Warts, We Got 'Em

Today on Facebook someone posted a story about why the USA isn't as loved as most of us think.  That person traveled all over and has been gone for a few years.  During that time, a lot has changed here at home and I for one want to make sure that he doesn't continue to paint me and a lot of my friends with his broad brush of false bravado and inflated egos.

Starting with our own Civil War, it should have been pretty clear that not everyone loved the concept of one great big country under the rule of a Republic type Government run from Washington D.C.  There are many of us in Kansas that hate California and would move to Texas if they promised to secede from the rest of the USA.  We will take our money and visit Las Vegas but wouldn't want to live there.

With that said, there is a lot of people out there that would still be under some form of a Dictator, had that person or Government just left the rest of us alone.  Surely everyone knows that the French and the Italian Armies folded their tents faster than a troop of boy scouts ready to go home after a camp out. 

Travel to some of the great places in the world like North Korea, Vietnam, Panama and Belize to see how a low standard of living can just suck the life out of a country and their people.  I won't even get into the life style of the poor and emaciated that is Africa.  One of my friends went to India and they said they threw away their shoes after treading the streets there.  There was no way they were going to pack them in a suitcase and bring them home. 

A few years ago I traveled overseas and decided that there was a lot of the USA I was going to visit before I went overseas again.   There is just no way I can describe the beauty of Phoenix in February. or the true four seasons here in the Heartland.   There are places I couldn't afford to live and wouldn't if I could.  I live where the people are great, the cost of living is OK and I can do pretty much what I want.

I was warned in a lot of countries that I needed to not be critical of the country because I was their guest.  Right here at home I am free to say that I liked Ronald Regan and am not too fond of Barack Obama. 

Oh, By the Way.  The first Gay Basketball Player came out of the closet and admitted he was gay.  I am at a loss why this is a big deal.  If it is just something you are, why didn't that happen a long time ago?  There are some great gay people out there , one that I love a lot.  I don't ever wonder who does what to who any more than I think about the bedroom action of the Heterosexual relatives.  And, there have been some gay people that I just didn't like for many reasons.  None of my dislike had anything to do with their sexual orientation.

So world, we got warts like everyone else and I hope you get to live where the heck you want to.  I am glad that you live there and just for kicks, try to immigrate to Australia without a key  occupation or a bucket load of cash.  Criticize the king of Morocco from there or try to smuggle your bible into Iraq, Iran of Afghanistan.   



I hate Getting Old

Yes, I know when you consider the alternative, getting old isn't the worst thing that can happen to you.  After working pretty hard in the front yard yesterday, I am feeling pretty beat up this morning.  The bad part is I have a couple of days worth of mowing to do and I am not finished with the gutter work.   I have a pretty long list of "Honey Do's" to go with that but all in good time.  My hope is that after a Naproxen Sodium and moving around a while I will be better.

We had dinner with the kids yesterday and went to Texas Roadhouse.  I like the place but they seem to have different quality steaks from time to time.  This time it was OK but nothing nearly as good as I can do with the Hy-Vee meats,  You can really see the marble in their meats and with a light marinade they are always juicy and tasty.  I guess I should have just picked up some meat and cooked at home.  It was kind of nice to get out.

While we were out, the LA Lakers were on TV.  It seems that everyone was mad that Dwight Howard got two Technical fouls and had to leave the game.    Was I the only one that noticed that they were down 3 games to none and about to lose the fourth?  That's like the Federal Transportation Board wanting to take the license away from the Captain of the Titanic because his deck chairs were in the wrong place.  They were about to lose the game and be out of the playoff's people!  Get over it.  Even if you pay a guy 100+ million dollars he can't do it by himself and it is over...   Sometime in Mid August they will conclude the season just in time to start the training camps for next year.  For me, it has been kind of fun to see all the former Jay Hawks playing for NBA Teams.  Even if Paul Pierce is showing the strain of a long season.

When I was an instructor for a Call Center, I bought a CD of Judy Garland because it had "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."  I found it the other day and am listening to it now.  Geez, it is a horrible copy of her music.  She had some pipes and I love her  I'm not sure I can listen to the rest of this CD.  I just changed it to the Rocky IV CD.  The music is dated but it is a heck of a lot better quality. 

Better get on with the day...



Sunday, Sunny Sunday

Yesterday Barb and I went to a local auction to see if we could buy the garden shed they listed.  We found the sheds new for between $1200 and $1800.  I knew it would be a big problem and was OK until the son of the former owner went to $500.  I think it finally went for $825.   We bought a box of tools for $4 to get a good pair of pruning shears.  Barb bought a watering can for $3 and I talked a lady out of two Campbell soup mugs to go with the coffee cups we have.  I am pretty sure the lady paid $4 for the entire box and drove a hard bargain at $5@ for the soup mugs.  The only bad thing was the horrible cold and drizzly day it turned out to be.  We were told it would be 70 and sunny but no such luck.

This morning I went out to get the paper by way of the garage.  I thought I smelled gasoline yesterday and I wanted to see what was the source.    It seems that our back up generator decided to start leaking out of the carb float bowl.  I moved it out side to air the place out and will go back out and drain the tank in a little while.  With the rate gasoline deteriorates I really should not leave gas in the tank.  I need to get back in the habit of  just having gas in the gas can and using that about every 60 days. 

Yesterday as we went out to go to the auction, we stopped at Banjo Belli's Deli for breakfast.  We were met at the door by the daughter of my cousin Kelly.  Rachel Suell is a very talented artist and in her Junior year at Washburn.  I think she changed her major to elementary education with a focus on middle school history.  Cute, smart and talented are all good things to be.

Meacham's Auction is in Kansas City this weekend and I am surprised at the prices.  There will be a car every once in a while that two people will bid the price up on but most of the cars are down 10-20% this year.   It was definitely a buyers market.  Not that I need another car right now, I just like to watch to see the neat cars.  There was one pretty interesting Corvette that I could not for the life of me figure out.  The original owner only drove it 17,000 miles since 1969.  Might be because it had no radio, no power steering, and no A/C.  The crowning insult was it was black.  No one in their right mind would have a black car in the heartland with no A/C. 

Does it cause you to wonder why some people live long and some die young?  I know it is a lot because the genetics you inherited but I sure hope all the sacrifices count for something.  I don't: drink, smoke or chase wild women.  I guess I have lived these 65 years and should be happy with anything beyond that.  I told Barb that I hope everyone knows that I have had the chance to have a great life and I don't have a large unexpired bucket list.  I will try to stay hooked into going places and doing things but when it is over, it will be over. No, I am not in the throws of any malady right now.  But in the words of my good friend Julie, "We are all terminal in this life."  

Better get going and work on my hash brown potato recipe.   I think I need to get the pan really good and hot and leave the alone to crisp.  I also found a jar of white asparagus at Aldi's and I want to try my hand at Spargel Gesouppen.   Oh well...



