Freedom Isn't Free

I just watched a program about the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.  The wall wasn't built to celebrate war, but those young men and women that were willing to fight for our country.  This was even when the war wasn't understood and the soldiers underappreciated  at the time.  The other day one of my fellow Vietnam Vets said that a guy told him, "Its a shame we lost that war."   He said that the country gave up, not the soldiers.  Had we played by the rules of WWII, we could have won but the cost could have been more than we were willing to pay.   It could have easily turned into a nuclear war and no one wanted that.

In retrospect, few wars are fought that don't cost us and other countries a dear price.  When the war in Iraq started, I asked just how much is that sand covered country worth in terms of the lives of our young men and women.  What would be the outcome when we realize that it takes a person like Saddam Hussein to keep the country together.  What would be the cost?

I say all this because there is a generation out there that has not had to pay the price for our freedoms.  There is a lot of the people that are willing to give up the basic tenets of our freedom and not stand up and protest.  I understand that the president is going to tell us tonight in the State of the Union that he is going to change the fundamental rules in Washington and expand the way he gets things done.  I think we already have given up too much of our freedoms and wonder when the backlash will begin?  

Have you noticed that the News Media focuses our attention on a few rogue shooters and ignore the hundreds of crimes done in the cities?  I will bet you that there are more gun related deaths in Chicago on a weekend than occur in 6 months in Kansas.  Where is the outrage about the failed policies that takes away the success the young men there should feel.   Where is the protest about the way things are done there?  Yep, they think they can solve the problem in Kansas by making it harder for me to own a gun and ignore the problem that we have a generation of people that are rapidly losing hope.  It is not the Mexican coming here to look for work that is the problem.  It is the border that allows drugs to flow in like water over the dam.  In fact it is not the drugs, but the conditions that makes our people use them to avoid looking at the conditions they live in. 

Don't tell me that we need to throw away the rules and laws to make it better.  Tell me what are the solutions you are going to attempt to apply to our problems?   We live in the most powerful country in the world and can't figure out how to build jobs where they are needed?  Shame on us.  Shame on us for re-electing the very people that are responsible for the conditions that got us where we are today.

I wish it were on record who said it first, but If you find yourself in a hole, Stop Digging.



What Obituary's Don't Say

Today, I read that a good friend of mine passed away this week and his Obit was glowing on his accomplishments in life.  Now, let me tell you what it didn't say.   My friend was so poor at map reading that he would get lost on the way to the restroom in the Armory.  When I joined the unit, he was the Executive Officer of our battery and he would have me ride in his jeep to make sure we went the right way on our way to Fort Riley.  From where we were, you go west and south and you about have to hit it somewhere.  Great salesman for his company, poor map reader.   This guy was about the friendliest guy I knew but only once did I make the mistake of sleeping in the same metal building with him at at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.  He would start to snore and then stop abruptly.  At first you worried that he would die and about after 15 minutes or so, you would hope he would.    It only took one night to find out why they called him Thunder.  I swear that after a night in one of those metal hooch's at Camp Ripley they needed to take a hammer and re-drive the nails so the siding wouldn't fall off.  Again, he was one of the nicest guys I served with but ....  You get the story.

Another friend of mine passed away this last year and what his obituary didn't say about him that he too could not orient himself on the ground with a compass and a map.  There is a point at Camp Guernsey where four roads meet.  From base camp to the field, you had to pass there every time.  On one trip to the field, the commander asked George where they were.  He didn't have a clue.  The Colonel showed him on the map where they were and had his driver go up the road and circle around this one hill and return to the same spot.  Where are we Captain?  "It looks familiar but I don't know where we are."   Another one of my favorite stories is the time he went to a meeting at the Field Artillery Group headquarters and when the meeting was over, George took off in the Group commander's jeep instead of his own.  Hqs 6 was the bumper marking on both jeeps but on the other side of the bumper 127 FA BN is not 130FA GP.  I think most of us got a pretty big laugh out of that.  Especially when the Colonel came to get his jeep back.

Every once in a while my friend would make a mistake that would cause me to throw my helmet.  One year I put together all the training data and comments for the Annual Training Report (1-R's) When I finished, I put the report on George's desk and went to the field with the Battalion.  I told George that all the reports needed was the in Camp arrival strength data and then forward the reports to the FA Group Hqs.  The second day in the field, George went to the Battalion Commander and told him that I had to get the 1-R's finished.  The Lt Col came to me with the intention of chewing my butt over the missing report.  That's when I threw the helmet.  Shit, do I have to do everything around here?  George, where is the report right now?  He didn't know.  I repeated what I had told him and that the report is sitting on his desk waiting for the in-camp strength to be added and the report was ready to go forward.   I told the Colonel that I was ready to go back and do George's job if he would stay here and do mine. ( I was sure that I was capable to his job and he wasn't capable of doing mine. )   

So, the next time you read an obituary, just remember that they are at best a collection of the finer things done in life and don't have a grain of truth about the stupid things the person said or did.  Oh well,  I am still looking forward to meeting my two friends at Fiddler's Green and drinking a canteen of grog when I pass through there somewhere in the future.  I just hope it will be a while yet.  I think I will review my Obit and see if I too have forgot the funny short comings I have.



Life in the Funny Papers

Does any of the Sunday Funnies remind you of your life?  For me, Pickles is almost a review of things as they are happening to me.  The other day I went out to the garage and picked up a box.  When I held it tight to my belly, my pants fell down.  This morning Grandpa in Pickles was unbalanced by his set of keys and to balance him, grandma put rocks in his other pocket.  His pants fell down.  I think of getting older is giving me a whole new bunch of unintended consequences that never would have occurred to me earlier in life.  Reading Red and Rover reminds me so much of Dave as a kid when he too could find a lot more fun in a cardboard box than anyone else could.  Anyone that has a teenager today can read Zits and see their non understanding of today's technology and how alien our own children seem.  Forget social rules, I am afraid that "No rules" is the rule today.

I am pretty fed up with News programs that are spending hours reporting on stories that should be on TV's Rich and Stupid.  How the hell can a 19 year old Canadian teenager rent a Lamborghini and think that he, in a bright yellow car can drag race at 4 in the morning without drawing the attention to himself.  He should be just sent back to Canada and told to nevermore return here.  Shame Justin Bieber can't be forced to take Smiley Cyrus and her magic Twerking butt with him.  In my day, if you were released from Jail, you sure as hell didn't crawl up on your SUV to waive at the crowd of paparazzi gathered to see you get out.    I fully understand Saturday Night Live doing a skit on Christy but then for CNN to run that skit every hour all day is just wrong. 

