You Are Probably an Asshole if

1. You have any image placed on your car of any person or animal urinating on anything.
2. You have any bumper sticker implying that your pets are smarter than an honor student.
3. You routinely have to hit your brakes on highways to avoid running into the car in front of you.
4. You park in front of (and block traffic to) a store for 45 minutes because it’s too inconvenient for you to park in the open parking spot 20 feet away.
5. You park in the loading zone at a grocery or drugstore while your significant other “runs in to get a few things.” 
6. You flip your cigarette butts out your car window or toss them down in the parking lot and stomp on them.
7. You don’t wash your hands after using the bathroom.
8. You take 13 items to the ten items or less checkout line.
9. You knock something off a shelf at the grocery store and leave it on the floor.
10 You talk loudly on your cell phone in a restaurant.
11. You have any bumper sticker that insults the intelligence or morality of people of differing political ideologies.
12. You park your car across parking slot lines to keep people from parking next to you.
13. You park in any place that is not a legal parking spot. 
14. You don’t see anything wrong with giving another driver the finger.
15. You “push the envelope” on red lights. 
16. You “teach a lesson” to another driver. 
17. You speed through residential areas. 
18. You play your music as loud as you can. Especially if it rattles my rear view mirror.
19. You spit your gum on the sidewalk. 
20. You see nothing wrong with getting drunk in public. 
21. You use profane language in family environments.
22. You ignore pet leash laws.
23. You let your cat roam free at night. 
24. You let your dog roam free to do “his business.”
25. You expect cars to honor your bicycle’s “rights on the road” but you ignore traffic laws while on your bicycle.
26. You spit in public.

This was brought to you by a Conservative that is just too angry to write about anything else right now.  I freely admit that from time to time I have committed some or all of these offenses.  But I do not hide from any label so long as it is applied to all or with a laugh.


Mud's Life in A Few Paragraphs

I think my life has been really six decades stacked together like Lego's. The first 10 were the little boy years where I spent my time completely enraptured with playing and winning games with my friends.

 The second 10 were highlighted with the discovery of girls and my marriage to Barb. The next 10 were the Army years highlighted by a year (1968) in Vietnam. The next 10 years were the education and beginning of a career and the birth of my son. The next 10 were spent trying to get promoted to higher ranks and position and moving to do so. The next 10 were building and paying for the retirement home of Barb's dream and finally the last 10 years of my life have been about living and enjoyment from the retirement we built. Let me elaborate a little on each decade.

I think that the number one face on my life list of friends is the first friend I ever had and that was Harvey. He and I had a bunch of sisters and I think that we used each other as a way to escape being in a female dominated world. He was a year older so I was the little brother but did my best to hold my own. I will throw in the names of Ron, Wayne, Dennis L., Neugene, John and Whitney in the pile of friends. The really sad part is that only Harvey, Ron and Eugene and me are still alive. Almost all of the adults in our lives are dead. 

From the age of 10 to 20, I did the typical turn around about girls. They were yucky at 10 and by 20, I had found the love of my life. In between were Sheila, Connie, Donna, Holly, Clydene and finally Barbara. I went from a crush on the first to a lifelong commitment to the last. My life from about 15 to 20 was work, girls and school. The end year was the beginning of my Military years.

 What can I say about the Military years? basic, AIT, OCS, Train for and deployment to Vietnam and then return. I got out of the Active Army in 1969 and joined the Guard in 1971. I stayed in the Guard during my student years and starting out in my first job with Chevrolet. I found a full time job in the Guard in 1975 and moved to Ottawa, KS. For the next 5 years, I did my best to learn how to be a trainer and find a way to get promoted to Major. I also tried my best to learn how to be a father to our son. What was really important is that Barb continued to be the rock for our family. I finally gave up trying to get promoted at the lower level unit and moved to Topeka. The first 10 years there I did everything I could do to fit in and become a good staff Officer. I bought a house and completed Command and General Staff College. I spent almost 10 years as a Captain and only half that time as a Major. Somewhere in this period, a Tornado came by and tore down our house and we were home at the time.

 We rebuilt that house and never fell in love with it so we looked for a new place to build a home to be called Rabbit Run. The first time we walked into the property, the front half was a wheat field and there was no road in to the place. It was almost a year later that we found that the actual site we wanted was for sale. I will give Barb and Carrie complete credit for the design of the house. Barb was busy having it built and I was doing everything I could to get my career back on track including commanding an Artillery Battalion. I continued to be a Dad to my son but thanks to Barb, that was a pretty easy task.

 The last 10 years in the Military I was a Lieutenant Colonel and the a Full Colonel working hard to be able to retire with a paid off house and a retirement. Check (That means yes to you non Artillery types) on both sides. In 1997, at the ripe old age of 50, I was retired from the Civil Service and the Military on the same date. I am sure that my retirement was forced because of my disagreement with the General and the fact that I completely treated him with disdain. He was not idiot in my mind and he played loose with the rules about money. That made him dangerous and I did not or would not play his game and I am sure that he pushed the retirement button. Don't throw me in the briar patch Brear Fox. The funny part is that I out lived him and got to retire with my health and enough wealth to enjoy the life we had and have. 

