Hi There!

It was an early preview of  summer this last week with 90 degree tempos and 105 Heat Index.  It cooled off over the weekend and it is darn near perfect out there today.  I will sing with the Barbershoppers on Sunday Morning but then we will take a little road trip. We both need to get out of town for a few days. 

We had a new driveway pad poured last week and it sure beats the heck out of the 3 inch difference between the driveway and the garage.  It was really strange to see that right up next to the doors, there was almost a 2 foot gap under the driveway.  The contractor put about 1/3 of the old driveway in the hole as fill.   It still took another dump truck load of gravel to fill the home.  We won't be able to drive on it until middle of next week.   We just park the cars out in the driveway and it is no big deal.

I am about fed up with the press doing their best to make the Supreme Court decisions about Obama.  They decided that the laws needed changed and said so or not.    In my opinion, no one won or lost.  Can you imagine what hell this Country would have to go through if nothing ever changed?    I ama conservative but mostly in the area od Money.  I will to the day I die feel that income must be equal to or greater than outgo.  What that means is that the real job of congress is to find ways t pay for the things they pass, not just pass everything and then figure out what they won't fund.  If a law has no money to pay for it, it should go away.  Period.  I think there is a lot of slack in the budget and we can have a lot of things but they will have to do double duty. 

Oh well, better get running.




I love that song from Annie, "The Sun will come Out Tomorrow."   I guess I have always tried to be the guy that really didn't care if the glass was half empty or half full so long as there was a place to fill it up and a place to pee.  One of my favorite jokes as a young soldier was about the man that died and went to hell.  When he got there, he found himself in a bar and much to his amazement, the beer was free.  Like all young soldiers, he drank often frequently and deep.  After an hour or so, he asked where the bathroom was.  He was directed over to the doors in the corner.  When he went in the bathroom, he then noticed that he had no way to empty his bladder. (For those of you that don't know, that is an equipment issue, or lack thereof.)  He ran back out into the bar and shouted that he really had to pee and no way to do it.  The Bartender said, "It's hell isn't it." 

Last night, there was no treasurer or Secretary for a Board meeting at the Barbershop scheduled meeting.  Instead of a formal board meeting it turned into a  BOGSAT.  For those of you non Acronym people that's a Bunch of Guys Siting Around and Talking.  Without the Treasurer there, we really didn't have any way to ask the stupid questions about where did we put that expense or where will we put another this year.  I have always been troubled by the fact that people try to build the solid budget and make it a rule rather than a guide.   When I voiced my displeasure with the Rules and Law and Order guys, several of the guys were kind of gruff.  I then asked them just what is the purpose of our organization.  We have CD's of almost $20,000 and we should be able to pay our debts but not to amass a fortune.  I think we need to reach out to the community with our music not with our money.  We should bring the joy of our acapella music and sing.  We have music and uniforms.  What more do we really need.  Someone then asked why the expenses from our Valentine sing outs were twice what we have made in previously years.   By the results we didn't make any money in that endeavor and I sure wondered why we didn't.  I guess that's a question we will discuss at the next board meeting.

Last night, we had a few discussions about some of the topics in the Headlines today.  First, I pointed out that the Confederate Flag was last a banner of significance about 150 years ago.   It should be relegated to the museum and viewed there.  I can understand why it flies in the face of many people.  See, I can make a joke about it.  Then we discussed the gun issue.  My point is that if more gun laws would fix the problems, there would be almost no crime in Washington D.C. and in New York.  They have some of the toughest gun laws.  I am pretty sure that my guns are under my control and they do not have a mind of their own.  In fact they are locked up with a combination and I can't remember the combination for that safe.  I do have it written down and I hope I can remember where that is written.  The final point I made is that we need to laugh more at our own weaknesses and tell the News agencies to lighten up.  I am sure there are several hundred things to laugh and put smiles on our faces.  If you think the race relations are bad today, you should have been here in the 60's.

I guess I have spent enough time here on the computer.  Lawns to mow and gasoline to expend.



Father's Day

Like most of the Baby Boomers, I no longer have my father to spend some time with today.  Pops would be 95 now and I'm sure that time would have not been good to him.   What was good to him was the time he spent with my mother.  They laughed traveled and enjoyed life about as well as they could.  I can remember being over at their house and Dad would say, "Virginia, would you put some ice in my tea or Would you put some tea ion my ice."  Dad took medicines that gave him dry mouth and he almost always had a glass of something near him.  After his bout with Hepatitis he didn't drink like he did prior to that.  For months after he died, I would start to call him to tell him about a program on TV about planes.  We didn't share his love of golf, bowling or Nascar but we both loved to watch things on TV.  I'm sure that the program "How It's Made"  would be one of his favorites too.

I don't want to make this a sad post, only to say that we all needed our dads even if we were around a non biological dad.  I think our next door neighbor, Art Longhoffer was as much of a dad an mine was.  I was the son he didn't have and I loved to go out with him to feed his cattle.  I'm sure that he would much rather sit in the truck and drink beer while I did most of the grunt work.  I was rewarded often with a dinner that was mostly German food that Mrs. Longhoffer would fix.  I'm sure that she learned to cook Art's favorite food over the years and I loved every bite of it.

Most of the kids that attended Minneha Elementary in East Wichita attended Kindergarten under Mrs. Longhoffer.  I remember it being about as much fun as I ever had in school.  We played games, took naps and ate graham cracker snacks.  The room we were in had the alphabet in a circle around the middle of the room.  Somehow we all wound up learning the alphabet through our play.  I loved Mrs. Longhoffer and she treated me well in school. 