Cloudy Moods Day

On sunny days, I often have a lot more plans than I can get done.  On cloudy days I seem to want to sit inside and ruminate about the things I cannot change.  Here are just a few of the things that bother me.

I thought as a kid there was a reward for hard work and a good education.  I thought that there was room in our economy for everyone to get up off their butt and be something they would be proud of.  I darn sure thought I could be more than my parents, at least in material possessions.  I am not as sure that I am as convinced as I once was.  I see a lot of people being hired a minimum wage and without any benefits.  Just who the hell is going to pay them what they need to retire when the time come?

Last year, I bought a "Toro" faucet splitter for two outside faucets.   At years end, I found they were frozen to the hoses and even with the Big Blue Water Pump pliers I could not get them apart.  I could not even break them apart so I could use the hoses for a different application.  I trusted our Government to make the manufacturers to make things work properly.  This is a failure that goes way beyond their product not working, it had ruined a pair of hoses that cost a lot more than the splitter.  This wasn't done over years, it was probably only a couple of months in the summer.  At least I have the ability to replace the hose end so I can cut the bad splitter off.  Some people can't.

Today there is a lot of talk that the FBI, the CIA and the State Department all had fair warning that the two Terrorists that planted the bombs in Boston were in fact radicalized.   It now seems that in spite of all the extra dollars we have been spending to make the US safer, they haven't done a much better job of talking than they did when we didn't have a Homeland Defense apparatus.  I sure as hell don't see that they have cut down on the drug flow or the influx of Mexican's across the border. 

Speaking of that, did you know there is a need for almost a half a million immigrant workers to harvest our crops?  The majority of them get workers visas to come here and feed out nation.  There is a hole in that program that allows them to come and not go when it is all done.  I listened to talk radio the other day and the new term OTM in the amnesty bill discussion.  It is those that are Other Than Mexican.  I guess there is some validity to the thought that those people in Mexico that are waiting for Citizenship should not be shoved to the back of the line by those here illegally.  I would give them some form of a green card, a red card or some color card that allows them to stay but not be given full citizenship immediately. 

Is there really a good way to control the gun violence without just taking all the guns away from everyone?   Does registration and background checks stop violence?  Not even a little bit?  There is a drug law in Kansas that tells drug users and people in possession of illegal drugs that if they don't have a Tax Stamp they can be prosecuted more strongly than just simple possession.  Is there any grain of truth in there that can be applied to guns?  Does stronger penalties for the use of a firearm in a crime work?  Do we need some form of penal colonies for people that use guns illegally?  Is there a little Sheriff Arpio in all of us that feels people in jail and prisons should do more to earn their keep and guess what, it is not a fun or nice place to be?

I'd better cut this off before I start turning  to the Dark Side and the inner Dart Vader starts coming out.


Rain, Again

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time working on the downspouts and guttering to try to get the water away the house.  Barb thinks that part of our house creep is being caused by improper drainage.  This morning it is raining and I am glad to have some time off.  The weatherman is predicting rain on and off all day.  

I am not advocating that we stop all news about the Boston Marathon bombing, but is there a limit to what we need to know?  Does anyone really want to hear their mothers tell us that we killed her son?  I am ready for stories of how our citizens are doing in spite of the damage.  I personally don't want to hear any more about the boys except for them to be called terrorists and the survivor get executed.  There was a news segment that was asking the same question I was making.  One of the victims was quoted as saying she doesn't want to know who the bombers were let alone how to say their names, she is doing all she can do to get better.

The five living Presidents were in Texas for the opening of the George Bush (43) Presidential Library.  President Obama then spent time in Waco for the memorial for the emergency responders and fire fighters lost in West, TX.   I know that his time with the families was time well spent for the survivors. 

The other day, I posted a quote on Facebook that I had heard earlier that day. Muslim extremists no more represent the Muslim faith than the Westborough Baptist Church represents Christianity.  So far, there has been little coverage about WBC in the news.    Thankfully.

 We are about to end another school year and the seniors are sending out announcements. Do you have any personal spending limit set on recognition gifts?   I know Barbara will handle this and send a check.  Perhaps limit is not the word I meant to use.  A Guide might be a better word.  Graduation from High School is a big deal and moving on to a form of career training is a big step.  My guide in the past was to go to college but now I recommend training in a career field.  Plumbers, electricians mechanics and nurses are all great careers that don't require a four year degree. 

Better move on to bigger and better things.



Get'n Organized

I have a pretty fine collection of CD's and DVD's that a lot of you would probably call junk. I have a fairly wide taste in music and I think I have mentioned that in the past. It falls somewhere between  eclectic and a collection of stuff.  At least I started my efforts to organize the mess.  I found that there are only 7 cases empty from loss, theft, ineptness or plain forgetfulness.  The only one's that even remotely bother me is the pair of Beetles albums that I enjoyed better in later life than I did when they were the "Thing" in the 60's and70's.  I did find the "Tommy" two CD set but lost the volume 1 jewel case.   Oh well.  A friend helped me make a tape of the Rock Opera Tommy years ago and I still love the music.

I am hoping that I will muster up the energy early enough in the day to get out and finish the flat tire project on the front drive.  I am also looking for a garden shed for Barb. I will probably buy a kit and put it together.  Sam's club had a pretty nice shed but they wanted almost a grand for a shed made out of plastic.  Not sure that is in the size I can truck it home with the "on hand" vehicles.  Perhaps if I emptied out the trailer of the decking scraps that have been in there for six months.  I was kind of waiting for a good use but they weren't really hurting anything for the time being

I hate Mother Earth News!  It gives the master Gardener ideas and I have a pretty long list of projects now.  I guess I can be thankful that Barbara hates chickens.  She stepped in some chicken poop at her Grandmothers many years ago and they are on the list of "Not in my back yard" items.  I guess the crowning insult in that squishing was the fact she was barefooted and it gooshed up between her toes.  A good garden hose and it would be all over for a guy.  I guess little girls are a little more delicate.   Besides, how ever would I ever get a chance to use squished and gooshed one paragraph.

Our local Paper has gone to a new format and I think they just don't understand their target market.  They have made the paper and the type smaller just as their dedicated readership is aging.  Don't they know how hard it is getting to read the fine print?   I may give up and buy a full size reading glasses for the reading room, aka the dining room.  The other problem is that the bulbs are going from incandescent to CF and they just aren't bright enough for me.  Dang I hate getting older.  No excuse me, more mature...

I think I am finally going to get the opportunity to visit Yellowstone this year.  There is a Road Scholar program there about the week after we will make a visit to Idaho.  Barb will not use the trip as a learning experience as much as a photography trip.  I will either have to work on my camera or see if Barb wants to upgrade her's and hand me down her old one to me.  A couple of years ago my D70 fell off the couch with the telephoto lens attached.  It pulled the screws out of the lens retaining ring.  I managed to find all the screws and reattach it to camera.  Long story short, the falling part happened the other day and it pulled those screws loose again.  I will try to mix up a small batch of epoxy and set them in again.  If it works, there will be no way they will ever come out.  If not, no big loss the D70 Nikon has to be working on 10 years old.  It has been a fine camera and pretty sturdy.  There was one time Barbara saw a field of sunflowers and to get the best shot she had to cross a ditch.  The both fell down in the mud an thankfully both cleaned up fairly well.  At least the camera wasn't mad when I laughed.  Yes, I do have to work on my failing to think before I talk or laugh.