Seems like both Barb and I have our days and nights turned pretty much around.  We both woke up before 6 AM a couple of days in a row.  Those afternoon naps and falling asleep on the couch early in the evening just had our sleep patterns all shot full of holes.  It remind me of my mother.  I would go over and 90% of the time mom would be asleep in her chair in front of the TV.  Then she would tell me how poorly she slept that last night.  Well, I guess if you can and do nap all day, getting 8 hours of sleep at night is just not what your body needs.   While I highly recommend getting older, there are things that change that you never seem to understand.   Damned shame that I needed a flashlight to find the paper this morning.  Even if the Sunday paper looks like a log there in the middle of the driveway. 

I had to drive to Manhattan yesterday for a workshop that the Barbershop guys put on.  We had to be there at 8:30 so we all met at the local doughnut shop.  I knew that I could not drink coffee at home and with the doughnut when we stopped or I could not make it all the way to Manhattan without a potty halt.  I put in one cup of coffee and everything is fine.  Put in that second cup and it forces equilibrium and one has to be put out.  As it was, I made it to Manhattan without a halt but I did arrive looking for the restroom.  Dang I hate it when that happens.  Getting older is a bitch except when you consider the alternative.

It seems that my selection of a location for the new shed was just not as good as I hoped.  The site is very un-level and it will probably take two truck loads of rock fill to bring the fill up to grade in the middle.  I think I can use my own dirt to fill around the building.  At least it won't flood when it rains.   We'll see.  I think the company that is putting up the shed is going to blame tree roots and rocks for the delay in the digging the holes.  I am going to call their manager and have him come here and look at the hole drill they have.  It is missing teeth and "wallers" a hole not dig.  It was kind of fun to watch their skid loader dance around as it tried to dig.  Even one of the team said it needs to be fixed.  The good thing is it was broke long before it got here. 

Oh well, I will try to get a picture once it gets light enough outside..



Another Cold Day

While it started out this morning at yesterday's high, It was still pretty darned cold going out to get the paper.  I think the wind has turned to come more from the south west, a wind from any direction is not a good thing when the thermometer starts at 15.  Wonder if it will get better before it gets worse.  The really bad news is that it is normally after a warm up when the moist warm air get here that we have those really deep February snows.  February is just around the corner you know. 

This Saturday members of our Chorus will travel to a workshop in Manhattan, KS.   Yep, the little Apple will be our destination for a workshop to help us turn our vowels and smooth our sounds.  I am looking forward to the day with my friends.  I haven't a clue if the building crew will come today or perhaps tomorrow.  Heck at the rate they have been dependable, next spring just might be their arrival time.  I guess even with a hole digger the ground is going to be frozen pretty hard.   One of these days I hope my typing speed improves so that I type almost as fast as I am thinking.  I was typing the word going and thinking frozen and put the first letter of frozen on the end of going.  "Goinf"  looks like some word my Jewish friends might use to describe me.  Oh well.

The other day, a good friend put a Facebook post up about a woman getting a paper cut on her tongue  and having cockroaches hatch out from the wound.  There is a neat tool called Snopes.com that will debunk these myths fast.  While I think it is like something that Steven King would write, it and the one about cockroaches hatching from a mouth sore after eating Taco Bell burrito are both false.   Go to snopes.com to verify urban myths.

I am going to go out in a little while and mark where I want the shed put.  The salesman/engineer marked it out one time but my trying to pull a stump almost obliterated the marks.   The building team arrived here at 8:30 and I spent the day out with them.  The poles are all installed and tomorrow they will put the sides and some of the metal on.  I can see I need a lot of backfill to make it all work.
Frame of the new building

Better finish here and I will write more Sunday.



Polar Vortex is Nothing

In fact, it is minus 15 when you consider the wind chill here today.  Just a brisk walk out to get the paper at the end of  my 200 foot driveway was a chilling experience.  I don't know how long it would take you to have frost bite out there but the cold air made me cough.  I will tell you that the wind just blew through a pair of sweatpants like I was naked.  I will just use one word to describe the experience - "Shrinkage."  Guys will understand.

If you are easily offended, skip this paragraph.   During the Korean war, one female reporter asked a soldier what the hardest part of was in Koreas was.  He said, "Taking a piss through 4 inches of clothes with a 2 inch dick. 

I apologize to those of you that read that last statement and especially to those that didn't get it.   It did seem funny and appropriate to me.  But I have a warped sense of humor and sometimes inappropriate jokes just seem OK to me.

The other day, I listened to a part of a discussion by Rush Limbaugh about what is the role of Government in our lives.   Oddly enough there were a lot of good people that called in and the discussion went all over the board.  You know that many of the conservatives feel we are over regulated and many others thought that we need the laws to protect the liberties of the people.  In Business law, we studied that a lot of the laws stem from "Olde" English law and are just the rules of personal conduct that are codified from our mores as a society.  They stand the test of being a description of the minimum levels of behavior we say is acceptable.  Another way some people see the law it is the maximum level of behavior tolerated by a society.  In between whatever you think is minimum or maximum, there are the rules that our Government sets down on how we must behave or conduct our activities.

Being a conservative, I am more concerned with the regulations than the laws.  If I had my way, all laws and regulations would have a sunset and expire with time.  I know we have all seen the stupid rules about riding our horse on a main street after dark.  Look at any rule book and there will be hundreds of old laws that have really expired with the change in society.  I did hear an interesting description from Geraldo Rivera.  He said he is a social liberal in everything but the way young men treat his daughter.   I think that most of us have things we would have harsh rules about and other areas that we would liberalize.  Being a Democracy, we elect people to make the rules and must agree to obey those laws until they are changed within the law.  It is fortunate that it does take time to change things or we would get batted about like a toad in a hailstorm. 

As most of you that read this blog know, I have a metal building on order and earlier this week I was told that the crew got froze out one day earlier this week.  I am not going to sit by the window today and wonder if they are going to come.  I can't imagine anyone trying to work outside long today and I darned sure know that putting metal siding on a building in a 20 MPH (with gusts to 35) is almost impossible.  Way back in 1965, I was working for a construction company in Wichita.  We had built a high rise at 13th and Oliver.  In the summer that year, there was a tornado or at least a high gust of wind that crushed in the dog house over an elevator motor on the roof.  We had to go up there and remove the collapsed roof and then erect a temporary structure to cover the motor and mechanism.  They brought in a crane and it was used to haul down the debris and lift the new materials up.  I don't remember how many stories up in the air we were, but it took three or four of us to hold the plywood when we took it to the carpenters.  Normally I could carry a sheet by myself but I didn't think that kite was a word I wanted in my obituary. 

