What Wild Ride!

Shortly after Midnight Tuesday morning, it was 70 degrees here in the Heartland.  About 20 hours later it started snowing.  This morning it is 23 degrees for a difference of 50 degrees (give or take).   It sure is a pretty picture out there with a light snow coating but when I walked out to get the paper the wind of 20 MPH let the wind cut clear through my sweatpants.    Sure made a hot cuppa coffee taste mighty fine as I read the paper.

Snowy View from our window

On snowy days, I throw a handful of cracked corn out on the porch on the lee of the house.  The porch stays clear of snow and the little birds that are ground feeders sure seem to like come up and get a bite to eat.   The woodpeckers fly in to the suet block and peck at it until they get a seed or whatever is in the suet block and another woodpecker chases them off.  The other birds hit the Black Oil sunflower seeds in the big feeder and it is a regular flight in and take off like an aircraft carrier.   I'm sure if they hadn't licked the pan down the hill clean, there would be a deer or two down there munching  on corn. I'll bet there are somewhere near 35  birds in view from the house.

Have I mentioned that I am a Jay Hawk fan lately?   Our friends to the west (K-State) lost to KU and then at Iowa State and everyone thinks they are out of the running.  Only people that aren't aware of the Iowa State defense of Hilton Coliseum  think that.  Losing to the number one team in the conference happens and we'll see what happens tonight when Texas comes to play.  

The other night, KU played West Virginia and were roundly trouncing them with the first team.  KU Starts four Seniors and a freshman (McLemore) and they play until somewhere near the 10 minute mark in the first half.  Then Coach Self puts in his 2nd team and they generally play well untill the end of the half.  The first team comes out tos build a lead in the second half and they get to rest about 5 to 10 minutes.  Near the point where the other team makes a run, in comes the first team and KU wind by a margin of 5-10 points.  Bill Self is doing his best to build his team for next year as well as win games this year.  So far it is working he has 18 wins in a row and are leading the BIG XII.  

MUD The Cameraman 
Earlier this year
This morning

Better close and get cracking on the tax prep.



J'es Say'n

Sometimes it is easier to pick a nonsensical title for a post than to come up with a great title and have nothing to say that fits.  Perhaps my Muse is still asleep on the couch and only my coffee fueled frame is here writing.

For whatever it is worth 2,248 Blogs and 85,606 hits can't be all wrong.  I have managed to piss off a couple of my readers but they haven't even opened up a blog to write so I don't feel sorry.  It takes a lot to fill these pages and if they don't like what I write, they can go elsewhere.  I don't set out to make people mad, but if it gets their juices flowing, good for them.  I would hate to think people are going through their lives bored.

I for one am going to have soup in my supper bowl and the Super Bowl just doesn't make it for me this year. The Pro Bowl didn't even make it on my radar.  I am glad they got to travel to Hawaii with their families and enjoy the great weather.  Other than that, it doesn't interest me in the least.  I made it to Hawaii twice from Vietnam and was glad to get to spend the time with the wife.  

For some reason, I have the travel bug and Alaska doesn't sound that far or bad to me.  granted that I will have to wait a while for the weather to warm up but it is still on my radar.  Barb has said that she will fly up and join me wherever I finish but the thought of riding in a car for endless days just isn't her idea of fun.  Perhaps I will take her to Idaho to visit her family and have her join me from there.  Oh well, nothing is locked in even lemon jello right now.  

Last Military Picture
I was looking through a pile of stuff here by the computer and found this picture above.  Don't ask me why they took it out of my file and gave it to me but they did.  I was going to go get the Trail camera and post new pictures of the deer but it is raining so it will just have to wait.  I did restock my supplies yesterday.  I bought a couple of bags of chopped corn and a couple of whole cleaned corn.  With tax it was about $50.00 but I'm sure that my Mother would smile at the pictures of the deer I am feeding.  

Last night, KU played West Virginia and if you haven't watched them, you might not realize that the "B" team play a lot in that game.  The senior starters were sitting on the bench because the second team needs the game experience.  Near the end of the game when they needed to seal the win the starters came back on the floor and finished the game.  The sports writers made a big deal that their Coach, "Huggy Bear" would get a $25,000 bonus if they won. The real shame is that he couldn't get out there and play for his own team.  Might be interesting to have Huggy and Bill do some playing from time to time.  They did show the Director of Basketball Operation, Former Coach, Doc Sadler make a three point shot from Mid Court on the half time show.    

Oh well, better get cranking on something.




Just this morning, I was sitting alone after reading the paper and I thought about how much I enjoy the paper and how little I really put into long term memory from there.  As a student. I can remember studying for a test and as soon as that one was over, I could flush the short term memory and move on (I was going to say smartly , but) dumbly from there.  I do remember several small learning tricks I learned in the Military and from place to place in schools I attended.   But in the long run, my active memory is kind of file it away and forget it.

With that said, I can sit by my computer while Jeopardy is on and find answers I didn't know were in there.  Must be memories from school that were covered in class and I was reading a book.   If I try real hard to learn something, I can't always seem to find it.  If it happens and I just hear it, sometimes it is stored away and I can find it like rolling off my tongue.   

All that is BS, because it seems that I like my mother love to tell stories about my younger years.  Here Goes...