I am not sure what we will do today but I'm sure it will be somehow involved in getting out and doing something.   I'm sure that Barb will take her camera and take some good shots of the wildlife nearby.  I can still spot things far off but her eye on the close up details are what makes her photography so special.  I am the Macro kind of guy and she is the Micro kind of photographer.  Give her a flower with a bug on it and she is happy.   I am the one that see's the deer in the middle of the field or the snapping turtle in the yard near the road.  She is the one that captures those shots in way I can't. 

Our BBQ yesterday went well and we managed to send home a great deal of the leftovers with the Petty's and the Parks.  I also found my new favorite cake.  Unlike my mother that thought pie was always the best, I have always loved a good slice of cake.  Barbara found the recipe for a Chantilly cake.  It has fresh fruit between the layers and a cream cheese frosting on top.  Man was it good.  I managed to snag 2 pieces at lunch and one late night piece.  Needless to say, there isn't more cake laying around today.

Do you have any rules in life?   I have a few but a lot of how I react is from the things I learned as a kid.  I have never been afraid of hard work.  I have a lot of good tools and there are few jobs that I can't or won't handle.  I like new and shinny things on old cars but have kept one grill bar that is kind of rough to remind me of where I started and how far the rest of the car has come.  I would love to say that I have treated everyone the way I want to be treated but many people tell me that I don't seem to notice when others are really having a bad time.  I also fall on the side of Justice a lot more than mercy.  I am one of those do the crime, do the time.  Oh well.

The one thing I have done well is earn a decent income.  Throw in Barb's willingness to save our money and it has been a good combination.  I won't throw rocks at her income over the years either.  She has always made a good income and saved a great deal of that money.  I guess we have been a pretty good team over the years.   47 by my count. 

I was amazed by one of the articles in the newspaper today.  They said that farm income was down by about 10% last year.  With the heavy investment farmers have to make, it won't take very many years of that to really hurt.  I know a lot of farm wives that are working in schools and offices to help make do.  I know that at one time farm property would keep going up and even if they didn't make a lot of money while farming their legacy would leave them pretty well off.  The sad news was that with all the hard work a lot of farmers didn't live long enough to see that benefit.  Oh well, it is father's day not farmer's day..  

Better get rolling and see what is in store for the day.



Just Gotta Grill

We are celebrating Father's day and a couple of birthdays today and I will be out in the yard smokin' and jokin'.   Just so you know, spell checker didn't like smokin" or jokin' nearly as much as I do.  I will fire up the Weber grill and get some good hickory to make the brats and burgers taste really good.   In the past, I would pre-cook the brats inside but the last time I cooked them 100% on the grill they were fine.  I will start the brats a little early and do the burgers last.  The Brats can sit inside on the warmer until the burgers are ready.   Throw in a side of watermelon and perhaps some baked beans and it will be a wonderful meal.  Barb  is making a cake that is decorated with fresh berries and I'll bet it will be a hit too.  Did I mention that Barb was at one time an instructor for Wilton's at Michaels?   She can whip up great baked goods and do an even better job of decorating.  The half life of her cinnamon rolls is not even measurable as they don't last that long.

Today I was reading my Facebook page and there is a large number of 55-56 & 57 Chevy lovers on one of the sites I follow.  I have decided that I should coin a new term.  Shoe Box Socialism.  That is where everyone is "entitled to whatever he can pay for."  One guy wants to find an old 6 cylinder 4 door car and drive it and another wants to spend $60,000 on a kit to build one out of new parts.  I say what ever floats their boats.  When you figure out what a new car costs, having an old one as a daily driver isn't all that bad.  Yes, I am working on getting my energy up and fixing the 57 to drive as a daily driver.  I will have to talk to the insurance company and determine just what that will cost.  Right now it is a garaged queen that can go to shows now and then.

This is an interesting time in our history.  We are 150 years from the end of the Civil War and 70 years from the end of WWII.  We have forgotten a lot of the lessons learned from those wars.  The cost of freedom is very high and worth every dollar  we have spent.   Just this week there was a program that advocated that we mandate that every 18 year old have to spend a year in National Service.    That works well in Switzerland but I am not sure that our diverse economy and social strata's would allow it to work.  I know that it did wonders for me, but we were in a war and there, you either lived or died and that's not a price I want our young people to pay. 

There are a lot of interesting Dave Ramsey posts on Facebook and many make me want to post a few comments.  We were Dave Ramsey fans before we knew who he was.  To us, it was pretty simple to pay off your debts as fast as you can and do your best to not have new one's.  The rule that income had to be greater than or equal to outgo was a given.  I know that our willingness to work while going to College and a little help from the GI Bill made it work for us.  The idea of saving any extra money we could was just a given.  Our extravagance was a few monthly long distance calls to California and then Idaho so the wife could stay in touch with her parents.  A small price to pay for the wonderful; life we have had.
I am reading a lot about Rand Paul's desire to have a flat tax and do away with the IRS that bothers the hell out of us taxpayers.  I want them to change their focus on those places where we make money and them leave us alone.  Thin about all the interest income that doesn't get reported.  Those under the counter salaries would stop and everyone would pay their share.  I would start with the thought make a dollar and pay a dime.  I think the nearer place we need to be is about 15 cents but heck, we can pay for everything we are getting now.  Change the focus of taxation and I'll bet we can find a lot of places where people have just stopped paying.

This last Memorial Day, I went over to the cemetery and decorated Mom and Dad's grave with a flag and sunflowers.  As I drove by this last week I saw that they were still up and doing their thing.  I am sure that they would be proud. 
Glen and Virginia (Schawo)  Petty



Great Start for a Friday

This morning Barb and I took the bikes over to the lake for a short ride.  I did a little over  8 miles in about 35 minutes.  For the recumbent, that's a nice little ride.  I really love the smoothness of my bike and the back support of the recumbent.  It takes a little longer to get used to the ride but it is an easy thing once you do. The big difference is you need to stay on top of what gear you are using.  You cannot stand up and pedal so if you stall out you fall down.  The good news is you don't have far to fall. 

