Back in the good old days I could-
-Turn on "Headline News" and get news headlines 24-hours a day.
-Click "The Weather Channel" and find out what was happening in weather all over the U.S. at any time of the day.
-Check out "The History Channel" and learn me some history, instead of watching people lose money at a Pawn shop in Las Vegas, NV.
-Tune in MTV and watch the latest music videos, NOT some idiots on the Jersey Shore.
Money ruins everything, doesn't it?
30 July 2021
Back in the good old days I could-
28 July 2021
I think somewhere in the Bible it says:
"There were stupid people in the past. We live amongst stupid people today. There will be (hopefully fewer) stupid people in the future."
Stupid people are now asking liberal, privileged, White Folk to not enroll their children in any of the top 50 schools rated by U.S. News and World Report so less qualified kids can take those slots.
And I still wonder if, when he played golf, Barack Obama hit his Tee Shots from the women's tees.
... Affirmative Action, doncha know?
25 July 2021
Okay, so I've started with a title that will attract a few readers.
And Lord, I hope my wife never reads this post.
If discussion of what comes out the exhaust makes you uncomfortable, NOW is the time to stop reading.
Twice... I've been married.
Both times I have been married to women who seem attracted to carrying around extra weight in the form of something solid that oughta be flushed.
Number 1 wife has gone on to be with our Lord. But she had a continual problem with constipation. And man-oh-man how I wish I could now communicate with her or someone in her family about the last years of her life!
Number 2 wife has had a constipation problem forever. She goes days, until she's really uncomfortable, and then pops pills to try to make her bowels move. These pills call themselves "Natural Fiber", but reading their ingredients I find they are mostly "cellulose", which means trees.
I'd certainly rather see her take these than a pill containing some exotic chemical that appears nowhere in nature. But her diet is a big part of her problem...
She eats almost no vegetables. French Fries don't count. In the disassembly line that is our gastrointestinal tract, potatoes of any sort don't help much to move the finished product toward the finish line.
Lemme get to my point here-
"Lewy" has become a major focus in our life now. And by that I mean "Lewy Body Dementia", the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's.
EVERYONE has heard about Alzheimer's. Few have heard about our new acquaintance, Lewy.
But you're gonna hear more and more about Lewy in the future. He kills much more quickly than AL does.
I've been poking around doing the thing Doctors hate-
Researching the information available on Lewy Body disorders.
One of the connecting links seems to be constipation.
L.B.D. patients are frequently constipated.
Well.... DUH! My wife has been constipated since I first met her. And it turns out, there are Lewy Bodies in your gut... lots of 'em.
Is there a connection between constipation in early years and Lewy Body Dementia or other dementia, in later years?
More research is necessary.
If you're young and frequently constipated, Doc Greybeard suggests you go an buy a bottle of Prune Juice. Take a big enough dose to move things along on that assembly line.
And repeat as necessary.
Seems to me the old saying, "Can't hurt much... might help A LOT" applies here.
More on all this in the future.
22 July 2021
It was still twilight outside.
Windows open, the wail woke me. And then it got louder. And louder. And louder.
No question, they're coming down our street.
I listened as the sound of a big truck passed our house.
And then the sound of another siren approached and passed.
And then another. Something really BIG was going on down the street.
I got up, slipped on sandals and a light jacket, went downstairs, opened the garage door, and sat in my lawn chair to watch this event unfold.
Soon, the sound of another siren. This time it was a pumper from the community immediately South of ours. So many emergency vehicles! This is a BIG deal!
An hour passed. Coffee brewed, I sat sipping in my chair and watched the parade of vehicles retreat from the scene:
Three pumpers from our town. Two from nearby communities. Three command vehicles.
What an alarm clock!
Later in the day I boarded my scooter to go investigate.
A house down the street exploded and burned. The new owners had not yet moved in, and it was unoccupied. They were setting up a yard sale in the front yard to sell goods from their old home they didn't need.
Obviously, everything was in disarray. The home was still smoldering.
The next door neighbor, an old acquaintance, came out to chat.
"That's smoking so much, with this breeze it's gonna rekindle" says I.
"I think you're right", responds my old acquaintance.
And in an hour I heard a siren once again. Several hours later they have to return to finish the job they didn't complete in the early hours.
We're tired of war; pulling all our troops out while the Taliban moves right in behind us.
How do you think this turns out?
21 July 2021
Yeah, that's a possibility.
You may become one too!
I got trapped in the "Youtube surfing vortex" again this morning.
(When will I learn this is a thing to avoid?)
One of the videos I watched educated me about the possible coming "Rubber Apocalypse". I had not previously heard about the disease in Southeast Asia attacking rubber trees. This is bad for several reasons:
-That's where the majority of our raw materials for rubber come from.
