New Years Stuff

Someone posted 30 things they said we should not do to ourselves for New years.  I think that's way too many things.  Here is my list of what to do:
  • You are your own source of happiness.  If you aren't happy, get up off your butt and do something. No, posting your "wahhhh" on Facebook ain't it.
  • What ever your job is, do your best.  It isn't hard to compete for promotion with a bunch of people that spend half their time on line and the other half finding excuses for not getting things done. Build a schedule and follow it.  Have things done when you say you will have it done.  Working late now and then is good practice.
  • Keep your education going.  Read a book, journals or just talk to people in the field that you are interested in.  No, not BS, but aske them what works for them and then listen.
  • Write down on your hand that income must be equal to or greater than outgo.  Get a second job or stop spending if you find month left at the end of your money.
  • Brush, floss and see your dentist at least once a year.  Twice ain't bad.   Do an annual physical "annually" DUH!
  • If you are an introvert, find some alone time.  If you are an extrovert, get out and meet people.
  • Stop spending your time reading 30 things not to do and do the right things first and in the oprder of how important ther are to you.  If in doubt, make a list and start putting it in order.


WEB Griffin

Instead of waiting for the book to get to the library, I bought a copy of his latest book.  It is co-written with William E. Butterworth IV.   Yes, if you are familiar with his books the WEB in the author's name is William E. Butterworth and I'm not sure if he is Junior, the II or the III.  I find that the books that are written with his son just seem to lack the character development from his earlier books.  The theme is familiar in a lot of works, he writes from the point of view of a rich smart and talented hero and in most cases while he may lose a battle now and then, in the long haul wins the wars.  I don't know why I love pure fantasy but I do.  Did I mention that he also gets the girl?  A Lot!

The really good news is that WEB Griffin gets done is his works about 250 pages less than Clancy.  I can read his books in a couple of days where Clancy can spin a tale on for lots more pages and it takes all week for me to finish.  Both writers have characters that move on through the books and are fairly easy to follow.  I happen to have most of the Griffin books and not so many Clancy books.

I see our friends from Morocco are in Spain again for Christmas.  I think it would be fun to meet them there and see Spain from the eyes of the girls.  I'm pretty sure that Gerald is filling up on the ham he doesn't get in Morocco.  I would love to eat a sea food paella the way I see them made on the cooking shows.  (Just so you know, I really struggled with the spell checker to spell paella.  I had to go out to the web and look up Spanish cooking to find out how to get even close to the right way to spell it)  I always loved my mother's answer to the age old question "What is this?"  She would tell us, "I cooked it, I don't have to name it!" 

My niece Jennifer wrote that she was on a plane sitting beside Danny Manning and an NBA Referee.  She said she loved to listen to them talk Basketball.  Who wouldn't?  I am sure that most of the members of our family would have paid to listen to that discussion.  I don't know what KU is paying Danny Manning to be an assistant coach but it can't be enough.  His work with the Morris Twins was remarkable.  They were just a couple of tall guys as freshmen and they were men amongst men by their Junior year.  

Speaking of Basketball,  I watched the Miami Heat play the Boston Celtics and Mario Chalmers played until he made four mistakes in a row.  They pulled him and put in a guard that just took over and hit key baskets when they were needed.  Super Mario needs to watch his back and get better fast or he will be setting on the bench for the rest of his season.

OH Well, better run.  Read that my Barber is down to his last week cutting hair.  He is going to retire at the end of the year and man will I miss him.



Christmas Past

This morning I woke up with the house quiet after a full day of people, fun and gifts.  It did seem that everyone got what they wanted for Christmas and other than burning the garlic mashed potatoes, the meal went off as planned.  I swear I am going to get some serving dishes for the next big meal.  I guess I forgot how quickly the taters, or spuds burn when you add a few touches.  Oh well.

The first Christmas memory I have is going outside on Christmas eve and wondering how Santa could deliver packages without snow.  More years than not, we didn't have snow in Wichita until after Christmas.  I can remember pestering Mom and Dad a lot and they would often let us open one package on Christmas eve.  The next morning it chaos as we opened the rest of the packages and the rest of the day would be spent playing with the new gifts and friends.  There was almost always a big dinner wherever we were and everyone would take an afternoon nap.  

Christmas 1968 was spent in Vietnam and we sat up and played cards in case the Vietnamese failed to honor the cease fire.  My sister sent me a quart of scotch in a flask that has a cleaning product label on it.  I filled a canteen with scotch and water and drank it sitting there playing Rook.  By Christmas., I had been on R&R to meet Barb and soon was to go meet her again in Hawaii.  I had about three months left on my tour and the thing i wanted for Christmas was me out of Vietnam and home.  

Thanksgiving was spent out in the Il Drang valley north west of Pleiku on and operation that was to last about three days.  It really lasted about three weeks and I managed to get scheduled for an in country leave because of it. After New years eve, I went to the R&R Center and asked how I could change the in country R&R to a visit to Hawaii.  The clerk at the desk said all I needed was a slight change on the orders.  He offered a typewriter and some white out and the use of a copy machine.  I didn't think about having a telegram delivered to Barb in San Diego.  I didn't have a phone so all I could do was sent a telegram to have her meet me. 

Some of the most memorable gifts I got for Christmas over the years was my first BB Gun, a new race bike and approval to bring home Rex my companion for many years.  Rex lasted the longest.  He was a Manchester Terrier and his brindle color didn't make him much to look at.  He did have the heart of a lion and a brain the size of a peanut.  He thought he was a big as any dog and he got chewed up many times because of it.  I'm sure that the vet loved that we supported him as much as we did.  He loved me and I loved him.

Most of all, Christmas has always meant spending time with family/  I'm pretty sure that one reason we have a big old living room and dinning room is to display the biggest tree we can find and to host as many of the family as can come over.  10 of us opening presents filled the living room with excitement and wrapping paper.  It looked like the group got what they wanted and lots of KU gear showed up.  I think there were a couple of the KU vs K-State tickets also were shared.  I think we will spend New year's Eve at a game and then the 4th of January, Dave and I will take Kyler and Austen to the big game.  I watched K-State play in the Hawaii Classic last night and they are pretty good.  It will be a good game no matter what.

OH well, Have a Nappy new hear or Happy New Year out there.



Don't Start a Clancy Book right now

A few days back, Barb picked up a book for me at the library.  It is the new Tom Clancy book, "LOCKED ON"  I really want to finish the book, but it seems that every time I sit down to read, something needs done or I fall asleep.  I guess I need to flash to the end and be satisfied if the good guys win and the bad guys loose.

Yesterday, the KU Men's Basketball team played a USC team that stunk up the joint.  in 20 minutes of basketball they scored 13 points.  They tried to speed up the game and threw the ball away 12 times.  Thankfully KU wasn't having their best game either or it would have been a run a way.  As it was, the Hawks got it together in the second half and made a game out of it.  The Big 12 (minus a couple) might get a new champ this year.  I am sure that Baylor, K-State and Missouri would love that.  Especially Missouri would love to hang a banner their last year in the Big 12 (-).  Oh well, it is only a game and there is always a next year.