My mother did Christmas through Sears.  Each year she would take the Sears Catalog and ask us to pick out something we wanted.  Back then it had a little of everything and if mom could fit in the budget to pay off by the next Christmas she would order it for us.  A week or so before Christmas a big old box would arrive from Sears and Mom would take it upstairs and not let us see it.  She would wrap the packages and bring them down stairs and put them by our tree.  For me, it was an adventure trying to figure out want was in each package.  I kind of cheated sometimes and peeled back the edge of the paper and then tape it back up.  Heck, one year I sneaked upstairs and got to look into the box.  I think these adventures were almost as much fun as Christmas morning.

I do remember that my Dad's mother would buy me Pajamas almost every year she could.  I hated them and it might be partly why I don't have fond memories of her.  There were other things but i will skip them for now.  

Most years, we would put up a Christmas Tree and I remember loving to throw the led tinsel on it.  I can imagine that the EPA finally put a halt to that.  One year when we were coming home from Thanksgiving in Susank, KS Mom saw a tumbleweed blowing past the car.  She had Dad stop and danged if she didn't bring that thing home and after a coat of pink and addition of a bunch of small ornaments it looked like a nice little Christmas tree.  I do remember that Dad said that he spent more money on that damned tumbleweed than they would have on a full sized tree.  

Nice Buck from last night.
 Well, I do have real places to go so I'll cut it off here and move on smartly.



Going to the Game

My wife of 44+ years purchased us a half season tickets to the Jayhawk home games and we are soon off to see Oklahoma come to play in the Fog.  Their coach is Lon Kruger who was a big time star at K-State and a fine coach.  I am sure that his young team will show up with a solid plan.  It will be the execution of that plan in our house that will give them trouble.

Baylor losing at Allen
 Today in the paper, Coach Bill Self said that he didn't get it.  When Notre Dame holds the other team to less than 60 points and they make 59, it is great defense.  When KU does that, it is poor offense.   I think that the close games show that there is a heck of a lot more parity in the BIG XII than a lot of people want to admit.  Yes, under Bill Self, KU has more conference championships than losses at Allen Field House but they also have been able to recruit some big time players.  When I am channel surfing, I will turn on NBA games to see who from KU is playing.  That big old slow white boy Nick Collison is just the right kind of help that Kevin Durant needs at OKC.   I see the Morris twins show up for different teams from time to time and who doesn't watch Paul Pierce and the Celtics?    Super Mario is about to get his jersey retired in the rafters of the Field house and you should hear the cheers when they show that 3 point shot he made to tie Memphis and we went on to win the NCAA that year.

What we do for fun here at Rabbit Run
A while back, I went to Cabellas over by KC and  purchased a Trail Camera by Moultre.Products, LLC. We have started feeding the wild life to see what shows up.  We have adopted one doe and her two yearlings as they show up about every day.    I am waiting for the Bobcat or the Mountain Lion to show up but so far I have a lot of deer, coons and turkeys on film.  I have the neighbor's dog several times but since I am feeding only corn he doesn't come down every day.  I have even caught myself on film a time or two.

Walkin' in the woods


Cold or Warm?

Many times I have studied papers written during the Korean and Vietnam War.  If you have to ask if it was a war or not, you weren't there.  It does beg the question about the temperature differences and which one I would choose if I had to do it over again.  

MUD ready to go back out to the field

I think the one quote I read about sums it up.  A Female reporter asked one of the GI's what was the most difficult part of the cold weather.  He said, "I Recon that trying to pee through 4 inched of clothing with a 2 inch dick is about the worse."  That about sums it up for me.

I got used to the heat in short order and most of my time in Vietnam I got along fine.  The difficult part for me was coming home in February to Fort Carson, CO.   I was loaned to the Division Artillery as the Observation Post Umpire.  I spent most of the last three months down range at Fort Carson freezing my butt off.   I felt sick the entire time and little did I know that I had Malaria and the drugs the Military gave me were suppressing the symptoms.  About three weeks after I got home from the service it kicked in and I spent most of the next month in the VA Hospital in Wichita. 

So, do I like hot or cold best?  I would say hot, but I would want a fan.




How do you keep track of the changes in your life?  For me, it is easy to learn history because I try to put it in terms of Military Conflict.   Things that have happened in my life is not quite that easy.  Yes, I do have the before Vietnam and after Vietnam time frame but a better one for me is Before Barbara and after Barbara because we were married in 1968 and less than a month later I shipped out.   

One way for me is to put it in terms of the dogs in my life.  Somewhere about when I was 10 years old (Late 1950's) I was given my Dog Rex.  He was a Manchester Terrier/Chihuahua mix with a camouflaged Brindle color.  He was fearless but not too bright.  The one thing he was was "My Dog."  He lived where I lived until I went off to the service in 1966.  I went dog less between then and the time we got Fritzy in 1975.

The deal was that Barbara got a baby and I got a dog.  Things went well until one day shortly after David started walking, Fritzy snapped at Dave.  What been our inside dog became an outside dog overnight.  Fritzy was with us from 1975 until 1984. He died the year after the tornado.  He was a smelly, noisy little schnauzer and wouldn't play fetch.

Shortly after we built our house here at Rabbit Run, my sister was breeding her Golden Retrievers and we picked out the second biggest male from one of the litters.  He was named Moose because he was such a clumsy and big dog.  Somewhere in that same time frame, I rescued an abandoned dog we called Annie.  She was a Black Lab and sweet but stupid. I called her Annie after Little Orphan Annie. Moose was crazy about the game of fetch.  He loved any time we could spend with him throwing anything.  Sticks came easy here in the woods and he always had bright shinny teeth from chewing sticks.  For the next few years, we would replace one of the dogs when they passed on.

