Boo Hiss!

If you watched the Pinstripe Bowl, you saw what was probably the worst case of bad officiating ever. As the game ended, K-State made a touchdown and a K-State player saluted the crowd. Yes, a proper salute not the one finger New York, "We're number One!" The officials threw a flag for excessive demonstration and made them try for the extra points (which would have tied the game) from the 18 yard line not the three. I have seen more jumping up and down in the end zone than I would ever care to see and in a bowl game where no one was hurt, they throw a flag. Jesus! Stupid....

The temperature fell 40 degrees yesterday evening. I am sure glad I had a chance to get out when it was 70. The old game of fetch the stick with the dog just doesn't seem to ever get tiring. Oh well, it will be January tomorrow so I'd better expect to have some cold. This morning everything has about an inch of ice on it. It took about 10 minutes to clear the window on the truck so I could take out the trash.

I had a couple of people comment on the enchiladas. About any meat will do, My son loves left over Turkey and I prefer beef. I have also made them with smoked chicken and they are wonderful. I mixed a couple of pounds of hamburger and a half pound of sausage cooked with onions and garlic. I start with fresh corn tortillas and fry them in oil for a few seconds on each side. Throw them in a pie pan of sauce and then put them in another pan to fill them. Fill them with a mixture of a tablespoon of the meat, a teaspoon of the Mixed Vegetables and a pinch of cheese. I use toothpicks to hold them together and then put them in a pan and pour a little more sauce on them a little more cheese and about 20 minutes in the oven. The mixed vegetables are a filler that we had in a Mexican restaurant and I love it. You can skip that if you wish but try it once and see if you too don't find that it adds to the taste. They are great right out of the oven and better re-heated the next day. Be very careful of the hot oil and the tortillas. Never put them in the oil with anything but a good set of tongs and make sure you don't have and sauce on your fingers when you handle them. Splatter city if the tortilias have been frozen and have some ice on them. In fact, I find it best if you have one person doing that step and someone else getting messy putting the filling in them. It is messy but the results are worth it to me.

I have some chili to make and big old steaming bowl full with some corn bread sounds wonderful.




We asked our good friends the Triggs to come over and have supper with us last night. It gave us all a chance to meet and greet Riku their little girl. You can sure tell that she is Daddy's (Travis) little girl. Such a smile and a pleasant personality. Her mother Britany was a joy to visit with also. I made up a big batch of enchiladas and man were they good. I made some turkey and some beef enchiladas and I am hard pressed to pick one as my favorite.

I can tell that Barb is nearing the end of her cold but Dave came over and helped me make the enchiladas. It really helps to have one person putting the corn tortillas in the hot oil and the into the sauce. If you get the red sauce on your hands, it does not pay to handle the corn tortillas as they go into the hot oil. It is splatter city unless you use tongs and keep everything dry and clean as you use hot oil. Yes, I know that it adds calories to fry the tortilla a little but I have tried to make them with out that step and they are just crappy without it. If someone can find a better way, I'll skip frying but so far nothing I have tried works or tastes the same. Dave worked it all out to a matter of timing and did an excellent job. We both smelled like enchiladas after cooking but what a great smell.

I ended the evening watching the KU JayHawks play basketball. The coach really moved the line up around (for a lot of different reasons) and again a different set of guys stepped up and really helped the team win. Texas-Arlington was a great team for about 1/3 of the game, a fair to middling team for about 1/3 of the game and provided the hawks with someone to play against for 1/3 of the game. Thankfully it was at the end of the game that they just were there and the hawks won handily. For the first 10 minutes of the game it was hard to watch but the last 10 minutes were great. Come on Bill, a win is a win. They are kids playing a game and winning.

This morning it is in the mid 50's and windy. Normally this means that a cold front is headed our way. Warm air sucks up from the south and meets a cold front with mixed results. Many times when I was in the Guard, there would be a blizzard closing I-70 and a tornado near Pittsburg, KS. Who knows what this front will blow up.

Better run...



Random Stuff

In an effort to be informed, I scanned the US News on my web browser. It was almost a complete failure in that all the stuff reported there was titillation not real great or bad news. I read the local paper and other than a police shooting and a fatal traffic accident, the comics were the most informative. Even dear Abby was one of those columns that you read and go - Duh! To make it all worth while, I read the obits and again I escaped the clutches of death.

I escaped the Christmas season without the world piling up more stuff for me to take care of. A new pair of jeans, a multi tool and a good book was the total haul. The thing that has made everything really great is the people and great meals we have had this week. Tonight we will host a few more people over for enchiladas. Some will be turkey and some will be beef. I will make Barb wash her hands well and not touch anything. She has had a head cold for over a week and She is Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired. For the record I am sick and tired of her being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Poor Baby. For the record, all I have is one ear that flutters from being full of fluid. Not much I can do about that.

I have kind of made up my mind to not make any resolutions for 2011. Yes, I know in a way that is a resolution but if you can't live with it, bite me! I do wonder how many hours it will take to figure out the taxes this year. I have complicated the matter and have several new irons in the fire. I am pretty sure that I have to upgrade Turbo Tax to the one that has Partnerships in it.

Oh well, better get things on the road.



Reverse Bucket List

REVERSE BUCKET LIST I saw this weekend that there will be a special showing of the Bucket List and in honor of that showing, I am writing again my reverse bucket list. It is a list of things I probably won't do in my lifetime. Some I have done, some I haven't but am pretty sure that I won't ever do them.
 Roller Skate or ride a skate board.
 Drive a car as fast as it can go.
 Kiss my Mother.
 Own a new car.
 Climb a mountain.
 Shoot a deer.
 Go to war.
 Shoot anybody.
 Fly in a small personal aircraft
 Water or Snow Ski


Duh Dennis!

Yesterday, I wrote a letter and then also put the card from the old DirecTV receiver in an envelop to mail. I went upstairs and asked Barb if she wanted to get out of the house. She was almost finished with a book and asked me to wait about 20 minutes. Did that and then proceeded to forget the letters when we went out. Duh Dennis! I hate it when that happens.

