US 75.

8 Things On My Wish List:
1. Win the Lottery.
2. A bunch of the stuff I own will organize its self.
3. photography class
4. Travel to a Exploritas class, anywhere.
5. Laughter from the Moslem's as they realize fighting is stupid
6. A new garage or storage building
7. The Valley Brook House sells
8. a vegetable garden with lots of stuff to eat.

8 Things I Am Passionate About Important to Me
1. Laughter from Children
2. my wife
3. Dave and Barbara
4. Reading
5. Helping Dave and his wife enjoy their life
6. trying to do what is right
7. Blogging. face book - not so much
8. Meeting new people in new places.

8 Things I Have Learned From the Past
1. A good plan well executed is better than the best plan poorly executed.
2. There are times when I don't have a plan. I enjoy going a different way from time to time.
3. Change should incorporate new technology and be cheaper not more expensive.
4. There are times that change will hurt if you really care and things don't work out the way you hopped.
5. Plans often last until the first bullet flies.
6. Do your best when given the opportunity to lead. That is often better than the other guy did.
7. Setting life goals takes a little time but at least you know how you got to where you are.
8 In the long run, income must be equal to or exceed outgo. I think you need to throw in some savings and charitable giving also.

8 Things I Want/Need
1. This is tough, I have everything I need and almost everything I want.
2. A helper to finish all the projects I have started.
3. That new NIKON Camera for Barb (So I can get my D70 back full time)
4. jeans that don't expose my backside when I bend over. Say no to crack.
5. Great new food ideas
6. to travel more
7. Work on some Solar/Green stuff for all my houses.
8. For barb to continue to be happy with her green thumb, her photography and above all me.

I won't challenge anyone else to do this. Copy the format it you would like to see where you go with it. If not, read and enjoy


Roundball Bounces

The last unbeaten Div 1 Men's basketball team lost and again the bounce of the basketball picks will be heard around the US. The Quest for that number 1 title will move from team to team for the rest of the season. We all know that the basketball season has three parts. The pre-season games are tune ups and from time to time will find a Div II team get invited to the hardwood for a part in the tune up. The regular season just lines up the teams in the League and is part of the pick for the final 64 teams to play in the "Big Dance." If I were to point a finger at the BIG XII, I would say that there are six teams probably going to be there. Kansas, Texas, K-State, Baylor, Oklahoma State and one of the Texas teams (A&M or Tech) I will refer back to this in March and see how correct I am. The only tough part in the BIG XII is winning on the road. Kansas has 53 wins at home and still has a road game with Texas and all the northern Division teams except Nebraska and Iowa.

For a basketball fan, this has been a pretty good week. I got to see the Hawks play on Saturday, Monday night and last night I saw K-State and Baylor go at it. That game wasn't decided until the buzzer. Both teams played a great game and it wasn't a walk over by any means. From time to time I will watch someone else play if they are a ranked team just to get a feel for what is happening in the other leagues. One major flaw I see is the way fouls are called. In the Missouri/KU game, they allowed tackle basketball and at Baylor they darned near fouled out the entire team on both sides. Most of the other leagues are letting teams play and using the "No Blood, No Foul" rule. The calling of charging or not calling it by where the defensive player is under the basket has to have some help. They need to put a dotted line so the defensive player can tell if he is in position to stop a player driving to the basket.

We still have a road trip to Austin and to Stillwater for later on this year. I'll watch the March Madness on TV and if I want to catch games in person, I will go to our Expocentre and watch the Class V high school teams play. For a couple of dollars you can watch basketball until your eyes bleed.

My code is better but it still makes me breathe through my mouth a lot. Good thing I can I guess. Take care out there and find something you enjoy.




Let me share with you why I love the great State of Kansas. Let me start with the fact that we have four true seasons. Winter is cold, summers are hot and the spring and fall are generally transitions between the hot and cold weather. I think the extremes make the other end of the spectrum worthwhile. To be here in the Spring and watch things turn green is amazing. The fall colors are painted on our trees and things are just beautiful.

I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about the people we know and love. Barb and I both worked in places where we got to meet a lot of people. I wish you could be with us when some great big kid will come up to Barb and asks, "Do you remember me?" One of her students or a parent of one of her students will say hi all the time. With Topeka filled with former and retired Guardsmen I meet them daily. In fact one of my friends is a Greeter at Wal*Mart and I see him at least once a week. Barb gets to have lunch with her friends all the time.

We have a bunch of ties to the Universities here in Kansas. I tell people that I don't look good in Purple (KSU) but unless they are playing KU I will be a Wildcat fan. Washburn has great men and women teams and I have seen several of their games. Getting to yell for the Hawks is one passion Barb and I share. Watching them beat Missouri like a rented mule is priceless.

Probably the one greatest thing about living here in Kansas is my family. Having our son and his wife just up the street is so nice. We get together a couple of times a week and sharing a good meal is something we really enjoy. D'a Barbs (Barb Sr and Barb Jr) are out tonight walking, talking and probably doing a little shopping. At one time most of my family was in the Wichita area but mostly we have migrated to the Topeka to KC corridor. This part of the state is rolling hills, lots of trees and as you have seen in the pictures lots of wildlife.

It is one of my hopes that you love where you live and find a large list of things to smile about. I have. 'Cides it makes them wonder what you have been up to.


Blond Pole Dancer

The other day I put a picture of a brunette pole dancer in one of my blogs and a friend was sure that I might have offended some of you. His sister sent him a picture for me to include that might make amends for my poor choice. Scroll Down:

They were sure that you would look. Thanks to Harvey and Carolyn.

Just a Few Things



My creativity is low when I don't feel well. This darned high blood pressure combined with my tendency to have high(er) blood pressure on decongestants makes a simple cold less than fun. I run around with a Kleenex (Yes, I know that's a brand name and we use puffs for the most part) and a red nose. Barb claims that when I sneeze it hurts her ears. Being partially deaf from years in the Field Artillery doesn't help either.

