Last Post

OK, it is the last post of 2015.  We will soon be in the middle of 2016 and wonder where the last year went.  This year has flown by and we have managed as a family to wear out most of two cars.  I will go pick up Dave's car from the dealership and see if there is any hope by changing the oil we can get a few more thousand miles out of it.  I think that at 88,000 miles that little Caviler is way over its limit.  Both of our cars have had a deer strike this year and at least the Ford is still running well.  Dave's car, not so much.

A little while ago, I asked Barb what she was going to do today and she said not much.  She did un-decorate the Christmas tree and I took the carcass out side.  I think about June we will finally stop having dried needles found in the  corners of the dinning room.  Probably will be when I try to clean up all the needles from the fern that normally sits in the corner.  We just got all the blooms from the Christmas cactus picked up when we put the Christmas Tree up.  Oh well, we neither one are picky about what lives near the dust bunnies (Thank God)

For the last couple of days, out 'nother daughter Mel from Texas has been here with her two dogs.  They are so much better managed now than they were the last time they were here.  One of the dogs is deaf and doesn't know just how loud she barks.  Other than that they have been fun to have to pet and play with. 

I am thinking about how we can get the word out about singing valentines.  In years past it worked well and paid a good return on out efforts.  Last year not so much.  I think if we get an early start on putting up fliers and getting the word out we can make it pay.  If not, I think this may be the last year for it.

What would you do if you found that your hobby is on a death spiral. Our Barbershop Chorus membership is not near what it was and I have heard that our director may be leaving in April. If he leaves, that may be the end unless we can find a director that really wants to lead a bunch of old geezers.  I know what we need is a bunch of young blood to join us but not sure how to make that work. 

Oh well, better shut this down and get working on my plan for next year.



Good Advice

I would normally not read the editorial page in the paper.  Mostly I read the sports pages, the advice column and the funny paper page.  This morning I did read an article on the bottom of the page written by a 41 year old black lady.  She said to not make a New Year's resolution as that can make it way to hard to stay positive.

I kind of boiled it down to Plan Annually but act daily.  We really can only control life one day at a time so we should try to live that way.  After many years of sobriety doing just that, I can attest that it just feels right to me.   Did you notice that there was a mention of an annual goal setting in my advice? 

 I know a lot of people that just live life on a daily basis.  Their problem is that they don't have a rudder on their ship to change direction.  They are a lot like a big ship headed to a dock and it is mostly luck if they stop where they need to stop and go only where they were pointed.

Here are a few of the areas you need to put in your plan:

Mental Health -  We are all a little crazy, so try to not focus on it.  Being overly concerned can make you crazy.  A good smile period will do wonders.  If you can't work up a smile, you seriously need to see a Doctor.  Drugs and Therapy can help.

Financial -  I boil this down to do what you did, and you will get what you got.  If you don't have a plan on where you are going, how can you get anywhere near a forward direction.

Physical - When I was young, I could generally get back in shape in the early spring and be good all summer.  Now it is taking longer to get into shape that the time left in the summer.  Did I mention that I hate to get old.  The only problem is that I love to live and these two kind or work against each other.  See number one.

Daily plan - If you don't act like what you are doing is important, how can you ever reach success.  Yes, I realize that now that I am retired it is easy for me to say but I really did work near the end of my career towards my goals with a daily plan.  I didn't always reach what I wanted but it beat the hell out of the alternative.

Family - The only thing worse than being on your own is acting like your support group won't help. The success for me this Christmas season wasn't the gifts, it was the people.  You want to catch my eye on Facebook?  Post pictures of the kids you spend time with.  I don't care about your new car or the new toys for Christmas, It is the genuine smiles on the faces. 

Now get out there and see if a focus on today can make your days better.  Whatever happens in the future will happen in the future. 



Happened Again

One of my rental houses is vacant right now and it is in need of a lot of TLC to return it to good shape.  I think I am going over in a little while to see what needs done the most.  I might start with taking the trailer over so I will have a place to put some of the trash that got left.  I had a deposit on the house but cut it in half a years back or two and now I wish I had just evicted them when I had enough money to do some rehab.  One of the things I need to do is to change the locks.  I bought a set of locks that allow me to change the keys without replacing the locks so that should be fairly easy.

Did you get everything you needed for Christmas?  I only needed some black socks and got them.  Everything else is just added stuff to my accumulation of what we already have. No, wait, I did get a screwdriver that switches bits.  The good news is that I have a bit set to replace any of the bits if they wear out.  One of the first things someone did at the Christmas party was to push the disassemble button and after spending quite a while, I got it back together.  Only one small problem.  There was a very small magnet that also fell out and I had no clue where it went.  The good news was that after spending a half an hour, I managed to find out where it went. Now all is fine.

The weather here in the Heartland is predicted to give us 4 - 8 inches of snow starting some time today.  I will need to fire up the tractor once or twice and make sure it will do the job if I need to push snow out of the drives.   Dave's drive has a row of cedar trees along the west side of the drive and generally drifts shut if it snows and blows.  The wind is blowing right now and I am pretty sure that it will continuer doing so. 

We had a nice surprise on Christmas day.  Our friends from Morocco stopped by as they were rushing to see all the people that want to see them.  They are here for only a week or so.  Gerald's father is not doing well and they wanted to get back and see him at least one more time.  Their girls are growing up.  Their youngest is in the 7th grade.  They are headed into the teeth of the bad weather as they are traveling to Meade, KS.  I hope they made it safely there yesterday.  I just got a Facebook post from a niece that is traveling back from Texas today and she said they are driving into a tsunami.
Glad to be home safely.

Oh well, better get my act together and get on with the day.



Only 4 days left

Christmas will be here in only 4 more days.  I still haven't been able to discern what to get Barbara.  The temptation is to buy her some warm clothes and move on.  I want a coat but I don't want to have someone else buy it for me.  I need to be there to try it on so I can be sure it fits.  I, like most of you probably fluxuate 10 to 15 lbs. from summer to winter.  I can wear a XL(T) for a jacket but when you put a sweater or a sweatshirt under a coat I need a 2XL(T).  

What do you think the protocol on posting pictures in Facebook?   Barb does not tag anyone's pictures and that makers it hard for interested family members to know who the heck everyone is.  My problem is that I even had to stop and ask Barb who some of them are.  Then again, I am not going to use the pictures for anything else.   My memory is far from complete and accurate as it once was.

Speaking of memory, the other day at the Christmas party we played a computer aided game and I picked the category music.  It was all pop music and I could not even begin to name the songs let alone know that snoop dog did anything but rap crap. 

The other day, someone put in the paper that there have been sighting of very large cats a little north of here.   It should not surprise anyone that with the large number of deer here in the heartland that we would have the number two predator to deer nearby.  Actually number three.  Number one is Cars, number two is hunters and number three is mountain lions or cougars. 

I have to agree that times here in the Heartland are getting harsh.  Our death toll in Shawnee County is 14 which is double that of last year.  I think there was only one death related to gang violence . 
The rest were family violence.    When we can't make peace or walk away from a confrontation with family, there has to be a lot wrong.