It does give me a good excuse to get out today but dang, I hate to start making a "To Do" list in retirement. I do put shopping items on my I-Phone from time to time but don't want to run my life from a list.

Is it just me or did the delay in the passing of the Tax Bill by Congress delay the release of Turbo Tax this year? This will be the most complicated Tax year for us ever. I love the Tax programs but throw in a sale of a house and a Partnership and Oil Royalties and it gets convoluted.

Oh well, moving on...



What Does It Mean?

In 1983, a tornado blew our house down on us. As the house shifted to the half in and half our of the downstairs, it broke off the gas meter. When everything stopped moving, I could see that Barb and Dave were both unharmed and able to get out of the rubble. I was still trapped against the foundation by a vanity, the furnace and a hot water heater. It was all I could do to move the pile up just enough to move a few inches forward. I told barb to get out and take David with her. I continued to lift the pile and crawl forward. Finally after a few minutes I cleared the pile. All the time I expected the gas to explode but because the electricity was shut off by the storm luckily there was no fire. A few minutes after the tornado passed, the sun was out and people started showing up. One of those people was an employee of the Gas Company and he crawled under the pile in the back yard and shut off the gas meter. What was left was a pile of stuff and little that was any where as important as the fact that My wife and Son were alive and well. I wasn't exactly pissed off to be out of the pile, but it wasn't about me as much as my family.

Based on that and much good fortune also, I often say I have everything I need and most of what I want and a Walmart near by. I apologise if you or anyone else think it is bragging about things just related to money. While I am truly blessed to have a good life after a lifetime of working, the true blessing to me is the love and life of my wife and son.




Just the other day, I was asked, "What the heck is this MUD thing?" For one more time, it is a nick name that I earned from my niece many years ago. I worked in a gas station and one day my sister and the girls stopped in to visit. I loved to sneak up on the station wagon and growl at Janet and Carrie. They always squealed and I thought it was great fun. I truly loved them and would never do anything to hurt them. This one time, Carrie turned to move away from the window and got her foot tangled up in a blanket on the floor in the back. As odds would have it, she fell and hit her mouth on probably the only part of the car that she could really get hurt on. It caused he a lot of pain and broke a few teeth. I was mortified.

I went to the little restaurant next door and got her an ice cream bar. I know an adult could not have eaten it but I'm sure the cold felt good to a little girl. As she ate it, she said Mean Uncle Denny, Mean Uncle Denny. My sister Myrna Sue said, "Yes, your name is MUD today"

For a long time after that, when the girls would cal me MUD, they would giggle. I have always tried to remember that sometimes when I growl at people there are unintended consequences and that poking fun at myself is a good thing.

So, in the spirit of a loving Uncle, Mean Uncle Denny or MUD wishes you all a Happy New Year and remember to smile when you growl at little girls.




Let me make one thing clear, Kyler and Austen are an addition to our family that is worth every minute of time we can have them here. The laughter that filled our house last night was so joyous a sound that it will bring a smile to my face for weeks. I do wonder how many weeks from now we will find those miniature marshmallows in and under things. Barb bought two of the automatic shooters and they can flat get with the program. To add to the mayhem, she bought extra bags of marshmallows. It was the Christmas eve massacre here at Rabbit Run.

Barb and I built this house and it has a wonderful big kitchen. For the first time it felt like it wasn't big enough as in the middle of cooking a Turkey dinner that kids made cookies and divinity. The treats and the food were all great, it was just the bumping of butts kinda got in the way a time or two. Oh well, it was all good.

This morning, our house guest Mel is of to visit her family and Barb is still asleep. It is really nice to sit here in the quiet and think about how fortunate we really are. We are truly blessed to be able to share with so many people. Even the animals out in the yard have food and water.

This morning we saw the pileated woodpecker just outside the house. This is a 20 year first for us. It is the one with a top notch that looks like woody woodpecker. There is one tree not far from the dining room that he likes and so far I haven't been able to get to the camera in time to shoot a picture of him. Perhaps soon.

Oh well, I'd better get on to bigger and better things. Merry Christmas to you all.

MUD, Bobwa, Dave, Barb Jr, Mel Kyler and Austen


Christmas Eve

Each year, the traditions of Christmas change a little and this year is no different. Pretty much, one constant has been the Petty family Christmas the weekend before Christmas. With Mom gone, it was a little different but the smiles and love shown wasn't. We do our favorite soups and a White Elephant exchange. Lots of fun things show up. At least all my sisters and brother are speaking to me this year. Bonus....

This past year Barb Jr's nephews lost their mother and we have included them in the Petty family gatherings. They are a couple of sweet kids and we will also have them over tonight for Christmas eve. I'm pretty sure that Santa Barb has some things under the tree for them. She loves to shop for the kids for Christmas. The problem we have is that there aren't as many little kids around as much any more.

Today I am going to cook a turkey and make my garlic Smashed Potatoes. I'm sure there will be stuffing, vegetables and rolls. In fact, i hear the Baker up there banging pans and baking breads and getting ready to make fudge and divinity. Sure wish Kenny was here to share the fudge.

In the short period I have been writing this, the snow stopped and the birds are back at the feeders en Mass. I just love their system of stopping in to get one seed and flying away to eat it. They return shortly for another. It still cracks me up when a newby shows up and tries to stay in the feeder to eat. They soon get chased out and all returns to normal. I am not sure when the house finches will show up but the regular finches show up all the time. The males have given up their bright yellow feathers for a more subdued color but you can still tell the males from the females.

Oh well, time to move on and get some things done. Merry Christmas to all of you and yours.



Just a Few Thoughts

At what point are we going to stop the madness and ask if something is right or wrong. For example, every law Enforcement Officer that responded to 9/11 had the same medical benefits available that most of us have. In the case of the Officers and Firemen, they have excellent benefits that probably convert to a fully paid policy if they are medically retired due to an injury or illness in the line of duty. Additionally, almost every worker in any system that is medically disabled will receive about half of their salary and that is all tax free. The initial payment by the Government to the Victims Compensation fund gave almost everyone connected with a claim a pretty good amount of money. Why in the light of all this are we paying more money to them? Yes, because it sounds good to our congress.Trust me when I say that I have the highest regards for Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters. It is just that I sometimes wonder why we try so hard to spend the money we don't have.



