Your Favorite Places

Barb and I will probably make a couple of trips this fall and it makes me wonder what your favorite places are.  I would start at Zion as one of the places I likes the best.  From there, about anyplace would do.

I have it on my bucket list to one day go to Boston and walk the guided tour of historic places.  We had a great visit to Philadelphia one time and i am sure it would be fun to see Boston.

Some day I want to go to Arkansas and see the place where my Grandparents built a house by the Buffalo River.  The Park Service owns it all so there is no house there now and they blocked the roads in and out so it would have to be a foot trip.  Yes, I know I am almost getting too old for that.

A few years back we went up by Susank, KS and found the location where my Grandparents lived on the Shell Oil lease.  Most of it was gone but there were still a few metal buildings where the office was.  Because of the tall grass and all the trash, I was not really in favor of tromping through the buildings.  I remember seeing the hides of several rattlesnakes killed near the bunk house.  

Oh well, this was just a short note about my thoughts on travel.


Alone Day

Barb is off doing her Jury Duty today and here I am alone at Rabbit Run.  This morning when I went out to fetch the paper, I saw that the neighbor has a cement crew there at his house doing his rear patio.  Lots of work and they will have to carry all the cement to the patio with a power buggy.  Not the way I would want to spend my day but it is pretty nice out there right now.

I went over to see what the heck they are doing and to get in a quick petting session with Sadie, the prettiest dog in Town.  She is a cross between a black Lab and a Golden lab.  She is that silver color of a Weimaraner and because she is still a young dog kind of nutty.  I would love to take her home and spend some time teaching her to be a good dog.  I am afraid that she will be caged up all day and not get the kind of training she needs.

The other day Barb and I were talking about some of the dogs we have had over the years.  The best was the Golden Lab, Moose.  The worst was his companion Annie.  When she died, I replaced her with Baby another female black lab and she was not bright either.  The male black lab, Taco was one nice dog and pretty smart.  Right now we are without a dog and I think Barb would rather keep it that way.  

I am going to go downtown at noon and have lunch with Barb.  We will met at the Classic Bean and probably have one of their great sandwiches.  Throw in a good iced tea and some potato salad and it will be  a great lunch.  The only problem right now is that Kansas Ave is pretty torn up and parking is at a premium.  Not sure why Topeka thinks we need to have Kansas Ave torn up every few years, but they do.  I am pretty sure that it about kills the stores downtown.  Speaking of dead stores, Barb and I went over to the Mall and there must be 5 or six empty stores in the Mall.  We ate at the Japanese restaurant and it was pretty poor.  One small cup full of salad shrimp and rice was about 8 dollars.  Barb had the veggies and rice and with our drinks it came to the biggest share of $20.00.  

Oh well, better get the ball rolling for the day.



Thoughts for my Day

I might be one to post or write thought for your day if I had a clue how such diverse things could be on the mind of people that I barely understand.  started to watch some of the Sunday Morning news programs until Barb decided that they were just making up stuff to talk about and she didn't want to hear my solutions.  Chris Cristy wants to hire the Chairman of Fed-EX to figure out a way to keep track of the illegal immigrants.  The only problem I see with that is how do you get them to wear barcodes and walk past scanners all the time?   That's how Fed-Ex does it.  

When the news cast about the two reporters that were shot by a nut that had worked for the station turned into a discussion on how the Station was dealing with the tragedy,  it was time to change channels.  At least the other news channel was talking about the memorial services and not the TV station.

Barb got her notification from the Jury Pool Administrator that she was to report on Monday morning.  The only time I was ever in the pool, they didn't make me come in.  I think this will be Barb's second appearance and I think Dave has been three times.  I guess they don't want to have us old male white farts to appear.  I think I could do a good job but hey, who knows?

For some strange reason, I have again been selected to chair up the nominations committee for the Barbershop Chorus.  This time I have two other people on the committee so I won't fee nearly as bad when I announced the slate of officers last year.  So far only one person has asked me to not nominate him for the same position as last year.  I have some thoughts about how we can make the process work out for the good of the Chorus but I am not wanting to seem like the process Nazi and upset the apple cart for the good of the apples.  The President and I have discussed some of the needed changes but most of them will require the approval of the Chorus.  Resistance to change is always hard.

One of my Facebook Friends posted a think piece I thought was interesting.  We are warned to not judge all Muslims by the actions of a few radicals but all gun owners are condemned by the actions of a few radical gun owners.   The second half of that message was the are warned all the time about the time Social Security will run out of funds but no one is warning us when the Welfare funds will run out.   Didn't we pay into Social Security and the Welfare recipients didn't?  

Better run.



Oh dear

The elementary school I went to as a kid has a Facebook site and I wrote a short story about the time in the second grade I quit school.  One of the girls that writes a lot of replies said I should write about the joyous times and not the traumatic times.  I didn't think it was traumatic, I quit school in the second grade and for a day or two, I wasn't going back.  Period!   Another blog Nazi  trying to edit what people write. 

