"The key to taking majorities in Congress is women republican candidates".
That's the latest theme.
Liz Cheney. Olympia Snowe. Susan Collins. Lisa Murkowski.
I guess I'm just stupid...
How is electing women improving Congress?
22 June 2022
12 June 2022
Lookin' into my Crystal Ball-
Barring something totally unforeseen happening prior to the November elections it looks as if republicans are a shoo-in to retake our House of Representatives. It also looks like it is entirely possible republicans might take power in the Senate. IF that happens, one of the first things I think will happen is the investigation into this Hunter Biden laptop catastrophe will accelerate. And IF the connections to our president(?) that appear to be there come to fruition, "Joey" is in trouble. I think his impeachment is a near certainty.
With a republican House AND Senate, he could end up being the first president ever to be tried and convicted of "high crimes and misdemeanors" and thereby removed from office.
Like Richard Nixon, I suspect he'd resign rather than have that fact end up in the history books.
That leaves us with Kamala Harris in the White House. And although that would be disastrous for our country, her administration will be interesting (and entertaining?) to watch.
Maybe there's a real skeleton in her history too? If so, how soon can the "revenge" impeachment of Kamala happen?
With a republican House of Reps we won't have to worry about president Pelosi, thank GOD.
It's even possible the new Speaker of the House might be a conservative.
Nevah hoppen G.I. !
We are living in "interesting times".
08 June 2022
Some would suggest this post is a mistake.
Maybe it is.
I own a few firearms. Out of all I own, my favorite is a .45-cal. Colt Combat Commander.
With it, I can shoot a flea off a gnat's ass. (And that is sayin' something for a round that large!)
My second favorite is the .357 Caliber I carried while I was a Deputy Sheriff. (Department regulations forbid me from carrying my beloved Combat Commander).
Remember me? The old FART?
A year ago we left home for a trip South and I hid both guns in a "safe" place during our absence.
When we returned, I could not remember where that "safe" place was and could not find my two favorite shooty thingies. So I had to fall back on less-loved shooty thingies.
Today Sara Jean shouted from upstairs... "GUESS WHAT I FOUND!"
My readers are smart.
They know EXACTLY what she found.
Second-best is okay.
FAVORITE is better.
06 June 2022
I think I have made this comment before. The stupidity of others forces me to try to "break through" again:
Population of China-
1,500,000,000. (Yes, that's ONE BILLION, Five Hundred Million.)
The country produces electricity by burning coal.
Population of India-
1,400,000,000. (Yes, that's ONE BILLION, Four Hundred Million.)
They burn DUNG to cook their food and produce heat for their homes.
Population of the U.S.A.-
325,000,000. (And granted, that's growing every single day.)
Nevertheless, that number is 1/10th the total population of China and India combined.
Can someone tell me again why I need to lower my thermostat and turn light switches off to save Gaia?
We truly are idiots, ya know that?
02 June 2022
Over 50 years of age?
Have you had one?
The procedure RUINS two full days. The "prep" for the procedure requires you to drink a gallon of nasty-tasting fine plastic goop that is indigestible. By the time you finish the final few glasses of what is euphemistically called "Golightly", you MUST be close to a commode because that stuff is gonna be in your body for just a few seconds.
But this discomfort is important. During the probe, the Doc finds stuff (polyps) in your colon that might cause future problems, and "nips them in the bud", negating future problems.
So RIGHT NOW I start drinking this horrible liquid. And our next 24 hours will be devoted to "heading off at the pass" cancerous bad stuff.
And at 75 and in great health, I'm glad our medical technology is there to improve our future.
01 June 2022
I've mentioned before that on 19 occasions I had the experience of flying a small helicopter back to the Midwest from the Robinson Helicopter factory in Torrance, California. As I departed the factory the Lycoming air-cooled engines normally had between 5-10 hours flight time on them to insure they ran properly, didn't leak oil, etc..
Depending on winds and which model Robbie I was flying, the flight time back East was generally between 17 to 22 hours. The factory filled the crankcase with non-detergent oil for the "break-in" period.
Departing the factory they would give me 4 extra quarts of oil to insure I could keep the engine "topped off" for the trip home. That oil had a big "M" on the label to indicate it was "Mineral Oil"... (non-detergent).
Their recommendation was to use the non-detergent oil until the engine oil consumption slowed, then switch to the regular aviation detergent oil of the customer's choice. By the time I reached my destination back in the middle of the country the oil usage of the Lycomings had normally settled down so we could drain and switch oils.
THAT is the way I got comfortable "breaking-in" an air cooled engine.
I just bought a new generator to use when we go RV-ing. It has an air-cooled 312cc engine. It came delivered with NO oil in the crankcase and, oddly, NO instructions on how to break the engine in, other than warnings in BIG red letters that there was no oil in the engine and the proper amount of engine oil had to be added before starting.
So I decided to follow the instructions I've gotten accustomed to with the Lycomings. I went to my local auto parts store and asked for "break-in oil" and got a blank stare in return. No dice.
Across the street to the competing auto parts store, the clerk lead me to the paint section and tried to sell me a quart of mineral spirits!