Rick, My Brother

My Brother Rick spent about 20 years working in the Aircraft Industry in Wichita and was doing what I just escaped from. One day, he looked up from his job and said, "What the hell am I doing this for?" He traded his retirement funds for a degree and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from KU Med and never looked back. He drives back and forth from Nursing Home to Nursing Home in Oklahoma and loves the people he works with.

This Christmas was one of the first times in a long time that he and I got to sit and just visit over a few cups of coffee. In the past, there was always our mother and the subject of taking care of Momma that just seemed to eat up the time. We both are proud of the time we spent doing our best to make Mom's last few days as happy as we could.

I hope that Rick and I have many more opportunities to sit and talk about the world and life. I wish you all had someone as nice as Rick to talk to.


My Sister Carol

Do you remember the Coke song a few years back about teaching the world to sing? That has been the life of my sister, Carol Lee. For as long as I can remember, music has been the hallmark of Katy. She sang in College with the Singing Quakers at friends University in Wichita and has been a music teacher since then.

As a kid, we would often go to my Grandmother's house and have grand sing alongs. Carol got a guitar and with grandma (or mother) on the piano and Carol on the guitar we sang up a storm.

I can't give Carol all the credit for my love of music, she will have to share it with Mrs. Holloway the Music teacher at Minneha, but Carol sure put the love of music in there so I could have it to love. I hear lots of people say they can't sing, but the truth is they probably didn't have a music muse to inspire them to sing. I did and I do.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my brother and sisters have also gifted me with nieces and a nephew. They along with my son are the future of the world and I am glad to have such a fine bunch of people in the family. Janet, Carrie, Jennifer, Kim, Bob, Becky and Kristy make me about as proud as I can be.

Sing a Christmas carol for Carol lee. It is "With a song in my heart" and a smile on my face that I tell you about Carol.



My Wife

As I look at pictures of our family gatherings, seldom do I see pictures of the person that completes my life, my wife Barbara. As you can see from the photo above, she spend a lot of time with a camera in her hand and with her long lens can catch people without getting too close. The cute blond on the right in the KU shirt is my niece, Janet. There on the lower right is my daughter-in-law Barb Jr.

Back to the reason for the Photo. Barbara has helped me plan and execute a wonderful life plan. She worked hard as a Special Education teacher for over 30 years and touched the life of so many people that it is hard to go anywhere without a person coming up and saying hi to us.
Barb is one of the most generous people I know. She always shops for the kids at Christmas and send a package of goodies to her brothers and sisters. This year she reached out and adopted a family to share our happiness with some people less fortunate.

Now that we have both retired, we are traveling some and really enjoy taking the Roads Scholar programs in photography. IT is some to learn new tricks but mostly to go places that are beautiful. Barb manages to capture the beauty of everywhere we go. I'm sure that the beauty she see's is a reflection of joy she gets and gives during her life.

I want to thank my Grand Niece, Amanda, for taking this picture. It is very nice to have a picture of Barb in her element.




This is the first Christmas without Mom, Mel's is in New York
This is my sister Myrna

- This was the first Christmas without Mother and I think the Petty Clan did their best to show up in mass and have a great time. With Barb at the Camera Ready position you know that everyone had a smile on their face when captured.
I thought it might be nice to share a little about my family one person at a time. The second picture above is my sister Myrna. I think I have my love of reading from her. I remember sitting on her bed and reading with her from an early age. I'm sure that she helped me through a lot of tough times when Dad had his problems when I was a kid. I know that she was always a solid spot in my life and I have a lot to be grateful to her for.
I am pretty sure that somewhere in our genes, we Petty's all got the excess cholesterol gene and only because of the Statin drugs am I able to avoid the health problems Myrna Sue has. When my brother and I compared medications, we are both on the same stuff and thankfully we can tolerate it. Myrna has to go to the KU Med Center on a regular basis for the new chellation therapy for excess cholesterol. I am very glad that we have her with us to share Christmas with the kids. Her smile and great stories added to the festivities. I hope she can be with us for many Christmas's to come. her husband Ray was down in the back this year and didn't make the trip over. We missed him.


Fame or Flame Out!

As a child, Life was so much fun that I didn't have time to establish any claim to fame. Perhaps better said, quoting Ron White, "I had the right, but I didn't have the ability." Pre Ritalin, I was just another little kid running through life wide open or at a high lope headed to the end of the day. The only break for me was the opportunity to stick my runaway mind in a book and go places far afield. People said that I would go from wide open to a nap so quick that I could put my butt against the wall and be asleep before it hit the ground. I spent most of this time trying to out cuss, out fight or out run the other kids.

My years in education were remarkable in only that I finished it all with no student loans and a degree.
My relationships with girls during most of that time is remarkable that I didn't have to get married anywhere in all that. The Bonus is that I did get married to a wonderful person that has been my friend and partner in all the fun we could handle. The best bonus in our life has been our son Dave. His bonus has been his wife, Barb. If we can help him get a degree and finish with no outstanding student loan I will have all the fame I could ever want.
Much of that continued through my young years and it wasn't until I found ways to harness all that ability that I could move up. I spent almost 10 years as a Captain and thought I wound end my career as one. I applied myself to my military career and worked hard to be as good as I could be. My claim to fame was that once I moved to the State level could I move up in the system until I was a Colonel and one of the Directorates on the Staff of the Adjutant General. After a meeting engagement with the General, I was invited to retire at the earliest opportunity and still draw a retirement. Man I hated it at the time but I outlived the Son of a Bitch, and have my health and am having the time of my life, I am thankful today.
There are a couple of "Halls of Fame" I am eligible for but have not made any effort to have my name brought forward to either. One is a Rogue's Gallery and the other was a "Good Old Boy's" list early on. Neither are built in with the kind of recognition I need. I am content to be discussed and cussed by people I worked with.
Now that my life is nearing having batted for the rotation, I find that I am having way too much fun to compete or work for some recognition. I probably could make some list as volunteer of the day, month or year but quite frankly I am not sure why. I will be content to go forward from here until I flame out.



