When will this Blog End?

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

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

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

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

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



Day Off

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

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

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

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

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

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



Coffee, I need Coffee

The Royals played the Blue Jays to a one run victory somewhere about midnight.  I was wide awake and all of a sudden the game was over and I didn't see the Home Run that won it.  Dang couch snuck up and put me to sleep.  There needs to be some kind of device on the TV that alerts me to things like a Home Run.   Dang I hate it when that happens.  I'll bet the productivity looks a lot more like just survival in a lot of the Midwest today.  Coffee will be at a premium.  I know it will take me at least one more large cup to get motivated.

Did I mention that we celebrated Dave's 40th Birthday on Monday night?   We had about 20 of his friends and family over and had a lot of fun.   The Barb's made it a Sesame Street Birthday and his presents were toys and games for kids.  Most of them will be re gifted  as Christmas is not far away.  My favorite of the party was Travis's daughter Rikku.  She is such a cute little girl and not the least bit shy.  She is in Kindergarten and next comes the first grade and then she will be all grown up.  It would be hard for me to be her parent because I could not say no.  Oh well.

This morning I woke up with my shoulder all achy like I slept on it wrong.   I am pretty sure there wasn't anything else because I didn't do much yesterday.  Did I mention my need for coffee this AM? 

I wonder how much of my bum shoulder is due to the fact that Barb wants me to go to the local dairy and get a load of manure?  First thing will be to do is check if the truck will start.  I'll bet it has been a month since I last drove it.  It does look good, but will it run?

Oh well, I am not even motivated to finish this little blog attempt.  See you all later.



What Did You Do Today?

Here in a little while Barb and I are going to the Mother Earth Fair at the Kansas Expocentre.   It is hard to know if the little red line under Expocentre is because I spelled it wrong or because they do.  Either way, my choice is listed as one of the two ways.  It turned out that I left the letter O out of the correct spelling.  Duh!

We went to the Mother Earth Fair a couple of years back when it was in the park in Lawrence.  I am glad to see it will be inside today because the temperature is about 60 with a 20 MPH wind that would make it too cool to be comfortable outside.   Oh well, I will throw a coat in the car just incase there are some outside exhibits.  Having been inside for the singing of the National Anthem, I know that even inside it can be a little cool.

As much as I love the lower gas prices at the pump, the Oil Royalty checks just keep getting smaller and smaller.   I guess it is like free money and whatever it amounts to is enough.   I won't miss many meals no matter what.  Not that I probably don't need to miss a couple now and then.

Yesterday I wrote "Our minds can be the most wonderful things until our emotions get involved.  There are strange things working that make us stubbornly think that what we know is "The Answer."  What happens when we finally give in and realize that there are a bunch of "Right" answers and what we know is merely what we know, no more and no less."  You would about have to turn Buddhist or go crazy is the answer.

This is as close to having a picture of a Blue Jay as I have

Well, the Royals manages to beat the Blue Jays out for the American League Championship.  I hope that Lorenzo Cain doesn't have to pay for any meals this year.  His scoring from first base on a single to right field was amazing.  Having a pitcher that could shut the Blue Jays down in the 9th wasn't a bad thing. 

Oh well, Barbara would say, "Royals Who?"  Enough baseball talk until next Tuesday night.



No Duh, You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Our minds can be the most wonderful things until our emotions get involved.  There are strange things working that make us stubbornly think that what we know is "The Answer."  What happens when we finally give in and realize that there are a bunch of "Right" answers and what we know is merely what we know, no more and no less.

Take for example the people that say they hate a politician because he thinks his or her position is the right way.  I do not like the President's approach to running our Government but I don't hate him for it.  His way of thinking is just different than mine.  He might enjoy living my life but I would hate the pressure of his job.

If life was like the daily dose of jeopardy and Alex Trebeck was there to confirm or buzz the wrong sound when we were wrong,  it would be a lot easier, except what about the times he is wrong?  I am not saying that we should give up and admit defeat, but we should often back off and consider the axiom that there can be more than one correct answer to a question.  The problem with being right is the responsibility that accompanies the authority.

When I commanded an Artillery Battalion, I often spent a lot of time getting to the best answer.  In the final stage, I would have to say, "Watch my Lips" and issue the way we were going to do something.  I found that I was often more right when I tried to get the whole understanding of the problem.  Either way, I knew that whatever happened, it was my responsibility if things went brown.

