TV Movie Last Night

On one of the HD channels, there was a made for TV movie that took 32 Democrats and showed them from the euphoria of Obama's message in the last campaign and contrasted that feeling with the reality of today.  I think the real message is that it isn't just the difference between what could happen and did happen, but what he promised and what happened.  He said that Bush was a bad person for raising the National Debt 4 Trillion in 8 years.  It went up that 4 trillion in 4 years.  The Bail out was going to put people back to work and we have hundred of thousands still on unemployment and many more that can't find work and don't have any benefits.  One reason that there are more people on some form of National health care is that they get Medicaid.   

As I saw the message again from Obama's campaign he promised a new set of conditions and I paid $3.74 a gallon for gas when it was $1.83 when he came into office.  Go buy groceries and then listen to the message that inflation is nil.  I don't know where they are measuring it, but ask anyone trying to feed, house and clothe their family and ask them, what has happened to costs in the last four years.     

I am going on vacation for four or five days and I will not watch TV or listen to radio.  Bye.


Old Eyes - new Views

The other day I was doing something on my computer and the screen changed to a much smaller view.  Being an older adult, I considered filing a Older Adult Abuse complaint but it dawned on me that if it can get smaller, there must be a setting that makes it larger.  Yea, I can make it so big that I can actually see it and not have to move the bar at the bottom of the screen to see the whole page.  About 150% is pretty much right on.  Now if they can figure out how to help me hear Barbara from two rooms away. 

I have decided that there are just a few things that a person should have someone else do.  Shocks or struts on a 2004 Ford is one of them.  Another is Oil changes.  In the past I would crawl under the car and fight the filter off and drain the oil into a pan and then have to haul the used oil back to the parts house.  Now I just let the guy that gets paid to do that worry about how,when or where to recycle the stuff.  I might feel different if I really used the old oil myself.   Just how much oil can you run through the chain oilier on a chainsaw? 

On the odd side, I have noticed that the first load of laundry is almost Barbara's stuff.  I wonder if she is trying to tell me something or if my stuff is just dirtier than hers and she wants to not cross contaminate?  In the end it all gets washed but sorting by color (and then remembering to add detergent) is more than I can be expected to do if there is something else on my mind.  There was a time I could multi-task with the best of them, but times they are a changing.

On of my High School friends said her youngest is 32 today.  She wondered if that was possible.  If she had started raising kids as soon as she was able, she could have a kid about to turn 50.  We waited to start our family and our one and only is about to turn 37.  (If I can get my math right 2012-1975 = 37 right?) 

For the record, the first signs of fall colors have arrived here at Rabbit Run.  I see reds and yellows out of the windows.  Beautiful stuff.



You're Not a Word Nazi, Are You?

When I attended the Master Foods Classes, the instructors and some of the old ladies attending the class were just "Food Nazis."  One lady told me I had to place a measuring cup on the counter and level the liquid in the cup or it wasn't the right measurement.  I told her that for 30 years I had to level the bubbles on my howitzers and damn sure could tell when it is absolutely important.  After all, it isn't anything but cooking.   I would listen about cross contamination and clean kitchens but unless it is baking I do my cooking to taste and thickness.  Close counts in cooking, Illumination, Horse shoes, hand grenades and nuclear weapons. 

Today I read at least three comments where the writer wrote your instead of you're.  I know that noticing the difference is Petty but  I had that drummed into my head over and over in school.  In fact I seldom use you're and use the you are form so as to not confuse myself.  I know there is a time coming that I can hide my own Easter eggs.  I do not know what eggs and bunny rabbits have to do with the resurrection, but I did see  a program where Santa Clause went over to the manger to visit the baby Jesus.  I guess it all flows together after a while. 

I am about ready to hit the road again for the weekend and I am glad to get the heck out of town.  I won't get sucked into working on the Ford or Dave's Malibu where I am going.  I fear that we are nearing the time where we need to put in a heater core on Dave's car and I know that it will entail many hours of working under the dash with a sore back.  It is the cheap Charlie that keeps me from taking the car to a shop and having them do it.  

