Thanks AAA

It seems that I have a stupid zone that overcomes me at 4834 SE 29th In Tecumseh. Winter before last I drove up to Dave's and drove the Crown Vic off in the field west of his house. I tried to back up in deep snow and I got stucker and stucker and further and further from the driveway until there was no hope of getting anywhere near the driveway. The AAA Tow truck was able to hook a cable up and pull me back up in the driveway. Today I was backing up the truck and when the trailer jack-knifed it pushed the left rear tire off in a 10 foot ditch and thank god the truck didn't roll down in the ditch. AAA came out and pulled the truck back up on firm ground. I'm sure that the driver thinks me to be an idiot or at least the worst driver in or near Topeka. I think the fee's paid to AAA have been worth every dollar.

I will admit that there seems to be a short coming in my ability to back with a trailer attached. I never seem to get it to go the direction I need and more than once I have stopped the truck and unhitched the trailer straightened out the truck and the trailer. I was in a hurry today and the poor old 53 just almost paid the ultimate price. Me, I would have survived with a few bumps thrown in for good measure.

For many reasons, my life is full of adventures. I like to drive to places unknown and ways that I have never been. On many occasions I have tried to fix something prior to having complete directions. In a lot of ways, I have been able to be successful on many occasions but every once in a while there is a giant sign flashing "FAIL!"

Oh well, all's well the ends well.



Windy & Warm

Just a few days ago, Barb wondered out loud how soon it was going to warm up. Well, she has her wish and it is warm and windy here in the Heartland. I am always looking at the sky and wondering what lies ahead. One thing you can depend on in Kansas is that you can't expect one day to be like the next. In 1968 i spent a great deal of the time in a Fire Direction center in Vietnam and day after day, you could put yesterday's settings on the fire direction sticks and they would work. In fact, several days we would bet what the outcome of the computations would be and I would almost always bet of the same settings from the day before. I won a lot of those bets.

One thing I do not like is the days in Kansas when the wind is gusty. That generally indicates the transition of a front crossing the plains and it can translate into storms with violent motions, generally circular in nature.

Moving away from the weather, things here are green to the max. We have had a few rains in the past couple of weeks and everything is growing. I sure hope that this means the tomatoes will be in abundance. One strange thing I did notice is that our Asian Pear tree has only one or two fruits on it. Last year there were pears up and down the branches and I had to knock a few off or the branches would break. There are apples but no pears. I know they flower at different times but this is just strange.

Oh well, moving on....



Start the Day Great

This morning, Barb had to go out and pour the water out of a lot of potted plants on the deck. They are on the verge of drowning as we got some rain overnight and the ground is saturated. If the sun can get out at all, you will be able to hear the plants growing.

For me, I was busy cooking breakfast. I cooked home fries with some vidalia onions, eggs, ham, toast and some juice. Throw in some coffee and it was a meal fit for the start of a great day. The toast was some of the multi-grain from Wheatfield Bakery in Lawrence and it is so nutty and good. Barb also got a loaf of their whole wheat raisin bread and she snacks on that with a little peanut butter. Elvis didn't eat that good.

Yesterday we were on an adventure in the morning and I found the KU boathouse. It is located in a park in Lawrence and is a beautiful setting and a great building. Perhaps not as classy as the boathouses in Philly but this is a pretty nice building in one of the prettiest settings you could want. There wasn't anyone there so I didn't get to see if they still have Jenn's picture up inside.