Biking on the cement bike path.

I got the new part for the zero turn mower and it took me all of about 10 minutes to put it on.  Most of that time was spent taking off the tire so I could get to the part without standing on my head.  Thankfully the brake part on the other side was not broken so it was easy to see how it worked.  4 lug nuts and two 3/8ths bolts and it was all good to go.  I even took a little time to give the mower a much needed bath.  There was a lot of mud splashed from the lower field. 

Tomorrow we will have the kids and the Parks over for lunch.  I will grill some brats and burgers and there will be a side of red beans and rice if we can get the recipe to work out.  I hear Barb upstairs making a cake so I am sure that dessert is covered.   Some hamburger buns and a bag of ice and we'll have it all covered. 

I have a relative that co-signed on a credit card and it has her credit score all screwed up.  My rule is that we do not co-sign on anything that is not a real thing and it must be in our name.  If I am going to pay for it, I will bring it home.   We also have a rule that if we loan money to a relative we don't give more than we could really afford.  If the loan goes bad, no big deal.  In fact Barb has an account that she stores a few extra dollars in just for that purpose.   Life is way too short to hold a bad loan against someone.   With all that said, anyone that wants money from us has to convince Barb and she is no easy sell.

Oh well, cleaning to do so I'll close here and again say that if you think Guns can think, you are a cinch to believe in Global Warming.



Hate Crimes

As if the News commentators need to make it a bigger deal, they are saying the shooting of nine people in a church in South Carolina is a hate crime.  Damn straight, Skippy, I'll bet that dumb Som'bitch had nothing but bad things on his mind when he unloaded on those people at a prayer meeting.  In fact, Unless someone is just a sociopath, wouldn't you have to hate someone to take their life? 

Someone said blame it on the guns.  I cry BS on that!   My guns are in a safe and they don't know the combination.  In fact, I have to remember hard to remember where I hid the combination so I can get them out.  They have absolutely no free will.  If you ever read that MUD has shot and killed someone, you can write premeditated on the charges because it takes time and planning to get my guns ready.  I fully want to go on the record that unless I really hate someone or something, my guns will stay locked up.  Well, there might be from time to time I will take them out and shoot at paper targets and then clean them.  If I were to be asked right off the top of my head, I am not sure how many guns I have here at home and how many are on loan to the Museum of the Kansas National Guard.  I darned sure don't know how many bullets I have only that I do have most of the clips loaded for the 9mm.  The .22 and the shotgun is just unknown . 

On that vein, I have listened to people ask the question Why?  Over and over people say They don't understand why someone would murder someone.  I think that sober people with any sense of a conscience wouldn't kill someone.  It has to be a pretty damn big Significant Emotional Event to piss me off enough to get the guns out and go to a gun fight.  Those that murder just shouldn't be out on the street walking around.    I did hear one pretty significant comment one time. A The friend said that he doesn't understand suicide.  He does understand being so mad that might want to shoot the Som'bitch that mad him feel that way.  That I can understand.  Just random shooting of unarmed people is beyond my level of comprehension.

I am not mad at the President for saying guns are a problem.  How could a social activist and community planner in Chicago feel different.  In fact, there probably is a lot of support to go him to into the cities and have the community planners and social workers try to take the weapons away.  Might solve a couple of problems.  If only we could get the lawyers and Politicians in on that action.  They would probably just screw around and want the Military come save their hides.  That I would object to. 

This morning I went up to my son's house and finished mowing his three acres.  I rebuilt his Troy Built mower deck and it is just a mowing machine of the finest kind.   I did see that my rat trap was empty and the bait was gone.  I found that when I put the mower away I must have knocked the trap rod off and it didn't work.  I bought some peanut butter crackers and put one in the trap.  I also bought one of those rat feeding stations that promise big results.  It will take a little time to see if it works.  Yes, I too like peanut butter crackers.

Better run, things to do and places to go.



Going to the VA

I went to the VA a few years back because my hearing is shot full of holes.  Barb thinks it is all those years in the artillery and I answer Huh?   To get a simple hearing test, they enrolled me in their care program and gave me a category 3 rating.  That means that if available, I can get a lot of the services for free that the VA offers.  Today I went in early for the lab tests for the physical visit at 2:30.

I am looking forward to talking to the Doctor about the connection to my Agent Orange exposure and the blood clots I threw when I was sick and lost a lot of weight.  My research on line tells me that the Agent Orange is stored in the body fat and can be released when the body undergoes a weight loss.  I went from 268 to 227 while sick with the flue in February.  By Easter, I was so sick that I went to my family doctor and was put in the hospital.  I had blood clots in my lungs and there was no other known causes.  Will be an interesting conversation.

Does anyone out there have any idea what the blood thinner Xerelto is?   I wonder if it is one of those new drugs developed from the venom of a snake.  The one thing I do notice is that I used to have a cast iron stomach and now I have acid indigestion.   It really takes the fun out of coffee when you have to take an after breakfast Tums.   Oh well, they have some creamy mints now so it isn't all bad.

Yesterday I brought Dave's mower home and reworked the mower deck.  About a year ago I replaced one blade tower and now the other one was making a slight grinding noise.  I replaced a blade tower and now that sucker mows like mad.  It also helped that I took a mouse nest out of the engine.  I am sure that it could have been running kinda rough because of that.  Yes, I am again on the hunt for those pesky pack rats that have taken up residence in his storage shed.  They are just suckers for peanut butter on bread.  I have a trap that catches them and I do away with them.  I am sure that I'll have to keep at it for a week or two to get them all. 