(I knew this already because of the Michelin plantations in South Viet Nam), and
-The trees are virtually all clones of one another. So when one gets the ailment, it rapidly gets transferred to all its brothers.
I was surprised to learn that ALL airplane tires are made from natural, not synthetic, rubber. And natural rubber apparently is the only choice for several other products used around the world. If this disease spreads rapidly, these products will face critical shortages soon.
But there is a glow rising on the horizon, and it also surprised me:
Dandelions are a possible solution to the problem. They also produce a natural rubber, and can be grown almost anywhere in the world. With them, the U.S. might become "rubber independent" in a couple years.
I'm thinking even I can grow 'em, and I don't think our pesky deer population will be interested in my crop!
Watch for the Biden administration to find a way to restrict this move to independence.
20 July 2021
My son moved to Phoenix Arizona. I had never been on the ground there for any length of time.
Shortly after he moved there we went to visit him for his Birthday in July. On his birthday the car thermometer read 123 degrees Fahrenheit. Rear windows in cars were exploding. Sara Jean and I decided the pool was a good idea. It was not. The only way to be comfortable was to be completely submerged. Any body part exposed to the sun was... miserable.
The distance between home and Phoenix was 27 hours drive. I began to pay attention to water levels in Lakes Meade and Powell, and began to worry about my son's life. If the "SHTF", several million people are gonna be searching for water for their families. I expressed my concerns to my son.
He's no fool. After a while he saw that his old man wasn't stupid.
He sold his home in Gilbert, AZ for more than twice what he paid for it 7 years ago, thanks to Californians realizing their stupidity, wanting to flee crazyland and move. And they are moving to a city that is going to ration water soon... it's just a question of WHEN.
With Sara Jean's health questions, Big Bubba wanted to be closer to our/his home, but not so close that we are on top of him all the time. He decided he'd like to move to Texas or Tennessee because of those State's tax structure. Nashville TN is a "chip shot" of a drive from us now, so he started concentrating on that area.
We drove down yesterday and looked at three homes in the Clarksville, TN area. Entering one, we all immediately decided, "I could easily live here".
Big Bubba submitted an offer on the home.
Today we gathered documentation to prove we could afford the loan.
And mid-day today we got word that the sellers had accepted his offer. It's a "Red Letter Day" for us all.
The Cumberland River is within walking distance from this home. "Land Between the Lakes" is a short drive. My son WILL NOT be dying of thirst.
I like that. And I like that he's now a comfortable drive from our home.
I still think trouble in the future is a question of "when", not "if".
And now the "When" is not such a threatening thought.
18 July 2021
Trump said hydroxychloroquine would work against Covid-19.
Trump said the virus was created in a laboratory in Wuhan China.
Trump said building a wall on our Southern border would stop thousands from coming to the U.S..
Biden says he knew/knows absolutely nothing about son Hunter's business activities.
And who is stupid?
17 July 2021
My Dad was a Wizard.
"Jack of all trades"... I've written before about how he could do MANY things, and do them well.
In 1963 he bought a new Chevrolet "Corvair Greenbriar" Van, bought a bunch of plywood, and turned the thing into a really neat travel camper. In it, our family of four took many camping trips, including an unforgettable trip West from Indianapolis. We headed West via a Northern Route... Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and into L.A. to visit kin.
Returning home we passed through Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Painted Desert. As a 16-yr old with a freshly printed driver's license, I drove most of the miles on that trip.
My folks then later graduated to a pickup camper mounted on a 3/4 ton Ford Pickup, then a 27-foot Winnebago motor home. My memories of those camping trips are some of the fondest of my life, and I thank my departed parents for them.
About ten years ago, after much study of the market, I bought a Dodge Ram pickup with the 5.9 liter Cummins diesel engine. My intent in buying the truck was to eventually mount a camper in the bed and set off with my wife to check things from our "bucket list".
It's likely now that I am slowly losing my bride to dementia. So the idea of buying a camper and starting our Nation-roving trek has been accelerated. I've been perusing YouTube videos to get an idea of what's out there and how to proceed.
And HOLY COW... are there a bunch of things to be considered!
But maybe the biggest thing to be concerned about is something I never heard my Dad consider, although I know he probably did:
Many of the newer model campers are aluminum framed, (as opposed to wood, which rots when it is continuously wet), so they are lighter by design and better maintenance-wise than in days of yore. But then on top of building them lighter they add "options"-
Microwave ovens. Awnings, (or two or three of 'em). Pop-out sliding rooms. Queen sized beds. The list goes on and on.