Speaking of the stop think then talk part of being related to my mother, I have a great nephew living in Arkansas.  One day on the playground a teacher came out to take one of the students in for some failure on his part.  As he ran away to escape, He hollered, "Run Forrest, Run!" His quote from the Forest Gump movie earned him an in school suspension.  It seems he also failed to remain silent there in the suspension and managed to urn one easy day into a three day in school suspension.  I would have spent a lot of time in the detention room at that age for my mouth. 

Oh well, better move on and try to avoid,   no get a few things done.



Bright New Day

After sleet and snow yesterday, the sun is out and it looks much warmer than it really is outside.  It looks like a typical April day but here at 9 AM it is just above freezing.   Our normal lows are in the 40's and we generally are seeing days in the 60's with a flirting of 70.  The weatherman is promising us that for this weekend but I'm not sure if I trust those guys. 

Yesterday I played with printing some business cards from an online format.  It was kind of fun but then getting the final version past my resident editor was problematic.  In short, the computer did exactly what I told it to do.  The final product looked a lot like the High School cards that I included in my graduation announcements.  I did put numbers and my e-mail address on them but it still felt kid of strange to be at the mercy of the machine format and colors. 

This morning I started to use the Dragon speech recognition program to write this but my efforts fell flat.  It will take some time and practice to get where the normal flow of my voice is good for Dragon.  I think as slow as I type I am able to think and type (Now if I could just learn to type and spell).  Dragon doesn't cut me any slack and it wants to start and stop in inappropriate places.  Right after I finished typing places, I stopped and thought how to tie the next sentence in.  Dragon would wait about a half second and move to the next line. 

This morning I watched a program about Helicopters in Vietnam.  There was a pair of helicopters that extracted about 100 ARVN soldiers in five trips into a hot LZ.  It was kind of funny that several of the higher staff officers were really pissed off that the pilots had done damage to the helicopters and there was even a scuffle over the event.  Finally one General said he was pleased with the result but unhappy about the damage.  That is pretty much what was wrong with that war.  Combat is really how the training of the soldiers kicks in when the need arises that is important.  Two Warrant Officer Pilots were able to save 100 lives of our Allies when things were crunchy.  "Atta Boy Guys!"  

As I moved my computer station around this last week, I discovered a lot of CD's that I haven't listened to for a while.  One of them I am listening to is the theme and music from the TV Series Miami Vice.  Heavy drum beats with synthesizer theme.  Kind of neat to hear what I haven't been listening to for many years.  I also have many strange CD's that I picked up at different times and places.  There is a collection of Pan Flutes that is the music of the Andes.  One of them is even Christmas themes.  I haven't listened to that one again, yet. 

It was very nice that on what would have been my mother's 91st birthday I got a nice Oil Royalty check in the mail.  Thanks mom.  In her honor, we had the kids over for dinner and had pie for dessert.   What do you do when you have left over pot roast and potatoes?  Yep, make a great stew.  It was cold and windy and a good meal of hot steaming soup was just the ticket.  I tried to not imitate what my dad would have done.  I only used half of a stack of crackers and I used Chipotle Tobasco not catsup. 

The other day I watched a program about coffee.  I had no idea that there are two kinds of coffee and one is kind of considered a filler and inferior brand.  I'm currently surfing the kinds of coffee I buy and have not hit just the right kind.  I am far from a coffee snob but I do enjoy a full flavored cuppa coffee.  I really don't enjoy the over roasted flavor of Starbucks.  There is a fine line there and I haven't found it yet.

Oh well, moving on to a better and brighter day.  Hope you have one too.




Did You Ever Have One of Those days?

The other day I went out to see if I could get the tow behind mower to work.  It sat outside all winter and it took a little work to get it to run.  It still needs a little time running to blow the crud out of the jets.  But that wasn't the biggest problem.  The little tractor had a flat tire and there is where the real problem started.   Being a bicycle rider, I did have a flat tire repair kit in the kit on the back of the seat.  Guess What happens to rubber cement if you don't use it?  It turns into some thick stuff that no longer has the ability to glue a patch on a tube.   I shot the tire full of fix a flat and got some new glue.

Evidentially there is something in the Fix a Flat liquid that also causes a e patch to fail and I had to drive all over the place to find a tube that fit.  Finally I found one in North Topeka and just as I got home it started raining.  Now the tractor is sitting in the driveway still up on a jack. 

Oh well, it will top snowing someday and perhaps it might even get warm enough to let me get back out and finish the job.  Kind of like the story of most of my projects.  If I have the energy to finish what I started, I don't have the energy to pick up and organize my tools.  Oh well, I know where they are...


In With New, Out With The Old

Many moons ago, I bought a Lexmark Printer and over the years, it has served me fairly well until I updated the operating system on my computer.  The Lexmark 2300 printer limped into the newer operating system only because somewhere on line Windows found a driver that would make it work.  On the new computer, either Windows didn't want to find the old driver or it decided that I needed a new printer.  I went to Wally World and found an HP that had a new driver included.  Seems to work fine for now.  I still haven't found the software program that will let me print business cards.  I have a box of blank but nothing seems to want to print multiple copies on any one page.  Here is a Draft

Dennis Petty
Old Retired Army Guy
Critter Feeder
Recumbent Bike Rider
Jack of All Trades (Good at most of them)
Rabbit Run Head Laborer
I will skip all the knitty gritty stuff like the e-mail and telephone number for the draft card.
For the record, here it is 23 Apr 2013 and it is snowing in the Heartland.  There is a turkey feeding about 25 feet south of the house.  He is stirring the leaves and eating whatever he find underneath. He is moving so slow that he has at least an inch of snow on his back. I am a little curious about what is good enough to eat under a pile of leaves, but not enough to go out and see for myself. 
 We are scheduled to drive to KC for lunch but if it continues to snow I'll bet it gets called off.  The monthly lunches started as a gathering of the Petty Girls and someone finally decided that Barb should get an invitation seeing as she is really one of the Petty girls. They let me come along as the designated driver.   Just got a call that the lunch has been snowed out...
Yesterday evening I went down to the trail camera and put out some corn.  Evidentially the coons ate all the corn last night as there is a deer standing by the pan looking at the empty pan and then up at the house like I should bring some more out.  Fat Chance.
Well, like the radio guy once said, "It's a Great Day in KAKELAND."  Have one...