Have you listened to all the madness the TV could provide this week?  Just when Texas was starting to dry out, another tropical storm is blowing in with massive rainfalls.   Throw in Bruce Jenner's conversion and the white woman trying to be black and now what could make it all worse?   Yes, Donald Trump has thrown his hat in the Presidential ring.  Yesterday, the talk radio's were talking about how it is like Ross Perot's running and causing Barack Obama's win in his first election.  It is enough to make me want to go to a dark room and have a good cry.   I would have a cold beer if I was still drinking.

When I was in the Guard, a couple times a month I would go to the Grover's Smokehouse and have their Rib Tip Special.  Yes, I know it was not good for me but it was so good that I couldn't feel bad for a week.  Now I read that the last Grover's smokehouse here in Topeka is closing down.  Bummer! There are places with a better selection from Barb's stand point but I really liked the place.  Another good place bites the dust.

Better get a move on so I can get some things done.



Getting an early Start

This morning I woke up early and performed my normal activities that included a trip out to fetch the paper.  It was a nice cool morning out there.  I have a lot of work planned on Dave's mower so I am glad it is not hot early.  Yesterday I picked up a new mower blade tower to replace the one I didn't replace last year.   I could tell the bearings were still there OK but they were dry.  I guess that after 9 years of pretty heavy duty mowing, it is probably a good thing to replace them. 

Yesterday I asked the guys in the Barbershop Chorus why if Bruce Jenner can call himself Caitlin, why a white woman with curly hair can't call herself black.  Is the NAACP against the full integration of people of all colors?    Do you have to be black to be an officer in the NAACP?  If so, isn't that against the law?  Oh well, that's several things I will never ascribe to be.  I don't fully understand women and have no desire to convert.    I am proud to be the race I am and have my own problems so I don't have any desire to change.  Finally, I have absolutely zero desire to be a lawyer or belong to the NAACP.  I also have no desire to join the Old retired Guy club.  I will just be what I am and be glad to be it.  

Our annual discussion about where to go for a vacation is being held.   I do have a desire to go somewhere but I have a worry about the effects of the travel.  The Doctor said that throwing blood clots for the second time in less than a year is a very bad thing.  I am on Xerelto but am not sure how good it is doing.  That's the thing about the progression of my health that I don't like.   How do I know that the blood clots in my lungs are going away?  How do I know that Xerelto is doing a good job keeping new clots from forming?  To quote Ronald Regan, "Trust but verify!"  

I really don't know where I want to go this year.  I am slowly working on getting my strength back and would hate to be the spoil sport that ruins a trip for Barb. 

There is a program on the Science Channel called "How is it Made."  It further adds to my education that keeps me a mile wide and an inch deep.  In my fantasy life, I have the ability to do about anything they do but I need more tools.  No, what I need is someone to collect and organize the tools I have now.  I am pretty sure that I have about all the hand tools somewhere out there.  I just watched them build a boat dock and it was really neat.  The problem is that I don't have a boat and Barb doesn't have any desire to own one.

Yesterday as I left Harbor Freight, there was a guy about my age with what looked like his granddaughter getting on his Harley.  I mentioned that I would love to have a Harley but the wife is way too concerned about my safety and has nixed the idea of a Harley.   he said perhaps I need to get a new wife.  I asked him if he was aware of the gold mine effect?  No, that's where she gets the gold and you get the shaft if you try to change wife's.  Would I have enough money to get a bike if I tried to exchange my lifestyle?   Besides, where would I go if I was the least favorite person n the family.  I am pretty sure that she would get custody of the family members.  Who doesn't love a teacher that has a great garden.

Last night, Barb tile me that our water bill was $70.00 this month.  The last time that happened the darned water spigot in the yard was leaking.  I am going to replace it with a different set up this time. I will rut n a spigot with a manual shut off down in a box.  The automatic kind has failed twice in a few years.  Not sure how I will make that work but I'll find a way. 

Better run, the sun's up and I am sufficiently caffeinated to operate machinery safely.



Problem With Facebook

First of all, I know that many of my friends out there read Facebook as an escape from reality as do I in a lot of cases.  What I don't do is go back and read the hundreds of comments about things like which direction toilet paper should come off the roll.  The problem is that many people do and they also get real mad when people disagree with them. If you really want to read rude comments, go to any 55-56 & 57 Chevy web site and reads what people think about non stock stuff on the shoebox Chevys.  Anyone who has driven a 50 year old car knows that new steering and brakes are making them a lot safer than they were. 

Here are a few of the things that Facebook subscribers should work on in their posts.   Lets start with the fact that starting in Washington and down to Topeka, the Legislatures continue to pound more programs into the budget and quite frankly we can't afford what we had a few years back let alone more now.  If people vote you in office, you have the responsibility to pass and pay for everything you do.  If you can't do that, go home and stay there.

We have enough Civil Rights laws on the books to put about anyone away if they don't play well with others.  Geez Boys and Girls when will we all realize that it is hard enough to get by if we all try to help.   The color of your skin is not important to me.  The strength of your character is. 

I know how tough it is to stand up and be accountable for all your past actions.  The real reason people should look at your past is to judge what you will do or are likely to do in the future.  The higher the office, the more important a good past is important.

When a large part of our population is in jail or underemployed, why do we continue to allow illegal aliens to come here?  We know that a large amount of them are carrying drugs and that is a problem we should also fix but for now, if there are 182,000 Marines and out southern border is open, why don't we have a new base along the border instead of Guam? 

There does need to be a program that helps illegals come her for school and for farm work but there needs to be a program that makes sure they go home when their paperwork expires.  In this day and age surely there is a program that can make them put their money in a place the Government can control how they get it.  Go home or we will stop the flow of your money. 

The final part of my tirade today is the fact that so many people are worried about how the big cats are influencing our election with $.  If such a small part of the population is getting out to vote, why do we worry that the Koch brothers are  buying votes?   My 100% of a voting record is going to trump the other people with a 30% record.  Besides, just how much money do you think it would take to change my vote?    I can't answer that but it would have to be a lot more than what is spent on advertising. 