As a basketball fan, I am proud of the college teams here in Kansas.  Any discussion needs to start with a discussion of Wichita State.  They have now won 20 games without a loss.  One of the Sport talk shows said they must be considered for one of the number one seeds if they continue at this pace.  They are darned good.  Right behind them is the KU team with 5 wins in the BIG XII.   This is especially significant when you realize they graduated five seniors from a good team last year.  They have one senior, one Junior, a couple of sophomores and a significant Freshman class.   The young players that have signed up for next year are looking like gold from here.  Two players on the current team are shifting places as the number one or two in the NBA draft this year.   K-State had a 4-2 record and are pretty darned good and a lock on being in the post season tournament.  It seems like there is a BIG XII game on almost every night on ESPN or the local channels. 

Better get cracking here.



The Other Side of the Coin

I read a lot about people feeling that the US Government is not supporting our Veterans the way it should.  I am offering a few words here to let you see the other side of the same argument.

In 1966, I was drafted into the Army with several thousand other guys a lot like me.  I could have run to Canada or tried to play games with the Draft Board or the Doctors at the Processing Station in Kansas City.  I think a whole bunch of us did not and we went to the service with the clear understanding that it was just the first step in going to War. I don't even begin to try to tell you that we knew what that meant, but we went willing. 

How can anyone tell me that a few less or more dollars in a retirement pay means more than a willingness to go to war and if somehow selected, to die?   How can people equate fairness over a few less dollars in our pay to guys and now gals, in that discussion.  The last thing most of us want is to have people think we are a bunch of cry babies that feel cheated.  I served for about 31 years and was paid well and often.  I was decorated for my service and promoted to Colonel.  Who would have ever thought that little Denny Petty could ever reach that grade?  Every Monday night I sing with two other retired Colonels and none of us are missing many meals because of a few dollars.

It is clear that our Government is facing a turning point that won't be easy for anyone.  We either need to raise taxes or pay out less.  I served proudly and compared to the threat of death, a few less dollars is just a small step for me to take.   I am proud to say that I live in a country that has not served under a monarchy, a Pope or a Military Dictatorship.  I love it here and if I didn't, I would hike my butt somewhere else.  I salute my flag, take what I get and move on.  I think that most of us veterans feel the same way deep down.  

To me, there is something to be said about our freedom.  If you don't want a religion, a gun, an abortion or a gay marriage don't get one.  

MUD, COL (Ret)

Another Round of the Polar Vortex

On Monday about noon, the temperature outside was wonderful.  It has been down hill since then.  Last night I went to my Barbershop Chorus practice about 7 PM and I swear I go blown into another lane by one of the 50 to 60 MPH gusts of wind.   This morning it isn't as windy but it was in the single digits with a 10 MPH wind making it probably below zero on the wind chill reading.  I went out and saw all sorts of things blown into the yard. One of the things was a big black plastic bag and I used it to pick up all the trash.  I guess that just makes us even for having my trash blow over, or visited by a dog.  I would have the trash company give me one of those plastic containers but the 30 gallon kind of container can fit in the trunk of the car to cart out to the court.  I will probably make some kind of a cart this spring or summer to get them all out to the court.  I use my tractor on recycle day to carry out the big container with the yellow lid.

 Has anyone else noticed that the news (especially CNN) has started to carry items that aren't news but something a TV channel or celebrity has done.  Saturday Night Live did a parody of Chris Christy and while I didn't see it, I know they are the parody channel.  CNN showed the clip almost in its entirety as if it were news.  Whatever happened to just plain old news.  I guess on slow news days they have to report something.  I am kind of glad that that's the worse that they have. 

The other day, I listened to a talk radio news account and they quoted Ronald Reagan when he asked, "After 30 years of Government helping the poor by spending money, when are they going to have an accounting to tell us what worked?"  Well, we are now closer to 50 years and still no one has been able to tell us how the Government has made us that much better.  My daughter-in-law said it best the other day.  No one can convince her that people just want a hand out.  She has been there and she knows that nothing can compare with the joy of having a job.  We want training programs, more employers and ways to give a hand up not a hand out.  We have a surplus of homes that are government owned.  How about teaching people to re-hab them and then let them buy the houses.  Even if it was at a reduced cost, it is better than to have the houses sit empty.

Why does the media and the political parties think they have to run down politicians in an election?  Isn't it enough to have people that are willing to run for office and serve?  I am not talking about those with felony arrests but people like Sarah Palin that was a mother and the Governor of Alaska.  Who was the lady that ran for the Vice Presidency a few years back that was pilloried over her husband?  I could probably go on for hours about the good people that have been driven out of races because of small things. 

A couple of years back, I drove several people to the KC Airport and one of the women said that she thought that Hillary Clinton was the best thing that happened to New York.  She said that most of her friends loved the response from her office when they had a problem.  I simple asked her what had Hillary done for the United States as a Senator?  No one in the van had an answer.  I said that Hillary is a Senator to the US Senate not the New York senate.  When she started to do more there, I would be on her band wagon.  It had been unfortunate that she has been pilloried for her service.  She isn't any worse than John Kerry.  Not that it is any good thing to say about her.  

Oh well, I guess I had better go see if there isn't something calling out my name upstairs.



Sunday Football

I had just settled in for an afternoon nap when Denver's Quarterback started to call an audible.  Instead of falling to sleep, I heard, "Dennis,  Dennis, Omaha Hut."  That was like someone played a series of notes and didn't play the last one.  Somehow my mind paid attention and asked me why the hell someone thought I needed to have a hut in Omaha.  It did stop the process of falling asleep, or perhaps a better word is that it delayed the inevitable.   My mother said that as a kid I could put my butt against the wall and fall asleep before it hit the floor.  I did have two modes, full on pandemonium and asleep.  The really good news is that for me a short nap works wonders.

I am waiting for the builders to get here and start work on the storage shed.  I expected them to get here bright and early and put up the skeleton of the shed.  Wrong.  Here it is almost noon and no sign of them yet.  Oh well, how much do I care that it will be colder later on this week.  It is above 50 right now and won't be later this week.

Tonight is the Barbershop chorus practice and I'll miss another KU game.  This time I will have the DVR free to tape it and will get to watch it later on.  Baylor is one of those streaky teams and have been known to sneak out a win or two.  At least KU doesn't have any league losses and everyone else has two.  Rock Chalk.

I guess I'd better close this and move on.



Looing at the Stats

Have you ever looked at the stats for your blog?  There is a map of the places my blog is read from. (Yes, I could have worded that better)  As I expected, the majority of the hits are from the USA.  The one fact that was the most interesting is that 53% of the readers use Mac's.  I wonder if the use of the I-books and I pads are swaying this fact?   Oh well, all I can say is welcome to my blog and I hope I can continue to write something worthwhile to keep you coming back.   From time to time, I wonder why I don't get a lot of comments but then I remember that I am writing this as my outlet and move on.  My ADD lets me forget in a few short minutes anyway. 


