Once upon a time, I commanded a 105mm Firing Battery in the National Guard.  We went to Fort Riley for Summer Camp one year and I got my first introduction of how unofficially they were required and discouraged at the same time.  For training, everyone was issued their weapon that was required by the TO&E (Table of Organization and Equipment) and we carried them for training.  They did have blanks for the M-16 but nothing for the .45's carried by the officers.  

Most of the time, things went well in training and there was no mixture of live ammo and blanks. There was a unit training at Fort Sill that had some soldiers ambushed and live rounds were mixed in to the fray.   Thank god that when red tracers started to fly someone had the good sense to stop.

Near the end of Camp, one of the Battery Officers was selected to be the Class A Agent to go draw the pay for our unit.  The requirement was that he be armed and that he had two armed guards as there was a pretty considerable amount of money issued.  Officially, we had no live ammo, but for years when it came time to send armed guards after the pay, a mysterious source for ammo was found.   I found out later when I went full time that most units had at least one or two magazines of  M-16 and .45 ammo in the battery safe for that very reason.   So, it was illegal to have but required.  

Much later on in my Military Career, I saw one day that the XO of my Battalion had live ammo for his .45.  It was a funny little round that had a plastic nose and had what looked like shot gun pellets in it.  I asked him about it and he said that the year before he was "attacked" by a rattle snake and would never be without snake shells again.  Again illegal but required.

One year I was the President of the National Guard Association and our association was to purchase a 9mm pistol for the Honor Graduate of our State OCS.  While I was looking around, one of the guys from Wichita told me that his friend had a gun shop and would discount them to Police Officers and Members of the military.  The price was good and while I purchased one for the Association, I bought one for me.  

Right after they arrived, our unit went to the pistol range.  I had been a member of the State small bore (.22) team but always had problems with the worn out .45's the guard units had.  I took my pistol to the range and used it to qualify.  Right out of the box, never having fired it before, I missed qualifying expert by one round. I fell in love with the 9mm Beretta Model 92F right there and then. I never failed to qualify expert after that with my pistol.

A couple years later, I went to summer camp and I took my own pistol and in the ammo pouch there was two magazines of live ammo.  I carried a spare empty magazine in the pistol to keep the dust out of the inner workings.  Late one day I was cleaning my pistol over in the sleeping tent and one of the guys  saw my two magazine pouch for the Beretta on my pistol belt.  No One in the unit had been issued one and he opened the snap down flap and was shocked that I had live rounds in the the magazines.  I didn't think anything about it until later on that person mentioned it to one of the General Officers.  He asked me about it and I told him about the requirement to have ammo for the Class A Agents.  He accepted my response and I forgot about it altogether.

A couple of weeks after we got home from Camp the Adjutant General had the Chief of Staff send me down to his office.  He asked me about the live ammo and I reminded him that the MP's that were there to guard him were not armed with live ammo and I would be willing to bet that every General Officer armed with his own personal weapon had live rounds.  I then informed him about the requirement for the Class A Agent to be armed and at that I was dismissed.  Again something was required but illegal. 

If you want to call me a regulation breaker, I am your Huckleberry.   

COL, (Ret)

Smells from D.C.

Today the Catholic Church is going to lose their old leader.   Like the rest of the world, the catholic church is is a crisis of Leadership.  I hope they can find someone that will set a high moral tone and enforce standards of conduct that are what is required.

Speaking of needed change, the smells coming out of Washington is that the blame game just isn't enough.  It is going to take what I propose for the Catholic Church.  The United States needs to change the idea that the Government owes everyone everything from cradle to grave.  Is it apparent to everyone else that the "Sequestrations" cuts won't fix what's broken?  It is a hell of a good start but far from paying off the debt let alone cut back the spending.  The plan was that the plan set the slope and over 10 years it would be what we need.  I for one don't trust Congress to make the cuts across the board and fair and balanced.  The cuts were the President's idea and now they are about to happen all he can do is blame the Republicans.

If the leadership in congress can't support the Defense of our nation at the level it was, cut back what they want them to do.  If we can't afford to send our Aircraft Carriers in to every hot spot, don't send them.  If we can't afford the war in Afghanistan, bring our soldiers home.  If money is tight, bring our troops home and guard our borders.  If we can't feed the poor, close the borders and send home all the illegals.  I'll bet that the poor people will start doing the hard jobs when we cut off unemployment beyond 18 weeks. 

It will be fun to see what happens over the next couple of weeks Only 2% of the budget is being cut  and the cry is that the scare tactics have us going to hell in a hand basket.   I'll bet if we start looking at the rest expenses of the government, there is more room for cuts than will be made.  I saw a TV program about how President Bush flew Air Force 1 into Iraq for a Thanksgiving dinner.  My thought was if they had to report it as a Gulf Stream 1, why the hell did he fly AF 1?  I'll bet if the people in charge all backed off one plane smaller the cuts would be remarkable.  

What are you going to do?  




All Beat Up!