Who would have Thunk It!

- When I was a young teenager, I had a paper route and loved to come home and read the paper. Back in those days there was the Wichita Eagle and Wichita Beacon. They combined and there was a morning and an evening paper. I tried to read every word. Today the local Topeka paper wouldn't make 1/4 of what either paper was daily. In addition to the paper, I read a lot of books. None of this prepared me for the proliferation of paper we have today.

Actually there isn't more paper as much as more data. It really isn't facts or information until it is fact checked and or organized. Just as Facebook and the Internet have exploded the volume, the standards of what's what has gone down to Nil. I don know how many notices to beware of something I get in a month only to find out that it is a rehash of an urban legend or just some completely made up story out there making the rounds. There is also that group of publicists in Hollywood that feel that any news is good news.

On the other hand, our family get together was completely stories of our lives and laughter that brightened our spirits. There was enough soup left over to feed a small country and whoever hosts the get together generally winds up with a white elephant or two left instead of going home with the giftee. We started with a bucket of books and now have two. Oh well, it was all worth the fun.

Da Barbs came up with that game Fact or Crap and we made into a family truth or not game that was a hoot. The next time we will go around the room between questions and share the embarrassment. Very creative stories. they would mix in just enough fact to hide the crap side. For example Rick said he got hit in the head with a hatchet. In fact, it was the back side of a double bladed axe.

I hope that this is just the precursor to how much fun Christmas will be.




It just keeps getting better and better. Today will be cleaning and shopping for tomorrow. Then what a day tomorrow will be. I will get to see the hawks play at 11 AM in Lawrence and the family will be here at 3 for our family gathering. Don't know when I will squeeze in a nap but I'm sure to need one. We'll see.

Barb bought a game to play tomorrow. It is truth or crap. Each person will write five statements that are either truth or crap. The group will have to decide if they are telling the truth or telling crap. Should be a fun game. With this family, finding out the truth may be a challenge. There are many gifted story tellers. The one that always kills me is Barb. Little miss innocent can make up some whoppers and no one thinks she is any where capable of telling lies. On the other hand my story telling prowess is well known.

My dad's first cousin, Mark Edmonds just sent me a couple of small pictures painted in the 40's by my grandfather E.E. Petty. The were gifts to Mark's family and one's I had not seen. One is a winter scene in Kansas and the other is a boat tied up by a stream bank. It is very obvious that they both have darkened. I need to seek out someone at the University to see if there is some way to clean them up a bit. I have one picture of a skunk and a snake that is so dark you almost can't see the snake. Mark, or Tiger as he is known to his fellow long riders also sent me a copy of his book, Confessions of Scooter Trash. Doctor Edmonds taught at St.Leo University in Florida and just recently retired. I hope he can get back this way this next summer. He has a ride planned out in draft but with long riders, the wind and weather always has a way of changing things. a small taste is available at http://www.drmarktigeredmonds.com/

I love it when Barb and I get to share ideas at the breakfast table. She thinks that the Republican party will have to adopt the President if he gets any more Bush like. We both are trying to imagine just who the Republicans can nominate to attract the 20% of the uncommitted in the middle. It is pretty clear that Sarah has 40% of the vote but the middle and the right both think she is old news and not all that good at that. The problem with Republican nominees is they self destruct by going over to the Regan side and scaring away the middle and the left. The Democrats just can't keep their hands and their peckers out of the cookie Jar. I wonder if the POTUS is keeping his cigars out of the oval orifice? He did have Bill drop by this week.

Miles to go and lots to do, have a great day out there.



Thursday Thoughts

I am torn about the Wiki leaks. I do think that a more transparent Government is in many ways, better but having been there, not everything needs to be public. By the same notion, not everyone really cares what the insiders of our Government says or does. For example, in the real world, meetings do not have to be public if things of a personnel nature is the subject and negotiations over a contract. How could any Government agency do business if every bid they get for a purchase is purchased prior to the bid closing. I think there is a law against that.

Christmas is almost here and I don't have that warm cookie feeling this year. You know, the same feeling that a hot chocolate and a cookie gives you early in the morning. I guess I should stop listening to Dave Ramsey and the problems of the world. I'll see if my radio can bring in some Christmas music and quit listening to Talk Radio.

Just when I thought our Government was headed the right direction, they pass a bill that hold steady the tax brackets, cuts withholding and extends unemployment. In my humble opinion they need to cut spending, pay the bills and head the Government to way we would all run our family. The simple rule is that outgo must be less than or equal to income. Ideally with the level of debt, It needs to equal and include a percentage of the debt repayment. Adding a Trillion to the debt is not my way of getting out of debt.

Oh well, moving on...



Pithy Pieces and Comments

Every once in a while I will write what I think is a Pithy Blog and expect to be overwhelmed with comments and get none. I also write one every once in a while that bores even me and people comment all over it. I am sure glad that I don't have to do this for a living.

I think the Hawks are going to steal the AD from Tulsa and hire him to replace Lew "something-er-other." It would not surprise me that with the Tulsa and Bill Self connection, he was behind the selection. So long as he pays attention to business and keeps the tickets being sold, I really don't care who it is. After all, it is a business from the AD end of things.

The BIG XII will need a new name. Barb doesn't think we should just change names with the BIG X as things will change. I vote for the Heartland Conference. One way to keep the name is to add two more teams to our list. I think Tulsa would be great and If they put football back in their program Wichita State University. We could be the BIG XII and nothing need change. I think SMU would have been great but they jumped ship this year and it is too soon to change again.

The birds are working the food over this morning. Normally that happens right before a big storm. What do they know that the weatherman doesn't? Could be the clouds have them confused. It is not sunny today and will it have to work hard to get above freezing.