Last night we invited Mel's mom and her nephew over for pizza.  We had a ball.  Zander is such a fun little guy with a  whole heart full of fun.  I would love to keep him here just to make us smile.  Barb bought him a little Tonka truck that flips and spins and it was so great to see him smile and laugh.  When the battery ran down, Zander got to get out a toy box full of Lego's and Transformers.    Not a dull moment here.

I had been having problems with the lights on the Crown Vic and a dealership told me that it was probably a $500.00 module in the system.  Thank god it was a $80 dollar switch.  I bought a repair manual and found out that all I needed to do was pry the face plate out of the dash and the switch came with it.  About 3 minutes to plug in the wires and it was all good.  Now I will keep an eye on it to make sure it stays fixed.  I hadn't driven it much at night and it was a surprise when it quit.  

Oh well, I hope you all have a great Christmas and a happy new year.




If I had to die tomorrow, I'd try to duplicate this Saturday today.  Our family gathering was so much fun for me that I'd take it anytime.  We did miss my mother's being there but the rest of us had a ball.  I have to think that there was a lot more planning and doing by Barb than I was aware of.  All through the White Elephant Gift exchange Barbara was directing people to not take this one package and I really didn't know why until it was Jenn's turn.  She made sure that Jenn got our package and then I remembered why.  Jenn is a brand new Captain in the Kansas City Fire Department and the T-Shirt inside the package said "Call Me Captain".   Between Barb and Jenn, they were pushing this cheesecake hard to everyone.  I found out why when the winner of the best food item at our dinner was Amanda, the cheese cake maker.  Along with our traveling trophy, Barb gave her four tickets to see KU play in the Sprint Center tonight.  I'm sure she will have no trouble finding three more people to with her.

As soon as I get my act together this morning, i am going to drive south at least as far south as OK City.  I am going to pick up our 'Nother daughter Mel and bring her home Wednesday.  We will be blessed with a two week long visit and the holiday will ring with laughter.  

We found out that our Nephew, Bob, will be the father of a baby girl in February.  We all were surprised at the news and hope they will be as proud parents as we will be proud relatives.  Bob's sister said she had lunch with Bob's wife last month and Julia had worn her coat during the meal.  She didn't even notice.  For some reason little children just mean Christmas to me.  I think it is the wonderment they display every day is what I love about Christmas.

On Sunday morning, my brother, his daughter Becky, her friend Bill and Back's daughter Kristin and I went to visit Mom's grave here in Topeka.  Beck had put together the funeral for Mom in Tulsa, but none of them had been to see the grave here in Topeka.  It was a beautiful morning and everything looked great.  Mom and dad are buried in a double stack vault and Mom got the top bunk.  

Oh well, better get going and get my show on the road.



Peace in Iraq?

About 9 years ago, I asked the question? "What will peace look like in Iraq if it takes a strong man like Saddam to maintain peace?"  I wondered if this was another attempt to bring about peace through war.  As for Afghanistan, they have had so many wars fought there that they must think that war is the normal state of things.  There is a list of places that we have been unable to bring peace but we have been able to bring war.  

For all those young men and women that have served, I echo the POTUS remark, "Welcome Home"


Acumulatin' Crap

As I look around my computer station, I can see that I have been way too busy accumulating the baggage of life. My dad always said that he wanted to build a house with no flat surfaces to pile anything.  He also wanted it to be made with a ceramic tile surface and have a fire hose and a drain in every room.  Kind of like the cages in the zoo.  Everything slopes towards the drain and you can sweep it clean with a fire hose.  he had a vivid mind but no follow through.  I remember the time he disassembled an organ in the back room and there were pieces on the floor for at least a year.

The weatherman said this is going to be a really unusual day here in the Heartland.  It will be cloudy, rainy . breezy and the temperatures is to get into the low 60's.  We can always use the rain but 60 in December?  The birds haven't slowed down their eating at the feed station one bit.  In fact, one of the woodpeckers completely pecked apart one of the suet blocks and the ground feeders haven't cleaned up the mess - yet.  Somewhere there is a woodpecker pecking at the house again.  His thumping on the siding really doesn't bother me too bad. If you build a house in the woods, you have to expect critters to think it belongs to them.

I think I have mentioned that I have to establish a defense in depth against the mice every fall.  There is a mouse trap with a big paddle lever that I have found works about as good as anything.  Seems like the mice kind of lean on the wall when they move about in the dark.  I put the traps along the wall and I have knocked off the population at least one a day for a couple of weeks now.   It doesn't seem to matter if I smear the lever with peanut butter or not.   Now if I could just find a trap that works on the squirrels as well.   I just heard the pitter patter of a good squirrel chase going on up on the deck and then a thud.  One of them jumped off the deck and fell about 12 feet to the ground.  He didn't stick around to nurse his wounds so he must be somewhat OK. 

Barb just appeared from the bed room and I said good morning.  I should say I croaked "good morning" as it seems I have little voice today.  When there is no one to talk to, you don't realize your voice is gone.  Inside my mind I sound the same, in reality it is the problem.  Oh well.  Barb wouldn't take orders to day anyway.



'Nother Rainy Day in Kansas

The real cold air just went north of us again and we are just getting rain today.  It is damp, cloudy and breezy so not a great day to be outside.  Knowing that any thing we have to do outside will be in the car, takes the edge off and won't deter us from dashing out to do what preChristmas business Barb needs done.  

Have I mentioned that I am a sports fan?  Not as much as my dad was, but I love to watch college basketball and thrill when games are close and teams put out their best to win.  I hate to see teams breakdown into a fistfight near the end and never feel bad when a team does its best and loses.   I wonder how much press Denver would be getting if they were as close to losing as they have been winning.  Tim Tebow can give all the credit to the Lord as he wants, it is his defensive line that is keeping him alive on the field.   

It is pretty clear to me why the KC Football owners canned the coach.  That is a team filled with great players that completely broke down in the second half and the game turned ugly.  The coach was clearly not in charge and the Offensive Coach had no game plan that his team could even understand let alone execute.  To me, it is pretty simple - Make a simple plan and execute it as well as you can.  The poorest plan well executed is better than a complicated plan not executed.  Find their weakness and attack there.  Establish a running game early and work towards passes.  I loved it when  Refrigerator Perry was handed the ball and told to run into the end zone. KC was at its best when Christian Okoyee would be given the ball and run as far as he could.  Generally it was with three or four players hanging on for dear life.

Every year in December, USAA sends us a check for a part of not having any accidents in the year.  Then, in the mail the next day is a bill for our yearly insurance.  Seems like they should just cross level the two and cut the postage.  The good news is that the check goes in the pocket for Christmas, the bad news is we still have to write them a check.    The really bad news is that our Taxes are due this week, again the good news is we have the money to pay them.  

I guess that life is like that for a lot of people.  The good news for us is that when we go out we generally have enough money to pay cash for everything.  I saw a guy buy a bottle of water at the last KU game and he had to use his debit card.  Yes, it was $4.00 but if I didn't have $4.00 I sure as hell would go by the ATM.  Oh well...

Catch you on the flip flop.  Going to Austin TX next week to bring our 'nother daughter to Kansas.  She has surgery on her foot and can't drive and I have nothing better to do.  The really great news is that I will get Barbara to go with me on the return trip and we'll get to spend some time in Southern Texas staying warm and taking pictures.  