Today the trial of Mr Reder goes on in Wichita. The Judge did allow a reference to abortion get in yesterday when the mention of the protesters came up. It seems that during their service, a time or two people have entered the church and shouted things. The judge is holding his decision for the defense to ask for a reduced charge based on the defendant felt he needed to kill to stop a killing. I'm not sure how you could get there from here but I tend to think that if the law makes it legal, who am I to perform an illegal act to stop it. I can't get enough duct tape around my head to keep it from exploding, to really be able to process the defense of self defense.

Dave has been called to Jury Duty for the second time. I have never been called to do Jury Duty. He indicated that it is a DUI case and he was asked about DUI's. He told them that he had a cousin killed by a drunk driver but they didn't dismiss him as a juror. I'm pretty confident that Dave will look at the facts and convict the bastard. No, Dave will do the right thing. In fact, he was selected as the Jury Foreman for the first time he was called. We didn't discuss the case at all, I got what I heard second hand.

I am sitting here waiting for my morning pills to kick in. So far the squirrels seem to be sharing the porch without making that chattering noise that annoys me. I haven't seen a hawk this morning but we did have a bird crash into the window upstairs yesterday and break its neck when one buzzed the feeder. The cat was in the garage at the time and I haven't looked to see if a varmint removed that critter carcass.

Oh well, better close this as I don't seem to be going anywhere worthwhile.



Slippery Slope - Free Speech ReVisited

Facebook has a group called "Fuck The Troops" and a group of good intentioned people are trying to get them removed by signing a petition. Let me start with the fact that I love our servicemen and hate the idea that someone would wish them anything but the very best. In no way could I ever belong to or support a group like that.

With that said, please resist the good intention to limit the freedom of speech no matter how good the cause is against the speaker. We have free speech to be able to redress the wrongs of our Government at any level. We started our country with that right and have fought in several ways to defend our right to free speech. I worry that the Law of Unintended Consequences might set in if we work to quash any group.

How do you think I felt when that great unwashed mass of college students shouted "Hell No, We Won't Go!" Yes, I felt bad, but I knew that I was fighting for their right to continue to say it. When someone burns my flag does it break my heart. Hell Yes, but it is their right to protest for their cause and do so. Oh, by the way don't try to burn my flag or we will tangle but, burn yours and its OK by me.

Every time I turn a corner and there is the Phelps bunch on the corner with a sign that says, "God Hates Fags" I wince with what I consider stupid and hate speech combined. Would I let you stop that? Not for a minute. If you want to go to a Military Funeral and stand between this stupidity and the families, I will be there with you. Would I join a vigilante group meaning the Phelp's harm- NO. Yes, I want to rush over there and tear down the signs but it is their right.

The slope downhill from free speech is so steep and slippery that I don't want anyone to start down the hill and stop any part of free speech. I fear the time when a majority party tells a minority party they do not have their right to free speech for whatever reason. I wonder if I might be that minority party someday. We should all wince when Nancy Pelosi calls us Nazi's when we disagree with her. I don't advocate censoring a private citizen saying about anything but as she is the Leading Democrat she should be careful. read on and I'll tell you why.

You have read here time after time that I love my country but fear my Government. Give any government the power to start removing the rights of people and time after time they have. For the record, in Germany it was at first (1933-35) the intention to start putting the mentality incompetent people, Romani (Gypsies) and the black mulattoes in custody to preserve the purity of the Arian race. Soon thereafter they began to sterilize those members of the groups in custody and opened Dachau to hold the prisoners in custody. Homosexuals were next and fairly soon priests were declared homosexuals. They went from holding to extermination. That was how the final solution began and I don't have any ides how many people were put to death. Oh, of course not here in the USA. The KKK didn't lynch anyone with the approval of the local Sheriff. Yes, and Eisenhower didn't have to send the Active Army and federalize the Arkansas National Guard in Little Rock either. The Police in 1968 at the Detroit Democratic Convention just encouraged the protestors to go home. (With billy clubs and mass arrest)

Will free speech fall victim to the banning of hate speech and then that category get broadened until all speech is taken away? I am not laughing. I am shouting that whatever you do do not give anyone the right to start taking away any or all of our free speech. What would be next, our right to assembly as a part of free speech? Our right to bear arms? Not on my watch.

COL (Ret)

Cute Story

Me and Lolly Blinn in 1952. Sharin' and carin'.

After a major natural disaster, several thousand people showed up in front of the pearly gates. Saint Peter was somewhat overwhelmed. He told all the women to stand over to the left and all the men to make two lines on the right. The first line was all the men that ruled their wives and the second line was those who had their lives ruled by women. Saint Peter took the women away and when god came out, he saw that the first line had only one man in it while the second line went on for miles. God was angered and said, " I made man in my image and only one of you was man enough to rule their own life? He patted the lone man on the back and said tell me how you ruled. The man said, " I'm not sure, my wife told me to stand in this line."


My Latest Desire

Did you ever see something on a blog while surfing and just know you have found another good use for a recumbent bicycle. I am posting this so my builder buddy will know what I'm thinking about for my next vehicle. I think the box down below could hold the camera and extra stuff s I can shoot pictures for the best effect.

Ken, perhaps this might be one best suited for a motorized bike. Hauling around a skank at my age might be more than I can do. (BTW, Spell Checker didn't like skank but I did.)


When Barb and I were first married, she swore she had a brown thumb and plants that would normally flourish, would in her care, soon die. After many learning experiences, she is now a Master Gardener and people give her plants to bring them back to life. I had a boss that threw a fern away and I fished it out of the dumpster. She cut it off at the ground and nursed it back to life. We had it another 20 years until it finally died. Training and practice turned the corner for her.