I hate to say this but I feel that with the large number of people in the USA that could do a great job as President, the candidates we have are inadequate.   But with that said, there are a lot more people in the Congress that need replaced to make it all work out.  We need a couple of cycles of not electing the incumbents to clean up the mess.  I want someone there that understands that all of the money belongs to the people and not to be given freely to others.  If it is important that we spend only what we take in, the fact that there needs to be compromise should be no secret.  In my perfect world, I would put Dave Ramsey in charge of the Budget.  Then, I would make it illegal for the congress to overspend the budget. 

Oh well, better get moving on for the day.



Busy Week

How do I tell someone that is sending multiple posts of Facebook that if I wanted to read all the stuff he is posting, I would look it up to start from the original location.  I do appreciate the information from time to time that he provides, but the multiple posts makes him look like he had nothing to do but copy and paste crap from other people.   I want him to post original crap from him not OPC (Other People's Crap)  Did I just coin a term that is worthy of Facebook?   Might give it a try.

The other morning on the news in Tulsa, one of the on air personalities said there is a study out that says that married people eat more regularly and together and increases their Body Mass Index.  So the real question women should ask their husbands is "Do you make my butt look fat."  That equally applies to men but most men don't really care.  In fact increases in Body Mass for me means that my belly helps push my pants down from the front and my skinny white boy butt could use some augmentation to help hold the pants up. 

Today is the Petty Family Christmas in Kansas City.  It will cause us to miss part of or all of the Hawks game in Lawrence.  The only good part is that I know there will be a TV in KC that probably will carry the game.  Besides that, the chances of KU losing a game in Allen Field House (aka the PHOG)  is fairly low.

Oh well, Better get moving and go take care of Petty Gang Business.



What a Great Day

On Saturday, our Barbershop Chorus sang at 7 older adult Care Facilities here in Topeka.  We sang at two of the places for two different groups so it was really 9 performances.  The part that made it great for me was that we sang "Mary Had a Baby" each time.  The first line is a Baritone only line " Mary Had a Baby."  As the only Baritone I sang it as a solo It was just a great sound and as the song ends, the last notes were a Baritone and Bass combination that just rocked.  It didn't hurt that the best Bass in the chorus was right next to me and he and I blended it together the best I have ever heard it.  You should have been there.   I am sure we spread the joy of the Holidays across the city of Topeka.

On Sunday morning, my computer monitor just went black.  No matter what I did to the computer, it went black and stayed there. It normally only shuts off when the computer does.  I was at Walmart and called Dave to see what he recommended to replace it with.  He asked me the question about if I had tried to manually turn it on?  Well DUH Dennis, I hadn't.  I went home and guess what?  it turned on and everything is fine.  There is some truth in the age old adage, try the simple things first.  (Then call you son it that doesn't work)  I guess I raised him right and he has continued to grow from there.  I love my son Dave and I will probably buy him that new Video Card with the money we saved.

After singing all over Topeka, I knew that going to the Sprint Center to see the hawks would just be more than I could do.  We stayed home and watched it on TV.   My Niece Jennifer snagged some tickets from other friends and took several members of the family.  I was very pleased that Asa and Julia got to see the Hawks play one of the finest games this year.  If you saw them at the University games in Korea, you will know that they sand bag at the first of the game and then run the wheels off the other team at the end.  They did just that and it was one of the best halves of the year.  I just hope thy don't dig too deep a hole later on.  Oh well, they have the muscle and guns to win.

Today in the paper a young lady asked dear Abby (Or her replacement) if she thought she should sue the rapist that had hurt her many years ago.  Well, she did admit that the guy is dead now.  It is clear that suing a dead person is the height of folly.   Boys and Girls, taking someone to court is pretty silly unless the value of the damage is pretty great.  There is a pretty good chance that the court and a jury doesn't think the damage done is as much as you do.  There is an old saying that I use.  It is pretty much like wetting your pants in a dark suit.  It gives you a warm feeling but no one but you notices.

Our Christmas theme this year is Star Wars.  It is pretty cute and Barbara found some lights to spell out the words, "May the force be with you."  We have about 25 of the original Star Wars characters and they are on the tree.  Yes, I will be one of the people that will see the new Stars Wars movie over the Holiday season. 

I had better get moving before I become stuck in place here on this chair.  It probably does need replaced as my present to myself. 



Great times

Yesterday I picked up a great friend at the KC Airport.  He has been in Morocco and I thought it appropriate to greet him with a rack of ribs.  Then we went to Lawrence and saw the second half of the KU game with Holy Cross.  Holy Cross is a team that beat Harvard that last week gave KU fits.  The Hawks put on a display of what shooting and defense can do.  Gerald was in Hog heaven as a KU fan.  I hope we can be as much fun for his family when they come in next week. The only sad part of this whole adventure is that Gerald's father is not doing well and it is happening when the majority of us are looking forward to having a happy holiday. 

This week we had a discussion about the impact on our retirement savings once we start making the mandatory withdrawals.  The temptation I have is to have the withholdings made as quarterly withdrawals and just to send the money to the IRS.  I think it will about be what we would have to pay extra on the 15th anyway.   It just hits Barb wrong that all the money we have saved for retirement should just go to the Government.  I tend to agree but can't argue with the fact that we all must throw in some taxes to make it more fair. 

How well do you read your e-mail.  This week I sent a message out to the normal cast for the Barbershop practice schedule.  We have about 45 names on the list but only have about 25 actual singers.  I think I am going to start paring people off the list to see who notices. 

 On the subject of today's communications, how has it impacted you on a personal level?  I think we stay in touch much better but it is not as personal in a lot of cases.  I do get to see a lot more pictures of the newest members of friend and family.  That does brighten my day.  I will admit that I haven't written very many letters this past year.  I did write to a grand nephew that had written to me as a social studies project. 

If you don't hear from me much over the next couple of weeks, I am like you going to be pretty busy. I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and  Happy New year.  If that is not what you want to hear, change it to an appropriate greeting in your language or religion.



Busy Week

Barb and I compared our schedule this morning and found that we both have a full schedule and they for the most part don't fit.  I did get up and clean the kitchen this AM, but after cooking breakfast I have a full sink of dishes.  I guess that's the problem with my cooking.  I tend to make a lot of food and a mess at the same time.  One time my daughter-in-law was talking with one of her work friends.  She said she wasn't the greatest cook.  Her friend asked her what she did when her husband Dave said  he wanted a good home cooked meal.  She replied that it was easy , they would go to my house.   I always try to cook great meals when we have an audience.  

Tonight is going to be a fun time.  We have a great friend arriving at MCI at 6:30 and KU tickets at 7:00.  Clearly we will have to make a decision what we are going to do.  I told Gerald's wife that I would give him three choices.  a. Go straight to the KU game and see the second half.  b.  go to a good BBQ restaurant for some BBQ, c. Got to his brother's house so he can get some rest after a many hour flight.  I tell you that I would have a tough time making that choice.  The good news is he is young enough to fly for over 12 hours and then go watch a ball game.  We'll see.  The good news is that the ribs can always be eaten after the game.   Some time during the game I do need to drop off some tickets to Donna so she can pass the on to Jennifer in Kansas City.  Will be a tricky swap but no tall step for a tall stepper. 

The only sad thing this year is that our friend Gerald is rushing home because his father is ill and they are not sure how much longer he can survive.  Nothing puts a damper on the Holiday Season than the potential loss of a parent.  I know he has a strong faith and he will get through this tough time and come out the far side in good shape.