OH well, planning, cleaning and cooking for the next couple of days. Can't wait to see where Josh Selby will fit in Saturday. He would be welcome here for soup but he will probably be a little busy.



Just Thinkin'

- What would the world be if we didn't carry a shield and a sword? If we just let all the Petty Dictators wreck havoc any where, any time, would the world be a better place over all? How many people do we kill in the name of peace and safety? Who is the biggest threat? Is it us with all our might, a dictator with a Nuc, A Leader with a religious with "Might makes Right?" How big does a war have to get before all is lost? Yes, I do understand Death is Binary - Either you are or you are not.

- If it is the middle of the Political spectrum that elects the President. (40% Republicans and 40 % Democrats with 20% undecided) How can we select just those people to vote and eliminate the need for an election. What possible way could we determine the real need of the rest of us and cut the cost. I know that a lot of those that have made up their mind just don't want to listen to the crap for a year ahead of the election.

- Just where should we spend our money as a Government? Is the Constitution even a good guide anymore? Lets see, it was National defense, The Post Office, Common commerce between states and Congress. We have a Government doing so much that it is no longer recognizable from the language in the constitution. Is this what a Republic evolves into? Is it evolution , devolution or revolution?

- Why is it so easy to listen to the good things about a religious and moral society and then get side tracked when things get a little hard. Why did we elect a Democrat during the Depression and Germany elected Hitler?

- Where does it say that the Government must rush in and save us from ourselves? Smoking is an end to its self. Can and by what right can the Government save your rights if it tramples mine? By the same notion, at what point does the Government spending take the extra money that is needed for investment and growth out as Taxes. If my momma said you can't spend yourself out of debt, why doesn't the Government listen?

How can people in the United States say that it is the teachers fault that our children aren't getting the best education? If almost 40% of our couples can't make a marriage work, why do they get trusted with raising children? If our Government solutions is to jump in and take over, every single man should be issued a woman and children to take care of. No more free ride Jimbo, take those children to raise.

It is our money, our rights, and "Our Government." Why can't we get it just right, just once?


Still Checkin'

Every morning, I make my way out to the end of the drive and fetch the paper. Yes, I know that one day that medium will go away and I'll probably just make my way over to the computer and hook up electronically. For some reason I would rather read the news than listen to some person tell me what to believe. Besides, I have to check the Obits every morning to make sure that I;m not there. Be real bad to be dead and not know.

Every morning I get up and open the curtain to the world down below the house. It is always interesting to see what is going on in the local world. I also check for signs that the possums have discovered the bird seed outside but so far they are absent. The finches squeeze the thistle seed and leave a pretty big mess. The possums eat that and it goes through them like grease through a goose. They leave what looks like little footballs made out of seed.

Barb has Rabbit Run about decorated for Christmas. I bought an 8 foot White Pine tree but is doesn't seem to be as big around as the usual trees. I guess it is just a normal tree and pretty but it doesn't fill the room like some did. Next year. After the first of the year, I'm going on a wall painting move. After about 10 years, the walls need some help. I may also take some of the wood trim off and re=finish it where it has been banged - a lot.

Oh well, I hear a cuppa coffee calling my name.



Petty Family Gathering

The time was changed to 3 PM to accommodate those with Saturday Night plans. here at Rabbit Run on the 18th, we will have our normal "Soup Kitchen", White Elephants Gifts with a random number draw to generate who goes in what order and anyone with books they have read, bring them for a book exchange. Barb and I will furnish tea and some kind of drinks. BYOB.

GPS Vs Maps

In my younger years, I was the kind of person that could generally find his way somewhere because of an understanding of direction (N,S,E & W) and the ability to read a map. If I had been somewhere once, I could almost always find my way there again. In Kansas that was aided by the fact that most roads run true on the prime directions. If you take I-70 West in Kansas you sure as heck will wind up in Colorado. One special occasion, the wife used my Son's Best Buy discount to buy me a Garmin Nuvi. I am now convinced that the additional benefits of the Garmin has more than made it worth the cost. In addition to being able to drive door to door, it provides the location of restaurants and places to shop when we are on the road. Throw in the search benefit of the I-Phone, and the old saying, "You can run but can't hide" is nor more true than ever.

The only feature that I really don't like is the "Recalculating" it announces when I am forced to change direction or decide to make a short side trip while going somewhere. Pull off the road to buy gas and it will announce, "Recalculating" until you resume the right road and prime direction. having been married for 42 years, I have had a live person make the announcements that I was going a way or to places unknown. I have only been completely lost a very few times. I even have been known to take short detours like my Dad did to bypass towns on trips to the same places over and over.

I am sure that if I were to be a delivery driver or a person making calls on people, I would even find more uses for the Garmin. This is one gift that keeps on giving and one i would recommend for your Christmas list.



I wonder?

Why would K-State go all the way to Chicago to play in a 5,600 seat stadium? If Loyola had come to Manhattan they could have sold out a great and big place to play. They deserve better. Someone at KSU needs to have his job rating lowered for that one.

Why would ESPN say the roof at the dome in Minnesota collapsed when this is the 6th time it has deflated in snowy weather? Seems like someone should have been there to inflate and deflate the roof a little to knock off the snow. After all, this wasn't the first time. Another job performance review that should be than less stellar.

Why on God's green Earth would anyone expect the KC quarterback to play today after having his appendix out on Wednesday? Brett Farve had the crap kicked out of him last weekend and everyone want him to play today. Hell, I know 40 year old's that have fallen down and wound up in the hospital. Give him the Iron Man Award and let him watch.

What is in the method of Coach Bill Self to claim the hawks are slipping after they win by 20 points over Colorado State? Kind of like the neighborhood bully beating up the little kids and then calling his team sissies. Colorado State probably has their sights set high after such a fine game and here is Bill kicking sand in their faces.