Duality of Life

Every once in a while I will feel bored and just feel the need to get out and do something.   I think back and remember that when I was working, I could hardly wait for the time I "Had to do nothing."  When we were young, we lacked money to do all the things we wanted to do, and now we lack the energy to do all the things we need to do.  We had to travel in our car because we could not afford to fly when we were young and now we hate the hassle of airports and crowded airplanes.  Yep, you guessed it, the pre Christmas season is upon me.  I could hardly wait for it to arrive as a kid and now it is, "Christmas again?"   

The good news is that I can read a book for now and when it is time to get out and "Blow the Stink Off" I know that Barb had a package or two that needs to go to the post office.   

Oh well, Oh Well, My Lottery Tickets didn't win.  I am some poor sucker without a grin.  (Sing that to the tune of Noel) Power Ball, scratch offs, Magic Millionaire and more, all cry out for my money at the store.  I'll stand in line and cry for more.  Oh well, Oh well, Life's a ball, we can't all win or deck the hall.  etc...



Advice for Politicians

The problem most people running for office have is they try to say too much about too much.  For Example:

  • Mr. candidate how do you feel about Roe Vs Wade?    "Let me say that as a person, I think Abortion is not the way I want Birth Control done. Given my free will, I would not insert the Federal Government into the decision between a woman and her Doctor.  As a candidate for (insert the proper Office here)  I will completely support the laws of the United States where Roe Vs Wade is the current Law of the Land."
  • What do you think about President Obama's Appointments to the US Supreme Court?    "I will appoint people that will clearly look at the law and vote the way they interpret the Law.  I will pick the smartest person I can find to that position.  President Obama selected his candidates for the office like every President before him has.  His selections should have been no surprise to anyone who was paying attention."
  • Here is one that I no longer have to answer.  This is what I said years ago.  What do you think about Gays in the Military?  "I personally have served with a gay in the Military.  He was one of the most hard working soldiers I knew.  He was discharged from the Army and did not go to Vietnam with the rest of my unit.  Most of the young soldiers today went to school and worked with gays and I feel confident that they are a lot more understanding than my generation was.  With that said, the decision about gays in the Military is made at levels much higher than mine and I will continue to obey the orders of those appointed over me." 
The point here is to make sure that candidates know that they need to have an opinion about something or go back to their commercial.  making stuff up is what gets Rick Perry in trouble.  Newt has a lot of experience in Washington and can come up with the slick answers for a lot of things.  The problem is he clearly would take money from Freddie Mac and Fannie May and then feel like he can bad mouth their activities.  I don't trust him to make the kind of decisions I want the President to make.

If asked to describe myself, my advertisement would go something like this - "I am a citizen of the finest Country in the World.  I was born in the Heartland of Kansas and given the opportunity to attend some of the finest schools.  My parents were children of the Depression and instilled in their children that an education, hard work, and positive attitude will take you as far as you can go.  There have been times that I did some stupid things with what I was given but I worked hard to make my career in the Military the best I could. The end result is standing before you today.   I believe that your family is the best gift you can ever be given and have tried to be there for my wife and son.  No one can ever believe in the same things as everyone else does.  What I hope to do is to serve in the office of (_______) and to do the best I can do. 
I think I have clearly demonstrated the art of leadership in my life and I will appoint the best people I can find for any position I can.  I will listen to the advice of others and do my best to find a consensus of those around me.  In the bottom line, I will do my best and be accountable for the results."

Sounds way too easy but that's the way I would roll that ball.



What'ch Mean?

I am tired of all the politically correct pussyfooting going on!  As we get into the Presidential Election Season, there is more obfuscation going on than I could imagine possible.  How can we say it?  The Congress of the United States has an approval rating of less than 10% and the president is just above 43%.  Perhaps we should pull an Italy and run them all out of town.  Lets declare it "Circus Over" and bring in a whole new bunch of clowns.   

The paper said this morning that the Department of defense got less than a 1% increase in their budget this year. (Excluding War Spending)  I wonder how you can separate out "War Spending" as a line item in that bloated budget.  If an air crew flies into Afghanistan, how much of the fuel, pay and cost of maintenance can you deduct? Seems like an accounting  nightmare to me.  If the Hospitals in Germany are taking of wounded soldiers, how much of that cost can be written off to War?  

I listened to criticism of Ron Paul the other day and kind of wish more people were aware of what he said.  He said that after 9/11 the Administration beat the drums of War and used that as an excuse to invade Iraq and Afghanistan.  He said that the current Administration is beating the drums over Iran and we will soon be in a War with them.   Am I the only person that has watched what our country has been doing for the last half of a Century?    Any time an administration has been in trouble, they have used some Military Mission to try to bring us together so we don't pay real attention to the problems here at home.  

I am convinced that many of you are just so tired of the rhetoric that you don't pay attention as much anymore.  A lot of the inconsistency in my blog may be the result of that same affliction.  

To me, the President listed the symptoms in his speech in Osawatomie.  We have way too many people out of work and our money isn't worth much on the global market.  What he didn't say was the reason why we are where we are.  Our Congress played with the rules form one administration to another and we either over regulated of ignored the problems depending on who was in Charge.  The democrats try to overdo and bring the lower class into the middle class and the republicans seem to be on a track to lower the middle class to a level where the poor are now the middle class.  

I read an article that said the High Speed train was no longer on the table.  Did you see where the train was going to run?  From LA to Las Vegas.  Now if that isn't just a sad event, I don't know what is.  The people of LA have been saved from rushing to Vegas and spending their hard earned money gambling.  The mecca for greed and gambling is just going to have to fend for its self.  The last time I was in Vegas, the place was packed with people trying to give their money away.  We all know that the casinos are built with money the winners took home.  I wonder if they could pay their bills if they turned off the lights on Tuesday and Wednesday.  You know, shut the place down a couple of days a week and save.  

Oh well, I guess I  buy Lottery Tickets for the same reason.  Does that make me a part of the problem of just another solution not working on the answers?




We missed the snow by a couple of hundred miles to the north and I for one am not one bit disappointed.  As a matter of fact, a small snow squall also went south of us earlier and it didn't make me mad either.  We had a nice rain a week or so back and that's good enough for me.

The Jay Hawks hired a new football coach and by his record appears to be a ping pong ball kind of guy that has bounced all over the place.  He seems to have a good record one year and then a crappy one the next.  His Notre Dame team lost to one of the Academy teams for the first time in 40 some years and then went to a bowl the next. (or last, I forget)   Oh well, on with the basketball season and Ohio State on Saturday.

Yesterday, I baked some chicken breasts and was all set for some great chicken and noodles for supper.  It was filling but not as good as I expected.   Either I am losing my touch as a cook or my taste as a consumer of good food.  For the sauce I took some of the garlic butter drippings from the pan and made a gravy.  It tasted great when I made it but lost something on the noodles. Oh well, I didn't go away hungry or mad.  I also didn't win the lottery this week but I did remember to get the trash cans out yesterday.  

What's it like for you when you get in a rut?  I'm sure the rut I'm in is of my own making and a lot of people would love to be in such a good place.  It just seems to be kind of blah right now and I need to find my muse to do better.  At least I am not overcome with sadness or anything like that.  Yesterday's Facebook was just covered with people overcome with sadness.  Not sure why, it just was.