The other day I saw a post by the daughter of one of my good friends.  It had a picture of Ron putting on a tie.  He had someone helping him as he and I share a hatred of ties.  I made a snarky comment and Ron's sister chimed in and sent me a friend request.  The really neat part is that June married a fellow who's last name is May.  Yep she is now June May.  I love that name even if it will screw up my months again.  As a Kid we sang "Shine on Harvest Moon, I ain't had no loving since January, February, June or July."  Musically it was great, but not what the teachers wanted me to parrot back to them.   Whatever, I hope June has a great life.

I guess if I am going to get everything done today a good place to start is here. 



Monday Tidings

Did you ever wonder what the heck tidings are?  Oh well, they sound good in Christmas songs.  The question from a Jewish mother was what to do when someone wishes her Merry Christmas.  I say she should wish them a Mazel Tov or Shalom.  (I would say happy honnicah if I could get spell checker to get me closer than this.  It offered happy Monica but I am pretty sure that is not right.)  It is like that greeting of Happy Holidays that the Political Correctness Police are trying to get us to use.  Dad would say whatever floats your boat.  Me, I try to not let happy greetings not change what I say of do.

This morning I am working on the Christmas songs we will be singing the rest of the week. One night this week we will be singing for an Older Adult Care home and then on Saturday we will sing for 7 more.  I sure hope we can all last that long.  I am working on a program to help me improve my voice by a guy named Roger Love.  I feel better after I have warmed up but an mot completely there yet.  My real goal is to be ready for the singing valentines and then the Brigade Roundup in Texas in April.  

One of my friends posted a picture of a young Pilot and his wife today on Facebook.  The young man was killed yesterday in a crash on the other side of the world.  I will promise you that carbon footprints are far lower on my list of important things than terrorism or the potential of War.  It really scares me when I hear the President and the Secretary of State tell us that our use of fossil fuels will get us to hell quicker than anything.  I really get my hackles rankled when people say Donald Trump says the most stupid things.  I think he may be 4th but I have candidates for number 1-3.   They all have been candidates for or are the President.

I hope that the small water leak under the Ford is not a major thing.  I noticed it needed a lot of antifreeze the other day so I guess I will really need to get out and find the leak.  I don't know if it is related to the high miles on the engine or the deer strike.  Either way, I need to get on it today.  We are going to have temperatures in the 50's all week.

Have a great day out there. 



Can this be the year?

After 11 years of winning the Big 12 championship in Men's Basketball, can this be the year they don't?  Last night we saw the play a team from Harvard that out rebounded them and out hustled them at almost every position.  They were a 22 point favorite by Las Vegas standards.  They were lucky to escape with a win at home.  Sheesh!

Do you think there is a conscious link between our dreams and reality?  I know I haven't practiced my Christmas songs enough and dreamed that I was totally unprepared at a practice.  This next week we will sing for one Older Adult Care Facility and then on Saturday we will sing at seven.   Better get ready and not stress my voice out too much.  If I were singing Bass, I would be fine but as a Baritone it is right at the top of my normal vocal range.  

Do you have a calendar that you put all you appointments on?  Ours is getting fuller by the day.  Right now the only blank spots are between Christmas and New Years Day.  I will buy another one of those Shriner's Calendars again this year.  They are going to have drawings to give you a chance to win a small amount of money.  So far this year I haven't won anything but I also buy Lottery Tickets.  At least this is money for a good purpose. 

I took the Crown Vic to a local tire shop this week.  I decided that they are the one's that fix all my implement tires so they should get my business.  I told the owner what I wanted and he priced the tires 4 ways.  He started to tell me about the choices.  He was surprised when I bought the best set.  In fact I asked him to not tell me about the real cheap set.  I want to make sure that we have a really good set when we are out killing deer.  (that was a joke, I hope we never hit another one)

The paper had an article today about the fact that in 1947, it was reported that there were no deer in Kansas.  That is not the deal today.  I read that about 140,000 licenses were issued and almost a deer was harvested for each one.  Not here at Rabbit Run but I do hope the population doesn't continue to grow. 

Oh well, on to better things.




I have a friend that is afraid to retire because he doesn't think he has enough to do to stay busy.  What a dumb head.  It doesn't take long to find out that you will fill your time with the things you enjoy and it is all good.   I have a couple of hobbies (This is one) and singing is the other.  Throw in a little maintenance on the rentals and I have all I need to do.  OK, throw in a KU Basketball game or two and the wintertime just keeps getting better and better.

Today there was a program about car shows on TV and Barbara talked about how expensive that hobby is.  Throw in a major purchase once and a while and I'll bet in the long run the Master Gardner purchases almost cost as much.  Well, perhaps not quite as much.  But does she get to drive her bags of mulch?

How on God's Green Earth can the President not classify the San Bernardino attack anything but Terrorism?   What planet is he living on?  Oh I know, the one that is melting from Global Warming.  Anytime someone tells you they can cure a problem by Taxing it, LOOK OUT!  The biggest part of the lie is they say they will return the costs to the taxpayers.  They can't pay their bills now and want another source of revenue?  Just who do you think will pay the higher utility costs?  Yep'er Skippy - You and Me.  Does drinking the cool-aid made with the water from the Potomac River  make you stupid or do they think we are stupid because we don't?  

I saw a picture on Facebook where the President has Gabby Gifford in for a chat about how they can take the guns away from the people that are not within the Law.  Good question, but that's where you need to start.  I vote for them to start in Chicago and see what that would cost.  Some of the toughest Gun laws are in California and we saw what good those Laws did.  For those of you that think that taking our guns away I offer you the only solution.  Change the Constitution.  When the 2nd amendment goes away, I will consider telling everyone to turn in their guns.  Ain't gonna happen McGee.

Oh well, going to Lawrence to watch the kids play basketball.  Should be a fun game as Harvard is a 22 point  underdog.  I am looking for a 100 point day from the hawks. 



Crap, Oh Dear,

After putting the car back together, I took it to one of the local Lube Shops to have the oil changed.  I was reminded that the Transmission fluid and fuel filter needed to be changed and I had them do both along with the normal oil change.  On our way to the Basketball game in Lawrence, the car died in the little town od Stull.  Fuel was leaking out on the road and it would not run.  Clearly something had gone wrong.  I had it towed home and I got under the car to see what the heck had happened.  One of the hoses on the upside of the fuel filter had an obvious cut in it and it had burst and was leaking.  All it took was a 5 inch of new hose to make it all well.   The really bad news was that we missed the first game of the new KU player.

Oh well, Today I am going to put a new set of tires on the Ford and perhaps take a road trip.  Other than that, I am taking the day off.  Seems like I have been way too busy for about a week and last night after singing the National Anthem for the Road Runner Hockey game I fell asleep long before 9 PM.  Oh well, I am glad that I still have enough energy to get it all done.

For some reason this year I have kind of a renewed joy about things.  I know that there are a lot of negative things out there but I will quit worrying about things globally.  On the local level, I am really happy to see the kids on Facebook and in person. 

Better get rolling and see if I can get a lot done today.



Well Almost

We had about 10 people over for Thanksgiving dinner and sent home leftovers.  Last night we had smoked turkey enchiladas and are nearing the end of the leftovers.  I thin one batch of white chili and the turkey will be gone.  I used up a bunch of the mashed potatoes making a potato soup and haven't really looked to see if there are veggies and green bean casserole left.  Oh well, I have plenty of food so no one will starve.

