More Stuff

This is from the Day Runner that has laid by my chair for a couple of years.  I am sure that most of the things I will write here are pre 1997 but as I look at them, they seem to be appropriate today.  I cannot tell you who wrote them but I will only paraphrase not quote so I hope you will only use them as a guide. 

There are 5 life skills that stand out.  Creativity,  Listening,  Speaking, Reading and Decision Making.  I think we teach the creativity out of our children.  Little kids love to play act and stop when school starts.  Listening, speaking and reading are all skills we use in our education system and I would encourage parents to start reading to your children early and keep it up until they can read to you.  The last life skill is one that we just don't teach anywhere but in the Military.  Parents can and should start helping children by encouraging them to get involved with planning on the family vacations.  My Dad would come home of Friday night and pass out the grocery sacks.  He would tell us that in 15 minutes we were going to go to Arkansas.  It was always fun to see what I had forgotten.  Perhaps it was a toothbrush, clean underwear or a clean shirt.  They never pressed us about bad decisions and it was a lesson we all learned as we went.  The scouts was a good start but the Army was where I really learned to plan and execute.

The following things are described as things that people who are successful have in common.
Common Sense - This is the ability to reduce the complex to the core of what matters.  Sort the wheat from the chaff.  learn to not sweat the small shit...
Specialize Knowledge - Learn and then learn more and never stop learning in your field.  Find at least one area that you enjoy and dig deep there.  For me, there was every nut and bolt on a 57 Chevy.
Self Reliance - Plain old will power, or the courage to get things moving.  Set goals and make them happen.
General Intelligence  - Read, write and learn to speak well. 
Ability to Get Things Done - Do you know someone in your area that gets things done?  try to be that go-to-guy your boss counts on.  Learn how to form and work with teams.
Leadership - Develop the talent to motivate and not intimidate.  If you can help people do things and make them think it was their idea.
Know Right from Wrong - Become sensitive to moral and ethical concerns.  Find a way to share with your boss that you are a conduit of information and share with him offline when things are borderline.  Try to make it informational and not judgmental.
Creativity - Study problem solving and offer your boss two or three ways to get a job done.  Give him solutions and let him judge.  It never hurts to ask him or her why they made the decision they choose.  Don't make it a contest, but a learning process to see if there is a different way to do things.
Self Confidence - Knowing how to do things will help you become more self confident. 
Oral Expression - The more you speak to large groups, the better you will be.  Never pass up a chance to brief a group, teach a class or lead a discussion. 
Concern for Others - I found learning the Myers Briggs personality typing helped me understand different kind of people.  This understanding should give you the ability to feel where the others are coming from, and how they deal with it. 
LUCK - Understand that there are things that happen and they are not always in your control.  Gamble only what you can afford to lose.

Always remember that Dollars are not everything. Your personal worth is greater than personal wealth. 

At least once a year, try a self test.  Do You Have?  Empathy, Humor, Courtesy and can you build trust?  This can be done with a close friend or your mother.  Don't ever discuss what you find with your co-workers. 

We all know there are Winners and Losers - Here are some of the attributes od Winners.
  • Success Mindset
  • Sets goals and works to achieve them
  • Takes advantage of every educational opportunity.
  • Works to control others.  Just remember that making sure they get their jobs done is the most important part of your job.   Set clear objectives, make sure they feel comfortable in coming to you for help and monitor their progress with out making them feel controlled.
  • Play the Part.  Dress as well as your boss does.  Dress like you mean it. 
Work for what it means for your life, not your bank account.

Once I read that if you are the losers in a battle, don't forget to Bury the Dead Horses.   Not sure why, but a little humor never hurts.  Can you laugh at yourself?  If not, why not?

I don't have all the answers, but I have been told that setting Goals should include the following areas:
  • Career
  • Education
  • Financial
  • Physical Fitness
  • Community/Charity
  • Personal
  • Leisure
Once you get rolling, try to achieve balance in the areas of:
  • Recreational
  • Spiritual
  • Professional
  • Financial
  • Social
  • Intelligence
  • Culture
  • Physical
I do not have a need for this nearly as much in my retired life.  Good Luck.



Years ago I had a "Day Runner" that I used to keep me on track.  I loved the way it helped me know what I needed to do and what I could put off.  The act of writing down the stuff I needed to do was in itself a work avoidance mechanism that proved to me that I was organized, not energized.  As I would travel through my days, I would hear things that I would just have to write down,  Here are just a few of them:  (If you read something that you wrote, give yourself credit and write your own darned blog)

  • I abhor stupidity.  Not speech by the uneducated, but speech that everyone knows speaker couldn't even possibly believe what they are saying.   PS, at lot of this is coming out of Washington but you didn't hear that from me.
  • People that say we shouldn't have a prejudice don't understand the word.  That is our mind's ability to sort out the things that we like and dislike so we don't spend our days struggling over what to wear, eat or read.  We would soon slow down to a paralyzing pace if we couldn't decide if we like mustard and not catsup on our hamburger.  Lord only knows you have been behind someone in a line that couldn't make up their mind over selecting a coke or a tea.  I myself, love catsup on French fries, mustard on hot dogs and grilled over raw onions.  I would love to have a new car if they were making a 57 style Chevy.  
  • I am a Fiscal Conservative.  I do believe in the power of change but the change should be for the better and damn sure not more expensive.  If the change doesn't make it better or cheaper in the long run why change.  If all you want is a cosmetic change, paint it, salute and move on.  Outgo must be less than or equal to Income in the long run.
  • In the real world out there, there are people that cannot change.  If you are in charge, make a good plan, staff it, figure out how to pay for it and implement it.  There will be cases where you just have to "haul ass and bypass" some of the people but if you have time, look up the word Republic and try to understand not everyone will be happy 100% of the time.
  • I am a native Kansan and consider myself a Jay Hawker.  I am a person that loves freedom and hates enslavement.  Ideas that lock you into one place can enslave you as well as chains. 
  • Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.  In spite of his great ideals, his control while he tried to keep our great Union together was about as tough as any Dictator.  
  • Take what you want, but eat what you take. (Sign over the buffet at the buffet Danny Rex and I were asked to leave and never come back to)  
  • If you don't really want to buy it, don't ask what it costs. 
  • Spend your last dollar on your last day.  (and hope you wife saved enough to get rid of the body)
  • Don't expect everyone to tell the truth when they are lying to you.  Sometimes a good story has no guiding moral principle, it is just a good story.  With over 2700 posts and 300,000 visits, I had to make up a couple of the things you read here.  But read the fine print along the top edge of this blog and you will realize I warned you.

Lastly, smile and make them wonder what you are up to.


