195,000 Hits

I wonder how long it will take to get that last few hits to get to 200,000? 


Body Image

This morning on TV one of the spokeswomen for Dove soap spoke about their campaign to get more people to accept their body image.  Their question was, "When was the last time you smiled at yourself in a mirror?"   Well, I guess if when I first walk into the bathroom I didn't first see my dad looking back, I might be more likely to smile.  It is not the fact I see so much of my dad, but the fact that my mental image of me is much younger.

Just how young do you feel?  I am damned glad to be alive at any age, but if there was just some way to physically look like I feel it would just make my day.  About a month ago I shaved my chin whiskers off and Barbara said it made me look 10 years younger.  If I would break down and go with her to her hair dresser, I could look another 10 years younger.  Lets see, I now spend about $12.00 a month for a hair cut vs. the $75.00 (+Tip) just how much younger and at what cost do I want?  I think a smile just subtracts years from my age.  Hanging around with the nieces and nephews also helps.

The other day, on of the TV shows showed what Photoshop could do to make their stars look younger.  Heck, I know that Barbara can make anyone be anyplace and doing anything with Photoshop.  It is clear that we should no longer believe anything we see or read.  I am still blown away that many people believe that if it is on the Internet it is fact.  They watch CNN and Fox news and thing they are getting the straight facts.  Time and time again a lead in of a few facts cause people to sit there and listen to opinions about the shoulda, coulda, woulda.   In the good old days we got the straight who, what, when, where and on occasion the why.  With the reliance on the number of viewers watching at any given time it is no wonder that a lot of hype is put out there as fact.

This weekend, one of those February (soon to be March) winter storms will blow in here and start with rain, followed by sleet and then snow.  The only good thing is there will be some darned good basketball games on TV.  I think WSU has one more conference game then they start the "Arch Madness"  That's the Missouri Valley Tournament in St Louis.  KU has a couple of games left and need only one win to win their 10th BIGXII conference title in a row outright.  It matters little what happens for the next week or so.  I'm not sure it matters what happens in the BIGXII tournament starting Mid March.  They both will get to play in the Post season tournament and winning there is the name of that game.  One win and go home.  Just remember that 64 teams will play down to 16 teams in one weekend.  It is pretty clear that a bunch of someone's will go home unhappy.  I love this time of year and the process is just as important as the outcome. 

Oh well, better get moving or my butt will become my body image right here in front of the screen.



Planning, Conducting or Just Letting, " It All Hang Out"

There are a lot of people out there in the real world that feel abandoned by our current business culture.  When the baby boomers started out, most of us were looking for a career that would help us make a living and have at the end some form of retirement that would help us continue our lifestyles as we aged.  What can I say about the businesses today?  They use people as short term workers and do not feel that they need to protect them day to day let alone for a career.  I am not sure of the exact details, but I think there is generally a three to five year turn around in most industries for their employees. 

Incase you are wondering about where the hell I am taking this in this blog, strap yourself in and see. I think that a lot of people are afraid to plan where they want to go because they fear that the failure of those plans could reflect badly on them.  I would say to them, try to plan on a future but remain flexible just in case.  Kind of the sentiment that Ron Reagan said when he said, "Trust but verify." Plan but be prepared to remain vigilant and watch the future trends. 

One of the fine examples I like to use is me.  Barbara wanted me to finish my degree when I got out of the Army.  I thought that my natural talents would lead me to a management job somewhere. OK, it probably would have been a shift leader at a McDonald's, but I had high aspirations.  I did chose to graduate with a business degree because I knew that it was flexible enough to apply to a lot of career fields.  In 1966, I was drafted into the Army and because of the plans to expand the "Boots on the ground" to 500,000 in 1968, they let me go to OCS without a degree.  I knew that it was a good thing to have on my resume but without a degree, when the war slowed down I would find myself on the outside again.  We planned as soon as my obligation ended to return to school.  I did and I moved on to where I thought I would be for a career.  General Motors called and I went there for 17 of the worst months of my life.  Remember, I spent a year in a combat zone and GM was worse by a factor of two. 

