Dennis is a retired Colonel living with his wife, Barbara, in Tecumseh, KS. Some of these Posts are filtered through the memory of a "not so Young Man" and you might have to utilize your built in crap detector to filter truth from memory errors. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. If you wish for peace, prepare for War. Our current Congress is "Stupid with zeros on the end...
Wiki Leaks et al...
It seems like yesterday that everyone was up in arms about the airport screenings and it was building to be a bigger deal on the heaviest travel day of the year. Big friggin deal. I wonder what the next big deal will be.
Barb thinks that Sarah Palen is getting way too much press lately. She was in Wichita at a Dillon's store doing a book signing and it made the news big time. On a scale of 10 this whole report was about a 2. I think it must have been a slow news day and I'm glad that there aren't a lot of really big deals that hog the front page or lead off the news.
Oh well, have a great day!
Monday Morning Musing
We are going to spend some time working on the house this winter. Barb is pretty sure that I need to shore up the supports for the roof to help the walls stop moving as much. I am pretty sure that in Kansas, walls crack and all the reinforcement in the world isn't near as good as a little dirt work on the outside. Get that mean old water away from the foundation and it will stop walking as much. Our niece Carrie has agreed to come over and take a look at things and to give Barb ideas. She is the architect that designed Barb's ideas into reality.
I just finished a book about a returning Iraq veteran with PTSD. It was kind of hard to not put myself into the story and feel too involved. In the end, the PTSD was mostly a smoke screen for a mystery. I do understand that surviving combat was traumatic and the mind game you had to play to survive did make it kind of hard to re-adjust when I got home.
For me, it was tough to find the place where I had enough adrenalin flowing to make me alert enough to stay out of trouble without crashing between the highs. It was tough to need naps and not take them out in the jungle. There were days that I just sat down and cat napped after a day of humping from location to another. I think it was the nights that were the hardest for me. Staying awake when you are way tired was hard enough. Being out where things go bump in the night is tough.
Oh well, better shut this down and go see if Barb can find a color for the end wall.
Breezy Days in November
If you don't like the weather in Kansas, wait a day. Generally a warm southerly breeze in November means a cold front will be here tomorrow. It was 50 this morning and that is never a good sign.
In honor of rules to live by, here are just a few that have popped up this week.
- Never take you wife to a Home Depot or Lowe's unless forced to. They get ideas and that always spells work with a capital W. For some it means money but I notice Barb has been putting some back beyond what she normally saves.
- When a downstairs couch is replaced by an upstairs couch that is being replaced by a new couch, it is time to make a dump run. (Insert the Lone Ranger Theme here - To the Dump, To the Dump, To the Dump, Dump, Dump...) Perhaps on Monday I can also take a trailer load of stuff out of the storage room also.
- If you live in Kansas and have been in your house more than 5 years, there will be cracks in the wall. Just the good old Kansas clay walking and talking with wet and dry.
- When you favorite basketball team gets challenged, it is probably because all they played in the early season were lesser teams. Arizona got 11 minutes of hell from the Hawks and just didn't give up. A little more talent and they might have made it a real challenge. With less than 3 minutes left in the game, it does no good to foul Brady Morningstar or Tyrell Reed. Just let them pass it to someone that doesn't hit about 100% of their foul shots in the closing minutes of the game. It made that damn game go well past my bed time.
- Just a note to anyone that comes to Rabbit Run. When Barb gets out her camera, smile if she aims it at you. You just might (insert Probably) get posted on Facebook.
- Barb Juniors nephews were over yesterday and Barbara put them to work making small Christmas trees covered with candy mints. They look pretty good on the table with the home made candle holders we made. I will leave it up to Martha and Barbara to come up with the good ideas, I'm good with tools not pretty. I like Austen's view that women are a mystery to him. The Petty Corollary is that it doesn't bet any better when they get older, they just have more things to change their minds to.
- Do the potato pancakes get better as you cook more or does your technique get better. I saw a cooking program where they fried their pancakes in a pan full of butter. Mine don't get really good and light until almost all of the oil is gone. I'll have to study this more. The good news is that Taco like about anything I feed him and I think he prefers greasy one's better than crisper one's.
Oh well cracks to fill and places to go.
Good Old Days
I will try to spell linoleum without spell checker (I finally cheated to get something I think is close). Our house had an industrial linoleum wall to wall, front to back. It was gray with black streaks and looked like an elephant that a bunch of kids had scuffed up. Right to the end, the seams were splitting open and by the time I left home there were many places where there was sand filling the splits. This last year we lost our friend Dennis L to lung cancer. One time we had to give a verbal book report and Dennis got a book about George Washington carver. When he got to the part about all the inventions George made from peanuts he absolutely flubbed saying lineoleum. One time we got stopped and dennis was driving - "What;s the problem ossifer?" Guess who had to get out and blow on the breathalizer. Dennis was the designated driver and hadn't had anything that night. Oh well, I'm sure he is at Fiddler's Green waiting to share a canteen cup of grog. I'll bet that damn cup wont be made out of alummmunum either.