The race for the GOP nominee for POTUS has heated up to a walk (as opposed to a race) between Mitt and Newt.  Do you suppose these guys have decided to throw the election because they fear worse things for the economy?  At least the President showed "Hopey" Change in Osawatomie last week.  Or at least his speech writers did.  Near as I could tell the teleprompter worked and he managed to stay on message.  I guess when only a small percentage of people really care to get out and vote, he is as good as we can expect.  At least we are not being forced to listen to an ultra conservative's message this year.  

Oh well, enough of this, moving on even if it is not smartly.



Sunny and Cold

Yesterday it got almost nice outside and today it is going to snow.  Not that it makes a lot of difference to us, but the weatherman says get ready for a small accumulation of the white stuff.

I think it is interesting that the newspaper is talking about the potential hire for a new KU football coach like it has never happened before.  The choices are:  A guy brand new to college coaching, a failed coach like the one we just lost,  A coach that was fired for some wrongdoing, or some one that will want more millions of dollars that anyone should pay.  Duh, it ain't rocket science, it is the act of hiring a football coach.   There are a bunch of us that were happy with Turner Gill and i for one want him to come back and earn the rest of his 7 million we are going to pay him.   If Nebraska has been happy with never winning a NCAA Tournament game, we should be happy to have Turner Gill only win two football games this year.  

Speaking of coaches, how long will KU have Danny Manning to hold dear in Kansas.  There was some talk that Danny was staying in Lawrence until his daughter graduated from High School last year.  I know that he is a great Big Man coach and has to be worth a recruit or two for the team.  Oh well, we will keep him as long as he will stay.  I noticed that the Topeka and KU player, Mark Turgeon is coaching at Oklahoma.    If Bill Self were to leave, I would hope that Mark will be in the hunt for a new coach.  He is a fine young man and we love him as a person and coach.

Barb is upstairs watching Martha this morning.  For some reason they are making sausage.  Barb doesn't eat the stuff and sure as heck wouldn't make it.  Oh well, I buy Lottery Tickets and probably won't win so I guess we are even.



'Nother Daughter

I am sure that you have read from time to time that our son, David, married a Barbara and she too became Barbara Petty.  She became Barbara Jr when Barbara Sr signed us up for a "Walk Across Kansas."  She is in fact our Daughter by 'nother mother.   Her best friend is Mel who lives in Austin, TX. She has become our 'Nother Daughter. Mel was going to run in a marathon and her Achilles Tendon popped.  She is undergoing surgery this Friday and in about 10 days after that I'm going to drive down and pick her up.  Her family and friends are here in Topeka and the thought of having our 'nother Daughter spending the holidays alone just didn't set right with us.  

I am looking forward to a short road trip to bring her up and then a slightly longer trip to take her home.  I am sure that the promise of a few days in a warmer place in January will coax Barbara to come with me.  I wouldn't mind a side trip San Antonio one bit.  There is a La Quinta Inn right near the Mercado and that is a fun place to visit.  They have duplicated the shops you would see in most towns just south of the border.  The food there is the best.  This trip I'm going to try the El Carbon restaurant and try some goat.  I have not done that in the past but I'm is a much more adventurous place now.  There is also the promise of good places for "Have Camera Will Travel" to go.   

I listened to the President's speech from Osawatomie, KS yesterday.  It was clear from the start that he has a clear understanding of the problem.  I think it is the solution that eludes him.  he talked about the problem of large student loan debts and then said that more of the young need to get a College Education.  Duh!  we all know that the unemployment rate for college Graduates is half of the non graduates.  It should be obvious that their pay should be at least twice as much as the non high school graduates.  Hos do you pay back a loan of $60-$100,000 making twice the minimum wage?    There was one glaring error to me.  He said that under Bill Clinton the deficit was zero.  No, under Clinton, the National debt did not increase as the budget was balanced and the projections and income were equal.  Not one penny of the Debt was paid.  If we spent everything we made and didn't pay our debts off, we would be in Bankruptcy and that's exactly where we are.  

Dave Ramsey says that the first step to fixing what's broke is to specify a budget.  So far the Congress has not been able to pass one they could live with.  I think there needs to be a sunset law that states, "Any Congress that doesn't pass a Budget is recalled and a new one elected."   I am pretty sure that a couple of iterations of that step and Congress would get the message.  The next step would be that,  Any Congress that spend more than the income without a special vote of the people would be recalled.  The final step would involve some reduction of the National debt with a provision that gives the equation about spending being less than income.  

Oh well, life here at Rabbit Run is fun.  Got to go to Lawrence and watch the Hawks play a good Long Beach State team.  I was wondering if the referees would escape Lawrence there for a while.  One of the players from LBS hit our center in the nose and as he fell, they called a foul on him for the guy he fell on. The referees called the game pretty close for a while after that and the fans were shouting Bull Shit quite a bit.

Have a great day out there.



Good Old days

Today as i was shifting boxes around to put the old decorations back out of the way, I found a Boy's Life Magazine that was David's.  It reminded me that I would win a bet about once a month back in the 60's that my cousin was in Boy's life.  My uncle advertised his unicycles in there and it was a hoot.
As advertised in the Boy's Life Mag in the 60's.
The boy riding on the unicycle is my cousin Jim Petty.  



Listen Up!

OK! all you turkey's, all of you that read my latest blog and believe that just because I had a good idea men don't want a great Christmas present:

Here is what I wanted for Christmas.

Dave gave me one of these about a year ago and I used it all the time.  It is a lock back knife with a box cutter on one end and a knife blade on the other.  It was the handiest tool in my kit.  I lost it and hunted several places to find one.  Finally I gave up and asked Dave where he bought his -O' Reilly Automotive was the answer.  It was in the tool section and about $20.00.  A bargain at twice the price.   I now have one so Barb, never mind.


Blinding Flash of the Obvious (BFO)

Is it time for us to refocus Christmas a different direction?   I am willing to bet that there are all kinds of people that are going to purchase things that are unnecessary and a lot of things that are unneeded.  If you are a christian, the holiday should be on a refocus of your faith.  For those that don't swing that way, it is time to refocus on family and friends.   

The first reason I say this, is that we have so over commercialized the holiday to the point that we are almost made to spend money that we all should be saving.  I loved my mother's motto.  For years she would say ,"If I can't eat it or wear it, I don't need it!"  If you had been there to clean out her house the last time she moved, you would have understood.  I hate to think what it would be like if I were gone today.  I'm sure there is at least a trash truck of junk here we don't need.

I think that our last trip out west was one of the most memorable because of family.  We just visited most of the time but the last two nights were the icing on the cake.  getting together in Twin Falls with Jerry's family and of course Mom and dad, was so great.  We got to see Jaden and Tracy the day before and Greg and family that day.  During the trip I got to visit with Kenny and Grissy and the last night we were in Boise we got all his kids together for a giant Pizza party.  Right as the party was ending, Ken called and I passed my cell phone to his kids and they all got to visit with him.  To see the smiles there was so great.  

To me, our Petty Party on the 17th will be the event of the year.  It has been a dang good year and I hope my smile is out there for everyone to see.  



