Best Buy

First of all, let me start by saying that I could spend hours in Best Buy and love the "Big Boys Toys" there. This is a minor concern about the service process they have not a rag about the overall store. In February of this year, Barb bought me a 40 Inch LCD Samsung TV because of the terrible picture I had on the old TV. My son Dave absolutely required us to buy a service plan that extended the warranty out 4 years. Anything that expensive and that new had to be covered with some kind of warranty.

Well, a couple of weeks ago the darn thing just wouldn't turn on and provide a picture. I called the Geek Squad Representative (GSR) and he scheduled an appointment. It took them 2 weeks to fit me into the rotation. Yesterday the guy showed up and did his little diagnostic routine. Yep, needs parts and that will take another week. Why didn't he come out right away and see what was wrong and then the time it would take to get the parts would be in the normal waiting period. It took him about 20 minutes to find out what was wrong and it was the second test he performed. He said that Samsung even had a service bulletin out on the matter. There is a board that all the inputs are connected to and it is dead.

My point is that if the service man doesn't carry any repair parts, why not have him diagnose the problem early and make the customer's wait be a part of the shipping time for the parts. I think that three weeks to wait after paying an extra couple of hundred dollars is just too long.

By the same token, I stopped by to schedule an alignment for the Chevy Truck and was told that I would have to wait a week to get a time on the schedule. Dang good thing that my time isn't very valuable right now or I would be really angry. Oh well, life goes on...



Sunday Fun

There is a restaurant in Lawrence called , First Watch and Barb loves to go there and eat their Cashew Blue Berry pancake. It is always a pleasant breakfast and I try something different all the time. They have about any kind of an omelet you might want. Yesterday I had the Bubba Benny breakfast which is a biscuit, two sausage patties and an egg covered with gravy. Throw in a side of their country fried potatoes and it will start your day out right.

Generally we go to HiVee to shop after breakfast and that leads us to the wonderful meat counter for great grilling items. We had kind of been on a pork kick with chicken breast on the side. This time I broke down and went in for the Rib Eye steak. Throw in some green beans, some corn and one of Barb's pies and a great meal was had by all. The kids didn't want to take the leftover steak home, they asked us to make fajitas one evening this week. There is nothing better than a good grilled piece of steak made into fajitas. I will throw in some pan cooked onions and green peppers, a side of rice and one of beans and it will be a treat. It won't hurt that there will be some leftover pie for Dave.

Best Buy called this morning at 7 AM to schedule an appointment to repair my 40 inch LCD TV. They will be here between 2 and 4 today. I can't wait to have my TV back. I'm not sure if I would have bought the extended warranty without Dave, but I did and now they have to come out and fix my TV. I am going to be pissed off if they take another two weeks to get parts and re-schedule their visit. I think they should have come out within a day or two of the outage and then ordered the parts. I think two weeks is a bit long to wait for a TV repair.

For some dumb reason, I find myself getting really excited about our trip. It will be a Road Scholar photography class with a trip to a couple of parks and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. It is a chance to meet other photographers and see great places. We will also take a little time to visit Barb's parents in Idaho. We need to discuss some floor work in their home. I'm not sure what they will want to do but whatever it is, we will do our best to make it happen.

Oh well, better run. or at least walk fast. I am closing in on 30,000 visitors to my blog - Thanks to all of you that visit.



Notes from My Edge

1. It is terribly difficult to receive a DUI if you do not drink.

2. Abortion kills a human baby. But I don't want the Federal Government involved in the decision between a woman and her doctor.

3. People who go to church regularly commit fewer crimes than those who don't. At least a couple of hours a week they are in church. DUH!

4. Raising taxes on corporations only makes things more expensive.

5. Obama is an idiot. (This is not true, he is one scary dude because of his beliefs)

6. The United States of America has the highest standard of living on the planet.

7. Socialism is BAD.

8. Profit is GOOD.

9. Minimally HALF of all people are stupid. I am not a part of that half and you are, so there.

10. Life is hard but it is harder if you do stupid things.

11. Spending your money is easier than spending mine.

12. Everyone having a million dollars is a lot like everyone having Zero dollars.

13. Either you want the constitution to be exactly what it says or you don't. You can't have it both ways. The Bill of Rights doesn't say pick and choose, pick and choose. I personally want a little wiggle room but congress thinks that means the limbo.



Dave Said and Denny Added

Earl Petty WWI
The picture has nothing to do with the following. Just thought you might like to see a picture that until today I had never seen. It is my dad's, dad.

Dave Ramsey Quotes; Petty Corollary
1. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is a good definition of insanity. Unless you are crazy and then you won't notice.

2. What you drive means nothing more than you have transportation. The best kind of transportation is the paid for kind. But new means a lot less maintenance but you'll have to let the dealership do the work.

3. Would you fire yourself if you were a corporation and in charge of the finances? Now call me crazy but this almost doesn't make sense. I would make myself one of those golden parachutes and bail out of that sucker.

4. The leading causes of divorce is financial problems. The second leading cause is in-laws. And that is followed closely with religion. I wonder who asks these stupid questions. If you think we aren't willing to pay any price for freedom, you haven't seen the Tiger Woods Divorce settlement.

5. The road to success in life includes making good decisions, having a good education and working hard. My mother said happiness is wanting what you have not getting what you want. (Petty Bonus)

6. Having the paid off mortgage is the BMW of the smart crowd. If you have any doubt, see number 2 above. But we all want a red convertible in our hearts of hearts.

7. Live today like no one else so you can live tomorrow like no one else. This is great if you like rice and beans, beans and rice. Throw in a little shrimp, some sausage and some okra and you have something - gumbo.

8. Do you have a budget? If you are in debt, try to live on beans and rice, rice and beans. It isn't the beans and rice that gets expensive. It is traveling to New Orleans that is expensive.

9. If you cash in your retirement funds to get out of debt, it is like taking out a loan at 35%. Would you do that? Didn't think so. Hell, I know people that have credit cards at 28% and have big balances.

10. When you are broke, things will happen to stress your finances. That is not a when, they will happen. If you are almost too broke to buy a house, don't. You wouldn't buy a bike for an infant would you? As soon as you do, something will break. A hot water heater, a roof leak or a furnace failure. But who wants to live outside in the rain, cold and snow.