Are They Gone Yet?

Here in Kansas, the legislature has been in session well past their allotted time and I think they finally found a solution that everyone could at least survive with.  I for the life of me can't figure out just how they managed to cut the budget to schools and still had to raise the taxes.  Somewhere there has to be at least one smart person that knows how to count and can figure out where we have gone wrong.  First of all, in the last election, I didn't vote for any incumbent and man did my voting record suck.  Perhaps in my defense, I think everyone else sucked in their choice and I didn't just go along with the rest of the sheep. 

The other thing we have had here in the Heartland is the 17 year cicadas or the "Magicadas."   These pesky little buggers emerge from the ground every 17 years and sing their buzz until they die.  They will leave their eggs to hatch and fall to the ground for the next generation to emerge 17 years from now.  The really bad news is that the annual crop of cicadas won't start coming out of the ground until about my birthday in August.  About the time the buzzing stops here  another crop will come out and sing for a mate.  There was a time a few years back when all the cicadas came out in the same year.  There is the annual cicadas, a 13 and a 17 year cycle cicadas.  I can remember seeing the ground with a pencil sized hole every couple of inches.  Now there are holes about every 6 inches.  Even the rain so far hasn't filled them in.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out how the Clinton's have captured the imagination of the poor voters.  If there was ever people that have lied to get to be in the top 1%, they are the poster children.  From their first beginnings in Arkansas, they white watered (washed) the truth and their swindle should have put a label on them .  Then Hillary somehow parlayed almost no investment into a very large gain in Cattle Futures.  Carry that over to the other side of the house and Mr. Bill and his magic cigar couldn't keep in his pants so often that even Hillary had to know.  If she didn't, how could we trust that she has what it takes to be President?  On the other side of that coin, if she did, how could we trust her to be President?   Now, they are owners of a foundation that pays less than 10% to charities and use it to pay for their travel.  It is an obscenity that they are allowed to amass such a fortune and the poor still think they are one of them.   Heck, I read that 57% of the people don't trust the Clinton's to tell the truth.  Actually that figure was just Hillary and I am sure that Bill's level of trust is lower or people are more stupid than I think they are.

The other day, I asked Barb what she wanted to be when she grows up?  She looked at me and said, "I am right where I want to be!"  Heck of a deal I guess.  There are times I ask myself what do I want out of life and get about the same answer.  Heck, I have stopped buying lottery tickets because I know that if I were to win I would probably find a way to mess up a good thing in what I have. 

I guess if I were to find myself rich all of a sudden, I would try to find a way to have someone take care of all the paperwork.  My dream is to have it all on auto pilot and have someone else worry about the cooking, cleaning, mowing and bill paying.  I guess I am just ever so lucky to have Barb here to help with the above tasks. No wait, I just described a nursing home and I'm not read for that yet!

Have you ever thought about the things we accumulate in our lives?  I saw a new camera by Nikon that automatically transfers pictures to your cell phone.   Crap, there are pictures on my cell phone I don't know what to do with.  Actually that is not completely true, I mostly delete them because for some reason my Samsung phone will turn itself on and take butt pictures now and then.  When I find the battery dead, I will find the gallery full of pictures that just don't look like anything I recognize.  I am glad that when I call them butt pictures, they are really pictures of my pocket and not my real butt.  I am sure that you are too. 

In 1965, my Senior High class at East High graduated just under 1,000 students.  We were the class of Baby Boomers that all started when our fathers came home from the war and had lots of sex to make up for the time they were gone.  Back in the 40's, birth control was a condom or the rhythm method and they both had holes in them.  We dang near filled the old Roundhouse at Wichita State university for what had to be one of the hottest graduations ever held.  I can remember that our gowns were so wet they mad a slop sound as we deposited them in the container the renter provided.  We left the round house with a fake diploma, the tassel off our caps and somehow the idea that we were ready to take on the world.  A bunch of the classmates are going to have a reunion in September and I am really wondering why I should go. 

To tell the truth, for the first time in my life I am really worried about my health and where it is leading me.  I don't seem to have enough energy to fulfill my jobs here at Rabbit Run.  Even the mundane things like fixing Dave's mower just seems like a bridge too far on my list of things I need to do.  Oh well,  enough of this whining about things I cannot change.  Onward and upward.  Is it Nap time yet?



Well, It has Started.

Yesterday I went to my local Insurance Agent and started the move from USAA to a new carrier.  I saved about a third on the cars and a couple of hundred on the house.  The funny thing is that USAA sent me a letter that explained their new roof policy and I read it when I got home.   They just don't get that when we pay for comprehensive insurance we expect everything to be covered.  I have always carried a thousand dollar deductible so I am not an insurance risk or a hog.  They have some new formula that tries to make it all better if I have put the right kind of roof on my house.  This is utter BS and I hope they eat shit and die.

Over my lifetime, I have had only one major loss and it was a duzzie.   In 1983, a tornado came by and blew my house down.  The insurance company wrote it off as a total wreck.  I thought they would just pay the contents as total but no, they wanted a book the size of war and peace on each item they were going to pay for.  Then they depreciated everything so it was a good thing that I really wasn't wiped out.  I now have replacement cost on the contents.

Barbara just went out and looked at the garden.  She is amazed that this year there are no squash bugs.  Normally she has to declare war and fight to get a few zucchini.  So far this year, nada.  I asked her if the hundreds of cicadas might be the cause for the lack of the bugs but she assures me they don't eat squash bugs.   You can sure tell the cicadas are here by the hundreds of the little buggers singing their buzzy song up in the trees.  I wore a yellow Wichita State T-Shirt the other day while mowing and they seemed attracted to me like bees to honey.  You can see that their life cycle is starting to end by the hundreds of dead cicadas on the sidewalk.  The News channel the other day said they would be gone by the end of the month.  I sure hope the holes in the yard fill in soon.  Even with the continuous rain there are at least two holes in every square foot of yard.  Yes, I know the yard doesn't have square feet, that is only a figure of speech. 