The weather here is kind of strange.  Just a hundred miles west of ere there is pretty bad icing and we are having rain with temperatures supposed to get to about 40 today.  I think the girls want top go shopping about noon and I think Barb wants me to drive them.  She may be taking me along to pay but I am not sure.  If we pick them up around noon we will probably go out to lunch.  There is a new Oriental restaurant I may be able to talk them in to visiting.  I have eaten there and it has all new dishes and the food was pretty good. 

Well, it seems that the Kansas City Chiefs were winners yesterday.  Even the Denver Bronco's managed to pull out a win as they slipped and slid in the snow.  I'll bet their field is a horrible mess today and don't envy their groundskeepers the job of putting it back into shape.  Tonight I sing with the Barbershop Chorus and tomorrow night we have tickets to the Hawks game in Lawrence.  As a matter of fact, I can't remember a December that has more things going on.  I think we have even given up our tickets to see the hawks play in the Sprint Center in KC.  Oh well, I think there is even a trip to Oklahoma in there.

I have decided that before we take off on our Oklahoma trip I am going to put a new set of tires on the Crown Vic.  I will also throw in an oil change and transmission fluid change in there to make it all good.  I did put one of those fuel treatments in last week and I can't tell yet if it has really made a big difference.  Perhaps today or tomorrow I will be able to tell. 

One of these days, I will figure out insurance companies.  After giving me $3,300 to fix the Ford, they will only give me liability insurance on it.  Seems like they want me to take any extra money and throw it away.  Oh well.  After 130,000 miles, it has a pretty low book value.  I know they aren't very many used Crown Vic's on the used car lots so perhaps I will need to be looking for a replacement that is different.  I do get sticker shock every time I look at the price of newer cars in the paper.   It is not a matter that we can't afford it, it is the fact that I am by nature cheap.  Throw Barb into the deal we was are pikers. 

I guess I had better get a move on and get something done.  Not sure what that may be but hey, I am a multi talented guy. 



Nothing Particular

I really don't have a soap box to stand on this morning and will just write about a few things.  Here goes.

Barb and I had a real civil discussion this morning about world peace.  She has an idea that we need to quit spending trillions to bomb other people and just go out and buy all the gun manufacturers that make AK-47's.   Eventually there might be a blight on them.  Very interesting thought. 

I saw a picture of people in Britain saying they want a Caliphate to live in.  My comment to them is go home and work on the hate there.  I promise you that if you worked as hard to love each other there as you do hating everyone else here, you could be a lot stronger sooner.  In fact, I am sure that the world would like you a lot more there than here.

There has been a lot of talk about just offering citizenship to all the illegals that are here.  I wonder if the people that say that really know that our normal immigration process has minimum standards for legal immigrants.  First they must have some skill and some money to qualify to come here.  We don't need more minimum wage people to come here and get fed by the government programs.  We do need an orderly program that allows workers to come here for agricultural work and then go home at the end of the season.  In fact the lack of control is part of what worries me.

When I hear about new laws or government programs, I think about all the failures I have seen.  How is it that there is so much talk about tax avoidance and yet we are supposed to have such a great system?  If the basis for our country doesn't work, why are there legislators in Washington D.C. piling new laws on? 

I saw that three guys from Junction City were convicted of Cocaine trafficking and sentenced to over 20 years for it.  I understand that it costs us about $20,000 a year to house them.  What a waste.  We spend lots of money keeping them in when we might think about alternatives and letting some of them escape now and then.  How about a bus load of them getting taken to the border with Mexico and let loose.  I love the President of Mexico's answer about the illegal drug trade.  He said that if we could stop the use here, there would be no drugs flowing north across the border.   I guess it is all in your perspective.

This morning I saw a few moments of Face the Nation.  Bush (Whatever his name is so long as it is not 45) was critical of Trump's lack of specificity about the real problems in the world.  What makes him think that in a World where people care about Caitlin Jenner that there are people that give a crap about world problems?  Bernie Sanders said that we spend three trillion dollars on Halloween candy each year so we should be able to spend that much on Syrian Refugees.  Hey Bernie, the money I spend on candy are my dollars and what I do is none of your business.  As long as you don't spend more than you take in, you and the Congress can do with the rest as you please.  I do want to see a prioritized spending list. When the money runs out, quit spending it on other people. How about things like the military, schools, infrastructure like roads and with out a doubt energy.

Speaking of energy, This Old House had a segment where they went to Germany and talked about the use of energy there.  It seems that about 99% of the structures there are heated with hot water.  Because they don't have the need for cooling systems, the do not have forced air systems they do not have the air handling units needed for AC, Hot and Cold.  On the other hand, moist of the US has well into the 90% range have both.  They are working on efficiency hard. Instead of paying guys to come look at the paint, they have people that look at the systems and how well the work.   One big difference is that a lot of the houses there are built to last through three or four generations in one family so a 10 or 11 year payback on efficient systems is a lot easier to sell.  We have a typical 11 year turn over on our houses.  Except for here at Rabbit run.  We are entering our 25th year.

Starting on Friday, the Midwest was hit with a cold front and rain.  Here is was about 1/8th to 1/4 inch of ice on most things.  The good news is that most people stayed home and Black Friday was spent watching football and one of the basketball tournaments somewhere warm.  Today we have a light rain and thank god the temperature is just above freezing.  The ice on the roads is melted off and there is little accumulation of new stuff. 

What do you like almost more than the Thanksgiving feast?  Yep - Leftovers.  The pie is almost gone but there is still some potatoes for pancakes and smoked turkey for enchiladas.  I hear Barb on the phone inviting the kids to come over for supper.  I do need to go to Dave's and see what is causing his water leak in the master bathroom.  I put the toilet in so I guess it really is a good part of my problem. Oh well better put on my plumbing pants and go deal.




I have finished the 2004 Crown Vic deer impact damage.  It was a lot of work but in the long run it wasn't all that bad.  I do have my share of dings and scrapes on my hands but when did that deter me?

On Wednesday, I smoked a turkey for a couple of hours and then brought it inside.  Early yesterday I cut the turkey up and put it in a pan to heat up for lunch.  It had a nice smoky taste but wasn't too strong.  I also made a big old batch of my garlic smashed potatoes and a side of gravy.  Barb made all the fixin's and man was it all good.  I think we fed 10 people and even sent home a leftover pan with everyone.  We have some leftover pie and some turkey.  The turkey will be made into enchiladas one of these evenings.  I think there was some taters left and I should go up and make some potato pancakes.    

All in all this was a nice Thanksgiving and even if the Cowboys couldn't slow down the winning ways of the Carolina Panthers, the games on TV were pretty good.  Our Hawks won the Maui Invitational  and all was good.  The ladies sat around the kitchen table and played some game that was way beyond my comprehension.  There was some exchange of play money for building rights and I have no idea if or how anyone won. 

We did get to see Kyler and Austin Slavens as they stopped by for a short visit.  They must have been pretty well fed when they got here as they didn't even want a slice of pie.  A couple of young men that won't eat another piece of pie must be a real change.  Heck, I even went up and had pie for a snack and dinner. 

Has anyone out there heard that the Government is recommending that you change your e-mail address?  One of the guys that I sing with gave me his new address because he had changed his old one.  I can understand changing or updating your password and perhaps allowing only your friends to see your posts on Facebook, but changing the whole address? 