Annie went first and I went to the pound and got Baby.  Another female black Lab.  For some reason female black labs aren't into sticks like the males.  We had baby for a few years and when when Moose died, we were given taco by my niece.  We are down to one dog right now, and that door is about to close.  The other day I noticed that Taco was having a tough time getting around.  I thought it was his toenails but now I see that he has a growth on his side that is getting bigger by the day.  It presses his right front leg out and he is having trouble walking .   He doesn't appear to be in pain but getting harder to walk each day.  Soon.

Well, I wonder if there will be another dog in our life?  Probably not but this year 2013 will be the year of the new Nephew in Oklahoma.  Dexter is going to be the new big brother sometime in August.  

Oh well, time goes on and there are changes to our life.  I try to not look at sadness, but smiles that each change has brought into my life.  




Have I mentioned that I spent a long time in the Military and am proud to belong to a group of people that felt a man's accomplishments and abilities are what's important?  I don't know how many times I heard the saying, "In the army there is no color, only shades of green."  Black, white, brown, red, yellow or tan are just not important.   Today is the swearing in of our 44th President and the celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday.   For a lot of you this means a day off.  For the retirees, that means one less trip to the mailbox.  

I have spent many hours over the last couple of days getting the 2012 records together so when the rest of the information arrives, I can start doing the taxes.  It has been an interesting year for the rentals.  Income and outgo are pretty close to a tie.   The year that Kansas has declared that there will be no taxes on small businesses, there is little income to not have taxed.  Oh well, the assets are at least intact. 

It was COLD this morning.  Somewhere near 10 degrees and here at noon it is only around 16.  No sun and it will remain cold all day.  At least walking down the hill was not difficult today.   Hard frozen ground is all roughed up by the freeze and there sure wasn't any mud to slip on.  

Not sure what the rest of the day will bring.  There is a new pizza place on Gage and I may run over and get one to take out.  Might even eat it there if Barb can be coaxed out in the cold.   

Breakfast Guests this Morning

OH Well,



Who Are You?

The theme song for CSI, one of my all time favorite TV Shows asks the question, "Who are you?"  In the past few weeks, that has been the question of all time.

On the Trail Again
Starting with the lack of a Hall of Fame Inductee in baseball, to Lance Armstrong, to Notre Dame's Linebacker Manti Te'o, many of our Hero's have recently been felled by the truth.  If we pay attention to this trend, are any of us perfect and above reproach? It Sure as hell isn't me!

I found it easy to work hard, get an education and continue to move up in my job over the years.  After Vietnam, I did have moments that I felt uneasy but I managed to self medicate those feelings away and continue to live the best I knew how. It was fun and rewarding to me.  Sometime in 1988 or 89, I was the Military Personnel Officer for the Kansas Guard and hated every moment of the job.  No, that is not true, I loved the people I had working for me but hated the ankle biting problems that developed every day. 

 Just so you will know, Recruiters are just salesmen and live out there in the community and deal with a lot of the dregs.  They for some reason feel that if they make their quota, what they do in the mean time is not a problem.  You would love to be with them, but I promise you wouldn't want to be responsible for them. The term I used for them was arrested development and sometimes they did get arrested. 

 Near the end of my time in Personnel, some one decided that we needed to have an Alcohol Awareness class.  I am not sure who's idea it was, but my friend Henry Martin decided that I needed to attend as their leader. It was co-ed and Barbara attended with me. Well I did and am now glad to say that it changed my life more than I wanted to admit.  One of the exercises right off the start was a question and answer quiz where we said yes or no to several questions about our drinking.  Of the ten questions, I said yes seven times.  I looked at Barb's answers and she said yes ten times. (She doesn't drink period.)  She said she filled out the questionnaire for me.  Well, the lecturer at the seminar said that if you answered three or more with yes, you were headed for trouble.  I questioned Barb about the three yes's she had that I didn't and she said I was generally too drunk by the end of the day to notice.    

Being the perfect guy I am, I picked up many books on the subject and tried to get and stay sober on my own.   The AA approach was one that worked for a lot of people and I used it with a few modifications.  The part about giving your life to a supreme being just wasn't me.  I was in charge and if I screwed up it was mine to fix and keep it that way.  I also didn't think I would need to go to meetings to stay sober, I felt that I just needed to do it and keep it up. The one thing I did apply and have since is the part about a day at a time.  I may not be sober forever but today I am. I don't fear falling off the wagon.  It is my damned wagon and I am in charge.  I tell people I am a sober drunk.  I would be an alcoholic but I don't go to the meetings. 

I haven't smoked pot or done crack or those mood altering drugs.  I know I will never be hooked by anything with opiates in them because they constipate the hell out of me.  So I guess I will just have to remain the source of my own happiness and be careful to know that if there is not a smile on my face, it is my own fault.   

One thing I will not do is stand around and throw rocks at the popular people as they finally admit their problems.  What I would say to them is that is a few short years, it will all blow away and they too can live on and love, laugh, cuss, fight and outrun the rest of their problems.  We are blessed with minds that get us through and hearts to share love with others.  

Two motto's that I live by.  1 -"If you aren't the lead dog, the view never changes."  2 - " If you are in a hole, stop digging."  

There is also a simple rule - Never say Never or Always about anything.