I think I am trying to revive the thoughts that there really were good old days. I wouldn't trade a day today for a month back then. It may have prepared me for Vietnam but not by much.
After watching KU absolutely dismantle a pretty good team last night, I am a lot like Bill Self and ready to see the team grow up and stop the chippy comments. I'm sure that a lot of the fouls called on one of the Morris twins was because the referee got tired of the crap. T.Rob even got a Technical for it. I am ready for them to play up to their potential and see them play Arizona just to see how good they are.
Oh by the way, does Auburn have to get so damn far behind just to stage a comeback? They should get an Oscar each week for letting their opponent score three or four touchdowns and then stage a comeback. What's wrong with playing hard the entire game?
Did Boise State finally show some weakness? I have enjoyed their games except for that blue playing surface. It reminds me of the cheap color TV we watched as kids. I remember going to Harvey's and watching Hoss Cartright riding his horse and being followed by a yellow and blue doppelganger in the early days. I would rather stay home and watch "Whirlybirds" in black and white.
OH well, no one said life would be perfect.
Post Thanksgiving Party
Our niece Jenn is having a schedule conflict with the Petty Soup kitchen dinner on the 18th. We have tickets to see the hawks play at 11 AM on the 18th and we could move the dinner to 3 PM. We;ll see how much that screws with everyone else's schedule. That time of the year, there is always more to do than we can get done.
Yesterday we had a flock of turkeys make a visit about 10 AM. There were between 8 and 10 birds in a flock that paraded across the path down the hill. It was pretty cold so I imagine they were looking for food. So far there aren't any signs they like to come up to the feeders by the house but it isn't really cold and winter yet.
This last summer we put in a new furnace and AC at one of the rental houses. Last night it stopped working. I went over and the filter was pretty plugged and needed changed. There is some kind of error code that flashes and unfortunately I don't know how to reset the damn thing. I did find a set of replacement filters this morning and will look for a really high efficiency set later. The repairman will make a visit today and I hope to learn how to reset the flashing light. I read the booklet that came with the furnace but I went away knowing about a roll out valve that I could not find. Oh well.
Barb is in her redecorate mode so there will be some changing done some time this week. I think our new couch will be delivered today so that will be the kick off.
Better go see what she wants me to do.
A couple of weekends ago, we traveled to my brother's house and we were discussing life in general. My nieces said that they thought my mother was a terrible cook. They only ate at her house when she was older and perhaps some of the bloom was off the vine. I think Mom tried to cook as much as she could until at the family soup kitchen Christmas she confused Cinnamon with chili and made a big old pot of something so disgusting that no one could eat more than a spoon full. Oh My God, how could she not smell the difference even if she was way past reading the fine print on a spice packet. Now that I am also older, I realize that the sense of smell does go away and I no longer smell the cinnamon in the pumpkin pie mix.
One of the first traditions to go away in our family was the pie making the day ahead of Thanksgiving. Someone pointed out that Mrs. Smith's and Marie Calendar both made such delicious pies that nothing we could make at home would rival those store bought pies. I think some of the enthusiasm was because neither of the a fore mentioned pie makers made mince meat or sour cream pie. I'm sure that Mom missed them but none of us kids ever will. We miss Mom, but there are no treasured recipe cards for those pies.
The Tulsa group now have a tradition of buying the entire Thanksgiving meal at a local store and no one has to spend hours cooking. I can understand it to a certain extent but there are things that a special touch makes so good and no commercial meal can quite match. OK, I have gone to Stove Top stuffing, but I use my own grilled sausage and chicken broth to bring it up to my standards. We have a local store that has hand made bratwursts and I always try to grill a few the week before Thanksgiving. I think it is funny that when squeezed out of the casing to add extra smoke to the meat the brats look like someone grilled dog poop. Looks funny but taste's great.
I am not sure why, but imagine it is my mind racing ahead to the meal, but I do not sleep well on Thanksgiving eve. Perhaps it is knowing that a nap will overcome my ability to stay awake in the afternoon, but it is probably my mind trying to go over the "To Do" list and not forget anything. When I hear people over exaggerate how cold it is or how something is going badly, I remind them that if it was that bad, you would find dead bodies after such an event. I promise you that we only look dead after stuffing ourselves to the brim.
Once the dreaded 5 pound bloat is out of our system and we have eaten the last of whatever leftovers we could imagine, the next step in our lives here at Rabbit Run is candy season. It all starts with Barb picking up a package of pecans and those Crisco containers that look like sticks of butter but aren't. I said, "Why are you buying marshmallows, we aren't going to have sweet potato casserole." Duh Dennis, it is for the famous Aunt B's fudge I so love. That will be followed by divinity and Uncle Chuck's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Barb will box up a small goody box for her family members and send it early enough to have by Christmas.