Oh well, life and me are not perfect so I will just try to keep on doing what I can and living as long as I can.



What Did He Know and When Did He Know It?

I think people are focusing on small things in this election and are spending more time on stupid questions than really trying to focus on what's wrong and how to fix it.  For two years, the President had the majority of both the House and Senate and not once did he ever get a Budget passed.  Instead of a budget, and instead of a modification to our Medical Insurance Laws, we got no budget and Obama Care.

Let me make sure that you know that I feel not everything in the Obama Care law is bad.  I think it is a good thing that people with catastrophic illnesses and preexisting conditions can now find coverage.  I am not sure that children up to the age of 27 should be covered by their parents Health Insurance.   21 Should be a good age to cut it off unless the child is in school.  Can you imagine my surprise when I read in my new Medicare Booklet that there is a provision for the Government to fine you if you delay paying for Medicare Part B?  

I think that everyone is running around and spending time telling lies.  If the truth is told, the vote should clearly go to the other team for four years and back and forth when things are bad.  People don't remember that just a couple of months ago, the pundits were saying that Barry is a worst President than Jimmy Carter.  Hello - Remember Billy Beer and Peanuts?  He was rightfully a one term President and we moved on.

The people that I really don't like are the 25% of the people that don't vote.  All that Crap about how we have disenfranchised those without ID cards is just that.  You can't cash a check, buy a cell phone without proving who you are.  Get some and Vote!




Being retired, I find that every day is a lot more like the other days of the week and the need to rest up from restin' up is not such a big deal.  In fact, I often find myself doing things the hard way to take time and stay in shape.  Yesterday I took the lawn mower and ground up some old straw bales and put the residue in the compost pile.  I also tried to find about enough green grass to make it about 50:50 green to brown.  I really need to get a pickup load of manure from the dairy up the road to make it all work out well over the winter.

Today I am going to do my best to not tear into some large project.  I intend to spend the day doing things with the wife.  Well, she gets up later than I do and I read the paper alone and I'm pretty sure she will want to do the same.  After we both finish the reading, breakfast  and morning ablutions we will probably try to do something together.  Perhaps.

While reading a book last night, I watched at the K-State vs OU football game.  It was pretty clear that OU was amped up and were going to try to repeat their victory over K-State from last year.  Perhaps if they had just focused on the good honest smash mouth football they used in previous years they could have won the game.   Instead, K-State played hard and got the bounce on three turn-overs and beat those pesky Sooners. At Fort Sill, OK, it was the consensus of those in the Field Artillery OCS that wind does not blow in Oklahoma, it sucks.  Proof enough in the game last night.  In the fourth quarter K-State had the lead and the ball and managed to do something few have done.  You could hear the groans from the fans as they ball controlled the game to a final end.  Instead of the shouting, there was near silence at the end of the game.  Way to go Wildcats.

This morning I started out the door to fetch the paper and I grabbed a jacket off the coat rack downstairs.  It was about 38 degrees outside and I am darned glad that I put the jacket on.  In fact, I am still wearing that jacket to ward off the chill I got outside.  Sure hope that it is not a fever and the start of something I won't get over in 48 hours.  Thursday morning I have a date with an airplane taking us to Salt Lake City.  There is a birthday and an anniversary we will help my in-Laws celebrate.  I hope to get to see a lot of kids on the trip also.  Their smiles just spill over in my heart and I love it.  There is also a certain little dog there that just loves to sit in my lap and get petted.  Bonus.

Well, I hear those magic words, "Breakfast is ready" so I'd better get at it while it is hot. Oh, the other day Barb asked me to tell her those three little words every woman wants to hear.  "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" immediately came to mind. 



Thought For The Day

The race doesn't always go to the fastest, the battle to the strongest or the game to the wisest - But that's not a bad set of rules for betting.   


