Sinus Trouble

For many years, I have taken an anti allergy pill daily.  If I wait for the sinus headache, the medicine I need raises my blood pressure so much that I feel worse.  I have been west of home for a week and a half and it seems that between the dust and the different pollen I have had to press through it all. I have plans to get home tomorrow and that everything will normalize then.  (I hope)

For years we have made trips to Idaho and in the summer it was so dry that it made pop corn farts seem wet.  In August this year they are about 5 inches for the month.  It seems like the sky would be blue and then a small cloud would appear and it would rain hard and then stop.  One day I stopped by the entryway to our motel and let Barb out and stay dry (She could also get cookies at the front desk)  I had to sit in the car for about ten minutes while the rain turned to hard rain and then hail.  It was the size of grapes and almost covered the ground.  Then it stopped and everything was dry in about 15 minutes.  Right down the street there was a tree that got so beat up that the leaves plugged the street drain and flooded a restaurant.  They had just redone the carpet from a flood in June.

It was a lot like June was this year in Kansas.  Then the month of July was as dry as it could get.  I thought I might not even have to mow again this year.  About the first of August it rained three times the first week and I had to mow then and probably one more time this fall.  Oh well, I guess I need to have some good things to do. 

It is about 1200 miles from home to Barb's parents house in Idaho.  Today we drove over 700 miles so tomorrow will be a fairly easy day.  I can do 500 miles and throw in a nap.   Can't wait to get horizontal at home.



Splain it to Me Lucy

There are a couple of terms that I have run into lately that have left me cold.  The first term is the difference between Equal Opportunity and Equal Rights in all things.  The Government has the job of ensuring that under the constitution that all men are created equal not ensuring that everyone had the same outcome as they troop down the line of life.  In every job I have ever had, there were people that had basically the same job but didn't seem to show up as often and work as hard.  I took every opportunity to take on special projects that made my boss look good.  I was the "Big Bunny" (Person in Charge) of the Governor's Easter egg hunt a couple of years.  I was the head of security for the Governor's Inaugural twice and the overall OIC once.  I helped bring the 35th Division opening ceremony on line and don't have a clue how many times I supervised the salute battery for the Governor's Assumption of Command Ceremony.  I had a friend that once told me that he did all those extra assignments just well enough to not get fired and not so good that he was picked the next time. 

The second is White Privilege.  If you think that growing up poor somehow made me a better person, I sure as hell don't know how.  I will admit that now that I am no longer poor it feels pretty good, but it sure wasn't automatic or easy.  I think I have written many times that I grew up in a neighborhood of poor white people.  After the Military, we lived in an 8X38 foot mobile home that was almost 20 years old and I drove an old pickup truck and sacked groceries as I went to school.  We both finished our degrees without any student loan debts.  Our parents were getting by and we didn't rely on them for much of anything.  Later on in life we have helped them both get into retirement and live comfortably. 

I absolutely don't want anyone else to have things tough, it does anger me that there is any  idea that because I was born a white male I had some advantage and that I had some unequal opportunity to get to where I am. 

I once had a black employee (Miss X) tell me that I don't know how tough it was for her to grow up.  One of my other black employees told me that  Miss X's parents had a funeral home and she rode to school in a new Cadillac and her parents paid for her entire education.  Seems to me that I really did know poor and I was way better off making sure that all my employees had an equal opportunity to do the work and be recognized for that work. 

I guess I reached my adulthood through a good stint in the Military and nothing makes me more proud to know that we were pretty much fully integrated in the early 50's and many fine soldiers have been given a chance to succeed.  The military view is that all soldiers are green.  There just hasn't been the black vs white, pink purple or indifferent battle.  Just recently I think the barrier of same sex marriages has fallen.  Since Clinton there was a don't ask, don't tell Policy but there were no benefits available to same sex spouses until lately.



Dealing with Estates

So far in my lifetime, I have had the responsibility of being the executor of three estates.  For the first one, it was very simple as my mother and father owned everything as joint tenants in common with rights of survivor ship.  Easy Pea'sy, a little title work to make sure that  clear title for mother was available

The second estate was a lot more complicated when my step father passed.  It was a formal, file it in probate, estate and had many convolutions as there were two adult sons on one side and four adult children on the other.  I was very thankful that we had a lawyer in the family that led them through the will process and then guided me through the probate.   As mom was in pretty good mental shape, it wasn't very hard to give her choices and then follow her wishes.  There was a few dollars in the cost of the legal process and the publication process. 

When mom died, her estate held little property,  mostly cash.   Mom's children were all in agreement of what to do and it has been a pretty smooth road.  I loved Mom's way of wanting us to handle the few residual items she had at the time of her death.   Mom did designate a few items to each child.  An example is the table my brother converted to a chess/checker board was specified as his.  One sister loved a table that Grandmother Petty had and it had a lot of personal meaning.  I was the proud owner of a table lamp my father made in high school.  The remainder of her items were brought together and all the kids got together.  The oldest got first choice, then my second sister got her choice, then me and then my younger brother.  That cycle went on until everything was either passed on or taken.  The remainder was donated to Good Will.  There were a couple of things at my brother's house in Tulsa and they were sold and the money put in the estate for division as cash.  He had a friend that had the need of the motorized wheelchair.

If I had to say what was the secret to having an estate work well is the ability of the family to discuss and work out the best way for the outcome to be the best.   We formed a limited liability corporation to deal with the property taxes on the oil and the income less expenses is passed on as personal income.  This is working out pretty well.

One of the guides I would pass on is to have a will and specify as much as you desire.  My wife and I both have everything in joint tenants and if something was to happen to us at the same time our son is the sole heir.      I hope I can leave enough for him to make the process worthwhile. 




Do You Feel Fear over Ferguson?

Somewhere we have it all wrong.  In the 60's we passed all sorts of legislation to make sure that everyone had equal access to opportunity.  It wasn't 100% equal opportunity, but to give everyone access to the chance to do better.  This wasn't limited to any color, race or Religion.  As a teenager, I felt that if I worked hard, I could do about anything I wanted.  In 1966, I was drafted into the Army and given the opportunity to go to OCS.  I bootstrapped that opportunity by finishing my College Degree on the GI Bill.  I can walk down most streets and meet all kinds of people with a smile.  I don't feel fear from anyone.  I also don't give anyone any reason to fear me.  I talk to old people and children equally.