Well, better go up and see if the turkey has thawed out enough to take the giblet package out of the bird. I never seem to get that part right. Oh well, on to make my own memories of food and basketball.
I got home in time to watch Duke play the same brand of basketball and they were just professional and sound. They forced K-State into 21 turnovers and shut Pulliam down to 4 points. I kept hoping that K-State could turn the game around but they never could play up to Duke's number 1 status. When Coach Martin threw a fit during a time out, the TV had to blurr his mouth because you didn't have to be good at reading lips to know what he said. I think Manhattan needs a coach as good as their team. He looks bad in purple, especially when it is his face.
Man do I want to go to Vegas this weekend to see the Hawks play there. Oh well, I'll have front row seats here at Rabbit Run and won't have to be patted down unless I beg for it.
- I am allowed to live where and how I want. We got ready for retirement and we are having the time of our life. You might have to work hard early, but in the long run you can live like no one else if you do.
- I am proud of our strength as a country. We could nuke north Korea off the map but don't. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. If you wish for peace, prepare for War. The bullies of the world don't attack the strong (at least not often - never say never)
- I am absolutely floored when I walk into our grocery stores. We have the most and best food from all over the world. My coffee is from Columbia, My chicken is from Arkansas, our corn from Iowa and our beef is from right here Kansas. You can buy good food and afford to do it.
- We are blessed to have some of the greatest family and friends. There are times when we don't see eye to eye but in the end we all can share a warm home and a great meal. Our Son and his wife will be here for Thanksgiving and we will laugh and enjoy the friendship and food. Our glass isn't half full, it runneth over.
- Earlier this year we stood in the valley of the Virgin River and saw the beauty of Zion National park. The next day we were on top of the mountain looking at down at Brice Canyon and the following day we were at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. If you can find more beauty anywhere in the world, you can go there with my blessing. I for one have not seen enough of America and plan on going east of the Mississippi and north of the Mason Dixon line next. 'Cides Dexter might want to see his Mean Uncle Denny and Auntie Barb.
- I am proud to live in a Republic where we change the leadership with a vote and not a rifle. There are times I get frustrated with the pace of change but I am never frustrated with the peace we have in our homes. I am proud that we have room in our debate for my sister and I to disagree. I would tame down some of Barb's spirited debate but I would never advocate silencing it. We all earn our right to speak our piece and to find our definition of peace.
- I am thankful that we have Face book and Blogs to write on. I cannot imagine living where I was afraid to say the king was wrong even if he was or is. I will freely admit that I have been wrong from time to time but I might be mistaken about that.
Most importantly I am proud to hear that the free Thanksgiving dinner here in Topeka has all the food and all the help they needs to share a turkey dinner with all those that need one. I hope that you have everything you need and most of everything you want. I do.
Yesterday I bought our Thanksgiving Turkey and when I brought it home, I put it in our freezer. This morning I read that it should be in the fridge (I almost wrote Ice Box but Barb thinks it shows my age when I do) one day for each 5 lbs. Then another person said the day before you can put it in cool water and thaw it out the day before. Another person said never brine a Turkey and someone else tried to sell us a kit to brine one from HyVee. I think there are just so many people that confuse celebrity with intelligence and they feel they must say something to fill their time on the air. Hummm, is that what I do here on my Blog?
This morning, I got an E-Mail message from one of my old friends. Yes, I do have a few young friends but it is mostly the old one's that send me stuff. A lot of it is spam and gets deleted but there are a few that just get my blood pressure up. This morning's E-Mail indicates that our President is somehow involved in erecting a statue of Jane Fonda. If this is true and not an urban legend, it is just one more example of how out of touch he is with the mainstream America. When Hanoi Jane went to North Vietnam and sat in an air defense gun position she by my standards forfeited her right to be a US Citizen. I for one, will never spend a dollar to buy, see or support anything that has her name on it. Unless or until the Government sees it to remove her citizenship, she has the right to do as she pleases. I have the same right and I will continue to boycott anything that has to do with the name Jane Fonda. May she rot in hell!
We have a cold front stalled out across the eastern half of Kansas. If you go 50 miles west, it is 10 degrees colder. If you go 50 miles east, it is 10 degrees warmer. I guess I had really better enjoy whatever temperature it is here. In Twin Falls, it will get down to zero and their high will be only 21. They also have snow falling to add misery to their discomfort. I am glad we are right where we are and will wait for winter a little while longer and enjoy summer after that. We have 4 true seasons and they are as pretty as a puppy. OK, they do turn into the Dog Daze in August but I enjoy a good sweat from time to time.