What Percent are You?

I for one don't understand what percentage I should be.  Here are the reasons:
  • I worked all my life and paid into the Social Security System.  So did my wife.  Am I to be denigrated for wanting some of my money back?
  • Barb and I paid into a separate retirement system. (Both took about 7% more than Social Security they also took out) if I recall. I damn sure don't back up to the pay table on payday.
  • For all my adult life I have paid Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Insurance coverage.  Now they tell me I am eligible for Medicare through no fault of mine. 
  • Like Mr Romney, I took advantage of the Tax laws and a part of my retirement income is treated different than earned income.  Unlike Mitt, I don't give 15 to 35% of it to charity.  I give it to the Petty charitable foundation and share it with family that need it.  
  • I worry about the Government borrowing an additional 4 trillion dollars and the effect on the future generations.  
  • If I bet on a horse in a race and he doesn't win, I damn sure don't bet on him again.
  • I try to speak for those things I feel strongly about.  I am also the first to laugh when I screw something up.  
  •  When the Government bailed out GM, it took my GM stock and told me to "shove it!"  They didn't do that to the Unions.  That stock I paid for when I worked for GM.  $47 a share was my adjusted basis for that stock.  Thank God I didn't have more.
  • I believe in a strong Government, it is what that Government does that I don't love.  The Congress at both the State and federal level must think they need to invent Government.  I would like for them to just once go in and tell the truth about what they are funding and enforcing.  Kind of like a school District's budget they tell everyone about and not the record of the actual expenditures.  They tell the teachers there is no money in the budget for a raise and then at the end of the year buy buses out of excess funds.  Budget is what I plan for the money - Record of Expenditures what I really did with the money.
  • I just expect people to tell the truth or tell stories.  My built-in BS detector goes off when I hear any of the National news casters talk.  At least I know where Rush is coming from.  
  • I ride my recumbent bike to stay active.  I believe you don't stop exercise because you are getting older.  You get old because you don't do anything to stay fit.  I ate myself to 270 lbs and stopped eating as much to get down to 240. Yes, I come from a family of large livers.  Not long livers, large one's.
One thing I want everyone to know is that I love the USA.  There is no place else in the world that would have such diverse people as we do and treat them all fairly.  I think our Government is kind of like a pot of boiling water and the steam gets vented all the time.  That is unlike those places where people have to riot to get their voice heard.  



Free Vs Stupid Speech

Barb and I discussed the subject of Free Speech yesterday.  While we agree that you can't shout fire in a crowded theater or Bomb in an airport, we feel that there is a lot of area that is confusing.   I think Barb and I agree on the current definition for the most part.  What I personally don't understand is that what is guaranteed by our Government is not the rule in most of the rest of the world. Don't give other people from other countries the same rights we have guaranteed.

On our trip to Morocco, our host asked us to not speak out against the King.  In fact, I admire the difficulty of being the king in a time when the fundamentalists are flexing their muscles.  It is very difficult to tell people to mind their manners where protesting in the street is common.  The country of Morocco is in a lot of ways unchanged in the last 50 years.  I can't imagine living there after having the freedoms and up to date opportunities we have here.  I can see that their king is working hard to do what is best for his people.

I hate the Westboro Baptist Church's message that "God hates....."  Pick your subject and they have a sign that says God hates it.   By the same token, they have rights that are protected on many levels.  Free Speech, Right to Assemble and Freedom of Religion are all protected and I for one would hate to have any of my rights impeded to shut this stupid speech up.  It is a slippery slope that I don't want tilted towards having our Government close down stupid things.