Another Roundball Day

With a great deal of pride, I can say that Wichita State, Kansas State and KU all finished yesterday with a win.  I had my doubts that the KU game would end without the entire bench of both teams being fouled out.  As it was, Frank Mason went from Goat to hero with the last play of the game.  Had OK-State won the game with that last minute shot, I can't imagine the mayhem. Mason blocked the winning shot and saved us from the agony of defeat.   The announcer for the WSU game kept saying that WSU was playing angry.  He didn't get to see any of the game in Lawrence or he would have awarded WSU the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Every time someone gets into the box scores and wonders why a team wins with one or two of the starters not producing, I want to remind them that it is a team that wins.  All the pieces need to fit together in the end.  Perhaps back in the day when Wilt Chamberlin scored 100 points in one game, it could be said that he won the game but everyone does his part today. 

We have had a week of weird weather.  It has gone from very cold to warmer but the wind chill has been brutal.  Today it might get to 60 but I'll bet the wind chill will make it feel like low 40's.  I do have a few chores to finish but then I will do my best to be sure that Barb and I get out some to blow off the stink (My dad's old Navy saying)  I don't have a clue where we will go but I'm sure there is somewhere within 100 miles of Topeka that needs our presence. 

The metal building guy called me on Friday and said that his crew will probably be here on Monday.  I can't wait to watch how they put the building up.  I know it is really kind of a pole barn with siding on all four sides.  It is not intended to survive a tornado, only be a place where I can store things.  Perhaps I will be able to get the garage organized an have some room to work in there.  That will probably take some kind of a stove or I can just take the winter off.  We'll see.

At what age do you think a guy should really retire from hard work?  I seem to get more tired more quickly now days.  When the spring arrives, I have less energy at the start of the work and it takes me much longer to get into shape.  The thing that really troubles me is that I seem to fall down a lot more easy now than in the past.  So far, I have managed to not fall on the chain saw and the biggest amount of damage had been to my dignity.  I did take it a lot more easy this week to let my back heal after last weekend's fall. 

The other day, Barbara and I were talking and I pointed out that our personalities were different and we need different levels of interaction with people.  I have to get out about once a week or so and interact with people.  Barb can take a week off and read books and be happy.  It is that classic extrovert vs. introvert thing.   Oh well, better go do some needed work or the interaction with the building crew won't be a positive thing tomorrow.



Retired, What will I do to fill My Time?

The other day I met the wife of one of my retired military friends.  He has a job and drives to Fort Riley every day for a week and then flies to New jersey for a week.  She said he is afraid that he won't have enough to keep him busy.  I will go to his funeral when he dies because he didn't know what life was all about.  I would have understood if she had said that he was worried that he needed a little more money to do the things he wanted to do when he does retire.  Knowing what he made, That is a silly worry.   

One day, many years ago, one of my nephews told my mother that he was bored.  She told him, "No, you are boring if you can't find things to do."   That has kind of been my motto since I retired.  In fact, there are days that just staying home and reading a book is needed to get over all the business I have done.  Today is one of those days that while it is sunny, it is way too cold to get a lot done outside. 

I guess the thing I appreciate about being retired is being the lord and master (OK, Co-Master) of what I do.  There are things I want to do but they will wait until it is warmer later on.  Being married, I do understand having co-plans because we both worked hard to get here and what she wants to do is generally as fun as anything I want to do. 

One nice thing about my wife is that we both have activities that we can do without making the other person get involved.  I think we have discovered that while we can share things, the source of our happiness is internal.  I love to sing and Barb doesn't.  Barb loves to grow plants and I don't.  As an extrovert, going to weekly Barbershop Chorus meetings charges my batteries.  Barb is more of an introvert and charges her batteries by reading good books.   We each have a TV so we can watch what we want.  I hate to watch young people say stupid things about buying a house ad barb could care less about fixing up old cars.  I think the only time both TV's are on the same channel is when KU is playing basketball.  In fact I check on her when the KU games start because she sometimes loses track of time when she is reading a good book.

I love to read a good book but there are times when I have spent too much time on the computer and my eyes just tell me to sit back and enjoy the TV.  A lot of those times I find that a short nap really helps me with eye strain.   Even a few minutes just does the trick.

Oh well, I hope you all reach a point in your life that you can find the things you want to do in your retirement and can afford to do them.

MUD, ORF (Old Retired Fart)


Eye Test

Yesterday I was at Wal*Mart and thought about the fact I needed an eye test.  I have been to the Optometrist outside our Wal*Mart in the past so I decided to stop in there as see when I could get an exam.  There was this cute lady sitting at the reception table and I asked her when I could get an eye test.  She said there was an opening right then and did I have time.  Sure, Why not?  She took me into the first exam room and told me that her receptionist was at lunch and introduced herself as Dr. Kristina Semaan.  She bought the practice this year from the Old Guy. (I don't remember his name)  She is a recent graduate of Georgia Medical School and moved back to Lawrence to be near her family.  All of her undergraduate work was done at KU and she too is a Jayhawk fan. 
I can't remember having a more complete eye exam.  Prior to puffing air in my eye to examine the pressure, she had me look into a machine and she adjusted it to see if I could still see this little house on a hill.  I don't have a clue what that was for, but she did say it was last time's prescription and my eyes haven't changed that much.  She took me into the exam room and we went through the does this look better or worse routine until I and she were satisfied that she had the right prescription.  Only my left eye was any different. (She said minor 1/4 change -whatever that meant)  She said there was no record of my eyes being dilated and she needed to do that to really check out the retina and possible cataracts.  She said I had what she describes on a scale of 1 to 4, a level 1.  Slight cloudiness at the edge.  Probably good for another ten years prior to being bad enough for surgery. 

Each step of this process was explained and explained in detail.  We also talked about the fact she was Lebanese and  I laughed at the fact that as a White, Anglo Saxton Protestant of no clear and dangerous extraction I felt kind of left out that I didn't have any other place to claim or any holidays other than Cristian holidays to celebrate.  She said that she didn't fall back on her heritage for much other than about every time her family has a meal her mother served Tabouli.  She said that Lebanon was once known as the Paris of the Middle East but not so much anymore. I got a history lesson as well as an eye exam.

Sometime today I am going to go to Wal*Mart and order some new glasses.  They seem to do about the best job for the least cost.  The prices are about $100 cheaper than Lens crafters and  pretty much the same quality.  Oh well, moving on to newer things.



Have You Ever Eaten a Kumquat?

In today's paper (Wed, 15 Jan 14)  there was a citrus ad special from HiVee stores.  One of the things they listed was kumquats.   I searched my memory and I realized I don't have taste stored under kumquat.  I have a vague recollection of seeing them in the produce aisle but I can say I can't remember ever tasting one.  Kind of made me think about all the things I haven't tried.  I am more of a consumer than a gourmet, so I have eaten a lot of things.  Kumquats are just not on that list.