The other day, the subject of telephone numbers was discussed and I thought about it and realized that we have had the same address and telephone number for 25 years.  Things have changed but not completely.  When we lost out son to marriage, we gained deer, turkeys and coons to feed.  I am not the least bit sure who is cheaper to feed.  At least the animals can be fed in bulk. 

Oh well, I have a good book to read here on Black Friday.  The weather is iffy out there and it is wet and only a degree or two above freezing.  Don't need to get out and have a traffic accident.




This morning I went up to make a pot of coffee.  As I turned to get my coffee cup out of the dish washer, I felt a new twinge in my right knee.  Sure hope it is not a sign of things to come.  I realized that it was a real twinge when I went to fetch the paper.  It caused me to bobble as I bent to pick up the paper.  Not cool to fall down in the driveway.  I pulled it off and didn't fall but there was no one to see so it was not important.

I personally find it difficult to look at the big picture and accept that it is our way to take in more refugees.  Why don't the Syrians stay home and make it work there?  Just because they don't, is it our responsibility to bring them here?  I find it difficult to understand how the current administration can be so confident of their vetting process.  How did the Boston Marathon Bombers slip by the same vetting?  Hell, Major Nadal of Fort Hood fame had a security clearance.  I love my country but don't trust my Government. 

Speaking of My Country, how many new laws do people think will make us safe?  There are more laws now on the books than we can really enforce.  I read that there is a law on the books in California that you can not wear cowboy boots unless you have two cattle.  I wonder how many break this law on a regular basis?  I think there needs to be a regular review of all laws and not new one's.  I am not saying that some tweaking is not needed, but a complete review might keep the congress from looking for new ones.  In fact, I think that the congress needs to look at the budget, job creation and review of the old laws for a session or two and then move on to new things.

Have you had a full belly of the Presidential Candidates yet?  There has been such a flood of lies that they can be glad that the "Pinocchio Effect" is not working or they none of them could get on a plane to fly out to tell more lies.  Barb is kind of mad at me because I don't attack Donald Trump for the outrageous things he says.  What she doesn't know is that I enjoy a person that wants to upset that Washington apple cart.  No, I don't think he can make it work much better that the last four or five Presidents.  I just want people to know that there is more to the office than hot air and Hopey Change. Oh well it will be over in about 12 months.  After a year of Vietnam, I can stand about anything.  I could spend a year in the middle of the street stacking oiled BB's. 

One final note from my exalted podium is the fact that I don't understand all the problems with race relations. After 150 years, you might think that we could find a way for everyone to have a place at our table of abundance.  One thing I hear is that the black students don't feel safe on the campus of our universities.  Huh?  I think the Freshman year is the time that all universities try to week out the less productive but not is a harm way.  I wonder if we have been telling our kids that the only way they can be successful is to go to college.  One of these days we will need to have new plumbers, electricians, carpenters and painters.  The houses we have are in need of a lot of work and I am just getting too old to climb up a ladder like I did a few years ago. Those veterans that want to make $15.00 an hour need to use their GI Bill $ to attend trade schools.  I know that after learning about good and hard work, they know the path to success.

If you haven't finished your outside yard work yet, you had better get ready.  This weekend is one of those times that we are promised some really cold and windy weather.  I know the birds are sure eating all the suet and black oil sunflower seeds I put out.  I wonder if some of them just need to move south.  Oh well, Barb and I can afford to feed a few birds and a deer or two. It is those pesky squirrels and  a raccoon or three that I could do without.  It is not so bad that I will resort to thinning out the herd -Yet.

Oh well, better get on with my chores.  I have a couple of hours or so left to finish the Ford.  Thank god, I have bandages on more fingers and need a week or two to let things heal.   One thing I was not ready for was the small particles of glass from the fiberglass front header.  I guess it does need to be still but there needs to be a way to control the loose particles.



Has it been that Long?

This week has been one with a lot of hours in the garage piecing the Crown Vic apart and now back together.  I just don't have the will power to spend hours out in a cold garage so I don't get an early start on things.  I don't think that there will be many more 70 degree days so I guess I will just have to dress a little more warm and get on it.

Yesterday we had dinner with my son's in-laws.  One of the dinner discussion items was that almost everyone in the family wants our son Dave to come over and debug their computer.  Barb needs to upgrade her operating system, I have a few bugs between the Microsoft server and Firefox and his mother-in law needs to have her printer hook up redone.  It is amazing how we for the most part can work around the small problems but a good hand on the computers is always welcome.

This last week, a Grand nephew in Shawnee, KS sent me a letter he wrote for his social studies class.  The assignment was to write a member of the family that was a veteran and to thank them for their service.  I started the thank you letter three times before I realized that he probably didn't need a preachy response.   I did manage to keep it to two pages but in the end I probably did resort to some level of preaching.  How can an old blogger like me not turn "Dutch Uncle" when given the chance.

For the most part I just shared a short history of my service and one short story about a 2nd Lieutenant that took out a helicopter with a .50 caliber Machine gun.  He walked into the rotor blade with the barrel of the gun and I am pretty sure that he killed that bird,  He escaped death only by luck. 

I did share with him that I do not understand what caused people to hate each other, only that I am a part of the system that prays for peace and prepares for war.  I mentioned that I read that the only way people change behavior was to experience a Significant Emotional Event (SEE) I also shared that I have only found one or two times in the history of the world that a SEE did not include a WAR.  I am doing my best to not let hate be the reason I want a war with those that hate us.  That is circular reasoning that gets us into more wars than I can count.  It wasn't until years later that I began to realize that the North Vietnamese soldiers were just fighting their form of a Civil War just as we did in the 1860's. 
We were told that it was to keep Communism from spreading and now we can see that it was nothing more than a failed plan and even China is more democratic than they understand.  Now if we could just get North Korea to understand that both sides are just Koreans that want to be at peace and not at war.  I hope they understand that before they strike out into a war.  That part of the world worries me.  But what part doesn't.

Oh well, lunch time and I am getting hungry because of the roast in the crock pot cooking upstairs.  Better go get something done. 



Rainy Monday

The weatherman says we are about to break the drought that has been in place for a month or so.  It has rained a little over night and is supposed to continue most of today and tomorrow.   Barb says the plants should go to sleep with their feet wet so I guess a little moisture is a good thing.

Yesterday I went out in the driveway and stripped most of the broken parts off the Ford.  For some reason the battery is dead this morning and it won't start when I wanted to get it in the garage.  Not sure what I did to cause that but I did notice there is a lot of corrosion on the battery.  Sometime today I will clean that off and see if a little time on the battery charger will do the trick. 

This morning I turned on the TV and what a depressing bunch of news.  There are reports after report concerning what happened in Paris.  They have started interviewing Rock Bands that were scheduled to play there later on this Month.   What I want to know is what the hell the world is doing about this mess and what will be our involvement.   Does it surprise anyone that with the uncontrolled immigration in Europe that there are terrorists sneaking in.  I hope our Government starts to pay attention to this before we have a major event here.  We are a target with a capital "T" to the terrorists and we have some of the loosest borders in the world.  

I am worried that my sense of humor has gone missing.  I realize there is little to smile about right now, but I find it difficult to smile and move on forward.  Oh well, perhaps I wasn't all that smiley earlier and now I am just becoming aware of it. 