I love the tractor to move the snow in our driveway and road.  The only problem is when I get out on the road over to Dave's and the rental.  Those great big tires throw a lot of slush on the driver and there is not a good suspension system for lots of weight.  The bumps compress my back and after about three hours of it I hurt.  Thank god for Naproxin Sodium.  I can at least stand it after a couple of them and a nap. Looks like we got another inch of snow last night but the temperature is holding about 30 so by noon that will be gone.  I don't have to fire up the tractor to take care of that small amount.  

I am listening to the Incredible Machine CD by SugarLand.   I don't hear many of the songs on the radio station I listen to.  Kristin Bush is just so cute and he smiles come through in the music.   

Are you as fed up with the lack of Leadership in Washington?  Seems like all the President can do is blame the Republicans.  He needs top grow a set and bring them all together.  have you been told about any of his plans to fix the problems or have you all been told about the Republican plans to derail Obama?    The truth is that the current plan is to spend out way out of this mess and there is no real effort to find a way to do with less.  To me that is like a compulsive gambler going to the casino to win back all his losses.  Doing what you did an expecting different results is just dumb.

Looks like we might get out a little today.  The roads should be fine by noon.



More Life Thoughts (Repost)

First of all, Barb sometimes hurls my words right back at me so I should be more careful what I say. I suffer from an abnormality that lets things that cross the front of my brain to fall out of my mouth or through my fingertips (Or finger tip if you really know how I type) But, I often fail to look for unintended consequences so there are several things that I have been known to say.

This morning I asked Barb if there is anything we need to get before we leave on our trip. She reminded me that I often say, "I have everything I need, most of what I want and there are Wal*Marts along the way."

We were at a picnic and i saw a co worker sitting in the grass without a blanket on the ground. I told my friend that she should be more careful and use a blanket or spray for chiggers. Her reply was, "Maybe I want Chiggers". If you lived in Kansas where we really have chiggers, you know that was an out and out lie. No one wants chiggers. 

OK, this leads me to a funny story - I was in Wyoming for a National Guard Camp. We stopped at one of the old forts and were watching re-inactors ride their horses in Cavalry formations. There was this young girl (probably 13, the kind of kid that looks like a colt - all legs) sitting in the grass there at the edge of the parade field. She was wearing shorts and I told her that she should be careful of the chiggers. She said, "You cheeky Americans are always making fun of us Brits". I was at a loss for words and said nothing in return. A while later I was in one of the barracks that had the old bathroom split into two sides, one for each sex and overheard from the girls side, "Mum, me bum itches". I had one last word to shout over the wall, "Chiggers".

This morning there was a newspaper columnist that reported that he had met a man with a Doctorate in Certainty. One of the other writers wasn't sure that he could qualify for such a lofty degree. He surmised that he could probably get an Associate of Arts in "Perhaps".  Me, I want a degree that is a Masters of Making Stuff Up. (MsMSU)

One final word here is to all of those young people out there in the family that are still working to get to end of your plans. Plan your work and then work your plan. Keep track of your spending so you can make sure that in the long run income is greater than or equal to outgo. Don't be surprised when at least once in a while emergencies happen and you have to spend your emergency fund. That's what it is for.  On that note, I want to make the Dutch Uncle speech that a fair plan worked well is much better than no plan at all or a great plan worked poorly. 

OK, one Final word. One of the writers in the paper said he could almost understand the school's budget. My words to him are it is not the budget that's important but their expenditures. One local school board always said they didn't have enough money to give the teachers a cost of living raise as needed. When we got into their budget, each year they would purchase 6 or 7 buses at the years end with left over money. They had the best buses in town and the lowest paid teachers. Until Barb learned to read their expenditures.


Snow Scenes

Scene to the South today
For the second time in a week, we got some much needed moisture.  It is very pretty but the wind today has made it much harder to get out and clear driveways and byways.  I am waiting for a couple of more hours and then I'll go out and brave it.  I am not sure if the snow that seems to be falling is new snow or the wind blowing it off the trees and roofs.  With the temperature about 30 this is a heavy snow and we did lose the power earlier but it is back on now.  

I think I have a fairly eclectic taste in music. Right now I am listening to the Prairie Rose Wranglers sing cowboy tunes.  I have a SugarLand CD next and then it is a toss up if I will listen to Roy Orbison or the Classic Masterworks Sampler.  What do you listen to? 

Last night I watched the KU vs Iowa State game and with about two minutes left, I almost gave up on the hawks.  They managed to tie it up and in overtime Elijah Johnson just took over and beat Iowa State almost  single handed.   It is nice to see him go from Goat to Hero.  Now if he can maintain that for the rest of the season we'll be in great shape. I am pretty sure that he will replace Jeff Withey as the  Big XII Player of the week. 