The last decade of my life is now filled with pretty much whatever we want to do. I tell anyone that will listen that I have everything I need, most of what I want and a WalMart nearby. My son lives just up the road with his wife. I tell him all the time that he is very luck to have a wife and a mother that love him and they like each other. 

Only time will tell how many more decades I will get to share this life but when I am gone, I hope my friends and  my family will know that I lived life about as full as I could. I hope to arrive in my grave all battered, used up and bruised from the experience and get there at least a day before the Devil knows I'm coming. I plan to stop at Fiddler's Green and share a few cups of Muzzle Blast with my friends, and probably a few enemies. I hope you can hear the laughter of tales well told from that camp site over any cries of my departure from life here near Topeka.



60,000 Hits - Ya Hoo

Well, I made it to another milestone and have over 60,000 hits on this blog.  

I'll write some on it tomorrow but in the mean time, Thankyew.



It's Summertime and the Livin' is Easy

There are several things that make summertime my favorite season.  I think it starts with water melon and moves to being outside on great mornings.  Yes Grasshopper, it is damned hot in the Heartland in the afternoon and that's a good time to be inside reading a book.  I live in the basement with a good fan in the afternoon.  Kind of like the winter in reverse.  If you have things to do, start early and end by lunch or shortly thereafter.   

One big change in my life is when I was younger I loved fireworks and probably spent more disposable income on them than I did on beer.  Just so you will know that I often say that I should have bought Budweiser stock rather than their beer.  I wonder if Cutty Sark is made by a company traded on the Stock exchange.  I now consume neither product and my life really hasn't changed much except that I can hear the same and I know that when I wake up in the morning that's the best I will feel all day.  I really can't say that I miss the big fireworks displays.  

I got a letter from the VA and they have awarded me a 10% disability for the ringing in my ears.  The underlying damage to my high frequency hearing is just not bad enough to rate an additional 10%.    They tell me that I will soon receive paperwork that will change the retirement compensation I am getting and make all of  $127 a month non taxable.  The only real thing I would like to have is one of these days when they work out the medicine that stops the ringing.   Most of the time I can live with it but it seems to be worse at times and it is kind of like a warning bell when I get really dehydrated.  Kind of like the Bladder warning light that goes, "Pee! Pee! Pee!"  

The Corvette National Club is in town this week and I am seeing a lot of pretty cars around.  I have never owned a Corvette and somewhere in the back of my mind is the desire to strap one on and take a trip.  I know they aren't practical but who loves everything practical?  Kind of like one of my favorite cars as a kid was a Morris 850 or what was then known as a Mini Minor.  Didn't go straight real fast but went around corners like a go cart.  Even then I was not a small guy but I didn't take really long trips like I am prone to do now.   I am not like an over the road truck driver but I think a trip of about 1000 or 1200 miles a thing I can do in the Crown Vic.  I would probably have to rig some kind of a lifting device to help me get out of a Corvette after a long day of driving.

My advice for today is to Smile and make everyone wonder what you are up to.  




Why Write?

In the past I have written that I write this crap for me and I am serious about that.  It is a creative outlet that I use and It helps me feel connected to people.   I hope you enjoy reading my Blog but I won't stop if you don't.  If you do read something that you especially enjoy, drop a comment.  If you don't, I think people are voting with their feet by coming here and with just short of 60,000 hits, there has to be a reason.

The weather here in the Heartland is Hot, Hot, HOT! It broke 100 yesterday and it cooled off only to 75 last night.   It barely let the AC unit cool back down so it stopped running almost non stop.  By yesterday afternoon it was brutal.  I didn't hear what the heat index was when the actual temp broke 100.  

There is a fellow on Death Row in Arkansas and they have been playing with their Death Penalty for a few years.  I have doubts that after 13 years, longer than my niece he killed lived, they are really serious about putting him to death even if their law is restored.  Several member of her family are really feeling this problem and are upset.  I wish I could help them be reminded that every day he is sitting on a small cell 23 hours a day and that alone is punishment way beyond putting him to death.  When he dies, it won't bring relief to us, only an end to his torture of sitting there on Death Row and rotting from the inside out.    His life is on hold and it is like the movie Groundhog Day every day for the rest of his life.  

One thing about me is that I believe in Justice over Mercy.  I am more of a do the crime,  then do the time over parole and rehabilitation.  Prison should be a place that you have to get up and work hard to get any privileges.  In fact, I think I wrote my feelings on the prison system a few years back.  The first third of the time you are in Prison, you are to sit in a cell with limited time outside for anything unless it is work.  No TV, no posters on the wall, no Tobacco.  If there is scud work to do like chain gangs and real work, these guys are the one's that do it.  After all, someone has to wash the pots and pans in the kitchen.  The next third of the time in Prison, the inmates would grow and make everything they eat wear or touch.  Self supporting as much as possible.  Only in the final 1/3 of their time would there be anything like education or rehabilitation.  The education would include life skills like how to manage money, cook meals and plan for the future.  Anyone without a High School education would take classes to pass the GED. After all, this is my perfect world not theirs. 