It took about an hour to park and then un-park at the Sprint Center in KC. That was my first and last time there. Even with Garmin Nuvi, I wound up getting out by feel not stellar directions. In the valley of the tall buildings, the Garvin kept losing its connection to the real world. The persons directing traffic in KC were terrible. Another job performance review that should be a lot worse. Surely there is someone that could synchronize the lights and traffic flow to let 16,000 people escape the clutches of KC traffic. Heck, it was 8:30 on a Saturday night so what it they blocked off the roads a little. It took us most of a half an hour to get out of the parking garage.

What would about a thousand birds be doing for food this morning if it were not for the feeders here? They are standing four or five deep to get into the suet block and the seed feeder.

Sometimes I wonder why I try to write this crap?




This is one time where the weatherman using the Midwest has the storm moving to Ohio and beyond. I wasn't listening and expected the weather to get us and plow us full of snow. It is about 32 degrees and windy right now but that's much better than snow with us facing a trip to Kansas City. I'm sure that you are probably tired of hearing me complain about the use of the term Midwest. To me that should be at least as far west at Denver. We know the geographical center of the contiguous United States is here in Kansas. Somewhere near Cawker City where the largest ball of twine lives. Here in the heartland.

Opened the curtains this morning and three deer are out in the yard. They did lift their heads up and look at me but they know I'm no threat. Barb has banned shooting Bambi here at Rabbit Run. If I were to get a gun out, I would probably shoot those nasty bushy tailed squirrels that chew on the house.

Yesterday I bought a Christmas tree and it was in one of those tree wraps. I got it home and it is pretty sorry. I will probably get the duty to go get another one when Barb gets up and really looks at it. There is hope that it will open up some but not much. Oh well, she wanted a tree for the Birds.

Better run and see if I can get the sausage cooking before barb gets up. She hates sausage.



Sunshine, In my Window - Makes me Happy

Every Day above ground is bonus to me. I look out into the yard and get to see Deer, Turkeys, squirrels and more kinds of birds than I can even name. I am in such a good place in my life right now, that the simple sunshine makes me smile.

Tomorrow Barb and I will travel to Kansas City to see the KU Jayhawks play Colorado State at the Sprint Center. We might even stay overnight there because the weather is a little iffy and it will give us a chance to get out and like My Daddy said -"Blow the stink off."

Barb got the Christmas packages off to her family. She puts together a small package of goodies and gifts for the kids. Now days most of the kids get a few dollars up to the age of 18. Just the postage this year was darn near $50.00. Oh well, it is something she loves to do. The Bonus is I get to sample the cookies, fudge and divinity.

We have adopted a family through the United way this year. We don't have the details yet but I'm sure that Barb will do a great job of picking out things for them. Normally we also shop for a Christmas meal for them too. That will be my job.

Barb's nephew is married to a soldier. She just completed some advanced training at Fort Huachucha, AZ and is headed home. We wish her god speed and a safe trip. It made me think about what our Military stands for. I will use They for all the men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard:

They love peace but prepare for war. They love life but are willing to lay down their life for us. They love their families but are willing to go far away to fight to keep the battle there. Most of all they love freedom that they are willing to give theirs up so we don't have to.

Can you see the smile on my face now?



What are you Worth?

I guess how you answer this question depends on how it is interpreted. For an old retired guy, the closest thing I could answer would be an accumulation of my net worth. It is obvious that I no longer am earning my keep, just that I did and they do keep on paying. I am thankful that I have not had to dip into my savings yet and hopefully I will be able to maintain that for a few more years.

For a lot of my life, I worked in jobs that were more work than pay and I treated them as such. As a caddy, I carried damn heavy club bags and ate what I was paid as lunch. If I wanted to go home with any left over money, I went over to the driving range and picked up range balls. back in those days there was no fancy caged car, only a funny looking thing that allowed you to pickup 25 to 50 balls without stooping. I made a lot more money mowing lawns.

I remember a job that paid 6 bits (75 cents) an hour to clean up a horse farm to get ready for a horse show. We cut brush, whitewashed barns and fences and raked up accumulations of horse manure by the cart load. We even took tickets at the gate on the day of the show. Hot hard work and I'll bet we drank a gallon of water an hour.

One tough job was Vietnam. The pay wasn't bad, but the hours were terrible. In the Field Artillery, we worked 24 on and 24 on. There might have been some guys in the rear that had time off but not where I was for the most part.

One thing that stands out the most in my life is the degree of difficulty in the jobs I took. One day I went to my boss to complain that he had over tasked me. He calmly said do the best you can and report back. If it was easy, they would hire someone for a lot less money that they are paying you.

So, whether it is what you are worth from a Net Standpoint, or from a pay standpoint, most of the time we are worth what we are willing to work for. For me, I'm priceless and rich beyond my wildest imagination.



Watchin' the Hawks

Last night the Jay hawks played in the Jimmy Valvano Classic in Madison Square Garden. This team managed to do something that has eluded several KU Teams and won! This group of kids are fun to watch and play with a reckless abandon that drives most coaches and a few fans crazy. They turn the ball over - a lot. and in spite of some of the best passing in college ball throw it away - a lot! With that said, they win - a lot! I don't have an answer but the local paper called them wild and fun. I'm not sure I can argue with that or the results. I did like the comment from one announcer that the BIG XII Championship trophy will again go through Lawrence. There are two teams that are also in the hunt K-State and Baylor. K-State had depth to match with anyone and Baylor has "length" to match up with anyone else. If K-State had a coach that could talk with his players instead of being the Mad Hatter they could win every time. Baylor is a fun team that gets better every year.

I found it especially poignant that on the day when the Jimmy V games were played, Elizabeth Edwards passed away from Breast Cancer. Some day we will have a cure for cancer that works every time. It will take a concerted effort and $ but it will happen someday. I also want them to continue tests that detect cancer early. The sooner they start working on the cure the better the result.

I agree with Jimmy V that the mark of success in life is your ability to live it and inspire others. None of us will live forever and our only hope of success in life is our ability to live on in others. I hope that when I exit life here, I will be as remembered as my mother was. She was far from perfect, but she gave the best hugs I have ever had and damn if she didn't look good in a red dress. At one time I said, I was the only hell my mother ever raised but, after seeing her in that red dress at Mel's wedding, I'm not so sure.