It is like that with Barb's Photos. She took many when we shot film but I think she used the camera to get close to the kids at family events. I knew Barb had an eye for art as she did some oils and watercolors that are very pretty and well done. The development of her camera work blossomed with the advent of digital cameras and lots and lots of practice. She was good with her NIKON film camera but when the NIKON D70 arrived, she flourished. We wanted to get out of town in the winter months and when she saw an Elderhostel photo class in Phoenix, we were all over it. First of all, the chance to blow out of Kansas in the winter was great and we got to go to more great places to shoot than we could have imagined. When the second class came up in Louisiana, it was the move to greatness for Barb. You will begin to know you are in the business of good photos when your new telephoto lens costs more than your camera did.

For one thing, with digital, you can shoot hundreds of photos and then pick and choose from a data base to build a great photo library. Even on the coldest days she will venture out to shoot a few frames. Then she gets to come inside, grab a cup of tea and select what she wants to save. There are many that say that running photos through Photoshop@ is not fair. To me it is like the guys in the bad old days pushing their film in the darkroom. If you can do it and it makes your pictures better, go for it. The software we use also helps prepare the pictures for whatever media presentation she decides to use to send, print or drive her art through. Barb can send pictures that would blow up to poster size and freeze your DSL carrier forever. Or as she did with the Hawk pictures make them small and send four in one message over to me and it took no time at all.

As soon as one of you are eligible, I would encourage you to send for an Exploritas (Old Elderhostel) catalog and see what kind of trips they have that will take you into whatever interests you. From the time you drive up to the hotel where you stay until you leave the enrollment covers all costs. Imagine a five day stay in a nice hotel for two, all the meals and then entertainment for $1200. There is everything from a bike trip through wine country on the west coast to woodworking with natural wood products in Massachusetts. They have many that go overseas but we haven't taken any of them - YET.

For the first time since before Christmas we have the sun shinning and no snow on the ground. I am sitting here listening to the squirrels argue over a few seeds and some corn on the back porch. I have the sunshine streaming in the window and all's well in our world.
I for one, don't care who plays football today, all I care about is that the hawks have Missouri coming in on Monday night to Allen Field House. We are in the middle of the BIG XII season and now is the fun time.



US 75 "Hawk a Mile Highway"

The Photos used here were taken by Barbara Petty and we would rather that you not use them separate from this story.

A typical scene that we see is the hawks on the wing as they are beautiful. They do however hunt from trees and the top of telephone poles.

Kansas is a rectangle approximately 200 miles tall and 400 miles from East to West. Yes, the corner of the State is kind of chewed off by the Missouri River but that is no big deal. Marking the division of the eastern 1/4 of State running from Nebraska to Oklahoma is a Highway we call the "Hawk a Mile Highway. In the last couple of weeks, we have driven the entire route and noted that for almost every mile we drove, we saw a hawk either on a telephone pole, in a tree or on a fence ready to pounce on a field mouse. If that is any indication of the health of the animals and birds in our state, we are doing fairly well.

You first enter the State on US 75 up north of Sabetha. You drive past miles of corn fields with gently rolling hills. We didn't see many cattle in the fields of Nebraska and started to see the feeding operations there south of Sabetha. There aren't as many trees up there so you tend to see the hawks on telephone poles.

Driving down US 75, you pass the part of the State that is Indian reservations. SAC, FOX, Pottawatomie tribes were moved to NE Kansas and flourished. You pass two casinos right near US 75 and another over by Horton off the highway a few miles. At one time the reservations were a place to buy gasoline and not pay the full State Tax. That made the gas10 to 15 cents per gallon cheaper. Not so much any more. About 50 miles south of the Nebraska border, you enter the Capitol City of Topeka.

Topeka is the only State capitol city with out air service. We have a great airport but most people will drive to the airport over in Kansas City rather than fly. Other than that one minor deviation, Topeka lives like a combination of a large and small city. There are wonderful schools, a couple of great lakes and many entertainment venues. In addition to the Brown vs Board of Education Federal site, we have the Kansas Museum of Natural History, the Kansas National Guard Museum and the Combat Air Museum. Our Performing Arts Center brings a lot of acts to their downtown facility and we have a hockey team in our Expocentre. In each season, there is baseball, soccer and a major Drag strip here in Topeka.

Going South out of Topeka, you drive through the middle of lake country. Where the rivers at one time ran out of their banks and cause flooding, the feds built dams to impound water in nice fishing lakes. Pomona Lake, Melvern Lake, John Redmon Reservoir and the Wolf Creek lake also provide some excellent fishing and recreational boating. The end of the lake country is marked by seeing the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant as you pass the Coffee County Airport.

Did I mention the BETO Junction. Where US 75 and I 35 cross, the roads lead to Burlington, Emporia, Topeka and Ottawa (BETO) there is a truck stop with the biggest cinnamon rolls available. The next 35 to 40 miles down US 75 is cattle country at its best. In fact, Yates Center calls itself the Hay Capitol of the World. Those gently rolling hills are covered with grass that during the spring and summer months feed large herds of cattle.

Heading South from Yates Center you begin to see a lot more wooded country and a few Oil wells along the road. To me it is a very pretty part of Kansas down the road past the Little House on the Prairie site.

If you don't take the opportunity to stop in Caney and see the white tigers in the Safari Zoo, don't say I didn't tell you about it. There was a Golden Retriever that adopted two tiger cubs when they were rejected by their mother. She raised them. nursed them and they are now way too big to play with Momma. The other animals there are a great collection to include a pack of coyotes that you normally don't get a change to see closer than a mile of so.

Headed south of Caney, you enter Oklahoma and their Indian Reservations. If you want to know about their State, go to their travel and tourism blog.

Oh Poor Me!

I have about had it with people that run around and say "Oh Poor Me!" Are we supposed to feel sorry for Conan O'Brien when he settled for 45 Million dollars when he left NBC? That's 2.25 Million dollars over the next 20 years if you spend the bulk of the money. If you figure a simple 3% interest that's 1.35 million a year interest alone. Most of us could take that money, find a nice place to live and live pretty darned good. Pay your taxes and shut the hell up.