Have I ever told you how much I don't like catfish?  As a kid, I was over at a friend's house and his dad cleaned a monster catfish in their kitchen sink.  I watched in fascination as he took a pair of pliers and removed the skin.  I wasn't grossed out by the process, but I did not like the smell.  That bottom feeder imprinted a muddy pond smell in my mind and that the first thing I taste when I try to eat catfish.  I think I did eat a catfish Po'boy on one of my trips to Naw'lans that I liked but it had enough pepper, gah'lic vinegar and other things that I think you could have made it out of paper sacks and I would have loved it.  You can skip the shrimp Po'boy and just bring me boiled shrimp, cold or hot.  Never have developed a taste for mudpuppies, but that is another fish I was exposed to on a hot July day in Kansas and out of a pond near Wichita.  Our neighbor would send us boys up to a pond that is now on Beechcraft property.  We would seine crawdads out of that pond and take them home to be put in an old pop cooler that they would run water through.  After a sufficient time, they would go fishing,  Sufficient time to a fisherman has nothing to do with the bait, it is all about how much time they had to go fishing.

Speaking of fish bait, that leads me to one of the funniest stories.  Like I need inspiration.   In Ottawa, I was in a National Guard Artillery unit.  One year we were to get new guns and the Artillery School at Fort Sill offered to conduct a staff refresher to talk about the mission and conditions for using our new guns.  The Headquarters Battery commander, Ed Jukes, or easy Ed and we called him, was a fisherman.  He would use his off time fishing in the Mare de Cygne river north of town.  His fish of choice was catfish and he used a stink bait that was reportedly made up of rotted shad.  You would put a sponge on your hook and with a stick dip it in the jar of bait.  You would do this up wind of the jar and lord forbid you ever spill any of it on your clothes.  Ed had a pickup and it always had rods and reels in the bed along with an assortment of baits.  On the morning we left for Fort Sill, Ed had been fishing and drove his truck to the Armory.  Just as he came in the driveway faster than he should have, he hit a bump that broke one of the Stink bait jars.  His assigned parking space was next to the building and right under the window Air Conditioner that supplied my office and near to the shop front door.  After a day or so of that smell being sucked into the office and the shop, they took a wrecker and drug Ed's truck clear across the parking lot as far from the building as you could get.  My assistant didn't go with us to Fort Sill and he told us that not only did they move Ed's truck, they went out and moved the assigned parking space sign  to another part of the lot.  When we got home. Easy Ed took the truck to a car wash near the Armory and no matter how many quarters he used, that truck smelled like dead shad stink bait for as long as he owned it.  I sure hope he parked it outside his house. 

Smells brings up another fishing story.  As a kid, I did pretty much what I wanted and went a lot of places that I could have got in trouble going but in the 50's, life was simpler.  I can remember just sticking my head in the door and telling Mom where I was going and leaving before permission was given or withheld.  One day I was up at Womack grocery and one of the guys that worked at Beech stopped in as soon as he got off work.  3:30 PM was the end of the first shift. He bought some pop and told Mrs. Womack he was going to Beech lake to try out some new bait.  For some reason I asked if I could go and he said sure.  I ran the half a block home and grabbed my fishing rod.  Off we went north to the lake.  I normally fished on the east side of the lake by the docks but my new friend stopped by the west side of the lake along Webb Road.  He said that he was out to catch cat fish and produced a jar from his trunk.  It was in a wooden box that had some foam liner that kept the jar from breaking.  When he took out his rods, it was obvious that he wasn't fishing for perch.  He had treble hooks in a series on each pole.  He put a sponge on each hook and then unscrewed the jar.  SKUNK! SKUNK! that jar was full of Eau de SKUNK!  or ewe, the smelly part of a skunk.  He said that he had a friend that was a Veterinary that de-scented skunks.  I guess back then you could have them as pets.  There was no way I wanted anything to do with that smell on anything, including my rod and reel.  The guy carefully dipped the sponges in the jar and gently threw the sponge bait out in to the deeper water.  For the next hour and a half, he caught catfish after catfish on that stinky bait.  I was so grossed out by the smell that I didn't even want to handle the catfish.  I don't remember if he kept the fish or not.  I wouldn't.  The smell was so strong that I didn't even want a ride home after that fragrant experience.  To this day, the smell of a skunk at any distance brings back memories of that day at Beech Lake. 

Oh well, I had better get rolling.  It takes about an hour to have the Aleve to kick in so I can stand up straight and walk without pain.  My fall in the garage caused me to compress the sciatic nerve that hurts like hell if I hurt it.  I have three bags of cracked corn out in the car and I am bringing the corn in one bucket full at a time to feed the deer.  I know that lifting a 50 pound bag of corn would put me of the floor for a week recovering. 

The paper this morning said that beyond the age of 50 you loose approximately 5% of your muscle mass each year.  I can believe that I have lost some muscle mass as I seem to get tired a lot easier than I did in my younger years.  It also takes me a longer time each year to get back in shape to work on projects here in the yard.  Someone told me that Yoga or Pilates is a good way to stay in shape.  I just can't see me in a pair of tights in a room full of  sweaty women,  Well, let me think about that.




For several weeks, my blog site would tell me an error message and it seemed there was nothing I could do about it. Today I signed in and things are normal.  It won't help me generate any new or pithy things, but at least I am not worried that another blog will be lost. 

Yesterday after working outside for a couple of hours, I came in the garage.  My shoes were muddy so I attempted to take them off while standing up on the stairs of the garage.  Stupid mistake.  I should have sat down and gently taken them off.  Well, to make a short story longer, I fell down in the garage.  Thankfully I fell on that well cushioned butt of mine and mostly I injured my dignity.  There are all kinds of scenarios that could have played out but mostly an extra Aleve took care of the pain. If you were to see where I fell, you might wonder how I could have fallen and not have hit my head on something.  The freezer, the car bumper, the porch were all in that space. Throw (or let me fall) there and there wasn't much room for anything else.  I guess I will need to start Yoga or Pilates to  get my core strength back up. 

If there are any places in the BIG XII that are tougher to win in than Allen Field House, it is the Hilton Coliseum in Ames.  It was nice to see the Hawks come out of there with a win.   The parity in Basketball this year is pretty high and a win early will really help the young Hawks move on down the schedule.  After the poor officiating last season brought a BIG XII rep to the game.  I didn't think the referees did a good job this time but the flagrant fouls at the end of the game were somewhat minimized.