11. The words I say are not new. They were first said by God and grandma. And added to by MUD. Man I do love that Dave Ramsey show where those people shout, "I'm Debt Free!"


Poetry & Music

While looking for music to load on my I-Phone, I ran across a CD from Mark "Tiger" Edmonds that he sent me a few years back after I wrote him. He is a long lost cousin of my Dad's and one interesting dude. He taught English at St Leo University down in Florida and rides a motorcycle and writes poetry. His CD is called "The Distance Through the Handlebars" It is just great stuff. He calls it Epic Motorcycle Poetry and Music. He has a measured cadence and a deep bass voice that just makes it such a treat to listen. Just for Kicks and Giggles, I looked Mark up on Youtube. The Pasco County Tribune did a series of three minute interviews and it was sure worth the time to visit. His Pithy reflections are done, "To pith you off".

This morning started early and I went out to play fetch the stick with Taco. On these cool mornings he manages to do a better job of staying in the game. On warm days he was only good for about three runs and then he had to walk back. This morning he stayed with it for 10 throws and he seemed to walk back a little faster. He doesn't mind that I give him a brushing during the interludes between throws. It never hurts that I have a good cuppa coffee to go along with the visit. Yes, you can say my life has gone to the dogs with a straight face.

I am going to work on my quotes, straight talk and Petty Corollary post when I get finished here. I will steal ideas from any source I can. If I can remember where I hear things, I will give tribute to the author but I am a lot loose about research to find source so don't expect scholarly footnotes. Perhaps tomorrow I can have something to start worth reading. OH Well, enough today.



Truck Work

Again I find myself doing what I should have paid someone to do for me. The spring on the passenger side of the truck just wasn't strong enough to hold up that side and I found myself leaning to the right even more than my political persuasions. It has one of those fancy dancy rack and pinion steering systems on it and it is from a Mustang (Mid 70's I think). Obviously, the little 6 cylinder Mustang didn't have as much weight on the entire front end as one side of the truck. Why both sides didn't get weak is another thing I don't understand but the new spring I purchased were for the mustang convertible with a V-8 and were almost 3/4 inch in diameter instead of just under 1/2 inch. It drives a lot better, now I have to put on some new tires and have the front end aligned. I have another spring if I need to fix the driver's side but for now it will go under the bench.
The good news is that for the last couple of days it has been great weather here in the Heartland. Today was just starting to get warm when I finished. I'll go out in a little bit, pick up the tools and then clean up. (Did I mention a nap?)
Oh well, not much else for now...



The Opinion page today in the Topeka Capital Journal had what a writer reported as the Official US Creed. Wrong! a Creed is a statement of a religious belief a Credo is a founding belief or fundamental guide. Other than that one minor fact, what the US House of representatives adopted in 1918 as written by William Tyler Page is a pretty good place to start your day.

" I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people and for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies."

If you were to open up my heart and mind and read the synthesis of what I have tried to live like, the above words are my mission statement. You would find the Petty Corollary about loving your family, getting a good education, working hard and finding ways to laugh added but the above words are where I would like the world to be.

What do you stand for?




For some reason, my back has been bothering me this week. It must be a sciatic nerve problem as it causes me to walk funny. For some reason that stupid song title, "Walk this Way" keeps running through my mind. I will push through the pain and ride today. It doesn't seem to hurt much on my recumbent bike. I am going to wait a little while as it was just too dang cool to ride at 9 AM.

I have a young grand niece who is writing about her life right now. She is getting some good advice from her sister and mother. I have been wondering if there is really any secret to life. For me, I have always found hard work greater than talent, knowledge over education and pride in what you do rather than/over feeling loved. I guess that if you have a good education, come from a loving home and work hard you have all your bases covered.

The other night, Dave was over having dinner and he admitted that he has taken clinical statistics twice and this is his third time. At the cost of classes at Washburn, I told him he needed to get a tutor if he is having trouble. I fully admit that the math gene petered out at Calculus for me. I had to pass it and got a D. Good enough to pass but not so bad it killed the GPA. I think Dave has to do better than that as it is one of the things in his Psychology field of study. he must be doing OK as he was able to joke about it with us.

I am thankful that Barb has our finances on auto pilot and we are able to cash flow out Dave's education. he will just have to settle for part of his inheritance up front rather than later. I know he says that having us is a lot more important to him than any inheritance, but he must be aware of how long the Old White Ladies in Barb's family live. Must be quality over quantity in my family as we live it up but not as long.

Jenni mentioned that her husband fixed up an old pick-up truck and then sold it because he didn't want to use it like a truck. I have guys ask me if I am going to paint the 53 Chevy pick up and fix the dented fenders. I will when I am through hauling rocks, brush and stuff in it. I guess I should and use a trailer but I just love to be able to go out and throw the bikes in the bed and drive over to the lake. I would not want to be afraid to scratch the paint or ding the bed. 'Cides I think some 2X6's for a bed works as well as some fancy Oak planking. If it didn't rattle a little (a lot) how would you hear me coming down the road.

Well, I have managed to squander a good half hour (or an OK one) so I'd better go load the bikes. The Naproxin sodium has kicked in.



Dang I Hate it when That Happens?

This is a small rant about a lot of unrelated things. These things bug me so I'm going to write them down. Here Goes:
  • I know the alternative to growing old but I really hate it when things start hurting when I can't remember what the hell I did to cause the pain. Perhaps I should be glad I don't remember the injury.
  • Why does the Asian Pear tree bring all the fruit ripe at the same time. It is either feast or famine. I guess I need some good cold storage or a cubby hole to put them in. There are three apple trees just about ready and a regular pear tree about ready.
  • Did you ever make a mistake about automobiles? I tried to bring the 57 Chevy back to stock and it just is not what I want to drive every day. I wish I had put disk brakes, a new motor (350 Crate motor) and AC. I spent way too much money to take it where it is and now it sits in the garage accumulating dust.
  • After owning a new I-Phone for most of the year, I am finally loading some songs on it. Yes, it did take a visit from my favorite geek squad member, Dave, to figure out how. Most of my music is at least a 10 year old collection from a lot of sources.
  • On the "Tommy" CD set by the Who, there is an overture and an underture. Not really upset about this so much as I didn't realize that fact until I loaded the CDs last night.