Today on Facebook a friend posted one of those thought pieces that said, "I may be able to forgive you, but that doesn't make me stupid enough to trust you again."   I was reminded of some advice the Chief of Staff, General Gene Krase gave me.  He guided me to, "Treat every person that brings news to you as a scout.  No scout is a Trusted Agent until they have given you at least two good observations that proved true,"   Kind of that don't rush to a judgement on half truths and be damn sure it is true.

Pretty soon I'm going to go out and put a new suet block in the feeder.  The woodpeckers will eat the house if I don't.  Stay warm and keep your powder dry.



Food n' Stuff

Seems like when the weather starts to turn bad, my thoughts turn to enough calories to survive.  My mother was an OK cook and her idea of a great meal was anything she could cook in one pan.  Chili, beans and her pork chops cooked in Spanish rice come to mind quickly.  I do remember that for some reason Mom liked to cook waffles for Sunder evening meal.  Had she cooked up ham or chicken to go with those waffles, I might have been aboard that idea.  To this day I really don't like waffles.  I see the shows on TV where people get chicken and waffles but I would probably not eat the waffles.

The most memorable meals would generally be had at Erma and Curly Fruits house when they lived in Susank, KS on the Shell Oil lease.  In the fall, we would go up there and several of Curly's friends would come out and we would hunt fields the men had scouted out during the summer and early fall.   It was nothing for 5 or 10 friends get their limit and a lot of the birds were just given to my Grandmother.  Curly would skin the pheasants rather than pick feathers.  Erma would cut them up and put them in a pan to soak in salt water.  Erma would take the cut up pieces and bake them for a while at a fairly low temperature.  After they cooled off a little, she would put them in flour and then fry the birds.   I can remember being at grandma's house and the middle of the table would be covered with bones after we managed to eat ourselves silly.  None of that one bird per family crap.  At least once a year or so, grandmother would drag out her big old pot and we would get a shrimp boil that had similar results.  I swear the Government had to have asked her to file an environmental impact report after one of those meals.

I am not sure if it was the riding on the tractor or shoveling snow but my back is kind of sore.  To make matters worse, yesterday I was headed down the hill and made a snow devil about halfway down the hill.  It was about 40 degrees and slippery.  I call it a snow devil because I didn't laugh and make a perfect imprint in the snow as I went down.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that "Oh Shit" was what I said and am thankful that there was still about 6 inches of snow left when I fell.  All my back and neck is stiff this morning.  I threw some chopped corn out the back door for the little birds but the deer down the hill can just eat bark.

We are under a snow storm warning today and they say it could bring us up to a foot of snow.  When a warm front from the south meets a big old Northern cold front in the spring we generally catch at least one big storm.  This looks like number 2 in about a week.  Most of the time if it snows there is clear ground within a week or so.  This time not so much.  Oh well, I have the Styrofoam dog house built over the tractor and the heater in place  so I can make short work of whatever falls.

MUD Pushing Snow on his tractor



Mo' Sno'?

Earlier this week we finally got some of that moisture we have been missing.  It fell about three inches an hour for three or four hours.  The good news is that I have a new tractor (to me it is new but it was used)  and I was able to make short work of clearing the driveway, Dave's driveway and the drive at our rental houses.  In fact other than the twinge in my back it was relatively easy.  Probably the hardest part was driving the three miles over to the rentals in a slight sleet storm.  My glasses iced over and my face was so cold that I was going to stop on my way home but there was nothing open.  They are telling us that another storm is coming tonight and it will have another 8 inches of snow or so.  More fun.

For me, this has been a fun week.  My niece Amy was in town for a Golf Show in Overland Park and we gathered at Carrie and Dan's house to visit.  Amy's mother, Janet, also flew in and when Bob's children showed up the Circus was complete.  Anyone that went home hungry or bored did so because they wanted to.  We even got Dave and Barbara to go with us yesterday and they made the trip worthwhile.

Oh yes, and the hawks put a whipping on TCU in a small part pay back for the loss in Fort Worth.  

Beer-oaks, Bieroacks, cabbage rolls or whatever you call them, are a family tradition we all love.  I think our next door neighbors, the Longhoffers started us down that path years ago.  Art Longhoffer was the first generation German immigrant and his mother made them  as survival food in Oklahoma.  Art's wife, Carrie was a great cook and she brought the first batch into the Petty family.  The basic recipe is Hamburger, onions, cabbage, garlic all cooked together and then baked in a nice roll.  You can add about anything to the mix and as for me I love to throw in some bratwurst meat and sauerkraut.  You do have to be careful to rinse the sauerkraut or it will be too salty.  One friend of mine puts cheese in his but I don't think that is necessary.  I have also noticed that I don't need to have beer to wash them down either.  That is just a bonus.  Art Longhoffer said that as a kid his mother would grow cabbage just to make Kraut.  As the winter went on, the boys would shoot rabbits and his mother would make her kraut rolls with rabbit and kraut. 

As the girls had way more rolls than filling, they wondered what to do with the left over bread.  Dave and I both knew that all you had to do was to tell Barb and cinnamon rolls would be next.  Barb showed our nephew Andrew how they are made.  We have it on good opinion that he is the champion cinnamon roll eater and Barb is a wonderful teacher. All was good.  