One of my friends is a young black man starting his production career in Atlanta.  He wrote on Facebook that he is even considering if he wants to have a child in this world of hate and strife.  I know his dad was a Warrant Officer in the Army.  I hope he had a great role model to base being a parent on.  My dad had a few bad qualities and I think I took those bad things and worked hard to overcome them.  I took the good things he did and what I am now is the best I can be.  I hope he does that also.

I don't have the entire story on what happened in Ferguson and am not sure if the truth will ever really be known.  Was it an execution or a policeman defending himself from a thug?  No matter what the outcome, the world will be short one person that didn't have the opportunity to live and love and be a better person.  The part that makes me the most sad is that I don't have even a glimmer of the truth that can fix it.  The hard fact is that there is 100% probability
that young man won't get the chance.

One thing I hear over and over from people is they want to know "Why" a person did some act.  I am pretty sure that if it seems senseless, it probably doesn't have some magic "Why" as a cause.  I would hope that in the charge to make or education system better, we can find that one missing step that helps out children stop and say, "I wonder what could happen if I do that."  I know that I would be a better person and would have lived a better life if I had been able to listen to that signal. 

One thing I want everyone to know is that I have the faith in my fellow man that it is possible to live together and not have any reason to know what color, religion, sexual identity of their neighbor.  I know that there is a black man living up the road from me but only because I see him out mowing his yard now and then.  I don't feel bad because he's there.  I'm sure he knows me as that old guy that drives that old truck and waves when I go by.  Oh well, moving on.

I hope we can find a way to help everyone to feel a lot more like I do and all live a better life.

Liven life as well as I can

Baby Sitting Day

Today we have a visitor.  The daughter of our friend Travis has a daughter Riku and she's here.  She starts preschool next week and needed a sitter for a couple of days this week.  She has such a pretty smile and an easy going nature.   Being an only child, she can entertain herself with toys or Dora the Explorer.  The only fault is that due to our hearing, we sometimes have trouble understanding her.  That is not always true but sometimes.

It is very interesting that we love to have visitors and are always glad when the house returns to a quiet state.  We had Dave and his in-laws over for dinner last night and things were ever so quiet when they all went home.   I grilled pork chops, chicken and brats.  I am not sure what I liked the best.  It always takes an hour to really smoke the chicken using an indirect heat.  The pork chops were done at about 20 minutes and the brats took about 30-40 minutes.  I try to give everything a good smoky cooking and I do love the pink smoke ring on the brats. 

So far, our new cell phone is working fairly well.  The only problem is that from downstairs I have no service except for the internet wireless router. It is kind of funny that in the middle of no where in Yellowstone Verizon had service and here at the edge of Topeka I have only one bar from upstairs and none downstairs.  Dave has the thought that I need a booster and perhaps this fall I might invest in one.

Dave is interviewing with General Dynamics for a job in Lawrence.  If that fails, he might even give the call center here in Topeka a try.  I really feel bad that he is so capable and is having trouble getting a job that reflects his talents.  He is such a good customer service person that I think he would be a good Insurance Agent. 

Well, better get cracking, might be off the net for a couple of days.  Stand By For News.



More Random Thoughts

I'll bet you thought that most of my posts were just random thoughts.  If you had a good case of ADD, you to could wile away the hours just having thoughts that are as disconnected as a fifth grader's English papers.  I really don't have a cohesive theme today so I will just write what comes to mind.

Yesterday was a nice day in the late morning and I fired up the tractor and did some mowing.  For the most part, the lack of moisture in July stopped the new growth of grass but seems there was some strange weeds on the edge of the field that had made it look shaggy.  The nice thing is that the big tractor has a 60" mower deck so it makes short work of mowing.  The only bad part is that is will also make short work of the fence if you get too close.  I have a couple of places where I have tangled with the fence and at least one wooden post is gone. 

When I went out with the mower, the orchard was home to four deer.  They were calmly eating apples and pears that have fallen off the trees.  There were three adult deer in the field and when they finally spooked out to go visit the neighbors yard, a fawn ran out of the trees to follow.  It was funny that me on the tractor didn't spook them very fast and Barbara snuck out with her camera and was worried that they would run away prior to her getting a good picture.  This picture is all Barbara and her great Nikon Camera. 

I See You!
Early next year we are considering a Photography Workshop in Costa Rica.   We have tried to align our schedule with the KU Basketball games and it looks like if we get the trip we want, it will only cost us the Baylor game.  I think Baylor is a great team to watch but what's one game is an entire season.  We don't go to the Road Scholar Photography Workshops for the instruction, we go because they always take us to beautiful places.  There is almost always an early sunrise shoot and a late day shoot.  We can choose which one we each got to and that way we have a lot of different pictures.   After 30 years of early day work, I am a lot more likely to go then and Barb will choose the late night shoot.  Unless I can sneak in a nap.

Well, Sports Fans, I have gone over 400,000 hits on this blog.  For some strange reason I am getting about 60,000 hits a month and it doesn't take long to rack up visits at that rate.  A part of me wants to have more comments, but then it would probably take me hours to read and comment if I did.  I will just welcome my readers and move on as smartly as I can. 

About a month ago, I did some work at my Son's, In-Law's new house. (Trying to figure out the punctuation on that sentence was hard) I left my bucket of plumbing tools there because I knew I would probably need them to install a new kitchen faucet.  I finally got over and did that faucet job and retrieved my tools.  Both of my electric drills were there and I am glad to have them back.  A Guy never knows when he needs a good screw (driver).  OK, I know that's probably in poor taste but old guys like to laugh as bawdy jokes too.  When you reach the point where your body is a joke, Bawdy jokes are appreciated more.  Did you know that over the age of 50 the best cure for nudity is a full length mirror?

I had the funniest thing happen one day on a trip to the lumber yard.  I had some tools in the front seat of the truck and I tried to hide them with a tarp so no one could see them and steal parts of the mess.   I had a plastic tool case for one of my large corded drills on the floor.  Somehow in moving the stuff, my electric drill fell off the seat and went right in that drill case.  When I got home, I looked for my drill and could not find it.  I even went to the security desk on my next visit to Menards.  They looked at their security  tape and other than a lot of people looking at the old 53 Chevy Truck, no one messed with it or the contents.  I bought a new drill and finished the job I had to do.  It wasn't until I moved into the new storage shed that I realized that I had the large drill out of the box and it felt like one in the box.  When I opened the case there was my old cordless drill and now I have two.  I would say I have three battery operated drills but I gave one to Dave.  It was a great Dewalt drill but it was one heavy sucker and if you had a lot to do it would wear you out faster than the battery would.   That is another of the part of getting old(er) that I hate.  I am as good as ever in the short haul but no lasting power for the heavy jobs.  By the end of the summer I have built back up to a fair strength level but starting out in the spring is always a bear.