My Daughter-in-Law has a saying that I just love. When one of her emotional friends says how tough things are she tells them to put on their big girl panties and deal. In the paper today there was an elementary school child found in the bathroom at his school dead from hanging. Just how many adults missed a depressed little boy and couldn't/didn't help him see that things can't be that bad on the low side of 10.

Just how bad do we really think we have it when we have money left over at the end of the month, about any fast food joint nearby and great cars. I think that it is more about happiness and the desire to smile that determines how we are. My mother is currently in a nursing home and she smiled and told us that she is determined to be as happy as she can. It is not those little moments where she doesn't have control over her bladder, it is the fact that she knows how to smile and wants to. Does she want to be helpless and not have any strength? No, she wants to smile and make the bastards wonder what she is up to.

Yesterday on our trip home from Tulsa, we spotted a Hawk a mile along US 75. I think that if the number of raptors we see is any indication of the health of the flora and fauna, thing must be pretty good. We didn't see many Hawks along US 75 up in Nebraska and probably because the snow was two feet deep and the mice were holed up deep inside their little homes. We saw at least one hawk every mile along the route home and in many cases more than that.



Mom's Status

Barb and I went over to Sequoia Pointe to visit Mom. She was busy taking her second nap of the day and after she woke up we spent an hour or so visiting. She admitted that she didn't have much to say as her world is kind of small right now. Typical things, her meds, her meals and her room mate. We left her at the dinner table with some people she had been sharing meals with. I think this is more than she would have had to talk about at Rick's. Oh yeah, she misses the cat but there is no way I or anyone I know could corral that critter up and get it over here.

She was concerned about her clothes and when we checked in her closet, it appears that Laurie got her pretty much squared away.


Baylor Comes to lawrence

Baylor came to Allen Field House ready to play a game with the Jayhawks. They shot 52% and out rebounded the Crimson and Blue by five. At about 8 minutes left in the game the hawks had a 10 point lead and it looked like a typical big finish. Three three point shots later and it is tied with about three minutes left. In typical fashion, the hawks started playing and got sent to the free throw line - a lot and made most of what they shot. In the end KU won but it was not an easy victory over a good Baylor team.

This was shot off the scoreboard and not the best picture. It does show that the banner with all the BIG XII titles isn't up there for nothing. Bill Self is leading his hawks on to victory and we now have a streak of 53 home victories.

Is it just me or is this kind of creepy to you? The little Jayhawk has his eyes on one of the KU Dancers and is sneaking up behind her.

In a little while, Barb and I are going to load up in the Ford and head to Tulsa. Mom is in a nursing home down there and we are going to drop in for a visit.
We still have a little snow on the ground here. It is hanging in there on the north side of the far hill and anywhere the plows piled it up. I think it stayed above freezing last night and it should rain in the next couple of days. Snow over the weekend ahead.


I Was Wrong!

Many of you have read that I though the people in Massachusetts didn't have it in them to elect a Republican when our Nation needed one. We truly needed one more to break the strangle hold the Democrats had on the Senate. With this one lone seat, the Republicans can debate bills until the senate gets it right. With a 60 vote majority, the Dem's could ram about anything through without having to come across the aisle for any reason. Now, they will at least have to talk to the minority party. It also appears that Chris Brown is a pretty good guy with some real life experience. There in mass they seem to elect people from pampered families that don't have to work for the money they have. I was wrong! Thanks Mass. Now, I must also admit that if it were not for spell checker I could not spell Massachusetts correctly three times out of 10.

Does anyone out there know any of the Olympic athletes that are going to compete next month? There is even a commercial about our pot smoking swimmer Mikey showing on TV. Isn't swimming a summer Olympic sport? Oh no, there is Apollo Ono the guy that skates real fast in small circles and has those funny chin whiskers. I understand less about speed skating than any other Olympic sport. I can't help but smile every time I think about my fat belly in skin tight skater gear. Those little guys look like a bunch of Corvette's getting ready and I would be a Mac Truck. (or a Volvo for those of you watching the names on trucks now days)

I just finished W.E.B. Griffin's latest book. It takes us back to the Mid WWII days and the spy efforts in Argentina. This book has let our Hero slip into the politics and how we helped Argentina avoid a Civil Way like the one that ripped Spain apart. It just introduced the character Eva Duarte Peron and how the German money helped her husband become rich and I assume famous. Juan Peron in moving from infamous to famous in the book and they have set up the next book very well. It was more of a continuation of the story like a TV series rather than a book that stands on its own. But, it is my popcorn and I'll continue to read any and all new books that the Butterworth boys write.

Our front porch kitty has been curiously absent for about three days. he is by the hour approaching a new record for time off the farm. I'm pretty sure that he is at a nearby farm visiting the ladies and most likely will show up either battle scarred or come back for some rest and recuperation. Food and a sunny spot on the south porch do wonders for rebuilding his stamina and fur. Either way, just not having him rush into the garage every time I open a door is a break for me.

Off to do some work at Valley Brooke today. Then, basketball tonight.



Baylor Game Tomorrow Night

Our good friend Paul just called and asked if we wanted to purchase his tickets to the Baylor game tomorrow. We saw Baylor play last year at home and I think it might be fun to see how they have improved. Paul obviously didn't go to Phoenix this year. I thought he had forgotten us and found someone else to sell the extra tickets to. I love to go see the hawks play and always have a good time there in Lawrence.

How about those K-Staters. They gave Texas about as much game as they could and thank god it was enough. We are planning on going to Austin to see the Texas/Kansas game in early February so it really has set up that game for a great game. Probably will be the difference between first and second or third in the BIG XII. We'll take Dave and his wife with us so they can visit our good friend Mel there in Austin. It will make for a long drive home on Tuesday but with 4 drivers we should be able to pull it off.