And if you add a bunch of these "accessories" you can easily increase the weight of the camper to a figure that will eventually break the back of the truck. In addition, I'm now finding out my beautiful Cummins diesel engine weighs approximately 700 pounds(!) more than it's gasoline-eating brother.
I've always dreamed of the luxury of being able to go, at a moment's notice, to sights we want to see with our home (and STUFF) on our back.
I like the idea of not having to make hotel reservations, (though I know staying in a dedicated campground is likely to be about as expensive as a motel room.)
But this venture has sure turned out to be more complicated that I thought it would be.
And of course, $$$$$ will be flowing outta my pockets.
But that's what retirement is for....
15 July 2021
Several months ago I got a notice from a legal firm in Florida that my parents had left some some unclaimed funds while retired there.
I'm always suspicious of stuff like this, but I called to see if it was legit. The respondent indicated that all I had to do was fill out some forms they'd send, and the unclaimed money would be mine.
So I punted the project to my son to pursue. And he did.
Four months have passed. Yesterday I got a check. The check is for four figures... not an insignificant sum.
From my checking account I wrote a check to my son for the indicated amount, then endorsed and tried to deposit the (Florida) check to my checking account at our local bank.
"What's this money for?", asks the bank person.
Thinking to myself, "That's none of your damn business!" I lied...
"It's an annuity payment."
I watch as she plinks around on her keyboard. Soon, a puzzled look comes across her face.
She calls her superior to her work station. The superior also gets a puzzled look on her face, then asks, "Is this an annual installment, or a monthly one?"
Now alarm bells go off in my head. I'm trying to make a deposit. The bank will make money on this deposit. They can put a hold on the funds I'm depositing. There is three times the amount of money I'm depositing already in the account. Where is their risk exposure?
I've now reached my tolerance for "Karen".
I say, "If there's a problem with the check, give it back to me and I'll take it to another facility and they'll take it without a problem."
"There's no problem with the check. This is just our rules."
"Then the rule is stupid. I understand you have no control over this stupidity, but I'm VERY close to closing this account and taking my money somewhere else. Take the deposit, or give me back my check. And tell your leadership that they are stupid."
At this point she clicks the keyboard in front her her, prints out the deposit slip; puts the slip into the tray and slides it out to me.
What the hell is going on? The only explanation I can imagine is that this is further information gathering.
And I like it not at all.
13 July 2021
Sleeping in, it woke me. My neighbor drives for the local "Meals on Wheels" organization and he came home to pick up something he had forgotten when he went to work. The noise was so loud it was obnoxious.
Seeing him later I asked, "What the heck happened to your truck to make it so noisy?"
"Someone stole all the catalytic converters off our trucks last night!"
Four handicapped-accessible buses.
Three 3/4 ton Vans.
All purchased with tax-supported funds.
Re-equipping them with new converters is gonna cost big $$$$$.
We live in a town of 7,000. Like virtually all towns across the nation, there are "Help Wanted" signs in ALL businesses, big and small, in our town.
Staying home, collecting unemployment, and little odd jobs like stealing Catalytic Converters off vehicles owned by public assisted operations is apparently a perfectly comfortable way to live these days.
And like most of the rest of our government's mistakes these days, the costs will be passed along to others.
What a country.
12 July 2021
"If you can drive a car, you can learn to fly an airplane."
As a helicopter flight instructor, I've made this statement for years.
I still believe it is true. I fly helicopters AND airplanes, and the only thing I ever found remotely difficult about flying the fixed-wing was landing with a strong crosswind.
(Manipulating the controls of the helicopter automatically adjusts for crosswind landings. Having first learned to fly helos, crosswind landings in fixed-wing aircraft seems totally foreign and uncomfortable to me.)
But there IS one task in all of aviation I believe may be more difficult than learning to hover and do a perfect normal approach in a helicopter-
And that task is landing an airplane on a pitching, rolling, moving deck of a ship.
This video is 27 minutes in length. If you have any interest in aircraft carrier ops or in the history of how we got where we are in Naval Aviation, I think it is worth your time.
And I'll now be searching for a copy of the original "The Fighting Lady".
11 July 2021
We wake in Bristol,TN. Within sight just down the street is a stop light that resides right on top of the Virginia/Tennessee State Line. Today we intend to drive down "State Street" and try to find the brass marker marking the VA/TN line and get a photo. That done, we want to drive a short distance out of town to the Bristol Motor Speedway and see the racetrack where so many NASCAR events have taken place.
Then, on the way home, we'll stop and view any attractions that catch our attention...
"World's largest ball of aluminum foil"?
This road trip we once again committed the cardinal sin-
We tried to pack five pounds into a 3-pound bag. We didn't properly consider the amount of driving we'd have to do to get to the things we wanted to experience.