 Have a great day.  



Thanks Mom

When my mother died, she left the kids 1/4th of the royalties on some oil property she inherited in Clark County, KS.  When the oil prices went through the roof a few months ago, the oil money started to come in well.  There is one check for gas and one check for oil.  The production company put a new compressor on the Natural gas wells and the LPG is paying nicely.  I hear that a lot of people are saying that we as a Nation could be close to independent if they could get the trucks on LPG. I kind of feel that it doesn't matter what it costs, we are ahead.  I have a brother-in-law working on making his converted bus to LPG.  Looking forward to seeing how it works.

I think the extra oil money is kind of at the heart of my feeling unsettled right now.  I have a few projects at my rental houses to finish but I also have a sudden influx of travel money.  This has caused me a lot of the feeling that I want to go somewhere as opposed to the feeling I have a lot to get done.  I hate to do renovations on my rentals but I know that it is a good investment in the future to renovate things.   I also know that I have a busy schedule of travel coming in September and October.  

I am also doing my best to lose a few pounds as the result of my Doctor's threat.  When I went to the VA, they did some blood work and the PA also ordered my A1C reading done.  When I gave those results to my Doctor, he informed me that a reading of 7.4 was where they would start me on Oral Medication for Diabetes.  Mine was 7.1.  Either lose some weight and keep it off or by this fall I would be officially a diabetic. I have a family history of diabetes and do not want to have that hanging over me.  If I get down to a lighter weight and it happens, I won't feel too bad.  Officially I have lost 30 lbs but a trip to 5Guys yesterday didn't help.   I am blown away by how a single 1/4 lb hamburger and a bag of fries can make you feel so full.  OK, I know that the small fries are what can fit in the rest of the bag after they put in a small hamburger.  I don't even want to think about what a double burger and a large fry would look like.    There is a part of me that just screams for a greasy hamburger now and then.

Have you noticed that your memory has started to take a hit now and then?  I guess at 65 (on 1 August) I should have some of that sharpness disappear.  I do have flashes of the old me but a lot of times it is where did I put those damn keys.  The other night on jeopardy I answered several questions that impressed even me.  When you watch the History Channel you know dumb things like Arabic calligraphy on the Taj Mahal.

Oh well, I had better get on with things and see if there isn't something to do on a Sunday off.  It is nearing g too hot for a bike ride.



Dang Government

I swear that the more they try, the more things just go to heck in a hand basket.  Our son is rapidly wearing out his daily driver and since that Cash for Clunkers deal, low mileage used cars are hard to come by.  Our last two cars were low mileage steals and I haven't seen anything like them in the paper or on line for a long time.

I know the people in Government are trying to protect us from the bad things in life, it is just that is a lot of cases the unintended consequences of their actions are worse.  For example, one of the things proposed as a part of the stimulus was a high speed train from the LA area to Las Vegas.  Sure would cut down on the gas used and the traffic to Vegas.  Yes, the bad news is that a lot of people go there and gamble away their hard earned money.  Do we want to make it easier to get to Vegas?    The key word is gamble.  If it was easy to win, they would call it winning and the place would go broke soon.

Someone in Kansas got the grand idea that a new 40 million dollar system to license our cars was needed.  All it has done is make the lines so long that you can't just go in in the morning and get it done without a long wait.  They give you a number and stop issuing numbers at noon.  That should be their sign that someone needs to have this system shoved up their dark place.  I know that we are going to get a new county Treasurer this year because of the problems he is unable to fix.  There just has to be a way to fix that system. 

The Local School Board has tried their best to build a new High School Auditorium over the past few years.  They keep telling us that it is one of their priorities and we the voters keep telling them no.  I wonder what part of no they don't understand?

Is the Fast and Furious guns to Mexico going to be the Watergate for the Obama Administration?  Lets see, I will dig out their quote to use on them - What did he know and when did he know it?  I didn't think that CYA was a good excuse for Executive Privilege.


Rain! We Got Some Rain!

The weather gods finally smiled on us last night and it looks like we have some measurable rain.  This morning is is about 66 degrees and might stay cool today with a light Northerly breeze.   Just what the doctor and the master gardener ordered.  

Yesterday we went over to the little rental house and started down the path to making it ready to rent.  Seems like curtains are the start of the process each time.  Most of our renters will replace the dated curtains with their own in short order.  I had one renter that smoked and made chili a lot and I had to basically throw those curtains away.  I swear that they were so stiff that when I unhooked them they would stand up by them selves.   Nasty.   It took me over a month of 8 hour days to bring the house back to a decent condition.   This time it is much better.  I do need to put in a GFI outlet in the bathroom as I replaced the only outlet on the overhead light.  The good news is there is an outlet in the kitchen on the back of the sink area do I can just fish a wire through the wall.  It will take a couple of hours and about $100 but well worth the time effort and cost.  I replaced the light over the sink with a less dated version.  