Have I told you that by Barbara's standards, things out there must not be all that tough?  She has the opinion that if things really get tough, the number of Canadian Geese on the bike paths and golf courses would seriously start to get smaller in number.  They are so tame that you could walk right up to them and smack one with a club, easy peasy.  I hear they are pretty good roasted and I am sure they would fit on my grill like the annual turkey does.  If there is anything I love better than smoked turkey on Thanksgiving, it is leftovers.  I have made them into smoked turkey Enchiladas that never make it past the dinner bell into the realm of leftovers.  I won't get into the fact that those Canadian Geese make riding a fenderless bike a real pain by pooping large droppings on the sidewalk.  If you love to go to the park to feed them, please feed them over in the grass.  Having 50 or so hungry geese pooping where they eat is a giant mess.

No Fenders and Goose Poop is not a good combination
I guess I had better get on with my activities for the day.  Thanks for stopping by to visit.




When you achieve the end of your working days, you too will find that Saturday is just the name of one day on your pill case.   Barb and I do most of our getting out and about during the week and stay home mostly on Saturday.  Today was a little different as we went to Lawrence to have Breakfast at HiVee.  The have a nice salad bar with lots of fresh fruit and a pretty good breakfast buffet.  I like the restaurant "First Watch" but on Saturday so does most of Lawrence.  I see little benefit in waiting half an hour just to get a table. 

Do you know how long the registration on the no call list is supposed to last?  I guess it is time to go up on line and re register all the phones.  I have been really invaded by Robo calls for politicians and calls to tell me about my septic tank or to announce I have won a trip somewhere.  I guess I am way too busy when I don't hang around to hear the entire pitch.   I have a motto that "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't."   In my perfect world a blocked call would not ring and have the caller ID tell me it is a blocked call.  Blocked calls should be forwarded to 911 so they can deal with them.

They are still calling?

(The little guy on the right of this picture is why I was
called Wheezer as I grew up.)

Last night I saw a short surveillance video that showed the kid shot in St Louis strong arming a 7-11 owner to steal a box of cigars.  He is lucky that the owner of the store didn't shoot him.  I'm not saying that the cop should have shot him, I'm saying that there are two sides of every story and everyone needs to be careful about what they start a riot over.  How many young men were killed in Chicago or Detroit and where is Jessie Jackson on Monday morning?  For the record, if the whites started killing the blacks as often as they kill each other, we would al have to go out armed like the 1860's.  By the way, how does stealing a big screen TV make it even for perceived faults in our system? 

Freeloaders at Rabbit Run
In Topeka, the straightest point between two places is under construction.  I know where I want to go but you can't get there from here.  Right now unless you drive out of your way or through a serious construction zone you can't get from the east side of town to the west side.  This morning I looked at the receipt for breakfast.  Did you know there is a 8.7% sales tax?  I paid $1.18 in sales tax for the breakfast.  I don't want to think what the tax is on a gallon of Gasoline.  I should be thankful they don't spend all that money maintaining the roads.  They would keep them closed all the time rather that most of this summer. 

How do you like your Brats?  I thought that serving them on a hot dog bun was the best but the last two times we served them no one but me ate them on a bun.  Oh well.  Who am I to try to dictate the way people eat? 




Judging a Book by Its Cover

Many years back in my life, I lived in Ottawa, Kansas and served as the Training Officer for an Artillery Battalion.   Once in a while, mostly after a drill weekend and on a Monday I would go to the Country Kitchen for my usual.  Two eggs, over medium, hash browns and toast with coffee if you please.  That has been my go to breakfast for most of my life if I can get it.  One Monday morning, I was sitting there in my uniform eating breakfast and this guy with a beard asked me if I was in the local Guard unit.  I never passed up a chance to recruit even if this guy didn't look like the typical guy to join the Guard.   We talked and I asked him if he had been on Active Duty and he said he was a Aircraft Mechanic in the Marines.  The more we talked, the more interested in what we might do for him he became.  I talked him into stopping by the Armory and taking the aptitude test to see what the Army could match with his skills. 

Sure enough, he came over and after seeing the scores on his tests, it was plain that about anything we had he could do.  I hadn't seen scores that high in a long time.  I don't remember what he did initially but he served out the last of his 20 years in the guard.   Had I not looked past the beard and the dirty clothes, the Guard would have missed out on one of the best soldiers we ever enlisted.  Clearly my desire to talk to about anyone helped me look past that cover and see the man inside. 

The other day, the wife and I talked about being able to just talk to about anyone.  She is a little of an introvert and can talk with anyone should she choose to do so.  Me, I seek out conversations and am especially at home if it is with a little kid.  They are so honest and bright and I can get right down on their level. 

Today, I saw a Facebook page that said, "Is it just me or do you also get road rage in Walmart?"  I do some of my best visiting there and enjoy the time I spend there.  The only thing is when I go there I need to take a shopping list as there is so much to buy.  I might find myself in the sporting goods section and have no intention of playing sports or camping.  I do like to visit their bike section just to see what they are doing with bikes this next year.  I do my best to maintain my bike in good running order and there has been a time or two that I have updated a tire pump or such thing.   

Father Time at Wal*Mart
I wonder if it is the shoppers at Wal*Mart that upsets a lot of people.  I took the 57 Chevy for a test drive one day and as I passed by the Wal*Mart, I realized that I needed something.  I went in, found what I wanted and went home.  When I got home, I went into our bathroom downstairs.  There in the mirror was such a dirty disheveled mess  that it made me wonder what everyone else thought.  I could have been the poster boy for the People of Wal*Mart.   I will admit that my son worked the midnight shift at a call center and he told me that about 2 AM he see's zombies in Wal*Mart.  I guess if it is something serious enough to get you out at 2 AM to shop you really don't care about appearance.  A lot of times it was a young person that forgot to buy diapers or something important.

I am not sure why people seem to hate Wal*Mart.  I can spend hours roaming up and down the aisles and getting exercise.  It is a lot like I get a chance to see things even if I don't buy them all.  The lack of sales associates, and their limited knowledge doesn't upset me.  In fact I hate it when at Best Buy one of their salesmen follow me around and make stuff up hoping to get me to buy something.  There are times I just like to look and there are times I like to buy and generally I can do it by myself. 

In closing, I want to remind you that it is important to maintain a good appearance when you go to work to help those that do have to judge you will get a good impression.  What you do the rest of the time is on your own.



Common Core and Why I am Against It.