Taking a day off

For a lot of the past week, I have been painting a house (at least from the inside) and rehabbing the bathroom.  It was clearly a labor of love as there wasn't any pay involved.  With that said, it was as much work cleaning up the mess we made as it was painting.  Thank god there is new carpet coming next week.  I guess when you hire free and young help you get what you pay for.  I tried to do my best to not be directive in the efforts and that for me, was probably as much work as the painting.  We did turn a chocolate brown cave into a nice lite airy space.  There should be a color chart at the paint store that tells you if you are color challenged,  Once you cross over the line from tan to chocolate the machine should disallow you from being in charge of the color.  Especially if the carpet is blue and selected by a person equally color blind.  I will say blind here because there was just no excuse in that color combination. 

There are a few things I will go over and help fix a little later on this week.  Somehow a leak under the kitchen sink just destroyed the particle board and the floor of the cabinet is sitting on the floor and not holding anything together.  I will try to build a 2X4 shelf support and use some plywood that might make it past the first time the sink leaks.  Did I mention that I might also change the kitchen faucet.  Dang, it is an no ending challenge to rehab old kitchens.  At least the 40 year old kitchens had real backbones behind the veneer of paint.  Any thing newer than that is particle board and anyone that thinks it will last through the first dunking of a leak is just fooling themselves.  I think the engineers  would have tried to use a waterproof glue in their design.  Nope, Particle board is good for a small fire in the fireplace and only that.

Barb went to the local farmer's market and found that they have locally produced cantaloupe's from over by Atchison.  It was the best we have had this year.   We haven't reached the production level for tomatoes yet but soon we will have them rolling in.  If you can find anything better than a BLT and a side of cantaloupe, you let me know.  I grill a great steak but fresh home grown tomatoes with bacon is more than anyone should imagine.  Did I mention that I also love watermelon?  I think mango's are pretty good too, but I do wish they could change the shape to eliminate that cuttlefish shaped seed out of the middle.  

I am going to spend an hour or two today looking for a bucket of tools that is probably sitting right where I left them.  I have tried various methods of organization in my hand tools and thought I had finally found a method that works.  There is a 5 gallon bucket that is just about the right amount of tools to fix about any project and a canvas organizer that helps keep the contents sorted.  I had one for carpentry and one for plumbing.  I can find the plumbing bucket but the other is Missing in action (MIA)  You will know I have found it when you hear the slapping of my forehead with my right hand, followed by the words, "Duh Dennis."  My really big hope is that I didn't leave it outside somewhere and find it with about a foot of water in it.  I did that with my Dad's tool box one time and he tried to lock the shed so it wouldn't happen again.  He put the latch on wrong and I found that with a screw driver I could just unscrew the latch and get inside the shed.  That worked until I forgot to screw the latch back on he came home and found his tools outside again.  After that, he put a padlock on it and then "hid" the key.  That was much easier to find than unscrewing the latch.  After that I did try to remember to have the lock closed but the time Dad got home.

As a member of the "Baby Boomer" bunch, many of my classmates  are busy loosing their parents.  In fact, many have long since become an adult orphan.  The fact we no longer have Moms and Dads to provide guidance doesn't mean we don't need them.  I would give about any amount of money to hear my dad say, "Who invented this shit" in reply to the report that we are sending millions of dollars to some country to arm one side of a rebellion or another.  He would shout that advisors was just the start of that war in Vietnam and what good has that done us?  I don't understand who or why the Iraqi soldiers can just throw down their weapons and give up with the knowledge that the enemy takes no prisoners.  I just wonder at what time they will get smarter and begin to think that getting killed to protect your country is better than getting killed because they give up?  

Oh well, I have just about emptied my brain housing group and hear my name being mentioned in the part of the list of people that need to get up off my butt and do a little house cleaning.  Mel, Zander and the three dogs will be here tomorrow and you know those dogs have high standards.  I want them to be able to eat dropped food off a clean floor.  Wouldn't want them to get sick.



300,000 Visits

I do want to thank all of you that stop in and read this simple little blog.  It crossed over 300,000 visits sometime yesterday.   I would promise to make changes to make it better, but I'm not sure how.  I guess just writing from the heart will have to do.  I wish you all a happy life, cause I'm having the time of my life.


Sunday, Again?

Spent a lot of last week painting and between the painting and recuperating, the week just flashed by.  Seems like just yesterday it was Sunday and here it is again.  Remember when you wished days of your life away as a kid?  For me, working hard does that.  Throw in a good book now and then and time flies by.

Seems like the Supreme Court stood up and told the President he did something he shouldn't.  9-0 on his appointments when the congress was not in session.  Now if the courts will just stand up and tell congress to get their act together.  One of these days there will not be enough money in the world to let us do whatever they want and the act of passing new legislation without paying for what is out there will be found illegal.   I just heard that we are going to give 500 million dollars to another rebel group in Syria.  Screw them, lets fund some good news right here at home.  Put that money in educational grants and help our poor get an education.  Provide jobs in the inner cities and on the reservations (Casino's excluded) and see if we just can't be a better place.

Yesterday both sides of my past life came together.  I was in the Guard for over 25 years and have about 4 years of Barbershop Chorus singing.  My good friend Wayne Cline and his wife had their 60th Anniversary at the Museum and because Wayne was also a Colonel in the Guard and a Barbershopper, many of the guests were also friends of mine.  I got to see people that I had not seen in years and it was such a great time.  We sang to the Clines and even had a nephew of theirs from the Kansas City Heart Of America Chorus sing with us.  It was a great day and one I will treasure for a long time.

The only sad note was that one old friend of mine is down that road of dementia that he didn't remember the good times I mentioned to him and his wife.  He looked blankly and said he didn't recognize who I was.   I noticed several times that he was staring at me during the festivities and he was trying to put me and his life together out there in the past.  He was a General Officer that said good things to George Parker about my abilities and then when I was the S-3 of a Battalion helped the General decide to give me the 1-127th FA.  I guess we are all getting old(er) and life is moving on.

One of the younger friends of mine on Facebook posted that they were starting working down their Bucket List hard.  I have started putting things on my "Not to Do Again," list.  Things like roller skating and falling down on a hard wood floor is just done, over, won't do it again.  At one time there was a lot of world wide travel that I wanted to do.  Now I want to just finish seeing as many of the National parks right here at home.  Zion, Bryce Canyon, North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone were on that list to see and now I have been there, done that.  Yosemite, Chaco Canyon, Death Valley are still on the list waiting.  I am not sure how I am going to make those places happen if Barb won't go with me on trips to high places.  I guess I will just have to take her to visit her Dad and go without her.   

Better get on with the day, Smiles to go before I sleep.