Tree is Up

MUD and Brother Rick
Must be a sign of my age when I have to ask our son to come over to help put up a tree.  Yes, it was a 10-12 footer but dang, I could muscle one of those up by myself in the past.  It doesn't help that for some reason I am kind of dizzy this week.  I am pretty sure that it is an inner ear thing because my allergies are all up in arms.  I went into the kitchen this morning and saw the light over the stove was not working and when I leaned back and reached up the world tried to spin in the opposite direction.  The good news is that I was leaning on the island and that saved me from a trip to the floor. (and perhaps a trip to the Hospital)

It was a family tradition that when my parents were alive, the Petty kids would try to get together the weekend prior to Christmas.  That would allow those that needed to go to in-laws houses to be free for Christmas.  This is one tradition that I hope we can keep now that Mom is gone.  It is an open invitation to all the grand kids and many try to get here.  The family saying my Mom used, "If you can't come, we'll miss you."  

Mom and Mel at Mel's Wedding
Our Christmas tradition is to have everyone bring a soup, salad or pies.  We will eat and then have a White Elephant gift exchange.  That is one of the funniest things to do.  I think this year I will pass out playing cards and we will then get to pick in random order.  If you see something opened up earlier, you can take that gift and let them re choose a gift.  The last person has their pick of the entire lot.  One of the funniest was a bottle of wine that was chosen by the teen age Craig boys and taken away by several others.  I guess the "Titty" cup has been removed from the annual festivities.  I think a can of spaghetti-O's disguised as fish assholes may re-appear but who knows. 

I think Barb Jr will bring her nephews over this weekend some time to help decorate the tree.  Da Barb's have selected a color theme for Christmas.  It would not surprise me that somehow the Jay hawk colors will wind their way into the mix.  There are some tickets for a late December game that may work their way into the gift pile.  For the first time in a long time, I got a message from KU Athletics that there are individual game tickets still available.  The even have a few of the KU vs K-State game.  We have promised those to Barb's nephews even though it is a school night.  

Better run, I hear steps up stairs and that means that Barbara is up there and thinking of things to do.  



December is near

I watched the weatherman last night and he said that winter weather is on its way for the Heartland.  It will be 50 and windy today, which is always a sign that a front is headed our way.  He even mentioned that 4 letter word (Snow) for this weekend.  Dang, I hate it when that happens.  The good news is that it probably will not last long.  The ground is getting colder because of the below freezing at nights now so it won't melt as fast as it hits the ground.  

With 50 degrees outside today, I'll finally go out and pick up all the hoses.  I think I'll put them in my utility trailer this year and see if that works out.  Last year I put them in the garage in the attic and it was a major pain to get them down.  Oh well, when I get that done there will be leaves to rake and final trimming on the grass around the place.  Gotta make it all look nice.

I replaced a front tire on the truck about a month ago and I noticed that just today it is almost flat.  The good news is that I have a compressor and can air it up here at home.  Barb mentioned that she thought her tires felt mushy also.  I guess that a little maintenance on the cars won't hurt either.  I am pretty sure the antifreeze in the Ford and the Truck is way good enough but as much water as we added to the Buick better check it.  

 I used the last of the garlic smashed potatoes in my potato pancakes this morning.  I generally cook a few strips of bacon and then cook the pancakes in bacon grease. Yep, I know it is bad for my heart but a lot of people think I'm a heartless SOB so I'll play it loose until I clutch my right arm and/or die.  

I   Got my son Dave to pick up a solid state hard drive for my computer.  When he opened up the case to install it, he found that there was a second bay and he didn't have to remove the old hard drive.  With the magic of software, he had the new one clone the old one and  I am back in business twice as fast.  My next test is to see how long my battery life is with the new set up.  I have moved all my old pictures to my external drive and all the new one's will go on the old drive for a while.  Some time next year I'll start moving 2011 pictures over to the external drive as back up.  

Better get moving, I hear dishes being rattled upstairs as barb cleans up my mess in the kitchen. Wouldn't want her to think I am not gainfully occupied.  She is real good at finding things for me to do when she thinks I'm not pulling my considerable weight.



Starting the Day

I don't know what you do to start your day, but I can pretty much tell you what I expect each day to start like.  There is the mandatory trip to the bathroom and then a trip out to get the paper.  This trip is either preceded by or followed by a trip to the coffee pot.  I read the paper from the front page to the back with the funny papers near the last thing I read.  Breakfast is a cup of coffee and whatever.  If I was in a restaurant, it would be two eggs over medium, hash browns, ham and toast.  Juice is optional.  Pretty darned simple and I know it is a rut but it is like my shoes, I love comfortable. 

When I worked, the dress code was a mandatory uniform.  Green, green, optional sweater and black shoes.  Pretty simple and yet a lot like every day for most of 25 years.  I showed up and tried to make each day count for something.  The real break over for me was when I found that what my subordinates did was more important than what I did.  It is easy to spend time tied to the desk but I found that getting up off my duff and visiting at least one person during each break period was needed.  Kind of like getting a kiss from your mother.  You may not know why you need it, but I liked it.  

My life was like the same as much as I could make it for a lot of years.  My wife, Barbara, helped me set the path to achieve our common goals and provided a lot of  entertainment along the way.  It was pretty clear that where we are is a direct result of her hard work and encouragement.  If I for some stupid reason ever find fault for the daily life, all I need to do is remember that I worked darned hard to get here so I should just sit back and enjoy.

The other day, I commented to Barb that I was a little bored and I loved the feeling of being in my own home and bored.  After our busy travel schedule this fall it is nice to be home and bored. 



Negativity in the Holiday Season

It doesn't make me happy when the news of the day makes me mad.  I supported Senator Brownback for Governor and he has turned into my worst nightmare since he was elected.   I think Governments need to have goals for schools, but not mandates.  It may be only anecdotal that the best students are good in art and music but I haven't found anyone that says that no music or art will bring up the poorest students.  No child left behind is a great goal and we should try to fund it but not punish the students that can't get there for whatever reason.  

This past week a student that was on a field trip to Topeka "Tweeted" that she didn't like Governor Brownback and what he stood for.  One of Brownback staffers intercepted the tweet and they demanded an apology from the student.  Somewhere there is a village without their idiot.  The founders of our country made sure that we had free speech so we could have an honest exchange about our leaders.  This type of discussion might lead to a new Governor next time, but unlike many other countries it won't lead to the overthrow of the government because the people can't  be heard.  I don't like the ACLU for the most part, but I will send them money if the student gets suspended or damaged in any way by the school system.  We send our students to school so they can develop many diverse opinions and speak the clearly.  

As I have said many times, I hate Fred Phelps and his Westborough Baptist church's pickets.  Many of you have said there must be a way to stop him.  I absolutely will not even think about taking one iota of his freedom away because I don't agree with his message.  I hate the Occupy Wall Street movement but again, if they want to sleep in the park to get us to listen to their message, it beats the hell out of armed insurrection to get their message across.  It is the very foundation of out country that allows us to stand on the corner and tell people that we don't agree.  I for one want to keep my free speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, freedom of the press and the many other things guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.  

The one thing that makes me really sad is that the Newspapers and Major News organizations are losing their markets.  When they start making stuff up and shaping the news so it fits their agendas, they will fail.  If you cannot find truth in the news, you will find you own truth elsewhere.  It distresses me that the bloggers and tweeters are gaining in popularity and are about equal with the papers for their trustworthiness.  If you repeat crap long enough and loud enough people can start to believe.  Barbara said that an instructor told her one time that students need to have a built in crap detector.  I think we all need to tune our antenna to the truth and build up an immunity to the crap.  