Just thought the other day that many of you don't know who MUD is.  Here is a short (for me it will be short) trip through my life you might enjoy.

I was born in Wichita, Kansas and had two sisters and one brother.  My Dad was employed by Beech Aircraft in Quality Control.  Mom spent a lot of our life at home but finally became a worker at St Joseph's Hospital and then after training for a year an LPN at Westley Medical Center.   We lived on Byrd Street just north of the Beech Plant number 1 on East Central Avenue.  

When I grew up, we were the baby Boomer generation and there was no shortage of kids in the neighborhood.  They kept expanding the school and most of us attended Minneha Elementary and then Minneha Junior High from kindergarten through the 9th grade.  My next door neighbor was my kindergarten teacher and Ron's Mom and dad were both employed at Minneha.  The principal for the elementary school lived in our neighborhood and I think at one time he lived across the street.  I don't remember it but my mom was one of the lunch ladies at one time.

My first friend was Harvey.  he had a bunch of sisters and I had two older sisters and I think we became friends out of male preservation in a female dominated world.  Later on, Ronny came into our group and even later Eugene moved into Harvey's old house when his dad built the concrete palace.  

In the early 60's, there were a lot of drunks in the neighborhood but little drugs.  Many of us kids tried beer and in the end mostly just drank till you puked.  I am pretty sure you cannot die of alcohol intoxication on 3.2 beer.  I did try to drown in a mud puddle once but Denny L. saved me.  

Because of some misunderstanding with the City of Wichita, the kids in my high school years were not allowed to attend Southeast High School on the east side of Wichita.  We were given the choice of East High, Downtown Wichita, the new school Wichita Heights way the hell up north or Andover.  For some strange reason, the girls in my neighborhood choose Heights and most of the guys chose East.  Back then Andover was smaller than Minneha.  

During High School, I worked almost a full time job trying to support my car and a girl friend. The good news is that both of them went away before I had to support them or additions to the family. After managing to graduate in the bottom of my class in high School, I  started at Wichita State University in the fall of 1965. Wonderful job of taking the Freshman wash out classes and I had a stellar 2.0 average.  2nd Semester I started playing 10 point pitch in the Campus Activity Center and withdrew with a 4.0 average in cards and what would have been a 0.0 average in classes. 

ROTC was mandatory at WSU and had I applied, I could have had a deferment from the draft.  Didn't go there and guess what?  Yep at the grand old age of 19 the Draft Board in Wichita had my name and I was sent to KC for a "Pre-Induction Physical."  What that meant was if you were going to run to Canada they gave you fair warning.  In my family I cannot imagine what they would have thought about that.  I think there was a Petty in uniform in every war fought by our country.  

From Private to Colonel
During the Induction process at Fort Leonard Wood, we were tested between trips to the barber, the uniform store and meals.  I remember that for three days we were in and out of the testing building a lot.  Those of us that scored high the first day were given the Officer Classification Battery on day three.  One day out in the middle of some activity, the Company Commander called 6 or seven of us together and told us that we had scored high enough to go to OCS.  Because the Army was expanding to about half a million in Vietnam is a year or so they needed all the young officers they could get.  I said heck yes and didn't look back.  I went to my Advanced Individual training at Fort Sill and was in an OCS Preparatory class.  Following that I went to Robinson Barracks and did 23 weeks learning to be an Officer and Gentlemen.

The heavy emphasis was on Gunnery and Forward Observing.  I was OK in Fire Direction and on the guns but I could really understand maps and the terrain.  I could call fire and hit targets well.  Good thing, my future was Fort Irwin, California  to help form and deploy a 155mm Howitzer Battalion for Vietnam.

During the time I was at Fort Irwin, I met the love of the rest of my life.  Barbara lived one mile South and one mile west of the Union Depot in Yermo, California.   I will spare you the details but will tell you if Barbara and I ever split up, she would probably get custody of my family.  

I spent a year in Vietnam and then came home to return to school with a renewed vigor to graduate.   It only took me from 1965 to 1975 to pin that sheepskin on the wall.

The rest has been here in my blog ad nausea.    I think this reads a lot like a dry history and not the fun adventure it really was.  I have lived life to about the fullest and had more fun than a barrel of monkeys. If I were to die today I would not be unhappy, but slide into my grave all dirty and worn out shouting Yahoo! with the hope that I could get there at least a day before the Devil knows I'm gone.  I plan to spend some time at Fiddler's Green drinking canteen cups of grog with my departed life and war buddies.  There will be great times had and lots of war stories told.  There might be a tale or two told but mostly because our memories are so bad and that was a long time ago.



Just a simple thought

Every once in a while as you read this blog, why not put a simple Hell yes or Hell No in the comments section?   The readership is up to over 400 a day and surely someone  agrees or disagrees with something.  I promise I won't try to change what I write to be more or less popular.  I don't know how to engineer a like button like Facebook.  I would also like to know who in Poland is reading.  There have been over 800 hits from there. 


What Kind of Government Do I Want?