Well Crap, if that is best I can do, I guess I shouldn't be so quick to write that things upset me. Dang I hate it when that happens!



Life at the Bottom of the Column

I really don't pay much attention to what the Horoscope says, but as a Leo, my horoscope fell from the top of the list to the bottom. All year long I have watched Leo raise to the top only to see it today be at the bottom of the column. It kind of reminded me that my career was a lot like that. All my life I worked hard to get as high up on the list as I could only to find that in retirement, I have found myself at the bottom of the list. I am for one, glad that my life hasn't fallen off the list altogether but it wouldn't make a ripple in the water compared to the flow of an ocean.

No, I'm not depressed, angry or even feeling sorry for myself. I have had my three cups of coffee, played fetch with Taco and find myself looking here at the reality of this screen. I find myself glad that my watch has a calendar so I can compare the day of the week with the actual date. Our month is kind of like that horoscope list, it ebbs and flows each month. For a lot of people, the ebb and flow is probably based on $ but for Barb and I not so much. After facing our insurance bill, Dave Tuition and our normal bills, there has been a great deal of outgo this month but nothing we can't cash flow out. I predict that at the end of the month we will have enough money to eat for the next month and then some.

If you are a regular reader, you probably have seen me write about Elderhostel. It is now called Road Scholar to indicate that they will take you "On the Road" and give you the opportunity to learn something. I am not so much in need of book learning as much as I love the opportunity to practice the art of Photography in places I normally don't see. I did notice that the schedule for our workshop includes one evening photo session followed by an early morning shoot. One of the instructors indicated that it is not just location but time for getting the real glorious shots.

Yesterday as an adventure Barb and I traveled to Fort Leavenworth. It was a trip to the big PX and a chance to see what the Army has to offer. Barb was pretty amazed that the prices in the PX were about what you would find at WalMart. We got a pretty good deal on a small back pack that was about half price. It is just right to carry the camera gear we will use on our trip. I has the ability to roll on wheels or be a back pack. At $20.00 it was a great deal when compared to the big packs that are near IR proof (Whatever that does) starting at $150.00.

As we drove up and back to Fort Leavenworth we went across North East Kansas in a pretty helter skelter manner. There were no Interstate roads for the kid. We had the Garmin Nuvi turned on but not in charge of the route. I navigated mostly by compass and the sun. Going to Leavenworth it was go east and north and coming home south and west. Mostly it was drive through NE Kansas rolling hills and crop lands and see some beautiful green vistas. We expect to be in land where green won't be predominant next month. In fact, brown rocks and golden sand will be more the colors of the terrain.

Oh well, I have gone from a slightly down subject to trying to wax poetically so it must be time to quit. have a great week out there.



Going to Kansas City!

Actually I went yesterday and made sure the Reimers were at the airport safe and sound and most importantly early as their end flight is an International flight. It was such a joy to hear Julie and the girls talk and giggle in the back seat on the way to the airport. I'm not sure they spend a lot of time with mom in the back seat with them and it was by the sounds a joyful time.

To pay back what I thought was a wonderful job of hosting us when we were in Morocco, I gave the Rimers the Crown Victoria for their stay here in the Heartland. I had almost forgotten what a joy it is to drive after a month or so in the pickup. In fact, I had to warm up the air conditioner as it was too cold. I have a small trailer that we used to carry all the luggage to the airport and you could not even tell it was back there as smooth as everything rode. Just as importantly, the luggage got there just moments after the front of the car did.

I also made a trip to the Cummins Dealer in KC, MO to purchase parts for the Onan motor on the tractor. They have so many generators on motor coaches that they are a natural to have the parts franchise. The 18 horse Onan motor no longer meets the emission specs so I think someday I will probably have to replace the garden tractor or break down and buy a new kind of motor. There is this cute little Kubota with a front scoop that has my eye.

We got Dave enrolled back in College this semester. He is officially a Junior and taking almost a full time load. It kind of jolted him when he got a look at the cost for 14 hours. The books weren't any gift. He will spend a couple of days a week on campus and two of the courses are on line. He was excited to get cracking again and we are excited that he will finish without the crushing student loans for the cost. I joke with Dave that his college is my Corvette fund but I probably wouldn't drive anything that isn't a pretty full sized car that gets at least 20 MPG. If I need to revive my youth, I'll put a new crate motor and an air conditioner in the 57 Chevy.

The crowning achievement in the trip to KC was the trip to Arthur Briant's BBQ over by Cabella's. To make things even better they had a rib plate on sale for $9.95 that was almost a full slab. Yes, by the time I bought a plate of fries and a drink it was over $15.00 but hey, I only do that a couple of times a year. Some time I have to try my hand at grilling some ribs. I did some country style ribs this week but it isn't the same. I saw a grilling program that did some beef ribs "Gaucho" style. Six lbs of ribs is a monster size but they did look good.

Oh well, time to go ride our bikes. 8 miles at least three times a week is my kind of fun.



Obit Picture

As I read the paper each day, I always read the obituaries to make sure that I am not in there. I always cracks me up when I see the pictures people choose for their Obits. Let me start here as about the earliest picture I have of me. Too young? Moving on...

How about my High School senior Picture? Nice smile, been in the sun a lot and the hair was bleached almost blond. Long before glasses and grey hair. Too Young?

One of my favorites was the picture taken in 1966 of Private petty at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. I may look skinny but I promise you I was one tough kid and run a mile in 6 minutes in combat boots.

This is probably about 1975 or 76 and in a command photo from when I commanded a battery in the National Guard. Working in an office just confirmed that I needed glasses. Still not fat, but starting to have that first signs of a double chin.

Finally this was taken early this spring when I still had the billy goat whiskers. I think this probably looks like me and if I were to die in the not too distant future would be my choice.

No, I don't have any plans to die soon and I am going to try to live right up until I die. I just thought the adventure would be fun.