I am not French

It had been my experience that the French tourists are the most rude people I have ever met.  In Germany I had to block French Tourists from pushing Barbara away from the Continental Buffet table.  In Morocco, a French Tourist group split our group apart and then stopped blocking the way so we could get back together. I had to force my way through them to get just up the aisle. We have bailed their bacon out of the fire twice and may be looking down the barrel a third time.  Don't ask me to put their colors on my picture.   Step up to the plate and fix your problems.  We have our own problems to fix.

It is real popular here in Kansas to tell the Feds that they can't transfer the GITMO prisoners to Leavenworth.   That is a dangerous game with the Government looking for ways to cut Federal Spending.  Just what the heck do Kansan's think will happen if the Federal Dollars go away?  Do you think that K-State can support Manhattan (Little Apple)  and Junction City all by itself?   They could easily close the Federal Prison at Leavenworth and McConnell AFB.  All they would have to do is call it BRAC and poof, they could be gone.  I lived in Leavenworth for about 5 years and not once did I ever hear that the quality or quantity of the people behind the prison walls is a threat to us.   In fact that Major that killed all those soldiers at Fort Hood is there right now. 

Today I will start stripping off parts of the Ford to see just how bad the damage really is.  I will start with the hood and then go to the front fascia to see what supports are bent bad enough to not be able to fix the problems.  It will be a lot of work but any dollar I can save putting it back together will be a good deal.  I know there are a lot of Crown Vics out there and parts should be fairly cheap.  Even replacement parts aren't all that bad.   Besides, it will keep me off the streets and out of trouble.

Oh well, better get rolling, lots to do - even if there is plenty of time to get them done.



It was a Draw

The other night, the kindest woman I know hit a deer.  The deer and the car died.  I do think that while Barb is unharmed physically, she is not the same mentally.   I know she spent a lot of time and money helping the critters survive in the winter.  I am pretty sure that the deer she hit was on the trail cam a time or two.   He had a deformed antler on one side and was fairly easy to spot. 

As to the car, the insurance company notified us that they were going to send us a check as the car is only good for salvage.  I am torn about what to do.  In the past, I would have just put a new front end of the ford and driven it.  I am not sure I have the ability to wrestle the parts off the car and fix it so it is safe and drivable.  The jury is still out on that.   I know there are thousands of Crown Vic's out there that would be good donor cars.  Perhaps by Monday I will talk to the local salvage and see what is out there.   Barb doesn't want me to drag a donor car here and have one more piece of yard art. 

The other problem we have is that her car is almost beyond the expiration date also and I am pretty sure that it won't make it a long time.  Oh well, I guess I have wanted to fix the turn signals for a while and now seems like a good time.

The other day I heard a good joke.  A good friend of mine was in Target buying some dog food.  A lady in line behind him asked if he had a dog.  A 50 lb. bag of Purina should have been a sign but my friend reported the "Rest of the Story."  He turned to the woman and said, " Oh no, this is for me as I have been on the Purina diet for weeks. I put a handful in my pocket and when I get hungry, I just nibble a few chunks.  I have lost 50 lbs. and am resupplying my stock after getting out of the hospital."  The Lady asked, "Did the diet put you in the Hospital?"   He replied, "Oh no, I stopped to pee on a fire hydrant and a car hit me."  He is not sure he is welcome back in Target.

Oh well, live can be funny if you can laugh at it.



Here We Go Again!

Out there is the world of Facebook, is a post telling us about how things are better after 7 years of Obama.  From an purely economic sense there are improvements in a lot of those indicators.  My question is what the hell happened to all the great changes we were going to have in Race relations and how the world perceived the USA?   Let me start with an incident that happened last night.

I sing in a Barbershop Chorus that has only two black members.  One of those is the director and these guys are great people to know and sing with.  At our break, the subject of the problems going on in Missouri came up.  I said that everyone knows that Missouri is still fighting the Civil War and the attitude on the Campus of the University of Missouri makes a lot of people hate them.  The Antlers, a section of the fans from the University of Missouri would be thrown out of the stadium at KU.  They are so obnoxious that there was a sigh of relief when they went away from the BIGXII. 

One of our new members said he had been a professor at the University of Missouri for many years and he loved the campus and was proud to be Tiger.  He did say that one time when his daughter was much younger she wore a KU shirt into a restaurant in Columbia.  He said there were several adults that said rude things to her and he was kind of taken back.  I thought that the attitude there was what I had seen several times.  In my travels all over the USA I see a lot of pride in the State and the Local teams but seldom do I see the kind of open hostility towards fans of other teams.  I have traveled to Texas, Oklahoma Nebraska and never seen that kind of open disagreement.  Even a Jay Hawk in Manhattan doesn't cause that big a fuss.  (Of course I don't go there during football season)

OK here is my bottom line.  The Civil War was over about 150 years ago.  It is about time for us all to wake up, get out of bed and know that we are all here on this earth to do what is fair and good.  I don't care if you are black white, brown or red, get on with life and don't blame other people for where you are in life.  I promise you that I did not cause you to be advantaged or disadvantaged.  Where you live is not important to me. What you do in your home is not important to me.  I surely hope that other than my being a KU fan, I try to not be obnoxious about it.  I wish you the same.

As for the President being black, I don't care.  I don't agree with his policies and will be glad to see him gone from office.  I want him to go on and live the rest of is life and make lots of money telling people good things.  I would be sad if anyone thought that in any way I would not wish him well and would want hurt to fall on him or his family.  I for one would not want to have the responsibility for that office and am not sure that I know anyone I would wish it on.  OK, I would love to see Donald Trump try to change Washington.    Kind of like my comment back a few years.  "What will we do when we realize that it took a Dictator like  Hussein to keep IRAQ from falling apart?"  Oh well,  we are a long way from that and only a few months from a new leader.  I wish us well.



Perception and Reality

This is a topic that comes up a lot for me.  My mind is the product of 68 years of whatever input I have crammed into my life.  It is filtered by all the things that were there when the new input arrived and somewhat impaired by a hearing loss.  With that said, my perception is my reality.  It often takes a "Significant Emotional Event (SEE)" to change what is there.   The same can be said about a lot of us and no amount of education can or will change that unless it is accompanied by a SEE.

Having served in combat way back in the 60's, my perception is that peace is good and war is bad.  The problem is that a significant portion of the world thinks that their SEE is war to enable changes.  In some cases, what they want is hampered by unintended consequences.   I think it was Admiral Yamamoto  of the Japanese Navy that said, "I fear we have woken the sleeping giant" when the bombed Pearl Harbor.  His SEE woke us up to the fact that we needed to get into the fight in Europe and the Pacific to bring the world to a more right place. 

A good friend posted on Facebook today that in her perfect world, there would be no wars and no hate.  I agree that if I had all the power in the world that would be so.  The problem is that a whole bunch of people don't agree.  How a group of people can hijack a religion and make it the basic formulae for hate just boggles my mind.  How another religion can set limits that even their own clergy can't meet and make it universal is beyond me.  The same can be said that there are a lot of people that want smaller Government and then want to apply religious restrictions on my actions.  How can we have anti abortion and separation of Church and State?