My bigger rental house needs a good coat of paint.  I will also have to replace some of the siding as the weather just ate the old stuff up.  Seems like a lot of work but it keeps me off the street and is helping the weight melt off.  I am down close to 30 lbs and would love to get down another 10 at least.  My biggest problem is that I love to eat and my downfall has been maintenance of the weight in the past.  I am trying to watch Barbara and see how she does it.  I think she eats all the time but in very small quantities.  It is portion control that is my downfall.  I does piss me off that she can eat cookies and I eat one and it settles on my belly. 

I guess sitting here is not helping so I'll close and move on smartly.

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.   If in doubt, leave it alone.  



60,000 Hits

It looks like that sometime this month I will cross over the 60,000 hits by readers to my Blog.  I want to thank all of you that stop in from time to time and see what Mean Uncle Denny (MUD) is up to.


Summer 2012

This year has been one of an early summer and I think the opening day of summer portends to be hot and unless we get some moisture today (as promised) things will really start drying out.  It hasn't been long since we waited until later on in the day to ride our bikes to let it warm up some.  Now if we don't get out early it is too hot.  For the best part of a week the wind has blown so hard that it is a lot less fun to ride.  Our beautiful lake trail is just too exposed to ride in 30 MPH wind.

In a little while, I will get dressed to go over to the rental house to measure rooms and do some trim work in the bathroom.  I have a new light bar to put up over the sink in the little house and a few minor touch ups to do to make it ready to rent. 

I am so disappointed that a relative of ours has run afoul of the law.  Most of what he did was just stupid juvenile things but add them all up and they could lead to serious charges.  I will refrain from naming names as this young man is a juvenile and I have really got to know him this year.  He is as hard a worker as any I have even met but for some reason seems to lack that little thing that causes him to ask the question ,"'What would happen if?"  That would my biggest gift to all children if I could give them that small moment where they stop and think before they do stupid things.  I won't even pretend to be critical of him as I too suffered from that impulse control and often fell victim of the law of Unintended Consequences. I am trying to control my language so I will only say "Excrement."

In today's paper there was an article about student athletes and how a school must maintain a good record of having the students progressing towards graduation.  Prop 9 said there must be a mix of male and female sports and scholarships available.  Good thing they can count the women in the deal or some schools just couldn't make the cut.  The women's tennis, golf and rowers all help pull up the average.  Strange thought, Shouldn't the focus for student athletes be an education first?  Oh, I know it is easy to be a KU fan because from time to time our Men's Basketball team flirts with a National Championship.   

Is anyone else as tired about hearing the coverage of Jerry Sandusky and the lurid activities at Penn State.  If they had canned him when the first allegations were made this would be just a minor footnote.  But no, people let it happen and didn't make a fuss when it was first alleged and now it is a national news feeding frenzy. 

From Private to Colonel in only 31 Years

When I was the Military Personnel Officer for the Guard, one of my Female employees complained that she was being harassed by a Warrant Officer on my staff.  My first reaction was he had better not be guilty in this or his ass is gone.  I appointed an investigating officer and made an inquiry.  The allegation was false as the woman was about to be fired for not doing her job.  She started to do her job and everyone was made whole.  Years later I met the Warrant officer and I had forgotten about the whole thing.  He hadn't.  I guess my harsh words about canning his ass if he was guilty had been reported to him.  He was mad at me and once I gave him the chance to vent and then listen to my side he at least walked away with less venom in his craw.  The thing I wanted him to know was I investigated the incident and he was cleared of any charges.  I fully admitted that I had been a lot less that proper when I expressed my anger when I heard allegations.  He didn't know that I was right in the middle of a bigger problem with some Recruiters for much the same thing and in that case it was true.  My real crime was the saying the first thing that crossed my mind.

Oh well, better get ready to face the day.  Hope you summer is a good one.



Popeye Motto - I Yam what I Yam!

For years, I read a lot of self help books and it took me a long time and hundreds of dollars to realize the true secret.  I can change my behavior somewhat but I am fundamentally Popeye and "I Yam what I yam."  If you spend your life thinking people are inherently bad, you will never be able to see the good things in yourself that make you blossom and do well in this world.  With a little work and half an effort, you can treat everyone with the respect they deserve.  Sharing and caring is what it is all about.

I am not an activist in this effort, I am a subversive. I will continue to start with smiling at kids and helping them feel good about themselves.  Adults are on their own.  I will try to set a good example and try to not do bad things even if I am human and screw up from time to time.

This morning I listened to Dr Dean Odell talk about getting old and the old saw about nature or nurture.  There are a few that just get old and they don't need to change much to have that happen.  He does point out that if you want to get older, there are a lot of choices you can make to help you get to 100.  Oddly enough being connected with a group of family and friends is not a bad thing.  Sharing and caring pictures, text's and messages on Facebook is more prevalent than a lot of people think.   It may be figurative but staying in touch is part of a good life.  