Yesterday, I had a CT scan that told me that my Pulmonary Thrombosis (thrombi) are almost clear and there is no real scaring.  I had a flue shot while at the doctor's office and spent the rest of the day feeling like an old dog.  I even ran a fever for a while.  I guess I will try to get over it today and do a few chores around the house to make up for it.  Our dust bunnies have dust bunnies.

Next week our son turns 40.  How could that be?  That makes me, oh crap 68.  Oh well, the alternative is to no turn 69 so I will just go with the flow. 

Life can be a Bike ride!



Good News

Yesterday I had a follow up visit with my Doctor.  After a bout of Pulmonary embolisms around Easter, I spent a week in the hospital.  The follow up has been taking a blood thinner and regaining my strength.  Yesterday the doctor sent me to the CT lab to see how the clots were doing and I got a call that they are almost all gone with little scaring.  The Doctor and I agree that as soon as the current supply of Xarelto runs out I will stop taking it.  The only sad part of this whole thing is that there is no reason for the problems in the first place.   Oh well, another chapter in the weird illnesses that have attacked me.

That is a funny story in itself.  Let me share some of the illnesses I have had over the years.  I won't bore you with the common illnesses of my youth.  Other than Polio, I have had most of the measles, mumps and chicken pox that went around.  The first on the list of strange illnesses was Dengue Fever. 

Does something stink in here?

I went to Panama in 1967 for a two week stint in the jungle.  For the most part we were out in the open air 24/7 for the first week and then on the second week we went through a Escape and Evasion course that just capped the misery.   I was pretty well on my way to completing the course with over 900 points and earning the Jungle Expert badge.  On the last event, the E&E course, I knew that getting caught the last day would perhaps eliminate me from the top list.  There was about 10 of us wondering through the jungle and we knew that if we followed the river (Rio Chagres) we would probably get caught.  We looked at the map and saw that there was a big swamp that we could cross and avoid capture.  What we didn't count on was that by that time almost all of the insect repellent had been expended and the swamp was one big mosquito home.  It was so bad that you couldn't breath with you mouth open.  Yep, I was bitten by about a thousand mosquitoes and at least one had the bug for Dengue Fever.

I returned to the States and found out that we were going to the field the next day.  I loaded up my gear and out to the training area we went.  By the time the three day exercise was over, I was one sick puppy.  I actually rode into the main post in a sleeping bag and went right to my bed in the Bachelor Officer's Quarters (BOQ). I think that was Friday but I really did not know.   I think I was there until Monday morning when I didn't show up to the unit and the Captain sent someone to look in on me.  I have no clue how high my fever got or if I would have survived if someone hadn't looked in on me.  I was sent to the Hospital and I have no clue how I got there.  For the next three days, everyone that came into my room had full surgical scrubs and a face mask. The were worried that it might be one of those illnesses making it's rounds in the Army.   One of the few lucid moments about Wednesday, the Doctor came in and said they were stumped.  None of the tests showed what the heck I had.  He said that if I was anywhere but Fort Irwin, he thought it might be a little known tropical disease called Dengue Fever.  I managed to tell him that I had just returned from Panama and he immediately went over to the door and removed the Quarantine sign and unmasked.  Yep, I had Break Bone Fever, aka Dengue Fever and all they could do was let it run its course. 

When I came home from Vietnam, I was assigned to Fort Carson.  I had about 9 weeks of service left in 1969 and about 8 weeks of the malaria medicine that was to ward off malaria.  About two weeks after I returned to Wichita, I started to get sick every other day.  The local Doctors and Hospital could not figure out hat it was.  Finally my Dad and my wife took me to the VA and they drew blood and admitted me for Malaria.  A couple of days later the hematologist came by to draw blood and I asked her if I could see what the heck was making me sick.  When she came back that afternoon, she showed me slides of the little booger making me sick in every stage of development.  The  next morning, one of the Doctors came in and asked me if I was willing to try a treatment they had started a pilot program with.  A young Lieutenant had come home from Vietnam very sick and the diagnosed him with Leukemia and Malaria.  When they started the treatment for Leukemia the symptoms of Malaria went away very fast.  I started a chemotherapy for Leukemia and I too was symptom free within a week or so.   Every morning I was given a great big pill and by noon I could not get out of bed.  By the evening, I was fine and after a nice shower and fresh pajamas, I would sleep like a baby. The next day the same pill and sick like a dog.  I don't know how long that would have gone on except that I told them that I needed to get out and enroll at WSU for the fall semester.  I escaped their grasp and didn't go back.