While I swore to never wear green again as I drove out of the main gate at Fort Carson, I did join the National Guard to help pay the bills as I went back to school.  I found the stability of the Guard to be great and there wasn't the annual move the Regular Army had.  I met and served with a bunch of great people in the Guard. It was so great, that when I left GM, and a final touch up on my degree from KU I found a full time job with the Guard.  I changed my plans and moved down that path to retirement.

I could have asked myself if not loving  GM was a failure or move on smartly.  I took the Guard job and added the military career steps in my plan.

The second person I love to include is my brother Rick.  Rick had worked himself up to a good position in an aircraft parts mfg. company and decided that the wear and tear on his body was not what he could do for the rest of working life.  He stopped, lifted and shifted his career plans to get a degree and then Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy.  Was he a failure in the old career path?  Nope, he changed his plans and is working his new career.  I know all of his sisters and I could not be more proud of his efforts. 
I guess I want to say in closing that a good plan to achieve your plans is important but not to the point that you can't change if things don't work out. 

The corollary to all of this is that my wife, Barbara, had her plans from the first time we met and she stayed the course almost to the exact end she envisioned.  She takes a while to get totally committed to a path, but when she does, don't get in her way. 



Ther Daily Show

Just for the record, there is a program on the Comedy Channel called "The Daily Show."   It is not a source of information without commentary but a collection of odd events that becomes satire.  It is not intended to be a fair and balanced medium, just funny commentary on what the Star thinks is funny.  OK, I think that Kansas deserves to be the butt of some of the jokes this week.  Someone decided that parents need the right to spank their children.  "Ten whacks with your palm up to the point of bruising."  I think to help this measure go away the right of schools to impose the same punishment was thrown in.  Instead of killing the matter, it floated to the top of the legislative pile this week.  (Like the proverbial turd in the punch bowl) 

There is also legislation in both Kansas and Arizona that will make it legal for businessmen to reserve the right to not serve people based on religion or  sexual orientation.  Can we be far from making the old race card fit in that deck.  Surely the Legislators have been watching that for 50 years we have been fighting discrimination?  I for one will make sure that I for one will do my best to never shop or pray in any place that makes any group, second class citizens.   While I think the Catholic church moved in the right direction with the selection of this pope, they should be on the way of becoming taxed for their discrimination against women being priests.  Don't even get me started on the subject of paying 720 million to settle claims for sexual exploitation against women and children.  If any organizations did that, the leadership would go to jail and they would be shut down.  I am pretty sure that they can't prove that their "Religious Freedom" could be included in that conduct.

I am reminded that a few years back, the infamous Westboro Church bought a new truck and tried to exempt it from property taxes as belonging to the church.  Rightfully the County assessor told them that they use the truck to haul the picket signs from corner to corner and that is political not religious. When the prohibition crosses the free speech line, all political groups and churches should be scrutinized. 

Let me ensure to you that I for one realize that there is a fine line between free speech and stupid speech.  The problem is that a lot of people want the government to step in and prohibit stupid speech.  That slippery slope is one that I don't want to go down.  Especially when the congress is guilty of making stupid decisions in the past.  I am sure that the government would love to shut down this kind of blog. 
Well, I had better get going and finish putting fill around the base of my new building.  It is probably going to turn colder and rain Tuesday.  The fill I am using will turn into concrete if left out in the rain.  As fill that's a good thing.  Out in a pile in the front yard is not.  Barb told me that hills od concrete are not in her landscape plan.



Final Inspection on Building

All finished and paid for. 