Watching TV

I had never binge watched a TV series and the other day the TV listed the top three series often watched.  I realized that I had never seen even one show in any one of the series.  Over the years, I have watched enough of the series Law and Order to have seen all of the shows and probably I have seen all of the series Major Crimes but I wouldn't sit down and watch all of the shows nearly back to back.  Makes me wonder if my preconceptions have kept me from reading or watching things that many others have. 

I am a fairly confident person and in most cases, enjoy controlling what I do.  I am sure that I am a creature of habit and where does your life take you because of the law of, "Do what you did and you will get what you got."   The other day I noticed a new restaurant near Washburn University.  I pointed it out to Barbara and she told me I could try it and report back to her what I found.  I guess I am a little more adventurous than she is.  It has been pointed out that I mimic my Dad's habit of driving a different route when I go places.   I have been to Idaho several times and only when I drove myself  did I go on any route but I70 and I-80. 

This week I have been helping my son get his In-Law's new house in order.  We have turned what was a dark chocolate cave into a light airy house.  There will be new carpet installed soon and that should finish the transformation.  There are a few minor things I have been working on but they are just minor things that I can do with my bucket of tools.  I need to finish painting the bathroom and figure out what is keeping the light in the laundry room from working.  I put up a new fixture in the kitchen and moved the old kitchen fixture that worked downstairs.  Oh well, minor things and I will work it out.

The other night, the movie, "The Green Mile" was on for the umpteenth time.  Near the end of the part where Tom Hanks is the lead guard on the Green Mile, he talks to John Coffee about alternatives.  It struck me that John's description of how the negative thoughts hurt him and his brain is a lot like the feelings I have when I watch the news.  The hate and divisiveness going on both in the USA and the World just takes the fun out of things.  The congress has an approval rating near 15% and the news carried a discussion that an old Republican beat a Tea Party guy only with the help of the cross over Democrats.  Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot(s).  OK Feet but none the less this all sucks.  We need to throw them all out and start over.  Surely what makes sense out here in the real world makes sense in Washington if we had new faces there.

Oh well, better get on with my day.  Seems like I will be over 300,000 hits this summer.  Thanks for reading along with my life.



From Where I Stand

I stand to salute the flag of the United States of America.  I believe that from the beginning, we had the best foundation of any Government in our Constitution.  The three separate branches of our Government were designed to balance and ensure liberty for all who live here.

Where did we go wrong?   Why do some people think the Government is the cure for all that ails us and not a good portion of the cause?  How has our wonderful ideas to make sure the poor can survive be the tear in the fabric that is tearing down the middle class?   How can we stand having unemployed Americans and think that opening our borders will make it all better? 

Where is the leadership in Washington that inspires us to get up, stand up and work hard to make this Nation what it once was.  How can a Government take jobs away from the middle class and try to spend the poor into that category?  

I wonder where the people that hear Hillary say they were broke and now worth millions can look at her say that and not either laugh or cry?  Was it a right wing conspiracy that Bill could not keep it in his pants or doesn't it matter any more? 

I for one think the law of unintended consequences should be examined and see what effect our major changes have had on our country.  In Pogo, years ago he said, "I have seen the enemy and her are us!"  Truer words could not be spoken today.



Busy Weekend

In addition to spending most of tomorrow singing all over Topeka, Today I am going to attend a short time visiting with my friend Wayne Cline and his wife as they celebrate their 60th anniversary.  Their children are putting the event on and they are doing it at the Kansas natural History Museum.  That's one of my favorite places.  Wayne recruited me for the chorus twice. 

My son's in-laws have bought a house here in Topeka after 11 years in Las Vegas.  I sure hope they can step back into the wild life here in Topeka.  I know they want to be back here with the grandkids and their church family.  I will take my bucket of tools over and do a few small projects needed in the new house.  Might even do a little painting but the plumbing projects are mine all mine. 

Yesterday was one of those days.  I had a trailer load of trash that needed a trip to the dump.  When I started to hook the truck up, it wouldn't start.  The battery was just strong enough to make the starter click.  I put that battery on the charger and hooked up the Ford to the trailer.  I needed to air up the tires and then realized the turn signal plug on the trailer didn't work.   In fact it was missing.  Another thing to fix this weekend if I intend to use it. 

Our Barbershop Chorus does a summer project of church music and visiting the nursing homes.  We do a pretty good job and they seem to enjoy us.  We have a summer series of five songs that have  spiritual basis.  Our version of Amazing grace and I believe are just the best.

I had better cut this short and get on with my day.



Why MUD?

Once upon a time I was the proud uncle of two of the neatest girls and when my sister would bring them by the gas station where I worked, we would play a game where I would sneak up on the car and growl at them.  On the last time I played that game, Carrie turned to kind of run and got her feet tangled up on a blanket on the floor of the station wagon.  She fell and broke some of her teeth on the edge of the seat. 

Thank god the teeth that were broken were her baby teeth so other than my dad called her snaggle tooth for a while no permanent damage was done.  I got her an ice cream bar to help with the pain and as she was eating it, she looked at me and said, "Mean Uncle Denny."  My sister said yep your name should be mud.  I have adopted that nickname and have it as my nom de plume.  Carrie is long over the event and I hope to remain high on the list of people she loves.  They are in Brazil watching soccer matches and I hope they are having a great time.

Just thought you might like to know where MUD came from and might be glad to know it doesn't have any bad connotation.   Unless you loose teeth because of my growl. 



For some weird reason, I had yesterday as Friday almost all day.  I guess when you are boring, wishing a day to be over isn't unusual.  I have a fairly full schedule for the next few days so I might be a little lax on how much I post.  In fact, If I had my act together right now, I would be on my way to the dump so I can unload my trailer full of trash.  I have a need to fill it again when we start working on the Park's house.  Not sure what we will run into but I'm sure there will be at least some old siding to replace and supplies from the painting. 

Today, I read the Obituary of a good friend's father.  Her maiden name was Saia.  It had never occurred to me that she might be of Spanish heritage.   It really doesn't make any difference because as you probably have read here on my blog that I love that Topeka was the home of many Mexican families because of the Railroad.   If there is an event I love better than the Fiesta here in Topeka, I don't know what it is.  The fact that they raise lots of money for their schools is bonus to me.  If there is a better thing to spend money on, I don't know what it is.

When I went out to fetch the paper, I have to walk the last 100 feet out in the sunlight.  It may not be as warm today as it was yesterday but the humidity and lack of wind will make it feel hotter.  I swear that the humidity here in the heartland feels like New Orleans.  Almost every afternoon, the clouds have built up and somewhere near here it has rained.  At least the circular winds have been far to the north so far.  I hear that Iowa and east they are almost underwater.  I do know that the rivers and streams in Kansas are all running pretty full.  In fact, I saw that there are those white mushrooms growing out in the yard.  Way too wet for me.