I am a conservative Republican and I have a college degree from Kansas University.  That alone should tell you that I am not opposed to standards set by others and required from the students.  It is the source of the solution that bothers me.

I do not believe that every problem or perceived shortfall can be fixed by a Government edict.  Our children deserve the best education they can get.  Any attempt to find a "One solution fits all" will fall short of the mark because it is not the idea of the local people.   When the Government offers guidance and $ to help the locals (County, school board and State) find the best way to teach their children there will always be the ownership question.  If it isn't mine, it can fail or not and not throw mud on me.   Our leaders at the more local level should be as committed to the best education we can provide not accept some edict from the Feds.

The other day, I told the wife that I do not even care how the Candidates feel about everything.  I want to know what they feel about the things the are responsible at their level.  I want the President tell us how he is going to Defend the Constitution and fund everything.  I think people would be surprised that the Budget is an allocation of Government funds that spells out just what the plan to support it are.  There are many unfunded mandates out there that for various reasons can not or will not be funded.  I would much rather hear straight forward answers to the problems and not pabulum about what the other guys did or did not do. 

In Kansas, there is a lot of criticism of our Governor's programs that have attempted to change the status quo.  I for one think that unless someone steps out of the mold, things will remain true to the old saying.  It Goes, "Doing the same thing over and expecting something different is the purest form of insanity."  When a Senator comes home to run a State, the challenge is will he be credited or discredited for the answers to problems. 

One thing that really bothers me is that quite often the leaders at the highest levels are given credit or blame for the things they cannot or should not change.  If the President is lucky enough to not have a 9-11 or a near depression happen on their watch they are given a giant OK.  With that said, we often re-elect the incumbent rather than to say, "Nice Try" and send them down the road.  I know people are tired of hearing me say that I don't know how the congress could have such a low approval level and get elected near the 80% mark.  I guess those few people that do get out and vote do know how important there votes are.   People really are mad at the Koch's because they spend millions to influence the congress.  How about the apathy of the unwashed millions that don't get up off their butts and vote?  

If you didn't, you are letting guys like me choose your leaders.


My perception is my reality.  What seems real from here in the Heartland is what I think is real, at least to me.  When a politician says we are going to change, I don't pay attentions to the words, I am like a snake in the grass and I watch his feet.  When we voted in the Civil Rights act, we didn't tell the blacks to go live on a reservation, we gave them the freedom to go assimilate anywhere anytime and be a part of the solution to their problems not remain rooted in the hatred of the plantation era.  One poor black man is killed by the Police and everyone is up in arms about racism.  What about the Black on Black deaths that happen every day in the big cities.  Is racism from a few people the cause of that?  I don't think so. 

I fought for your right to do or be anything you desire.

A week or so back, I was stopped for not slowing down enough in a small town in Central Kansas.  I calmly offered the Policeman my license, insurance card and registration.  I treated him with respect, offered him no negative feedback about speed traps or where he was parked.  He checked my driving record on his computer and he came back with a warning that I need to slow down a little faster next time.  The respect I showed him was returned by him in our meeting.  I didn't act like I was entitled to more than I gave.  Did you see any of that in the film clips on TV.  Nope, they were so offended that they went to Wal*Mart in their underwear and stole TV's.  Is that what is passed on as normal behavior?  Not in the heartland here at Rabbit Run.

Yesterday Barb made caramel nut rolls to take to work for our Daughter-in-law, Barb Jr.  I would like to point out that she has used Splenda for years when she make sweet things.  I think Barb knows that Diabetes runs in my family and I am a prime candidate just waiting for the Isles of Langerhans to stop working well.  I guess on a recent visit, Barb Jr. was informed that she like her father will have to start taking a pill for her poor performance on the latest test.  I sure hope it helps her start feeling better.  I know that we will do our best to help her where we can. 

What do you do to protect your health?   I see my dentist twice a year, my Doctor once a year for a physical and wellness visit.  I am keeping that information in the hands of the VA to make sure I don't get dropped from their rolls for inactivity.  I think I will try to get into the VA for a visit in September.  I want to stagger the visit with them with the visit to my family Doctor.  Several times each week Barb will tell me that it is time to get the bikes out for a ride around the lake.  Not a meal goes by that Barb doesn't say to me where are the veggies if I forget to nuke some.  Fruit is always on out shopping list.  Get up and do something for yourself. 

A smile on my face and in my heart

After writing and editing these posts, I save them and then hit the little "Next Blog" button at the top of the page.  Without fail, the first three or so posts will be some folksy blog where the author tries to be informing and in some cases a little preachy.  Then things will take an odd twist.  The system will take me off in a direction and stay there.  It will be an arts and crafts site, a cooking guide or some foreign language blog where it is in either a language I don't understand or in a type of writing I can't read.  After three or more of that, I have to close the program or continue on that vein forever.  I have noticed there are a lot of people that haven't hit a keyboard in two or more years.  Few, if any, write daily.  Oh well.



What The Heck?

It is just the second week in August and it was down in the 50's last night here in the Heartland.  I went out to get the paper in shorts and it was way too cold for these skinny white legs to be out uncovered.  My goose bumps got goose bumps.  At least the walking out to fetch the paper did help some.  I am glad I am not just homeless and out there without a mission.

That damned truck is at it again.  It started well and then nothing when I turned it off.  I am not sure what I did wrong or if it is a gremlin.   It acts like one of those intermittent problems that shows up only once in a while and I am going to go out and start the diagnosis all over again.  The good thing is that I have the time to fix it and money to pay someone else if I can't. 

My new cell phone is turning out to be a pain in the butt.  It appears that the last person that owned it was deeply in debt and has legal firms and finance companies chasing her.  I have politely told them all that if they don't stop calling my next call will be to the Attorney General's Office as I have registered this phone on the "No Call List" and I damn sure don't owe anybody anything.  Well, between property taxes and insurance it does feel; like I am renting this house.  Throw in Income taxes on all the sources of revenue and I feel like I am renting my life from some form of Government.  I Owe, I owe, it is off to pay I go.....

Once again, the County Commissioners are telling us the truth and it is a lie.  They are saying that they will not raise the Mill levy this year.  Most people don't have a clue what the mill levy is and how that contributes to the taxes you pay.  Simply put, the mill levy is not the source of the amount you pay.  The formula is the amount they need to run the Government the next year divided by the value of the houses determines the mill levy.  If the value of the houses in a county is raised by the appraiser, the mill levy will not go up but the amount of money  generated does.  Do you remember that letter from the county that told you what the appraised value of your house was last year?  That's what you need to watch.  In spite of the fact that most of us aren't getting more income, the Feds tell us the cost of living is not on the rise.   I would challenge them to come here and watch the rising costs and see if that isn't a surprise to them.  The only bright ray of sunshine is that at least for now, the monthly outgo is less than the income for Rabbit Run Farms. 