On the way home from Kansas City, I asked Dave what he really knew about our family.  He got to know my mother well but beyond that he had little information.  I guess I need to see if I can remember enough family history to bring his knowledge up to speed.  

Turret Envy





I have a couple of family members that have taken things I have said personally.  I challenge them to write 2,000+ blogs and see if they don't get one or two negative feed backs.  In fact, I challenge anyone to that cause.  There have been 94,000+ hits on this site and I get fewer than 1 comment per blog.  I ain't perfect, forgiven only prolific.  If you read this blog and disagree, comment.  The only positive comments I get are spam from sites trying to draw you to go to their easy loan kind of sites.  With the exception of my Brother-in-law Ray who has lots of good ideas.

I looked over the past few blogs and saw that I have left the subject of basket ball alone.   KU hit a tough patch and dropped three games to lesser teams and found their way to right the ship and work the way back to a conference tie with K-State.  It will be a real challenge to see what the Hawks do with TCU today.  According to Coach Self, TCU was the only team that challenged the Hawks from start to finish of the game and better the hawks.  The hawks went almost 1/4 of the game with only 2 points and I'll bet that doesn't happen at Allen Field House.  We'll see.

I am not sure if the rest of the US is aware of what is going on in Kansas.  Our Governor has challenged everything the State is doing and trying to engineer a new way to do about everything.  I think there are several pretty intelligent people that say that changes need to be made at the State level as it is the home of political change.  Well, many of us have about all we can stand of that change and are waiting for the effects to bring about prosperity over the effects cuts are bringing now.  Again, We'll see.  Mark this on your calendar, Brownback will either be the biggest goat or a hero but he sure isn't lost in the body politic here in Kansas.

We have a really good friend that is a teacher and she lost her job a couple of years ago in the Local school District and the cuts to the system for educating our juvenile offender system may have her on the cuts again.  This leads me to one move that I am really upset about.  One of the changes  our State Congress is trying to make is to cause the system of seniority to go away for state workers.  They want our State workers to be "At Will" employees and allow them to be fired "At Will."  Having been in a Leadership (Management) position in the Federal system, I can promise you that you can fire an employee in any system if you are willing to do your job and document.  I contend it is the lazy bosses that want it to be easy to terminate people.  The hard job is to help your employees to be the best they can be.  It takes a combination of training, leadership and hard work to make our systems work.  That's what the managers get the big bucks for.

Oh well, the snow is ugly right now and it is kicking my butt to clean all the sidewalks I need to clean.  The tractor blade and the bouncing hurt my back some and I just can't seem to get out and shovel the front walk.  I have cleaned over a mile of road and driveways but can't seem to clear the last 25 feet of sidewalk. 



Young Mind, Old Body

Yesterday we had a snow storm hit that just dumped tons of snow on us.  I have a Diesel tractor and it was very hard to start.  By the time I got it started and then got the grader blade hooked up it was over 8 inches deep.  I worked here for about an hour and a half and then went over to Dave's to push out his driveway.  After that I went to the rental houses and worked there for an hour or so.  I got home yesterday and I was cold the rest of the day.  I felt real bad and I mentioned it to Barb.  She made sure that I knew that I was getting old and it showed.  Bummer.  I have this mental image of being very young and I could work all day.  Three or four hours now just wore me out.

I do need to get the tractor running again today and do just a little more.  The County snow plow went by the mailbox and now I have a five foot drift in front of the box.  I am pretty sure that the mailman won't put anything in there if she has to climb a snow pile.  I also have to dig the Crown Vic out as it has a foot of snow on top of it.  

I am doing pretty well here inside and do have a couple of good books to read.  I may go up and make a new pot of coffee and see if there is any hot chocolate to add to a good cuppa coffee.  



Life Goals

To me, it is a shame that our schools don't help our children understand the process for setting and achieving their goals in life.  The simple model is to ask these questions.  Where am I, where do I want to go and how do I get there from here.

Starting from where I am I.   For most students, it is obvious that they are in school and the end goal is get out of school in some manner that will allow them to make money.  If the goal is to achieve economic freedom, the starting place is to record what you have or make to build the plan on. 

The big deal in most of our plans is deciding where we want to go.  This is hard in that there are a lot of intervening steps in most plans to get where we want to be.  A simple plan might be to be a Doctor.  College, Med School, internship then practice medicine.  Be a lawyer, college, law School, Pass the bar then practice Law.  The sad part is that most of us don't have an absolute point you call success.  Or, with the uncertainty of the future, how do you pick a specific point.  Broad vague goals are easy to say but difficult to achieve.