Law of Unintended Consequences

In a lot of cases, it is not the change in the laws enacted by the congress of the US and Kansas that upsets me.  It is what happens after the laws are changed that no one (with a health dose of "but me") saw coming.   The thing that upsets me the most is that while the Kansas House and the Senate are trying to do social engineering by changing the law, their main job is on the back burner and they will probably again go into overtime to get their main business done.  They will again ask us to pay them more of a wage as they spent their time doing what my Grandma Bessie would call "Piddling around."  (I call it social engineering but Bessie was right)

I think Nebraska has the right idea.  To keep this from happening, they have a Unicameral system that is just one body in their State congress and it only meets every two years.  They don't have time to do much else but the main business of the budget and major legislation.  At least their Laws of Unintended Consequences (LUC) doesn't get them on the National news as the least progressive State.  OK, Fred Phelps has been doing that for years.

I was reminded the other day by a couple of the Mexican workers pouring concrete for my new building that California and at least one State in the east banned undocumented workers and found their crops rotting in the field because there was no one to pick them.  We are spending millions on stopping drugs from crossing the southern border when the real problem is the demand for drugs here in America.  We could increase our employment by a million people if we spent only 5% more one American made products.  Our businesses will respond if we increase demand.  I for one don't think our government is capable of fixing what is just a straight forward problem.

Every time I hear that another country is falling apart, I see that our Government wants to send millions of dollars to help them.  What are we to our Government?  Detroit could use a little hand up to keep their infrastructure from falling in.  I don't think there isn't a city in the US that couldn't use a few more dollars to make our schools safer.    How about our State Department telling the oil rich Arab nations that they need to step up and help.  In my humble opinion, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan don't have one thing that is worth spilling the blood of even one US serviceman or woman.  Back in the day, had we spent the money we wasted on the Vietnam war, we could have helped the entire country be a great place then instead of the 50 years it has taken them to join the early 19th century. That war cost us 50,00 lives to direct combat losses and an addition al 50,000 to indirect losses of life. 

So, in closing, I ask you to think about the next time you want to post one of those here is the only way to fix our problems think about the Unintended Consequences of what you ask.  But, turning our focus entirely inside the US borders could will create those dreaded words,  "I am from the Government and I'm here to help you."



Morning After

Last night the Capital City Chorus sang the national anthem for both the men's and women's Basketball game at Washburn's Lee Arena.  Great crowd and good games.  It is always fun to see a different mix of singers and how well they do.  The National Anthem for the first game we sang without a Tenor and it sounded pretty darned good.  The second game we had a tenor and the audience seemed to be almost more pleased if that is possible. 

I finally drug home about 8:20 and Barb said the last two concrete finishers had just left.  I don't know why but the concrete just took an extra 4 hours to finally get done.   Looks pretty good this morning but I have no idea what it really will look like in the end.  I wonder if the Cement Plant did add the Calcium Chloride to help it set up, or not.  It was a damp and cool evening but with the extra CC it should have gone off faster not 4 hours slower.  Who knows?

Today I am going to meet my Niece Amy and several family members at Free State Brewery in Lawrence.  She brought he son with her and he's such a cute guy.  I may try to sneak in a visit to Wal*Mart and see if they have a truck or tractor as a gift.  Even better, perhaps they will have a book about trucks and tractors. 

Last night between games, the subject of Churches, Discrimination and the pending legislation to allow churches to not marry gays or Lesbians.  I think Churches should be allowed to discriminate if they will give up their Tax Exempt status.  I told the guys that this kind of law opens the door to allow discrimination of my black friends next.  I for one don't want to go back 50 years for any reason.  The quickest way for the Catholic church to realize that we mean business is to have them pay taxes on the 720 million they paid to settle claims for sexual abuse.  I wonder why the Cardinal in California didn't go to jail for hindering the prosecution of priests in this case.  I would round them all up and put them in a work farm for years and see how that trend dies there.  If the church would let women be priests and let priests marry, this kind of nonsense would go away. 