The other day. I wondered when I should replace the spark plugs on the 2004 Crown Vic? The repair manual says 100,000 miles and today I read that Click and Clack had a story about the plugs breaking off if you wait that long. That really applies to the truck motors but I can imagine it applies to the sedan 5.2 motors also. I am tempted to go out and pull a couple of plugs just as a test. Might even make a run past the auto parts store and get some anti seize grease if I do. The one thing I will do is make sure that my spark plug socket is in good working order and centering gasket in the socket is there. I know that you can break a plug if you don't have a good wrench and don't use it correctly. At least I don't have to stand on my head to change the plugs like I did with the sideways motor in the Aurora. NOTICE - I looked under the hood of the Ford and I cannot for the life of me tell the difference between the fuel injectors and the spark plugs. Both are on the top of the motor and what could be either a fuel rail or a wire protector runs between them all. I guess at 100,000 I will pay the $25.00 @ to have them replaced at the dealership. By then, I will probably have a Chilton's manual and some better instructions - We'll see.

Better run and see what things I can do to stay out of trouble. I do think it is a little funny that I had a yard faucet installed out by the garden and so far it has rained every day since.





Today's paper had an article about the increase number of people that want one of those add-on tornado shelters. Duh! It just goes to show your that we are generally reactionary and it takes a pretty major thing to wake us up to the reality of what we need.

Another article says that Senator Ryan's proposed budget will hurt Senior Citizens. I wonder what they think having Medicare, the Social Security Pot and China all running out of money will do. Wake up people, an F-5 money tornado is headed our way in the next 20 years and we need to build shelters. I have lived in Kansas over 60 years and lost only one house to a tornado. If we do nothing about our National Debt and budget the term is when it hits not if it hits.

I am not sure if it is the NIMBY (Not in My backyard) group or the "It will never happen to Me" group that is causing people to listen to messages of the Government's ability to fund it all but we had better get our act together.

Kind of makes me wonder if it is the term Trillion that has lulled us to sleep. We have a National Debt of over 14 Trillion. If you can't grasp that amount in money in terms that we recognize is it real? It must not be to a lot of people out there. I heard that a survey had over 60% want the Government to have a balanced budget so someone must be asleep at the wheel. It Ain't Me!



General Rules to Live With

Here are some minor rules that I think we should all live by:
  • Make more than you spend for the most part.
  • Save some for a rainy day.
  • Get insurance for the things that can cost you more than you have. Take a higher deduction to save money but cover the big losses.
  • Take a nap now and then.
  • Don't complain about being bored if there are things you need to do. Do it.
  • If you are going to work on a list about the things in your life either work them from most important to least important or try to put them in some order as you go from rough draft to final.
  • Don't let someone else sign your checks. Even if it is their job to prepare the checks, you should sign them.
  • Remember the simple rule, if it sound too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Life is not fair. It can be fun, it can be dangerous but it is not fair. It is what it is.
  • Don't ask what something costs if you have no intention on buying it.
  • If all you see are assholes, you aren't the lead dog in the dog team.
  • Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.
Whatever you do, don't live your life by my list. Make your own and do what's important to you. It never hurts to read someone else's list but make your own, or not.



Plumbing 'n Such

I finally got around to fixing the outside faucet. Had I really looked at it, I would have fixed it months ago. All I had to do was unscrew the old one and screw in a new one. I was all prepared to have to sweat solder fittings on and off and a simple pair of water pump pliers did the trick. There was, of course, the obligatory trip to the hardware store to get the right faucet. This week I also noticed that the shower head was leaking from the hose. It was one of those kind that you put in a hanger or can waive it all the places that need washed. It took a new replacement because the plastic part in the hose was cracked. That must have happened when I knocked it out of the hanger.

Today and tomorrow should be a lot dryer than the earlier parts of the week. We got over two inches of rain one day this week. I just hope the plumber can still get into the hole to hook up the new yard faucet for Barb tomorrow. I have tried to keep the water out of the hole with a tarp but that only partially works. We'll see.

This has been the week for critters from hell. The squirrels and wood peckers have been here "en masse. " If I put the sunflower seed suet block in the suet feeder, the squirrels jump on the feeder and eat it as fast as I can put it up. If I put up the other kind, no body eats much of anything. Oh well, time of the year that they all need to move on to forage out in the woods.

Better get rolling.