Today I am finishing the new W.E.B. Griffin book and this afternoon we will go over to the Valley Brook house to put together plans on the final touches. We will run a test run on the market probably soon and see how/if it sells. It really is a nice little house in the middle of the market price wise. It has a lot of potential but it might not be the best time to sell.

Oh well, write if you have time.




There is a Blog that today says it all for me. Go see Jenni's blog on Prairie Air:



What Will They Say About You?

In Dear Abby this morning, there is a question from a Daughter-in-Law who asks if she should pass on to her 90 year old Father-in-Law her draft of a eulogy about him. The old guy has written his obituary and his eulogy and she wants to see if her words are OK. I would tell her to let three people read it and if they all say it is OK, send it to the old man. If anyone thinks it is sucky, save it for the funeral. I'm pretty sure that if the guy has everything written, he doesn't think he needs a whole lot more. At this stage in the game, either you are in the will or not.

Where the hell would you start and of course I know where it would end. But, how could you cram it all in in a proper manner. If you write it, it obviously would contain all the highlights and if our wife(s) wrote it would they talk about the skid marks? Do you want it to be touching without being funny? Do people out there fear you, like you, hate you, envy you. Or as probably a lot of us really deep down fear, most people don't really give a shit.

I didn't write these words to be maudlin. In fact, I really wrote the above stuff to set up what I want my Wake to be like. As far as I am concerned, I really don't want a funeral service, only a wake and cremation. I want Barb to contact the Armory and see if they will make a rental for my wake. I want to be present (Like "Weekend at Bernie's") and sitting there in a chair with a beer in one hand, a pipe in the other and have any and all old Guardsmen invited. I want the have a keg of beer and at least a case of scotch. (Lots of ice and a drinking fountain nearby for those that don't like it neat - I never did) If the Armory won't let her have the booze, I would want to have a tent in the yard just to keep off the rain. The theme would be to tell stories about times in the Guard with heavy emphasis on funny Denny stories. The only time I would want crying would be when we run out of beer. There were tons of times when all I could do was laugh or cry and for the most part I chose laughter. As for my ashes, I really don't have anything I want done with them. Oh, I have some high idea about a helicopter and a fly over of the impact zone on one of the bases but the nearest garbage can will probably do just as well. There are a lot of places here on Rabbit Run and several old dogs buried here. I'm sure that they won't mind if someone scatters what's left nearby..



Back to Money talk

I guess that because Barb and I started out in occupations where we got paid once a month, it has been fairly normal to pile up some extra cash for mid month expenses. We always felt good if at the end of the month there was any left. Barb has in the later years has kind of insisted that we end the month with enough of a balance to carry over for a couple of months if necessary. In fact, I often laugh that most people don't start the month as well off as we end the month.

One additional thing we have done for several years is pay our own taxes and insurance on the house(s). We fought with the finance companies over the escrow accounts and she was never happy with them. Once we got them paid for we were our own escrow account. I think that in the past we also underpaid out taxes so we also paid come the middle of April. For those reasons, we almost always try to have a little bigger nest egg during income tax time in April and Property Tax time in May.

The one thing that has kind of thrown a wrench into the mix is that one of our renters has changed jobs in December two years in a row. He is good for the money and always pays it back but had he paid December on time I would have had 13 months rent last year. He didn't so I didn't. That does happen to be first half of property Tax time and Insurance on the house time so thank god for a little extra.

A recent discussion with Jenn covered a lot of subjects and one was that we do not feel that our kids get a good enough education in school on financial management. It is beyond me how a young couple living together would co-mingle their finances and buy cars and a house without the legal protection of marriage. When they do go their separate ways, it often leaves one or both tipped over on the value of their car and one with the house and no way get ahead for either one. Yes, I fully understand wanting a car that will get them from point A to point B often and without trouble. My rule is only one new car in a lifetime unless you win the lottery.

I hope you aren't too bored by this discussion. I know that a lot of people out there are trying to reduce their consumer debt and their weight after Christmas.



Wise Words

Today, Jenn came by for a roast beef dinner and some time visiting. It was all wonderful and we did watch KU dismantle Texas Tech. As we talked, Jenn pointed out that the Talk Radio guy with the financial planning program talks about an emergency fund of $1,000. She said that this month that wasn't enough by half. It seems that her washer kicked the bucket first. This week that was followed by the water pump failing on her Jeep. It seems that the water pump can fail and it tends to eat things like the fan shroud and the fan clutch. Yep, $1,000 is about half of what a good emergency fund should be.

For me, it was a damn hot water heater failing and with parts it took about $600 to put it all back together. I do have a tendency to stock pile a little money up in the rental income account so this time I had enough. Throw in the Taxes last month and an insurance payment and $1,000 was about half enough. Dave Ramsey needs to rethink his guidance for the nest egg.

Just Saying.


Looking Forward


Yesterday I took a day off and did little here at Rabbit Run. I think I needed the time to recharge my attitude and do a little future planning. OK, to tell the truth, when you are retired it does look a lot like day dreaming. All this was aided by Direcway letting me watch the Westerns channel at no charge. Imagine my glee to see an episode of Gun Smoke. I also saw Paladin ride in and solve a mystery with a smoking gun. This wasn't the TV of my youth as much as it was on during my teenage years. My youth was listening to the radio and getting out and playing cowboys and Indians. There was a lot of war playing but the cowboy channel doesn't do was as much as a lot of the characters fought in the war and came home hardened to the life they were now living.
I hope I am not going to be like my Mom who watches the old mystery movies over and over. No, wait I'll bet I see enough Law and Order to rival her hours of Matlock and __________ fill in a space of your choice. All I seem to remember is that one guy drove a Camaro and lived in a trailer by the beach. Another was a Doctor or his son was and they solved crimes.