1968 in Vietnam

Years later, I was working in Ottawa full time for the Guard.  We had a small son and one day he ran a fever and broke out in a rash.  The Doctor called it Roseyola and said it would pass.  Sure enough it did but then by Thursday I was one sick puppy.  What hit our son so lightly put me in bed for the biggest part of two weeks.  Who knew?

Captain, 1978

I know this flu shot this last year missed the boat and in spite of two different shots, I was pretty sick in January of this year.   We made a road trip to Oklahoma and then I drove to Western Kansas for a funeral.  By Sunday (which as Easter) I had my family over for lunch.  I had brought Dave's mower home to work on it and I went out to put it on a trailer so I could take it home.  Crap, I couldn't even pick up the tongue of the trailer with it empty.  There's your sign.  I had Dave come out and hook it up and after taking the trailer home I went to bed.   The next morning I had a Doctor's appointment and after looking at my fever and elevated blood pressure sent me to the Hospital.  They did a stress test that about killed me but they said my heart was OK.  I went home and they call me back for a CT scan.  Most of the people in the waiting room went right out after the scan.  I was told to sit in a wheel chair until they released me. Well, they didn't and I spent a week getting blood thinners in the hospital.  Finally I was released to go home but my vitals were wonky and all over the place for the next couple of weeks.  I would run a fever and my blood pressure would skyrocket.  Then it would all be OK for a couple of hours.  The Doctor started me on Xarelto and after another week things started to get a lot more normal.  I have spent most of the summer getting my strength back and just yesterday I was given the all  clear of the Pulmonary Embolisms.  Now as soon as I can, I will stop the Xarelto and hopefully get back on track with my life.

At 68, I know that someday, something will kill me.  I hope it isn't soon or really painful.  I guess that I can say that I don't fear death, I just am not looking forward to it.  I have had a great life and things have been more that fair to me.  I have a loving wife and a great home.  Now for the next years in "Riding With Mud."



Singing my Heart Out.

Last night, the Barbershop Chorus finally got around to giving me my 5 year award.  It is a lot like wetting your pants in a dark suit.  It gives you a warm feeling but no one really notices.  After a couple of weeks off and eating Idaho dust I tried to do well but I need to do some singing in the next couple of weeks to keep in better voice.  Did I  mention that I love to sing? 

BOGSAS - Bunch of Guys standing around and Singing
Yesterday we took Dave and his wife out to dinner and then over to Sam's club to do a little shopping.  When we went down the coffee aisle, we saw the giant bales of toilet paper.  He grabbed one and I wondered out loud if that was the kind I loved or hated.  I said that I hate to buy toilet paper at Sam's club because if I chose wrong, it will take the two of us six months to use up the bad stuff. (It takes us almost that long to use up the good stuff)  I am at the age that I can't remember if I like Charmin or hate it.  A lady heard what I said and said that she bought a bale of the industrial stuff and finally threw the second half of the bale away.  It is a shame she didn't have a good person on her list that just needed a toilet paper party. 

I am about an hour away from visiting my Doctor for a check up.  I know that all the talk of Xarelto on TV has him worrying about my use of it.  I have pretty much had a cast iron stomach and I love to eat an ice cream bar to coat my stomach when needed.  The problem is that my family has a record of stomach problems that are undiagnosed until well after the problem gets serious.  My mother and my son both had undiagnosed ulcers.  I will keep a good eye out.

Yesterday, Barb went out in the front of our house and there under a pile of leaves on the sidewalk was either Jake the snake or one of his offspring.  She wasn't scared as much as she was startled. He was deep in a warm pile of leaves on the side walk  and raided his head to see who was crunching the leaves.  We really don't mind having a big black snake here at our house.  We know they will keep the rodent population in check.  They have a reported ability to keep the copperheads down but if you hardly ever see a copperhead, do you know if you have a problem?  My sister lost her beloved dog to one after being bitten a bunch of times.  He finally was allergic to the anti-venom more than the venom. 