Funny What they Remember

As a kid, I grew up in a family where my Mom stayed home most of the time.  She wasn't the best homemaker, but boy did she have great hugs.   She was also one of the most inventive cooks I had ever met.  Her goal was to make a great meal and cook it all in one pot.  Several meals come to mind -Chili and cornbread,  Ham and Beans and her famous Spanish Rice with pork chops.  If you went away from the dinner table hungry, it was your own fault.

I know this comes as a surprise to the nieces and nephews because they saw Mom at the end of her cooking life and think she was a lousy cook.  I think most of that came from the last time she made chili for one of our family soup meals.  Her eyesight was about gone because of macular degeneration and she used heaping helpings of cinnamon instead of chili powder.  That had to be about the most disgusting chili I ever ate.  Change that to never ate.  One taste to confirm that it tasted like it smelled.  I smelled cinnamon and thought oh great cinnamon rolls and chili.  WRONG!

Barbara fixed a great breakfast of Cinnamon raisin bread made into French toast.  As we were sitting there, I told her about the theme of my Mom's cooking and she reminded me of some of Mom's failures and good meals.  On the list of failures was the Sour Cream Raisin pie and Minced Meat pie that Mom made for years until all of us told her that we would not eat either one.   Mom also made a mystery meat spread that we would consume in large quantities until one day I was home sick and saw what she made it out of.  Beef Tongue and Beef Heart ground up with enough mayonnaise, a little pickle and some celery.   It was good until I spilled the beans about what was in it.  The last of the things that should have not been on the table was Mom's pimento cheese spread. 

On the list of things my Mom did that was good was Bieroaks. Bier rocks or Kraut cabbage rolls.  I could eat my weight in those hamburger, onions and cabbage rolls.  Barb also remembers the first meal she had in Kansas was one of Mom's baked steak and potato packets baked in the oven.  Mom always put onion under the steak and put the potato on top.  Yummy stuff.  For the record, I will skip all of the pot roasts that mom would put in the oven on high and go to church.  Now that I think about it Dad did just cover the meat with catsup and keep on trucking.  She did make a great chili and my Dad would cover it with catsup and half a package of crackers.

My dad was one strange guy.  Mom would buy a chocolate cake and a half gallon of vanilla ice cream. Dad would take this humongous bowl and cut the cake in half and cut the ice cream in half and the rest went to the family.  I don't think he hardly ever ate anything that wasn't covered with catsup and with a side of crackers.   Dad walked to work at the Beech Aircraft plant down the road.  Every noon, he would come in the house, open and put a can of Oyster stew  on the stove and go to the bathroom. He would wash his hands and come out and put that can of soup in a bowl. Crackers, a hurried eat and off he would go.  That went on for over 35+ years.  I don't think any of the kids would touch that oyster stew.   Oh well.

Just this last week, I put out my mother's birthdate to a couple of friends.  You would think that I could remember that my Brother Rick was born the day before her 30th birthday.  Yes, I missed Rick's birthday.  I did give him a belated birthday shout out on Facebook a day late but crap I hate that I missed it.  Mom was born on 4/23/22 so she would have been 91 today.

Birthday Boy - Rick Petty

 This past week, I was going to stop feeding the critters down the hill.  Barb convinced me that perhaps a couple more bags of corn wouldn't hurt our budget and might do the critters some good.  I think they have a bell or something that tells them that I have come out with some more food.  Barb said that she saw the turkeys stop at the empty pan and came up the hill to make sure I knew they needed more food.   We have some great male turkeys eating at Che Petty. 

Better get running,  See you on the flip side.



He Shot My Jeep

In the 70's, the National Guard hired a lot of unit members to recruit.  My unit In Horton, KS was very fortunate to have a great soldier available to Recruit.  The unfortunate thing was the lack of support the recruiters have today.  To provide transportation, the recruiter used the Battery Commander's Jeep.  In some ways, I'm sure the recruits liked to travel in the jeep but it did create some strange events.  This is one of them.

One Friday evening, I stopped by the Armory to take my jeep to Fort Riley.  The unit XO would bring the guns and the remainder of the battery later.  I drove early to meet with the Battalion Commander and his staff.   As luck would have it, it was raining.

My first clue there was something wrong was a drip of water that fell on my knee.  Drip after drip until my knee was fairly wet.  Having been in Vietnam during the Monsoon season, I was not unduly alarmed by a little water, but it was an unusual pace to have a leak. It was dark and I could not see the source of the leak so I just made a mental note to check it the next day in the daylight. Yep, right there where I expected, there was a patch in the canvas top on the jeep.  There was also a place in the metal frame over the windshield that looked like a patch had been welded in. 

Now my curiosity was at a peak.  I found the Unit Administrator and man did he not want to tell me what had happened.  With a promise to not seek punishment for the offender, he finally told me the story.  My unit recruiter was also a hunter and as he traveled up and down the dirt roads in North East Kansas he keep his eyes open for coyotes. 

As luck would have it, one day my recruiter was driving down the road and there on the far horizon was a coyote.  He stopped and threw his gun on the canvas roof and taking aim with the scope he shot that coyote.  The coyote just ran off and my recruiter was just surprised that he missed.  When he got back in the jeep, he realized his mistake.  The rifle being a couple of inches lower than his scope, he had a great view of the coyote but.... He shot my jeep.  We had a lot of good laughs over that.


Where Do They Get This Stuff?

Just as fast as the reporters got to Watertown, MA the MSU began.  What you haven't heard what MSU is?  Making Stuff Up.   When the microphones should go silent and we get returned to the normal programming, the talking heads begin to chatter and MSU.  Then, the Networks begin to put together stuff to have a special and we start seeing advertisements for the MSU programming that without vetting. It will be noting more than a collection of "stuff."  Then, just as the celebration begins and a news conference starts to pat the good guys on the back, the stupid questions begin.  After being told that they could not speculate on ongoing investigation with specifics, another talking head asks for specifics.  Finally some one closes the briefing and you can hear the empty talking heads still shouting questions like they didn't hear the response the first time.  The really sad thing is the Pulitzer Prize people will reward this pack of jackals with awards come fall.  

Do you want to know what is the story of my life?  Just as I find a group that I love, they go into some form of hiatus.  Jennifer Nettles and the group Sugarland put out an album called "The Incredible machine" and now nothing since.  OK, I know she is at home playing first time mother to her new child but, I want more incredible music like their album.  I went out and bought their first album and it sucked after listening to the new Album.  Kristin Bush and Jennifer are as innovative as Bobby McFerrin and his "Don't worry Be Happy" album.  They make sounds and are as joyous as Bobby.  The "Incredible Machine" album also has a DVD of some of the moments they had making the music and in concert.    I think the smiles they had in that DVD are the kind of moments we all want to have.

By the time you read this, the hit count on this blog is going past 120,000.  It makes me wonder more and more if there is that kind of readership for a compilation of my war stories.  I am torn between a "Catch 22" kind of story and "Platoon."    I really want to laugh and yet I don't want to make War seem like some amusing way to pass the time.  I had a returning soldier tell me that, "War is a really good way to get killed."  Yep Pilgrim, that's the way I see it.  But with that said, there is a bunch of funny stories hidden in the hours and hours of work and the intense moments of insanity.   I laugh till I cry at times.  The good news is that as I get older, the distance from the battlefield makes the bad times fade. 