Rain Again

In spite of tornado warning for all 105 counties in Kansas, not one tornado came to Toto-ville. We did get some nice rain and a little wind but here we didn't get hail and none of the twisty air that tears down houses. Thank heavens.

Yesterday, I got the big mower deck running and hooked up behind the Case Tractor. At one time I was upwind of the mower deck and thought I smelled burning rubber. There was my sign. I sharpened the blades and removed the main motor drive belt when I was done. I put the belt on the wrong side of a little pin that is designed to keep the belt on a pulley and that just burned the belt up. Almost $40 later, a new belt is in its place and I was off back mowing. Just in time for the rain to start and I didn't get much done. Oh well, I guess I really could wait a day or two.

Do you ever have a dream where everything needs done and you find yourself unable to do the required task? I found myself responsible for being an MC at a meeting to recognize one of my former leaders and I just started bad and it got worse. Just so you will know, I am able to get up in front of large groups and give lectures, speeches or to teach classes. But I will tell you that I work hard to prepare in all cases and for some reason last night I couldn't even remember what the paper looked like i was to use to help me remember facts. Just a rough way to wake up and feeling behind the eight ball. Especially when it was a 6AM wake up.

Oh well, things to do and places to go.



What Does the Guard Do In an Emergency?

With the problems in Tulsa fresh on our minds, I think I need to provide an official "What does the Guard Do in an Emergency" discussion paper. I served in the Military Support to Civil Authorities job for the Adjutant general of Kansas for several years and this is the way it was when I left there.

First, let me stress that the local and State Government along with the Sheriff carry the major part of the burden in Emergencies. They are required by law to apply all their resources first and then ask the governor if the Guard can assist. It is in that assistance that the real question of what we can do is asked. While it not clear when the officials in Louisiana asked for help, it must be clear that the Guard costs the State money and The guard must be asked for. In a lot of cases, the Guard leaders were talking with the locals and getting people ready as the request goes to the Governor. The Guard can be in a State Status or in major cases federal Status if FEMA declares the emergency. Either way, what they do is pretty much the same.

The initial response is to protect property and save lives. We will search for trapped people and maintain a perimeter that keeps the "lookie lou's" out. We will also protect property from looting as after a tornado everything you own is scattered on your front yard. On very important job we have is to help clear the streets of debris so the emergency vehicles can get to the aid of citizens. In most cases, the guard provides the manpower to aid the locals do what they are required to do by law. The Guard is not a force to clear debris from private property. The only exception to this I have seen is that we have provided manpower after an ice storm to help the community remove broken limbs that are piled by the curb. We do not go onto private property and pick up the mess. There have been cases of the Guard used to clear abandoned property of debris but only after all the local civilian contractors are used first. We aren't there to take the food out of the mouths of local businessmen.

Another thing the Guard does is provide shelter for people displaced by storms, floods and civil unrest. In Kansas, if 100 people are displaced, generally only about 25% of those people will go to our emergency shelters. Most people stay with relatives, friends and neighbors. This is just the way people here in the heartland act.

After a tornado, the Engineers may provide assistance to declare structures safe or not. I am sure that you have seen the results of searches and inspections marked on the front of structures on the news. a structure clean of bodies may have a green X on it. A Black X may be used to mark dead animals or bodies. A red X means that the structure is declared unsafe.

In some cases, the Guard has provided equipment that is not available from the civilian market. Way back when, the State provided a tent and a Herman-Nelson heater to the community of Gas, Kansas when their water treatment plant froze during a month of really cold weather. We have also provided a generator to a Nursing home in Rossville, KS to maintain heat during ice storms when the patients cannot be evacuated. On of my distinctions in that support was the owner of a restaurant in Rossville that contacted the guard and asked for a generator to keep his restaurant open. My question to him was he feeding emergency service workers food fro free? If he was charging for meals, he had to rent a generator from one of the rental companies in Topeka. Only if there were no generators available could the local Government declare his operation essential and ask for the Guard to provide a generator. The local Government must ask the State and they would pass the requested support from the guard.