I hope to sneak in a movie sometime this week.   I see that the new Frankie Valley Movie "Jersey Boys" starts today.   I really don't care about the story in the movie, but that is the music of my youth and I love that falsetto lead.  At one time (prior to my bronchitis) I had such a voice and sang along with many of the records of my day.  Once I had that bad run of health in 98 or 99, I was not able to sing way up there any more.  I can probably sing higher than most of the basses in the chorus but I really did struggle with the baritone parts when we had to sing higher than the leads.  Oh well, probably more than you wanted to know.

Have you seen the price of bacon lately?  What was generally a loss leader in the stores is now at least $6.00 a pound.  Some of the packages have been trimmed down and are 14 OZ.  I guess when my favorite steak is over $10 a pound, bacon must be higher.  And, the cost of living is not on the rise either?  It cost me $50 to fill the Ford gas tank the other day and I had a 20 cent per gallon discount on my Dillon's card.  Sheesh, and almost all of my gas cans and vehicles need  filled. 

Oh well, gotta get running and do a few good things.



1968 a Look Back


During the second half of 1968, I was assigned to a 155mm Towed Howitzer Battalion.   They were assigned to a Field Artillery Brigade on Artillery Hill near Pleiku, RVN.  The good news was they didn't have any assigned Forward Observer positions.  The bad news was that every so often a tasking would come down from the top of the hill and being the low man on the Totem Pole, I would gather up two people and go out on short assignments.   Most of the time there would be a death from "Hostile Fire and I would spend a week or two until a replacement could be obtained.   I had been a Forward Observer in the unit I went to Vietnam with and had lots of experience calling fire.  I had a young Corporal and a PFC that had gone out three or four times and knew as much as I could teach them. 

Most of our operations would start with us flying into an area by helicopter and the usual meet and greet with a new commander.  Most of the time I'm sure he looked at the skinny, tall and very young Lieutenant and just shook  his head.  I would spend a lot of time near the headquarters element for the first few days and most commanders just watched me like a hawk until I proved I could read a map and call for fire.  I don't know if it was a test or that there were truly that many guy that got lost a lot, but several times a day I would be asked to spot our location on the map.    There was even once that I had the firing battery fire a spotting round to prove I knew where we were.  I would have them fire a White Phosphorous round with a time fuse at a location  I would pick on a map.   I would tell the unit that at the direction I would give them, expect to see a puff of white smoke.  I can't ever remember not having the round where I predicted.  Each evening, I would fire a defensive target on all four sides of the unit.  I would brief the unit commander and made sure that his defensive plan was all integrated.  We generally had a mortar unit from the Battalion available and the heavy weapons platoon in the company.   I never misfired and got my rounds anywhere near the infantrymen in the company.  Close enough to discourage a ground attack but far enough to now wound us.

I had been back with a battery and providing them ammunition from a base near the airport in Ban Me Tout for a couple of weeks.  In addition to the ammunition, we made sure they had C-Rations and at food to cook at least one hot meal a day.  There was a need for a couple of water trailers and all the pop the local PX would let us buy.  One thing that always was welcome was the bags of mail we would send out to the battery.  I had a Sergeant with me that would look through the mail for any for the men in the detachment with me.   Most of the units we were supporting in the area were from the 4th Division.  They wore a diamond shaped patch with four leaf clovers on them.  We wore the First Field Force patches and the 4th Division MP's left my guys alone.   That pretty much gave us free reign to go where we needed to go when we needed to do it.  It would look a lot like a mini convoy for two or three ammunition trucks and the Mess truck to go back and forth from the supply point to the airfield daily.  I generally sent one of the Sergeants with them in my jeep to ride heard on them.   For the most part they knew if they screwed up they would find themselves back on a fire base in the middle of nowhere. 

Dang, it took me three paragraphs to get to where the real story starts.  I guess background isn't the worse thing.  I got a call on the land line from the 175mm unit we were co-located with.  I had a call from my Headquarters in Pleiku.  I went over and after what seemed like an hour of trying to get a call through, I finally got the Operations Sergeant from the battalion on the line.  He said I was to report back to Pleiku on the earliest flight I could catch.  Being right on the end of the runway, I basically packed my bag and went over the airfield.  Catching a ride back to Pleiku was fairly easy as the Air Force had a large base their in Pleiku and a lot of cargo aircraft from the 4th Division flew pretty much daily sorties.  Long story short I got to Pleiku and to my unit headquarters by nightfall.  The S-3 told me that the next day I was to be assigned to a unit of the 3rd Bat, 503rd Airborne (173rd)down near Saigon.  He gave me one of the few written orders for that assignment as I would have to travel through the big base near Saigon to make connections.   I think it took a couple of days to get to the headquarters and then to find a helicopter ride out to Company A.  That unit had a forward observer who went home on emergency leave because his dad had a heart attack.   He was due back in a week or so, and it was no big deal to me.     There was even a recon team from the unit with an honest to god E-5 Sergeant and a Spec4 radio operator.  They had been with the unit for months and were darned good at what they had to do.  One of the first things I noticed was that everyone thought it was funny that I wasn't airborne qualified.  I got called leg a lot at first and soon started making sure that they knew it was Redleg for Field Artillery.  It didn't take them long to see I knew my job and to gain the unit commander's trust. 

When I first got to that unit, The Company Commander and I had a talk.  He said that because his unit has a lot of older soldiers, drinking was a problem.  He didn't allow booze in the field.  I told him that I had a fifth of scotch in my ruck sack and I would not break the seal.  He could come over at any time and check to make sure but I would abide by his rules.  I damned sure wasn't going to pour it out to make him happy.   I am not sure who was listening in on that conversation but it was soon known that I had a bottle and the bidding began.  As many as five pretty senior NCO's started the bidding at $20.00.  Now what the hell was I going to do with money out in the field?  When the bid got to over $200. it was close as to how much higher I could stand to keep the bottle.  My conscience won out and I did not drink a drop out in the field.

About the end of the first week, I asked the higher Artillery Headquarters when their guy was going to get back.  They reported that he had just been admitted to the VA hospital in Wichita and they didn't have a clue.  I reminded them that I was not assigned to their unit and wanted to be replaced as soon as possible.  For five more weeks, we were out in the field playing hide and go seek with the enemy.  I won't get into the details but will tell you that only when I staged an artillery ambush on a position we had just left did we make any contact at all.   The day after we were resupplied, the unit commander and I discussed that we were being trailed and could not quite make contact.  I planned a Time on target with three batteries for about noon that day.  As soon as the firing stopped, we sent a platoon sized element back into the old position.  My E-5 Sgt wanted to go so I let him go be my eyes and ears.  He reported that there were several of the trash pits dug up and obviously we caught a squad sized element digging through the trash homes looking for food and information.  There were no bodies but several pretty large blood trails out of the position. 