Private Petty in Basic training

I wonder sometimes if I should put my Dragon headset on and take a long drive with Barbara.  Just let the words flow and see what happens.  I am pretty sure that Barbara has listened to most of my stories so many times that she could tell them.  Every once in a while she will comment that she hadn't heard that story but that happens less and less all the time.  I guess after 45 years together there is little new left.  Kind of like my saying that nothing cures nudity after the age of 50 than a full length mirror.  There just are things you really don't want people to see.

Yesterday I got the tractor out and got busy moving some of the junk out of the woods so I can haul it off.  Now I need to find a junk hauler that will take it for the value of the metal.  Right now I have two truck frames and an old truck cab in the waiting pile.  There is still a "Parts Car" that I haven't figured out how to get it up by the upper field. Oh well, that's another day.



Green Fair Hell, It Might Snow

I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature about the Global Warming effect here in Kansas.  Normally you can plant after April 15th without much fear of frost.  Not so much this year.  In fact our daytime highs of the 60's for a normal year would be a blessing.   The only good thing I know is that all the rain from the cold fronts passing by is much needed and if that's the price we must pay for rain, I'll wear a coat for a little while longer.  Yes, I know the difference between Climate and Weather.   I gotta have something to write about don't I.

As an added feature for my new computer, Dave installed Dragon, that program that lets you dictate to your computer rather than type.  It will take me a while to get to where I understand all the rules and processes that will make it faster.  I am looking forward to using it as I sit down to write more of my book.  I don't think I will be another success like Lew Grizzard who was able to use his column and write books from them.  I have enough words in the 2,300 posts but I am not sure it is material that will carry over to the medium of a book.  Perhaps a coloring book but I am kind of looking forward to writing not coloring. 

Barb and I made a road trip yesterday to Arnold's Greenhouse down by Leroy, Kansas.  I am proud of her because she managed to get them to refund the cost of a Magnolia Tree she bought there last year and this trip only cost me about $40.00 after the refund.  Yes, I know she buys great plants and this summer things will look great.  She is trying to focus on perennials and most of them make it from year to year.  I wish we had the same luck getting our Kansas Wildflowers to grow.  I think I am going to have to break down and build a greenhouse and start them inside.  We have had very little luck just broadcasting the seeds on the ground.  I am interested in seeing if our experiment last year of covering them with newspaper and clippings will help.  So far I am not seeing much new green popping up.

I was going to stop feeding the deer and turkeys but  Barb looked at the pictures and said they all look like they could use a little help for a month or so. More the deer than the turkeys.  They look like a good Thanksgiving meal to me.  I really don't plan on shooting any of them but it is good to know if I had to eat, there is a good supply nearby.

There has been a lot said to support our troops in the past few years.  I want to pass some of that praise on to the  Police, firemen and emergency workers that have done an outstanding job this past week.  Just as I want to shout Ho ray for the capture of the second Bomber, I am reminded that several of the people who are missing in West, Texas were emergency volunteer fire fighters.  Based on the blast, it would not surprise me that they were vaporized and will never be recovered.  I will send a few dollars there when they start the drive to build a memorial to the loss.  Now, we need to start the move to make sure the fertilized plants are all moved out in the county instead of in the cities.  Had that explosion happened in the middle of the day I would hate to think how many school children they would have lost.  From the pre blast picture, the high school was on one side off the plant and an elementary school was on the other. 

Oh well, off to an adventure in Lawrence.  Have a great day and weekend out there.



They Didn't Get It!

As I have traveled the world, I have seen a lot of systems of Government and all you have to do is to open you eyes to see what a wonderful country we have.   Our Freedoms are the result of oppressed people coming here after living under tyrannical forms of Government.    I walk down the streets and see our police and say, "Thank You."  I see them as the people enforcing my freedoms not trying to take them away from me.  Even when as a teenager I almost lost my license for speeding, I can see all they wanted me to do was to slow down and drive safe.

Yes, individuals that come here with evil in their mind don't see what I see and I find that sad.  I think a small Government and a well armed citizenry is important.  The great thing is what you see is what you see and while we are different, you are not wrong.  I also think our Freedom of Speech is also a beautiful thing. 

In fact, I think this is one of the problems we have in our country right now.  Some of our young people don't see the ability of people through a good education and hard work to lead a great life.  All I had to do was listen to my father and know in my heart of hearts that I could live by the sweat of my brow or the success of my efforts.   I could make a living by digging ditches but I chose a loftier goal. The other day I dug up a faulty yard faucet and appreciate the fact that I had the good sense to get a good education and work hard.

In my wildest dreams I never imagined a life as good as I have it.  My wish for you is that you find what you have to be pretty darned good.  Getting what you want is not nearly as good as wanting what you have.   I worked my entire life with my eyes on the future and I for one am not one bit disappointed.  I am sad that many young people don't Get It!

Just feeding the critters in my corner of the world



Nice Talk with the VA Doctor

Today I went in early and had the full routine of tests taken and then a couple of hours later I had a nice visit with the Doctor the VA has assigned to my case.  There is a Doctor, an RN, an LPN and an aide that is on my roster of assigned people.  Any time I have a direct contact with the VA one of them will review the outcome.  That person then ensures that the other team members know what was done and the outcome.

According to the Doctor, I need to get in line as I am very typical of most 65 year old men.  He was pleased that I am on medication for what ails me and all the tests are in the normal range.  The fact I do not smoke, drink and am fairly moderate in my diet puts me in pretty good stead.  He has many patients that don't follow the advice of the Doctors.  He mentioned the old Army motto of - "Never pass up a chance to eat, nap or go to the bathroom." 

The VA does not have a clue what will come of the VA system and their support to veterans under Obamacare.  He indicated that the determination of Service Connect will be more important as the new system stands up.  As more and more people have Health Insurance under the new law, there will be less need for the VA to try to provide for those individuals that are not service connected on their disability.  He said that even now if a person doesn't have at least an annual contact with the VA they have to reapply for service. 

I am blesses to have both Medicaid and the Tri-Care for life from my Military Retirement.  I am also blessed to be able to afford to have the dental, glasses and other services not fully paid for.  I know that as we all near the end of our lives, the support of a good medical system is very important.



Weathering the Weather

Instead of the warm dry weather we have had over the last couple of years, we are in the middle of one of those collisions of a cold and warm front over Kansas.  The good news is that our sub-soil moisture can sure use the additional rain that will fall over the next 48 hours.   What we hope doesn't come with this storm is the hail or tornadoes that Kansas is famous for. 