Yesterday as the concrete was trying to dry, I talked to a couple of the Mexican workers about their desires and what they really want.  They said that in Mexico they would be lucky to be paid $10 a day let alone an hour.  They almost all are sending money to their families back home.  Most of them want to go home at the end of their working life.  They just hope they have enough money saved to live long and well.  The one guy that has a girlfriend here said that he was not sure he would get married to gain citizenship. Even if it was a dual citizenship.  What they want is a return to the days where they could get a green card to work here and someday go home.  They want to be legally here.  They all recognize that it is difficult to get across the border if they go home for a visit and their normal annual visits just aren't happening.   On the issue of stronger borders, they said that the people here would stop using drugs, there would be a lot less crossings of the border to just import drugs.  It is those drug mules that give the entire population a bad name.  It has been my pleasure to spend time with many different "Brown Brothers" and share ideas with them.  Those haters that say bad things against them should have to do the menial jobs they do for the poor wages they get. 

Oh well, as you can tell, I was on a roll yesterday and just wish I had a small pad and pencil to write down all the things everyone said.  It was like a comedy mixed with a tragedy and a little romance thrown in.  After all, guys will be boys when it comes to the matter of girls.



Pourin' Concrete

Yesterday the Concrete guy said they would be here this morning and pour the floor.  I had about half of the fill inside the building and he said they would make it level and pour it by noon.  At 11:30 the biggest part of the crew went on to another job and left two guys here to put the finishing touches on the floor.  They say they will leave by 4 PM.  

I wish you could have been here to see that crew work.   They hustled their butts off and even had to wait for the concrete truck to get here.  I have enough fill to put around the building and fill the ruts from the concrete truck.  10 Yards inside of the truck puts a lot of weight on the ground and the ground was just between frozen and a mud bog. 

This afternoon the Barbershop Chorus will go to Lee Arena and sing the National Anthem for the women's and then the Men's Basketball games.   I love to sing with the guys and we'll have a lot of fun.  I'll even try to get the camera set up and film the event.

One funny thing about the crew was this one guy that spoke very little English asked only two questions.  When he saw the 53 pickup he said "How Much?"  When he saw the 57 Chevy he repeated that question. 

One of these days, I am going to get Dave over to help me with a couple of computer questions.  This operating system just has me confused.  I am pretty sure he can dummy down his answers and I'll finally figure out how to do a couple of things I cannot do right now. 

Thanks to Iowa State who knocked off Texas last night.   That leaves us a couple of games up on Texas in the Conference Title hunt.  We'll get to see how well they do on our court on Saturday.  I am completely amazed at the change in the referees this season.  They started calling ticky tack fouls at the start and I have seen teams body slam Joel Imbid in two different games with no call made.  Barb hates those close games and those are the one's I like to watch the most.  Watching KU beat up on TCU didn't thrill me but the Texas Tech game went right down to the wire and I loved it. 

Oh well, better get cracking.



65 Degrees in february?

After a couple of those Arctic Swirls that brought us zero degrees and snow up to rear end deep on a tall Indian, it is finally going to thaw out for a couple of days.  So much so, the concrete guy is coming tomorrow to do a pour the floor in the new steel building.  Can't wait to see it in all it's glory.

At the barbershop chorus practice last night, it seemed like the entire group just started on pitch and went flat all night.  There is one song that only two of the Basses can hit the low notes and they went so flat that I was the only one that could hit the bottom note.   Not bragging, only the facts, Mam.  I think everyone has just a touch of something and many of the guys stayed home because the couldn't talk let alone sing.  I practiced early in the day and then took a nap. 

What would you do if you all of a sudden started having balance problems?  Last night I dropped a sheet of music and when I picked it up I simply went ass hole over teakettle and the only thing that saved me is that the risers have a railing on the back side.   Oh well, another disaster survived.  I think it is related to my hearing damage and I don't have any high hopes that it will get better as I get older. 

During our Valentines singing, I had a lady write down the name and address of one of the ladies we were going to sing to.  As I posted the pictures and sent pictures of the ladies and the quartet, I couldn't find a picture of one lady.  Last night that mystery was solved when I was reminded that Ann was home sick that day so we didn't sing to her.  Duh Dennis.  I had such a good plan and it all fell apart on that one person near the front of the list.  Oh well.