It appears to be another overcast and cooler day today here in the Heartland.  Should be a great day for a bike ride.  In a few minutes I will go out and load up the bikes and we'll dash off to trails in other parts.  If we go early enough and there isn't some type of walk a thon should not be bad.  I may even go over to the trail by the Brown Vs Board of Education site and ride south from there.   There is hardly ever many people on that trail.  

Does your city have bikes to rent places strategically about town?   I stopped to look at the bikes over at the lake this week and saw the strangest setup[ for a bike.  Instead of a chain, the front pedals were hooked up to the rear end by a solid drive tube to a rear hub.  Because there is no chain, the gears to make it easier to ride are all enclosed in a transmission attached to the rear end.  Some day when I have more time, I will go over and rent one and see how it works.  One of the things I hate about the recumbent is the chain slap because it is so far from the pedals to the rear end on the design of my bike.  If there was a better way to transmit the pedal travel to the rear end, I would hop on it like a duck on a June bug.   I have a design to stop the chain slap but not the ability to make it work.  Perhaps when we go to Idaho later on this year I might be able to convince my builder to make it work. 

Last year I was the nominations committee for the Barbershop Chorus.  I worked it alone and this year I have a couple of guys that have stepped up to help.  I am going to use them as I think it might be a tough year for the chorus.   The one good thing is that I think there are a couple of new Baritones going to join us and I may move back to Bass. 

Oh well, better get this show on the road and go get the bikes ready to go.



My Platform

If I were running for Political Office this is what I would say about the items highlighted:

Freedom - Back in the beginning of our Country, there were a lot of things said about what was important then and how to change what was written.   I do feel there is a need to have changes made but I caution you all about starting down a slippery slope and changing things in ways not delineated in the Constitution.  Fort example.  The Westboro Baptist Church has a message that is clearly anti LGBT. ( Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual or Transgender) People want us to change our laws and make it illegal for them to use their Free Speech, or Freedom of Religion rights.  If you don't like their message, ignore them.  They only gain power from those that shout back or try to pass laws to shut them up. They have sued the city of Topeka and won a lot of the attempts to quiet them.

Guns - If it was easy to control the ownership of guns, New York City, Detroit, Chicago and other major Metropolitan cities would have done so.   My Mother always said that anyone that passes a law they have no idea how to enforce is just stupid.  If you can muster up the right number of votes to change the second amendment, go get  'em. 

Taxes - Clearly there is a movement in our Congress to make more and more things provided by the Government and I don't mind so long as they figure out how to pay for it all.   In my perfect world, outgo would be equal to or less than income.  The first job would be for the Congress to find a way to really pick a number they can spend and set the taxes at that level.  I think their carelessness would soon be apparent and the current bunch of drunken sailor's would soon be send home.  Tell the truth about how we borrow about 30% of every dollar we spend.  Thee that to the new voters and see if their  atitudes don't change in a hurry.  I think we need to have the IRS out enforcing the with holdings of every company.  I would have a flat tax on every damn thing.   Interest income, royalties, rents and income of any type would be chargeable.

Size of Government - I read that all Governments want to grow their size as they think they have the protections for their citizens.  I think we have been about protected to death and need to find a way to make the Government right-size its self.

Welfare - People that think we don't need to feed and house our poor are just dead from the neck up.  I want a way to take these people and educate/train them into the tax payers we all want.  Start with the young mothers that have children.  Put about 1/3 of them in charge of running a day care to take care of the other 2/3rds of the children.  The other 2/3rds would be enrolled in a program to give them skills or training.  After two years the first 2/3rds would be enrolled in a program to learn a skill or get an education.  A new 1/3 would be in charge of taking care of the kids.  I am not sure who would be responsible for this program but it comes under HHS and Department of Education.

Right to Vote -    There are very few restrictions on the right to vote in my perfect world.  Break the laws at the felony level and you would have to pass a government class to get that right back.  

Other Categories -  All politicians have to take an oath to support and defend the constitution of the level (State or Federal) the will serve.   That means that they do what the law allows or does not allow.  Their personal feelings, religion or ideals shall not keep them from doing what they are elected to do.  That means that if it is legal, you will do those things in your job description.  End of Message.



One of these days I will figure out a way to be more on track with what day it is.  On the way out to fetch the newspaper, I looked up at the court and saw the trash cans there.  I couldn't remember if I took them out yesterday or on Monday.  Either way, they should be picked up on Wednesday.   My pill case said it was Wednesday and so did the ads in the paper but sometimes my old mind doesn't get it right.

This last week, I got some fairly good news about the Baritone Section.  In addition to having our missing member back in September, there is a new guy that wants to sing with the chorus and he is a Baritone.  There is also a guy transferring to Topeka and as soon as he can stand with his new knee he will join The Chorus.   Five is too many Baritones and I may rejoin the bass section.  Hope, Hope.

It seems to have slowed down a little on the need for mowing.   The rental house yard was in pretty bad shape but  it was done in about 2 hours counting the drive over and back.  We did some work at Dave's house earlier in the week and by the weekend it probably will need some additional mowing.  The yard here looks like a park.