Yesterday we saw the President make an Executive Order to allow the children of Illegal Immigrants stay in the United States.  People are shouting this is Political.  No, the people in Washington D.C. are political?  Duh boys and girls, in this election year a President with a lot of  failure in his record book is doing everything he can to try to make his record look positive.   Let me tell you that in a lot of cases, the people that have come here to find work and raise a family are honest and hard working people.  They care and have a solid base in their religion that stands for a lot of what I do.  All you have to do is look at history to see that in the long run, our friends from Mexico built the Santa Fe Railroad and have added greatly to the life here in Topeka.  Anyone that goes to San Antonio, TX and not love the culture and food there doesn't understand the wonderful diversity they have there.  I wonder - Do the Mexicans there feel that we are the one's diluting their lifestyle?   

I listened that a vandal spray painted a Picasso.  The "Woman in the Arm Chair" will get fixed and the change was temporary.  I wonder how long it took them to notice?   

This is a part of what I want this blog to stand for.  My love of people and acceptance is a part of me that feels that there is enough room for everyone to have their day in the sun.  My promotions and ribbons on my chest didn't keep you from getting yours.  My wealth hasn't hurt your chance to get yours.  The quality of my life doesn't hurt yours.  I ain't perfect, I yam what I Yam.

Throw in Family and you have a great life



Hot! Hot! Hot!

In past years, June has been one of those months that you would duplicate, weather-wise, if you were in Kansas.   Not too wet, not too hot and the wind is generally a slight breeze.  This year, not so much.  We are about a month early temperature wise and any moisture we do get is wicked away by the hot dry air.  Several days the thunder boomers built up and looked like they might bring us some rain but at the last minute went around us or just petered out about Manhattan and came here with a whimper.  Today is one of those days where the 100 degree mark will just be the estimate of how hot it is.  it is not even 9 AM and it is almost 80 right now.  

Today is a Holiday after two weeks of working in the bathroom of my rental house.  I am taking a forced leave of absence (without work) to let my injuries heal.  I look like I crawled through a barb wire fence on my legs and my wedding ring finger is about 1/64th shorter than it was.  The good news is that I immediately put a bandage on the stump and the flap of skin has reattached pretty well.  Normally something like that will just hurt until the flap of skin falls off and is replaced by new growth.  I have had paper cuts that hurt more.

Have you ever had a period of your life where things just seem to have been a lot more fun?  A few weekends ago we held a BBQ celebration in Kansas City, an anniversary party for the other Petty's,  a wedding in Kansas City followed  shortly by my sister's Birthday party in Lawrence.  The secret to all this fun?   Family.  There has been more fun and frivolity in our family lately than ever.  The cast has been different at each party but the one simple thing is that we have been one dang funny bunch.  The newest addition to the family is Julia who has a wonderful laugh and a two year old that is a hoot. 

I love smart cute kids 

For father's day I asked for one of those new socket wrench sets that has the short sockets.  Barb picked up a set from Sear's and it is darned nice.  I got a pretty full set of Metric and SAE sockets.  Can't wait to find a good project to use them on, I won't have to wait long.  Speaking of projects, yesterday I decided that the new bridge I built for Barb needed a little TLC.  I had some deck cleaner left over from a project a long time back and I scrubbed the bridge deck boards.  They had been used in another project and they looked dark compared to the new wood.  After a good cleaning, Mr - I can't leave good enough alone made a trip to the Hardware store and bought some penetrating stain/protectant to give it a nice look.  They said the color was Pecan but what do I know.  Today I am going to sit inside and read a good book.


 PS, that old geezer in the picture above is indeed me.  I have spent almost 65 years trying to maintain my appearance and that's as good as it gets.


Father's Day

I would love to tell you wonderful things about my Dad but I have to be selective to keep this from one of those themes that cause people to say, "You want cheese with that wine (whine)"   I do congratulate my Dad for having great taste in women in selecting the world's greatest "Earth Mother" as his wife.   I think that Virgina Dene Lee Petty more than made up for any shortcomings he had.  In his defense, I do have to say that for a lot of his life my father fought with the demons of Bi-Polar disease.  He was either on top or the bottom with few rough patches in the middle.  When he was in his high as a kite phase he was loving, generous and more fun than a barrel of monkeys.  When he was in the other phase, we stayed away from home as much as we could.  Me, I had a sense of freedom produced by those periods of being away that probably has more to do with my self reliance than about anything else.  Late in life, someone found that a daily touch of Lithium made him as normal as any other old man.  In fact he was kind of boring and during that later phase I did have the time to ask him about his life.  Let me tell you he was never boring then and in old life he liked to watch golf and NASCAR.  Two more boring things, I can't imagine.   So, to my Dad I wish him  Happy father's day where ever he is.  I know where his burial place is but I believe we live in the minds and hearts of those whose lives we touch. 