Is Basketball Season Over Yet?

Last weekend I saw that all three Major Basketball teams won.  Unfortunately, K-State carried that over to Tuesday night and beat KU.  This weekend K-State lost to Baylor in Overtime and KU and WSU both won.  We are getting down to the end of the season and will soon have the conference Tournaments.  The Missouri Valley Tournament in St Louis looks like a fun trip some where out in the future. (I love the name- Arch Madness)  For now, I will just stay home and watch the BIGXII when it happens. 

I sure wish I had some insight on who was going to win or lose.  If I really did, I would go buy Lottery Tickets.  (or not if I was sure no one could win)    To me, Basketball is a game played by a bunch of kids and I do my best to enjoy the ride.   I am sure there are a bunch of OSU fans that didn't see their melt down happening with Smart having a bad meeting engagement with a fan.  There are a lot of people that saw WSU in the final 4 but 27-0 this near to the end of the season?   Who saw KU playing more like a team with Imbid on the bench?   Not me...

I played driver to one of the quartets when they delivered singing valentines all over town last Friday.  It was a blast to meet so many nice people and see how appreciative they were.  Next time I will do a better job of getting the names, e-mail and pictures all lined up.  There is only a couple of pictures I don't have sent today.  I am hoping that the Scheduler will have some of the missing information tonight. 

I am convinced that everyone that has an opinion is at least partially wrong.  If anyone thinks the "War on Terror" fixed all of our problems, they need to stop and think.  The congress throwing Trillions on the stimulus was just as wrong.  Just when the rest of the USA was coming to terms with the question of equal right for all people, the Kansas House tries to run an end around as set us back at least 50 years.  If you can discriminate against the gays and Lesbians, how about the Jews and blacks?  Are they next?   How about the Catholic Church telling women they can be Priests?   Should they be applauded of have their tax exempt status revoked? 

A couple of years ago, I asked the question - What if we find out that only Saddam Hussein or the Taliban are the only people ruthless enough to make the country of Iraq work?   I further asked how many countries have taken a punch at the Tar Baby we call Afghanistan?   Didn't England, the USSR and now the USA all find this place to be less fun than a fart in a space suit?  

If you can't tell, I have a lot more questions than answers.  In fact I feel like I have been stirring the pot with a motor boat paddle because I don't have a paddle for this boat.  I'll write more later when I have more answers - or Not!



Singing Valentines

On Friday I drove one of the quartets as they sang Valentines songs to women all over Topeka.  The gave the ladies a box of chocolates and a rose.  What a great day.  I knew Barbara would be at the Lawn and Garden show so I had them drop in and sing to her.

The Love of my Life and Young at Heart Quartet
Just finished watching Kansas dismantle TCU.  They moved the ball, scored at will, played a little defense and looked like they were having fun.   I even saw Perry Ellis Smile after setting a new career record by shooting a 3 point basket.  Instead of going for a 100 point game, Bill put the walk- on players into the game.  It was a fun game to watch. 

Last week I said that WSU could probably beat KU or K-State.  Now I am not sure who is the best.  I saw a KU team that was energize and having fun.  One thing I don't want to do is to wish WSU any ill will.  They are a great team and made up of the kind of young men that any coach would love to have.

Sometime next week I hope to have a floor poured in the building.  It looks pretty good right now but needs that solid floor.  I guess I also need to start working on a plan for storage and work benches.

The other day, my sister called me about her taxes.  She admitted that she will (like me) have to pay this year.  I will have my taxes done here in a couple of weeks but I will not mail them in until the last day I can without penalty.  In fact, I haven't even loaded the Turbo Tax information yet.

Better run and get something done.



46 Years, Really?

On February 11th, 1968, Barbara Jean Schmoe took my right hand and promised to walk with me until death do us part.  It was the best day of my life and for over 2/3rds of my life she has made it one wonderful trip.  We have enjoyed making plans and making them work until we have reached a point in life where I can truly say we have everything we ever needed and most of what we want.  The great thing is that at the end of the month we have money left over when the month ends. 