In the end, the Guard is a force to multiply the ability of the community to help themselves. In most cases, when the emergency is over, the Guard is withdrawn and the local control is returned.

I hope we don't have to use the Kansas Guard any today, but I am pretty sure that they are ready to do what is needed.



How Come?

For me, it is as plain as the nose on my face that we need to have a real heart to heart talk with out legislative side of the people in Washington. There is no other answer than a cut in spending and an increase in taxes if we want to survive as a Nation. I advocate an adjustment to the Social Security and Medicare benefits that are in line with what we need. Yes, you heard me say that even though I saved my money and a lot of other people didn't, I am willing to take a little less.

Don't let that mild mannered style fool you that Barb doesn't have a temper when the City does it wrong. Here is the link to her letter to the editor: http://cjonline.com/opinion/2011-05-22/letter-neck-deep

I don't advocate that people like Barb's folks who are approaching 90 need to have their benefits cut, I am advocating that the Government start taking a graduated percentage of all income and stop spending on Foreign Aide, Government Studies on the mating habits of frogs and apply our money where it is needed.

All over the USA, the Government owns houses that were foreclosed. I advocate bringing our Military home, using them to rehab some of those homes and have every soldier perform at least a year of public service while living in one of the homes. We need to have role models in our inner city schools and helpers to be reading aides, recess guides and general good guys in our communities. In my opinion, having married soldiers move into the communities would be a bonus.

We are having our normal springtime severe weather and unfortunately Joplin, MO got the worst of it over the weekend. The death total is near 90 and they haven't completed the search. There will be more found as the real cleanup starts. Near Wichita, a tornado tore up a trailer and several days later the smell made people notice the aluminum up in a tree had a body wrapped up in it. If it were up to me, I would have a battalion of Engineers from Fort Leonard Wood there to clear the streets. They could bring their mess hall and be self supporting.

Oh well, life's not fair. It can be fun but not fair...



Tornado in the Heartland

In 1983, we lost a house just southeast of Topeka to a tornado. You can imagine that I watch clouds and am leery of strange looking cloud formations. If the clouds look green or have large bumps on the bottom that is a sign of hail. Hail clouds mean violence aloft and there is always the possibility of a tornado. If you see a cloud that looks like it is pushed up like a wall, there is always a possibility that a tornado will spin out of it. yesterday was one of those days. A large wall cloud was visible to the south west of here. I turned on the TV and they said there had been a tornado in Topeka and it was headed right for Dave's house. I knew his wife was home alone and I rushed up there in the car. I had to wake her up from a nap to get her to come out and get in the car. Thank god it didn't touch down there as we would have been toast. The sirens sounded right as I got out of the car and on his porch.

As the storm clouds moved north and east, it did develop a rotation and set down a funnel in a couple of places. At least we escaped any damage.

Just another day in the heartland.




For about half of my life, I worked at least one Saturday and Sunday a month. There was one year when I had fewer of them off than I worked. Hell, one year, I didn't take any of them off and found myself working 24/7. (Vietnam) Yes, this is the dreaded Military Day blog from an old soldier. I can remember every day in uniform even if I can't find my damn glasses in the morning.

The question of the day is could we afford to not have the large Military serving as we do? Where in our current system of businesses could we find productive employment for that fine young group of men and women? Yes, I would cut back a little on the combat roles we play but realistically where is the answer to the money we spend on the Military? If we didn't produce Hummers out of Detroit Diesel what the hell would they produce?

Where in the world would we find a way to replicate the sense of honor and the ability to be lead and then lead others? There is nothing like sleeping on the ground in a combat zone to make your bed back home better. Eat a few combat ready meals and see just how damned good a ham sandwich back home is. I won't even get into how alone you can feel in the dark of night and just being in bed with a warm breathing body at home feels.