The birds are sure hitting the feeders and suet block with gusto this morning. I need to get out and refill the suet block holder and change the water. Oh well, when I start looking for things to do rather than write on my blog, it must be time to go. Bye!
This morning i asked Barb when she wanted to shop for our Thanksgiving meal. her comment was, "You should shop today". Cook one meal and forever I am the chef! OK, I let her do all the gardening because she took the Master gardening course. Turn about is fair play. I will have a turkey but right now am not sure how I'm going to cook it. I love a hickory smoked bird but I'm not adverse to a bird in the oven. There will be garlic smashed potatoes, dressing (Savory and cooked outside the bird) green bean casserole and rolls. There will probably be some kind of a salad and dessert but those are Barb's area. My favorite is a Waldorf salad and any kind of pie.
I guess there is so much crap stirred up about Airport screening that my blog yesterday didn't stir up any comments. I think we are way too soft as a nation and it has been so long since most of us have had to pay any price for our freedoms that we forget just how hard the rest of the world works to achieve or maintain what they have. I think that some of that is also why the Government has been able to spend so much money and not have it get on our radar screens. Because it is spent in Washington, it must seem like that it is OPM (Other People's Money). If it goes for something good, everyone thinks a little ear mark can't hurt. Every piece of legislation should contain in clear language how much it will cost us to maintain the building/agency created. Most importantly, how the hell it will be paid for and what won't be funded if this new thing is created or funded.
Oh well, on to the shopping...
MUD the Turkey Cooker
OH, Get real!
This situation reminds me of the time as a teenager, a spider crawled across my plate and I lost my appetite. After a year of living in Vietnam where there were no facilities to mention, that damned spider better not crawl across any plate of mine. I'll smack him with my spoon and wipe the spider juice off on my pants. You can bet I'll finish my meal and use that spoon. I'll try not to be so crude at the Thanksgiving table, but I sure as hell won't whine if the rolls are cool or the butter isn't soft. I freely offer myself up to my better half for a full on body search if it makes it safer for others to eat Turkey. Any one else damned better have a gun of at least be good looking with warm hands.
This morning there was an article in the paper about feeding the birds. It is to bring joy to you and soon you will be naming them looking out the window as you hug a cup of cocoa. Shit oh Dear, I have never read a more stupid piece in my life. The birds are nice to have in the yard, but naming them? Boy do you have to not have anything in your life if you have time to give them names. Oh, you think she means knowing the kind of birds they are? Well, I do know a Dove from a Blue Jay but I don't give a Tufted Titmouse if I call it a house wren or a flicker. If that damned wood pecker doesn't want to be called a red headed wood pecker, why does he have a red head? I sure as hell won't try to call each one by some name I make up.
One final note today is for everyone that thinks what our Government is doing isn't important. There is a day coming that we will have to start paying for all the things we have thrown Federal money at in the past. I don't think we will all have to get down to the level of Dave Ramsey's "Beans and Rice" every meal. But what the hell is so bad about beans and rice? I know people that fly to New Orleans (That's Nawlins for those of you from there) to eat beans and rice. Wait, that's where I started this post. When my reasoning gets circular, it must be time to quit.
Your Pal, MUD
Does everyone remember why we have security at the Airport? Muslim extremists started using airplanes as bombs to blow up our buildings and places to blow up their underwear and shoes. Now, there is a group protesting that Muslim women should not have to show their face or be searched when they fly. A TSA Agent let a woman in a Burka on a flight after her family protested that she shouldn't have to show her face. My answer to that is stay home or drive if you don't want to have the rules applied to you. If it is politically correct to pat down and make him take off his shoes for a retired Colonel after 31 years of service to his country why the hell would it not be fair to have a Muslim woman show her face to match it with her ID? The only change I would make to the current searches is that I would have it done in an area behind a curtain like in Germany. There, they also have a guard with a machine gun watch to make sure the Agent does a good job. No one, including your family knows what is going on. You could tell the Guard's machine pistol was loaded and there were no exceptions. But, like I said, either submit to the rules or stay the hell home. If I threw a fit in the airport, they would not let me on the flight and probably put my name in the computer for future flights.
One of my favorite moments in the Airport was the time I carried my Army Crew member helmet bag as a carry on. I went through the screening process in Salt lake City and they had this new sniffer that beeped at nitrates. Did I tell you that I am a shooter and I carry my pistols in that same bag from time to time? No, not through the airport but yes, it set off bells and whistles. They didn't do a strip search, (or spankings like I wanted) they did empty the bag out there on the counter and waived the wand at all my non-public places. They just didn't want to try to understand that old Military guys used their bags to carry guns. The good news is that while I was being subjected to all that scrutiny, some poor old woman was being left alone and I did make my flight.