Our Barbershop Chorus sounded good last night.  I am really enjoying singing with them.  Earlier in the day I seemed congested and couldn't carry what I thought was a good tone.  By the time we warmed up last night and sang a couple of songs my pipes were in tune and on pitch, mostly.  I will continue to work on the music this week.  We have a couple of sing outs coming up and I really enjoy a good audience.  Heck, there is even talk of going to the District contest next year.  That will be the third year for our Director.  He is such a great guy and I enjoy his teaching and great ways of remaining positive.  Now if we can just find a few more members to help us swing out as we sing out.

Better get to doing something else more productive.  have a great day out there.




What do you do when there are three things you want to see or do?  Tonight is the normal Chorus practice for the Barbershop Chorus and I would hate to miss that.   The second thing is the final episode of Major Crimes is tonight.  The good news is that I can DVR it and watch it later.  Finally, KU plays Iowa State at Hilton and games there are always fun to watch.  Win or lose, I have never seen a boring game there.  Oh well, I guess I'll go to the practice, DVR the final episode and find out what happened with KU on the way home.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time outside working on the tractor.  I charged the battery, fueled it up and put the snow blade on the tractor.  So far we haven't needed the snow blade but with some slightly warmer weather coming, February is almost always good for a snow that will force us to blade our way out.  I have three driveways I need to clear and one of them is a couple of miles away from the house.  It isn't the work, it is the wind from driving over there.  The worst time for me was the time it was freezing sleet/rain and I was an ice cycle coming home.  I haven't figured out how to tap the air cooled motor to stay warm.

Barbara got up early to take Barb to a dentist appointment.  She had some oral surgery done and today is the follow up.  I hope she fares well.  I hate to see her suffer.  Oh well, one of these days it will be all over. 

I am struggling with keeping my creative juices flowing and the ADD that lets my attention wander so even if I somehow do finish writing my book, I am letting the chapters sit and do nothing.  I know that no matter what I write, it won't be the epic like the "Tale of Two Cities" or the funny war novel like "Catch 22."  I need a catchy opening , a great closing and a bunch of words in between.  It won't hurt if I can find a good editor.  I am sure that Barbara could do that job well after teaching Learning Disabilities for over 25 years.  The sad part is she has listened to most of my war stories over the years and I'm not sure if I want to subject her to them in writing for the umpteenth time.  (Spell checker didn't reject umpteenth) 

A couple of years back, I bought some blank business cards so I could print my own.  They are 10 cards on each sheet and my biggest problem is finding a program that will let me build a card and then print them.  I thought I had it all worked out when an Avery format let me build a card but It somehow went away when I saved it per the instructions.  It didn't tell me where it wrote the format or what type of format it used.  I for the life of me can't figure out MS Word and the format there.  I'll give it a go shortly but the next time If I fail I will just give up and spend the $10 to have cards printed.



Get 'er Done.

This morning it was 45 degrees and surely it will be above 50 (Perchance 60?) sometime later on.  I have a few things outside I have to get done and today just might be the day.  I will fuel up the tractor and cut down a tree stump where the building will be.  I am sure that the kids will be in our plans somewhere but exactly what and where is yet to be determined.

Yesterday was a great day.  In addition to the installation banquet for the Barbershop Chorus last night, KU looked like the team everyone had promised.  If WV Had managed to pin another loss on OK State it would have been an even grander day.  If KU can go steal a victory at Hilton on Monday night, it will be a great week.  Let there be no doubt that many a good team have come into Hilton coliseum there in Ames and taken a loss home with them.  The same can be said about Stillwater and Lawrence.  We'll see.  The sad thing is that I have my DVR set to record the final of Major Crimes and would hate to not see that when I am at Chorus Practice. Oh well, my watching or not watching won't change the outcome of the game.

I finally got my CD's from the Barbershop guys.  It is the Pole Cat song book and is the abbreviated version of many of the old Barbershop songs that most of us old guys love to sing.  I bought all four parts and will work on the bass parts mostly but will be ready to sub for one of the other quartets on Valentines day.  We do a two song special for $25.00 and the woman (or man) will get a rose and a small box of chocolates. We sing "Heart of my Heart" and "Let me Call you Sweetheart"  all over the Topeka and Lawrence area. 

This morning Barbara finally opened the package of Chicken she bought at Sam's Club.  She bought  what is called Chicken Tenders and I am going to come up with a way to bake them and then make different kinds of dip.  I have in Mind a BBQ, Honey Mustard, Tai Chili in Soy Sauce and some kind of mayonnaise based sauce like a tarter.  I would do something like a Russian Dressing but it will need some help.  The sad part is I used up the Hummus that I would use as a base.  Perhaps some kind of a cheese and salsa sauce might be called for.  Well, see.

Yesterday, at the installation banquet I tried out the title of  Assistant Bass Section Leader (ABSL) on the guys and they weren't impressed.  I guess I should expect that when our Bass section has three Retired Colonels.  I do have date of rank on one of them but that doesn't mean much.  I do love the guys in the section and when we want to, we can rock the house.  Last night we sang a couple of songs and almost to a man we were all there.  It really rocked that shelter house by the park. 

Better go get something done or I will find myself wishing I had.  Have a great day out there.

P.S. Yesterday I got a stray comment from someone that professes to be in love with his bible.  Once I got the gist of what he was saying, I just let it slide.  Next time I will edit that kind of comment out. Freedom of religion means you can celebrate your religion any way you want until you start taking up my space.   Delete is only one click away.



Is It March?

This morning it is just above freezing and headed for somewhere in the 40's today.  Seems like the weather can't make up its mind what month it is.  Seems a lot more like march than January.

Today is the Sunflower showdown and in it KU and KSU will play.  It will be the second time the Hawks get to play in the "Second Season."  This is the round robin they play for the Conference Championship.  After a really tough pre-season,  the boys know what they need to do.   As my Dad would say, "All Hands on Deck, Battle stations."

Can you imagine how good Wichita State would be if they had Perry Ellis and Wiggins had decided to play there?  They are 16-0 and they haven't had a diet of cup cakes either.  I am proud of their record and am looking forward to watching them in Post Season. 

Yesterday I got an e-mail from our Chorus Director that ked me if I would be the assistant Bass Section Leader.  Our section leader has a couple of Monday's a month that he is late and I will be in charge of the section practice.  It was really funny that he phrased it as a question but then said he probably would not take no for an answer.  I told him that I could not refuse such a request.  If you knew how much I respect our director this exchange would put a smile on your face.

Today is the dinner for our Chorus to install the officers for 2014.  I got into the chorus so late this year that I escaped the selection process.  I will probably have to do something in the out years but not this year.  There is a position that is responsible for sending out the practice schedule weekly and it could be had but I will sit back and watch for a while.  I will also work with the membership officer and see if there isn't a way we can increase our chorus strength.   I want to also work with the Junior Barbershop Quartet program and see if we can't gain some people by making their program better.