I sometimes wonder if my sense of humor is really bad or so elevated that people miss the point of the joke.  One of the guys said as we were stretching that he was looking directly at Harry's butt.  I told him that the new anti nudity law here in Topeka said there was to be no butt cracks.  Nothing.  I guess it was too lowbrow to be highbrow.  A nurse walks into a bank to deposit her pay check.  She takes out her pen and realized it is a thermometer.  She says, "Some asshole has my pen."  At least Roger laughed at that joke but he and I have both been seeing too many Doctors lately.

Speaking of being out of touch, on Jeopardy yesterday, in the category of Business, they showed a picture of two guys by a motorcycle.  Like the rest of them, I went somewhere else instead of Harley- Davison.  Duh Dennis.  

So far, there is no set agenda for today but it looks like anything I delay today will be on the list for tomorrow. 



Words to Think About

Brad Thor wrote in his book, "Code of Conduct."  While Facts, rather than emotions bore out which political party ideas were healthiest for the country, he didn't begrudge anyone the right to vote for the candidate they believed was best for the office, his only desire was for the people to do their homework, develop an understanding of the issues, and marry that up to who they were voting for.  In his heart, he knew that every American was capable of leaping over that low bar.  The fact that so many were unwilling though troubled him. 

I found this diamond in the rough while reading Brad's book.  It is how I feel that really made this stand out to me.  How can people not vote in spite of the problems in our country.  How can we continue to support the spending of our future when we, today do not have the resources to support what we are doing.  When the Affordable Health Care Act was first discussed, I was not opposed to some of the things needed fixed, it was the enormous cost at a time when we were already exceeding the income, that troubled me.  

Clearly there are a lot of people that support both parties and don't see a clear cut difference.  Both parties have shown their propensity to spend what is needed to keep the economy afloat when here are just clear cut reasons not to.  Even a concrete boat can float if you make the water salty enough.  Heck, you can float a turd in a punch bowl but you can't make me drink the punch.  There seems to be a lot of people that don't feel the same way.

The other day, a group calling its self "Freedom from Religion" had a picture of Jesus taken off the wall in the middle school in Coffeyville.   First let me say that while there is a Freedom "of" Religion not "from," people just don't know what is important.   There is just no picture of Jesus that could change the way I feel.  If our National Motto is "In God We Trust."  How in god's green earth can a picture be that bad.  

I have said it before and I will say it again, no amount of Political Advertising or pictures of Jesus will change who I am.  I am a person with a free will and I feel sorry for people who feel so insecure that they can be swayed no matter how much money the Koch Brothers spend.  Oh no, one more sinner is saved because of a picture of Jesus.  I call BS on Political Correctness.

Speaking of PC, how can anyone think that Either Donald trump or Hillary Clinton can represent what is good for us and what we here in the middle class need to live?  How can people that are in the top 1% have a clue what you or I need to get on with our lives?  If you listen to the polls and vote on who you think is leading the pack, I feel sorry for you.  Obviously you didn't read the first paragraph of this blog or didn't understand what was said.



Rainy Day in Kansas

It started out fairly dark this morning and it soon started raining.  I spent a lot of time on the computer and for some reason there was a lot of errors in my work.  I guess I need to work on my editing skills.
This was my Facebook Post:
Good - Woke up feeling fine
Bad - Barbershop Song Stuck in My mind
Good - Great pancakes for breakfast
Bad - Now I feel like I need a nap
Good - No Mowing needed today

Bad - It is raining anyway
Good - I can watch TV
Bad - Satellite is blanking out because of the cloud cover.
Good - Computer still works
Bad - Hard to nap when working at the computer desk.
Good - Great couch for napping.
Bad - now I won't sleep as well tonight.
Good - I will smile and make the world wonder what I am up to.

Just got a call from Dave and he is having trouble with his car.  Not sure what is the problem but he said a noise started and his AC went south.  Probably a compressor failure but I will know more when he gets here so I can see myself.  Probably will put him in the Ford for a couple of days and have his car fixed.  He is driving about 100 miles a day so he can't be without a car long.  I am hoping for a Alternator problem but that's because I can generally fix that problem with a short trip to the Parts store. 

Seems like the deer are visiting pretty hard right now and I can look out and see a fawn down by the feed bunker and see a fawn almost all the time.  I guess I need to get some more chopped corn.  Might get Dave a bag also and a small feed pan.  The deer have found his bird feeder and keep it licked clean.

Better get rolling.



This I do, for Me

Every once in a while I get this thought that because my readership has flagged down, I should let this blog idea go.  Then I remember that it is a part of my mental health routine and not because there is a chance that someone else will read it.  It isn't like my head will explode, but it does help keep me sane.

Today on TV they talked about the polls for the election next year.  Yep, Bernie Sanders is beating the pants off Hillary. (pun intended) There is a significant part of the uneducated people out there that think Joe Biden is worthy.  The Donald is still leading the pack on the Republican side but his day has to be nearing a close.   Just remember, even a turd can float in a punch bowl. Speaking of Rosie, I saw her on TV over the weekend and she has lost at least 40 lbs and wasn't nearly as obnoxious as she was in the past.  Could Donald be wrong?   