I like to drive. And that's a good thing. Because my two companions on this trip have spent much of the drive time sleeping. While awake they have their noses poked into their Smart Phones.
Me? I've been loving the passing scenery. I've now and again enjoyed the feeling of being pressed into the seat after pushing the "Go Pedal" of our Taurus SHO to the floor, marveling at the fact that this quiet, comfortable car still gets over 25 miles per gallon of fuel while going up and down these mountains.
Trees alongside the road are tall enough to cause gaps in reception of our Sirius/XM radio...
Beautiful, and simultaneously irritating.
Many will feel the same way as we-
Maybe the BEST thing about a vacation is that it makes you realize how comfortable you are in your own home; your own recliner with your own remote control at hand; your own bed.
We'll be there tonight.
Thank you Lord for safe travels.
10 July 2021
Long day in the car yesterday-
We spent the night in Petersburg, VA. Elsa was acting up as we went to bed, and the forecast was for "partly cloudy" the following day. With all the ground we needed to cover to do what we wanted, we hoped for sunshine. And by the time we rose Mother Nature was cooperating with a "partly sunny" day.
We've decided we LOVE this part of the country. Grass and trees are GREEN. And the tree-covered mountains are absolutely beautiful. Roads we have used have been in great repair. And fuel prices here are not horrible.
We toured the "First Flight" memorial at Kill Devil Hills. Nice little museum there, and walking the same hill where Wilbur and Orville learned to fly using their gliders gave me great respect for the brothers.
(By the way- In the telegram Orville sends to his sister to tell her of their success on 17Dec, he signs his name "Oreville". Have we been spelling his name incorrectly all these years?)
We departed Kitty Hawk and drove South on North Carolina highway 12, down the Hatteras peninsula, stopping first at the Bodie Lighthouse, then the Hatteras Lighthouse. Both beautiful. The peninsula is extraordinarily narrow in many places, making me wonder how it has survived the many hurricanes it has been exposed to. Sand dunes in spots are 15' tall on both sides of the road, making you feel as if you are driving down a pipe with no top. With the (Wright Brothers) wind that blows here most of the time it is obvious road crews must be ready to frequently clear the road of encroaching sand.
We drove back Northwest-bound last night through scattered showers, arriving Raleigh, NC about Midnight. We're meeting friends for Brunch here today, then plan to drive to Bristol, TN to spend the night.
We'll be home Sunday.
Prayers for safe travels are appreciated.
08 July 2021
We won't have a diagnosis of Sara Jean's condition until mid-month. But we are noticing changes in her thought processes and both of us now think the news will be bad. To that end we have decided to check off some of her bucket list items as quickly as possible.
She has always wanted to see Cape Hatteras.
We are in Lexington, KY this morning, surrounded by Blue Grass and beautiful fenced-in pastures. Today we will drive to Petersburg, VA to spend the night and be ready for a drive to see the rocky coast.
Before the day ends we hope to also check off one of my bucket list items- The Wright Brothers "First Flight" memorial at Kill Devil Hills.
Beyond that we are making things up as we go along. Headed back home I think I want to put one leg in Virginia and the other in Tennessee at Bristol.
If you have ideas about what you think we'd enjoy seeing/doing, please leave a comment.
06 July 2021
Since retiring, I have been struggling somewhat to find constructive things to do with my life. I feel...
Today I realized I've had a valuable job all along, and just didn't fully realize it.
Some time ago I had a friend who, upon arriving home from work would shout, "I HOPE WE HAVE STOCK IN THIS ELECTRIC COMPANY!"
And then he would make the rounds in his home, turning off all the lights in unoccupied rooms.
Me? I probably DO have stock in several power-producing companies via the Mutual Funds I own.
Nevertheless, I have also become an environmentalist. Waste troubles me. Burning unnecessary electricity pollutes our environment, doesn't it?
Therefore I have taken on a new, vital job in our household-
I am now the "Chief Turner-Offer of Lights" in our family.
Sometimes it seems like a full time job. At the end of the day I am physically and mentally taxed.
But I'm saving the environment.
And I am proud.
04 July 2021
I've been re-watching Ken Burns' series "The Civil War", and came to the realization that the South must have felt about Abraham Lincoln much as Marxist/Socialist/Communists do about Donald Trump.
Did Southerners quietly, or even exuberantly, celebrate the death of the man most people feel may have been the best President our country has ever had?
"The first battle of the Revolution was fought over gun control. The
British government wanted to seize the lawfully owned firearms of the
colonists. If British troops could disarm the militia, there would be
less of a threat to their control."
"Those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it."
On this Independence Day, please-
Don't be ignorant of history.