Joplin after their tornado

Yes, I get the climate versus weather speech from Barbara regularly.  But after 45 years she hasn't given up trying to change me.   You have to give her an A for effort.   In my much younger years, I learned so many things the hard way that it just seems natural to rely on that hard learned knowledge to help me do the right thing.  The problem is that as I age, I find some of that "Lesson Learned"  stuff harder to dredge up to help.  It is kind of like being a kid again and learning lessons the hard way. 

This week, Barbara and I discussed my desire to visit Yellowstone National Park. Yesterday a flier from Road Scholar arrived and there is a week long experience early in August.  The good news is that is right on the heels of a family gathering planned near the first of August.  My Birthday is the 1st and Barb's Mom's birthday is the 2nd.  This is the year her Dad turns 90  and I think they will try to celebrate it all in one fell swoop.  I think there is a party planned for my Uncle, Warren,  in Denver planned for the week prior to that celebrating his 90th Birthday and if possible I will try to get in all of the celebration I can.  

This past week I walked all over Rabbit Run Farm with  Waldo, the Dachshund I was dog sitting.  I found that there a lot of things I need to haul up to the front gate and have hauled off.  I kind of knew they were there but had turned a blind eye to most of it.  There is one Big old red rock that I am sure that Barb would love to have as a centerpiece for one of her gardens.  The rest of the junk is old car and truck parts, some of which was here when we bought the place.  The bad news is that none of it has a lot of value.  I might be able to have it hauled off for the value of the scrap.  (I Hope) 

One thing that is disappointing right now is the lack of good days to ride our bikes.  The one day it got o70 this past week, it was so windy that it would have been a hell of a lot more work than fun to ride.  Barb's back has been out of whack so she isn't in any shape to ride for a few days.  The only good thing about that is the weather won't be nice for a few more days.

Oh well, I hope you can find a place in your life to smile and take a moment to be glad for the things you have.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I might and the wisdom to know the difference.   

May you have sunny days and enough wind to turn your turbine



Funny True Story

Barbara was a Special Education Teacher for 30+ years and she has talked with many of them about their vacations, weekend and trips. She asked one of her students how his trip to Grandmother's went.  He said it was terrible.  A Fox got one of the hens and left a whole nest of eggs.  Grandmother took the eggs and put them under a duck that was nesting.   The chicks hatched and things went along fine.  (Barbara actually called the child's mother to verify that this part wasn't a tall tale.)

The mother duck took the whole brood down to the pond and swam away.  The ducklings did likewise but the chicks all drowned.  Chickens don't know how to swim.  To this day, I will say peep, peep, glub, glub and Barbara will smile. 


Thoughts from the News Today

I am sad that someone so hates people that they would plant bombs near the Boston Marathon.  When we were in Atlanta for the Olympics, a bomb went off in the early AM.  Someone asked me if I was there and my reply was, if you ever catch me up at 3 AM for a Rock Concert, kick my butt because I'm either crazy or drunk.

I saw that the Defense Department medal for those drone pilots has been stopped.  I don't mind them getting recognition but it would be a service award like the Defense Service Medal not anywhere near the level of the Bronze Star.  They could be awarded the Army or Air Force Achievement Medal.  I think there could even be some award like Aviator wings if it had a model airplane on it.

I saw a little of the WNBA draft coverage yesterday.  Brittany Griner was the first pick.  Duh, she has to be about the best female player and I for one would love to get to meet her.  Baylor should be proud that she choose to play there. 

This morning the paper had an article about the KU Senior Award Banquet.  It was noted that there was no 1000 point scorer on this team.  Mostly it is because they have had players that stayed for most of their 4 years and it has been hard to get playing time.  My  favorite player on this KU team has been Travis Releford.  I hope that some NBA team picks him up because he is the defender that has shut the door on the other team's scorer.  His hard work and hustle will carry him far.  I have also enjoyed Kevin Young's play this year.  Rock Chalk Guys!

There was an interesting story today that the deadline for filing your Federal taxes really isn't April 15th if you don't owe any money.  It has been a long time since that has been the case for me.  I try to not let them have anymore of my money than is needed.  The only deadline is April 15th to file and pay if you owe them. 

For the record, I checked the Obits and the Funny Page and I wasn't on either one. 



Funny Dog Stories

As you could tell from the post yesterday, I was dog sitting with Waldo over the weekend.  Here are just a few of the things that were fall down funny that happened during his visit.

Yesterday there was a Basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and the LA Lakers.  I didn't really want to watch the game but from time to time I would swing by the channel to see the score.  Evidentially there was just the right amount of moisture in the air and the players squeaked a lot as they stopped and started.  Every time that happened, Waldo would jump up and run over under the TV and look up.  He must have been able to hear the noise much better than I could. 

Barb has a "Bird Clock" on the wall in the living room.  When the birds sang at the top of each hour, It would wake up Waldo and he would dash over by the clock. 

About 1:15 on Saturday, Barbara needed to go over to the Library for a Green Fair as a part of her Master Gardener duties.   I left Waldo in the house for the short time I was gone.  He managed to set off the ADT system by barking.  At least they didn't call the Police to come out and see what the problem was.

Last night right after it got dark, I took Waldo out for a walk.  As we crossed the area Barb calls the orchard, I kicked one of the plastic coffee cans Barb uses to water the trees.  The noise scared Waldo and he took off running.  He was so fast that it jerked the control handle for the retractable leash out of my hand.  About the time Waldo go on the rock part of the driveway, here came the leash winding up the excess cord.  He thought he was about to be had by something and he took off even faster.  He final slowed down as he approached the house and I was able to catch him.  He went inside and he shook for at least 15 minutes.

When I told Barb about that, she told me that yesterday a big Owl flew on the patio and grabbed one of the big squirrels and ate him in a nearby tree.  I guess it does suck to be a part of the lower food chain.




A friend of our family went to Saint Louis to tour the Budweiser Brewery.  They have a nice little Dachshund named Waldo that needed someone to look after him.  Because I just had Taco put down, my Daughter-in-law thought it might be a good experience for me to dog sit. 

I had forgotten how much work it is to dog sit.  It was probably good for me to get up and get out about once every two hours, except at night it was kind of a pain.  Waldo is a good little Dachshund and really gave as much affection as he got.  If it were to be long term, I would move the feed time earlier so he didn't need a 5 AM dump.  He wasn't that much trouble except that he wanted to jump up on Barbara who has a sore back and didn't appreciate the bouncing. 

I think this was a good experience for me and kind of knocked down my desire to get a dog right away.  I have flirted with the idea of raising one of those service dogs in training.  A Golden Retriever would be just the ticket.  They are about the smartest dogs and can be gentle and loving.  I had one in the early 90's and he was crazy about fetch.  Give him a tennis ball and he would spend as much time as you had bringing it back. 

I have my new computer but it has a few glitches yet.  I will get David over to look at it one of these days after I find all the bugs.  I have my Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 but it doesn't seem to be working correctly.  Could be it is loaded on the laptop and there is some kind of a key to unlock.  I'm sure there is some minor glitch.