It is another rainy day here in the heartland.  Seems like it has been like the Monsoon season.   Barb says we need about an inch of water each week to really have good crops.  I figure we are right now sometime in September. 

Have you ever had a blank spot in your memory?  I was trying to describe the National Park just north east of St George, Utah and I have hit a hole in my memory cells.  Crap, Zion finally emerged from that blank place.   I love Zion Park and would love to go back.  I am pretty sure that Barb would not go out of the back side of Zion again.  The road through the mountain.  Yes, through the mountain not along side of it just freaked her out.    There just has to be a good way to double back and go north.  I am not sure that Bryce Canyon and the north rim of the Grand canyon are worth going back to.

The other day I saw a Winnebago in a driveway.  I told barb that I sure think we need one.  For the first time she said perhaps I need to rent one once to see what the real cost is.  She is convinced that we could stay in a lot of good hotels for what one costs.  She is right but I sure have the itch.  Oh well.  Perhaps when we go out to the sale in Idaho we could rent one in Boise and stay in it while in Filer.   If we go there then.

Better close this and get moving on down the road.



Help, My Computer Doesn't Like Me

This morning my computer won't load all my Facebook posts and now this Blog site wouldn't let me make this post until I did several things to get inside the error codes.  Not sure what I will do, but I'll keep trying to work around the problems until I find a way to make it all work.  Perhaps it is about time to get a real life or find an alternate blog site.

When I finish posting each day, I look at the statistics on my blog.  My readership is way down and I am stuck somewhere over 850,000 hits.  I thought this would be the year I would go over a million but alas that probably won't happen unless I find some pithy subject to get behind, or in front of.

Here are a few recommendations I have heard people say about the current Kansas Legislature.
  • Never re-elect anyone that makes promises to anyone.  
  • The Governor should tell them that next year he won't pass a bill about anything until they send a budget to his desk.
  • Absolutely don't elect this bunch or anyone that is from any extreme side of either party.
  • Cut off the Per Diem at 90 days.  If they don't get their work done, make them pay their own way.  Heck Nebraska does it with one house and once each two years.  This is the State legislature not some fancy dancy job. 
We are currently in a session that has surpassed any previous session in the number of days they have been here.  It is amazing that no level of press coverage can get them off dead center.  The have the Governor who started this mess now whining about the problem. 

Oh well, I will sit down with my insurance person today to re-write my insurance on almost everything.  It is interesting that USAA tell everyone how they care for Servicemen and women and then treated me like some dumb rube.  I just wish that our Friend Joe Robles was still the President so I could give him an ear full.  Oh well, ain't going to Geico either.



Air Show

When I was a small child, my dad would go to an air show at least once a year.  His favorite airplane of them all was the Beech Stagger Wing.   I'll bet I have seen a hundred or so of them but none in a long time.  Yesterday Barb and I went to Junction City to an airshow and they had a Stagger Wing on the end of the bi-planes.  I really did enjoy seeing one again.  It was in pretty good shape and the owner was kind of taken back when I looked for him and thanked him for being there.  I explained that my father had worked for 40 years at Beech and his plane was one of my father's favorites. 
Looks like I was kind of staggering

Boeing By Plane built in 1936

When we were done at the airshow, Barb said she would like to go over to Manhattan and get some of that yummy ice cream they sell there.   She also likes to see their garden that has all types of native plants.  We decided to cut across fort Riley to get there and it wasn't until we got to the gate that Barbara remembered that her ID card is in her purse and it was at home.  I guess the threat level at the base is high enough that we must have been suspicious.  At least Barbara was.  We had to go back to the Interstate to go around the fort to get to Manhattan.  Guess what, the ice cream store was closed and it was mostly a wasted trip.   Oh well.

Have you done a good look at your insurance costs lately?   I am in the process of moving all my insurance from USAA and the agent pointed out several places where they are gouging people.  I carry a high deductible  because I don't turn in the small things  What I want to be covered for the big things like fire or a tornado.   I found out that they really hurt the small guy on hail coverage.  They have a 2% deductible on hail damage and you say what's the big deal on that?  It is 2% of the value of the house not the claim.  For a house worth over 250,000 that is a $5,000 cost.  I can stand that but how many of you could?  

Oh well, today is a bright sunny day out there and I for one plan on not spending the day doing nothing.  I also have some great steaks to grill this afternoon.  I can almost taste then from here.



Rain Again

Four Inches of rain fell on Rabbit run last night.  It stormed to beat the band twice and the Direct TV and COX cable both gave up the ghost.  The TV is back but the Cable and phone are both still out. We have electricity and a cell phone so we are not totally without.  This morning I went to the Dairy to get some milk and you could see where the water was over the road between here and there.  I will probably stay home most of today and read a book.

Last night after dinner we made a library and junk food run.  Barb was out of books and chocolate.  I have developed a sweet tooth but I like it really in ice cream.  There are now ice cream sandwiches with chocolate ice cream and those little mini cones with chocolate ice cream dipped in chocolate.  Yummy.

As I was sitting at the dining room table reading the paper this morning, I heard a strange rumble that sounded like it was coming from downstairs.  I went into the storage room and I could hear the sump pump running.  I looked down in there and it seems that a rock was blocking the float and it couldn't go down enough to shut off.  I am glad to have been there when it happened.  I guess that is another one of those maintenance things I need to look into.

One of the things I need to do is go up and get Dave's mower and see why the blades aren't working as well as they should.  Dave said he did hit a piece of wood the last time he mowed.  I think there is either an alignment problem of a bearing going out.  I won't be able to tell until I get it home and drag the mower deck out from underneath.  It is a lot of work but not so technical that I can't do that.  I need to also fix the roof on Dave's Shed sometime.  I will need to pull off the shingles and replace at least one of the sheets of sheathing.  I just hope I don't to fix all of them.  Oh well, I can always hire the nephew to climb the ladder. 