Oh well, Tonight we'll have the kids and my niece, Jenn, over for dinner. I am going to use the new crock pot and do a roast. It will be fun to use some of the garlic spices I got from Dave and Barb. Years ago we drove through Gilroy, CA and it was a farming community that looked a lot like most of the farming communities elsewhere in the US. For some reason memories of cities we didn't really stop in during long trips just don't make for permanent indelible visions.

One of the things we are still planning is where to go for trips this year. There is an Elderhostel (Exploritas?) trip to Massachusetts that sounds like fun. It is focused on making furniture out of wood products. Lord only knows I could make a few dozen tables and chairs out of the hickory, walnut and oak on the 18 acres.

Today's Jayhawk game features Texas Tech and it will be a chance to return the defeat they gave us at home last year. It just happened to be the one game we attended there in Lubbock.

We will have a chance to look at Baylor later on this week. They were a pretty good team and like the rest of the BIG XII will whip a lot of good teams in their home. That will be said of a lot of the BIG XII teams. It will be the road wins that separates the top three or four teams.

Better go see if I can do something worthwhile before the game. I won't want to do much once it starts.

MUD (I'm over being MAD for now)


What Day Is This?

Foggy Friday at Rabbit Run
Yesterday we drove home from Lincoln and just when I was ready to take a nap and relax, I saw the red light on the answering machine blinking. Not a good sign. One of my renters called and the hot water heater in the little house was leaking. I called his wife and made arrangement to get in to see what the heck was happening. Yes, the tank had water dripping out of the bottom side and it needed replaced. Five hours later, I finally got back home and this time it was beyond a nap that I needed. One the way back to the house, I glanced at the speedometer and realized that I was so tired that I was driving only 30 MPH. After turning the corner I again glanced at the speedometer and again 30 MPH. I was too tired to speed. Thank God the renter had a pickup. There was just no way I could dig the 53 out of the snow bank. I may try that a little later today but I really should let the snow melt and then make a run at it.
With a warmer wind blowing in, there was considerable snow melt going on. That created a high moisture content and that created fog. As the picture above shows, it also frosted the trees with a white coating and was very pretty. In spite of the beauty, I am just going to sit home today and do nothing.
A couple of weeks ago I twisted an ankle and on the way home from Lincoln I again twisted the ankle and fell down. As a kid I could fall down without even a glance. Seems like as I get older falling down is a heck of a lot worse. As a kid I could jump back up, brush off the loose dirt and run on down the road. Now I have to stop and make sure nothings broken, whine like a baby and have Barb help me up. It also helps if she makes polite soothing noises instead of poking fun at my clumsiness. One of these days I just know I'm going to break something but for now only my pride and a stiff and sore ankle are the result. I'm sure that five hours of putting in that damned water heater instead of elevating the ankle didn't help.
My sister called today and told me about her trip to Oklahoma to get mother into a Nursing Home for some rehabilitation. I guess her potassium level and blood thinner were out of whack. When you start with an old heart and then get weak things get bad quickly. I'm sure that she hasn't been eating as well as she should and with winter there she sat, and sat and sat. Not good. We'll try to sneak down early next week if we can with winter weather always spoiling the trip.
Have a great and be safe.
MAD (Mad Uncle Denny)


De Van ey Sports Center

Dance ladies and students
Lit'l Red Did great stunts
Danny & the team

Half Time Drummers on Painter's Buckets
For some reasons I thought it was De vain ey Sports Center but I was wrong. Nebraska showed up ready to play and according to a fan as we walked out, "they won the first half." The Cornhuskers are a good team that will beat a lot of good teams in their own home. The good news is that the second half was when the Jay Hawks showed up to play their best. So far we have been to Baylor, Texas tech, Lawrence and Nebraska. Baylor had the best stadium we have seen. Texas tech was second, Nebraska third and KU 4th. The Devaney Sports Complex is tucked way out in the Fair Grounds and they don't have any good ground transportation. In fact, the buses stopped running at 6 PM.

Oh well, better take a cup of tea to Barb and see if she's going to sleep in or be ready to go soon.



North to Alaska, er, to Nebraska Dennis

This morning I ventured out to get the paper and it was a warm balmy 20 degrees. You could feel the warm southerly winds starting and the weatherman is predicting 40. Yesterday it was overcast and cloudy and never got to 32. I have Twin falls as one of the weather sites on my new iPhone and it has been warmer there by 10 degrees most of the week. Perhaps we'll get a break for a few days. The jet stream that has brought us these warm temps is shifting a little east so at least we won't be locked into arctic temps.

For some reason the garmin Nuvi plugged into the charging system of the Ford caused the battery to be low enough to turn on the check engine light. The battery was about 6 years old and that was part of the problem but a new battery and unplugging the Garmin when not in use solved the problem. When tested, the code said it had to do with the electronic fuel pump not having the right current. Every thing's fine for a road trip later.

My niece, Jen is taking training for her job as a fireman. She is in Topeka this week. I took her a batch of Uncle Chuck's Chocolate Chip cookies but just missed her as she left for lunch. She has met a guy I have known for years and they have been having a good time. Tom Kilmartin's kids went to T. South and Barb knew the family. Tom went through the TeleTech training I taught and we had a good time laughing at the kids and their antics. Most old guys don't begin to understand 20 something girls. It was always a surprise to see what they would say or do. Not in a bad way, but in a way that perplexed us.

Better get this rodeo on the road north. I'll throw the puppies a little extra feed this AM and we'll be home tomorrow early.