Yesterday I had a real senior moment. At the Post office the clerk gave me a stamp to put on a letter I was mailing. Like an idiot, I picked it up and licked it. Then, I watched as it failed to stick on the letter. I tried to quietly peel the backing off the self stick stamp and then put it on the letter. Dang, I hate it when things change and I don't remember the new way to do things.
Barb was complaining about the early use of the Christmas holiday in stores. She doesn't want them to use Santa until after Thanksgiving. When I tried to defend them, she said that to make it worse, I sang along with the background music. I guess I can't resist a good song especially when I know the words. It must be tough to be a rules, law and order person married to a contrairian. I think she should be glad that I have a fine voice and do most of the words to the songs I sing. OK, If the words to our Alma Mater weren't displayed on the score board at Allen Field House I would miss a few in the middle. Dang, I hate it when that happens.
Far above the golden valley
Glorious to view,
Stands our noble Alma Mater,
Towering toward the blue.
Lift the chorus ever onward,
Crimson and the blue
Hail to thee, our Alma Mater
Hail to old KU.
Like a lot of you, I went from the first manual watch that you wound daily without any calendar all the way to the Kinetic with a calendar. My brand preference is Seiko (Sayko or S i ko) and have no interest in a $3,000 Oyster perpetual Rolex. At least with the Kinetic, I have to move to keep it wound. The newest watch of my fantasies is the solar. You can lie on the beach (Hell, I can lie anywhere but tales told on the beach are the best) and keep the correct time. You don't have to even move. Now, when they manage to put the perpetual calendar on that watch I might break down and buy one.
My favorite watch story is about the first Timex Tin Man I bought. I was visiting my father who was in the VA Hospital here in Topeka. He saw my watch and said, "I have always wanted one of those." What's a guy supposed to do except give it to Dad. As he looked it over, he asked me if I could take the band off his old watch and put it on the Tin Man. Yes I can, and I did. A couple of days later, he looked at his watch and announced, "This watch tells me three things more than I need to know." I'll bet there are functions he didn't know how to use. When Dad died and we were at the mortuary for the family visiting, the subject of what was dad going to wear in the casket came up. By that time I was pretty sure that the new replacement watch I had was going to last a long time and that $29.95 Timex might as well be buried with Dad. I told Mom the watch story and she said, "OH yes, your dad wanted you to have something that is at the house." When I took her home, she gave me Dad's gold watch he got from Beech Aircraft for 25 years service. It is a Hamilton that spells out Beech Craft on the dial and has a little red airplane on the second hand. I don't wear it much except for special dress occasions. I got the best of that trade and will always wonder what was going on in Dad's mind.
FREEBEE WATCH THAT HAD A COUNT DOWN FUNCTION
In Vietnam, I was visiting our new headquarters in Dak To. I had just purchased a Seiko watch and was wearing it pretty much daily. One of the guys pointed out that it was probably a copy and a cheap one at that. My "Waterproof" watch was turning my wrist green from cheap brass and the face was foggy from a combination of Insect repellent on the outside and moisture on the inside. The crowning blow came when I slipped and fell while building a sandbag wall. I hit my arm on a metal stake and wiped the face, crystal and hands right off that watch. I threw it away. Somehow in the next week or so, I managed to get to the PX in Pleiku and purchased a real Seiko that worked fine. That watch lasted three or four years without fail. I was water skiing in Arkansas and Barb saw that I had my watch on. She asked my Dad to drive the boat close enough so she could take it and they tried. Somewhere in that maneuver, I tossed the watch to her and it splashed to the bottom of Beaver Lake. Somewhere out there is a watch that is probably still working.
Oh hell, by my new Seiko, I can see that I have managed to waste another hour or so writing about a subject no one probably cares about. Oh well, TIME TO GO.
No, somehow as a stock holder I was told my stock is not worth anything and I was to tuck my tail and go away. Now, GM is offering a new Stock offering that expects the shares to be worth somewhere between $25 and $35 a share. Do you want to know what it is worth to me? Nothing! Nada, Zip, Zilch. Never again will I invest as much as one dollar in GM. Hell, I'll buy lottery tickets but not one penny on GM stock. The good news is that I only had a grand total of 14 shares and 7 of that due to a stock split. It wasn't going to be the basis of my retirement funds, only a symbol of my ownership of a part of the Corporation I once worked for.
The weatherman has predicted that we might get a coating of snow today. They say the ground is too warm for it to last and the temperature might get into the mid 40's. It was nice to get some rain last Friday and it wouldn't hurt for us to get moisture in any form.
Have a great day out there.
KU was so dominant in the game that only once did the +22 margin set by the paper was anywhere the score. I think it was 78 to 44 at the end. Should be a fun season for hawk fans. Not so much for the Valpo, Alpos.