I had a discussion with a person today in another Facebook post that challenged the way schools teach.  He wanted to measure the results of an alternative teaching method by the standards that I personally find offensive.   Where do the people in charge of the education of our children come up with what they should learn?  Where is the feedback loop to the society that says these are the things that make up success in the end.  It should come to no surprise that the aircraft industry is leaving Kansas when there is no one coming out of the school pipeline capable of running machine tools that can make the parts for airplanes.  (That is somewhat and exaggeration but mostly true)  What does it say that we measure the success of teachers and the brick and mortar schools by standardized tests? 

What I am saying here is that we don't need to throw all the bathwater out with the baby, or something like that.  What we do need to be able to do is to be willing to talk about change and what it means.   Clearly, if you do what you did, you get what you got.  I sense a lot of people aren't satisfied with what we have been getting.  Are you happy with the Status Quo? 

Does something smell in here?


Great Days in the Heartland

Yesterday I had one of those "Wellness" visits with the Cotton-O'Neil Clinic that is a part of the Affordable Health Care Act.   The only question that kind of made me think hard was have I been depressed in the last couple of months or so.  I, like a lot of people get a little sad that the days are getting shorter.  That is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  I told her that the end of the World Series is kind of my marker for it and it pretty much goes away when the KU Hawks start their Basketball season.  This should be another great year and I for one will watch a lot of Hawk Basketball.

Barbara is upstairs making cupcakes for a birthday party.  Our Daughter-in-Law had a birthday this past week and her parents have invited us over for a party today.  It is always great to see that side of the family and to share a good meal and visit with them. 

I still haven't got all the leaves picked up in the yard but the weatherman said it will be great this week through Wednesday.  It will not be hot or too cold and dry is the theme.  The master Gardener says we need some rain so the plants can all go to sleep with their feet wet.  What do I know?

This morning there was a program on our educational channel about Hot Rods.  It seems that a couple bought a 68 Camaro from their son and put a 427 engine in it.  The engine was all souped up and  now they are thinking it needs to be detuned.  Well duh, the 302 V8 they put in the Z28 was about all that car needed to go fast and be streetable.  A 427 is just more engine than a full size car needs.  I am thinking that this next year I am going to buy a crate 350 for the 57.  It will need some upgrade on the brakes and an A/C but then I am going to go for a road trip.  I have seen several programs about Montana and Idaho that just makes me want to go out and see the mountains.   I will probably take Barb to stay with her father while I am off in the mountains.

One of these days I am going to figure out how to make all the electronic devices I have work.  I bought a new controller for the Direct TV and now I have to use the Samsung controller to change the volume of the TV.  Seriously crazy that the simple instructions I have don't seem to work on this model Samsung TV.   OH well.   Hey, Wait, I did find a new app on my phone that will let me search the net using voice.  I am going to learn some new tricks with that and see how that comes out. 

OH well, better get moving.  Have a great day out there.



Just some Observations

I am always amazed when a politician talks about things that were in his/her past as if they were important.  Most of us have some skeletons in our closet that we would not want out on the stage but most don't advertise them. 

Were I running for office at any level, I would look for the top 10 things that are important at that level and what I would propose to do about them.  Remember that even if there are  ten things, some of them may be good and your proposal might be to do nothing. Where I in Ben Carson's shoes, here is my top ten.

I see no way that the congress can ever make this work if we can't get them to sit down and agree on what needs done.  I would hold a Congressional summit to show them how much they have in common or to expose just how far apart they are.  Their top 10 things are first to figure out what they can fund and to fund that.

I would sunset most federal laws at 10 years and you had better have a damn good reason for us to send any country another dollar.  

I hear a lot about taxes and how complicated they are.   Geez, it has to be pretty easy to set a flat rate and live with that.  Get rid of all the exemptions and just take an amount at the source.  I am sure that the extra day or 2 on the 15th of April would be a gift to the people.  For me, I would make it pretty darned simple and combine the flat income and Social Security taxes.  I am pretty sure that even f it were 20% right off the top it would be better than the way we are doing it now.   Businesses would pay whatever amount we set and that would be that.  Yep'er, I would combine their Soc Sec withholdings in whatever amount. 

I am a Law and Order kind of guy and I would sic the Military on the borders as a part of their duty.  Who better to chase down bad guys as they cross our borders than the same kind of guys/gals we use over sea's. 

I would take down the Federal Law on Marijuana and sell it for a profit.  Those poor guys in prison for selling it would be put on a list of people we need to hire to raise and sell the stuff.   Instead of paying 28,000 a year to incarcerate them, Pay it to them as salary and put the profits in the program in our tax coffers. 

One of the things I would do is to hold a summit on Health care.   For sure I would privatize it and figure out a way to have everyone quit lying and pay their fair share.  Do you know that the hospitals have several different amounts they charge depending on who you are and what insurance you have?  I have a great Doctor and great medical coverage and surely there is a way to make it all work.  That never would be a one size fits all solution. 

In my world, every High School student would have a class on finances.  One part of that would be the budget for their school.  You would be blown away how many people get it all wrong.  Let me start with a budget.  If the world was standing still and the enrollment didn't change, you could throw up a budget and write the checks at the first of the year.  Well, guess what, things do change and the budget is just a guide.  If you start with what you did last year and build up from there, you might get a lot closer to the truth.   Older teachers retire and new younger one's are cheaper.  Buildings should be a pretty fixed cost and utilities might vary +/- 5%.  Then I would start on personal finances for the kids. 

All of that would be a folly if we don't figure out a way to help our young men and women feel like they are a part of our system and they can make a difference.  That means they get a quality education and there is some hope for us to have jobs when they finish their education.  That includes jobs in all sectors.  I want our manufacturers to make things here in the USA that provides jobs to our people.  No matter how cheap they can make a towels in China, they have to haul the raw material there and the finished product here.  Must be a darn site cheaper to just make it here.  Or at least as good.

Service to our Government should pay well enough to attract the best but it should not be the way to put together a retirement above what the average citizen out there gets.  If Social Security and the Affordable Health Care act is good enough for us, it should be good enough for them. Congress would be subject to term limits like the presidency.  The only way you could stay more than two terms is if you are the Speaker od the Senate or the House of Representatives.

That is eight things and I am pretty sure you could all add one or two.  I am going to a Doctor's appointment now and want my blood pressure to be not too high.



Leaf Duty

What do you do in the fall if you have trees completely surrounding your house?  Yep'er Skippy, rake leaves.  I bought one of those machines that picks up the leaves and found that it really doesn't do as good a job as I would like because it doesn't fit in between the trees well.  I did go buy some tubing that extended the reach so I could drive it where I needed it and then pick up the piles of leaves. 

Last night we went to Lawrence to see the 2016 Hawks open their season.  They went about beating the Pittsburg State Gorillas in a very workmanship manner.  I am not sure why but there wasn't much energy on the floor or in the stands.  Even the student section cleared out with at least five minutes left in the game.  We were on the bus back to the parking lot when the game ended.   When Tyler Self and Evan Manning show up on the floor you know the game is over.   It was more fun watching the crowd acting interested than the game at times. 

When my cousin and his family moved to Denver in the late 50's, they moved to Arvada, Colorado.  For the years in between, 6822 Moore Street had a Petty family living there.  Starting tomorrow, my aunt will move into an assisted living home in Westminster.  It will be strange to not want to go by there.  I think My car could find the way without the Garmin telling me to turn around as early as possible.