I hope everyone out there takes a few minuted today to think about our men and women serving in all branches and capacities. I will.

COL (Ret)


'Nother Rainy Day in the Heartland

I am a little torn about the rainy weather we have and will have for a couple of days. I know that we need the rain and the Master Gardener appreciated it, but there are a lot of outside projects that are on hold while the rain falls.

Out in the yard, we have contacted a plumber to put in a faucet out by the garden. The first step was to have the utilities mark the underground locations. Once I found where the gas and water line was located, I started trenching to find the water line. About 20 years ago I put in a trench for the gas and water. They are about 3 feet apart but just how deep is a question. The first place I started digging I hit a lot of rock. I dug north until I stopped hitting rock. Last night I sat and thought about it and realized that the rock is in the trench and where the digging is easy isn't where I need to dig. Oh well, the ground is getting easier as it rains.

Oh well, miles to go and things to do.'



Day off

Yesterday I worked fairly hard and long. In Barb's words, I was a grump and she gave me today off. Better put, she demanded I take the day off.

We took a road trip to Marysville, KS a week or so back to photograph the black squirrels. The legend is that a carnival came through back in the 20's and they had a troop of black squirrels. A kid opened the pen and some escaped and the only place you can find black squirrels in Kansas is in Marysville. They are cute little creatures and the city has regulations to protect them. In fact, it is a $25 fine if you run over one.

On the way back home, we went through Manhattan. The school there trains all sorts of food engineering and their ice cream store makes a lot of yummy treats. On our stop there, I saw they also had frozen meats and bought a nice pork shoulder.

A week or so back, my niece Carrie offered to have her husband Dan to smoke a pork butt for a family gathering in June. He has a nice smoker and is pretty proud of his work. Barb and I were talking about what we will bring and the smoked chicken breast and wild rice salad wan the consensus. There needs to be a taste off, Barb's breast, My shoulder or Dan's butt.

OK, I had to work for that one. I would much rather tell a humorous story than a short joke.

Write if you get work.



Hi There!

Someone hacked me and shut down my MSN browser so I couldn't sign in to this blog or leave comments on any one else's blog. I contacted my Best Buy Geek and he had me download FireFox as my browser and here I am. I love that guy and am ever so glad to have his good advice.

One nice feature I have here is that those little red lines are under the words it thinks I have misspelled or mis-typed. I think it has eliminated the need to go to the spell checker to see the error of my ways.

Now I need to talk to him about downloading my favorites bar and the effect. If it imports that bug, I will have to visit everyone one at a time and right now I'm not sure I have the time. Oh well, at least I am back here as long as it lasts.

Gotta run. From the Gun Capitol of Kansas.



Life Lessons 101 Update

I have found that if you think your are done performing maintenance on the things you own, you are just overlooking something. I had a dream that when I retired, I would have this wonderfully organized garage and storage area and everything would always look nice. Perhaps if I never did anything with the stuff I have, I could always have this nice clean shop. The problem is that I use stuff and when I am tired, the last thing I want to do is stop and carefully put everything in its place. Not to mention, there is always a mower blade to sharpen, a chainsaw chain that needs tightened, etc....

One thing I hear little kids say is, "That's not fair." Life is not fair and no amount of money will make it that way. It might be more fun if you have money, but it is never fair. Someone has to pay the cost of everything or someday pay the piper. About the time a pretty good solution comes up, the NIMBY (Not in My backyard) crowd comes up with a hundred reasons to block any progress.

There just has to be a compromise in all the rhetoric from Washington. We all have to either accept less or pay more. It is pretty obvious to a lot of us that we can't have a Government that is all things to all people.

Oh well, things to do, places to go...



A Mowin' I Will Go

It was way too warm the last couple of days in the afternoon and I have put off mowing as long as I can. Barb also needed a couple of small projects finished so I guess I am needed.