Is there anyone out there that comes from a normal background and hasn't been showered with the perks of a position in politics that has an idea what the rest of us go through each day?   Even I have been isolated by the fact that I don't have money woes much anymore.  I don't have handlers, even if I do want one or two now and then.  Barb would probably say I need keepers more than handlers but what does she know?  This is my prefect world and I will stick to my free speech if I want to.  

This weekend the Barbershop Chorus sang at four Churches on Sunday.  I found that my Baritone had about reached its limit and I still don't have my voice all back to normal.  Perhaps by tonight I will have some of it back.    We'll see.

I thought I might have to force one of my renters to leave but they came across with the back and current rent.  I do need to go over and do some work on the rentals but I might not until it cools off a little.  They are talking about Wednesday having almost cool days.  In August cool days?   Where is that Global warming or do they perhaps it confused with just fluctuation in the weather.  I am only 68 years old and I can remember almost every kind of weather in any month over my years.  I can remember building a snowman over Labor Day weekend in Colorado and playing in short sleeve shirts the day before Christmas in Kansas.  

I sent my new tablet computer home with Dave last night so he could see what he thinks of the touch screen and Windows 10.  I am pretty sure he will keep me from doing some of the stupid tricks that are in Windows 10 and perhaps apply an anti-virus.  I feed him steak now and then and he keeps my computers working.

Barbara made that Chantilly cake over the weekend.  It is basically a regular cake with some fancy icing and fruit on it.  It almost wins me over from wanting pie over cake.  I do think a warm piece of apple pie al a mode is the best




I guess that as I get older, I appreciate having my juices flow a lot less over the drama that injects life into others.  Each week I publish a chorus practice schedule for the Barbershop Chorus.  Seems like lately there have been a l;ot of guys that feel it is necessary to send me comments about things they feel important.  The sad part is that I don't know if they are more or less right than I am.  Everything gets filtered through my memory and I am not sure if my reality is more or less correct than theirs.
I do seem to remember that the very guy that started us singing "The Old Songs" is the very guy that was critical that we need stick with the songs on the CD we gave each person.  If it isn't on the CD just how the heck are those of us not schooled in the arts of music supposed to get it right.  That is doubled down by the fact that I didn't even have the music.  Oh well,  I'll get my chance to air our some of this at the next scheduled meeting.  

Being an old Military guy, I really feel it is important that I try to look good in the clothes the chorus issues when we sing.  I take them to the Cleaners and this week, a pair of pants and a shirt is not $10.24.    Sheesh, I guess I couldn't do it any better so I will just shut up and pay.  Just so you are interested, I once commented to Barbara that she could do a better job on one of my uniforms and she asked me if the laundry could do it to my standards.  To put it mildly, she gave up the title of laundry mistress for that part of the job.  
We can clean up nice

That reminds me of an old joke we tell.   There was three hunters in the woods of Canada and they agreed that if anyone complained, he would get the job to do the thing he complained about.  The poor guy who was the cook had been at it for a few days and he decided that he was tired of that job.  He collected some moose droppings and made a pie with them.  At the first bite, one of the other hunters shouted, "Jeeezus," then realizing his mistake said,  "This is the best Moose Manure Pie I have ever had."   So when the whine is served here, the following comment is "Do I hear Moose Manure Pie?"    It does seem to cut down on the complaints.

On a trip many years ago, it seems like we all got kind of in a sour mood.   Being a teacher, Barb found a way to see if we couldn't make it all better.  She found a nice smooth rock and made it the grouch rock.  The only time you were allowed to complain was when you had the rock in your hand.  It was kind of funny when you had to ask for the rock to pipe in with your two cents.  It was even more fun when someone would pass you the rock and ask if you were missing something?    Oh well, I'm sure that every family has a few things they laugh about.  Every once in a while, I will be searching through one of the cabinets upstairs and see that rock.  t has the letters GR on it.

As I might have mentioned, I switched from  the Bass part this year to the baritone part.  I realized that I not only have a new part to learn, I have an old part to forget,  I can't find my keys unless I put them in the same place but old song parts is hard for me to forget.  Oh well.

Have a great day out there, I will.




I have about 3 acres here at Rabbit Run and three at Dave's house that lately I have had to mow about once a week.  I have about 1 1/2 acres at the rentals that I mow so with the rain has come a weekly need to mow about 7 1/2 acres.   Without the Aleve, it has been somewhat a pain.  

One thing I have noticed is that the Xarelto commercial on TV had Arnold Palmer ordering his second Arnold Palmer.  One of the things on the bottle warnings is drinking.  I wonder if I am the only one that has noticed.  Xarelto has left my stomach slightly upset on a semi permanent basis and I am not giving it a chance to put me in the hospital.  When I need to eat, I do.

This morning on TV there was a short segment that talked about the different effects of cutting Carbs and Fat in the diet.  They said that people can lose more weight by skipping fat over carbs.  I told Barb that I know that's right.  There is just no way that a meatless spaghetti dinner could match the satisfaction or longer feeling of full than a hamburger and fries.  Every once in a while I slip off to Sonic for a Cheeseburger and it feels like I need it.  