Yesterday, I went to Lawrence, KS to help the family celebrate my sister's 70th Birthday.  Carol Lee Petty Johnson Landis has always been there for us so I made it important to go and celebrate this occasion with sis and her children.  For the record, Carol lee was known as Carol or Katy to most of us and one of the brightest times I remember was Katy and the rest of us singing on our vacation trips to Susank, KS and then Pruitt Arkansas.  Katy went on to become a music teacher and I'm sure that there are bunches of people that today make beautiful music because of her love of music.  I think all of us that went to Minneha on the east side of Wichita were taught a love of music by Mrs Holloway and I know that Katy and I both caught the music bug.  

I also want to make a special shout out to my sister Myrna Sue Petty Deffenbaugh Ikenberry. who is in the Lawrence Rehabilitation Hospital  gaining the strength to come home, where she belongs and be with her husband Raymond Ikenberry.   Sue has had a pretty rough patch of health and we worry about her. Long before I went to school Sue taught me to love to read and My life has been full because of that one talent probably above all.

I guess any words said on Father's day should be a tribute.  Mine is about the people I spent my youth with and will end with a few words about my wife Barbara who has shared the last 44 years with me.  Years back, I saw a movie about a fellow who had a muse who inspired him to write and be a success.  My thoughts at the time were why doesn't this guy just find a wife as wonderful as Barbara.  Notice I didn't say ":My Barbara."  She has and will always continue to be that wonderful person that takes cookies to her son andis one of the best Auntie Barb to all the children lucky enough to visit here at Rabbit Run.

I hope you enjoyed this few words and know that I will spend the rest of my days here trying to be worthy of the love and family I have


Finish Line is in Sight

For two weeks, I have been rehabbing the bathroom at my rental house. It started with the floor feeling soft and spongy in places.  I had a case of dry rot that was just pervasive in the entire bathroom.  It appears there was a  leak in the toilet and the wood because it was old just fell apart.  I had to remove about 90% of the sub floor to get it back to a shape where I could put a new surface up.   Because of the limit of what I could carry, I put a fiberglass tub and surround up.  What should have been a three or four day turn around turned out to be a two week project.  I will admit that I have one more day next week of trimming around the floor but that's a far cry from where I started.

For a day or two, I have had a cough and I wonder if it is a slight walking pneumonia from inhaling all the dust.  I know I need to wear a face mask when I am tearing out the old stuff but I just can't stand wearing one.  First it lets my breath fog up my glasses and I am a slight bit claustrophobic.  I am running a slight fever and when it breaks, I am sweaty to the max.  I am going to take a few days off and see if I don't get better before I prevail on the medical system to see what the heck is wrong.  

Did you ever start out a day with every intention to write great pithy comments?  I sure wish I could find that muse to spark me today.  I think I will try to get over to my sister Carol's 70th Birthday party in Lawrence.   If I listen to Barb, I also need to stop somewhere and buy some new shorts.  All of my shorts were of the 44 extra baggy form and I am nearing a 38 in size.   A lot of the weight loss is watching what Barb eats and duplicating her efforts.  Some of the weight loss is working in the small bathroom where I have been one sweat monster. 

 I guess I'll close here and try to find that spark for writing well and funny thing.  



Watching CNN Early in the Morning

This morning I woke up early and watched the head of Starbucks get press for the creation of 12 jobs in an Ohio town. He had a mug maker add a new Starbucks coffee mug line to his production line. They went on to talk to him about the problems we are having in the USA.  Come on guys, no one that charges $3.00 (+)  for a cuppa coffee has a friggin' clue what is wrong!   The cold facts are that in 1970 we had 30 million production (Manufacturing) jobs in America and today we have 9 Million.  The other 21 million jobs were allowed to be sent overseas in that giant effort to help the world.  NAFTA was one of those steps that said lets send jobs overseas and benefit by having cheaper products.  Now that we have lost 21 million jobs because of that type of effort, we are standing with out thumbs up our butts crying over the unintended  consequences of such an action.  

Oh, by the way, the head of Starbucks said that we as consumers are willing to spend a little more to have products made in the USA.  I don't think that people who are near the poverty line will spend any extra on frills when the basics of life cost us dearly.  I filled up the truck yesterday and it took almost $50 for less than 16 gallons.  Gas jumped 15 cents since Friday.   

Over the weekend, we officially inducted a new member to the family.  Julia has been a member for a couple of years and they made it official.  It really saddens me that her parents haven't welcomed he back into their fold for whatever reason.  As a grandparent "Wannabe" I can't imagine that they are so cold as to not hold dear the wonderful little girls Bob and Julia have.  I guess when you have 8 kids and they have many grandchildren her parents feel they can be selective.  Not me bucco, I would   love them all as much and as long as I could. All I can really add is that we as a family are blessed to have her as a new member.

Over the weekend there was a program that talked about the black community and the changes from the 1960's to the present.  In broad strokes they interviewed  many blacks and gave a lot of information that blamed the government for a lot of the choices they were offered.  Question - Are there more blacks in Prison or in college?  Answer- College by a million or so.  One solution offered was to decriminalize Marijuana and tax the hell out of it. Use that tax money to send people to school and pay out teachers ways to be better.  Free Summer school for teachers to cross level good ideas.