I think our Government doesn't do enough standing up for the things we fully support.  We have a long time reputation of standing up for the right of people to choose their own religion.  It is difficult to understand our hard  line in the sand to protect both the right to say what we believe and what we defend.  Just because it seems stupid to you doesn't mean that we must stop it.  I think our Government needs to have a stronger backbone and be more Popeye.  "I yam what I Yam" 



Front Struts on a 2004 Ford

I went to the Auto Parts Store the other day and picked up some parts for the 2004 Crown Victoria.  I was nearing the end of the life on the spark plugs and I got a set of them.  I noticed that the rough bumps on Tecumseh Road was not nearly as nice as it had been earlier and with 80,000 miles I was about 30,000 miles beyond the replacement miles.  The counter man gave me the parts and I went home with a smile on my face.

I found a video on line about how to change the plugs and while it wasn't the easiest job, it was kind of fun to change them one at a time and see how and where they run.  I listened to the guy in the tape and did them one at a time just like he said.  

I wish I could say the same thing about the front shocks.  Nope, they are struts and you have to rebuild them.  There isn't a "Giffy Kit" that just replaces the whole thing.  You have to take the struts apart and "rebuild" them.  Not being one to read the manual fully, I managed to take the top nut off the struts while the spring was under pressure.  It went bang and shot the shock one direction and the spring the other.  It managed to scatter parts and tools everywhere and thank god I managed to not get hit or lose a finger.  The kinetic potential in that spring was enormous.  I did have to go back to the parts store and change the $33 shocks into a $96 strut rebuild kit.  I also had to rent a spring compressor to put the whole thing back together.  I had to conduct a police call on the driveway to find all the bolts and parts.

I managed to get one strut rebuilt and will work into the other side tomorrow.  I have a good bike ride in my schedule.  



Cool Nights

This is the weather that starts out cool enough for a jacket and ends in shirtsleeves.  The only problem is that it doesn't last long enough.  The even better news is that the trees will start turning reds and yellows soon and we are in for some beautiful days.  

This morning I started out the day with a nice piece of Peanut and pear butter toast and a cuppa coffee (X2).  Barb makes some great pear butter and it just compliments the natural peanut butter we buy.  I have trouble with cotton seed oil and the only brand we can find without it also has no sugar in it.  Throw in some honey or pear butter and man is that ever a treat on toast. 

We got a letter from AT&T yesterday and I almost just threw it away.  We cancelled them a couple of months ago over the way they reacted to a request from Barb.  Inside the letter was a check for just over $30.00.  Evidently they found a way to over charge their customers and the FCC made them pay us back.  Serves them right.  

I am listening to the Sugar Land CD again this morning and it sure is some good music.  I really love how varied their music is.  One song has a strong drum beat and the next song is a love ballad.  They have such an uplifting message in their songs.  "Open up your heart and let it in. Find the beat Again"

I think our country has forgotten just how strong and good we can be.  We have moved in the direction of Political Correctness and have spent way too much time apologizing for who we are.  We are the strongest country in the world and could obliterate any thing or anyone we desire and it is a testament that we don't.  Why when we have to borrow the money are we sending everyone money?   Instead of buying a new Mercedes, the Saudi's need to send some money to the oil poor countries.  Keep our money and troops home.




There have been times in my life that stand out more than other times.  Most of those times are surrounded by music.  It makes me glad to hear great music and even happier when I get a chance to join in and make some of that music.  The other day I was watching TV and flipping through the channels because there was nothing I really wanted to watch.  I hit on a channel that had a great sound.  I soon discovered that it was Sugar land and I was almost blown away by the great sound and the theme of most of the songs.  They are a little country but lean to the rock and roll side with just a  twinge of an accent.  Jennifer Nettles and her partner Kristian Bush write a lot of their songs and Jennifer's smile and music just makes my heart smile.

I am not sure where to place my love of music hard and firm.  I know we would go to my grandmother's house and sing loud and proud.  Grandmother and Mom both played the piano.  My sister, Carol,  (a Retired Music teacher) would platy the guitar and I knew almost all the words to the old songs.  That love of music carried over to Minneha Elementary where Mrs Hollaway  had us singing from day one and every day.  By the time I was in the fourth grade I was in the performance choir and from then on, I sang my way through school.  In High School I was in the best choir I ever sang in.  I was in the 20 voice Madrigal group and won a gold medal at State two years.  