Barb and I bought a 10 game packet of tickets and we have some pretty good seats. We sit above the students on the end with the band and there can sit through most of the game with an unobstructed view. We did buy some stadium seats to cut down on what I call bleacher butt. Mostly I needed some back support to sit for two hours on a wooden bleacher. It also lets us stake out our place on the bleacher. In the past, we have had people crowd us out and now there is no question where our seats are. Most of the people near our seats are pretty nice and other than some rowdy boys (different group each game) it has been a really pleasant time. I think this time there were three boys that thought it was time to wrestle between group yells of GO JAYHAWKS completely unrelated to what was going on on the floor.
We did discuss the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner plans on the way to Lawrence. We are two of the most traditional people I know and our list of foods could have been my mother's list. Start with a turkey, add garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, pie and rolls and that's a feast but so common it is not funny. Barb did discuss making an apple cobler and serving Well's Blue Bunny Cinnamon ice cream with it. Depending on the weather, I have also been known to grill the bird and smoke it good with hickory. We'll see.
Better get on with my day and do something productive.
Sad Things on a great Trip
The weather in Oklahoma was great. Both days we were able to shed our coats and be in short sleeved shirts. I'm not sure if Barb was as warm as I was but she hardly ever is. I thinks her hands are at least 10 degrees colder from 15 Sep to the middle of April every year. You know, cold hands warm heart or something like that.
Tonight we are headed over to Lawrence to see our Hawks play another game. It never ceases to amaze me how they just reload and can put winners on the floor. We have great seats this year and generally can sit down and watch the entire game. From the seats we got in previous years we were way up in the end zone and we had a better view from the scoreboard. We now are above the student section by the band and have a great view.
Oh well, better get a few things done here and move on.
For Veteran's Day, we went out to eat at Applebee's. They had a nice little steak free for veterans and the other three meals were discounted by the Manager another 25% for the wait. All in all it cost us less than $30 to eat. A bargain in today's world. It was a zoo out there as so many people had the day off and took advantage of a free meal.
We finally got a little rain this morning. I'm not sure how much but it was a good start. perhaps we'll get more during the day today. I think it might get up to 50 today but not much more than that. It will be a good day to stay inside. Other than to get the dog food feeder ready for the weekend I don't have a lot to do out there. The Birds are all set with a new suet block, Black oil sunflower seeds and fresh water in the bowl. I'll plug it in in a week or so but for now I think it won't freeze over.
Better go get things rolling lots to do and miles to go. But, the company we are going with will be so great.
The paper today had the first brush look at a Congressional study into what it will take to stop spending into a deficit. One of the sponsors said he and the others may have to go into witness protection if it ever gets acted upon. Here are just a couple of their ideas:
- Reduce or eliminate the deduction from income tax the deduction on interest paid for the primary residence. If people think being tipped over on the value of their house was bad before, this will be a final blow to a lot of people.
- Needs testing for Social Security. Those of us that did have the willingness to save for retirement will be told to pay the price for those that didn't.
- Increasing the age for retirement. I guess if Social Security won't have any money, delaying the age for entrance to the retirement pool is probably the answer.
- No Federal Employee raises for five years and a reduction of 10% of the federal workforce size. Yep, more unemployed will fix that problem.
- Only down in the list of things is the cuts needed in spending. Can anyone tell me why we need a Federal Education Department? Why is the CIA not in the Defense Department? Why doe we not have just a Land Force, an Air Force and a Naval Force? Why do we have Marines who have their own Air Force? Why doesn't the Navy and the Coast Guard belong together? I guess if you think this applies why do we have a National Guard and Army Reserve? Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard?
Did you know that the budget Deficit this year will exceed one Trillion Dollars? Next year isn't projected to be much better. In my perfect world, Outgo would be less than or than equal to income. I know, many of you are already yelling NIMBY!
I Yam what I Yam
Hell Yes, I was avoiding the solutions and adding problems to my life. I don't blame the Military for being the cause of my drinking, only for putting me in a place where it not only was allowed, it was required. My first assignment at Fort Irwin, CA in 1967 was in the place where the end of the world meets the lowest place on earth. The north end of Fort Irwin is the south end of Death Valley. I'm not saying that it is the place that the good lord would give the earth and enema, but you can see the insertion point from main post. At least twice a week we would have an Officer's call at the Officer's club and they played liar's dice for pitchers of beer. I was a terrible liar. The good news was that the beer was cheap and plentiful.
I continued drinking until I attended an Alcohol Information Workshop. It was sponsored by the Guard so in a way the Military was responsible for showing me the problem. Barb and I filled out a questionnaire about drinking if you answered three questions yes, you were in the opinion of the author, headed for problems. I answered 7 out of 10 yes and when I looked at Barb's card, she had 10 out of 10 marked yes. She said she had filled it our for me and generally I was to drunk to notice the last three answers she marked yes. I went out with a good friend for a happy hour on a Friday afternoon and about midnight, he called me from Jail and wanted me to come bail him out. On the way home, we discussed how two old worn out Military guys could have gone over the edge. We both pledged to stop drinking and I've been sober since that day.