Oh well, going to close this here and save it in word processing for addition when the cable is back up.


Note - This is posted a day late as the Modem from the Cable Co died.  I too k the old one in and they gave me a new one to install.  All is good now.    MUD 


It Did it Again

Yesterday about 11 AM, the dark clouds roiled through Topeka and for 10 minutes we got what was a toad strangler.  It rained over 2/3's of an inch in that time period.   The rest of the day storm clouds crossed over Kansas and while there was thunder aplenty, not one more drop of rain fell here.  I am sure that someone got rain but not here at Rabbit Run.

We call our 18 acres of Shawnee County Rabbit Run because as we were first moving in here, every time we drove in the drive rabbits would run everywhere.  It must have been one of those years when the rabbits got frisky and the controlling varmints' must have been behind the power curve.   We now have a lot more balanced ratio of prey and varmints.  We see a Red tailed Hawk quite often and the Owl's can be heard in the early evening.  I know we have a coyote on the neighboring property that crosses here to hunt and one day a Sharp Shinned Hawk killed a Blue Jay out by the feeder.  Oh well, I just feed the one's at the bottom and top of the food chain (Me). 

Today there was a post on Facebook where a person restoring his 55 Chevy thought he should paint his car the way it came from the factory.  I told him that I felt that a decision made over 50 years ago should not influence his decision.  He is the one that will drive the car and it should make him happy not what pleased an unknown person years ago.  I know that changing the color of a car is often difficult but now days they strip off the parts down to bare metal so what color it was is no big deal. I told him that my 57 was going to be Dusk Pearl until I saw the base color silver.  I just could not let them adulterate that color.  It is now White (India Ivory) two tone over silver and I love it.  At least it is not the arrest me red a lot of guys choose.

India Ivory over Silver

I am listening the 2015 CD from the Barbershop Chorus and because I am changing to Baritone I am really hearing that part for the first time. It is really neat to hear our songs from a different perspective. I realize that the bass part is in a lot of cases just an octave from the leads.  You sure can't say that about the Baritone's.  They are in a lot of cases an odd filler that makes Barbershop unique.  It is pretty but odd.

The bad news is that yesterday was a big hit on the checking account but not a dent that we couldn't afford.  The that is the good news I guess but it is strange to know that 1/3 of the money in that account is no longer where it was. 

I am sure glad I am retired now.  Us old guys don't have nearly as much bladder capacity as we once had.  I just hit equilibrium where for every new cuppa coffee, I will have to get rid of one.  Generally I can drink two cups of coffee before that hits.    Then the bladder warning light goes off.  You know that one that beeps the word Pee, Pee, Pee until you do. If you are lucky you have reached the bathroom but leakage is always a worry.  I read that the French Actor Gerald Depardu had an accident when he was getting off a plane.  I understand now a lot more that I would have a few years back. 

Oh well, lots to do and it's too wet to really get the big tractor out and mow.   I guess it is time for maintenance.



Good Ideas

I really hate to be driving somewhere and have a great idea for my Blog.  By the time I get home, I don't have a clue what the subject was.  Then, in the middle of the night, I will wake up and the idea is just bugging me to death.   Dang, I hate it when that happens.

Today is one of those days where they tell us it isn't going to rain and then it spends the entire day cloudy and looking like rain.   It even sprinkled on me as I went to get a haircut.  I did manage to do double duty on that trip and get gas for the car, the mower and the big tractor.  On our trips last year, $50.00 was an average fill up and today I got the tank full from empty and two 5 gas cans for just a little more than that.  OK, you got me, my Dillon's card gave me a .30 cent a gallon discount.  That brought to just above $2.00 a gallon. 

Barb and I are moving our checking account from the bank where we started banking when we moved to Topeka in 1990.  The first thing they did was have a Big Bank buy them out and then last year they tore down the bank building.   If we want to do any banking in person, we have to drive clear across town.   We will be with Envista as soon as the paper work gets done.   Probably will do the signature cards today.   What is a shame is that one bank has a branch in our local Dillon's and a branch bank not too far away.  Oh well, it is not my decision where anyone is. 

Today a friend on Facebook said he holds his wife's hand when they go for walks.  I can relate to that as now it is to be sure that one or the other of us falls down.  I'm sure that Barb will tell you that I am a lot more in danger of falling than she is. 

Did you read that there is a pill for women that will help them be more frisky?  Isn't having chemically induced sex a lot like cyber sex?  (What ever that is)   Oh well, I guess I'll just settle for a good kiss and a hug now and then. 

For the second time today, I guess I'll sign off here. 

Oh by the way, someone asked today what movie have I seen for more than five times would I watch again.   Green Mile,   Castaways,  Shawshank Redemption and Saving Private Ryan.   Three of the four have Tom Hanks in them.


Stiff and Sore

Yesterday I work up feeling kinda sore but not anything I couldn't live with.  Today is like yesterday didn't happen.  I hurt all over my body.  I am watching my vitals and other than the hurt I am OK.  I do need to get the big tractor out and do some mowing,  Might even make a run up to Dave's house.

After 30 years with USAA, I am going the independent Insurance route.  They have just dicked me around too much.  They talk about being the friend of the Servicemen, but they are worse than the average in dealing with claims.  The print a small part of their boiler plate that says there is a 2% deductible on roofs.   Just so you know that's 2% of the policy value not 2% of what it costs.  For me, if a hail storm hits the house, the first $2,700 is on me.   I could pay it, but not sure if a lot of people could.   "Bye Bye" USAA...