I want all the Government we can afford to have.   Given that my starting point is Expenditures must be less than or equal to outgo, I want our Government to do the best job they can do.  My budget would include paying off 10% of the debt each year.  here are some other thing I think would be good for the Government to do:

Just what are the top four or five things the Government is working on to fix?  Wouldn't knowing that list make life easier for us all.  Make the leadership of both parties attend a consensus workshop and hash it out.  failing to do that, we will be faced with the same thing that is happening right now.  They built a model to start us down the path a balanced budget and it was so full of pork that you could smell a hog farm.  In my world, writing good intentioned legislation and stuffing it with pork would be illegal and throw you out of office and ban you from ever seeking office again. Balance the budget or go home.  Delineate each dollar they are spending and acknowledge it in writing to everyone.
A Hand up is better than a hand out.  Help young mothers have a day care for their children while they attend classes is a good idea.  If this works for the GI Bill people, why is it not a good idea for poor people?   I would give this a couple of years to work and then make the recipients stand on their own.  I am not saying I would eliminate welfare for those unable to work, but they all would work as much as they were able.

 Helping people with housing is a good idea but not if you put it all in one place.  Take all the Government owned repossessed housing, refurbish it with the people mentioned above while teaching them skills, and then let them live there.  Put their children in the schools across the city not all in one or two schools and then wonder why they do poorly. Now more large Government housing in the poor section of town. 
I personally want the Government to for the most part leave me the hell alone.  Had they not confiscated over 7% of my income over my working life, I could have saved enough to live pretty darned well.  Now that in spite of their withholding for Civil service, Social Security and Federal taxes, I have saved a nest egg They tell me that at 69 1/2 I will have to start withdrawing that money.  The bad news is that I will also have to pay taxes on it and it will probably put me in the 39% (or higher) bracket.  

 The biggest problem is not that we have a lot of good ideas coming from our government, it is that we lack the will power to not try to fund everything.  Enough is just enough.  More is wrong and borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend is a darned good way to start living with someone like China telling us what to do.




Well No Wonder! (Is this part 2)

This morning someone posted a nice little short ditty that described the problems my wife and I had at the beginning of our marriage.  It was a rocky start but things have worked out.  Here is a short view of the Petty family Saga from the beginning.

Being a Petty, brings a verbosity that might be sharp and harsh to some people but what you see is what you get.  I think we say what we mean and we hunt down that bridge to cross and take it with force.  We tend to be loving and caring but will call it like we see it and get over it.  ADD makes holding a grudge hard.

Loving and caring but on alert
 The wife is from a family that avoids direct conflict.  They can be mean but would rather not attack but are counter punchers.  It takes her a longer time to write a message on G-MAIL because she tries to think out the entire answer not just throw some answer and see what sticks. 

Both approaches work but in different ways.  If you are being ambushed or attacked by a frontal assault, the Petty way is in a lot of ways good for the occasion.  If you are planning an invasion, Barb's way is the best.  She will try to build consensus and then execute a good plan.  There is an old saying that a fair plan well executed is better than a great plan poorly executed but they never saw one of Barb's plans.  But they probably never faced one of my attacks either.

This was evident in a trip to Germany we took.  I convinced her that renting a car and driving where we wanted to go was the best way.  We did get to see a lot of places even if I did find out that she hated the AUTOBAHN in a little red Opal.  She was always worried about getting a hotel and my I knew that Germany was a place with lots of good places to stay and they would be pretty clean and nice.  It was a fun trip but about three days too long at the time. 

After 45 years of running into doors, I think we have managed to work out the differences.  She has become more confrontational and I a little more reserved.  No, honestly I try to let her have her way more.  Not way more, just more.  

Sometimes meeting engagements can be difficult

It is fairly clear to me that in the sunset of our years, sitting in the sun is good thing if you have a good hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  If you don't want to grow moss on your rock, don't sit on the damp ground.



KU in Allen Field House

Last night Barb and I went to the Baylor vs KU Men's Basketball game in Lawrence.  This just a taste of what we saw and enjoyed. 

KU has started bus shuttles from a parking lot over by the soccer fields.  It is free and easy to park there.  It is also fun to see the anticipation on the faces of everyone as we move over to the field house.  I was worried that Baylor would be the first to break our home streak in 30 games.  I was reminded that Bill Self's Hawks and won more BIG XII Conference Championships than they have lost games at home.  The bus drops us off in front of the Field House.

It really doesn't look like the new and shiny places we have been. It is a typical limestone building found all over Kansas.  There must be something about a house made famous by coach Fog Allen.  I am not going to say that there is a long tradition here but the only coach with a losing record here was the guy who invented Basketball - James Naismith.  As I watch the games across the rest of the BIG XII, I see empty seats all over the place.  I think there have been almost a thousand games here since there were any empty seats.

Warm Ups Prior to the Game
 We try to get there and watch both teams warm up.  We get to hear the hum of the people and the KU Pep band.  With about 5 minutes to tip off, the teams leave the floor and we get to cheer.  The cheerleaders raise their signs and shouts of Rock Chalk, Go KU go around the building The temperature and the spirits are way above the normal.  The teams come back out and the loudest cheer is for the coach Bill Self. The TV always shows the Bill Sefp for President sign in the student section The National Anthem is sung and the opposing team is introduced.  The students hold up pages of the Daily Kansan and pretend they are reading.  When that is done, the scoreboard thunders the KU record and the crowd gets to witness the record of the hawks right to the Miracle of Mario Chalmers to tie up the game with Memphis and on to the win by the Hawks.  The place is rocking by that time. The hawks are announced and the students tear their papers into squares and throw them in the air.  