The painting is done for this round and now there is the clean up to do. Barb has been very patient with me so I'd better get busy and finish the clean up.



Freedom Of Religion Or From Religion?

Personally, I don't have a big dog in this fight. I do find the discussion interesting as it broils the passion of others. Being a Conspiracy Theorist, It also makes me wonder why the ACLU has gone to the lengths they have to dispel the notion that we are a country that was founded on religious principles. During his first year as President, George Washington wrote of the first Day of Thanksgiving -

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. Go: Washington

Clearly, George Washington, one of the men most responsible for the form of Government we were to have after our War of Independence, he believed that God was an important part of what makes our Government good. He goes on to point out that it is possible for us to promote knowledge, practice a religion, have virtues as well as an increase of science.

Given a country where we were forced to live under a religious rule, I would probably be a rebel on the front lines. Given the choice of having a country that has religion as a part of the values we are establish by, I would choose the latter every time. If you wonder where "God Bless America" came from, read the above again and try to understand the respect one of our founding fathers had for who we are and what we stand for.



Cold Nights

On these cold nights, our temperatures gets down into the teens. During the days, it might get up to 40 but it will have to work hard to get there. Right now, things are dry outside and we could use some moisture but it would probably be snow and I'll pass.

My crack patching is still ongoing and most of that is because of the length of time it takes to dry between coats of thin mud on the wall. I want it to look good and probably am being too careful but time is not the concern right now, appearance is. A well painted wall over a crappy patch looks crappy. A poor paint job over a well patched job looks a lot better. My goal is a great paint job over a well patched job.

I am really torn over the Cam Newton situation. Will the NCAA come back and take Cam Newton's eligibility away after the end of the season because his dad shopped his name to Mississippi State? I would rather see it done up front and over with than come back and take the Season and the Heisman away after the season. It just goes to show you that nothing illegal can ever be done in this electronic age without someone revealing it. The sad part is that he will go on to make millions in the Pros and his team will be the one's to suffer.

Oh well, cracks to finish patching and paint to apply.



Sunday Morning!

Dave and Barb brought their nephews Kyler and Austen over for breakfast. We cooked bacon, scrambled eggs and biscuits and fruit. Dave had to go to work at 10 so he blew out with a good warm breakfast and a package of Uncle Chuck's chocolate chip cookies. It is well that he got some cookies as he named them. My former brother-in-law Gene loved them and Dave called him Uncle Chuck after we had made a trip to California to meet the real uncle Chuck. I think that everyone that eats one loves them. I think Barb and her sisters worked hard to make them as good as they are. They are a pretty good chocolate chip cookie with oats and coconut that makes for a crisp light cookie that is wonderful. They also have Mom B's fudge from Judy's mother-in-law.

Just a point of reference, If you plan on making fudge or divinity, get a good candy thermometer. There is just little room between a batch of either that is too gooey or too hard. It isn't rocket Science, it is chemistry and temperatures make all the difference in the world. If you just want to fool around, make Rice Crispy treats. If you want real Christmas candy get a good thermometer. Somewhere I have the recipe and directions and will post them sometime before Christmas.

The patch efforts are ongoing. I apply several light coats of plaster rather than one big thick one. It takes a while to let it dry before you can sand the excess down to make it all level. One big crack has been working over three days. I hope to get that one finished today and a coat of paint by tomorrow at the latest. It is one dusty mess right now.

Better get on the stick, cooking bacon and making a pot of coffee hardly makes a full days work.



Spendin' Saturday Patchin" Cracks

This morning while I was drinking my second cup of coffee, Barb said there are deer working on the mineral block in the path below our house. It appeared to be a Doe and her yearling calmly eating the green leaves nearby the mineral block and from time to time trying to get some of the corn out of the mineral block. I think they roll it over to see it the moisture has loosened corn on the bottom. I'll try to get a picture from Barb's telephoto posted here. She takes such great photos. Put a good eye with good equipment and it almost always turns out right. If my camera doesn't take a good picture, it is the camera's fault. I have a NIKON D70 and have learned to never take out the CF photo card. bend those pins and you are screwed.

Yes, it started with a trip to Lowe's with Barb. Paint one damn wall and then move on to the next wall on the list. Can't just paint that wall, gotta patch cracks first. Fill a little, sand a little, fill a little, sand a little and on and on until it is smooth enough to not see any filler or marks on the wall. It will be nice but new paint makes the rest of the joint look bad and I will be all winter painting, filling and redoing. OK, there is time for naps and Blogging so it isn't all bad. 'Cides Barb will be here making it all worthwhile. Yesterday was day one on the Uncle Chuck's Chocolate Chips. There will be Mom B's Fudge, divinity and tons of more stuff between now and Christmas. The BONUS is that we finally got a bag of oranges worth the name. Sam's Club brought us our first bag of sweet oranges. Yea!

Better get back up and do some fillin' and and sandin or I'll never get done. The Big 12 had won all four of the games with the PAC 10. Serves them right. Let 'em have Colorado.



What Does Christmas Mean to you?

As a child, Christmas was an adventure between Mom and me. She would buy basically what we asked for through the Sear's Catalog. She would try to wrap things up so we didn't know everything and then we would try to act surprised on Christmas morning. The game would involve me opening up the big Sear's box and then trying to close it up before she noticed. Then if I missed on that opportunity, I would tear open the edge of a package and read the label and then tape the corner back up. Generally by Christmas, I really knew what everything was. I don't have a clue if Mom knew but I will promise she wasn't stupid and didn't miss much.

I know that Grandma Petty grew up poor and never had much in her life. I am pretty sure that piano lessons and a WWI Widow's pension were her only sources of income. In spite of that poverty, I always got something from her. In a lot of years it was flannel pj's. I would rather she kept her money but that was what she bought so...