I use the word crap because that's what Harry Truman did.  One time a lady said to Bess that she had to get Harry to stop saying crap after the word "Bull".  Bess was quick to point out that it took her the better part of 20 years to get him to use crap.  I call BS on a lot of what is happening today. 



Thanksgivings Past

The worst Thanksgiving for me was 1968.  I was a forward Observer out with a Mountaingnard Company in the Au Shau valley north west of Pleiku.  It was a long way from any other American unit and I was sent out with a radio that didn't work.  When I got to the unit, I had been told it was a three day operation and it turned out to be a three week operation.  I had to resupply myself with the Indigenous LRRP (Long range Recon Patrol) ration that was basically instant rice.  I did manage to keep one small C-ration Turkey meal and that was the meal I ate, Turkey and instant rice at room temperature.  It beat going hungry but not by much.  When I got back to base camp, it was all the signal officer could do to keep me from killing his assistant that gave me that bad radio.  I did insist he got a letter of reprimand for his negligence.  I found a tag inside the battery case that basically said the radio was a 15 lb paperweight.

The best Thanksgiving has always been any one that had family involved.  One year I went with my niece Janet to visit her daughter Amy in Alabama and it was a great time with a lot of new things to eat.  In addition to a deep fat fried turkey, everything else was a casserole.  Their tradition is to bake as many of the side dishes as they can.  I made my favorite Garlic mashed potatoes and and they loved them.  I always make too much and have potato pancakes the next day.  Take a cup of planned over (I always plan a little extra not left overs)  potatoes, a cup of flour, a teaspoon of Baking powder one egg and enough milk to make them batter like.  Cook them in a non stick pan with a little oil.  I eat mine without syrup but am not a snob if you like them that way.

This year I smoked a turkey on Wednesday and then finished it in the oven Thursday.  We had Dave and his wife Barbara over and had a nice laugh filled Thanksgiving.  I only mildly over ate this year and we still have a bunch of turkey left for enchiladas.   i think Dave asks for a smoked turkey just so there will be enough for a big batch of enchiladas.  Either today or tomorrow I will whip up the best I can make.  

I will always miss having my mother over for Thanksgiving.  She always told stories and we would laugh for hours.  It was always the beginning of the family season and soon the family would all be together for the Petty Family party.  This year, It will be here at Rabbit Run on the 17th of December.  Everyone will bring their favorite soup and the traveling trophy will be awarded for the best.  Jennifer will bring a salad and Barb will make her best rolls and we will provide the drinks.  We plan on a 1 PM start time but everyone is invited to come early and stay late as you want.  I know Carie and Dan have an office party that evening and there are always those that hate to drive after dark.   Weather permitting I have a hint that Rick from Oklahoma will be here.  I sure hope he manages to bring Kristin, Kristy and Ethan. 

In the Petty family we have a tradition of the saying a party is a party and if you can't come, we will miss you.  Those that can't be with us just will miss as many smiles as we can manage.  The second saying is that if you go home hungry from one of our meals, it is because you wanted to.  

May your holiday season start soon and go long.



Lost Blogs

For some reason unknown to me, when I try to update my blog on the road I manage to lose one or two each trip.  For that reason, I have about given up on trying to get one written and for it to stay in the computer when we travel.  We were on the road for a week to visit Barb's family in Idaho.  It was a great trip and we did get to see most of the family.  What makes it special to us is the chance to meet with all the nieces and nephews in Twin Falls and then in Boise.  There is just a special love for family visits that leaves a warm smile in our hearts.  

I guess there are several stages of life and this is one we are going through.  First stage is our own life where we learn to live together and make it all work.  Then comes the stage where we are concerned with our own child. We start to wonder about Grandchildren about the time our parents start to age and we focus on the past and the future at the same time.  My parents are gone now and Barb's parents are getting older.  

The best thing for us right now is the fact that we have the assets and income to live comfortably and are pretty darned happy right here at home.  It is great to travel but it is also great to be home.  About a week and I am ready to be here.  I run out of ability to cope about the time I run out of clean clothes.  Much over a week and I need two suitcases.  I can't manage everything in one trip that way so unless we can travel in the car one week is about the limit.

For some reason I thought the Jay hawk game in Maui started at Midnight and expected that when we got to our car the game would just be starting.  It was halftime and at least we got to listen to the game on the way home from the airport.  It was raining just slightly and it had been a long day and we don't communicate very nicely under those circumstance. 

Oh well, things to do and places to see.  Got to get that Thanksgiving turkey home and thawed out. 



What a Wonderful Day

Friday night we went to see the young Jay Hawks play one of their preseason games.  About half way through the second half, they put a guy up in the rafters of Allen Field House and he dropped T-Shirts with parachutes down to the crowd.  I was sitting there during the time out and one actually hit me in the head.  I had no clue but I reacted fast enough to bring it down and let Barb grab the shirt.  I was absolutely oblivious to the whole affair until I  was hit.  No, I am not goint to tell anyone that I was hurt or mad at the event, just surprised.  For some reason I felt detached there in amongst the 16,000 people and felt like I had missed my afternoon nap.  

The really nice day was yesterday when we did nothing but eat three nice meals and zone out with Football and good books.  I didn't think that just going to a game would wear me out completely so I am now wondering if my blood sugar got low and caused some of the zoned out feeling.  About 1 PM yesterday I had a similar feeling and after i ate some of Barb's yummy stew that feeling went away.  Oh well, I guess old people should have different feelings now and then just to prove they are alive.

I guess I want to say that yesterday was one of those days that will just slip away in the many we have but it was memorable because it wasn't.  I have had many days that were great and many that were terrible and now and then a nothing day is one for the books (or blogs)  

Going to try for two in a row.



My Rights vs Your Rights

When Barb and I went to Morocco, we were cautioned to not say anything against the King of Morocco while in his country.   Sometimes we, as Americans, forget that what we have as rights in our country may not always travel well.  In fact, a lot of people think that we in America are free to say anything and because it is our right, we will sound intelligent.  My prime recipient in the "Stupid is as Stupid says" award is the Fred Phelps and his Westborough Church  protestors.   They put all kinds of things on their signs and you can almost feel the spittle from their ignorance as you drive by where they are protesting something.  They boil down Jesus' words, "Man shall not lie down with man as he does with a woman" into "God Hates Fags!"  I wonder how many hours they had to search through the bible and how low the IQ of the person was to make that missive.

For the record, my rights are very important to me but I do have a sense of what their limits are.  I am pretty sure that about the third time I got my face punched it became aware that where I said my free speech was important.  Your right to tell everyone what you think is often slander or a punchable offense if said in the presence of the person you say it about.  Often a group of people can be arrested if they don't have a parade permit when they assemble.  Especially if they don't do it peaceable.  

So, I encourage you all to read your rights and understand them before the Police tell you that in spite of free speech, you have the right to remain silent, or look stupid when someone with a cell phone makes a movie of your rants. 