Hawks On Guard

The crowd stands and cheers until the decibel reading on the scoreboard hits 120 Db.  Then the tip off.  I have witnessed many games there and have seen good ones and bad ones but it is always the hawks out there and we cheer wildly.  I was worried that Baylor who beat Texas Tech  by 28 points might just sneak in to Allen Field House and make it a long and sad night.  Not so much...  It was clear that Baylor wanted to drive in to the middle and score in the paint.  I think they took only three 3 point shots.  It was a block fest and the Bears only shot 20 some percent from the inside,  It was a slow game and both sides worked the clock for almost the full 36 seconds.  The hawks played for their best shots and made most of them count.

Half Way through the Second Half

With the clock winding down and the hawks ahead by almost 20 points the sound of Rock Chalk, Jay Hawk started from somewhere high up in the stands.  To a Jay Hawk fan it is a wonderful sound.  It must dishearten the opposing team to know they came here and gave their best only to have the hawks send them home with a loss.  This was Baylor's first loss in the conference.  That puts KU and K-State in first place today.  They get to play two games and it is not unusual to lose the game on the other team's home court.

Coming out of the field house is kind of a shock as the cold greets you at the door. We walk down to the bus and it is always warm and the ride back to the cars is full of smiles. It is wonderful to hear the lively discussion of the game.  

If you haven't ever been to a game at KU, put it on your bucket list and try to get there someday.  I promise you it will leave you smiling in your heart for a couple of days.  Just as a side noet it will leave you a little deaf for a couple of days also.



What's in a Name?

This morning there was a TV program about Outlaws.  "Baby Face" Nelson was from Salisaw, OK.  That's two.   My Grandparents Erma and Curly Fruits, lived in Susank, KS and moved to Pruitt, AR.  That's six.  I can't remember how many times George "Quanta" Parker took me past Parker, KS or Bucycrus. Nine?  Oh, Curley's real name was Richard Milton Fruits.  That's where my little brother Richard Petty got his name.  Guess what?  he loves NASCAR too.

Millard Filmore Molthrup IV and Candidate Antwan Jundwea Obia Julu were class mates of mine in OCS.  So was the the son of Glen Petty a class mate of Glen Priddy. Who was really a Rocket Scientist at the Red Stone Arsenal. Two of my new favorites are brothers Oscar and Rocky Schmoe.  No Middle names are needed for them.  

I am going to call these Deer Oscar & Rocky

In Vietnam, I served with an officer they called "Gentlemen" Johnny Lott because every time he got the gun section chiefs together he would start out with "Gentlemen, listen up"  He had a southern accent and he could spread the honey of calm on the most chaotic moments.  

MUD and Tiger
In 1947, I, MUD was born.  Mom and dad had all good intentions of calling me David Arron Petty but the term DAP had a bad connotation back then.  They stuck an extra D on my grandfathers name and Ennis Earl Petty became Dennis...   My wife agreed that David was a good name and it stuck on our son.

Number One Son, Dave
Dave's mother of the number one son picture above is Barbara.  Yep, Dave married a Barbara so we now have Barb Senior and Barb Junior.  He really lucked out.  They both love him and they like each other.  

Barb Junior
Now down to the appellation MUD I use on the "Riding With Mud" title for this blog.  Years ago my wonderful niece Carrie fell and broke some teeth after I growled at her.  As she was in her mother's arms, eating an ice cream cone. she said, "M-M-Mean Uncle Denny"  My sister said yep, MUD is a good name for you.  I hung on to that name for years and one day when I was looking for a good name for my blog, I combined my passion for riding my recumbent bike and my nickname.   Riding with MUD.  

MUD on his Bent



Still In Love with/in Kansas

One of the beautiful things I love about the United States is that I have the right to live where I choose.  I can attempt to find a mix of geography, weather, people and the things that make me happy.  I think one of the most important things in all of this has been the soon to be 45 years together with the love of my life, Barbara.  The fact that she loves Kansas is icing on the cake. 
Seal Of My State, Kansas

I think that over the years, as we searched for the perfect place to build out house at Rabbit Run, we also looked for things to make it a perfect relationship.  I am a Conservative Republican and Barbara is not.   I think we agree that life is for living and it is that very effort that makes it all worthwhile.  We don't agree that the government is doing a good job on everything it does, but I think we realize it doesn't matter to us that much.  We both think about the future but I'm not sure worry would be an appropriate description. After a long life of Education, hard work and now finally retirement, we are settled into a life where we don't have to worry about too much.  One quote Barb uses is, "We haven't missed any meals so we don't sweat the small stuff."  
Don't you love the twinkle in those eyes?

I think the sunflower is an appropriate symbol for Kansas.  It does well in damp soil as well as dry soil.  If you think it doesn't do well in poor soil, you haven't seen the ditches full of them.  Every fall they color up our world and helps get us ready for winter.  I think the fact they provide beauty for the soul, they also provide food for the critters.  To me, I think that is kind of the joyful description for our relationship.  Barb does her best to make and capture beauty and I try to feed the critters.   The only exception is those pesky mousy critters.  I wouldn't mind if they stayed outside but try to move in with me and they become the enemy. 

Coyote like mice,  Me, not so much

This past week we met a bunch of the family for lunch in Kansas City.  It started out as a meeting of the Petty Girls but it has expanded to bring together whoever is available.  Right now it is attended by my sister who is in her 70's and Bob's babies who are three and one (soon to be two).  I think this is another reason I love to live in Kansas.  What better in life than to get the chance to laugh and share with your family.   Barb reminds me that she has been a part of my family for so long that she doesn't feel the need for a blood relationship.
What's not to love about these smiles?