I read Facebook each day and I still don't understand people that feel like they have nothing of their own to post and flood us with three or four things they copy and paste from somewhere else.   I can understand one or two but the urge is just too much for me to unfriend them if they continue.  The Tri-Five Chevy group is having their Nationals at Bowling Green and they have been posting lots of pictures.   I can't seem to get enough of them.   I have a desire to attend in 2017  when my 57 will be 60 years old.  For the record, I will be 70 that year.  Sheesh.

For some reason, my desire to work on my Barbershop Music has been on the wane.  I just don't seem to be into the Baritone part as much as I was when I was a Bass.  Might even consider non renewal of my membership if after Monday things don't feel better.

School has started here in the heart Land and it seems that there are two new Principals here in our District.  I welcome them with open arms and hope they and their schools do well.  I know that teaching is a tough job and with the support of a good administrator it can be a little easier.  With a bad one, it can be worse.

Better run, many miles to go and work to do.  



Politics, Again?

I will discuss some of the things that I feel will elect or non-elect the front runners in the Next year's Presidential race.

"The Donald" is outspoken and has a lot of support among the men I know but he has only a 15% approval rating among women of both parties.  This brash candidate cannot win unless he finds a way to draw both sexes into his camp.  His message needs to be tweaked into one that points out that unless we do something the young adults of today have no hope for us to be much more than another Greece.  Mothers will be tigers to defend their children.

There is a darn good chance that Hillary will be indicted for not securing Classified material on her personal server.  I know that a lot of people think this is no big deal, but to me it shows that she has no moral imperative to obey laws and I for one don't trust her.  

But Who Can We Trust

Here is a short list of things that a candidate for the Presidency needs to address:

National Defense -  We need a force big enough to defend us from an enemy outside of the US. The problem is we can't defend ourselves from the incursions on our southern border.  To me this is a laugh at those we have in charge.  We spend Billions to invade countries and can't stop those that invade us.

Budget - There are times that we need to spend more than we take in to stimulate the economy.  There comes a time we need to hold the line on new spending and say "That's too much."   We have been on a spending spree for years and the youth of today don't seem to be hearing the  future sneaking up on them.  Where is the cry that we need to do something from the media?

Entitlements - Boy is this a topic that will get me in trouble with the older adults.  When we paid into Social Security, there was a limit on how much we paid based on our income.  I contend that we will need to set limits on how much the Government pays back based on the retirees income. (Insert the words Needs Testing here) I for one have my Social Security limited because of my other retirement payments.  Instead of the at least $1,200 that most retirees get, my payment is about $400.  When I returned to work after my retirement from the Government, there was no limit on what I paid but there is a limit on what I get paid.  

Jobs  - I do not understand how the notion of sending our jobs overseas was or is to help us in the global economy.  What we have allowed is for our corporation to move a part of their business overseas to allow the to not pay taxes.  What this is doing is hollowing out the middle class and making it hard to be a success here at home.  

Rich vs.Poor -  I find it amusing that the two leading candidates are among the 1% of the richest people in America.   How in hell can they convince the poor that they even have a clue what is  wrong in our cities when they don't live there?  How can they convince they will take care of our countries if they don't live like the rest of us.  The President of the United States lives in a pampered house with guards all around.  Hillary and Donald won't have to change their lifestyles one bit if they are elected. The people live out here in the real world and are in many cases not safe.  Is there a man or woman out here that knows we need to have some real change in our Congress and our Executive branches?  I doubt it.

Health Care - There has to be an answer to the raising costs of our medicine/health care today.  I am blessed to have the best care money can buy at very little cost.  There has to be a way to get everyone into the fold and share it with all.

National ID Card -  Just how the hell can we control who is here and who does what if we have no national identity card.  I thought the Affordable Health Care law would take care of part of this but it doesn't seem to have made much of a difference.  In my perfect world, we need to control who is here and what they get.  I am not saying we don't need to have guest workers and temporary migrant workers.  I am saying that when they are done, they need to go home.   Student Visas are a good thing.  Our failure send the students home when they are done is not.  

TAXES - Again, in my perfect world, the IRS would be charged to ensure that the people that pay payrolls, interest income or Royalties withhold what it takes to run our country.  If that amount is 20%, take it our at the source.   I should get a report from the Government on the amount report as income from all sources in my name, not a report from me to the Government.  I know damn well they know what I make, why do I have to report to them?  This system is bass ackwards!  

Who Else is Watching?

OK enough for today,  I need to move on and quit watching CNN at 6 AM.



When will This All End?

At what point will the Facebook and Blogging experiences stop being the all consuming thing that comes to an end?  Most of the people that encouraged me to start blogging have long since stopped and it is causing me to wonder if I have better things to do also?   I have asked questions on this blog before and I seldom get any reply so I real;ly don't expect anything better now.

I am going out to the local Museum coffee this morning to see what they group there knows about Space-A flights.  I have a hankering to launch us off into the dark unknown regions of Space-A travel.  Just get on a plane and go where it takes us.  At least out of Topeka for a week or so.  Stand By for news on that front.