For some reason I have to go out and manually load the wireless internet so I might just see if I can make the wire work.   We'll see.

Today there has ben a world full of discussion about all the relevant topics.   The top of the list is the President's proposed Budget of 3.7 Trillion.  It is smaller than it could be but it still exceeds the forecasted revenue by about a Trillion.    Not acceptable in my book.  His excuse is that it is revenue neutral in 10 years.  That's just smoke and mirrors and if I did that I would be broke tomorrow morning.

There are a lot of people that are saying Housing is back on the up tick.  The interest rates are getting pretty darned low but the employment market is still pretty iffy.  The only sector that is growing is the minimum wage food service market but most of them are sharing an apartment of living in the parent's basement.  I can't wait to see how the Affordable Healthcare Act will impact them.  Until they are 27 it won't but just wait. 

Better get off here and get the Taxes Done.




I don't understand how the Conservatives can run around and shout that we have too much Government and don't want more Government Intrusion in our lives and then oppose Abortion.  What a woman wants to do with the advice of her Doctor is not something that I want my Government involved with. 

The Congress is about to mess with the ownership of  legal weapons to help solve the illegal use of guns.  That is to me a lot like cutting off your foot to prevent Athlete's Foot.  People that worry about background checks are going to hate their next physical.  The Doctor's are required to ask us about depression and thoughts of suicide.  Do you think that the Government data bases are not going to flag this when the Affordable (Their Definition) Health Care Bill gets fully implemented?   To help solve the problem of who is going to pay the medical bills, the Congress passed a Camel not a horse.  It is those extra's that will hump those that can pay now into a whole new category. 

Then again, while I sit here and complain, there are a bunch of people that must not care at all.  In our last local election, only 17% of the people got out and voted for the local school board.  92% of the Congress had a failing rating by all the polls and nearly 90% of those running were re-elected.  Either there is 100% disapproval of those that didn't run or the electorate are schizophrenic in their choices.   Your Congressman/woman must suck, mine not so much. 

There is a group of women that are planning a camping trip next weekend and the prediction is rain.  First of all, the weathermen are predicting and I will leave their accuracy alone, but who pays attention to long range forecasts anyway?  In my book, roughing it is not getting a pool side room at the Holidome and having to walk down a couple of halls to get to the pool.  I would think that going to one of their houses and baking cookies and having the chance to chat with tea of coffee would be good enough.  Guys would want to have a bunch of lawn chairs in a garage with a TV and they would be fine. With guys, beer is mandatory, cookies are optional.

Yesterday I ran into one of the most cute young ladies I have seen in a while.  My mind raced through the facial recognition data bases to come up with a name.  I happened to be going the same direction and she walked over to my cousin Kelly Seuell.  Duh, she is Rachel, Kelly's daughter.  It had been a while since I last saw that skinny young girl that is now a beautiful young woman.  Kelly is just back from a cruise and looks great.  We kind of compared notes on the kids and she has three of her kids attending Washburn University.  No new cars for them for a couple of years.   Rachel is seriously looking to teach History in the Middle School.  We wish her well.

The Local paper had an article today about the average pay for the teachers in the surrounding area. Our Shawnee heights (USD 450) has the highest average.  Well Duh, they have the most experienced teachers and they stay there because of the support from the students and parents.   Most of our students live in two parent homes where they get support, 3 square  meals a day and a great community to live in.  Isn't that what we really want for all of our kids?  I contend that we make it difficult for poor families to stay together by making it easier to get aid if they are separated.  Another change I would make in my perfect world. 

With all that said, I will move on and day dream about the way things should be.

Is that a Wal*Mart in the background?



Tax Time?

Every year I start out the Tax Season with a card table here by the computer.  I load the latest Turbo Tax and start to work.  If there were a refund involved, I would file immediately.  Because I don't normally, I put it on hold until the last week before the 15th deadline.  Getting pretty close so I'll probably work on it today.

I think mother nature is a sadist.  Our temperatures have bounced between 40 and 70 for a couple of weeks now and just when Barb thinks it will stay above freezing, bam tonight night high 20's.  At least there has been a little moisture in this cold snap but not near enough.  It fell as hail just west of here.  They had inch size hail that covered the ground.

Yesterday there was some talk on the news about how some people may be "Liable" for what they say on the internet.  This is a disclaimer that anything you read here or on my Facebook account is worth what you pay for it.  Any resemblance to absolute fact is a joke.  I am pretty sure that I even say so in the information at the side of the posts.  What you get here is a collections of stories and opinions from an old guy and that is filtered by what I can remember not necessarily through education.  For want of a better term, I will cal it "Faction" as I intended to tell the truth and only the truth but how much fun would that be.  Without embellishment, no one would want to learn history. 

Dave and I made a mad dash over to KC yesterday to visit Computer Mart.  It takes him about 30 minutes to say hello .  I can't imagine where he gets that.  Must be from his mother.   I bought a new wireless keyboard for the new computer and am learning to use it here on the old computer as I write this.  The feel is different and often I fail to hit the space bar with enough fore to space the words out as needed.  I can see the old notebook keyboard above the new keyboard and I can see s divot where I used my thumb to hit the space bar.  I guess I need to learn typing on this one.  I learned on a manual typewriter and because it was in poor shape I have to hunt and poke keys more than I would like.  It is harder to unlearn how to type than it was to learn.  Writing this stuff isn't that hard, making it correct is a lot harder.  Thank god for spell checker.  

Did you ever loose the desire to find new things to cook?  For some reason I just don't feel that need to be a gourmet cook right now.  I think by lunch time I will be over that.  I have some of the best grilled/smoked chicken and pork in the fridge but no real great ideas.  

OH WELL, ON WITH THE DAY. (Damn keyboard)



Going to Kansas City

If I  can link up with Dave, I will make another computer run to Kansas City to go to the Computer Mart Store.  Perhaps I will find enough out to know what the heck we did or didn't do right.  It might be that knowing will be beyond my integrative and cognitive capacity (I won't understand a word he says) but a chance to spend a couple of hours with him will be a treat.  

Barbara has been working with the insurance companies over the valuation of our houses.  For the most part, they are giving us quotes that are at least 1/3 more than it would cost to rebuild.   To add insult to injury, the County Assessor told us that one of the houses dropped at least 5% in value.  We went over to their office today to do battle with that dragon.  Someday I want the appraised value, the real worth of the house and the insurance value to kind of be in the same ballpark.  

Barbara just told me that a Lawyer from Oklahoma  just called and has accepted the case that the "Schmoe Girls" are  working on.  I won't go details here because there is still a lot to be done and a long way to go.  I do want to thank Barbara and her sister Shirley for the time it has taken so far.  Warning to any of you out there that think they can gang up on any member of that family.   They seek justice any way they can get it and fair isn't always the way.