I think the view from our Trail Camera is also indicative of what I find appealing about Kansas.  In the morning I go out and see who has come to visit us during the last 24 hours.  Deer, coyotes, squirrels and raccoons come down the hill to see what goodies we have left out for them.  Sure it cost a little money for that enjoyment but I had feed the birds for years.  

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are happy, live life with a smile on your face.  It not, move you butt somewhere you enjoy it.  The only anchor on your happiness is where you choose to throw it out of the boat.  (or in Debbie's case, not) 
4 Deer on the way to the feed plot.
5 Racoons on the food dish


What Can We Do?

After Sandy Hook, there are all kind of cries about the needed Gun Control.  Here is one way to look at the problem.

I am pretty sure that speeding cars kill a lot of people in accidents every year.  In spite of the fact that we require licenses to drive and in most cases Driver's Education classes, people die from speeding.  We need to have a law against people that want cars that go really fast.  If you own a Ferrari or a Corvette that will do over 100 MPH, you need to be separately regulated.  Even if you don't drive faster than the speed limit.  

No, this doesn't make sense to me but neither does the discussion about AR-15 rifles.  The cry is, "Why wound anyone possible want a rifle like that?"  Well, the lawful possession of any type weapon for whatever reason should be allowed.  It is the unlawful actions that we want stopped not the possession because we feel safer or proud of our collection.  In an earlier blog, I mentioned my AK-47.  Well boys and girls, that was a lie.  I have no such weapon for many reasons.  First of all, I am proud of living with the love of my life for almost 45 years and I am pretty sure that she would object to spending ridiculous amounts of money on such a weapon.  

Quad .50 emplacement in Vietnam, Man did I  feel safer

Right now, if you go purchase a weapon from a Dealer, you must submit to a background check.  If you want to have an automatic weapon in your possession, you must have a specialty license for it.  Last time I looked, I could not go out an purchase a Barret .50 Cal Sniper rifle.  If you doubt that, see the above paragraph about serious amounts of money spent on weapons.

So what is the problem and what is the solution.  If you can figure out the solution, can we afford the cost of the manpower it takes to put armed guards everywhere and are we willing to give up the freedom of search and seizure without darned good reason?    I contend we have problems paying for all the laws we have and all the people we have incarcerated for breaking those laws.

If you think guns are the problem, get out there and force a vote on a change to the Constitution.  It might just surprise you that most of us feel that just as the constitution says, anything not regulated by the Constitution is left to the States to control.  

I know you are getting tired of reading my analogy about the Route 44 soft drinks not allowed in New York.  That is what they have to live with.  If they are happy, so am I.  But don't mess with my Happy Hour trip to Sonic where I get a Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeade for a buck twenty five here in Kansas.



What Does the term Conservative Mean to You?

After a long life here in America, I am firmly convinced that if we follow the Constitution it will provide us with the tools to move along in life and prosper.  I don't mean that as it was initially written, it was perfect.  No, I am absolutely convinced that it provides us with the mechanism to make the fundamental changes that will continue our route to happiness and prosperity.  

What it doesn't provide, is ways to make changes that are the popular change to make today that might have more unintended consequences than we could ever imagine.  What it does is provide us with representation in a Congress that writes bills and sends them to the Executive branch for signature.  It then provides us with a Supreme court that reviews the changes to ensure that they are in line with what the founding fathers wrote. 

Somewhere in all this, there has been a rush by the congress to make fundamental changes to procedures that were never envisioned by the founding fathers.  You and I aren't even aware of the extent that our Tax Code has been bastardized to give breaks to individuals and Corporations.  The other day someone said there are almost 70,000 pages in the tax codes and most of those pages are ways to exempt someone from a tax that the rest of us aren't covered by.  

The last time I read the oath of office for most of our Public servants, they were as a part of their oath sworn to Preserve and defend the Constitution against all enemies, Foreign or Domestic. Those things that are not covered in the Constitution are left for the States to control.   

The news media might want to re read this from time to time and stop saying that because you can't buy a Route 44 soft drink in New York that should be the law for everyone.  The issue of Gun ownership and what we do with out guns might be a problem for those that choose to live in the Skinneristic Box call New York.  If they want to pay 20% of their income in the form of Taxes to the State, more power to them.  As for me, I choose to live in Kansas where such nonsense is snickered at by most of my fellow citizens.  Perhaps if the failed experiment called Las Vegas does someday fall in on its self, they too can move away from the liberalism that  wags the tail of their dog.  

I firmly believe that if we moved back towards the middle and stop writing new laws every time some popular issue springs to mind we would be a lot better off.   At least we should have some fundamental idea of what we can afford to pay for and what we can't.  I can't imagine any banker in his right mind that would loan me money beyond my ability to pay so I can give it away.  He would say give your stuff away but that's all you get.   When the approval rating for congress was at 8%, we elected over 90% of that body back into office this last election.  I don't understand the Political Schizophrenia that we are gripped by.  

I think that it was well said the other day when Giraldo said he was a Liberal in social programs but a Conservative on who dates his daughter.  I think we suffer from date rape in the fiscal area of our lives.  Someday we just might all look for some movement back to a more normal life.  If the damned religious right don't keep sticking their noses into our public rights instead of our moral lives where they belong.

Oh on that final note, I believe that abortion is an issue that belong between a woman and her doctor.  I do not want my federal Government involved.  But, I think on a personal level it is a poor way to run the Birth Control railroad.


New Era

This was written in 2010 about New years Eve.  I think it is appropriate today...