I am really unhappy with the job my new zero turn Cub Cadette mower is doing.  It appears to be leaving a groove where the left edge of the mower deck is touching the ground.  It really makes the grass look stupid (or perhaps the person on the mower stupid.  After I take a trip[ this morning, I will see if the deck is again out of adjustment or a blade is bent.  Sheesh, almost $3,000 and  it looks really bad.  I cannot imagine what the average guy does if it takes me this much time to get it right.

Barb just kissed me goodbye as she has a dental appointment.  She has been really nice to the dentist that fixed a filling in her front tooth.  I had one fixed a couple of years ago and it is hard to tell where it was and it has been at least as permanent as the rest of the teeth.  This is the third time she has had trouble with this filling and the dentist charged her to re-fix it last time.  I would go in and shout my displeasure and make them fix it for nothing.  Oh well,  I guess Mean Uncle Denny is a good name after all.

Teeth with whiskers

Yesterday we got a check from USAA  because I cancelled my insurance with them.  After splitting the money with Barb, I took a part of my half and put it in my mad money repository.  I found that I had put $100 in there last time and had forgotten it.  Barb asked me to tell her where my secret place was in case I died.  I tole her and was reminded that a secret is not a secret it two people know about it.  I am not worried that she will take it, but she now knows where to look.  Takes the fun out of having some mad money.   Oh well, it is not like a big deal any way.


I had better get the show on the road and get moving.  Have a great day out there.



Politics - Warning this Might get Real

Every once in a while I find the need to throw in a good rant or two.  If you are sensitive, don't read the following.   I would hope it would make you cry.

Have you figured out the cost of Justice lately?   Try to get a good lawyer and not spend in excess of $20,000 to get a judgement in your favor.  Throw in the cost of a jury trial and it will be way north of that.

The cost of entitlements and interest is costing us about 70% of every dollar our Government takes in.  I figure that one of these days they will stop telling lies about the cost of living and inflation will raise that amount.   The other real truth is that we have to borrow the other 30% to run the Government.  I know that a lot of conservatives cold cut that number.

There are a bunch of us that feel the Military is a good thing for our young people.  In fact, I have a couple of Nieces and and  nephews in a boot camp like training out on the west coast.  I will be interested to see if that training encourages or discourages them to enter the Military in a couple fo years.  Might be an interesting discussion.

I am really tired of hearing about the rich guys just throwing their money in the election process.  I know I can't be bought and hope you can't either. The only real problem in that whole deal is that I really hate the TV ads and that is where the majority of the big money goes.  Oh well.

I am at a loss about what to do with my money I have in investments.  They aren't paying anything right now and  one of these days we might need the money to live on.  Oh well, I guess I need to find a good mattress to stuff and keep quiet.

I'm sorry that I couldn't work up to a better rant.


Wind Storm

Over the weekend there was a rain storm with enough wind that there are no Asian Pears, Apples or Pears still on the trees in the orchard.  The good news is that the deer have cleaned up the mess so I won't have a yard full of mushy fruit.  The bad news is they are, along with the turkeys keeping the grapes and blackberries picked clean of anything that looks like ripe fruit.  I have one fence planted with blackberries and there was only one berry and there are no, zero grapes.  I know they appreciate everything this time of year but this fall when they need some extra food they will be needing more corn.  The even better news is that between our feeding the deer and the neighbor's feed bunk they all are getting enough to eat.  

I went to Walmart yesterday and looked for one of those holders that are made for the beer can chicken idea.  They had them on sale and I tried one out.  I love the idea but still haven't worked it all out in my mind as to why you can buy a grilled rotisserie chicken at the store for 5.00 and the whole chickens are over 6 dollars.  Yes, I do like mine better.  For a quick meal the store's aren't bad but they don't have that smoky taste like mine.  I have to say that I picked up some rib eye stakes at Walmart that were just the ticket.  I haven't had a rib eye that was that tender in ages.  They smoked up well and tasted great. 
On Facebook there is a lot of talk about the Tri-Five Nationals in Bowling Green Kentucky this weekend.  I sure would love to grab my duffel bag and go out and stand by the interstate to go there.  Oh well, perhaps next year or 2017 when the 57 will be 60 years old.  Wait, I will be 70 so perhaps not.   You can take the Chevy out of the GARAGE BUT YOU MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO GET THE OLD MAN OUT OF THE NURSING HOME.  

I am reminded that the old retired people need to be planning their fall trip soon.   We love to travel right after the kids start back to school and the weather is still nice.  Heck, I know that this Thursday the school starts right up the road.   Barb won't be adverse to a good trip.  I know there is a new Grand Cousin in Denver that we could see along the way.  Now if I could just get his cousin June Bug to not live so far on the west coast.   Oh well.

You know you are bored with things the way they are when every morning after your cuppa coffee and the paper the conversation turn to ,"What's on your agenda today."  The normal answer is not much but there is always floors to clean and dished to wash.  Perhaps if you throw in a bike ride you might have a winner. 

The other day when were were all together the subject of little boys failure to aim in the bathroom came up.  I thin the good answer was to have the bed liner product sprayed on concrete.  If you slope the floor towards a center drain and install a fire hose it would be short work.    I know my father said in his perfect world, there would not be any flat surfaces to pile things on and every room would have a center floor drain and a fire hose.  I love the sign in the Bar that says, "We aim to Please, Please Aim."  Works for me.