Today should be one of the last days with the temperatures in the 70's.  Last night there was a cloud cover and at 10 PM it was still in the 60's.  T-Shirt weather at night in November was strange.  I wonder how soon Barb and I will need a keeper.  On our way out of the parking lot, I turned on to hear the radio station interview the players.  Barb asked me if the game was on AM or PM?  I almost ran off the road laughing.  The good thing is that she laughed too.  The funny part is that I knew what she meant. 

OK friends, I had better get out and get capturing those pesky leaves.



Funny Story of the Day

As you have read many times on this blog I am the Head laborer here at Rabbit Run. A part of that job entails meeting or exceeding the expectations of the master Gardener.  Earlier this year I bought a leaf rake that hooks on behind the new mower.  I went out and mowed the field at a very low height and collected all the clippings.  After spreading them on the part of the garden that was fallow this last year, I went to the local dairy to get a load of manure. 

After getting the pickup loaded up, I told the Dairy manager that it would make the master gardener happy to have that to add to the compost I put on the garden.  He said that I must be a lucky guy because a lot of wives would ask for a divorce when they are given a load of crap.  He said I should hang on to a wife that is happy with a load of manure. I agree.

Tonight we will go to Lawrence to watch the Hawks men's basketball team kick off their season.  It will be only a game against one of the State universities but should be fun none the less.  Next year I am going to get involved in the seat selection.  Again we are separated by a row.  OK, after being married for 46  years it is not a big deal to be separated for an hour or so.  I can see her from where she is seated so no big deal.   This is the team that went to Korea and won the World University Games.  Should be a great season.  Now if they can do what the Royals did.

How much money would someone have to have paid me to go stand in a crown of 800,000 to see the Royals be recognized as winners?  It was a wonderful day here in the Heartland and might have been a good day to be outside.  I was out and shoveling manure but at least it made Barb happy.  I guess I am just getting old.  Not such a bad gig when you consider the alternative.

Oh well, it is already 60 so I had better get ready to go collect some leaves.


Great Time of the Year

What a great time of the year to be a sports fan.  We have the Royals winning their third game of the World Series, The Shawnee Heights teams doing well and KU will open play on Thursday night in the Phog.  I will forget to mention that KU did play football over the weekend and that the Chiefs show up but aren't doing well either.  The important thing is that as a sports fan there is lots to see.

About half way through the Royals game last night, I just had to hit the mute button.  The crown noise was so bad that I had to push the volume up really loud to hear the announcers.  Having problems with my hearing after all the years of abuse with the guns, I have trouble making sense out of loud noises.  Fox has been pushing that a bit and I sure hope they tone it down a little tonight.   I'll bet my blood pressure was way up and having some quiet time was a blessing.

The Topeka paper has a new managing editor and he published his e-mail address as a part of his open door policy.   I again sent to the new guy how displeased I am with the lack of rowing news here in Topeka.   Every year we have a regatta and it brings hundreds of kids to Lake Shawnee with their money.  If you think it is no big deal you should try to get a table at a local restaurant the night they are here.   I will keep pushing that envelope for as long as I can.

This morning I went out to get the paper and it was nowhere to be found.  When I got back inside, I found it on the table right where Barb had left it.  I guess she woke up early, read the paper than went back to sleep on the couch.  Must have been all the excitement from the ball game last night. (Not)  When I mention the Royals she will say , "The Royal's Who?" 

We had just enough rain on Friday night to make the leaves in the yard too damp to pick up.  I have the new toy to pick them up and they are too wet.  Oh well, I'll bet sometime this week I'll be making mulch by the ton.  By next spring they should be ready to mulch the garden.  I have it covered with grass mulch and will pick up a load of manure sometime this week to really make things grow. I may not have a green thumb but I do listen to the Master Gardener's desires. 

Oh well, guess I 'd better get moving or again find my butt stuck here on the chair.



When will this Blog End?

I have had over 900,000 hits on this blog and probably will quit before it hits a million.  If it was spring instead of fall I would predict a shorter run.  With the time available in the winter, I will probably not end it too quick.  One thing I really must do is try to remember why I write this blog.  It is a part of the therapy I use everyday to retain a normal mental health.  Whatever normal is. 

Today on Facebook a cousin posted a picture of their father when he was a young man.  It reminded me that we have mostly lost our parents that lived through WWII.  The soldiers (Paul Seward), the sailors (Glen Petty) and Airmen (Warren Petty) are no longer with us to tell tall tales of a time when the world went crazy.  The 40's saw over 11 million men inducted into the service in an attempt to return normalcy to the world.

I try to not get involved in conspiracy stories, but the number of Muslims, Chinese that are set on a course to not be friends with the world has me on edge.  Today the TV movies on one channel are all war movies.  So far it was the Submarines and now the Marines killing the Japanese.  I wonder what the world path might be if someone at the wheel wakes up to the threats and dangers. 

Does anyone else really wonder what will happen after the next election?  A part of me wants to have the Democrats win and for the blame of what I fear may happen fall on their shoulders.  It should be clear that the trail we are on was not trail blazed by just one party.  Whatever happens the next 4 years will be the blame of one party or the other.

Oh well, I will cut this off here and watch war movies until it warms up a few more degrees.



Day Off

Today is a travel day for the Royals as they journey towards their goal of winning a world series.  I think we all need a day off.  I wonder how tough it was for you to stay awake during that (snooze) ball game last night.  I am sure that I missed at least one run somewhere in there.  I needed a nap so it doesn't surprise me that I dropped of a time or two.

At what point in life does a person really start to show their age.  I normally have a decline over the winter months but generally snap back when I start working outside in the early spring.  This year I was not well and I just don't seem to be at my best here at the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  It worries me that it will be a lot harder next spring and I may not be up to the task.   We need to find a way to get in a few more miles walking to stay in shape. 

The paper had an article about people buying Royal's gear this year because of the success they are having.  I think they have ignored the fact that most of us have to buy new warm stuff once in a while no matter who is doing well.  Given a choice in a new plain sweatshirt or coat, I will pick one that says Royal's or KU on it.  At least I don't have any conflicts with our Monday night practice and KU games for the remainder of 2015.

The other day I was grilling some meat on the Weber and I smelled something that smelled pretty bad.  I guess I got too close to the fire with my right arm and I singed the hair on my arm.  The good news is that I didn't burn the skin but there is no hair on my right hand.  I guess I normally have that happen a lot more often and it doesn't amount to much when I am regularly grilling.  I had two grills going at the same time to get the chicken ready for Dave's party.

One of the sites I get pretty regularly in my e-mail account is about the Military.  Seems that it has finally hit hard that the Military is downsizing and it is looking for ways to make that happen.  Mostly right now they are slowing promotions and stepping up the prosecution for minor offenses.  There was a time when it was all hands on deck to go to war that there was an allowance for alcohol or drug offenses.  Now days it is directly out for the first offense.   As much as I hate it, it is really the time to clean up the act and if you screw up you are out, is more appropriate than making up boards to throw people out.  I know that I would have fallen victim of the boards had I tried to stay in the Army without my degree.  I did the smart thing and got out and finished my degree before trying to make a career in the Guard.  One thing I did notice was that it took a long time from Captain to Major right after Vietnam.  I think I stretched it to the maximum but it all worked out.

Well, better get moving or I might find my butt stuck here all day.