Strange Thing

Somewhere between my desire to not pay someone to do work I might be capable of doing and that little voice that tells me something is wrong, I kept my tractor home to work on. Today I read in the paper that the repair shop I would have used was shut down by the State Revenue Service for not paying their withheld taxes. I guess that if they had said they carried Onan parts, I might have hauled the tractor there. Oh well. I will make a run over to the Onan Dealer in KC after the airport run.

When I went out to get the paper this morning, the first inkling of fall is in the air. It isn't cold, only cool. After a week of 100 degrees it is a nice change. The thing that makes it even nicer is the coating of dew on the grass. It reminds me that while it does get hot in Kansas, it also gets cold, bone freezing cold for a few months in the winter. I guess I love it here because of the four true seasons so I won't complain, at least too loudly for now.

Dave and I are working on downloading some of my old CD collection to my I-Phone. For some reason a download from Apple crashed last night and we will have to work on that tonight. I found the music from Cocktail and forgot how much I enjoyed the music. I also have a CD from Miami Vice and the drum line on that music also is pretty nice. I hope to get that and the Beatles on my I-Phone. I think there is a two CD version of "Tommy" that still rocks me if I can find it.

I think that some of my music is in the truck but I'm not sure. Life is like that for me. I have so many new irons in the fire that sometimes I can't seem to find the old things. Barb thinks that most of the newer irons are piled in the garage. We both need to make an effort to clean up and clear out some of the clutter. I would hate to have a discussion about who has the most crap in the storage room. Yes, the garage is almost entirely my domain so I'll accept the blame/responsibility for my half. (More like 2/3rds)

The Reimers are en route here for a trip to the Airport. It is always nice to have them safe here in the US for a visit. It is always nice to see how the girls have matured from year to year. I am not sure how much Julie and Gerald realize that they are such great parents and the girls are on the road to becoming such great people. We met them and their church group at the park last Saturday night and it was great to see the girls find a new bunch of children to play with. They blended in with the other little boys and girls. It was tough to realize that they speak three languages and could blend in in three languages and a bunch of countries. Yes, Mean Uncle Denny hardly never didn't blend in with about any group of kids, but mostly I was limited to whatever version of English we used. A lot of our play was either War or Sports speak. I'm sure that we could swear with the worst of them and it is only fortunate that I never really learned to spit without drooling.

Last night I had smashed watermelon. Barb said she turned her back only long enough to grab a knife and it rolled off the counter and went splat on the floor. Busted that sucker up as bad as a car wreck. Tasted pretty good but no longer was a firm chew. It was like someone crossed a watermelon with jell-o. I did make a mistake and eat it about 9 PM and was up and down most of the night downloading excess fluids. You would think at 63 year old would know better but I swear that Watermelon was just calling, "Dennis, eat me!" That's my story and I'm sticking to it...



No Hurry

For the past couple of weeks we have hurried to get ready to ride our bikes because of the heat. Not so much today. It is a cloudy 72 degrees and probably won't hit 80 today unless the clouds clear off. It will be nice to ride anytime today.

I am probably going to grill some meat this afternoon. Barb always picks up a package of chicken when we go to Sam's club. If it were any cheaper they would pay you to take it home. I have some Webber Tequila Lime marinade that is just so good with the hickory smoke. It is the best I have found so far.

I have the bikes loaded so I'd better get the show on the road. Tomorrow I'll be in KC to make a trip to the airport and then run down some parts for the Onan motor.



Rainy Days

Yes Boys and Girls, it is raining here in the heartland. It has been a long time since I had to take a day off while it rains. It is so unusual that I almost feel guilty. I'm sure the garden needs the moisture so I won't do a full out rant about it. In fact, I am not sure that I have a full rant about anything in side my head today. Normally I can work myself up to a good rant but not today.

I find myself counting the days until we take our trip to the Grand Canyon. We will start in Moab Utah and work our way down and back. This is one of those "Elderhostel" (They changed the name but at my age I can't remember the correct name) photography classes. This is our third photography class and the great thing is they take us such neat places with a bunch of people about our age. The staff will let you do as much or as little as you want. They do want you to get on the bus when going from place to place but they don't worry when Barb wants to take an afternoon off and read. Being a people person, I almost always get on the bus no matter where they take us. This will be my first trip to the Grand Canyon from either side. I think we will be on the North Rim, whatever that is.

I think I have found another activity on my reverse Bucket List. That is the list of things that I will never do again. The good news is that I don't have to do them in the first place for them to get on this list. I have seen people do back flips on snow-mobiles and I am sure that I won't ever do that. The new addition to the list is surfing behind a speed boat. There are some neat pictures of the Craig's doing just that and I'm pretty sure that I value my back to the point that I won't do a face plant behind a boat. It looks like fun and I hope they can continue to enjoy it, just don't put me on the list of people that you will look back and yell "Wave to the camera" at.

The Reimers were here on Sunday to organize their bags for the trip home. It is amazing to me that they plan their trip so they can spend a couple of days shopping and then organizing the bags to take it all home. Those of us in the land of the Giant Superstores just don't understand not going to to the shelves and finding four different brands of about anything. Given enough shelf space there is about one of everything. To me it is sad that the weight limits make them decide if they can take their in-line skates with them. They did take some for the girls but their skates will be in storage for another year or two. Thursday I will set up the trailer and take them and their baggage to the airport. The good news is that I will pass right by Cabella's and a couple of the best BBQ places in KC. There isn't room for Barb on the way to the Airport and she doesn't mind if I eat a rack of ribs now and then. She might complain if I spent a lot of money at Cabellas but I really don't need much. Perhaps a box of shells for one of the guns.

Better go see if the Parts Supply house delivered the goods they promised yesterday. They have to send to KC for an air cleaner and spark plugs for the Onan motor in the garden tractor. Might even break down and see if I can figure out what the heck is wrong with the motor. I think it is an electrical thing but you never know. (and most of the time I don't either)




There is a new boy child in the family and everyone talked about his male procedure and wouldn't use the "C" word. Pretty much, no matter what they call it, it might be a rude crude thing to little boys, but it is done in a lot of the world. Growing up, only those boys born at home weren't circumcised. It was no big deal to the majority of us. It was done prior to any active memory so while we may have cried, it was way earlier than the time we would be traumatized. Oh well, Jes' Sayn'.