A couple of what now seems like months not weeks, we were in Wichita and were amazed at the growth there.  Somehow they seem to have channeled money their way and the expansion east is well on the way.  Part of the expansion is surely the loop around the north east and a new turnpike exit at Andover and east Kellogg.  I am pretty sure that the expansion is not due to more jobs in the food service industry.  If anyone has a clue let me know.

Oh well better get on this horse and get ready to ride out of here.



Monday, Monday

Was it the Mommas and Papas that sang that song?  Been a long time since I have really heard it in any form that wasn't consistent with being on an elevator.  The real brassy song has morphed into a form that it isn't really recognizable.  The other options are the Beatles, the Monkeys or Jefferson somebody.

It is somebody's Birthday today.  Not me.

It is an odd time here in Kansas.  The first real frost hasn't hit and in spite of that, the leaves are falling all over the place.  The sad part is that it hasn't finished and it isn't worth the effort to rake until it is a lot more finished. 

I can't believe that the Barbershop Chorus actually had a long drawn out discussion about postponing our practice tonight over the Royal's game.  I think we need to start and sing our butts off and then retire to a local watering hole to watch the finish of the game.  Someone said the Royals won the game in the 7th inning the other night.  WRONG!  they won it like everyone else in the last inning when the game was officially over.  Did you know I can tell you tonight's score before the game starts?  Yes, it is Zero to zero, that will last until someone scores a run.   DUH!

Yesterday I mowed Dave's yard about noon.  The weather was about as nice as it could be.  It was a little windy and made the blow back a little harsh when mowing down wind but hey, it is always fun to drive a zero turn mower.  Dave came out when I was about half done and he wanted to have me let him finish.  Shoot, why not? 

How is life treating you nowadays?   Other than a slight diminishing of my ability to work hard, I really can't complain.  Well, I can but it doesn't gain me a lot of sympathy.   I think my ability just about matches my expectations so what the hey. 

I guess I had better get on with the day and see if there isn't some mischief without a central perpetrator.  All the while I will smile and make them wonder what I have been up to.



Is it Just Me?

For some strange reason, I am having trouble with Facebook.   About half way through typing a remark, it will stop and tell me there is an error in running a script.   If I get to complete a line, it will go away when I hit enter.  If I completely stop Facebook and exit, the line will be there when I start it up again.   I thought it might be the new small notebook computer but now that I am home, it has spread to this desktop one.  Oh well, I will try loading a new explorer and see what happens next. Yes, I do have the offer to load windows 10 but not on the desk top today.

Boy may I have made a mistake.  I bought a motorized leaf rake and now Barb wants me to go get a load of composted manure at the ;local dairy to make it all mellow.  Lots and lots of work to keep that woman happy.  I guess so long as I can, I will.  

This morning it was just under 40 degrees here in the Heartland.  For a week or so, I would have to wait for the dew to burn off and now it had to warm up a little before I want to work in the yard.  If I wear enough clothes to stay warm, I will work up a sweat and then I have to come in and warm up between jobs. 

I have a camera and just can't seem to want to take pictures.  I do enjoy looking at Barbara's work and I don't seem to have near the energy to do the same with my camera.   Oh well, I guess there will be a time when I do want to take pictures not today.

How the heck do you take care of all the names and passwords you use on your computer?  Throw in a few pins for the credit cards and things just keep getting tougher as the birth days fly bye.   The desk top has a way of remembering passwords for me but then when I use the notebook I have to remember them.  Sheesh.

Oh well, better see if it has warmed up enough to get out and rake leaves and mulch the garden.



Leaf Rake?

What do you buy if you have about everything your need and most of what you want?  A power Leaf rake.  For those that have not been to rabbit run, there is about 15 acres of trees on the 18 acres.   Yep'er, we have plenty of leaves and Barbara always needs mulch or compost to add to the garden.  So I broke down and bought a power leaf rake to haul behind the mower.  According to the ad, it would work behind the Cub Cadet, but the Zero Turn model has the mower blades about a foot further from the catcher.  I am working on a  way to extend the length and make it all work.  Other than the way I fixed it keeps falling apart, things are going well.  Should take me less than a half an hour to get her up and running this morning.   No sense hurrying as the grass is too wet to mow until about noon. 