There are ways to change the Constitution in a legal manner.  I think it is cowardly to change the 2nd Amendment  by executive orders or passing laws that are clearly not in the spirit of the amendment.  Do it the right way or be man enough to admit that you are wrong.  Checking on me if I want to buy a weapon won't stop the illegals from buying one illegally.   Do a crime with a gun and go to jail.  Do not pass go, do not have any provision to bond out or time off for good behavior.  Prisoners should have to earn their keep and the cost of the jailers.  No BS country clubs for people that use guns to commit crimes.  

Oh well, better get on with my day and cool off.

If something smells, we all should call it.



Monday Morning Headlines

As a kid, we drove down Central Avenue in Wichita all the time.  There was a Catholic High School there called Kapun.  My dad told me that it was named that after a Priest that died in Korea.   Not much was ever said that I heard.   Today, the paper had a good article that tells of his exploits and the announcement that he will be awarded the Medal of Honor.  As I read the story, I hoped that the previous recipients of the Medal feel like I do and they will be honored to have have Father Kapun in that august group.   He truly lived and died in the highest traditions of the Medal.    

Army Medal of Honor

One misconception is that the awarded persons  "wins the award."   The person is awarded the honor after he or she conspicuously  performs an act of that is above and beyond the normal scope of duty.  In the case of Father Kapun, he was captured by the North Koreans and died while administering to the soldiers in the camp.  The stories of his bravery and sacrifice brought tears to my eyes as I read the story this morning.   It has taken from the early 1950's to today to have his story brought forward.

As much as I have laughed at some of the antics the Kansas Congress has tried, they have at least done one thing right.  The other article in the paper was that the National testing caused by "No Child Left Behind" has finally been laid to rest.  I fully support the goal of having the best educational system we can have. I want every child to be given our best and I want there to be no child not provided our best.  With that said, there are kids that won't get it no matter ho much we give them and that isn't the fault of the schools.

There are homes across the Nation where the parents just don't give their children the support to help them learn.  If the parents buy computers games for the kids to play and don't stress reading they will not be as successful as children that read and learn at every opportunity. 

Barbara was a Special education teacher for a lot of years and I saw how hard she worked to help those kids do their best.   She tested each child and from the results built an individual education plan for them.  I saw the results of her hard work and saw many of her kids go on and do well in school.  I remember one year when she was so proud of one of her students when they passed the State Assessment.  

So, every once in a while there are articles to make my day and today there were two.  



Play Hard, Win or Go Home!

Another year of basketball is about to close.  Michigan and Louisville will play Monday night and even though I don't really care about either team, I will probably watch.  I think it was remarkable that Kansas had three teams in the tournament and watched them play until each lost.  As much as I want to claim the referees caused them to lose, the truth is they all played and lost.  There is no reason to blame the players, the referees or the coaches, someone had to lose and in the end, only one team will survive and be the Champion.  66 teams should be proud of their season.

Friday started with digging a hole to fix the faucet out in the yard.  It was just enough bending to make my back sore and I didn't get nearly as much done yesterday as I had hoped.   In spite of the weather cooperating, I just didn't get the bike out and make circles.  I hope to do so today.  Then for sure I will BBQ some meat.  I think I have a big package of chicken and some pork lion slices.  I am not sure which I like the best.  I think for eating right off the grill, the pork is my favorite but the chicken added to other things is pretty darned good.  There is just almost no way I could ever pass on my smoked chicken enchiladas.  

Does anyone else wonder what the heck people in Washington, D.C. could be thinking.  Think about all the brain power there and how they come up with the solutions they do just boggles my mind.  A few years back, the Guard came out with a program that told the States to do their best to implement Total Quality Management.  Instead of using it to tweak the way we did business, many people wanted to scrap what we were doing and literally "Threw out the baby with the bathwater."   Instead of using new ways to look at processes, they stopped doing everything the way it had been done.  To me it is the way the new Health Care Initiative has been done.  Instead of looking for ways to tweak the system a part at a time they passed a bill written by the lobbyist and not read by near enough of the Congress.  There are a few things we needed to change.  Having everyone included or at least able to get insured by a pool of everyone is a good idea.  It has really turned into a universal Health Care that I am not sure we can afford.  For now, I am covered by Medicare and Tri-Care from my military service but I'm sure that the Government will find ways to make me pay more soon.   

A while back, I read that the States need to try to make changes to the way things are done.  This should allow for the really good ideas get tested.  Yep, the Kansas Republican party has driven through some changes that seem to me to be a bridge too far.  In the near term, they are trying to stop the State Income Tax but I fear the next round of Sales Tax increases will raise the cost of living a tad too far.  We'll see.

Oh well, enough of this banter, moving on for the day.  have a great day out there y'all.



One Shovel Full at a Time

Yesterday when Barb got the water bill ready to pay again, she noticed the bill was at least double what we had paid most of last year.  I had narrowed the leak down to the new yard faucet out by the garden.  When the water was turned off in the house, I could still hear water running when I put my ear up to the faucet.  It is one of those yard faucet that is supposed to have a "Drain Down" feature so it doesn't freeze.  Well, it just leaked out of the weep hole all the time.  

Guess who's job it is to fix such things?  Yep, I got the shovel out and while I was waiting for the excavating company to call I just dug one shovel full at a time.  Got down to the drain hole and water was spurting out.  I shut the water off at the meter and pulled the faucet.  Put a pipe cap over the end of the connecting hose and all's well until the plumber can come out on Thursday next week.    I really like having the yard faucet but hate the fact this one failed.  

I kind of thing that digging that hole is kind of like an analogy for life.  I could have hired the hole dug but by taking it easy and digging one shovel full at a time it got done.   I could have waited for the plumber to come over next week and have him dig the hole but I don't want a plumber to dig at plumber's wages.  I dug the hole in the first place so I knew where the hole should be and where the faucet was attached.  It didn't take a lot of training, only a lot of perseverance.  I guess I just day dreamed my way through that project and got it done.   Having opened the hole just last year,  it didn't take a pick axe or mattox to dig it out.  The only thing I did then that I won't do again is put rocks back in the hole.  Especially that great big one that almost was more than I could lift out of the hole.  Next time just plain old dirt.

I am excited that the WSU Shockers play in the final four today.  The have a tough draw in Louisville but at this stage in the season, no one is easy.     I really did enjoy my time at WSU and if barb could have found a job near Wichita I might have graduated from there not KU.  At WSU, you could take almost every class day or night and they really tried to work it out so you could work and go to school.  At KU you went on their schedule or you didn't go.  It was a royal pain in the butt as they has almost no parking anywhere near the classes and back then the only place a student not living in a dorm could eat was in the student union.  It was almost clear across the campus (and up a big assed hill) from the Business school.  Now when I go to KU games, I see that they covered about half of the parking lot with tennis courts.  Oh well,  I will root for the Shockers.  They just might make a good addition for the BIG XII if they had a football team.

Oh well, enough of this.  It was warm enough to ride yesterday but I was too tired after digging a hole.  Isn't this where I started?

Riding in Rogers, AR