When will KU finally wake up and realize that Lew Perkins is a jerk that takes money from the university way in excess of what he is worth. When the men's Basketball coach rode the bus to Columbia, Lew flew a corporate jet for almost $2,000 and a car service for another $400. I think it is a great deal if there is a corporate jet going somewhere and he can hitch a ride but to charge the university $4,000 to fly to Dallas is a lot too much. An article in the local paper indicated that he often flies in corporate jets as the only passenger. The company then deduct the cost as a donation to the William's fund. I wonder if they would only be allowed to charge or deduct the cost of a commercial ticket how long that practice would last.

Today is mowing day as soon as the dew burns off. It is way too wet this morning and with an hour or so of the sun it will be dry enough. I am also going to work on the big mower here at Rabbit run as it didn't start yesterday. It almost always starts on the first or second pull. Probably the air filter got wet as the tarp covering the mower blew off during the rain a couple of nights ago. We'll see. I'll get some fresh gas, a new spark plug and check the air cleaner. I'll bet it perks right up with the addition of some new things and a little TLC.

Last night I was flipping through the channels on TV and ran into the roast for David Hasselhoff. I forgot how crude they have grown. There is so much to be funny about for the Bay Watch star and it turns out that everyone just wanted to make fun of Pamela Anderson and some fat chick Lisa Lampanelli. I really don't give a crap how many black guys Lisa has made love to. It isn't funny after about the first joke. The really bad part is that almost everyone that spoke was so far past their prime that they made Dave look good. Good Lord, George Hamilton was orange. He has taken the "tan man" theme way past anything normal.

It has cooled off at least 15 degrees here in the heartland. Barb commented that we need to start drifting our ride time to a little later in the day. It was almost cool in the shade along the Shunga Trail. We rode a little further than normal yesterday but I don't think we rode quite as fast. Not many people out on Sunday morning about 9 AM. There were several bikers out but not many people except the dog walkers.

Better get on with life. Have a great week.



Perfect World

The other day I got an E-mail that said that in their perfect world the USA would tell everyone else to kiss their ass and come home and live within our borders. On the surface, it seems like a good idea but there are a lot of really bad things that could happen. Number one would be that no matter how hard and fast we drilled, we depend on the world's supply of oil to make our commerce happen. We have eliminated so much of our manufacturing ability that we would run out of TVs, Dishwashers and OH NO, Cell phones. Not to mention that the life span of most of our computers would expire long before we could catch up our production and have enough to go around.

If we plugged our borders and threw out all the illegals, who would wash all the dishes at our restaurants? Who would do most of the roofing and common labor . Just how soon would our infrastructure fall apart if we didn't have some cheap labor to keep everything running. Besides, just who has the balls in Congress to even suggest we tell Mexico that they either clean up their drug cartels or we will. The first and fifth Infantry Division has to be somewhere doing something.

Oh well, no one said it was a perfect world out there and I for one think that if you travel to many other places you would soon see that we have it pretty darned nice right here at home. Our friends from Morocco are headed home soon and you should see the stuff they have to haul home to be able to live any kind of a life there. One big old 50 lb footlocker is full of drugs, vitamins, hand cream and stuff not available there.

OH well, Have a great day.



Another Senior Citizen

I would like to welcome Alan to the ranks of senior citizen. We went over to his house yesterday evening and threw a party with about everyone in the family. Great food, great people and nice visit. He said he doesn't feel any older and I fully understand. getting old is a matter of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter.

AS I drove home, the rain arrived along with a 45-60 MPH wind. The electricity stayed on but it blinked and the Internet was dead for a couple of hours. When one of those big honking storms blows up from the southwest, the DirecTV also dies until things settle down. The good news is that I have a book and I worked on that.

One of the Web sites I follow is linked to Facebook and for about ten seconds I was envious that they were conducting a Strategic planning session. Very soon my memory cleared and I remembered that my mind could absorb only what my butt could endure and now days my mind gets full fast. I was the person that conducted most of those planning sessions and at least then I could stand up and move around. I also remember how tired I would be at the end of one of those sessions. I am less tired when I do manual labor.

Did I mention that taking stuff to the recycle place is a lot like hauling trash to me? Oh well, I probably did and don't remember. Things like that just happen over and over when you get old.



How Dat Happen

For some reason, my computer worked well for about an hour yesterday and then all of a sudden the scan and copy function just stopped working. As I was trying to reload the driver, I noticed that there were two versions of the driver on my computer. It wasn't until I finally erased both copies and reloaded the correct one that it worked. I think it all goes back to the Windows 7 change over. Oh well, I did have to wait about three hours for the Internet to come back on. That was a strange thing. The wireless modem blinked red for about three hours and it wasn't until Barb called AT&T that it went back to a solid green. The funny thing was that she got no answer at AT&T, on the recorded message that it was after their office hours. Oh well, it worked. Yes, i tried all the other tricks such as turning off the power for a minute etc...

It was a 104 yesterday here in the heartland and will be at least 100 today. That is just the temperature not the heat index. It was well over 110 heat index yesterday. Barb is out watering the plants trying to keep everything alive until it rains again. It rained 1/2 inch night before last and by noon there was no damp dirt, only dust.

Better get on the road this morning. Too hot to travel later on today.




If half of the Marriages today end up in divorce, why would same sex partners want to get married? I understand the legal side of insurance, wills and powers of attorney but chances are that 50% of people married in a week or so will wind up in the same legal morass as heterosexual couples. God bless them and good luck!


Started my day right - Now, not so much

I got up early and started the day by working on paperwork for the estate. I have three piles of paper spread out and after making copies for about an hour, the printer cartridge went empty. I moved on to cleaning out the coffee pot and now the house smells like vinegar not coffee. When Barb woke up, I loaded the bikes up for a trip to the lake. We did about 8 miles in less than 35 minutes and then went to Walmart for the ink cartridge. Now, I need a shower and perhaps after a snack a slight nap. Well, at least the shower would help.