From the start of my life, graduating from High School was just a passage and not an end destination.  In 1965, there was this thing called the Draft that said - Go to college or go Army.  I started College but just never sat down and tried to see where I could be.  The Draft Board answered that question in the summer of 1966 and I found myself in the Army.  During all the tests at Fort Leonard Wood, MO I took an extra test because I had done well on the initial tests.   That test was called the OCB and I didn't have any idea what it really was.  It turned out to be the Officer Classification Battery  and based on my score of 121, I was found to be eligible for attendance at an Officer Candidate School.  They held a board and selected me for OCS at Fort Sill, OK.

The real clarification moment for me was in Vietnam I really decided that I wanted to be anywhere but there. The additional time in OCS gave me eligibility for enough time on the GI Bill to finish a degree.  The end at that time was kind of vague so I chose to get a degree in Business and go from there.                                                             

What I am trying to say here is that there are a bunch of roads to any end goal.  There is also room to change and the limit is endless.  For example, a good friend or ours had a College age daughter that loved the French language.  She wanted to be in a career field that she could use it.  Obviously, there are a limited number of places to use that skill, and most were in the teaching field.  The father made this offer.  Get a degree with a major in Business and and get a minor in french.  She did that and when she graduated found a job in a Bank in Saint Louis dealing with business for the French Legation there.  She would come to work, spend a couple of hours dealing with French Banks, spend a couple of hours with people sent to her by the French legation and the second half of the day dealing with business for the bank.  From there, she married, has a couple of children and is well on her way to putting enough money to retire well in a few years.

Another friend of ours had a daughter that wanted to be a Doctor.  About the time she was ready to Graduate from College, she was offered a position in the Medical Program sponsored by the Military.  For six years of medical School, she would owe the Military six years of service.  She attended Medical School as a 2nd Lieutenant and her 6 years as a Captain.  Last time I heard, she was a Lieutenant Colonel and married to another Doctor in the Air Force.  

Many of my friends in Wichita worked for Boeing, beech, Lear or Cessna during the day and attended Night School at Wichita State at night.  There are many college programs such as Friends University that are off campus programs that will get you to a degree.  many of them will give you credit for "Life Skills" such as Military Service.  In fact, my Military Service was a part of the Hours (Military Science and PE) that KU granted to me.

One of my friends went into an Apprentice program before he too was drafted and by the time he came back he was listed on their books as a journeyman carpenter.  He did have to work his way up from the bottom but became a Superintendent for a Construction Company and has done some super jobs.

The end of this story is that with a little help, most of our kids could develop a plan, revise that plan if necessary and execute that plan towards life goals.  



Storm Comming

It looks like from the computer models that Kansas is about to get a much needed rain/ sleet/snow storm.  On our way to Kansas City last night we saw a lot of ponds that are completely dry.  We need a lot of snow if there is to be an subsoil moisture for crops this year.  

Have you bought any gasoline this week?  What a difference a week or so makes in the price.  Instead of less than $3.00 a gallon, it looks headed for $4.00.  There was a news cast in January that indicated that gas might go up to $3.50 by the time the summer travel season kicks in.  Now we will be lucky to have $4.00.  Oh well, I can still afford to fill up the tank.

Our Niece from Alabama arrived in Kansas City and we had a great time at the Craig's last night.   It was fun but that drive home always seems to kick my butt.  I arrive home and am overcome by the urge to take a nap.  Wait, I am always able to take a nap, it just seems to be more important after a night time drive of any distance.  Even a late night at Allen Field house seems to wear me out.  Speaking of Basketball, the game tonight in Still Water with the hawks taking on Oklahoma State is for the lead in the conference.  Should be a great game.  

In a little while, we are going over to Free State Brewery in Lawrence to meet my sisters for lunch.  Another good time will be had by all.  Better get rocking and rolling. I have to get the tractor started and put the grader blade on the back so I can move some snow -just in case.



War Stories

This weekend, we were sent a link to a YouTube recording of one of my Father-in-laws war stories he told as a part of the efforts in Twin Falls, ID to gather up some of the war stories of the older Veterans.  As hard as it is to place, the young soldiers who fought in WWII were probably in their 20's.  That was 70 years ago and now those left would be in their 90's.  My dad passed in the 90's and he was in his 70's. Heck, the average Vietnam Veteran was a Baby Boomer and we are reaching 65.  (Or if they are like me trying to remember where they left it)  

I went out to fetch the paper this morning and it was blowing cold and you can tell there is something on the way.  They are predicting 6 inches of snow on Thursday.  After a few days of 50-60 degree temperatures, the 20's and wind felt cold.  I recon there won't be many days on the bike trail for a while.  Might even have to put the grader blade on the tractor and move some snow.  As bad as we need rain, I won't complain.  I might shiver a bit but not complain.

For some reason, one of the deer has started to knock the feeding pan upside down when it is empty.  It isn't enough to lick it clean, they need to turn it over.  I have noticed that in the pictures some of the deer are starting to look kind of skinny.  There will be green grass and more to eat soon and they'll fatten back up.  The other day, I was watching a channel about Alaska and they told about some people that were erecting fencing and feeding the Moose and Deer near the fence.  It seems that the fence helps knock off the antlers and that is not illegal.  I guess the antlers sell for a pretty penny.  No, I won't do that.  I might be tempted to do it if it would save one of the bucks from being shot because of his spectacular antlers but probably not.