The Unit Commander and I discussed what would be a good move to make.  When the report got to our Battalion Hqs, the decision went right out of our hands.  We made a company recon in force and followed the trail as far and as fast as we could.    Late that afternoon, we found signs of fresh digging and it was pretty obvious that they were graves.  We kept moving for another hour and left one Platoon to dig up the graves.    They found three bodies and they were all killed by artillery.  The bodies had a little information with them and first light the next day we sent that information to the Battalion S-2 (I hate to use the words Army and Intelligence in the same sentence but the S-2 is the Battalion Intelligence Officer)   It appears they were a unit that had pretty much been wiped out during TET and they were stragglers working their way back to a bigger unit.

During that Day, one of the Aerial Observers in a Bird Dog called us and reported that there was an enemy convoy of elephants headed down the valley we were in.  Mass jump through your butt by Battalion and we were deployed on a line across the valley.  I spent several hours pre-planning fires to get an elephant kill.  We had a nice rest and for some reason the AO had to leave and the Helicopter they sent to keep an eye on things couldn't find the elephants.  Do you know how stupid that made me feel?   200 of us, the best trained and equipped soldiers in the world couldn't find an elephant convoy.   I think we spent the better part of the next three days sending out patrols looking but Poof! they were gone.   A couple of months later I was flying in a bird dog that had an elephant painted on the side of the cockpit.  He had evidently stumbled on the elephants a week later and when he shot it with a rocket under his wing he damn near crashed from the explosion.  That elephant was obviously carrying a lot of explosives. 

Somewhere near the end of the sixth week, we humped (walked not fly) into a fire base and I was finally given the word to return to my unit.  I caught a helicopter out of there and flew to Ahn Khe not too far from Pleiku.  For the life of me, I could not find anyone headed to Pleiku.  I was told that the next morning there would be a convoy and I could catch a ride with them.  Time to break out the scotch.  I had a two quart canteen and it became a 50/50 scotch and water bottle.  I nursed about half of it that night and started on the remainder pretty early the next day.  I went over to the convoy traffic control point and found a truck full of sandbags.  I crawled up in the back and was soon fast asleep.  I remember the convoy moving and that we stopped somewhere down the road.  Some MP was mad as hell that we had left the start point early.  He took everyone's name and I promptly forgot about it.  

I finally made it back to my unit and went to the Battalion headquarters.  I met the new commander and told him that I was damned sure I wasn't the junior Lieutenant in the unit anymore and I wanted an assignment in a firing battery and priority on the R&R list.  I got both and was soon on my way to Hawaii to meet my wife and then on to Battery B, 1st Bn, 92nd FA near DakTo.  

MUD, Headed to Hawaii to be with the wife.


Today Barb picked the first cherry tomato in the garden.  It is just pink right now but I'll bet it will ripen up real nice in a day or so.  Can't wait for them to start getting ripe in large numbers.  If there is anything better than a BLT I sure don't know what it is.

Last night, we had Dave and his wife Barb over for dinner.  Barbara made banana pudding with bananas and Nilla Wafers.  Barb asked if the cookies get softer as the stuff is in the icebox?  It never lasted that long in my house.  Perhaps I will look that question up on line.   We did send them home with a container of the pudding so they can answer that question.  Or not.

Have you started keeping track of your summer schedule on the big calendar in the kitchen yet?   I just realized that I have mine in a couple of places and that just won't do. 

Gotta Run.



To Korea in 2015?

The KU Men's Basketball team has been selected to represent the USA in 2015 at the world University games.  What a great reason to travel to Korea.  I guess I'll have to start saving my money for that trip.   Might even convince Barbara to go.  I hear good things about Korean Air.

That leads me to a question.  If you had all the money you ever wanted, what would you want to do with it?   The gift giving guide was if I can't wear it, read it or eat it I don't need it.  I wonder if that really applies to travel.  I think it was invented when Mom was past her traveling prime and lord knows all of the brothers and sisters are getting less travel tolerant.  Thank god for Meds. 

Most mornings, I start my day reading the paper with a cuppa coffee. My coffee cup had a picture of our two young friends in Morocco.  It just puts a smile in my heart to see them smile.   Right there by the sun room table is a picture of Kristen and Ethan that I also love to see.  When our little friend Rikku was over she saw that picture and asked who they were.  That picture was taken when they were very young and I'm sure that Rikku was looking for a friend to play with.  They all could have done a good job of smiling and laughing.

After reading the paper this morning, I picked up the last magazine I got from the Barbershop Harmony Society.   They are talking about how different groups have started reaching outside their chapters to bring music to new audiences.  That is very interesting as this weekend we will sing at three churches and three nursing homes.  It will be a long day but there in little better than being with a group that loves to sing and swap stories. 

It was very interesting to me that they talked about a chapter that did a lot like we did a few years back.  Instead of working on getting ready for competition, they took a year off to recharge, grow member ship and renew their coffers.  Instead, they lost their zeal, lost members and stagnated.  I looked around at the last meeting and saw that we have three or four new members and I am encouraged that with a little emphasis we too can get our chapter back on the right path.  We have a great Director and Chapter President so there is no reason we can't get better and grow. 

Oh well, better get my work clothes on, Barb went to the window and said, "It looks like a jungle out there."  It does.



Barb's Angry

Barb read an article about how the Koch Brothers are trying to influence how people they give money to vote.  Yep, from the start, PAC's and Lobbyists have supported people that vote the way they  want.  If you don't vote the way they want, they will stop giving you money.  She thinks this is so bad that she would ban it tomorrow.  If you want to know how politics goes, follow the money.  The funny part of the story is that their Lobbyist is a friend of ours and got his name in the paper. 

One point she made that we completely agree on is if congress only has a 16% approval rating, how can/do they get re-elected?  Either the polls are way wrong or only idiots will poll one way and vote another.  Perhaps the feelings is always it must be your Senator or Representative that is wrong, mine is OK.  Obviously that is wrong.  I would start with term limits for people that represent us.  I might even be from the party of NRA, Never Re-elect Anyone.    If you are a regular reader, you know how I feel about those that represent us go to Washington poor or only average and come home rich.  Just look at Bob Dole.  He was a poor disabled veteran from western Kansas and now doesn't even live in our State.  He is Rich with zeroes tacked on the end.

When I asked Barb about her agenda, she said she might have one once the meds kick in and she gets over the headache.  RUN! go to the basement, leave her alone and write on my blog.  Stupid me, I didn't read the signs clearly.

If you had money in the bank, what would you spend it on?   What is your idea of a good investment?  What is your idea of a good way to piddle some of it away? (Piddle was my grandmother's word for goofing around) 

Oh well, better go find some way to occupy myself out of the line of fire.