As soon as the latest upswing in the roofing business calms down, I am going to talk to a couple of the roofing companies about redoing the roof on one of my rental houses.  It is in serious need of a redo and I'm afraid it will also include a tear off of several layers of old shingles.  It wasn't a hailstorm, just old age.  I guess I will have to sit down and figure out how to expense that cost against rent for a year or two.  I have been trying to save up enough money to reroof but that is somewhat offset by the insurance and taxes that will be due this fall.  Oh well.

Even the wild life here are eating well.

Yesterday I listened to the radio and I am now more confused than ever about why people are rioting. I do understand that the people near St; Louis are up set that after a fight, the young black man put his hands up and got shot anyway.  I won't go into the reason for the shooting only to talk about the resulting looting and protests that occurred afterwards.  The talk show host in his almost 99% Brilliance ( Bravado times Bullshit in a lot of cases) tried to equate it to the frustration classes of people feel against the Government.  Someone else then asked how about those people that tear up cities when their sports teams win a Championship?   Are they so happy they cry?   Does athletic excellence bring out the high strung action?   I am a lot more of the Martin Luther King side of the house that points out that when the Government does stupid things, they should be protested against but violence only begets violence.  If a Governmental agency is so out of control that it shoots it's unarmed citizens, what do you think they will do when you rush down to Wal*Mart and start looting? I have been exposed to tear gas in my Military training and do not want to have it used on me. 

The Government is right out there issuing mixed messages to our Military.  They have started Reduction in Force (RIF) boards and have raised the standards for retention in the military and they are out there picking a fight with ISIS.  I am afraid that our good intentions are being overwhelmed with our inability to pay for all the things we have done in the past.   A year or so ago, I had a heated discussion with our 'Nother Daughter about the state of our economy.   I expressed doom and gloom and she was just sure that there is enough money out there to pay for it all and it is just the way money is reported that is the problem.   One her last visit, we all had a good laugh at all the goofs of our Government and her faith is not nearly as strong.  I wonder if the Trillion dollar label not the billion dollar label is finally starting to get her attention?  Probably now that she is working hard to be that great middle class and feeling the squeeze at the end of the pay period has her attention.  She got trapped by the age old tale.  I want a dog, I get a dog, I now need a house with a yard, I buy a house and now I have to continue to pay for it all.  Dogs are the source of unconditional love but they are also the way our veterinarians make a living.  They are the back bone of home ownership and have led us to more and more debt.  A lot of the costs in life comes from the simple, I want a dog idea.  Don't get me started on the idea of cats as pets. 

Does it seem to you that I am losing the reason for paragraphs a little more each time I write?  I started that last paragraph with the reduction in the Military forces and ended it with Cats.  I have a little bit of run off in my mind when I write.  Kind of like ADD that does get carried over in the writing.  Two cups of coffee will do that to you.  Perhaps it is my wanting to insert pithy stuff that is the cause.

Oh well, I need to get on with the important things.



OK, You Got Me!

"And they lived Happily Ever after" is like the saying "All's fair in Love and War."  Having been hurt in a relationship will convince everyone that Love can cause you feel like you butt has been kicked.  There are trials for atrocities committed during battles.  Life is complex and unless you get up ready to see where it takes you today, you might find that you want to be in Dodge.  I said to the wife I was ready to get out of Dodge and she replied that she is perfectly happy in Dodge and there are still tomatoes in the garden that need her attention.

The only thing she really has to be unhappy about is that after maintaining a vigilant attitude about squash bugs, her squash plants died anyway.  Me, I would have nuked them with a good bug spray but what do I know about organic?   I think the water this year was so inconsistent they died of the different amounts applied in each month.  In June we had at least an inch a week and things grew like gangbusters.  I think the month of July was almost nothing and it rained four times since the first of August.  Oh well, wait for next year.

The other morning as I went out to fetch the paper, I saw deer out in the orchard eating the apples knocked off the trees by the 60 MPH wind the night before.  I did a much needed thinning of the crop that culls the bad apples out of the crop.  The deer will probably be the main recipient of the apple crop after the wife makes apple butter.  I think she likes to make it with the Asian Pears the best as they hold their shape better.  What do I know.  I have eaten her pies made with apples and Asian Pears and like them both.  I guess I am like my mother in that she never met a pie she didn't like.

Now it is time to run and I will close here.

OK Fat Boy, where are those apples

Fun Evening

Yesterday the Capitol City Chorus of the Barbershop Harmony Society went to the VA and sand for two different groups of patients.  We had a good time and the audience seemed to like what we did.  I think the Chorus Director planned a more patriotic theme and the guys all seemed to like our performance of Barbara Ann the best.  I will admit that we enjoy singing that song the best.  By the time we got back over to the Church for practice, the energy level was pretty low.  We sang a few songs but I think you could have told that our heart wasn't in it as much.  But all in all it was a fun evening.

Over the weekend, the 53 Chevy Pick-up truck just wouldn't start.  I had AAA drag it home and when I got it out on the sidewalk and all jacked up, I yarded the starter and battery out.  First step in the process was to take them to the parts store for testing.  Both tested out fine.  I went home and installed them properly, then tested the starter.  It cranked and the truck started right up.  I thought it might be the ignition switch but that wasn't a problem.  I will call it preventive maintenance even if I did cuss all the work.  Oh well.

53 Hot Rod Truck w/ Bikes

This morning it was in the 60's when I went out to fetch the paper.  Looks like it will be a sunny day with the high in the 80's.  The normal fluxuation from low to high in Kansas is about 20 degrees.  25 degrees is an extreme fluxuation and at 30 degrees they issue a stockman's warning.   That normally doesn't occur except in the dead of winter when a polar vortex passes and it has been on the high side of a 50 degree swing.  When I was stationed at Fort Irwin, the average swing was 50+ degrees and we spent a lot of our time bundling up or stripping off layers.   One thing you didn't want to do is to have on too much during the day and be wet when the sun went down.  Sweaty just seems to let the cold sink in right down to your core.  I can stand the heat but am no lover of the cold. Throw in wet and I get miserable.