One small story

In my earlier post, I mentioned that I had been in Pinion Canyon, Colorado as a part of the Headquarters of the Kansas Army National Guard.   There,on about the third day in the field, we had a wind storm that blew down most of our tents.   The next morning as I went out to survey the damage, I spotted something red over in the edge of our position.  As I got closer, I realized that there were a lot of colored pieces of cloth there in the scrub brush.  It seems that the women had  a washing session the afternoon before and that the close line they erected in their tent held their undergarments went down in the storm.  Their undergarments were now scattered across the backside of our camp.

Not having served in the field with women, I guess I did not think about such things.  In the Active Army and the Field Artillery I was with, we didn't have women in our field units.  I sent one of NCO's over to the S-1 tent where most of the women were and had him tell the girls where they could gather up their belongings.  

That was my welcome to the problems of having a co-ed military unit.   I have laughed about it several times with my friends and now appreciate some of the situations on active duty more than I did.  



Not being a numerologist or a person who has a phobia about numbers, the date above is just the date above.  If you are a veteran it has a little more significance in that is a holiday named after the service we performed.  As an ORAG, an  Old Retired Army Guy I would say I resemble that remark.  It is a significant date for all those that served not just those that served in combat.  

I think this is a good time to tell a little story about one of the finest people I ever met.  SFC Romans had attended an M-1 training session and his unit did not go to the Annual training period that the majority of the 35th Division was attending. It was in the middle of no and god dammed where at Pinion Canyon and it was far from the support of any main city.  As a member of the National Guard State headquarters, we put together a command and Control team and someone picked up SFC Romans to attend with our cell.  In case you don't know a lot about the Guard, the State Headquarters does not have a lot of field training and SFC Roman's addition really helped by adding a field trained NCO to our mix.  Little things like putting up tents and running the radio's were a task that we needed a lot of help doing.  I for one have done it all but there was only one of me and I needed help.  Things went well until the third night in the field.

On that third night, a storm came sweeping across the plains of SW Colorado and without any tracked vehicles, we were on our own.  A micro burst hit our camp and blew our tents down big time.  I think the only thing that saved us was that we had several tables down the middle of the tent  and when the tent poles came crashing down most of us were under the nearest thing we had to overhead cover.   I had grabbed my helmet and I'm sure that it kept me from getting a concussion when the main tent support crashed down so hard that the table legs were broken.

Having a good NCO there helped us put the tens back up quickly and he brought the soldiers together in the Operations tent and we had a weapons cleaning time.  Many of the soldiers with us did not have a .45 issued to them as their normal weapon and he just calmly showed them how to take apart and clean each type of weapon.  By the time he was finished, the guys were all laughing and telling stories.  You would have thought it was a unit that had been together for years not just days.  

Later on that night, I told SFC Romans what a fine job he had done and we talked about our time in the service.  He was disappointed that he got in the army in 1971 and by the time he was on rotation for Vietnam, they were cutting the troop strength so much that he didn't get a chance to be a combat veteran.  I told him that good people are where you find them and I was glad to find him here and now.

Early the next year, a message came down to my office that the Army needed experienced NCOs, especially those with M-1 tank skills.  I called SFC Romans and asked him if he was still on the kick that a combat patch was what he needed.  He said hell yes and I told him that if he was to get to my office in the morning I would get him a set of orders.  He came over that day and brought his gear.  We put him on a plane to Germany that afternoon.  He told me later that in Germany he went right to the replacement company and told them that he had a request to go to the Big Red One and they directed him to a flight leaving in 30 minuted to Quait.  From the repo depot there, they sent him right to a tank line company and he, within 48 hours of leaving Kansas, was a tank commander when they kicked off the attack.  

About a month later, he came home a well decorated combat veteran and had letters of commendation from a number of his commanders up the line.  When he came in the office that day, he brought his wife and brand new baby.  Crap, I wouldn't have asked him to go if I had known how close his wife was to having a baby.  She took me into my office and told me that the only thing Joe ever wanted out of the Military was a chance to show what a good soldier could do in combat.  I relaxed and later on Joe kind of joked with me that in his humble opinion, combat is one of the quickest ways he knew of to get killed.  

On veteran's day, I salute the now retired Sergeant Major Joe Romans and the many soldiers that have displayed the kind of leadership and service that has made our Military what it is.  I firmly believe that our winning ways are the result of the leadership shown in the middle of our Military not at the top.  Salute to all those fine NCO's I have served with and those I have not met.

MUD, COL (Ret)


Fast Times at Rabbit Run

For some reason, I have been on the slow track for about a week.  I don't seem to have the same get up and go that I had.  Not sure why but I did even get barb to take me for a walk yesterday to see if getting out and "Blowing off the stink" would help.  I even used that term to Barb and she reminded me that when I used that on a bunch of preschool students one of the little kids said, :But Teacher, we don't stink!"  

Today it is to be in the 60's and time for me to get out and round up all the garden hoses that are scattered from one end of the place to the other.  There is a little bit of cleaning up the joint that is on my list also.  We'll see what gets done and what just escapes my attention.

I seem to be having a problem with my blog.  For the past few times I have opened it it seems to be getting smaller and smaller.  If I go to the control center and make it big enough to read, the rest of my screens don't fit on the page.  Damn computer.

I can tell that the weather is getting ready for winter because the visitors at the feeders and suet block are trying to eat me out of house and home.  I don't remember it being this bad even in the worst of winter last year.  Perhaps they are trying to fatten up for a hard winter.  

Better get a move on and get something done.



Dang, I did it Again

For months, Barb and I talked about going to Bentonville, AR to see the opening of the Crystal Bridges American Art Museum on the 11th.   Wouldn't you know that the first game in our half season ticket package to watch the hawks is on the same day.  I hate it that we over scheduled ourselves.  I'm sure that there will be other times to see the Museum and perhaps there will be other chances to catch  it after the water feature is finished. CBS This Morning had a short piece about the museum and it looks beautiful.

This morning there was a TV program that talked about people that do not shut their brains down completely at night.  The said that insomnia is something that makes it tough for a lot of people to be productive during the day for up to a week each month.  Some of my best dreams are those nights where my mind is in full race mode and I wake up with either an old problem solved or a new idea to try.  The even better news is that I can take a nap to catch up on my sleep.  Most of the time if I miss my sleep, I can make the shortage up the next night.  

Last evening we celebrated our daughter-in-laws birthday with a trip to her favorite restaurant.  The "Rib Crib" is a pretty good place and even on Saturday evening you can get a seat at one of their tables.  I wish I could find a way to help them get over the hurdle and be consistent enough to draw bigger crowds and stay open.  There is no one thing that is bad, just not a consistent quality across the menu to make them top rate.  I guess when you are next door to a Texas Roadhouse and in the same city as Boss Hogs, it is tough to work your way up to number one. 

This past week we took Barb Jr to Kansas City to visit Nebraska Furniture Mart and replace her couch and love seat.  I also went over on Wednesday to put the old couch out on the back porch so the new one could be put in the right place.  Friday I took my truck and trailer over and hauled off the old stuff and some building debris I made earlier in the summer.  Dave had to go to work so I had to load the stuff in the trailer by myself.  I am fairly proud that I have developed a way to work smart rather than hard.  My back is fine today and had I tried to muscle everything I would be out flat and on pain med. 

Oh well, things to do  and places to go.



