Well Almost

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

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

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

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

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

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



Nothing Particular

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Has it been that Long?

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

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

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

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

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

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



Rainy Monday

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

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

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

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



I am not French

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

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

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

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



It was a Draw

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

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

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

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

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



Here We Go Again!

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

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

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

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

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



Perception and Reality

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

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

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

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

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

Does something smell in here?


Great Days in the Heartland

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

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

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

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

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

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



Just some Observations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Leaf Duty

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

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

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

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

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



Funny Story of the Day

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

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

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

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

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


Great Time of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

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