Last night there was a program on PBS about a young Doctor who's father was schizophrenic and her efforts to try to reconnect with him.  The sad part of the story was that the father stopped taking his meds and near the end of the  program committed suicide.  It showed the attempt to connect to a person that wasn't in any frame of mind to connect even with their own feelings.  It brought back a flood of memories of my early years and growing up with my Dad's Manic Depression. 

Dad, his brother warren, Mother and Mattie Jean on one of the better days

As a kid growing up, when my dad said come here, I never knew if it was to kiss me or kick me.  Depending on his state, either high or low, he would praise or punish almost randomly.   While I want to shout that it was so bad that all my failures could be blamed on him, I think just the opposite is true.  I think I grew up pretty damned independent and he was a good guide of what to not be.  There are times I don't do a great job communicating to my own family but, there are a lot of positive things I have done for my family. 

One thing I hope I do convey to others is my joy of life and living.  When Dad was on a high, he could entertain himself  with almost any activity.  On one vacation in Arkansas, Dad spent almost the entire week gathering rocks and making a small rock wall near what we called the cellar.  He could have bought blocks and made that wall in one day and easily moved on.  He  spent way more time sorting through the rocks and then cementing them together.  As I recall he even dropped a rock on is thumb and had mom drill a hole in the nail to relieve the pressure.  When he was depressed, he either drank or went to bed.  Either way there wasn't a lot of interaction during the sad times.

I think I have inherited a lot of good things from my dad and I hope not too many bad things.  I have the ability to deal with people in almost all walks of life.   I have a pretty good ability to take things apart and make them work.  Barb says if she was to be on a deserted isle somewhere I would be her choice to be with her.  I would want a pocket knife, a roll of bailing wire and a pallet load of Duct Tape to go with us. 

One thing that really helped me was that my Dad finally found Lithium in his 60's and that calmed out the highs and lows.  I was able to talk to him and he gave me the one thing I really lean on.  He said that if I had a cold, could someone just tell me to "Get over it."  They could tell me, but it would have little or no effect.  It was the same way with him when he was high or low.  He was what he was and without some type of medication he could not change.  That's pretty much when I stopped drinking (or self medicating) and be Popeye.  "I Yam what I Yam."   When I work, I work hard but I do try to pick my jobs a little better now that I am older. 

The other thing we have done is to do our best to save money and to live a darned good life here in our retirement.  I think Dad managed to spend what Mom didn't.  They probably had a good life but I am having one that has a lot less worry about paying the bills.  I did my best to share what we had with them so they didn't have the large worry some retired families have.  There were a few leaner days when Dad died and both his Social Security and his Beechcraft pensions went away.   The good news is that Dad wasn't there to place any strange demands on the budget.  I think Mom lived a pretty comfortable life there at the end.  I know my brother Rick and my sister Myrna both worked hard to make that happen.

Oh well, I didn't intend to make this a pity party about me, only to see if I could share how a program on TV kind of touched a nerve in my life.  It is a chapter that is now closed and will remain that way unless I have to open it from time to time. 

MUD aka Popeye

Father's Day

In my perfect world, having the kids over for a meal and a visit is just the way I want to spend father's day.  Heck, I will even cook a good part of the meal and laugh at my own jokes and stories.  When the kids arrived yesterday, they gave me two packages.  One package was three bags full of assorted Del Taco Sauces.  The other gift was a Del Taco hat.  I guess I have shared with them many stories about my love of Del Taco's when I was stationed in California.  One of my favorite stories that my Father-in-law likes to tell is about the time we went to Del taco on Taco Tuesday and bought a big bag of tacos.  He laughs that I said, "Lets go home and get sick."  I could (and did) eat my weight in tacos.  I am pretty sure that my Brother-in-law's love of Del Taco helped them develop the Macho Burrito.    There was one woman in the Kitchen at the Barstow store that would make him a Macho Burrito that was huge. 

In addition to some great steaks we also had some chicken.  As usual, there are leftovers and the kids will come back for dinner on Wednesday and we'll have fajitas.  If you think they are good with meat cooked on the stove, you should have them made of the hickory smoked meats I cook on the grill.  Did I mention that the Vidalia onions are in season and available right now.  They are so sweet and when cooked with butter make a condiment for the fajitas that is just the best.  In the past I would home make guacamole but I am the person that likes it the best so I will probably buy the prepared stuff.  Wal*Mart has a pretty good type that comes in individual serving packets and they are good for a long time where the home made stuff lasts only a day or two.  My mother loved sour cream on her Mexican food but I have never developed a taste for it. 

Barb got me a couple of shirts and a pair of jeans.  I told her that I had 9 or 10 pairs of them but she wants me to have one pair that doesn't look like I have been working on the cars in them.  I guess I should be glad that she cares enough to want me to look good.  The only way I don't want to look is naked.    The best cure for nudity in people over the age of 40 in a full length mirror.   Barb also got me a book written by Stephen King.  I haven't really read much of his works after reading Pet Cemetery when Dave was young.  It was just too close to home for me and I stopped reading him.  Guess it is time to give it a try again.

In the family, we have worked on gift guides for years.  We had it fairly down pat when Mom was alive.  She would say, "If I can't wear it, eat it or read it I don't need it."  I am pretty much at that stage in life.  The only exception is the White Elephant gifts at our Holiday celebrations.   Pretty much anything goes there.  I am pretty sure that I could probably go into the storage room and find a gift that needs re-gifting.  The only gift that I really miss is the coffee cup that was in the shape of a woman's breast.    I am sure that one of the women in the family destroyed it because it showed up several years in a row. 

Oh well, today is the day I go to the dentist for the semi-annual teeth cleaning.  Not my favorite thing but it does keep me in contact with the dentist and perhaps with my real teeth for a few more years.  I would like to be like my parents and keep my choppers till they bury me or whatever Barb had in her plans.  I have looked into the cremation route and putting the ashes in the Military Cemetery by the VA in Leavenworth.  That sure looks like the place to be.  And, it is cheap.



What's Really Important?

If I were to be in charge, here are my priorities for the problems I would want fixed: 

EDUCATION -   I think our Colleges aren't helping our teachers enough to make them the best they can be.  I would select the brightest and the best and pay for their education.  I would then pay off those loans at about a rate of 20% per year.  If a teacher then stayed in the class room for 5 years they could have a college education on us.  I would also pay them extra to go to school for 6 weeks in the summer.  Every other year the work would be workshops done at the grade levels where they worked on lessons and lesson plans to help the other teachers to see what can be done.  The odd years would be working on a Masters Degree and helping them remain certified.  There would be extra credit given for practical experience based on the performance of the students.  After 10 years, teachers would be given the same deal to get a Masters Degree.  I would double the size of the student loans and have them work 4 years to pay off the loans for two years. 