The challenge going forward from 2010 is for the young men and women of our family to go forward and be leaders. I think it would be a tribute to Virginia for them all to get and education, work hard, sing, love, laugh and hug their children close and often.

Life is like a series of doors that open and close. They don't truly end a period of our lives because of the memories and expectations. I am reminded that weeks after my Dad died, I found myself with the phone in my hand ready to call him and tell him about the WWII Aircraft on the program Wings. Duh Dennis he probably would have been watching it or bowling, or tennis or NASCAR. As recent as last night I had a vivid view of Mom riding a bike away from me as I shouted her name. That was inspite of the fact that I have never seen Mom on a bike.  

I don't know what the future will hold for us but, I think that we have been blessed to have a role model in our Grand Parents and Parents. What you do with your life is always influenced by them, but the routes and choices and consequences you choose are yours.

As a Veteran of Vietnam, I choose to remember the good things about the people and places there. I can remember the bad things but choose to remember the laughter and good times not the bad. This will be the way I remember Mom and Dad. The good times we all sang together, visited and laughed. Swimming in the Buffalo river, eating watermelon so cold and sweet it made your teeth hurt are just a few of the things.

With that all said, cry it out of your system and get out there and live life like you mean it.

Uncle MUD


Well, No Wonder!

In the years before 1980, there were some rules that Loan Officers in banks held dear.  First of all, the Person must have the ability to pay.  His background (Credit Check) needs to indicate that he has paid and there must be a way to get the person to pay. (Collateral or money in the asset you loan money on)   here was a time that you had to pay at least 10% down on a house and 15-20% was requested if there was any doubtful information in your background.   Somewhere, good intentioned people looked at what was happening and they said that it looked like red lining and discriminated against poor people.  The Government told lenders that if they would find ways to sell properties, Fanny May and Freddie Mac would then buy the loans and the lenders would not be responsible for the debts.

Well, Shucky darn, there was some creative book keeping done along with back loaded contracts that put people in houses that I could not afford.  Then, when the scat hit the fan, everyone pointed to those pesky bankers for making the bad loans.  Clearly, it was the government policy that got in the way of good business practices.  I personally won't forgive the millions of dollars paid as bonuses to the banks and government officials for all the business they created.

Now, zoom to today and here we sit with the President and the VP about to push an end around the second amendment and we are facing another good meaning Government program that will cost us lots of money and not solve the real problem.

The problem with gun ownership is not those of us that are obeying the laws, it is those people that use guns for illegal things. I could have a hundred round magazine for my AK-47 and it would not matter. (I don't have anything any where near that but jes' sayin')   Could a 13 round magazine or a ten round magazine for a pistol make a difference?  Where does anyone get into the right to do what I want with my gun?  It may be like my 57 Chevy on the garage that is gathering dust.  It may be that this spring I will take them out and target practice.  It may be that some year I might want to take my shotgun and hunt doves legally.  No matter what I want to do, unless you are willing to buy them, keep your grubby hands off my stuff.   If you want to hire more police to stop cars in town ans search for guns, have at it.  I don't carry legally or illegally. 

Today there was an article in the new York Post that said that because of our fierce independence we have to one of the highest rates of death for those under the age of 26.  They lumped together gun deaths, traffic deaths, drug deaths with people riding motorcycles and not wearing head gear.   If you want to throw in war deaths, I might understand how you could make that allegation but then there are a lot of people in third world countries that would love to come here to take that chance.  



Stars Everywhere

In 1975, I was a National Guard Battery Commander in Horton, KS. We went to Annual training at Camp Ripley, Minnesota that year and about half way through the Annual Training period I was told that on our last day in the field, we would be getting a visit from General Bernard W. Rogers, The FORSCOM Commander. Evidently, he is from Fairview, KS and wanted to visit the Kansas Guard that summer.
For a couple of days, there were more visitors stopping to visit us than I could count. they all wanted us to be ready for such a distinguished visitor. We did more spit and polish and raking of rocks than any other unit I was ever in. Finally on the big day, a helicopter reported that it was on its way in to our position and I walked out to meet the General.
Let me describe the number of stars on his uniform. He had a fatigue jacket on and there were four stars on each shoulder. His fatigue shirt had the collars out and each collar had four stars on them. Then he was wearing a cap and damned if there weren't four stars gleaming from it. That is 20 stars showing on his uniform. A guy could be impressed if he really tried. Not a camouflaged star in the bunch. That same helicopter had a Brigadier General and the Adjutant general who was a Major general. There were 35 Stars showing and a couple of Colonels. Thank god I didn't know any of the Colonels. Six Eagles showing just didn't match the stars.

Just as I started to greet the General, one of my cooks snuck up beside me and saluted. Instead of shaking my hand and then following me for a visit through the unit, the General shook my cook's hand and they began to have a chat about family members right there. It was then that I remembered the cook's name was Rogers and I'll be damned if the General wasn't his Uncle. After about 10 minutes of their talking, the General asked the cook how I was treating him. He said "Just Fine Bernie." The General looked at me and said he had a tight schedule and needed to get back to Base Camp and promptly left. I didn't know if I should chew out the cook for not telling me about his relationship with the General or to kiss him for the kind words about me.
Either way, things worked out and we ended our camp is a successful manner. Every once in a while I drive north of Topeka and pass General Roger's hometown as I go north on US 75. I'm sure that one day, Barb will finally tire of this story.