My sis is not doing well and spent a couple of days in the hospital. I guess when we all are getting old, there will be starts and stops in the stream of good health. I hope to remain here and healthy for a few more years but every time I read the Obits in the paper I see people a lot younger than I am in there. Years ago, I heard Paul Harvey talk about the oldest people by percentage come from Nebraska. I hope that Kansas being close is a good second. The seventh oldest person in the world died here at 114, in Topeka this last week. Yep, she was born in Nebraska. Why don't old men live longer? Because they can. Why do old women live longer? because they can. Same answer, different outcome.

I'll let as many of you as desire use that answer. Why? Because I can.




People are making a big deal out of the use of the name Geronimo as the code name for Bin laden. Anyone that doesn't see the parallel between the two is just "History Blind." Mexico and the US hunted for Geronimo for years as he went from Nation to Nation and killed people. He was one of the most notorious people in his time and while those revisionists that want to make him out a hero, have turned a blind eye to the deaths he caused. Several people are trying to get the Kansas Governor to ask the President to issue an apology. I call BS on that one. Near as I know Geronimo never set foot in Kansas and most of the people of Kansas think this is a big thing made out over nothing.

Yesterday we had a heat wave and it is in the mid 70's here before 9 AM. There is a slight wind and it was beautiful out there playing stick with Taco. A cuppa coffee, a nice dog, nice weather and green everywhere I looked. It might get better than that but I'm not sure how. I have almost stopped buying lottery tickets as I'm not sure what else I would want. Perhaps a place where it is nicer in the wintertime but not a lot else.

For some reason, we live in an area where the red and gray squirrels both live. I guess that most places have one or the other. Barb wants to go to Marysville, KS and see the black squirrels there. Barb also got a picture of the white tailed, Kaibab, squirrel at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. None of the others in the photography class got a picture. I guess it just goes to show you that some people are nuts about things.

Oh well, gotta go. Not sure where, but I will go at full speed.



Have You Laughed Today?

I have a good friend in Texas, Bob Bartholomew that often sends me E-Mails about funny things that happen in the Military. This morning I opened my mail and found a message that was funny all over the place. A Lady was asked by the Detroit Aid to Dependent Children Services who the father of her child was. Her answer, " I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my baby, after all, like When you eat a can of beans you can't be sure which one made you fart." Winner, winner, Chicken Dinner, DING, Ding, Ding... I will have a smile all day over that one.

A close runner up was the thought was the definition of old age - Every thing either dries up or leaks.

There was one Military joke that was worth mention. Iranian ATC came up on the net and told a US Plane that they had the plane in Iranian air space. If he didn't leave, they would send up an interceptor. The Pilot replied, "This is a US Marine F-18 in Iraqi airspace and I can wait for his arrival." Nothing was heard from the Iranian ATC after that.

My favorite was the closer of the E-mail. Bob and Dennis met in the park every day to discuss life and to feed the squirrels. For three years running they met there and talked. One day Dennis went to the park and Bob wasn't there. Not knowing where Bob lived, he couldn't got over and check on Bob so he just continued to go to the park every day in hopes that Bob would turn up. Finally after three months, Bob was there on the bench when Dennis arrived.

"Man, where have you been?" Dennis Asked

Bob Replied, "Jail."

"How did that happen?" Dennis Asked.

"You know that blond waitress over at the coffee shop?" Bob replied. "She charged me with rape and when the trial started I was so flattered that I pled guilty."

"Man, you don't get 90 days for rape." Dennis said.

"Yes, you are right, at 75 I just couldn't help but plead guilty." Bob answered. "The judge knew I was lying and he gave me 90 days for perjury!" (The names were changed to insinuate guilt. - everyone knows that I hate those little bushy tailed rats)

Today I will have good reason to live up to my motto. Smile and make them wonder what you have been up to.