My feelings are that any program that teaches a man to fish will help him feed himself and a family.  Don't give him fish because of some 300 years of poor treatment.  Hell, I grew up poor and I in no way feel that was a limitation to what I could be or what I am.  My simple rules are to get a good education, work hard and save a little for a rainy day.  The other day I saw a sign out front of a local bar.  "Life has no remote control, you have to get up and change it yourself!"  Works for me.




I have been remodeling a bathroom all week and I am just bushed.  I have had a nice kid as a helper and he has made a big difference.  

I came home early because I have been working late and basically either working or sleeping.  I came here to see Barb and she is not home.  Oh well,  I have to go back at 6 PM to have a plumber set the tub.  I just don't have any confidence in doing that myself.

I hope you are all doing well.



What Did You Do During the War, Daddy?

 I think I have told you all several times that where you were and what you did made a lot of difference in how the War was for you. I am fairly sure that the difference in units also made a big variance in the conditions and your reaction to the War.

 I started my 365 Day journey on a Boat, the USNS Geiger, headed out of Long Beach, CA. From the day we stepped on the boat until we had 365 days it all counted. Basically my first 20 (+) days were all counted as "In-Country" time. It too our unit about two weeks of in country schools, unloading and travel to our first field location to get on the list of real live units. basically, the first month of my 12 months was a waste of time, or a lot of time that counted but didn't accomplish much.

 I started out assigned as a Forward Observer but never was assigned to an Infantry unit with the 6th Bn, 84th FA which was my first assignment. The first night in the field we were mortared so severely that the Battery Commander and the Executive Officer were both wounded and I assumed command and the position of XO combined for about 2 weeks. Just before I was re-assigned to another unit, I had a run in with the Group  Commander (06) and I told him what a horses' ass I thought he was and was moved shortly thereafter.

 My Second unit in Vietnam was a real live battalion that had been in country for a year or so located in Pleiku. They had their act together and you could tell they knew what real leadership was and had a good mission plan. I started out there as the Ammunition Officer assigned to Service Battery and had a pretty tough job for a month or so putting all the ammo in the ASP at Dak To that had been blown up during TET. For me, it was day after day of picking up ammo from the ASP in Pleiku and getting it to Dak To. I got to fly during that time as an aerial observer to cover the convoys. Somewhere in all that I pulled some interesting assignments as a Forward Observer out with the boys in the mud, the blood and the beer

. Near the end of the summer (and the Monsoon) I was assigned to a firing battery and we moved three times as we spent days on end firing in support of units on the ground. There was also the nightly Harassment and Interdiction rounds we would fire to keep the VC and NVA on their toes and off the paths at night. Those fires were scheduled and sent to us by the next higher headquarters. We computed the data in the early evening and waited until the guns had fired all their missions. My last month or so I was the Executive officer for the battery on the top of a mountain way the hell and gone out near the border. Like I say, I have been mortared, ambushed, spit on, shit on and never was awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded.

I consider myself to be one lucky SOB for that fact. I have been in places where there would be 8 or 10 others and they all were wounded. I was even sitting on an air mattress that was wounded by a mortar round and I wasn't. I am now pretty fully recovered from dreams or tribulations of the War. I feel sorry for those guys that were forced to bring it home with them.


Busy Week

I will be working on my rental houses this week so don't expect long lengthy posts.  I hope you all have a good week.



Childhood for a Baby Boomer

This year I will become what is now called a "Golden Boomer."  That is one that turns 65.  I have been fortunate enough to be retired for a while and am well on track to living my 6000 days in retirement.  I have high hopes that not smoking, drinking and my new diet will help me add to the total for a good while.  Is 12,000 out of the question?

In the magazine section of the Sunday paper there was a story about a family who lived in San Francisco.  They put up a big redwood fence and then over the years cut holes in it so the kids could move from yard to yard without going out front where the real world lurked with all its dangers.   I feel sorry for those kids that the adults had to make holes in the fences and that the kids left to their own devices did not get to make their own holes.  

I grew up in a section of town where a lot of poor people lived.  I don't want to say it was the poor side of town because we lived life to its fullest and adventures abounded.  We didn't go out and play catch, we had ball games with at least 10 kids on each side.  There was a field up the street that was two blocks deep and made a perfect ball field.  No fences to keep anyone off the field or to keep anyone in.  With our bikes, we could be anywhere about as fast as our parents could drive there and we did our best to keep those two wheeled monsters oiled and aired.  

The neighbor on the north side of us put up one of the first fences on the block.  I am pretty sure it was to keep us out but he said he needed one for a dog.  We never had a dog that needed no fence.  Either they stayed out of the street or they died young and stupid.   What was fun was that my mother had planted a honeysuckle right by where the fence went and had to threaten to wring the neighbors neck if he didn't stop trying to kill it.  We all knew he threw dog turds over the fence over by the peach tree on the back fence and our peaches were so much better than his.  In his defense, I will say that I never thought that Pete, our neighbor, was the sharpest stick in the box.  When he finally sold his 1949 Henry J, he bought a 1971 Chevy II.  He announced one day that he really liked those back up lights, especially at night.  Just for the record, our back yard ended where the Beech Parking lot started and it was always was lit.  We had street lights for free. We never had asphalt on the street but there was always light to scare away the bogey man.