Today on the bike path, I was motoring across the Lake Shawnee Dam and breathed in one of those darn little gnats that bother old dogs in the summer. I tried to spit it out and all I managed to do at about 14 MPH was spit on myself. Dumb, damn gnats... Try saying that over and over. I will say that today was one of the better days for people minding their manners on the path. As a matter of fact, most of the people we saw also said hi in reply to my howdy. The sign said it was 94 degrees at 9:30. The weather bureau says is is just 91 about an hour and a half later. Some one's thermometer is wrong.

Better get back to work.



Tree Cutting

A couple of weeks ago a tree at my rental property finally fell down. It had been in a serious lean for years. I have been working on it for a couple of weeks a little at a time. I finally have it all down and no longer a threat to fall on anyone. I have high hopes that my renter will want the wood for his wood stove but I do have a pick-up to haul everything away if not. I started running the chain saw about 9 AM and by 10 AM it was all in pieces and I drank a gallon of water. Probably sweated that amount also.

It is above 90 right now and headed to 100. We did have a storm pass by last night but it died right as it got here. I could see some sprinkles in the dust on my windshield but nothing was even damp outside. Barb said we have been about 30 days without appreciable moisture and a week above 100. The Heat Index has been above 110 during most of that time. Rusty Toasty in the afternoons. Great time to work in the morning, take a shower and then a nap.

Been having trouble with the electric fan on the pickup. Everything seemed to be hooked up and the fuse was not bad. I reached in and disconnected the wire from the fuse block and the end connector was buzzed/fried right off. It looked like there was some corrosion and that led to it getting hot. I had a new connector and everything is OK in cooling fan place. As hot as it is, The truck would stay cool when moving but you couldn't leave it in an idle mode for even a minute. Oh well...

Better go get cleaned up and then. wait, I hear a nap calling.... Dennis... sleepy time.....Dennis..



15 Weird Things about me

1. from my birth to my 19th Birthday, I lived in one place -544 Byrd, Wichita, KS.

2. From Kindergarten to the ninth grade I attended Minneha elementary and Junior High.

3. As a kid, my only thought was to graduate from High School. I figured that I would be a Beech Crafter and build/work on planes. 544 Byrd was only a block north of gate number 1 at Beech. My backyard ended where the parking lot started.

4. Of the 7 close friends from High School, only three of us are still alive. In spite of being right in the middle of the Vietnam War, none of us were killed in the War even though most of us served there. RIP John, Whitney, Wayne and Dennis L.

5. I started at Wichita State in the fall of 1965. I didn't graduate from KU until 1975. I think that's how long I attended Minneha.

6. ROTC was mandatory at Wichita State and it would have given me a deferment from the Draft but I didn't ask for one.

7. I entered the Army as a Draftee and just under a year later after Officer Candidate School was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. 30 Years later, I was retired as a Colonel after serving in the Active Army, the Army reserves and finally the National Guard.

8. I have disassembled and reassembled a 57 Chevy down to the bare body on the frame. I am pretty sure I know where every bolt, nut and screw is on a 2 door hardtop Belair from 1957.
I have taken a 53 Chevy Pick-up clear down to the frame and back.

9. In spite of my love of flying and aircraft, I turned down flight school while in OCS. The application said Rotary Wing Aircraft and there is just no way I wanted to fly one of those helicopters. Yes, I wound up in Vietnam as a Forward Observer out in the mud the blood and the fear with the grunts.

10. In this age of disposable marriages, I have been married 42 + years. The only reason Barb wasn't my first girl friend is that we didn't meet until I was stationed in California in 1967.

11. I had no clue how well off we would be in retirement. Having been poor for the first 20 years of our lives, we just saved and tried to stay out of Debt.

12. For about 3 years, Barb and I owned a Mobile home that was 38 feet long from tongue to taillights. You had to go outside to change your mind. The bed filled the bedroom from the edge of the room to edge of the room. We couldn't have been much happier or busier.

13. For most of my adult life, I have owned a Chevy in some form or another. Heck, I even owned GM stock. Not so much anymore.

14. Rather than hire someone to do a job for me, I would rather buy the tools and do it myself. There isn't much I can't or haven't done.

15. For the first half of my life, I would rather learn a new way of doing things than doing it over and over and now I don't want to learn much in the way of new things.


Something new

After replacing the garage door, I wound up with a pile of pieces and parts that need disposed of. Do I drive to way north of Topeka or do I try something different? There is a place almost downtown that has a recycle yard for building scraps. The good news is they took all the stuff and only charged $40 a Ton. The bad news is that there is a one ton minimum and I had about 250 lbs worth. Oh well, at least I didn't have to drive to hell and gone.

We are well into our fourth or fifth day of 100 degree heat with high humidity and the heat index somewhere north of 110. It will melt your butt to the seat covers if you park your car in the sun. Your clothes will be damp from the exertion of putting them on and stay that way. Inside with the AC and a fan going will make it almost nice, but I can't imagine what the electric bill will be this month. Probably about half of what the water bill will be with Barb dragging hoses from one end of the place to the other.

Today after making a run to the dump, I took some recycle stuff to the big green dumpsters. It hit me that I worked hard my entire life so I wouldn't have to haul trash. There I was putting crap in the recycle bins. Barb says it is to make the women happy that the old guys do that. I guess I really don't care except the dog food cans stink up the joint. Put that stuff in the garage and it really smells bad. Oh well...



Congressional Reform Act of 2010

A Good friend sent me this and asked me to send it on to my friends. I will comment on each point in Red:

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

I would put a bounty on anyone who was a Senator or a Representative that stays in Washington to lobby. I think they are a good part of what's wrong not just the current incumbents.

2. No Tenure / No Pension:

A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, server your term(s), then go home and back to work.

This is the only thing that would be construed as a pension plan for Congressmen.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

They can buy 401 (k)s, Roths, IRA or just save their money like we are supposed to do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

I would give them the same raise as the people on Social Security get.

6. Congress looses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

How long do you think the Obama Health Care bill would last if this was the case?

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work. The rules are the rules. Congress will have to play by the rules they pass like the rest of us.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

OK, I would grandfather this for those retired Congressmen over the age of 65. They would be eligible for Social Security not the bloated retirement pay they get now.

Just Say'n this makes a lot more sense than what we got now.