Tonight we are going to KC to visit with our Grand Niece Amy who is flying in.  It will be a nice chance to have Dave and Barbara with us in the car for an hour or so each way.  Throw in c=some Chili and it should be fun.  

I swear that watching the Baylor Girls take on U Conn women was a lot more enjoyable than watching K-State and West Virginia men's basketball.   Brittany Griner scored her 3,000th point and along with 500 blocks and a bunch of rebounds makes her something pretty spectacular.  Speaking of Women, Danica Patric brings a whole new vision to talk of a woman on a pole.  Not having ever gone to Baby Dolls, I don't have a clear image of strippers on a pole anyway.

Oh come on, if an old dude like me can't be a little incorrect politically, who can?  I can even mix my metaphors.

I even found a Pole dancer on a Bike




Spring Gives me the Travel Bug
I do wish that I could find something I like better than Garlic in my food.  The only problem is that I can't find a good way to replace the cloves of garlic that are messy and time consuming to fix.  Yesterday I found a wonderful loaf of crusty bread at HyVee and bought a little bottle of prepared garlic.  There was just no way that I could take the chemical taste out of that garlic including putting a stick of butter in the pan and trying to cook the taste out.   You can bet I'll pitch that garlic into the trash today.  It wasn't the cost of the bread or the garlic I hate, it was the face my Daughter-in-law made when she tasted it.  She is not a world class gambler and her lack of a poker face gave it away. 

A couple of years ago, my son put me on to a product from Gilroy, CA.  That is the city with the name - "Garlic Capital of the World."  Their Garlic Garni was the bomb and I used it freely until sometime this past years end when they must have had more red pepper flakes than Garlic on hand.  It turned hot and I now have a big old container of the stuff that just imparts so much heat that it takes the joy our of the Garlic.  I would use it up in my cooking but Barbara and our son Dave both don't enjoy hot things nearly as much as I do.  They both like flavors in their food, just not Garlic (and for Barb Ginger)

Yesterday I saw a program that was centered on people raising the helper dogs that are helpers for people with disabilities.  It seems that there are several hundred thousand people that need help and only about 10,000 dogs in the program.  You get a puppy and raise it for about 15 months and then it goes into the program.  About the time you start to feel bad about losing one puppy, they give you another.  For those of us with Attention Deficit Disorder, it sounds perfect.  Kind of like a parent of a child that grows to maturity at a rapid rate. 

Tomorrow our grand Niece from Alabama will be in town for a few days.  She is a representative of the Robert Trent Golf Trail in Alabama.  There is a trade show and she will help man the booth through the weekend.  One of our other nieces, Carrie will have us all over for Chili and cornbread to celebrate the visit.  I think that Barbara has come over to the dark side and will bring cinnamon rolls to the dinner.  Both of us ate enough school lunches to know that there is nothing better than having a dessert of cinnamon rolls after a bowl of chili. As a kid I would also want a Pepsi but not so much any more.

We had our Lawn and Garden Show over the weekend.  Barbara loves to work with the Youth Education Committee  of the Master Gardeners.  We had grow lights on for about three weeks straight growing Kale to give the kids a hands on experience.  The kids got to pot the seedlings and take them home.  I don't have a clue how many will grow up into lunch, but my electric meter will stop spinning as fast with the lights out.  

This morning, it was almost 50 here in the heartland.  Must be a snow storm coming soon.  When a cold front is coming, a warm moist air gets sucked up from the south and we get snow.  Not that we don't need it. I don't have any idea how far behind in moisture we are this last couple of years.  The ponds all over the heartland are dry and I can see the bottom of ponds that have never been dry in 30 years.

Have you noticed that I have managed to write one entire post without mentioning things the Government is doing that I don't agree with?  'Nuf  said .

The morning funny papers said it all for me this morning.  Grandpa in Pickles said he was a "Genius with a Capital J."    




In its most simple state, war is binary.  Either you get killed or you don't.  The lethality of the modern day battlefield should be imprinted on the forehead of every leader in the world.  It is their failure to preserve peace and work together that leads us to have wars.  I believe in the abundance mentality and feel that if we were all to work together, there is enough for everyone.  After all, isn't it about food, then power.  I know that after a Thanksgiving meal, I sure as heck don't want to invade anyone.

From Draftee to Colonel in 30 years

 As I looked back on some of my earlier posts, I hit the war in Afghanistan right between the eyes.  If the British, Russians and now the Americans would have carpet bombed that little country with all the dollars we have spent trying to bring them peace, they could all have houses with central air and lots of food.  If somehow we could exchange the cost of the lives we have spent there for dollars, we could double the size of those houses and perhaps put in wall to wall carpeting.  