The neighbor to the south put up a wooden fence between our houses but didn't spend any time keeping it in good shape.  As we played a lot of kick the can at night, we found that if we kept one of the slats loose, we could sneak up through the bushes, slide that slat over and get home free.  That was always one of my secrets.  That and filling the can with rocks so those barefooted kids couldn't kick the can very far.  Shoes? who wore shoes in the summer?   I'll bet my feet were tough enough to walk on rocks by mid summer every year.

One thing that I did notice was that as the house two houses down from ours was inhabited by a family with at least 10 kids, the neighbor put up a better fence on the south side of his property.  He kept that fence darned solid and there were no holes to let any of those urchins through.  The good news was they were afraid of our dog Rex   (A small Manchester terrier mix) and all I had to do was start calling Rex if any of them made it up the sidewalk to our house.  If Rex was out they would start screaming and running home, he would give chase.   I don't think he ever bit any of them but they sure treated him like he was a German Shepard guard dog.  

Every school day at 3:15, the school bell would ring and I would strike out for home.  It was grand adventure to cross as many back yards as I could and a test to see how soon we could make it home.  Every day Deputy Dusty Roades would start his program that showed cowboy movies at 3:30 and we never wanted to miss seeing one of those pesky redskins or one of the bad guys die.  All winter we would run home to watch the movies so we could have fodder for our summer adventures.  I'll bet I have killed a  million play acting people and only a few in real life.  (Remember in real life I went to Vietnam and they tried to kill me first)  

Today I have a fence around the place mostly to let people know where our property really is.   It doesn't work to keep cows in or dogs and kids out. In fact there is one side where it doesn't occur because it is across a creek and up a damned hill.  If I ever build a bridge I might get up there and fix that but not today.  

They say good fences make good neighbors.  I think that is a load of crap and they are used only to keep them away.  



'Nother great Day

For a couple of years, I have been looking for a good coffee to drink here at Rabbit Run.  I had a Mr. Coffee maker and it made a fair cuppa coffee but nothing that you could brag about.  Well, yesterday it shot craps and I went to Wally World and purchased a new Bunn coffee maker.  That is the brand I see a lot in restaurants so I thought I would give it a trial run.  This morning I am drinking a great cup and I love a nice morning with the paper and a cup of coffee.  I found that Sam's club has a "Fair market" brand of coffee that is about as good as it gets.  Put the two together and I am a happy camper.

Our Son Dave and his wife Barbara have been married 10 years and tonight we are going to a local place to celebrate.  The Master Gardener took pity on me and we are going to pay for the meals an I don't have to cook.  Kind of different.  The place we are using is a Bed and Breakfast and we also have a room there for them to stay overnight.  Hope they have the kind of night they deserve.

I am about to start a project at one of my rental homes and it should be interesting to see how it will all work out.  I have hired a 15 year old to help me pick up trash, do some of the heavy lifting and odd jobs.  He is my daughter-in-laws nephew and a great kid.  I hope to get in touch with more of the kind of things the kids today are in to.  I will do my best to not be the Colonel and try to be the kind of boss that gives good advice and accepts what I get.   We'll see.

Our 'Nother Daughter, Mel, went to one of those "Relay for Life" walks last night and arrived home a little while ago.  I think she thought the walk ended about midnight.  It went on all night and the team had at least one person on the track at all times.  I haven't had a chance to talk to her yet as she drug in about day break and went to bed.  I'll bet she stays there for a while.  Oh well, young people can rebound quick.  It would take me the rest of the weekend to catch up from missing a night's sleep.

I went over to my rental houses yesterday and saw that the renter in the little house has finally got his act together and left.  It looks like we won't have too much work to get it rent ready.  Between his not paying and all the work I'm going to do on the bigger house, I should be in a better position this year for taxes.  

Speaking of life in general, I am not sure if I want to be called a part of the "Golden Boomers"  I think you are only as old as you feel and I am going to do my best to not be one of those that live like they are old.

Oh well, better move on and get another cuppa of that great coffee.  



Doesn't make sense to me!

For 8 years we listened to all the liberals say that George Bush was an idiot and for the last three all we have heard is that he left it so screwed up that Barack couldn't fix it.  All I can say is you can't have it both ways boys and girls.  Either the President is in charge and responsible or we need a new President.  So far, there is no record of a first term President that did such a poor job and got re-elected.  Three months in a row, the number of new jobs was under reported by the Government and unemployment went back up to 8.2% instead of the hopeful 8%.  It is the economy stupid. 

You can run around all you want and make up stuff about gay rights, woman's issues and whatever you desire and nothing is going to fix the record of this administration and their poor showing.  If you are retired or about to do so look at the value of your retirement portfolio and the beating it is taking as the market is again in the dumps.  Yep, all that hope and change has taken a dump right in the middle of most 401K (s).  

Have a great weekend.