Today I was in Best Buy to take Dave some Apple Cider Donuts that Barb made and I picked up the latest Sugar Land CD.  In that set was a DVD of them performing some of the music.  Best hour of the day.  Now I am listening to the CD while writing this.  I found it interesting that the only fear they had was the fear that they might not be able to find the spark for new songs.  I think they should know that all they have to do is sing with their hearts and the music will follow.

Tomorrow, Boys and Girls.


What I hate about Getting Older

First of all, let me tell you that The biggest problem is that my mental age (or the one I think I am) is much younger than my physical age.  It is that difference that really bothers me. But here are some of the major complaints.
  • I think there is a conspiracy in the men's underwear makers.  Either they make the distance from the flap too short and we have fall out or so far that in a hurry we can't get to the business end fast enough.  
  •  My sex drive is too high.  It is all in my head and I want to lower it.
  •  I don't have a lot of excess energy and when I try to use what I have, I really pay for it the next day.
  •  It takes me longer to get ready to work.  Too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. 
  • At one time I loved to travel in the car.  Now I find a couple of days in the car and I am way too stiff and sore
  • I wish we were more like automobiles.  A fast tune up, an oil change and we are ready for more things.  I did buy a new pair of tennis shoes and paid less than one tire so I won't complain about tires.  
I guess I need to get up off my butt and go do something rather than sitting here and writing about crap that just happens.  See ya' later.



Life at the Beach

Well Hello Sports Fans,   We spent nearly a week at the Beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama near Fort Morgan and had a great time with the family.  Our Niece, Amy set it up and we were in a beautiful beach house with a pool and about everything you could want.  Carrie, another niece, said that on the last day of our trip she discovered a TV in their room and she hadn't turned it on.  I guess when there are so many fun people a TV just isn't needed.  There were two sides of the duplex and most of the non TV people drifted to our side.  Our Sports nut, Kevin watched some form of sports from the time he got up tot he time he went to bed over next door.  He is such a rabid fan that on the college ball game day he had a different t-shirt for each team he watched.  He even got out a stuffed bull dog when Georgia played.

I wish I could share with you how much love and passion for life that our group had.  We had some great discussions and one or two times where the voices got a little louder.  Like most of our discussions, most of them ended with everyone just moving on.  I don't think a fellow could really have a bad time with any of the people there.  'Cides, it was more fun to pick on the people that weren't there.  We always had Jenn to remind us that our perceptions were just that and some of them may be wrong.  

MUD and Leo

There were one or two times where the southern accents got in the way of clear understanding.  The fact that they take large words and make one syllable out of them and then one syllable words often have two or three does make for interesting conversations.  We had a swimming "poo" and that wasn't a punch bowl with a turd in it.   Something simple like head came out more like "he-a-id"   Even our former Yankee Amy was well on her way to picking up the accent.

We were blessed by having a Master "Grill/chef" with us and everyone tried to fix one or two meals that was their specialty.  Keith worked his magic on the grill and we had some wonderful food.  Yesterday I got on the scales for the first time in a week and I have gained back 10 of the 30 lbs I had lost.  I am back on that forced march diet for a couple of weeks.  I do want to lose another 20 or 30 by Christmas.  Yes, I know I will probably lose 20 and gain back 10 between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Here in the fall, there are a few projects that I want to get done so things will be winter ready.  One of the first is to spend today on the outside here at Rabbit Run.  Things look shaggy and a few passes with a mower will be a good thing.  I need to make a plan on where I want to burn a bunch of dead pine trees.  I may need to get a bush hog and clear an area in the field to be able to burn without setting the place on fire.  The good news is that this week we got at least an inch of rain so things aren't quite so dry.  I think there is a new green tint to things that were well on their way to dry.