Greg Gilroy

This is MSG Gilroy (Ret) with his Order of St Barbara Medal

In Ottawa, KS there was a Sargent Gilroy that either you loved the guy or you hated him and then grew to love him. He was the Unit Administrator for HHB, 1st Bn, 127th FA. At first meeting, I pegged him as a guy that spent all his time making sure everyone else did their job and little time doing his job. In short order, I corrected that mistake and realized that he was teaching everyone else to do their job so that when, or if, the unit went on Active Duty they could all do the job they would have to do. He was a role model for me as I worked my way up in the Leadership of the Guard.
He was also an inspiration for a leadership style that is hard to not follow. Once a person has more than three subordinates, you soon realize that what they do and how they do it is as important as what you do. Grow that out into an organization with a bunch of employees and somewhere there is a supervisor that teaches, monitors performance and spends the rest of his time writing evaluations. I found that a starting place is the job description the person was hired to do. I would cross check this with the performance standards for the previous person and have a rough list to discuss with the new employee.
Greg would help a new guy fill out the required paperwork a couple of times and then observe how the guy did it the next time. They would have a clipboard of tasks to be done at each drill, the paperwork to complete and Greg would check it before the Unit Commander could dismiss the unit. "The work is not done until the paperwork is completed" was more than a cartoon or a bumper sticker.
I hope that Greg is out there enjoying his life without a clipboard for everyone in his family. He worked as hard as anyone I knew and I am a lesser man for not telling him earlier that I am proud to have him as one of the people I knew. Via Vi Greg.

Premeditated Manslaughter? I don't Think So!

Can someone explain to me how killing an abortion provider is less of a crime than killing any one else? The courts in Kansas are going to let this man argue a case of killing to prevent the death of unborn children. He doesn't deny killing Dr Tiller, he just thinks it was OK. he wants to present that argument to a jury and it seems that a Judge has ruled that it is a defense.

There are times when I side on the role of mercy in our legal System and times I side on Justice. I am afraid that this is one of those Justice times. Either you are willing to do something and stand up and admit you did it or you are just another coward. In this case, I find killing a man in his church such a reprehensible act that I would apply the Mad Dog law. If more than one person saw you do it, they should take you out behind the Jail and shoot you. To now want to argue for Jury Nullification because it was a good thing is just not right.

We have free speech in this country for a reason. That is to redress the evils we find that have made it into our laws. Had this guy stood out in front of the Abortion Clinic, our court houses and Congress to oppose abortion, I would fully understand. He is allowed to keep weapons to Help defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. We are not allowed to keep our weapons to kill people doing what the Law says they can.

It is not consistent with my thinking that you can kill a human being with a hand gun and not be found responsible. The same sense that makes people feel strongly about abortion should kick in when it comes to the Premeditated Murder of another. To do it in his church is just beyond the scope of all I find right.



College Athletics

Yesterday, I watched the KU Jayhawks play a very lack luster game and lose to a Tennessee team that should not be in the hunt with so many players missing and dismissed. The thing that MG keeps saying is that this team is a bunch of young players and they will get better. I think that's the secret to really enjoying sports. What does it really matter who wins when it is a bunch of kids playing a game. If it really mattered, you would find dead people all over Jayhawk land caused by the loss. Did Texas go to hell when they lost the BCS Championship? No, of course not, it was a game. Yes, those Championship banners look good covering the bare rafters of Fog Allen Field house. Would the roof fall in if they were not there? What was the win count when they lost this game 12 or 13? The 1988 team lost a bunch of games heading to the Championship. Undefeated is just a word.

I read that today is going to be a day where some serious melting should take place. We need it big time. In spite of all the melting, there should be piles of snow on most of the intersections for a couple of months. There is a store that is closed in California Crossing (29th and California here in Topeka) and they piled up all the snow in a large pile in front of that store. I'll bet there will be snow there until Easter.

The paper this morning had an article about "Green Projects" people have done to improve our environment and save utilities. Every year, I promise myself that I am going to do something to bring in heat or hold it in but I seem to never get a "Round Tuit". Dave's new house is right for all sorts of improvements. I guess I need a swift kick now and then to get things started.

Oh well, things to do and places to go.



Not Every Remark is Racist

BG Alonzo D. Dougherty Jr

Poor Old Harry Reid is busy catching hell over a remark made in 2008. His comment was that Barack could as a light skinned, well spoken black man could get elected. (Not an exact quote, if you need that, go look it up) My point is that once upon a time I made a similar comment to a Black Colonel and he tried to bite my head off. I said that with his excellent combat record and fine leadership assignments he could easily be the first Black General in the Kansas Army National Guard. My point was then, as it is now, that every contest has a winner and sometimes only slightly differentiating factors decide the race. As it turned out, I was right and Lonnie did go on to be a Brigadier General and poor old Harry was right about Barry.

I have about had it with all the political correctness out there. You find a word to use and I will try to get it right. Black, African American, colored, pick one of the damned things and I will try to get it the way you want it. I do refuse to call blacks, "Niggers" like most of the Black Entertainers do. I grew up in a neighborhood of Arkies and Oakies and that was the only word they knew to use. I have grown up to be somebody different than that influence so I chose not to use that term. I do not like what Barry Obama has done but it darn sure has nothing to do with his color.

I think that now that we have a President of Color, it is approaching the time we forget about skin color as a factor. After 30 years of serving the Military, I have seen men and women of all races come and go. Those that wanted to work hard and contribute to our programs have gone on to better things and higher ranks. Those that didn't work hard or perform only made it as far as the door. Did you notice that I didn't say anything about color? Mostly because I think green is the Army Color and It takes light green and dark green to make a proper camouflage.


New Cell Phone & basketball

This is the bird water dish in warm weather
This is the same dish under a foot of snow. It is almost a foot lower than the porch
and completely covered. Notice even the sundial indicator is not showing.
iPHONE Photo taken just minutes ago

Just so you will know, it is 10 degrees at 1 PM, I have a new cell phone to play with and there is Basketball on TV. That is why I am not out on the tractor pushing snow (That, and the fact it wouldn't start) I am learning new tricks and will keep you updated. Other than that, not much is happening.
I did get the tractor started and pushed a little snow. I seem to lose the chain on the right side and it is a pain to put it back on in the snow.