Garage Door Opening

The new doors I purchased to replace the door on Barb's side of the garage included a complete system. I thought all I needed to replace was just the doors. I had no idea that the new doors were so different. When I got the doors off, I realized that one of the tracks was pretty bent and I replaced half of the track. Should have just took it all out and started from a new opening. It took me the better part of three hours to adjust the door to fit.

I was able to use the existing spring opener at the top of that door and I put the new opener on the middle door. Never did I even begin to realize how complicated the new spring openers are. It is a spring that winds up inside a tube. There is little danger of the spring breaking and hurting anything, just the danger of not knowing how to read and installing it wrong. My ability to read in a hot garage is just above the third grade level. Not to mention climbing up and down the ladder just killed my legs. Barb came out and demanded I stop when it hit 98 degrees. Man did a shower and a nap feel great. Almost as good as a cold beer but alas, I have given up on that vice.



Yes ToTo, We Are in Kansas

After a 90+ day in the garage, I think I'll take it a little easy today. After about 5 hours, my legs got rubbery (Like rubber) when I jumped down off a ladder. I didn't fall down but it was close. The new door is on and working fine. I am going to replace the spring mechanism at the top of the door on the center door next. Tomorrow.

About 5 PM yesterday I decided to make a run to Walmart. Here at Rabbit Run it was in the 90's and there was a slight breeze. At Walmart the parking lot had to be somewhere about 110 and the store blocked any form of breeze. I could not believe the difference.

this morning on TV, Samantha Brown is taking us on a tour of Viet Nam. She is in Hanoi and not many of us have any frame of reference. I did make it to Saigon once but I didn't get to spend much time there. My real frame of reference is the Central Highlands with it's jungles.
I love to eat the food cooked to the US standards but didn't eat much that wasn't produced in the US while overseas. I guess I have a thing about the people that handle/prepare the food and handle money without a place to wash their hands.

Oh well, have a great day.



Garage Door Blues

Did I tell you that in spite of having enough money to live like no one else, I am about the cheapest bastard when it comes to paying someone to do work for me. In August, I will cut up a tree that has fallen down and replace my own garage door. Both involve hard work and sweat like no tomorrow if done in Kansas. Close up a garage in the middle of the day and it will roast you body like no tomorrow. Sure, save the $300 fee and see what that will get you. Try to use the old track and see how different the two doors really are. Yes, I'll have to go out today and do some major adjustments on the old track side or start over and replace it. Who knows what I'll do until I get out there and start the project.

Better get to sweating. Have a great day. Did I mention that after sweating about three gallons of water, my blood pressure was only 118 over 78? Either I need to do more or less.

Also Happy Birthday to our friend Julie.



Bike'n Again

Yesterday Barb and I went to Lawrence to ride and to pick up a lens we left at my sister's house over the weekend. We went to the Ball Diamonds on the south end of Lawrence and rode out to the lake. When we got back, we realized what had been a long haul earlier this year was really only about a 30 minute ride and we had to ride around the arboretum to feel like the ride was worthwhile. We decided to go to Lake Shawnee this morning and get in a little more riding in. We try to ride three times a week if possible.

I'll let you know how it went a little later but for now.... It was about 80 degrees with a light breeze on the path and what a great view. The Lake Shawnee Park is in full bloom and getting a good watering from the grounds crew. If you are in Topeka for a visit, go to the West Edge road side of the lake. Right at 37th street and West Edge Road is as pretty a garden area as is possible.



What Do I want Out of Life?

Once in a while, I will have the curious question, "What do I want out of life?" cross my mind. The funny part is that I worked pretty darned hard to get things the way they are and even when a small windfall of money crossed my palms, I had no large pressing needs to fulfill. I recon that is what I really want. It might be nice to have a magic lantern and be able to make things happen without a lot of work but, where is the satisfaction in that?

OK, OK there are a couple of things I would like to have happen that involve me a lot more than I want to admit, but even if they don't, the world isn't going to fall in. I do have a garage door spring that broke, a rental house that could use some paint and a couple of old cars sitting around that need to be hauled off. None of these are worthy of worry until it cools off later on this fall.

Can anyone tell me why a family would go to a river in Louisiana for a family party and have so many kids in the water that don't know how to swim? Was it six or seven kids that drowned trying to save each other? Time after time you read about people with a dog that gets in deep water and they try to save the dog and drown. Most times the dog swims to safety without help. I don't really remember when I learned to swim, only that I was like a tadpole and swam as much under water as on top. I know that I can float to the top of the water if I need to and unless I was to get a mouth full of water when I didn't expect it, could probably not drown. Just this week a young man got off work from the overnight shift and went to Lake Shawnee and went swimming. Not a great swimmer and he too drowned. If I had it my way, every kid would have to go through the drown proofing class like the Army has. I am pretty sure that in High school, they took us down to the pool and made us swim the length of the pool. Like a dummy I swam the entire length and didn't get to take the swimming class. I think we played tennis or soccer for that semester. I would have loved the swimming class. DUH Dennis!

That's what I want - 20/20 hindsight. The ability to Monday Morning quarterback life with a good dose of "Do Overs." Nah, I would probably find myself in an endless "To Do" loop and never progress. Life has been a 63 year long adventure so far and I'll just be glad I've had it this good. See y'a tomorrow.


Primary Elections

Well, we lived through another round of elections and the pollsters were pretty much on the mark about who would win. I didn't win any office but it is like lottery tickets, "If you don't buy a ticket, you can't win." Barbara threatened to write me in for the precinct chairman from the Democrat side but as a registered Republican I don't think that will work.

I kind of kept track of my votes and pretty much voted for as many women as men. It was really 6 men to 4 women but three of the men were running unopposed so I count it as almost 50-50.

I can't tell you how Barb voted, I really didn't talk to her about it. At least she didn't cancel my vote.

The turn-out here in Kansas was about 25% of the eligible voters. Horrible rate. Can't figure out how people can spend so much money on a race and then have it decided by a minority of the majority. Oh well, at least the robo calls will be over for a little while. No more calls from Sarah Palen, Newt Gingrich or Pat Roberts. "We have an emergency and we need your help..."
You can have my vote but leave me out of the money end of the game.