BUDGET  Clearly the congress doesn't get it that outgo must be equal to or less than income.  Only in an emergency should this be broken.  Heck, if it is important enough sell war bonds but the days of deficits equal to 1/3 of the total would be over.  This would truly stretch the capacity of our government to have to think where the money can best be applied.  I'll bet that would end a lot of the special projects like studying the sex lives of frogs. 

MILITARY  In my perfect world there would be a whole lot less overlap.  There would be Naval Forces, Ground Forces and Air forces.  Yep, I would put the Marines into the Ground Forces and the Naval (and Marine ) aviation in the Air Forces.   The only Reserves for the Ground Forces would be the National Guard and the Air Force reserves would not be in the guard.  I would force the Active Ground forces to have at least 40% of their forces in the Guard.  I am not sure what the ratio in the Air Forces would be best but it darned sure would not be 100% active.

SOCIAL   I just can't understand how people can think that unemployed people and under employed people can't be the result of having our borders crossed at anytime by anybody.  I hear people say we need to raise the minimum wage and yet we let people come her that are willing to work for less.  Go Figure what would happen if everyone here was paid $15.00 an hour. 

DRUGS     The drug problem isn't in Mexico. It is the large number of drug users here that keep the border full of holes.  Once people see that the Government really cares about them and we can really put all the people to work I think the drug use will fall.  Our Skinner Box experiments need to end and focus on jobs, training and giving our people back the view that there is room for everyone to live a good life.  I would focus on Training or Education and Jobs. 

DEGREE OF GIVE A SHIT   Somewhere along the way we have made it easy to not care about what happens in Washington.  I would make it mandatory for people to vote and people in Government would not be paid like they are special.  The Congress would be limited to the Average National Wage for their pay.  I would open the Barracks that are Fort Mead for their housing.  They would only live there when they are in session and be forced to go home at least 6 months of the year. If they want to fly space A in the cargo aircraft so be it.   Everyone in congress would be subject to the same rules as the people and pay social security like everyone else.  No special retirements and no special benefits. 

That's all folks.


Lies, Half truths and Wisdoms

The cartoon page today had a quote from Winston Churchill.  He was quoted as saying that a lie is half way around the world before the truth can even get its pants on.   The wife in the cartoon pointed out that it is very ironic that Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons) really said that and used a pseudonym when he did.  Can you think of someone else that said a lot of "Truisms" and used another name to do it?  How about Poor Richard's Almanac?  I contend that Ben Franklin used the name Poor Richard so he didn't have to give credit to all the people he quoted (or misquoted).

With this being Father's Day, I feel compelled to report some of the things my father said and did to/for/at us as we were growing up.   My Grandfathers both died when WWII was in full bloom.  Both had served in WWI and I missed hearing all their tall tales of their time in the service.  My Dad was drafted and served as an Airplane Mechanic at Barber's Point in Hawaii.  He said when asked where he wanted to serve, he sais any place so long as it was on dry land.  As Dad would tell stories about his time there, he would often get a tear in the corner of his eye.  When I was on R&R during Vietnam, I visited his base.  Hell, I too had a tear when I left there.  His worse day had to be a hell of a lot better than my best day.  When it was time to wake up in the morning he would shout "Hit the Deck" I think that means get down but what the heck do I know.

On Friday afternoons, it was always a challenge to see what was going to happen when Dad came home from work.  He often would go to the kitchen sink and grab paper grocery sacks.  He would give us all one and tell us that we needed to pack and in 15 minutes he was leaving for Arkansas.  If we didn't pack everything, tough.  For most boys, it wasn't any big deal to forget our toothbrush or clean underwear.  My sisters were mostly too old to go with us so it would be a rush to me and Rick to  fill our sacks and get out butts in the car.  

I will never understand why my dad wanted Mom to fix that chipped beef gravy and then call it "Shit on a Shingle."   Mom finally came up with a variant using hamburger and it too became known as SOS.  Most of the time it was served on toast but on special occasions there would be biscuits.  Dad would always coat it with Catsup and sometimes hot sauce.  One meal that Dad loved was Navy Bean Soup with a little ham and almost always cornbread.  That is one of my favorites today but I use pinto beans not white Navy Beans.   That was one meal that dad didn't put crackers in but it would have a liberal dose of catsup. He would add corn bread until he was really eating corn meal mush with beans (and Catsup)

I know that a lot of the kids today think my mother was a bad cook but I remember that she managed to fix some great meals even if dad seemed to doctor or adulterate a lot of the stuff with Catsup, crackers  and a few sprinkles of Tobasco.  One thing he did was never spilled over into my diet.  Dad loved fried eggs over easy and then he would put catsup on them.  Somehow that runny yellow and red mess then wiped off the plate with toast was just more than I could abide.  I love eggs and over easy or medium is my choice but never with catsup.  I have even tried to cook them in the Spanish Huevos Rancheros style and just can't seem to find a taste for that.  That style is basically eggs poached in salsa. 

Mother said that Dad grew up without having a lot of fun as a child.  Having met his mother, I can understand how that may have been true.  I never met a person that seemed to have less fun that Bessie.  She could make a birthday party sound like a murder with all her complaints.  I always say that it makes me wonder what she says about us to others when she says so many bad things about them when they aren't there. 

One time when Dad went to  the Doctor he was in the middle of one of his lows (Manic Depression) and the Doctor wrote a prescription.  Dad said he didn't need it as he could self medicate with beer.  The Doctor pointed out to him that that was another problem not the solution.  It wasn't until dad was in his 60's that the Doctors started giving him Lithium to help control his highs and lows.  He turned into a really boring old man at that point and wasn't near as much fun.  Dad was like the weather in Kansas.  If you didn't like it today, just wait a day and it would change.

One thing about Dad that always amazed me was how handy he was in his younger years.  There was very little he could not fix.   In the early days of Television, Tubes went out fairly regularly.  He would make a diagram and pull the tubes out.  I would take them up to the local store (Womack's Grocery) and test them until I found the bad bulb.  It was simple for me to count the pins on the tubes and plug them in the right socket.  When I would press the test button it would tell me if the tube was OK or not.   For three or four dollars we almost always got the TV fixed. If the tubes were OK, it was almost always the Picture tube and that meant a trip to Sears for their chance to repair it.  I know Dad paid about $50.00 a year for the warranty package and the main tube (about $90) would go bad once a year.  I think the TV ran from the time someone got up to the time it would sign off at night. 

Oh well, I guess I had better go get cleaned up and find out what time the kids will be over for dinner.   I will put the steaks in the marinade and figure out what the schedule for everything else is.  I don't need a cooks worksheet to fix steak and potatoes.  I think Barb bought some chicken and Brats also.  They are so good as leftovers.  