Somewhere during that same time I gave up smoking. I have dreams about smoking my pipe now and then. I think it was much harder to stop smoking than drinking. I really had to taper off the smoking and I was truly addicted to nicotine. Oh well, that's another story for somewhere down the road. I am just glad that my path did not cross marijuana or cocaine cause from what I hear I would have been an easy target for their addictive properties. Well, I really think not because I'm the cheapest bastard around and would have never paid big bucks for a easy buzz.
How to Live like a Billionaire
1. Keep your home simple. I prefer to say you should have realistic expectations about what you have and know that everything will probably be replaced some where along the line. Our only mistake was not building earlier so it would have cost less. Perhaps we didn't need the extra 1000 sq feet but at the time it was cheap.
2. Use Self Powered/Public Transportation. We live in the country so there is no public transportation out here. We do ride our bikes a couple of times a week for 8-10 miles to stay healthy. I stopped smoking and drinking somewhere along those lines.
3. Buy your clothes off the rack. I'm so cheap that I buy a lot of my clothes off the clearance rack at Tractor Supply. Barb shops for clothes at the end of one season on sale. Yes, a lot of my shirts do say John Deere and Carhardt.
4. Keep your scissors sharp. I just found a barber that cuts hair for $7.00 a pop. That is down from $13.00 at my last barber. The new guy doesn't take appointments and I love that. I won't comment on Barb's beautician. She looks great and I'm proud.
5. Drive a Regular Car. If you knew me, you would wonder why I have always driven old cars. I have owned a couple of new cars in my life but nevermore. My latest car was a 2004 Crown Victoria with 18,000 miles purchased for 10 grand. My daily driver is a 53 chevy pickup and there is a 57 in the garage for weekends (If I can get it started). Barb's regular driver is a 96 Buick Skylark with 118,000 miles on it.
6. Skip Luxury Items. I was probably the last guy I knew to own a cell phone. As soon as AT&T could provide me a high speed line cheaper I dropped Direcway satellite Internet. Barbara is famous for finding things on sale. We discuss all purchases and she keeps me out of Nieman Markus. (and Best Buy unless Dave's Employee/family Discount plan applies)
7. Use the Public Library. (Barbara Bonus) At one time I bought a lot of new books and have many that I read once. I have read most of my WEB Griffin books more than once so they really don't count. Our public library allows Barbara to reserve books on line and then notifies her when they are available for pick-up. When we go to a book store, she looks at what is new and writes those titles down to put on order. I shop at a second hand book store for all my books on CD and take them back when we have listened to them.
8. Dennis Bonus - I bought the right tools to do jobs for myself instead of hiring a professional to do the job. Who do you think pays for his tools?
Just a Quick Note
What is your Favorite Food?
The other day I was in HiVee and saw they had those wonderful Holiday Red Seedless grapes again. They are great big grapes and sweet and juicy. Put with a Honey Crisp Apple in a Waldorf salad and it was heaven. (Yes, Mayonnaise, celery and marshmallows are in there somewhere)
On a boat going to Vietnam, they served Mutton. I struggled with that bad taste for years and didn't even try lamb because i thought it had that strong taste. I tried Lamb chops one day and found that they are very delicious. I am not sure that I like Lamb chops better than Rib-eye steak but it is close. I have also been known to consume a big old hamburger. Ont the way back from Lawrence yesterday I bought one of those BBQ Boneless McRib sandwiches and remembered that the memory was better than the actual sandwich. Dang I hate it when that happens.
Somewhere I made a goof yesterday. I made an appointment to meet with Rick Frydman on a legal matter and I was 24 hours early. I planned on seeing the Hawks play Emporia. Yes, the game is today. I guess an 8 does look like a 9 with these old eyes and small numbers on a watch. The good news is that Rick was there and didn't make fun of me for being a day early. Rick is married to a cousin of mine and if you need a good lawyer in Lawrence, KS he's my go to guy.
This morning I'm going to make potato pancakes with a side of sliced ham. I think that my garlic mashed potatoes are about the best and made into pancakes they are the best.
Now that I'm really hungry, I'd better go.
Nature or Nurture
- And what does the little princess line look like this year? Yes dear one's that time worn "Easy Bake" oven is back. There is a myriad of Play-Doh items to shape things out of. The dolls are kind of neat as you can have them do all sorts of realistic things little mommies want from their children. There are a lot of what I call "Play and share" things on the girls side of the ads.
Yes, there are some outside play items but the boys bikes are designed to look like stunt bikes or dirt racers. The girls bikes come in pastel colors and have fluttery things hanging from the handlebars. The small electric riders are either the Barbie Jammin Jeep or the Polaris Outlaw Ride On. Guess which one has two little smiling girls and which has one boy looking like he just jumped over a major hurdle?