Better run and see what the wife has on the agenda.  Might even get in a bike ride.



Growing up in Wichita

I was born in 1947 and I always thought I was born at Wesley Hospital.  One time while I was looking through some papers from my mother's stuff I found a certificate of live birth from the Wichita Hospital.  No big deal, just a change from what I always thought.  I was a baby boomer and lived way out east just off Central Ave near the Beech Aircraft plant.  544 Byrd is still a house on that block but one of only there still not bought up by Raytheon.  

Because we were just outside the city limits, the local school was one in its own school district.  Minneha was the name of that school and at the time it was an elementary and Junior High combined.  I went there from Kindergarten to the end of the ninth grade.   

One of the neat things about where we grew up was that the Beech Employees Club had a nice lake at 13th and Webb road and ball diamonds that I played little league baseball on.  I don't know how many years I played but I was in the league as long as I was eligible.   I played first base, catcher and left field.  I wasn't fast enough to be a short stop but I could catch the ball most of the time and could throw out runners stealing 2nd base.  Our pitcher was also the third baseman and when he was on third base, no one stole that base as we were a darned good team in that area.

I do remember one year when we didn't win many games during the league play.  For some reason we all came together in the tournament and would up second place.  The next year we would not accept the name the Meadowlarks and I don't remember who we were but it was a different name.  Most of the team was the same group and I recall we finished second in league play and didn't win a game in the tournament.  Oh well. we had a lot of fun.

Yesterday we went to KC and a lot of the family was there.  It was a fun time visiting with everyone and as usual, Dan grilled a great meal.  Everyone brought their specialty and man was that ever a great meal.  The most fun was watching the kids play and enjoy each other.   It was pretty warm outside so most of the adults stayed inside and visited.  

I am not sure of the details, but many of us expressed a need to have a visit with the cousins of our Uncle Hazen.   Probably will have to wait until well after Labor Day.  I think many of us are planning a trip in August.

Oh well, better run.



Rain, Again?

In the early morning hours of today, the thunder woke me up and as I went out to get the paper, I noticed a few new tree branches down. We have been getting about an inch a week (or more) most of the summer. Everything is still green when normally early August is the start of the browning down getting ready for fall. This really means that the leaves will be extra thick this fall for the cleanup.

I am using the new tablet to write this blog today and it is kinda different. It does have the qwerty key board and a mouse but it doesn't have the same old comfortable keys like the desktop. Every once in a while I need to turn the screen around and use it like a true tablet. The touch screen has finger prints all over it. Go figure. My next door neighbor was out fetching his paper when I went out to get mine. He had his son's new pup Sadie with him. At first she was afraid of me but very soon warmed u[p and I wish I had not made such close friends. She is a lab that is the color of a Weimaraner.   Looks the crossed a blond and black lab. The neighbor said his son paid well in excess of a grand for the pup and he hates that they have the job of raising the pup. I offered to go over and visit the pup now and then. He didn't say yes but he did tell me where the pen was. 

I am really looking forward to the lunch today.  We will go to KC and Dan will do his smoke thing.  Dan and Carrie are wonderful hosts and all will have fun.  We will do our best to celebrate all the August birthdays.  Good times will be had by all.

Better get this closed so we can get on the road. 



Is it August Already?

Seems like this year is just rushing by and The summer with it.  Yes dear friends, I am now 68 and it seems like only yesterday I was a young buck full of vim and vigor.  Now I am an old fart and full of verse and vinegar.  Now if I could just remember all those darn passwords. 

Earlier this week I put on a marathon mowing session and seems like it has taken longer to get over all the work than it did to do that work.  Kind of like Mom would say that she had to rest up from resting up.  Dang I miss her.

This Wednesday we went over to Lawrence to have lunch with all the family.  Seems like I was the only guy with about 7 women.  About the time our food came in, another group of people arrived to share the room.  It was five women and only one guy.  The guys were way outnumbered.  Oh well, it was a pleasant time had by most of us.  

For my birthday I got a new portable computer and it has windows 10 on it.  Have you ever had a touchscreen that you don't know where to touch?  Kind of like dating, you would hate to mess things up by doing something totally inappropriate but sometimes you can't help yourself.   The sad part is when things just go away and you don't know where they went.  I had about half a pithy message written and I don't know if it got sent or just went to that great digit cemetery somewhere out in the cosmos.  (What ever that means)  I am thinking about upgrading my main computer to Windows 10 but it isn't touch screen.  I have to use a mouse and know how it works now. 

Yesterday we went for a bike ride and I swear once I worked up a little sweat it was almost too cool for shorts and a t-shirt.  This morning it is kind of cool but tomorrow the heat index is supposed to be near 110 so I probably need to get out and do something this morning. 

Our neighbor's son got a new puppy and when I go outside I can hear him barking that he is all alone on their back porch.  Makes me want to go over and steal him for some playtime.  I'm sure they give him lots of attention in the evening but during the day he is all alone and hates it. 