The heat is supposed to break a little today with the passage of a cold (pretty darned hot col front) front with some rain. The yards are starting to show some brown where idiots have mowed them short. I always mow mine at the highest possible setting on my mower. The grass here looks pretty green for now.

Oh well, better move on and see what trouble I can stay out of.



"Obama Time"

In the past week, several people have defended Obama by saying he inherited the mess. I contend that he ran for the job and the Democrat control of the purse strings for the last years of the Bush Administration set us up for what he got. To quote a beer commercial, it's Obama time and sometime really soon I hope everyone steps up to the plate and gives him full credit or blame for what's going on. If everyone would really admit the truth, it has been the politicians responsible for going to Washington and making bad decisions that led us down this path. You can look for the little R or D after their names but it is the incumbents from both sides that have got us to where we are.

What really bothers me right now is the pessimism that everyone seems to have. That old question asked in years past, are you better off now than you were before he got here? Other than a few lousy shares of GM stock, I'm not much worse off and probably at least status quo.

Which leads me to the other point I want to make today. If things are so damn bad, why will only less than 30% of the people get out and vote? As soon as I get cleaned up for the day I'm going over to the Middle School Building and vote. Because it is a primary I won't be able to vote for any democrats but I will keep track of the sexes of the people I vote for. If you were to see the voters page here in our area you would realize that there are no blacks on the ballot. No, I don't have any idea why. I'll bet that Dale Cushinberry could have about any seat he ran for. After heading up the toughest High School in Topeka he is probably able to take on about any job out there. Yes, he is a black man and Dr Cushinberry is typical of what you would expect to find in almost any Kansas home. I sure hope that supporting great men like Dr Cushinberry doesn't color me racist. Wait, I just read on Andy's place that Dr Cushinberry is best describes as a Kansas American. I couldn't tell you if he has even visited Louisiana.

Oh well, get out and vote, if you can.



What Can Our Federal Givernment Do?

When the Constitution of the United States was written, times were a lot simpler. The Founders wrote a pretty good piece of guidance as a starting place. As our Congress has changed what they feel they can do, the Courts have been tasked to either approve or stop what they are trying to do. It is in my opinion that the courts are as much to blame for allowing changes as the congress is to make those changes. Or, as responsible for not stooping changes not allowed or outlined in the constitution.

With that said, I hate it when those people we legally elect go to Washington and do not represent what we the people out here want. The problem is that we do not elect the majority, we elect only those that directly represent us. We agreed that majority rule was a good idea to keep from overthrowing our government every time we individually get pissed off. I advocate that every so often we need to throw everyone out and start over. The problem with that is that most of the one's un-elected would remain in Washington and be able to influence those newly elected people more than they could before.

Either we believe in our Government or we don't. I think it is one hell of a great system that needs a little dusting off and cleaning up. A sunset provision for all laws would be a good place to start. Some way to balance the laws to be enforced with the revenue available would be a good place to start. A simple litmus test of having our income and outgo be balanced. (That would include some Dave Ramsey version of beans and rice until we clean up our National Debt) We do not want to have the baby tossed out with the bathwater, only some progressive kind of better government until things are a lot better.


Why Me?

When you drive as many miles as I do in a year, it is not unusual to have been involved in a lot of accidents over a lifetime of 63 years. Most of them have my fault and I consider myself lucky to have survived without serious injury. There have been one or two pretty spectacular non vehicle accidents that I walked, or limped, away from.

A couple of bike wrecks that come to mind were serious failure of judgment and a serious right to the point of going to the hospital. The first was the time I rode my bike down a slope out on a frozen pond. Yes, the small tires of a race bike do not have any traction and the down slope caused me to hit the ice with a lot more force. The only thing that saved me broken bones was the heavy coat, two sweaters and a sweatshirt I was wearing. In case you don't know, ice is one hard surface and thank god it was frozen thick so I didn't drown trying to regain my senses. The second spectacular bike accident was the rodeo bike accident. I had a paper route and there was this yard with a great down hill slope with a great jumping ramp right at the end. The only bad part was the wooden fence at the end that required precision turning or as I proved a mighty crash. As I hit the fence full tilt, somehow I was thrown over the fence and my foot got caught in the frame of the bike. Somehow instead of breaking my neck or my leg, the trapping of my foot stopped the momentum and I was caught with one foot in the air and one foot hanging until the owner came out and helped me escape. He said he was about to call an ambulance but decided to see if I was alive first. I was the victim of a bad joke gone right. Later that year a good friend tried the same move using a motorcycle and a ramp for shopping carts and was killed.

On the way home from the fair in 1961, I was in a brand new Plymouth and the owner tried to pull out and pass a line of cars backed up behind some old truck. I was in the back seat and I could see that the line of cars was long and a car coming the other direction had just popped over a small hill. I think I would have tried to slow down but he tried to speed up. Bad choice and he made a spectacular braking effort back into our lane and the momentum of the are caused it to continue way out in the field. I know the car rolled many times sideways and I don't think it went endo. Back then no one wore seat belts but that car just held us all inside. No one was killed but we were all bent a little.

I could go on for many paragraphs but I'll stop here with the words that we are all pretty lucky to survive the dumb things in our lives that could have killed us.

Better get ready to visit with my sisters and brother.



Why I Wear Seat Belts

In 1966, just before I went into the Army, my Dad used my Renault as a trade in for a Volvo 4 door sedan. he gave it to me as I graduated from OCS in 1967. It was a great car and when I went to Vietnam, I returned it to him. To get it registered at Fort Sill, I had to put in shoulder seat belts. It had the right bolt holes but no belts. I found a set at a local wrecking yard and I installed and used them all the time. Dad was driving through Girard, KS one evening and a guy pulled out right in front of him. It darn near tore the front end off the car and without belts, my dad would probably have been killed by the steering wheel.

Dad had ribs separated from his sternum and a broken nose where his knee hit him. He did spend a day or two in the hospital but that beats the hell out of the alternative.
Dad said that in spite of the damage done to the Volvo front end, all four doors would open and close. This is a tribute to Volvo and a used set of seat belts.
Dad was around another 30 or so years after that accident and always wore his seat belt. I do too. I wonder why others don't.