Even the Nintendo, X-Box and Wii have games that differentiate. For the boys, Aragon's Quest, Sports Champions and Dragon Quest. The other side has Dance Central, Poki Park and Super Mario Brothers. In the ad its self, there is one Boy throwing punches at the screen and in the Girls ad, two kids there watching one imitating dancing on the screen.
Are boys and girls by their nature really that different by Nurture or does the toys determine the competitiveness of our children? Do we buy a little lap dog for girls and a Lab to fetch sticks for the boys?
I grew up wanting to be the boss and lead people and Barbara grew up to be the best teacher she could be. I'll bet I had more guns than she had dolls. Barbara did have a brother and sisters near her age and my little brother was 5 years younger.
Yes, this is like the chicken and the egg question. Is the way our kids grow up a natural result of their nature or do we nurture the child to achieve the end result?
Oh No! I Must be Slipping!
Virgin River in Zion w/Petty's at Play
If You Don't save Daylight Does the change matter?
Wenches and Wrenches
It is my opinion that people that go to Washington get wrapped up in the idea that they can do things with OPM (Other People's Money) and that it doesn't cost us overall. After all what difference does it make if California goes broke to those of us in the heartland? Well, I do care that there are pockets of poverty, but I can't make Detroit as good a place to live as it once was.
For some reason, the Congress has tried to make life easy for the unemployed and not figure out how to fix the problem. They have fixed the Banks and shored up Wall Street and fixed the problem for people that got into this mess through being greedy. If you live on an expense account and don't have to use your own money it is easy to not have to worry about other people. If I had my way, the Congress would only be allowed in Washington to conduct business about 4 months a year and the rest of the year they would need to be home living and talking to the people they were elected by. Yes, limiting the time in Washington should limit the amount of money they spend.
Ok, I'll go away and find something useful to do today. Bye.
It's Been "CrapTastic"
Yes, I am aware that in general you can have things two of three ways. Put Cheap, good and quick in the hunt and generally you can have two of them not all three. The other day I heard a commentator say that putting people back to work was pretty easy in his mind. Lower the withholding taxes today to put more money in the hands of the working people. They are generally spending nearly 100% of what they make and if they have more money to spend, it will get spent. They are the people that visit the small businesses and will spend money there right now not after months of some Government program.
So, to the "CrapTastic" Congress, the challenge I leave in their hands is to go back to Washington, start down the road of fixing problems and spending money like it is their last term in office. Continue to do what you did and we won't settle for what we got last time. The sheeple have spoken it is now the time for Congress to listen. I for one wouldn't be all pissed off if the President listened and brought the Leaders of the new congress together and used a little of his Community Organizer experience to organize that goat rope and hold a rodeo that we can all be proud of. If not, he'll have another two years to write if he is a worse or better President than Jimma Carter was.
My dad was one of those guys that loved a good challenge and the Mini-Minor or the Morris 850 was one. Ours had been in a head on crash and according to the story I heard later on, the driver had been killed. Dad bought it cheap and spent quite a bit of time getting it running again. He used a torch to heat the fenders and straighten them out. I'll bet there was a couple of pounds of lead on the ground from earlier bodywork. The car started out white and ended a two tone primer and white.
It was a great little around town car and back when gas was cheap got at least 30 MPG in town and almost 45 on the road. That area is one that I don't recommend. We drove it to Arkansas one time and it was a little "feel every bump in the road" car. At best, the upholstery was a single layer of foam rubber covered with a slick plastic. Your butt bottomed out except in the front seat. The tires were 8.50X10 and while they stuck on the road in curves were rough as hell. Remember riding in a go cart? You were thrilled by the ability to slide around the corner and go fast? That feeling left as your butt got numb and the lack of AC caused you to sweat on the plastic seat. Back then, AC was an add on and almost none of the cars came with one standard. I'll promise you that there was no where to jamb a compressor or an under the dash unit in the mini.
Another area that was problematic was repair parts. I'm sure there were hundreds in every salvage in England but not one anywhere in the Heartland. There was an MG dealership in Wichita and he charged two prices for everything and it always took a couple of weeks to get it shipped from wherever it was they came from. I think a lot of the parts had to come from England and if you wanted it fast, add a third more to the price. Ship it by boat and add a month. Crap, but I loved that little car.
Today is going to be a fun day for us. Barbara is at a Master Gardner meeting this morning and tonight we'll get to see the KU JayHawks play their first game of the year. They open their doors to Washburn University from Topeka and it is a good thing for all. Without a doubt it will be a sell out and was part of a 10 game home ticket package. In a couple of months we will also get to see K-State at KU. On our way out of town, we'll probably stop and vote.
Better go see if there is any trouble I need to get into.