I always feel bad when I read that a celebrity commits suicide.  The truth of it is that for the most part, their passing won't change our lives that much.   I think we watched Robin Williams a lot like we did the antics of a lot of the other comics on the Tonight Show.  I think Buddy Hackett went on stage in a diaper and actually wet himself.  Robin did some remarkable movies and we could see him as a Doctor or a cross dressing grandma with equal ease. He could have played Tootsie but removing his copious amount of body hair would have doubled the production costs. I know that many of us young boys loved Pam Dauber but couldn't help laughing at Mork's stupid antics on TV.  RIP Robin Williams.

Just this morning, I told the wife that I was like the TV Gunslinger Paladin.  "Have CAR will travel." I could be coerced out of town pretty quickly.  With that said, my list of Honey Do's is fairly lengthy but a little motivation might get me down the road rapidly.  I think the Chorus won't do any performances until September.  There is one left in August but I will not be here for that one.  I guess I need to get it together and move out smartly ( or in my usual dumb manner).   Write if you get work.




In Topeka, they have hired a new Superintendent for the main city schools. (USD 501)  The challenge she was given was to improve the standards for the schools and work on ways to make our kids perform better on the State's Standardized Schools.  The challenge is one that is large and one hairy monster to get everyone to help solve.  Having been in those shoes, I have several recommendations to help get that enormous task done.

The first thing is that the system needs to ensure that the resources are provided at the worker level to help develop a plan to get there.  Edicts from the top down is just more of the same.  The next time they have a teacher work day, the system needs to have the message of improvement delivered to the teachers, and then they need to have time to work together (I would start at the grade levels) on improvements.   The teachers need to put together a straw man for improvement and present it to the Principal.  I would hire substitute teachers for the half day to present the plan and do two grades each day.  Like any plan, they need to be realistic, measurable and easily understood.   This School Improvement  Plan (SIP) would be something that would be published and the superintendent of the schools  to sign off on.  The Principal and the Superintendent performance for the year would be based on how they helped make the plans work.  

In that, did you notice that I built the plan from the bottom up and the only way for the principal to know what the heck is being done is for him to get into each classroom and see for him/herself.  At least once a month, the teachers would have a substitute for half a day to hold grade level meetings.  There would not be all done on the same day, but staggered one per week.  I think that each district has enough substitute teachers to make that happen.  In my school, one Master teacher would work with the teachers to help them enrich the curriculum. That person would go to other schools during the first week of school to steal/share/learn new techniques to improve the school.  If we are going to improve the schools, it must start at the bottom after there is a clear discussion of the goals and then resources provided.  It should be mandatory for at least one grade to think outside the box to try different things. 

It really makes me wonder when the wife and I walk away from a discussion and seem to agree.  On at least this issue and one or two more we had a great discussion this morning.  There have been a lot of times that we didn't.  In fact, there are times that I feel a lot like Grandpa Pickles.




I will try to get my new Cell Phone up and running after I finish writing this and include a picture Selfie at the end of this post.   For right now, my focus is to attempt to do an honest written Selfie and see  where I think I am.  I will attempt to throw in some of the stupid things I have done and the strange results they caused.  I am a lot like Lew Grizzard and am not afraid to laugh at myself.  Leave my wife and mother out of your laughter and we'll get along just fine.

BACKGROUND - I think there is a lot to be said about both Nature and Nurture in everyone.  I know that I have to be careful about diabetes and just how crazy I am is left to be discovered.  Chances are that I will die older than my Dad but just how much older is again an unknown.  I am pretty sure that I am not Bi-Polar like my dad was but does anyone really know?   I have discovered that this crapshoot I call life is full of strange moments and outcomes.  I am a Baby Boomer and was born when my Dad got home from the Pacific.  Don't feel sorry for him, he spent the war at Barbers Point, Honolulu, Hawaii fixing airplanes for the Navy.  Where he was doesn't mean anything, it just was where he was.    The point is that I am 67 years old, retired and both my parents are dead.  I have a wonderful wife and son who has his version of a wonderful wife. 

Summer of 1948. One of the last times I was not at a dead run

I have always been a little headstrong.  (Ya Think?)  I am not sure why, but I seem to have my own drummer and based on a lot of good things that have gone right in my life, I think I have the ability to solve problems and thing fast on my feet.   Judging from the inability to remember the smallest details sometimes, I am on the back side of that ability.  In the Military, they have a term called the Military Crest of the hill.  That was the highest point you can get without standing above the skyline.  That gives you the maximum view and you won't be seen.  I always felt that I was right there and had a pretty good view of the events in my life.  I find that I have moved to the other side of the hill now and am not in complete defilade, Yet.  If I had to say what I think it was that helped me the most, it was that I was a money hungry little kid and would do anything for money (Well, almost)  I was never afraid of hard work and loved the rewards that came with money. 

I have read a lot about the order of your position in the arrival of brothers and sisters and how that tends to make you a different person based on that rank.  My sisters were 6 and 5 years older and I think I grew up without the close friendship that my wife had with her brother and sisters.  I don't remember seeing much of them as they were always steps ahead of me in school.  By the time I started elementary school they were almost Junior High and gone from home when I started High School.   I do have very fond memories of learning to read with their help.  My sister Carol also so loved to sing that I'm sure that had a big influence on my love of singing.  I think on the rank order being where I stood was a lot more like a first child than a middle child.   I grew up pretty independent and busy.

I think I need to throw in a short segment about the women I have loved in my life.  Who doesn't have the warm memories of their mother.  Mine was the "Earth Mother" to all of us.  If she hugged you, you felt hugged all the rest of the day. My sisters were a positive influence in my life and made girls a lot less hard to understand.  My first girl friend had  to be Lollie, my best friend's sister.  My little brother was five year younger and In my world was "Just a kid."  I moved on to older women in school and there was Janet who was one of the prettiest and smartest girls I ever knew.  Way out of my league and I don't think I ever held her hand.  There was a short fling with Sheila and Connie but both were not in my life at the right time or place.  I thought that Donna was the one but I think I never trusted her in my Heart of Hearts.  She was fun but not one that really made me really evaluate where I wanted to be in my life.   While I won't tell you that I have always understood my wife, I know that she is on the path to doing the right things right.  I have loved her since 1968 and will try my hardest to keep it that way. 

Mom and Why Dad fell in Love with her.