Now that I am a retired adult. (Read Child with time and money) I am always wondering just what the heck to ask for. In the real world of things, I have everything I need and most of what I want. The part that adds to that is there are all kinds of stores nearby that will take my Debit card. Yesterday, I set out on a journey to buy a great flashlight. I had a DeWalt flashlight and it would brighten up the night like none other. The charger died so I gave that rig to Dave who has the old drill and a great charger. I went looking for a Makita Flashlight so I could use my current charger and batteries for the Makita Drill ken bought for me. No such luck. The closest was a Riobi flashlight. By the time I bought the battery and charger I was up to about $80.00. Not my cuppa tea. I wound up with a 1 million candlepower flashlight with a built in rechargeable battery and a charger cord provided. (About $10) There is even a car charger cord so I can take it on trips. That sucker not only lights up the night, it actually heats up your hands if you shine it on them. (Bonus)

Barb, skip this paragraph - I am going to look around for a heated gray passenger side leather seat for a 2004 Crown Victoria. That will be Barb's present if I can locate one. She always comments about the cold seat so I will do my best to warm it up for her.

Yesterday, I put on a new coat of paint on the south wall upstairs. Barb wanted the color different and the first coat was Caramelized Onion in color. Yes dear one's it was a crappy color and I even thought so. I consider myself "pretty challenged" and it looked nicely painted but the color looked like a pair of wool Army Field Pants. On my flashlight journey, I bought some Flax Seed color paint and it is as pretty as a speckled pup. Today I am going to start patching the cracks on the wall. I will dig out the old crack and put in some crack preventer tape and then cover it with new mud. It will look good for a while but how long it will last is unknown.

Better get crackin'.



Paint in a Can vs on the Wall

Barb picked a fairly mid range color called Caramelized Onion to make the end wall of our living room look neutral. It came out looking like an OD Jeep dipped in a mud puddle. That to me serves as an analogy for many of our lives. If our lives are too simple, it will take either a serious strong color or some good ornamentation to brighten it up.

Why do we celebrate the performance of an actor? Why do we watch those reality shows where extremely dirty people do things that few of us would endure? My friend Mindy asked on her Facebook account today who are our Heroes? I want to know what it is that makes people a hero and others who for the lack of notoriety don't get recognized? I might shine in my own little world, but the guy that runs the transient shelter that houses the homeless in cold weather make a much more positive impact in the world. A dry warm bed and a filling meal might just make the difference to someone less fortunate.

Can anyone tell me why someone would spend $40,000 on a Chevrolet Volt and expect a $7,000 rebate from the Government? Will reducing my carbon footprint to a lower level save the world worth the added expense of an electric car? I really do understand why my brother bought a Prius because he drives to hell and gone all over the State of Oklahoma each day to serve the patients his company supports. I don't know, and I expect he doesn't either know, if the value of the Prius is supported by the expense in the long run. In the short haul it looks good but if it dies ugly like my Vega did, will it be a good return on his money?

My niece Amanda was looking for a topic for a paper in her Econ class. I told her that investment is a grand topic. For one, when does the return of my money become more important than the return on my money. If the rate of return is based on risk, when does it just not make sense to send your money out there in the cruel world. I for one can tell you that the stock market has absolutely not been my vehicle of investing. Custom Electronics and General Motors both took my share value and crashed it on the rocks. Did the bells not go off when Bernie Madoff was sending a rate of return way above the market? The part I don't understand is how so many people lost every dollar they had invested in a single source investment.

When does life that is tranquil become one of boredom? Why can't people find enough to keep them satisfied with a nap now and then? Oh well, I have stirred up enough weevils in the soup today.



I Hates Winter!

I really don't mind the cold as much as I hate snow. Yes, it is a rare year that it stays on the ground long but when it does, it is generally deep. I expend so much energy moving around that I sweat and then when I stop I am really cold. The picture above was me trying to get to the snow blade that is parked down in the equipment park. It took me a couple of hours to get the tractor running and the snow chains installed. Then it was a job to push the snow around.
The other day I was out at Lowe's and saw a row of snow blowers where the mowers normally sit. makes me wonder if I should break down and buy one. Nah, I'll stay home when I need to. If it were entirely up to me, I would strap a snow shove on the top of the car and go south until someone says, "Senior, What is dat on jour rof."

Barb and I painted a wall in the living room that had been sponge painted blue, white and cream. It had been good enough for a while but when the new couch showed up, the color scheme is now brown and red. Blue is the new verboten color in the living room. The ceiling in the living room is a cathedral ceiling and it is almost impossible to paint the very top. I have to lean the ladder on the beams and step across to the ledge below the window. I always feel like an acrobat when I do that and it is not my favorite move. After a short while, my knees start to shake and it makes painting a straight line a real pain in the patootie. Oh well, it is done for now.

Got a nice letter from my Friend in Florida. His Grandmother is my Great Grand Mother on my Dad's side of the family. He is a retired College Professor, poet, story teller and all around nice guy. Dr Mark "Tiger" Edmonds is his name and he has several CD's out with tales of his motorcycle adventures. It is kind of like cowboy poetry but it centers around his long rides on his BMW motorcycle. If you would like to hear some of his poetry go to www.drmarktigeredmonds.com Better yet, if you really like the samples, buy one of his CD's and listen to them while you are traveling down the highway. I have one downloaded to my I-Pod and love the sound of his voice telling about his travels and travails. he sounds like Sam Elliott to me. You know, that deep slow voice that sounds like he has smoked too many Marlboro's and drank coffee late into the night. The kind of guy that thinks about what he is going to say then you could listen to for hours. Seems like he is going to be up this way next summer and would like to meet us. I will use it as an excuse to invite my sisters et al, over for a meat grilling fun time.

I really need to find a way to load the bikes up in the trailer and head south. I feel like I am getting way out of shape and hate the idea that I will need to work so hard next spring to regain my recumbent legs. It is either that or make circles on the exercise bike and I hate that. Oh well, one or the other.

Better run and see what wonderful ideas Barb has for the curtains.