I have a friend that spent a lot of time as a child in Afghanistan when her father was a Doctor there.  She has a book on her coffee table with pictures of the place and she said she loved the people as much as the scenery.  I trust her perceptions almost as much as I do mine.  Her's is also flavored by a wonderful belief of a supreme being and that gives her a peace that I could only find when I had my M-16 in my hands while in Vietnam.

Si vis pacem, para bellumIs the Latin guide that tells countries to seek peace but prepare for war.  On the other hand, Dwight David Eisenhower told us to fear the Military Industrial Complex. I think that it is up to the Civilian Leadership to establish just what the heck that level is.  I am not sure that I would be a good guide for that level.  Tanks for the memories...

Oh well, better leave this and get on with my peace of life.  A good breakfast will cure any thoughts this old war horse has of running off to war.


My Perception, My Reality

As much as I want to shout against my perceived injustice by my lot in life and parts of the government, I am reminded of the old saying that "My Perception is My Reality."  Once I put those feelings, observations, thoughts and reactions to events into my brain housing group, they become my reality.  Some time when you have a few moments to spare, read about how it takes a pretty significant emotional event to change the way people feel.  I call this the Popeye effect - "I Yam what I Yam!"  

Today there was an article in the Parade Magazine about how to have a happy family.  I would say that it was about 50/50 right and wrong - for me.  I grew up poor and while there were times we sat down to a nice home cooked meal, there were a lot of times we just got a bowl or a plate of whatever mom made and ate it wherever.  I don't think I was motivated by pretty food, I was fueled by lots of good food - most of it edible.  Breakfast was mostly a catch as catch can at our house.  My mother loved to cook but hated to do dishes.  If she could cook it all in one pot, so much the better.  A pot of beans, chili, pork chops in a Spanish Rice casserole were served as a lot of dinners.  

One thing that was apparent from early was that if I wanted money to spend, I needed to get out and earn it.  I mowed lawns, cleaned windows, washed cars, delivered papers and as soon as I had a license, I worked in Gas Stations.  If I wanted to have a car, it was my expense and I had to make sure that Dad got insurance money on a fairly regular basis. (Dad didn't always collect the money for insurance as I remember)  

My father was not very loved by his mother and I'm pretty sure that he had a lot of reasons to not be very affectionate to his children.  On the other hand, my mother was the earth mother and a kiss and a hug could be had about anytime it was needed.  Her mother was about the same.  I can say that Erma and Virginia were pretty much what you see is what you get.  They were open and loving and most of us felt that love. 

One time I mentioned to my Uncle that my Dad always felt that his mother was not very loving and that she gave my uncle a lot more affection than she did to dad.  He was really shocked that  Dad felt that way.  He felt that his mother didn't know how to show love to the children and times were tough when they were growing up.  I won't go as far as to call it abuse but won't stop too far from emotional neglect.  I have listened to tales of during the depression my Grandfather would take his bucket of paints and brushes out in the morning and when he came home what he earned was supper.  He was a sign painter and a lot of his work was bartered for food.  I didn't get to know either of my grandfathers so I can't even begin to speculate about their effects on the family. 

One thing I did feel the article hit a home run on was the point that most of the family fights are about money. I promise you that once you have your house paid for and that big nut each month goes away, life backs off a notch on the anger scale.  In spite of my degree in business, the reality of a budget and spending towards a goal didn't come to me early.  It was not missed by my wife.  I always wondered why she had to have a balance in the check book.  The bigger the better to her.  I would have had a new car, a boat and vacations at the lake often but she was a lot more conservative and I am far better off for it.  Now that I am a lot more near to end than the beginning of my life, I am darned sure that I will want for little except a longer life.

I lied right there.  I feel that I have lived a full life and in spite of a few intense moments in Vietnam and illnesses in the VA Hospital I have been blessed with more happiness than I deserve.  My goal is to slide into my grave, dirty, worn out and shouting Ya Hoo!  It wouldn't hurt if I could be there a day or two before the Devil knows I'm gone.  I plan to spend a few days at Fiddler's Green and drink a canteen cup of grog with my old friends.  I'm sure that there will be tales told and retold with a few made up.  

I have everything I need, most of what I want, money in the bank and a WalMart nearby.   Hope you can find the thing that makes you happy.

Morocco with my life partner, Barb



Just a few thoughts, Again...

I abhor stupidity. Not the speech from the uneducated, but speech so stupid that not even the person saying  it could possible believe it.   We all hear things that are so fundamentally wrong that we can't possibly believe it.  The current spending by our Government to save us?  Taking guns away from the legal honest gun owner to stop the illegal use of guns by the criminals.  Loaning money to Companies by the government that has to borrow 40 cents of every dollar they spend. 

I think we are all prejudiced in some ways .  Life is way too short to spend hours worrying about every decision.  Your preconceived thoughts and feelings are the result of your learning and are strongly imprinted on your choices in life.  I personally like 57 Chevy's, McDonald's French fries and Del Monte ketchup.  It would take a pretty significant emotional event to change that.  