Deer Pics

Down the hill from our house is a wooded area that is kind of out of the wind and secluded. The deer gather there from time to time to get out of the weather. The top picture was early December and the bottom early January.

I Don't Trust Anyone

Yesterday the phone rang and a fellow identified himself as being from the NRA. He called me by my first name, Dennis, and launched into the defense of guns and hunting. He then asked me if the Government came after my guns if I would want them stopped. At that time I stopped him and said, "I will neither confirm or deny ownership of weapons to anyone. After spending a year in Vietnam hunting I no longer consider carrying a gun a sport that I enjoy." I then ended the phone call.

I am MUD, Mr Petty or Colonel when you call me the first time. I don't kiss on the first date either. (Well, I would if I could) I sure as hell won't tell you about my guns over the phone. I Love My Country, and fear my Government.


Baby, Its Cold Outside!

Officially out of the wind it is 2 degrees. With at least a 20 MPH wind blowing it is so far below that even with my triple layer of clothes it is not fit to be out there for any period of time. I walked out to the end of the drive and found no sign that the newspaper person had even attempted to deliver a paper. I cleaned off the back porch and scattered new seeds and now I'm inside trying to defrost my fingers. The trees are full of birds but no one has the nerve to come down after the racket I made with the shovel. I saw on the weather channel that it was -17 in Denver. I take back what I said about them being so warm for the Denver/KC football game. I was in Denver one winter and it was reported to be about -20. I went out in a light jacket to get the paper and when I got back inside I brushed one of my ears. It made a crunching sound and hurt like hell when they warmed up. Even with the sun today it will not get above 10.

Did I mention that the front porch kitty is now the garage kitty? I have a cloth tool kit that I stuffed with an old wool shirt on a bench and the cat has made a nest in there that looks pretty good. It is a hoot that when he hears someone coming out into the garage he will put his head down and pretend to not be there. Kind of like a kid that says if I can't see you you can't see me.

Well, the calm has been broken and there are 10 juncos and a sparrow on the porch. There is a cardinal that has flown in twice but not landed. The tufted Titmouse are hanging with the sunflower seeds and not on the ground. Oops, hawk was just back and the last I saw him he was tailing a junco at a high rate of speed off into the trees. Barb showed me a picture of a sharp shinned hawk that winters south and they are reported to come into places where birds gather at feeders. 9 to 14 inches tall. That's him.

How about those Jayhawks. They twice have scared their fans with lackluster games and pulled out a win in the last minutes. Memphis and Cornell both played the Hawks close. In fact KU was behind Cornell most of the game and had Sherron Collins not pulled their fat out of the fire they would have lost. I take back any thought that Brady Morningstar wasn't needed.
Stay Warm and inside if you can. The schools are closed today because of the low temperatures and drifting snow. It looks pretty out the south window but I know better.



Here it Comes Again!

Only a true Bird lover would clear his sidewalk so the birds can eat up out of the snow

Big old woodpecker eating on the suet block

For those of us in the heartland, we expect to have some snow between Christmas and Easter. What we don't expect is to have snow continuously on the ground during that time. In most years the warm air from the gulf comes up and melts one layer and provides the moisture for the next layer. Right now we still have many inches from the last two snows and another cold front is headed this way. If the weathermen/women are right, by late tonight it will also be blowing (or major sucking if you live here) and drifting so the big piles of snow will act like snow fences and allow for accumulation up to three or four feet. After that front passes, we are predicted to have clear skies which means that it will be one cold week through the weekend. To add insult to injury, most of the trucks used to move or remove the snow are old and at least half are broken down. With the early snow, the Governments are also telling us that the money for overtime is about shot. Broke, busted and up to our ass in something. Sounds like the rest of our Government to me.

Early this morning, I awoke to the sound of birds working the feeder at first light. I looked out and there must have been a flock of finches going through and they stopped here to load up on their way. Most have cleared out by now and the Junco's are here working through the debris field to pick out the scraps. Yesterday it seemed that the Milo wasn't being eaten and most of that is gone this morning. I can't tell what ate it. If it was the possum, there would be little hay bales of possum scat to mark his arrival. None of that this morning, just a bunch of hungry birds.
Last night on Showtime there was a comedy show that was made up of native American comedians. It was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. I guess after watching bowl game after bowl game I needed some comedy. One of them still lived on the reservation and talked about the mentality of the reservation being kind of like a prison without walls. He hated being there but he felt safe? He said this year they had a prairie fire break out and it burned down three houses and 50 abandoned cars. They did manage to save the beer coolers. He said there is a story that starts out, three Indians came out of a bar sober. he stopped and looked at the audience and said, "What, it could happen!" I went to the Labor day Pow Wow this year and I would hope that next year they include John Wayne's Teeth as one of their songs. I don't remember if that song was by EagleBear or Redwater.
The other day I went to WalMart to get some dog food. I left it in the trunk for the extra weight. I forgot that at 0 degrees the canned dog food would freeze solid. Try opening that can. Even if you can get it open, then try to get the dog food out. Barb wanted to know why there is a can of opened dog food on the counter. Long story short (I hardly ever tell one of them) Thawing.
We had the kids over for supper last night and everyone was in a good mood and we laughed a lot. I think that's the first sign of Cabin fever. My daughter-in-law told the Jesus Saves joke and I couldn't wait to get it on the blog. I think working in an office made the joke more funny.
The bird population just got cut by one. One of the Junco flew up and hit the window as a Falcon flew in and picked one of the birds off. I think it was that big fat sparrow but kind of hard to tell. Barb ran to get the camera but by the time she got back the falcon flew off with his prey in his claws. Not as noisy as last year when one of the hawks got a Blue Jay and the other Jay stayed there and made an incredible racket as the hawk ate his mate. Would you believe there are no birds anywhere to be seen right now?
Oh well, they don't call it the food chain unless something up the chain gets to eat things down the chain.