Bright and Shiny

I am not sure what the rest of the world expects, but every once in a while I want to wake up bright and shiny.  Well, I want to wake up bright and then after some ablutions be shiny.  The only sad part is that as a retiree, unless there is some where to go, the shiny part is really not a priority.  I can go a couple of days without a shave and I am the only one that notices.   Life was a lot easier when all I had to do was put on the light green shirt with the dark green  pants and those shoes that stayed patent leather shiny.  The really only choice was did I need a tie, the jacket (or blouse as the Military called it) or the black sweater.   Now, it is nearing 10:15 and I am wearing my sweats.

The other day, we took our Daughter-in-law to Nebraska Furniture Mart in KC and bought her a new couch and love seat.   When I went over to help Dave clear out the old sectional couch, I noticed that the couch really matches the curtains and the wall color.  We are glad to have the kids in our lives and having them over for meals now and then.  It does give me a chance to show off my cooking and a chance to have some new conversations in our lives.  When Barb brings over her Nephews is when life really gets fun.  Watching those two boys grow into fine young men is a treat.  

This morning I watched a streaming video of the Arkansas Supreme Court as they heard arguments for the Lawyer for Karl Roberts who killed my Grand Niece Andi.  I am not sure what the final outcome of the whole process will be.  He did it, he admitted it and even if the courts had a retrial, there is more than enough evidence to prove he did it and was sane enough to pay the price for what he did.  Yes, I want them to put him out of my misery and be done with it.  This has gone on for 12 years and it is beyond the stage where it is like picking a scab.  The only saving grace in the matter is that he is sitting on death row and sees the sun only an hour a day and unless he likes solitaire conversations he just has to hate it.  I would have gone crazy years ago.

I am going over to Dave's house to meet the furniture truck about noon.  I think I will also go get a haircut afterwards and shave off this silly mustache.  Barb says it makes me look even older than I am.  I guess as hard as she works to look nice and younger, I can make somewhat of an effort.  'Cides, she thinks the mustache is prickly or beyond that stage tickles.  Oh well...



Fall in the Forest

When the weather starts to turn cool, we can always depend on the critters and insects thinking that our house is just another place to over winter in.  Barb always catches the spiders in a jar and gives them the heave ho out the side door.  I would rather give them the heel-toe smash but if I have the chance, I'll make her happy by throwing them out.  last evening I went in to he bathroom to be confronted by a small mouse.  I have the defense in depth traps set in the garage but this little guy must have found an alternate way in.  I hope he finds the peanut butter laced trap soon.

Barbara kind of laughs at the spiders, as she claims they keep the roaches down.  That and regular spraying and lots and lots of roach traps.  Roaches and ants are outside bugs that I want no part of living with.  

Today is one of the last days in the 70's for the year.  Right before a front passes, the wind will always blow from the south and it will be windy and warm (er).  There is no way you can rake the leaves and burn with the wind gusting to 30 MPH.  

This picture is at least two years old.

This summer when the Reimer's were here, the girls loved to use our cameras to take pictures.  Barbara bought both of the girls their own little camera and yesterday we got a DVD of their pictures taken at Disney World. Sea World and Epcot.  What a wonderful eye they have.  I would have loved to have them narrate the pictures but for now, I can hear their giggles in my heart.  They are just the right age to start the journey through the world with an eye open to new things.  

Better run and see if there is anything needed before the rain tomorrow.  Write if you get work.



What is your Favorite Holiday?

Once retirement sets in, Holidays are a lot like every other day. That is especially true if you happen to have life where you want it.  As a kid, Halloween was one big junk food run and I loved it.  Now that we live out here in the woods where in 21 years we have never had a trick or treat-or, not so much.   Barbara always complains about the early Christmas ads but I'm sure that she is a Christmas junkie to the core.  We will host the Petty family party the week before Christmas and I'm sure that Barb will have me working overtime to decorate everything to Martha Stewart's standards.  The really good news is that we'll have time to decorate.

I am probably more in tune with the seasons than the holidays.  I watch for the last time I mow for the season.  I am in tune with the time I put the first suet block out and start feeding the sunflower seeds.  The in the spring the last time I mow and stop the seed feeding.  

It is always fun to see what the Master Gardner will do to put the plants to bed and get ready for the spring.  Bales of hay and all the compost I can carry is high on the list.  I am pretty sure that the tiller would not dig in enough to till the baked clay this fall.  Perhaps by next spring if there is enough moisture things will be different. 

Better run and see what mischief I can get into or out of.



Can the NCAA Be the NBA Replacement?

We finally put the Baseball season to bed and I for one am looking forward to a NCAA Men's Basketball season.  Barb chose one of those half season ticket deals for Jay hawk basketball and we will see our first game early next month.  I think it will be their third game of the season and for me it will be a blast to see what miracle Bill Self can pull out after losing so many leaders off the team from last year.  They always seem to re-load not rebuild and it goes on.   I do think it is bad that the Morris twins turned pro the year there is a lock out.  They could have developed so much this year.  As it is, a lot of first year players will travel overseas and a lot of the players that might have gone there will not have any place to play.  I will watch college ball and be glad for what I have.

Last night, I watched the program Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on TV and went to the World Series game during the commercials.  I am just a junkie on new food ideas and I love to see a small place make wonderful food.  I would love to eat most of that food but it is to me a wonder how hard some of the places work to make a meal. One small diner makes their own wild rice/Blueberry bread just to make French Toast.  I know that Barb likes to use her bread maker and some of her loaves make wonderful French Toast. The other day, she brought me some apple slices with caramel.  She sprinkled sunflower seeds in the caramel and it made a wonderful snack.  I wonder if there is a way to incorporate that taste into French Toast.

Back in the day, I worked in a fast food joint in Wichita and we made our own french fries.  One of my jobs was to slice, soak and precook the fries at the start of the day.    I can't figure out why more people don't do their own and blanch the fries to get them started.  A few minutes at a lower temperature and then let them sit makes for a great fry. Now days almost all of the joints use pre bagged and prepared fries. What a shame.    Our little joint had our buns toasted with butter and we worked hard to make sure that there was an even concentration of mustard and ketchup on each burger.  When I was on the grill, I made sure the dispenser had all the proper holes cleaned out so the ratio would be the same.  Throw on a few re-hydrated onions and a pickle or two and we made a great burger for not a lot of money. 

Do you know why I got out of the fast food business?  One day a white cheerleader came into the restaurant and had her black football player's arm.  One of the black girls and her friends were waiting and a fight broke out.  About the time the white girl was on the floor and getting stomped, our rent a cop came in from the parking lot.  I had just gone over the counter from the other direction and was about to stop the fight.  As the cop cleared the door, he took the loop on his holster loose and prepared to use his gun.  He must have changed his mind and when he bent over to pick the white girl up, his gun fell out of his holster.  One of the kids there inside the restaurant watching the fight picked up the gun and brought it up pointed at the officer.  The cop snatched that gun so fast that the kid didn't even know where the gun went.  I saw the gun go back into the cops hands and I reversed direction and jumped  back over the counter.   I went over to the boss and told him that I had a Bronze Star from Vietnam and had no intention of being in the middle of a gun fight in Wichita.  I clocked out and went home.  

As you can guess, I didn't die there at Sandy's by North High and I survived to move on.