Oh well, time to go do something better for me,



Warning, This Post is Political!

I have been nice for a while and it has just been a time to think.  Today is my full load of a double barreled shotgun at politics and the people that play it.

A short while back, we spent Billions on a failed experiment call stimulus.  No one has cried foul at the fools that threw our dollars (or in reality dollars our government borrowed from many sources) at places where the money played Alice in Wonderland and went down the hole and disappeared.  That money was wasted and the fact that so few jobs were created should cause a mass resignation in Washington. Or a Mass realization and admission that it didn't work.

Am I the only person that thinks we need to either lower the spending or increase the revenue?  The problem is that no one is really willing to find a happy medium or give an inch.  Throw in the NIMBY crowd (Not in my backyard) and you can see that few people can find a place that pleases the majority.  The waffling on the important topics is just overrun with politics.

As a conservative (on fiscal matters mostly) I hate that there is a cry to have the parties to work together.  The first time John McClain does that, they label him a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and threaten to throw him out of his elected position.  How can a democrat from Texas vote 100% with Democrats from California and Maine.  Surely they would have to disagree from time to time.  The same can be said about a Republican from Kansas and Republicans from the South. 

Why is it that because I support one party, I can't have ideas that fly in the face of my party.  I hate abortion but I support a woman's freedom to make decisions between her and her Doctor.  I think we should have freedom of Religion, not freedom from religion.  You can celebrate your religion and damned way you like as long as I can do the same. If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one.  If you don't support gun ownership, vote with your feet and don't own one.   

I think it is time we celebrate our diversity in people rather than blame our problems on any one race.  I love to attend a Saint Patrick's Day parade.  I attend the Fiesta Mexicana every year here in Topeka. I love Soul food and BBQ, watermelon, spaghetti and Chinese food.  Why would I hate the very people that brought our wonderful diversity to us.

I think we need to find a way to find out what the majority of the people think is wrong and fix those problems first.  Listen to Dave Ramsey's way of fixing the financial problems.  Start with the smallest and pay that problem off. 

Obama Care or the ACA, was an attempt to fix all of our problems by nuking the health Care System all at once.  The really sad part is that there are a lot of things that got fixed when we are just throwing millions of dollars into a system without fixing what's broke.  We needed to find a way that people with pre-existing conditions could get insurance.  We needed to find a way that the poor could get insurance at a reduced cost.  Extending the age of children to allow them to be carried on their parents insurance is not a bad thing.  I think those kids need to be in school or employed at a low wage. 

Did you notice that I did my best to not blame our problems on any one party or person?  here is enough room for everyone on that Titanic ship.  Until we find a way to put people in Congress that truly want to fix our problems we should Never Re-elect Anyone.  The first step in fixing the problems is to admit that we have problems and make sure everyone knows what it is we are trying to fix.



Singin' My Butt Off

I have been singing since early in my school years.  Our elementary School had a music teacher, Mrs. Holloway that just made singing fun.  It wasn't work, it was almost pure pleasure.  There have been times when I didn't sing with a group but I sang in a choir through my Senior Year of High school.  Right now I'm up to my elbows in fun singing with a Barbershop Chorus.  This isn't the cheapest hobby but it does provide a good value for the dollar.   One fun thing is they now have learning CD's with most of the music we sing and it is a great tool.

The Polar Vortex has moved a little east and things are cold but not quite as bitter cold as it was over the weekend.   Yesterday there was a little melting going on and most of the streets are no longer snow packed.  There is still an inch or two of snow in a lot of places but if it warms up like yesterday that will melt pretty soon.  The good news is that I am not worrying about my snowman melting.  It was just too damned cold to get out and make one.  The snow was so light and fluffy that you would have had to bring in it in the house and let it melt a little to get it to pack.  Not going to happen Marine.

One of these days, I will let the genie of Politics escape my bottle.  I have been avoiding that topic for a while and there is a need to get it out.  Not today...

Last night I woke up about 2 AM smelling something I could not describe at first.  When it snowed, I threw some sunflower seeds and chopped corn out on the back porch where there was no snow.  Last night a skunk decided it was warm enough to venture out and get in on the feast.  He smelled so bad the smell got in the house.  I guess it is evidence that I need to work on the weather stripping on that door.  The good news is that he split when I turned on the light to see what smelled so bad. 

Am I the only person that is hating the trend on TV where they take a good subject and have personalities that are just so terrible that you can't watch the program.  One of the auto shops that works on MOPARs has sunk to about a new low.  There is just no reason to work for someone that calls you a turd.  There is even less reason to watch, Click...

The real basketball season has finally arrived.  Up to this time, everyone has just been sharpening their skills.  We can only hope that KU will finally show their ability and play the way Bill Self wants them to play.  Until this season, KU has won more BIG XII championships than losses they had at the FOG Allen Field House.   Our winning streak stopped this week and I hope it is not something that is repeated.  I think the BIG XII has more parity than ever.  Between Baylor, OK State and K-State, it will take darned few losses to carry off the Championship.  Not many teams will go into Hilton coliseum and win there.  At least we don't have the antlers of Missouri to contend with.

Did I mention that Football season is over?  This was the last year of the BCS and I am glad.  I don't know what the playoff's will look like next year but for now, Round ball is my game of choice.

Oh well, another half hour wasted on the key board.



Havin' a Heat Wave

It is supposed to get above freezing today.  After the last couple of days of Arctic weather it will seem like a heat wave.  Might even get out my swimsuit and suntan lotion.  Yeh, Right...

Yesterday was a long day with the Barbershop Chorus practice late.  I got home in time to watch the end of the Florida and Auburn game.  We all knew it would be a free wheeling game with the Florida Quarterback having such a great arm.  I much prefer games that score a lot at the end and where the game goes back and forth.  We have some Auburn fans in the family and I'm sure they are disappointed but hey it was a game played by College Students.  Go figure.

Truisms.  What are the facts you think you know.  I think we all think we are almost perfect but there are a lot of things we get wrong.  What I don't understand is how wrong Government can be when they try to solve problems with legislation.  We were well on our way to having the best retirement system in the world until the lock box was robbed to help build the Interstate system. It really cuts down the time on long trips but is it worth it?  Social  Security is still a system that pays a lot of people as much or more than they paid in.  Just when Obama Care hits, I remind everyone to go back and look at Medicare and the impact it has had.  It was a real villain back in the day.  I think at some time our Government should try to determine just what we can pay for and quit passing new stupid laws.  But, I have been wrong.