On the negative side, I think I have always had the ability to loose myself in things and can often get to the end of the day and wonder what the hell I did that killed that day.   I had to use a "Day Runner" as a Colonel in the Army.  I found that spending 15 minutes to realistically plan the next day helped me at least aim my day.    Having been a Military Planner most of my time did give a realistic understanding that Plans often are only a Guide and they last until the proverbial first bullet flies.  I grew up with the thought that the 70% solution done in a timely manner often had a better result that actions that take forever to get that mythical 100% solution.  There is a "analysis paralysis" that can just freeze all your good intentions if you try to get perfect.  Today I think a few moments with the wife asking "What's on your agenda today" is almost as good as a written plan.   There is a little hesitancy in telling her I plan on goofing off all day, but I think she understands a lot more than I sometimes give her credit for.  This is especially true if we both worked hard the day before. 

END RESULT  I am not sure how others feel when they finally retire but I am darned glad to be where I am.  Due to some great planning and a lot of luck, I have the financial assets to do almost anything we want to do.  I always try to have a few things on my bucket list but I find them aimed more at others now than I did earlier in my life.  My mother said one time, "If I can wear it or eat it, I don't need it."   I understand that a lot more now than I ever did.  In fact, I have started putting things on my reverse bucket list.   I do not ever plan on roller skating again.  I am pretty sure that snow or water skiing is also no longer planned.  I am nearing the time where I am more inclined to pay someone to work on my car that do it myself.  (Says a man with a truck in the driveway needing a starter)  I do find myself looking at the problem solving model with an hard look at "Smarter not Harder." 

Right now, my hobbies include singing as often as I can, writing this blog and keeping everything moving that needs to move.  I know that I mentioned the 70% solution I mentioned earlier will get you a "D" in school but doesn't "D" stand for Denny?  Just a short note, I wasn't the best student in school and I got a lot od D's.  I think the teachers didn't want to have me again the next year and kept me moving up the pipeline out of self preservation.    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I had Barbara Take this and I'm sure that I was trying to tell her how to do it.
Yes, I know it isn't a Selfie if someone else takes it.



Baby Boomers Growing Up!

On Facebook, there was a short Power Point presentation about how good it was to grow up as one of the baby boomer generation.  Here are some of the challenges that we over came as we grew up:

    - First of all was the lack of central heating and cooling in most of our houses.  In winter most of the bed rooms weren't heated and I for one, slept under tons and tons of blankets, quilts and anything we could pile on to stay warm.  In the summer, we had a giant fan in the attic that sucked in whatever air was outside and I would turn from damp spot cooled by the passing air from the warm spot I was sleeping on. 

    -  One summer as the heat melted us relentless, one of the neighbor girls got sleeping sickness and darn near died.  It was supposedly from a mosquito bite and as I recall very few windows in our house had a screen. 

    -  As a kid, I think I had the majority of the diseases that are now protected by vaccination.  I  Had a recurring ear infection and every summer probably had millions of units of penicillin injected in my skinny gluteus minimus.     My skinny little butt was far from anything that looked Maximus. 

    -  For a few years in the early 50's, there were hundreds of cases of Polio and it scared the crap out of us.  It was like a mystery disease and there was nothing we could do to prevent or getting sick.  I absolutely could not stand the idea that I would be put in an iron lung and it would breathe for me.  When it would rain, we would go down to the sewage ditch at the bottom of our street and swim from one end to the other.  Later on, I found that the trailer court had a lagoon for the sewage.  That very trailer court had a polio case.   When it overflowed, it would drain in the parking lot that filled the sewer ditch we swam in.   

    - For years and years, we rode in cars that were unsafe and had none of the modern safety features of today's cars.  In 1961, I was coming home from the State Fair and our driver pulled out to pass and rolled a brand new Dodge Polara.  Side to side, end to end, in a car filled with glass shards and not a sign of a seatbelt.  Somehow the doors stayed shut and we all crawled out of that wreck alive and bleeding.

    -  What would you feel like if at least once a week someone told you to crawl under your desk and close your eyes?  The threat of Nuclear warfare was first and foremost on our minds.  Throw in the threat of tornado's without any hint of a shelter and you might understand that it was possible to suffer from analysis paralysis. Or not, in some cases, I am sure we were the cause of the stress.

    - I am not sure if it was because there were so many of us, and or we were expendable, it seems like parental supervision was pretty minimal in my neighborhood.  We went places and did things without any hint of the knowledge of our parents.  We swam in a pond where one of our friends drowned.  I don't remember hearing our parents telling us to keep away from there.  We played outside from the first light to way after midnight when the Beech Aircraft parking lot lights were turned off. 

    - I lived a block north of the Beech Aircraft plant number one on east Central Ave.  As the workers drove to and from work there, our neighborhood became like a dirt race track with cars sliding around corners and rushing to get the hell out of the parking lots.   The saying was, there were old dogs and there were bold dogs, but no old bold dogs where we lived.  Those dogs that ventured out during shift change died.    "Denny, why are you crying?"  "One of those crazy Beech Drivers hit my dog in the ass."  "No Denny, Rectum"   "Rectum hell, Killed Him!" 

OK, enough of the pity party.  We lived, loved, laughed and grew up what was normal for the time.  I just wanted everyone to know that if life was like a box of chocolates, they were probably melted or if they lasted long enough frozen.


Is it just me?

I look over the comments and for the largest part of over 350,000 hits, few, if any people comment.
here is the typical comment on the blog a couple of days ago:

"It doesn't take up to seek huddled. blank conscious furnishing can appear author thin, feature unilluminated-reddened blouses on top of your mold.

Be trusted you're on the cyberspace. We can easy trace you station direct ads,
whatever insight your payday give, cogitate again. A upshot..."

Does this make sense to you or am I just alone in my own little world?   Why would you post such stuff?



I think Garage Sales are a Giant conspiracy to transfer the stuff from one home to another so you will think it has value and want to keep it and more.  In an effort to find good stuff for the garage sale this weekend, the First Mate (And only, I hope) is looking through the cabinets in the kitchen.  I am sure that you too have some that are crammed to the brim with things that in the light of day would normally be thrown away.   Just how many empty Tea Bag cans can you keep to make sure that you have enough?   When you can no longer close the door on the cabinet with the coffee cups, is it time to thin them down?    Somehow, spell checker changed thin to think as if I had the power to move things with telepathy.   I noticed the other day that my new cell phone doesn't underline misspellings, it changes things to what it thinks is close.  I also noticed that if I pay attention, it suggests words by the first couple of letters.  I haven't had it change any of those selected words that I noticed.  But my mind makes up stuff and sometimes it thinks I actually said it or mistyped it that poorly.