I am a conservative.  Not in all things, but i think that change while is inevitable, it is not the whole answer.  People that make changes and then protect those changes like they are the optimum or the ideal are as faulted as those that don't want to change in the first place.  I think that change should have positive effects and not cost us more than the benefit. 

Doing what you did and expecting different results is just plain stupid.  

In this world, there are people that cannot or will not change.  Just plan around them and move on. 

I grew up in Kansas and am a Jay hawker.  I revel in freedom and hate the ideal of enslavement.  I believe that every person has the ability to be something great.  The corollary to that is that there are some that have the ability to be evil, in such ways that most of us cannot even imagine.  

Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.   He took our country to war to hold us up against the highest standards of our Constitution. 

Life is a buffet.  Take what you want but eat what you take.

Unless you really want to buy something, don't ask what it costs.  

My son had on a T-Shirt that said this "Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't, The courage to change the things I can and the weaponry to make a difference" I think the message there is sometimes we take life way too serious and a little smile goes a long way.

" Swetzhen Nien da Vider Sheist ". (Don't sweat the small shit, after all it is all small shit)

There are Managers and there are leaders. Managers count everything and manage people like they are an asset not people. In abundant situations, not declining situations, managers make good sense. A manager will figure out the cheapest way to do things and produce an optimum return. When time is short and you really have to minimize the loss you need a leader to take charge and win the battle. When you really need to get the best out of people and there just isn't enough of anything to go around, leaders fit the bill.

When time comes to get down to business and "un-hit that fan load" of manure it is often better to have a leader rather than a manager.



USMS Geiger

In 1968, I went to Vietnam on a boat.  It didn't have a great keel so it went up and down like most ships on the ocean but it also wallowed on the down stroke.  Sea sickness prevailed for most of us the first day or two out of Long Beach,  CA.  It was bad enough that one of my fellow officers was so sea sick that he took to his bed and then sick bay.  They took him off the ship on a stretcher in Subic Bay and flew him the remainder of the way to Vietnam.  yesterday I was kind of bored so I looked up the Geiger on the Internet.  

There was one section of pictures the Internet  and there I was in one of the pictures.  I wondered how the heck my picture got in there until I found the link back to this blog and the fact that it was one of the pictures I posted a couple of years back when I was doing my Military Stories series.   I was glad to find out that the Geiger had a bad fire and it burned to the ground a few years back.  

That leads me to the other point I have today and that is, "Why the hell would anyone want to take a cruise ship?"   This past year or so we had one tip over in a stupid accident and this week we had several hundred people trapped on one for days  because of a small fire.  As I read the stories about the incident, it reminded that the people other than they had beds, had primitive conditions a lot like Vietnam to endure.  

Oh well, there is so much to see right here in the good old USA that you won't find me on a ship soon.  Oh by the Way, the Black Mamba rode fine the other day and other than my leg were up to only about 4 miles, everything is fine.  



A Few things from the Past

Here are a few Pearls of wisdom I have written over time.  

 I really believe that there needs to be a "War of the Worlds" every once in a while to shake things up. But there needs to be a ground truth in what we believe. I would rather have our students learn the truth and have limited knowledge than have them know everything and little of it to be correct.

The last decade of my life is now filled with pretty much whatever we want to do. I tell anyone that will listen that I have everything I need, most of what I want and a WalMart nearby

Is there anyone out there that doesn't know that Social Security was designed to help the poorest of our poor? The headlines in today's paper declared that delaying the retirement age will hurt the poor the most. DUH! I love the book Barb read in which a character said he didn't mind being poor, except for the shortage of cash. DUH! When will we stop being subjected to stupid actions from our Government and having it reported in even a more stupid manner by our Press. Paying off our debt should be done by everyone and yes, because they are poor, it will hurt the poor the most. But who will benefit the most in the long run? Not having around 30% of every dollar Government spent be borrowed will in the long run give us all a break. Who will get the biggest break? the Poor. Duh!

A TSA Agent let a woman in a Burka on a flight after her family protested that she shouldn't have to show her face. My answer to that is stay home or drive if you don't want to have the rules applied to you. If it is politically correct to pat down and make him take off his shoes for a retired Colonel after 31 years of service to his country why the hell would it not be fair to have a Muslim woman show her face to match it with her ID

Yesterday I had a real senior moment. At the Post office the clerk gave me a stamp to put on a letter I was mailing. Like an idiot, I picked it up and licked it. Then, I watched as it failed to stick on the letter. I tried to quietly peel the backing off the self stick stamp and then put it on the letter. Dang, I hate it when things change and I don't remember the new way to do things.

Nothing is free, but limiting ourselves to the old technology when we should know that not investing in some of the changes will pay its self back is stupid. As a prime example, Russia and the United States could have carpet bombed Afghanistan with money for all the money they have spent there in a war. Go as far back as the English and we could have moved every man woman and child from there to anywhere in the world to live in a lifestyle of the rich.