Mother's day Tribute

If your were to travel with me, this is what you would see the most. Barb behind the camera lens in beautiful places. She brings the beauty home with her in pictures

My Mother, Virginia Dene Lee Petty Schawo fixin' things
Virginia in Eldorado. Her dad and Father-in-law are buried near where she is standing.

My mother, Bessie & Earl Petty Myrna Sue and Carol Lee. Dad was off playing WWII.

Great grandmother Hazen, Grandmother Erma Lee Fruits and Mom and baby sister Nona Jean.

What Mother's Day is all about

I hope that everyone gets to talk to their mother today and has happy talks. My mother passed about a year ago and I sure miss her.



Jest Bitchin'

I guess that every once in a while a good bitch just has to seep out or my head will explode. Read the following with caution and know that life in good here at Rabbit Run - But the rest of the world is in danger.

  • How can the Muslim world now complain that Bin laden who hijacked the tenants of his religion to do evil is now a symbol of what's good in the world. Saying that is like saying that Fred Phelps is the representative of all Christians.

  • How can the Conservative Right/Christian element hijack our lives in favor of what they think is right? Freedom of Religion means you get to practice your religion without the Government involvement. It doesn't mean that I have to practice your religion because you think it is right.

  • Our Governor had protected half of the Flint Hills from Wind Turbines. Doesn't he understand that we as a nation must change the way we do things? Besides, I think the giant windmills in Wyoming are a treat to look at. Instead of trying to block what we need, he should be looking for ways to provide more power.

  • I am a fan of the History channel. and for the largest part, I watch it to see what other people say about our past. How can people say that Custer was a great soldier when he lead an invasion into areas protected by treaties and killed the very people he was supposed to protect? Plus, he got a bunch of his soldiers killed in the process.

  • OK, with that said, how can the American Indians say that Geronimo was their hero and we should have not called Bin Laden the code name "Geronimo?" Have they forgot just how many people he killed when he went on his forays into Mexico and the Southwest? We hunted for him for years just like Bin laden and the biggest difference is that we let Geronimo die when he fell off his mule on his way back to Fort Sill after a night of drinking. They tell me that Bin laden died of Lead Poisoning on the way to feed the fishes.

  • I think the way the story about how we got Bin laden is representative of the way our Government is conducting Business. The revisionists are making up stuff based on the polls faster than you can read it. First, there were two Black Hawk helicopters that landed, No wait, one crashed and then a Chinook helicopter came in with another 25 people landed and they all conducted a 45 minute gun fight. Now wait, the pictures don't have the place shot up with bullet holes. Then they killed the couriers in a gun fight, no they were not armed. Then the seal team went up stairs and shot Bin laden's wife, no the just wounded her as she rushed up to them. then Bin laden was killed by a shot to the head and two to the chest. he was armed, he was unarmed but rushing towards a weapon. No wait, now his wife says we executed him. Then instead of displaying the body, we hauled him back to an aircraft carrier and performed a Muslim funeral for him. Oh well, you can't make this stuff up any better. If you don't agree, write your own story, it can be any less stupid. Ding Dong, Seal team Six calling. You are dead, next mission.

Now, I will have toe rest of the day to think about this. I do smell pancakes so I'll close it here.



Jest Cookin'

On my last trip to the grocery store, I found some pretty great and fresh green beans. On our Vegas trip I ate some tempura fried green beans and decided that I would try to duplicate the batter and taste. The batter is simply a cup of flour, a cup of beer and an egg. I steamed the beans for a few minutes and then dried them off. I dusted the beans in flour and dipped them in the batter. The oil was at 350 degrees and I dropped the battered beans one at a time into the oil. When they just started to turn color and float, it took them out and salted them. They were excellent. Next I need to work on dips. I think a real mild wasabi or horseradish dip is called for. Perhaps a dip based on soy sauce would be good too. Next will be finding what other vegetables go good in my tempura batter.

It rained twice yesterday so I had time to finish my book and do a little cooking. I am going to the Home Depot store today and getting some siding for the rental house project. Sure want to get that finished and out of the way.