This morning in an effort to entertain myself, I went off on a YouTube trip back to the day when Robin Williams was funny not pathetic.  I even found George Carlin's solutions to four classes of people that should be removed from society.  I did find it strange that he close Kansas as the location of one of the groups but do understand that he also used Colorado, Wyoming and  Utah as the other three states and he did want to keep them contiguous.  His ten story fence did kind of need to have straight lines.   For the record, George has been dead long enough that  he didn't see the problem we are having along our southern border and just how hard it is to keep people out, let alone in.

Am I one of the few that think we as a people (The entire world, not just here in America) are so wrong that it would serve us right if we ceased to exist?  How is it that my god is so much better than your god that my solution is better than yours?   How can we decide to pick and choose what group of people die and who lives?  Is the Genocide in Syria worse than in Iraq?  Is the death of so many Africans to be ignored because it is Aids and we need to jump in if it is Ebola?   Am I just wrong if I think the Doctors that are sick should not be brought back into the US?   They went there to dedicate their lives to saving those people.  Why spend millions of dollars to bring them back here?  Where are the death panels everyone was predicting to oversee the spending of dollars in a wasteful manner.  Another myth shot dead.

Speaking of Health Care, in Kansas there has been a growing number of people that do not have any health care.  The percentage has grown by 3% since the passing of the bill.  Are people not able to afford the new insurance with higher costs or is there some stupid kind of thought that the Government will step in and offer it free that I don't know about?  Can this raise in the statistics be a part of better measurement of the numbers or what could be the cause?   Whatever the cause, the liberals are blaming it on the Republican Governor rather than trying to figure out why people can't afford AHCA or are unwilling to join a club  like that.   

The other day one of my friends deployed one of those portraits of JFK when he spoke about serving your country.   The very people that said Ronald Regan spoke in sayings not substance don't remember who started that mess.  I for one believe that having a President that tell us what we should be, isn't a bad thing unless he can't influence Congress to do the right thing.  If the way Washington D.C. is so screwed up is the Political parties, do we need to change that part?   Voting Democrat in Kansas feels wasted because the rest of the State will pile up Republican votes.  I wonder if I would feel that same thing in California as a Registered Republican?   Is that a part of the low voter turn out?  Shouldn't the first step in being unhappy with out Congress be a surge in the Voter turn out?   It seems that the only one with a lower approval rating is the President.  Our Apathy is a silence that I can hear but I always a little politically deaf.   HOW ABOUT YOU?

If you didn't vote and are unhappy about the Government leaders, Just remember that I got to select the people there.

Have a great day.



We had more rain yesterday than we did in the whole month of July.  In fact, we had two rains storms blow through and each one gave us more than July did.  I didn't even look at the water bill last month because I know that Barbara worked hard to get the trickle system to water the garden in an efficient manner.  Based on the number of tomatoes she sure did something right.   The first storm had about a 60 MPH wind with it and we did loose power for a couple of hours. 

As we get nearer and nearer to our trip out west, I get more and more ready to get on the road.  No, I haven't even packed, yet.  I will throw a lot of my old clothes together and leave them when they are dirty.  I don't need to replace them as there is what I am sure a breeder shirt in the closet that is turning them out until the clothes rack falls off the wall, again.  I am sure that like most of you, I have almost a complete wardrobe of shirts and pants that are at least two sized smaller than the one I wear. There is always the hope that I might fit in them again and they hang there just waiting.  On the other hand, skinny people are doomed if they get sick.  Me, I am good for a hard two or three week illness and I will come out the other side healthy.  Skinny people will succumb in less than a week.  After all the good money I have spent on food, the extra padding should be good for something.

Here is the dilemma,  do I get the oil changed before or after our trip?   I know that changing the oil every 3,000 miles is not needed but it will be closer to 5,000 miles after the trip.  I am tempted to just go out and top off all the fluids and go on west smartly.  The only level that concerns me is that the rear end has developed a drip (I CAN SEE IT ON THE GARAGE FLOOR) and I am not sure if I can squeeze my fat butt under the car to check that fluid level.  I guess I will need to wait a couple of days until the driveway dries off and use my floor jack and jack stands.  I had a friend who's father went to a local salvage years ago and tried to take a transmission out from an old car.  He couldn't find the base plate for the bumper jacks so he just jacked the car up with a pair of them without the base plates.  He crawled under the car and the car started slowly sinking in the ground and he didn't notice it until it had him pinned.  Today he would have whipped out his trusty cell phone and called for help.  In the 60's, no such thing and he was crushed as a giant Buick anaconda sat on his chest.  They didn't find him over the weekend and he was one smelly dude when almost a week later they did drag him out and bury the leftovers.  I am sure that he would have qualified for the Darwin Awards had they been around. 

Speaking of death,  several of my relatives passed on this year and last.  Many people are expressing their sadness on Facebook.   I guess I am unusual in that I am doing my level best to only remember the good things and not how much I miss them.  I don't want people rolling on the floor laughing every time my name come up after my death but I sure don't want people to cry for hours at a time.  Life is for the living and the future is so dynamic that I think people need to keep looking forward and keep a level head.  I can get a smile out of people when I tell them that my mother was buried with a giant silver fork in her hand.  For the best part of her lifetime she loved to go to dinners at the churches.  As someone would gather the plates, there would be the admonition to keep your fork, something better is coming.  It was mostly a piece of pie and mom loved pie.  I also kind of tell people in a self deprecating way that it took a couple of years for me to not want to rush over to the phone to tell Dad to watch a program that had either the Navy of planes in it.   I am pretty sure that my Dad loved the cable TV better than about anything.  He loved to watch golf, bowling, tennis and anything with cars, train or planes in it.  There near the end of her life, my mother found a Western channel and that and Murder She Wrote kept her pretty damned busy. 

Seems like my life is running parallel to what I read in the funny papers more and more each day.  Pickles had a conversation between Grandpa and Grand ma about the fact that Grandpa can have arguments in his head with Grandma.  She said he could not do that.  He said not only did he have them, he even wins some of the time.  My perceptions are my reality, I don't care if there is a woman to tell me I'm wrong. 

I want to share a success story.  I called the Verizon Cell Phone Service Center to see if I could get my new voice mail mailbox to work.  I got a great young man, John, to help me and he got me up and rolling in just a few minutes.  It seems there is a default to the last 4 of the telephone number for the system and voice mail password.  If you do a dumb thing like I did and turn the speaker on when you are trying to set the password, your voice mail password will be the instructions to press two in Spanish.   I could not ever get that right even if I got shipped to Mexico for a year or so.  Oh, by the way, if they ever get things settled down in Mexico there is a bus that leaves Topeka about noon each day and my butt will be on it.