What do the early August Birthday people have in common?  Thanksgiving.  That's about the time from creation to birth for the Homo Sapiens.  I am not sure why that came out, but live with it, I do.  Speaking of Birthdays, Saturday we will go to Kansas City to celebrate all the August Birthdays. What a fine group of people the Leo's are. 

Batter get this in gear and get moving.



Military Service

I am very proud of my Military Service.  I am always thankful that I was drafted and came out the far end of the Service as a Colonel.  While going to Vietnam as a young officer was dangerous, I survived and yes, thrived with that experience.  It also gave me enough time in the GI Bill to complete my College Degree.  That and my experience served me well over the years.  There are a few things I might change but for the most part, I am a loyal Retiree that is proud of his service.
Pvt Petty 1966
CPT Petty  1973
Final Ribbon rack

Current Status

For the last 20+ years I served dual status.  I was Civil Service full time and a Guardsman on the weekends.  I had the pleasure of commanding many Battery and Battalion Sized units.  My pride and joy was the 1st Bn, 127th FA in Ottawa, KS I am sure that my success there was what got me promoted to COL 06.  

The most important thing abut my Military Service was the chance to meet and serve with so many fine people.  There is just no good way to say thank you to all of them so I will try to keep my nose clean and be a good retiree for their sake.  (The retirement money doesn't hurt)

Along with my lifelong love of music, I think I will always be thankful for the chance to serve my country.




In my lifetime, I have been exposed to all sorts of dogs and this is not a list of how smart the breeds of dogs are, but how smart the dogs I knew were.

1.  The smartest dog bar none was Snoop Dog a border collie mix that belonged to Danny Jones.
2.  The second smartest dog I had was a Golden Retriever names Moose.  Sweet dog.
3.  The third dog on this list is a Manchester Terrier that was with me for most of my childhood.  Rex was not afraid of about any dog and would bite you if you tried to wrestle with me.  OK, I loved this dog and he probably should be lower on the list.
4.  My grandfather always had a bird dog or two and I really won't rate them in any order except Katy was one of the last and a dog that loved kids.
5.  One time I was in Arkansas and wanted to go hunt squirrels.  My grandfather said to take cookie, a Boston bull terrier and just watch her hunt.  She hated the bushy tailed tree rats and while she couldn't smell, she had an eyesight that was phenomenal.   OK, I did laugh the time the lake turned over and about a thousand shad were killed.  Cookie ate her fill and about midnight puked shad all over my grandpa.  
5.1  There is a tie because I loved that little Dachshund  Grissy.    She was not the smartest but she was one dog that everyone loved.  

6.  I never did learn the dog's name but there was one dog on my paper route that made it her life's history to ambush me and try to bite.  I hated the attacks but thought the way she pulled them off was pretty neat.
7.  There was this old collie that everyone thought had no teeth.  He would bark at me every day but never got up and tried to bite...  Except one Saturday after Thanksgiving they gave him a turkey carcass to chew on and he really took offense at me being there.  Guess what?  He had one tooth and it as a canine tooth and he fanged me on the leg.  Every year for about three years that wound would open up and drain for a week or so.  
8.  Nearing the end of this list was the female Black Labs I rescued from the pound. They were a companion dog for moose and  both dogs were not bright.  
9  The last dog on this list is - Wait For It!  A Cocker Spaniel that ran out in front of the neighbor's car as he drove into his driveway.  We had a saying that there were only smart old dogs in the neighborhood.  The dumb one's died young.

That's the list for today.  If you don't like my list, make your own.  



What's in a Name?

I grew up in a family with four kids.  My oldest sister Myrna Sue was called Myrna Sue, Suzie, Sudie or just sue.  My sister Carol Lee was Katy, Carol Carol Lee.  My brother was Named after my Mother's Step Father and was Richard Milton Petty.  Yep, he was Rickard Petty, Rick or Ricky.  All hose names were used and it wasn't until much later on in our lfe that we would say Petty like Tom Petty.

The other day I was visiting my brother in Oklahoma when a commercial came on about mayhem in a factory.  It seems there was a Goat causing the problem and of course he was the "Scape Goat."  The factory manager cam in and for the first time I heard him call the goat "Rick."  My brother said he hated that commercial.  Seems like some of us may have called him Rick in that same tone of voice once or twice too often. 

Me, I grew up called Denny mostly.  I didn't hear Dennis Earl Petty until i was way in trouble with Mom.  When I went into the Service, I thought of myself as Dennis and most of the guys called me that or Petty.  I had my fiance (now and long since, my wife) to call me Dennis.  When we got to Dodge City to meet my sister, my nieces came running out in the yard to greet me and called me Uncle Denny.  Of course I loved it.

Somewhat later in life I caused an accident with one of the nieces and she called me Mean Uncle Denny and that nick name stuck as MUD.  When I was looking for a  name to use when I write, I selected MUD as my Nome DE  Plume.  What better title could I have selected to use than Riding With Mud.  I have a recumbent bicycle and love to spend time going up and down the trail on my bike.  

The end direction of this is to assure you that it is a heck of a lot more important that your friends call you than what they call you.  So Denny, Dennis, Uncle Denny or just MUD I will try to answer the call as much as I can.  Try to forgive me if I just can't remember that name you want to be called.