Oh well, better get running. have a great day and even a better weekend.



Rain, Just-in-time

This morning I woke up to the sound of water falling off the deck and hitting a piece of foam insulation just outside the downstairs window. I am pretty sure that Barb would have me dragging out the hoses had it not rained. About a week ago I mowed a patch so she could plant some Tall Blue stem grass and some short blue stem grass in another row. I am looking forward to seeing if the planting works.

Have I mentioned that Barb is into native plants here at Rabbit Run? You generally have to water them the first year but once they develop a tap root, they fend for themselves. We have a lot of pretty native flowers and some exotic weeds. During most of the year the Rattle Snake Master looks like a desert plant and in the fall it breaks out into a glorious barrage of yellow flowers. Some of these wild flowers are pretty wild during the growing season.

Oh well, I do have a good book to finish and I'd better move on. If I forget to say it, Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there.



Mowing, Again?

The other day as Barb and I walked out in the yard, she said, "You can hear the grass growing." She was absolutely right on that one. About the time the first sprigs of asparagus appear, the grass tried its best to grow tall and green. At one time I loved to ride the mower and see it get pretty. I think Barb has won me over in that I am pretty sure it is the biggest waste of time there is.

The weather here in the heartland has kept Barb busy trying to be warm and yet cool enough to frost. Normally the middle of April is the last significant frost date here. It was cool enough on May Day to require a cover over the plants. If it doesn't break down and rain soon I'll be out watering the garden. Then we will be fighting with the Water department about the hundred dollar water bill. Oh well.

The other day, one of my nieces put a quote on her facebook page. "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!" I replied that if all you see are assholes, you aren't the lead dog. There are a bunch of them that I have used over the years. I like the ones that make you stop and think the most. Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. It is all mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter. I have everything I need and most of what I want and a WalMart nearby. Now if Hyvee would only build that grocery store over here on the east side of town.

Gotta run, I'm on the final lap of the carport tear down and need to pick up the little scraps of wood.



Still Working

I am about 2/3 rds of the way finished with the carport tear down and will go over there today. I do find that a rest day now and then gets my juices flowing again. Next it will be rehab on the rest of the garage and a paint job on the yellow house. Might subcontract that out.

Yesterday barb looked for the Tax statements for the rental houses. Could not find the new updates due 10 May. When we went to the courthouse, we found that last December I paid both halves on those houses. Must have thought I needed the deduction. I'll run the numbers down and make sure I took the full credit.

Lots of news about Seal team Six and their exploits. I am sure glad that something knocked off the coverage of the Royal Wedding. Lots of people said they were going to record the wedding and I'll bet that the numbers work out that only about 50% of the people will watch what they taped. OF that number, I'll bet a lot more women will watch than men. Someone said that Prince Harry is unique in the royal family. Yep, he is over 25 and still has hair. Makes me wonder who was his daddy as Prince Charles and most of the other males look like the rest of the Windsor line and go bald about 25.

Better get running and get something done.




I have been over at the rental house tearing down an old carport that was in bad repair. Over a year ago I tried to get the renter to move his old Ford van from out of the carport and he diddled around until the roof almost fell down on the van. No big loss either way but it did delay the removal until it was a mess. Oh well, I am over 2/3's of the way done and it can wait until tomorrow.

I woke up this morning to the news that we had found and killed Bin laden. I hope the last thing he saw was a well armed highly trained Navy seal grease him with what I hope was a fatal dose of lead poisoning. None of this go to Gitmo, do not pass go crap! I think it is fair that he is feeding the fishes. He more than fits what I call the Dennis Petty Mad Dog Rule. If you are responsible for the death of one or more people and everyone knows it was you, they just need to take you out behind the jail and shoot you. having a navy Seal do it is just swift justice served.

Better stop here before I say more stupid things like - I love my country but I fear my Government.