During our trip, my cell phone divorced me.  I got a message that my SIM card wasn't registered?  I called the Customer Service line and spent 20 minutes with an agent that kept telling me that everything in her system was working and my phone was working.  I think when I shouted at her that my damned phone wasn't working that she finally apologized but had no solution.  I hung up pissed off and applied the old MUD, "I can fix anything" attitude to it.  I pried off the back of the phone, took out the battery, reset the SIM card put the battery back in and everything worked.  I probably am better off that I didn't have a working phone on the beach.  Salt Water and sand don't make electronics work better.

Oh well, enough of this, off vacation and back to retirement.  Yes, when you are you own boss, they are a lot the same.



Liberal or Conservative?

In the short haul, my wife and I agree that the USA is a pretty darned good place to live and our freedoms are partly what makes it great to live here. Barb and I are pretty different in how we want our Government to ensure the freedoms we have.  I think the Constitution backed by the Bill of Rights is a pretty darned good start and only minor tweaking is needed by the States and Local Governments.  Even that tweaking should be very minor and driven by the differences in the location of the States.  I feel that when Barb and I talk, she loves the ideas of the rights but feel the Government needs to step in more than I do to ensure the maintenance of those rights.  

Therefore, I as a conservative think that the Government intrudes to guarantee our rights and the unintended consequences of that intrusion offsets a lot of the gains.  In the 1960's, just as most of the States were becoming more accepting of the color of a man and understand it is character not color that is important, the US Government stepped in with a broad sweeping set of programs to ensure equal rights.  We created programs to build housing and throw money at the poor that in a lot of ways took their pride and inner strength away.  We housed them in projects that dehumanized them and were in a lot of ways not as safe as where they lived before.  Instead of building families, we made it easy for their families to survive without the male in the family.  In fact, I think we punished the typical poor married family by providing a surrogate dad to provide money, housing, parenting and day care.  Where did the vibrant black owned businesses in out small towns go to? 

I want everyone to have the opportunity to work hard and get an education.  Based on that body of work and the education, I want everyone to be as successful as they can be.  I will also refuse to feel sorry if the people out there don't get that education or training to get a job that pays them well enough to live like they want.  

One thing Barb and I do agree on is that the cost of an education is steadily growing way more than the cost of everything else and has reached a point where the return is often below the investment cost.  She attended Junior College in Kala-li-Fornia and attended for little more than the cost of the books.  OK, I understand that the great State of oranges and sunshine is going broke right now but who isn't.  My point is that education must change and stay fairly cheap if we are to progress.   Who said that all the brick and mortar Universities are important?  I got my education at one just as the Computer world was starting and little has changed at KU.  (Other than they have coach Bill self and a few more trophies)  If all the people in Academia worked as hard to find good ways to learn and utilize the computers, inter-nets and mass communication medias they could keep the cost down.  Or, even make it cheaper, lord forbid they would ever do that.

Sometime in the near future, I will be sitting on the beach somewhere south of here and kicking back for a week or so.  I plan on spending time with the boys (Austin and Ryan) and learning how to smile on my face as much as I do in my heart.  One time in the middle of a discussion period, one of my students asked me why in spite of a great attitude I didn't smile much.  I asked them what that was all about, couldn't they tell I loved the time I spent with them and was bursting with pride when they did well?   Well, NO! Was their answer.  I guess you can take the Colonel out of the Army but you can't take the Army out of the Colonel.

I am going to work on my smile. 



Yea, My Bike Buddy Rides Again

A few weeks back, my wife Barb slipped on the stairs and severely sprained her ankle.  That made riding her bike not a nice thing.  For three weeks or so, I would have to load up my bike and ride solo.  Today for the first time in a long time she rode three or four miles.  I am glad to have her back.  She isn't fast yet but she packs a camera and will stop and take pictures of the wild things in a heartbeat.  

I was informed that one of my first "girl friends" in life passed away last week.  As I looked her Obituary up on the Wichita Eagle web site, I saw that another of my 1965 class mates from Wichita east High School had passed away.   I guess when you get to the bottom end of the bell curve for normal life expectancy this is the beginning of the many times we will see our friends passing.  Both of those ladies were fine people so I guess there is nothing in life that will keep you off the list if it is your time. 