Did I mention the dust in Idaho?  The farming there was in full swing and there was enough dust to coat everything including my sinuses.  They were about finished with the potato harvest, starting the sugar beet harvest and there were more row crops in the field than finished.  To top it all off there was preparation for the winter wheat that looked like a dust devil in the fields where the wheat will grow all winter.  My sinuses might recover except for the fact I will be stirring up Kansas dust picking up leaves.  Oh well... Did you hear that sneeze? 

We went to the library yesterday and Lee Child's book about Jack Recher was there waiting on Barbara to check it out.  While I was playing with the new mower she started reading it so it will be a day or two before I get a chance to read it.  They are entertaining and  generally take me a little over a day to power through them.  I almost bought the book on CD on the trip but I guess just as well I didn't. 

Yesterday I went to my new barber, Barrie.  He really does a good job and we have a lot in common.  He was in the Guard and sings in the Barbershop Chorus.  Most importantly, he does a great job.  He always laughs at the fact that I don't need to look at the job in a mirror when he finishes.  After 68 years of haircuts, it really isn't all that important to me what it looks like when a barber finishes.  For $12 bucks and a three dollar tip, I don't expect miracles.  He did put me on to a possibility for the Nominations Committee to consider.  One of our members, and a real fine Bass finally put his wife in a nursing home as she suffers from dementia.  She is a great lady and I hate to see her slide away in a fog.  Now if I can get her husband to consider the job of treasurer.   I read a story about a guy who finally put his wife in a nursing home with Alzheimer's.  He was running late one day and told a friend that he needed to run to have lunch with his wife.  His buddy said, she won't know if you miss lunch one day, and he replied, "Yes but I will."   I am sure that Wayne is that kind of guy.

On our trip I told a lot of people that I don't have grandchildren, I have Grand Kitties.  While we were gone, Barb had the trail camera up and running and she found a picture of a Bob Cat on it.  I have seen one or two here and am glad to see that we are making it possible for all sorts of wild life to live here too.  After all, this was their home long before we moved in.  Let's see, that was 25 years ago.  Perhaps they are OK with our living here.

This is my new neighbor Robert Kitty aka Bob Cat

I got up on the net this morning to make the schedule for next Monday's Barbershop Chorus practice and saw that I had sent one out before our trip.   I guess I now need to get ready to face the world.



Been On The Road

For those of you that read this blogs, I apologize for being off the net for so long.   Between a trip to Oklahoma and a trip to visit my Father-in-Law, I have seen about half of October disappear.  I will try to get caught up and stay current.

The joke of the week - How do you tell who is the blind man at a nudist colony?  It isn't hard to tell?

I am or have been thinking about replacing the 04 Ford Crown Vic.  The good news is that on this trip of over 3,000 miles is that other than getting extremely dirty, it was a champ to drive and averaged over 25 MPG.  I think I will have the Shocks replaced in the front and perhaps a new set of tires.  Then I will do our threat of driving it until the wheels fall off.  

The best news is that on this trip my Father-in-Law seems to be in pretty good spirits and health.   If I make it to 92 (today is his birthday) I hope that I am still like that.  He is a WWII veteran and I know that list is getting short.   The thing I really love is that he has the ability and desire to stay in touch with the more modern technology.   He bought a new watch that has "Blue Tooth" ability but he can't use the link from his phone to talk to his hearing aid and the watch at the same time.  Our Son Dave tried to make that happen but finally had to give up on making both work. 

It was nice to have our son and his wife, Barb, along on our trip.   I hope they enjoyed seeing the family as much as we did. 

I thought it was kind of funny that Barbara's niece, her Birthday Buddy, had a White Trash Party for her 40th Birthday.  We were not invited even though we probably had been White Trailer Trash back in the day.  As we lived in Wichita we lived in an 8X38 foot trailer.  That's the length from tongue to tail lights.  The bedroom was so small that the entire bedroom was filled with the bed.  Thank god the bedroom door opened out of we would have had to have a smaller bed. 

Better get it in gear so I can catch up on the mowing.  Hopefully it will be the last time this year.