I think she enjoys watching and wondering what I'll do next
The other day, one of the sportscasters asked one of the male skiers how he managed to get safely down the hill at 70 MPH.  He said he watched way down the hill and see's where he is going not just watching the ground right in front of his skis.  How can we give this gift to our children? (Not just my son, but all our children)  When we do that, we will achieve the status of a truly great Nation. 

I think that is a lesson we have forgotten in a lot of areas.  Instead of trying to give people hope and a positive vision, we talk about all the problems people are having.   Do you think there was a time when I was unemployed?  Hell Yes! but I didn't let that stop talking about our future plans and the realization that we had a course in life and keeping going forward was the path we needed to follow.

I feel it is important that you understand that I started poor and through the luck of the Irish, got to my end goals.  Throw in a lot of hard work and a good education and you will understand me better.  I want you to know that I spent a year living apart from my new wife and in a place where people were seriously trying to take my life.  I slept on the ground a lot of nights and ate food that just nourished my body not my soul.  Everything else since those days has been a journey way below the level that would make me want to quit. 

I also want to mention that right now, my other passion is music. I hope you can find the music that makes your heart soar.  The best I can do is Barbershop Chorus but that's fine.

If hear that one day, I am no longer alive, don't cry, just tell a Denny Petty story, sing a song and move on. 



Went to Texas

We drove down to see the KU-Texas wrasling match.  It was supposed to be a basketball game but the first thing Cam threw Joel on the floor and it never got better.  The only fouls called in the game were those patty cake fouls on the perimeter.  They could (an did) draw bold underneath but none of those fouls got called.  For some reason our million dollar baby just stayed out on the perimeter and didn't make an impact. 

We drove to Hillsboro, Texas on Saturday night and only went just north of the Oklahoma state line the next day.  It got icy and there were wrecks everywhere.  We assumed that overnight, the road crews would get out and scrape and salt with some sand thrown in for traction.  Looked like all they did was bring in the wreckers overnight and drag cars out of the ditch.  It took us 5 hours to go 120 miles to OK City.  It only took us 6 hours to go the rest of the way home. 

We arrived home with the prediction of a heavy snow to start Monday night and go on through Tuesday.    Well, we have somewhere between 6 and 8 inches on the ground.  I haven't seen hide nor hair of a snow plow yet.  I can only assume they are waiting for it to slow down and they will work the roads tonight.  As an old retiree, it doesn't really matter what they do so long as we have some  bread and milk.  I did get out early and get 5 gallons of diesel for the tractor.  I know Barbara and Dave worry I'll get out and get too cold moving snow.  It is a blast for me and I wear layers over layers of warm clothes.

Barbara is making chili for dinner tonight and that's what the doctor ordered after an hour or so out in the cold.  We also have the Jay Hawks and Baylor on ESPN at 6 PM.  Two fine teams that will do battle in Waco.  I hope Ben McLemore puts his big girl pants on and shows up to play.  Oh well, I have said before, it is only college students playing ball.

Better go see how soon that wonderful smell can fit in a bowl.



Rockin' the Place

On Thursday, I put probably about 40 tons of screenings in the new building as back fill.  I didn't want to put too much rock in side so there is about 16 ton of rock still in the pile outside.  I love to drive my tractor with a front loader and I did most of the moving in about 2 1/2 hours.  Now all I need is a door and a floor. 

The next project is to decide what kind of shelving and interior items top put in the shed.  At least one or two will be lockers with a lock.  I think I will put most of my electric tools there.  I think most of my automotive tools will be in the garage.  

Does anyone else feel that the Superbowl is just irrelevant?  I know that a lot of advertisers just are using the event to hype their product.  I really like the Budweiser Ads but their product - Not so much.  This morning on TV there was a group of former players in New Jersey serving drinks and singing gospel music.   It was about 7 AM and way too early for  Bloody Mary's.  Oh well.

I guess I'd better run and catch up tomorrow.