If I have my way, I want to die in one quick strike of an accident or incident.  I just hope that it goes quick and without not a lot of pain.  Years ago one of my friends told us that his 97 year old grandmother was killed when she stepped off the curb in front of a cement truck.  He laughed that the leading cause of death in his family was trucks.  Within a few short months he lost both of his parents and so did his wife.   Not long after that I lost my dad and then my step dad and finally about a couple of years ago my mom.  How does that old song go? "Sometimes I feel like a motherless child"   Not really, I know they will all be remembered for the fun things they brought to our lives.   

I have a lot of things to do so I'd better get on the stick and do some of them.



What Do I Want?

Lets be fair, there is room in our political scene for all sides to have a voice.  I don't want either side to clearly dominate everything and have things passed that are on the extreme side of the ledger.  My vision is that both sides will find ways to govern our country that is both fair and makes sense. 

Clearly, something needs to be done with the Government spending.  We cannot continue to borrow 40% of everything we spend without having a failure that makes Greece look like a pity party not a collapse.  In my humble opinion, we either have to cut spending or increase revenue.  If the GOP fail to cut some of the Military spending, that won't work.  If the Dems don't step back some of their spending ways, that won't work.  The congress must start with a budget and live within that budget.  For years, there have been laws on the books that haven't been funded.  These unfunded mandates either need to be eliminated or at least have someone stand up and make sure that the public knows what we will not fund.  I think Congress is so busy moving on with new programs that they fail to tell us what is really happening.

To be fair, the other day there was an online test to see who we most agreed with.  I agreed with Barack about 51% of the time.  I do not want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.  I agreed with Mitt about 90% of the time but I do not want my Government playing with women's rights to an abortion.  That is a matter between a woman, her doctor and her conscience.  

I guess I want a country that the Government tries its best to give us an equal chance, not equal outcomes.  It is up to me how hard I work to get an education and then how hard I work to make a good life for myself.  If I choose to have a lot of things early in my life, that is my choice.  What I don't want is for the Government to be so intrusive and help everyone else to the detriment of my chance to do well.  

I am opposed to a Government that intrudes into everything in our lives.  I would have trouble living in Morocco where you aren't allowed to say a disparaging word about the king.  Not that I think he has an easy job keeping everything moving forward.  I guess he tries hard for his country and that's all they can expect.

I personally am not that unhappy with the way things are right now.  I think if the congress would work hard to make things better not worse, we could wiggle our way out of the current problems.  The one thing I can see is that if we do what we did, we will get what we got.



Short Story told with Love

This is just a reminder that what appears here as fact is the memories of an old man that has told so many stories so many times that fact and fiction may have been intertwined.  With the passing of time, Obscure little moments get blurred and I can only tell you what I tell you and remind you that my reality is only my reality....

Many years ago in Wichita, I attended Minneha Baptist Church mostly because my mother made me.  I eventually stopped going  because I worked  on Sunday and was busy earning enough money to support my car and a girlfriend.  When I was about 15 or so, there was a blond haired girl in our church that caught my eye.   Sheila was a cute girl with a pretty smile and nice attitude about things that I found fairly compatible.  As I recall, I only had one date with her as she had taken a shine to that Dewayne Molen and not me.  The reason I am telling this story is that yesterday I got news that Sheila passed on and this is as near to a tribute as I could get.   By the way, Sheila married Dewayne and live her life near Wichita.

Moving on, or back to the story.  Sheila's mother, Bonnie, was darn near the Fried Chicken Champion cook in the whole world.  One time the girls took a box of food to a church social and who ever bought the box in the auction got to eat dinner with the girl.   I cheated and watched Sheila go in to the kitchen and and when she put down her box, I saw what color it was and I bought it in the auction.  In that box was several pieces of Bonnie's wonderful chicken and I think just eating that chicken was about the best deal a young man could ever get.  From that day on, I made it my goal to get invited over to Sheila's house for a Sunday lunch of that chicken.