In today's paper, there was a picture of a 15,000 sq. foot house that was razed.  I guess it was built in such a poor manner that the owner's never moved in.  I can't imagine how long the legal battles will go on over this mess.  Who wins when something like this is fought over?  Yep, the Lawyers.

Have I told you that here I am at 67 and I'm in love?  Yep, in addition to my loving wife, I am in love with two other young women at the same time.  Here they are:

My grand nieces Ellie and Emma
I wonder how many people would love to have a tea party with two smiling people.  They are about the sweetest kids I know.  I guess it doesn't hurt to have great parents.  Or, great families that love them.

Better get on with the day, getting warm out there and I have miles to go before I sleep.  (or nap as the case may be.)



Cold Day In He, "double hockey sticks"

Last week, I got a call from the Clary Building plant in Nebraska.  The said that this morning there would be a delivery of the materials for the building.  I was reminded that the delivery had a requirement to give them 40% of the total cost with the delivery.  About 8 AM I dressed up and went out to fetch the paper.  The temperature was about -5 and a 20 mph wind was blowing making the total wind chill about 25 to 30 below.  There in the driveway sat a truck with the motor running.  They had the building but their fork lift (hereafter called a Donkey) wouldn't start.  I brought out my jumper cables and my spare battery.  I finally had to drive the ford out and jump it off the ford as the spare battery wore down.  While I was out there doing that, the telephone rang and my renter called and told me that they had no water.  I helped the drivers get the donkey started and then went over to the rental house.  The water pipe is right inside of a crawl hole and someone had knocked the cover off that hole.  At below zero, it froze the pipe.  I had to get a small space heater and put it under there and cover the hole with insulation.  I will go back over in a little while and see if they have water.  During all that, I made a trip to the post office and the water Department to pay our water bill.  Did I mention that I also went to one bank to deposit the renter's check and to the other bank to empty our safety deposit box?  All of this was done with the temperature all the way up to 2 degrees when I came home.  Yes, this is a deliberate run on paragraph and was the story of half a cold day in the Heartland.

Our house guests went home Saturday morning and man is it ever quiet here with out a dog barking at every bird, squirrel, deer or Dave.  The truck driver was invited in and said he didn't want to track up the floors.  I told him that after three dogs, it wouldn't matter.  Perhaps later on in the week I will get around to cleaning with the steam shark.  I have the spray for wood floors that I haven't used yet and am curious how it will do.   I know that sometime this year Barb wants to have the carpet in the living room removed and a wood floor installed there.  I want to have the floor in the dining room redone at the same time so it will all match.  Our next door neighbors had that done and it was perfect. 

Things in the Oklahoma Oil situation are weird and I will not tell you about the entire deal until we get closer to the end. 

Well, I had better go back over to the rental house and see if they have water yet. 



What do I blog About?

On Saturday, I went to Lawrence to see the new boat owned by the Lawrence Boat Club named for my niece Jennifer.  Their new four place sweep boat is called the JennyLynne.  I couldn't be more proud.  Every family needs to have someone like that to show the young people what empowerment can be.  In addition to being a world class rower, she graduated from KU and is now a Captain on the Kansas City Fire Department.  She is sharing her experience and teaching in the fire academy through one of the Junior Colleges there in KC.  During her introduction, it was pointed out that the number of young men and women she coached over the years is a lot, over 150 went on to row is a college program.  It is my hope that I have been such a positive influence to half that many people.

Jennifer and the boat. 

At the luncheon following the dedication/naming of the boat, we all went to Free State there in Lawrence.  The food was great and everyone else said the beer was spectacular.  I had ice tea so on that count I can't judge.  Several of the people had read Jennifer's Facebook posts and wanted to know what the name MUD meant.  Long story short, I was called Mean Uncle Denny and my sister said yep, MUD is a good name.  It kind of stuck over the years and I have enjoyed the notoriety.   

Near the end of the meal, one of the guys said he didn't have enough happening in his life to do Facebook.  I told him I write a Blog and posted on Facebook.  He asked me what I could have to write about to keep a Blog running.  I told him that I have been blessed with a terrific memory and an active imagination to fill in the details.   I had a friend that told me the secret to his telling jokes.  He doesn't remember the entire joke, only the punch lines.  He was blessed to have a good enough imagination and could make up a story that lead to the punch line. 

Several of my old friends have active imaginations and it is always fun to get together and swap stories.  The fact that the more often a story is told, the more real it seems.  Tell one often enough and there is a mismatch of imagination and facts and war stories like fairy tales become codified.

Speaking of memory, the other day the wife and I were discussing our dreams.  She said that once she wakes up, the dreams just slip away.  I have found that if I spend a few moments when I first wake up, I can recall a lot of the dreams with a lot of clarity.  In fact there have been times (Back when I was working)  that if I went to bed with a problem on my mind, I could play out some alternatives in my dreams and sometimes get lucky with a solution.  There are times in my dreams now s days, that leave me chasing something or having a problem getting things done.  A lot of times it has to do with my Military career.  I retired about 16 years ago but it still pops up in my dreams.  ( I can remember how long ago it was, mostly because I retired on my 50th Birthday)  

I don't know how many of you saw the Kansas City Chiefs game yesterday.  I was excited for them and then saddened when they couldn't keep the colts out of the end zone.   I will admit that I love a game that has a lot of scoring and ends in an exciting manner.    Perhaps next year.   

Oh well, better go get ready to face the day. 



Not'in Special

Some mornings the creative juices are like the temperature outside.  It was about 3 degrees this morning and my level of enthusiasm is right there.  We have guests this week and they brought 3 dogs.  Even the dogs didn't want to go out and fetch the paper.  All week they were ready by the time I got my coat on.  Today they all went back into the bedroom and hid as I put on  my coat.

One of the dogs is deaf and so much high energy that she is a hand full.  The other dogs were littermates and have a lot of Shepard in them. The are so well trained it hurts and are a lot of fun to play with.  I personally find the deaf dog a challenge.  When she doesn't want to mind, she just looks away.  The good news is she doesn't do that too much. 

There are a lot of football games on this week but I am just not into football now that the men's basketball BIG XII round robin is about to start.  I don't hate the pre-season, but I do love the regular season.    We don't have any home game tickets for the hawks this year but we do have tickets to a game in Austin.  Should be a good escape.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

So far this year it has snowed twice and the amounts have not been a challenge to drive.  I haven't even put the blade on the tractor so it is a good thing.  I did get out to start the tractor when it got into the high 40's.  No problem. 

I did find out that the material for the building will be delivered next Monday.  I didn't read the fine print in the contract that they want about half of the cost of the building when it is delivered.  It really is no problem and I really do want to have a place to store things.  Yes, I will do my best to organize what I have and not acquire tons of more stuff. 

Oh well, the need to write is no longer a motivator and I will close with a Happy New year to you all.