Substance over Style

I am afraid that our next election will boil down to Style and not Substance.  I want our next President to be a leader and set the tone for Change we can believe in.  I want to see the President to challenge us to find out what the heck or real priorities are and see if there isn't room under the Congressional tent to start working on the problems.  Unless and/or until our Leaders start to discuss the real problems we will never get to the answers. 

A few years back, I was driving a bunch of people to the Airport from Topeka to KC.  One of the ladies said she really admired Hillary Clinton and the job she was doing as Senator from new York.  I asked her to tell me what she has done for the country as a Senator?  The lady said she did a good job for the people from New York.  I said that was fine if she was a State Senator in Albany but
she is a US Senator and works for us all.  More than one person in the vehicle agreed that I did have a valid point.

One problem I see that is eating us up from the inside is that we have lost faith that the system can change for the good.  I think people are so apathetic that things have been so bad for so long that they have just given up hope that there is someone in charge.  Ask the new college graduates that can't find a job if they are worried about the student debt loans they have? When the problem get big enough, the Government will step in ad make the loans go away.  What does it matter to people that we have to borrow about 1/3rd of the money our government spends when everyone yells "Not in My Backyard" about cuts in the budget?  How can Government add C02 costs to electric rate payers when they know they won't do anything with that money to fix the problem?  How can they look at themselves in the mirror without busting out laughing?

How can our Leaders talk about amnesty for illegals when we have so many people under/unemployed?   Why do you think wages are so low?  Because the illegals will do the jobs for less.  The news is covering the influx of children from Central America right now and talking about how harsh the treatment they are being given.  Why do we need to spend tons of money supporting people that come her with nothing?  Send them home with what they came with and don't make it fun to be here.  Incarceration should be punishment not a good thing. 

OK, I'll step back from my soap box and admit that I don't have all the answers and will in the light of day realize that there are things that will happen that are caused by the rules of unintended consequences.  When one State really cracked down on the illegals, they found their crops rotting the field because they couldn't get workers to pick the crops.  If we really cracked down on the illegals, who would put new roofs on after the hail storms.  What kind of shape would the roads be in if we couldn't find people to pour the concrete as we try to improve our infrastructure?  Beats the heck out of me, but I'm not in charge.

The one thing I think the Master Gardener and I agree on is the importance of education for our children.  We may not agree on the way to best way to fix the problem but it does need to be a  priority.  I for one would focus all our technology on finding the best ways to teach that reflects the culture they will live in.  If our workers are going to be focused on doing their work on computers, why do we still rely on paper so much in the schools.  Grammar and spelling are best taught by writing and what a grand way to teach kids to write than by using a computer to write? 

OH well, Have a great Father's Day out there. 



Short Travel Story From the years past

What does this fine pair of people have in Common? They were both born in what was the Oklahoma Territory around the turn of the century. The soldier is Geary Schmoe, Barb's Grandfather and the fellow in the hat is Will Rogers.

Both were born near what is now Oologah, Oklahoma
We looked but there weren't any statues to Geary but right in the middle of the street is Will and his horse in Bronze.
I had the experience to only see Will in the Movies and I was impressed with his down to earth view of the people he met. Geary was a special kind of man that smiled easy and made me feel welcome from the first time we met.  They are the kind of fellows I want to be when I grow up.

Out on the Lake is the Will Rogers Birthplace.

This was his grandparents house

Standing on the porch overlooking Lake Oologah. They moved the house to this overlook from about 3/4 miles to the south in the middle of the lake.

This is a barn just east of the house

This must have been Oklahoma, They have a White Democrat

Barb and I have started documenting our travels and taking a few side trips. With the family interest in Oologah we made the trip. I tell you that from Tulsa this is a nice trip and I could spend hours sitting under the trees and looking at the lake. We went over from Bartlesville through Nowata. The unfortunate part of the trip was that it was Saturday and the Museum was closed. We hoped that they would have a map of the area and might find where Geary was born.
Great Travels for you.


Just Sayn' Hello

In my little world, I am fairly isolated here at Rabbit Run so when I am out and about I try to say hello to as many people as I can.  I do my best to interject a little civility and a smile into a world that doesn't smile much.  I would say my average for a return response is well over 50%.  I probably get away with this because I'm so large and appear confident while not threatening.  My average return smile with kids in nearer 80%.  I always try to look the parents in the eye and say hi to them too.  If the child turns away I don't ever push them for a positive response. 

The other day I saw a post on Facebook that said it is OK to not be OK.  I tell people that I am Popeye and I Yam what I yam.  Don't come over to me and tell me it is OK to not be OK.  I am responsible for my attitude and I don't want you to pee on my campfire and then tell me it is foggy.  You do your thing and I'll do mine.  After all, my perception is my reality not yours.

Yesterday was my day for chemical warfare.  I sprayed the fruit trees in the orchard and then took my sprayer up to Dave's to spray his trees for bag worms.  Barb had me use the same spray in both places but the orchard spray had a fungicide added it to help with the Cedar Apple Rust on the apple tree.  Seems to be working so far. It was a Malathion mix. Yesterday was a fairly light breeze day and it was fairly easy to spray down wind.  I have a power sprayer from Tractor Supply Company and it will easily spray to the top of the trees at between 35-50 feet.   Probably one of the best things I have purchased if I can now find a new cap for the drain plug on the tank.  I slid it in place one time on the rough cement and it just made it leak.  To add insult to injury, yesterday when I was cleaning out the tank it fell off and I didn't notice it was gone until I got home.  I'll go back and look for it today but even if I find it, I need a replacement. 

Barb is off to the dentist and having her teeth cleaned this morning.  I was looking at the calendar and saw that I have an appointment next Monday for the same thing.   We feel that a little preventative care is worth it in the long race of time.  Both of my parents had their teeth throughout their life.  That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.  Yes, I know the amount of gold in my mouth is a lot of money but beats chewing on/with plastic.

Better run and see what I can get in trouble with today. 



Past Due Post

Do You?
Ever listen to talk radio for a good laugh?
Read some of the obscure stories on MSN to help you understand that a little alone time and down time is normal?
Go outside in short sleeves just so the warmth of the house and hot coffee are better?
Do something that is not normal for you?
Wonder how some people can think so poorly of one candidate and overlook the incumbent's failing record? 
Wonder why people can't find Romney's jokes funny when they truly are? 
Try to cook a meal outside of your normal range just to have something different?
Wonder what they say about you when they are so critical of others when they talk to you?  
Love the fall colors and hate the leaves once they start falling all over the place?
Have a car in the garage that you don't use?
Know that there are a lot of good things to do and yet you spend your time right here by the computer because you just can't get started?

Me Too!