The details of how I managed to get invited over elude me now, but one Sunday I did manage to get an invite.  All I can tell you was the entire meal exceeded my expectations and had I died right after that lunch, I would have died happy.  Her biscuits and chicken gravy were about the best I had eaten anywhere.

After lunch, we all went into the living room and sat down for a nice talk.  Bonnie got this serious look on her face and told us,  "You two are too young to be getting serious."  In my estimation, that was true but I hadn't even really held Sheila's hand, let alone kissed her.  Sheila looked her mom in the eye and said, "Mom you do realize that I am almost a year older than you were when you had me."  Marriage and kids, all I was there for was the chicken dinner.  I excused myself as quickly as I could and never worked hard to get invited over for another chicken dinner. 

My life got full after that time and I kind of lost track of Sheila except for updates I got from my mother.  It was only in the past couple of years that I became friends with her on Facebook and that's how I found out about her death this week. 


Sunday Morning

My Sunday morning starts with a trip out to get the paper.  I make a pot of coffee and sit down to a chance to read the paper in the quiet of the day.  I enjoy that ritual about as much as anything else.  Well, perhaps not as much as a chance to ride the bike over at the lake.  In fact, as soon as I finish here I will load up the bike and head over for 8 -10 miles of smiles on the bike path.  We had a rider killed on the road between here and there so I take the bike over in the truck and ride away from the traffic.

This last week we made a rush trip to Oklahoma to do some research for the family.  Went to Seminole, OK and found many neat things.   In My wife's family (Grisso) there was a member that built a mansion on the north side of town.  The Seminole Nation just bought it and are in the process of doing a lot of work on the grounds.  The mansion looks like it is about 3,000 square feet with a big workshop garage and a carriage house behind.  There is a basketball court, a tennis court, a swimming pool and a vineyard there.   We will probably watch the website and as soon as they have it available for rentals like a Bed and breakfast go down and tour the inside and stay a night.  

I won't get into the rest of the deal of why we were down there as it is a family matter and I am only an outlaw not a member.

Oh well, circles to make and miles to go.  Write if you get work.



Be Smart

Over the years, there have been several lessons I have learned the hard way.  Here is a couple of things I have learned and will share with you.

Return on Investment -  You are paid for buying or investing your money so someone else can use it.  The higher you get paid, the more risk you have on getting it back.  Nothing is free and all investments involve risk.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  For me, I am a conservative when it comes to my money.  Simply put, the return of my money is more important than the return on my money.  I don't leave it up to someone else to do what I should.

A good will goes miles towards helping your family do what you want done with your stuff when you no longer need it.  It is simply a guide to what you want.  It doesn't need to be hard or complicated.  For me, I simply want my wife to have everything I have if I die before she does.  If we are both dead, I want out son to have everything.  Simple guidance can save a lot of heartaches.  Then, make sure that everyone mentioned gets a copy.

You don't get unable to play when you get old, you get old when you stop playing.  Walk, golf, ride a bike, swim or get up off your butt and do something.  There will be long enough later on that you won't be able to do things.  

It is never too late to learn.  Getting an education can include a life long passion for reading.  Then, only believe about half of what you read.  History is only what people remember and write down.  There is a lot of revision done after the fact and reading about the events can help you understand.

When bad people do bad things, a lot of time and energy is spent asking the question, "Why did they do it?" Most of the time there is no legitimate answer to that question.  Don't spend hours and hours wondering why things did happen the way they did.   It is time spent poorly.  I believe in seeking justice and don't worry about someone else seeking mercy.  Move on.

They say that money can't buy happiness.  It can buy a hell of a lot of contentment when your roof doesn't leak and your belly is full.  As my mother said, you don't find happiness by getting what you want, you get it by wanting what you have.