The Legislature here in Kansas is still in session and headed for 100 days.  The first thing they should do each year is settle on a budget.  Then they should go home on the 90th day.   I am going to look for a group that will help us furlough the legislature in the next election.   I will vote to send them all home, lock stock and cracker barrel.   Nebraska has only one house and they manage to pass a two year budget.  They also looked at making legal what Kansas won't do but still has the law on the books.  Capitol Punishment hasn't happened in 50 years but we still have a pretty full death row.  I think they either need to get on the stick and put in an express lane or stop that process altogether. 

For some reason, every morning that I go out to get the paper, I ask myself, "What do I want out of life."  Duh Dennis! I think I have arrived.  Perhaps there is a hidden  desire to have a maid and a handyman to do all the mowing, but I would probably die of rust if I didn't have something to do.  Every once in a while, I sit down and mentally count my money.  I know it is stupid but I do.  In a couple of short years, the government will start me down the path of withdrawing parts of my Tax Deferred money.  I think they should put a limit in it as the amount of Interest I draw.  I will promise you that it isn't the 1% I am getting on most of the funds.  I think it is closer to 4%.   I wouldn't feel so bad if I could just roll it into an IRA for Dave and his wife.  Heck, they will probably benefit from the money more than I will.

After discussing with my Doctor the Xerelto need, I will probably stay on it for another 6 months.  I really need to be able to take my Aleve for the Arthritis but for now I will be just slightly in pain.  According to the MRI, I have what is the normal amount of disk erosion and arthritic joint damage for my age.  I am not sure what that really is but I know how it feels. 

Better get running and see what mischief I can get into.



Stupid is as Stupid Does

My son has a bunch of Red Cedar trees at his house that for several years had bag worms all over them.  They started to look kind of bad so I started spraying them.  In fact because Barb has a bunch of fruit trees, I really bought the best sprayer I could get.  It will spray the top of a 30 foot tree and has been a pretty darned good sprayer.   Yesterday, I went to Dave house and sprayed his trees. I would throw the sprayer hose over my shoulder and in the process of moving the tractor, the hose from the sprayer got under one wheel  and I was pulled off the tractor and run over.  Thank god it is the small Case tractor and it was only my legs.  The bad news is that because I am on blood thinners, I was unsure if there would be any unnecessary bleeding and bruising.  There was one ankle that was pretty sprained. 

You don't have to tell me to stop doing stupid things.  Barbara did a lot of that and all day would look my way and shake her head.  She is a lot like that little built in conscience that most people have.  I seem to get busy and do things that just aren't as smart as you might do.  I spent the rest of the day on the couch and everything seems to be working better today.  I don't seem to have any big bruises and the ankle seems to be near normal.    Oh well.

We might get by today without more rain.  It seems to be a little cloudy but it feels a lot cooler and dryer outside than it has been for a week.  There are still places where the mower leaves mud on the top of the grass but mostly it is firm enough to drive on.  I won't even consider getting the big tractor out for a couple more days. 

One nice thing about sitting on the couch for most of a day, I don't feel guilty about reading a book all day.  There are a lot of things I need to do but taking care of a possible injury is one thing I am all in favor of.  As a kid, I could fall or get hurt and be back in the game the next day.  Now, I need a couple of days to recover when I do something stupid.   Kind of like getting sick, it takes me a week to get back up to speed where it only took days before.  Did I mention that I hate to be getting old?   Yes, I know the alternative and will settle for a few more years. 

I am pretty sure that I have mentioned that I am not afraid of death.  I don't have a death wish, I just want it to be a simple quick thing that ends my life.  I don't want it to be a long protracted period of suffering.  How does that old joke go?  I want to die like Grandpa did as he drove off the mountain instead like the other passengers in the car that died kicking and screaming.   Well, I sure as heck don't want to get in the way of anyone else's desire to live up to their genealogy.  

One time a friend of mine was bragging about the fact that most of his family got to be at least 100 or there abouts.  He said that the leading cause of death in his family was trucks.  I asked him how that was and he said his grandmother was going to cross the street in North Wichita and when she stepped off the curb, a truck took her out.   Precisely I think he said a loaded Cement Truck was the bad guy.  Grandma had the right of way and she was dead right.

As a kid, I grew up fairly poor in a neighborhood that was called Dog Patch after Al Capp's cartoon strip.  The real reason it was so different was a lot of what people describe today's America as.  There were the poor and then there was the upper middle class nearby and then there were the children of the really rich just a little further away. It was the difference between the classes that stood out. We all went to the same school.  I wanted penny loafers just for the money.  The other kids talked about going to summer camps for sailing camps and I was pretty happy just going to Arkansas to Grandma's and swimming in the river.  We had one guy that went with his grandparents to Africa and  they the had an assembly where he showed us the pictures (Slides) their photographer took. 

 In my neighborhood, we played a lot of baseball.  There were never enough gloves , bats and balls to really get the job done.  I can remember that we would play with a ball until it lost it's cover.  We would then send the kids out scouting for pop bottles to raise a dollar to buy a new one.  One of the neighbor ladies had some son's playing in a League and she kept the new baseballs in her freezer where she could lock them up.  She would sell us one for a dollar.  Heck, I would have taken one of the used balls they warmed up with but she insisted that we buy a new one.

 Just in the last couple of months, I found a site that had posts from the kids I went to elementary school with. One of the newer posters has started putting in pictures of the things that went on in the rich kids neighborhood.   I can promise you that ballet and dancing lessons at the Cotillion was not one of our past times.  I did not own a pair of tennis shoes, I had just plain old gym shoes and most of the time they were high tops (Keds)  My uncle left a tennis racket at our house when he went off to Junior College and by the time I went to High School the strings were so brittle they broke the first time I tried to return a serve in Gym class.  

Oh well, better see if I can keep the ball rolling today or if I need to spend more time sitting on the couch