I realize engines are manufactured to higher tolerances these days. Oil too is better, with more additives, than it has ever been. But I'd still be more comfortable running the generator's first few hours the "old school" way.
Am I just an old fuddy-duddy?
(Try to be nice now.)
27 May 2022
My title is not a great analogy.
Deal with it.
I'm gobsmacked by the idea that our lefty government "leaders" think paying off student loan debt might be a good idea.
I know my first question is NOT obvious to only me-
You signed a contract. You got the benefit of that contract. Now, fulfill the promise you made by signing your name. Pay what you now owe!
I once had a conversation with a young socialist female that called these contracts "predatory lending".
What other contracts fall into that category? Auto loans? Mortgages? Handouts from "Cousin Vinnie"?
My college education was accomplished piecemeal. I could afford the time and money to take only a couple courses at a time and paid for them as I learned, never accruing debt along the way. Granted, I went to a little-known State supported school and don't have "friends in High Places" that I networked with. But I also don't have a lifetime of debt to worry or complain about.
What if I'm the responsible oddball that JUST paid off my student loan following YEARS of denying myself some of the good things in life in order to fulfill my obligation...
Will I now get a refund? (This counts for me and most of my contemporaries too. Will AOC and the Biden administration send me a check because I was a responsible adult those forty years ago?)
This is a mess. The whole idea is insane.
And our entire contract structure and law in general is at risk because of these idiots.
24 May 2022
I think the thing that troubles me more than anything today is the willingness of people to sacrifice their freedom. I was troubled by General Motor's "Onstar" system. My thoughts were "if it CAN be abused it WILL be abused."
Then came the revelations our government was gathering "Metadata". (But of course it won't be used against us. And besides, "If you're doing nothing wrong, why should you worry?")
Alexa. Siri. Hello Google!
I'm continually amazed at friends who know better using these things that listen to everything we say 24/7. And then they are surprised to find some of the things they say might bite them.
(Around a campfire late one night a friend and I were talking about Galapagos Tortoises. We were surprised to hear Siri say, "Here's the information I could find about that.")
We had NOT asked Siri for information.
I think for good reason.
21 May 2022
Science Fiction and Science Fact-
It's fun to find out how much the writers of TV shows lean on actual scientists to try to keep their shows believable.
This show was a hoot...
Apparently the Black Hole at the center of our Galaxy smells like Raspberry Rum? How the heck do we know that?
The gal in this podcast explains how we know. Her enthusiasm for her science is infectious.
If you're interested in Science Fiction OR Science Fact you'll find this interesting.
Click "Like" and Subscribe.
18 May 2022
I NEVER get sick.
Two days ago (Sunday) I started coughing. I also had a drippy nose. But I was mowing the lawn and initially attributed the symptoms to dust and allergies.
That night both conditions worsened. The following morning I called my "meals" delivery boss and told her although I was capable of delivering meals I did not feel comfortable exposing our clients to my "gallopin' gump".
That day Sara Jean attended a previously scheduled appointment with her Doctor and he gave her several Covid home testing kits.
Both our test results were positive.
I have symptoms of an irritating, moderate summer cold. Sara Jean, so far, has no symptoms at all. But we are going to be safe... I just ordered pickup of an order at Wally World, where someone else gathers up your order and you just call to let them know to bring it out to your car... one of the few good things to come out of this Covid fiasco.
I could die.
But barring a meteor or lightning strike, I don't think that's gonna happen right away.
Nevertheless, pray for me.
I still have mischief to attend to.
17 May 2022
13 May 2022
Dad and I were sitting on the balcony in Destin, Florida enjoying the view of the Gulf of Mexico.
We were separated from the beautiful turqouise-colored water by the "Scenic Gulf Highway"... the old U.S. Hwy 98 used mostly now by folks staying in condos along the beach.
Dad said, "Start watching. All the vehicles are either Minivans, Pickup trucks, or SUV's."
And he was right. Now and then in that neighborhood a Lamborghini or Ferrari would pass. But the VAST majority of traffic was one of the three types of vehicles Dad had mentioned.
And the only differences in the appearance of the S.U.V's manufactured by different factories was the color and the size. They all shared the shape of a cardboard box on wheels.
I would challenge ANYONE to be able to tell a Ford from a Chevy, a Nissan from a Toyota or Honda.
We've grown to be like soldiers in uniform, and marvel when we see a classic car like those pictured- beautiful, and distinctive from a mile away.
I miss my youth.
05 May 2022
But I suspect it tightens my gut more than others. War is a BAD thing. I wish we humans could realize that the money spent and human treasure lost just isn't worth it. How much better would our world be if the resources spent to prosecute violence on our neighbors was spent doing GOOD in the world?
Where would Germany and Japan be today if they had devoted all that money spent pursuing world dominance in 1940 to simply producing great machines the rest of the world wanted and needed?
But then I remember that Karen gets in my face when I don't wear a face mask.
How in the world can I expect all of us to get along when we cannot even agree on the simple stuff?
The people of Ukraine go to bed at night and hear the sounds I heard in Chu Lai, Viet Nam in 1969.
A 105mm howitzer makes a BIG noise twice... once when the shell is fired, and again when that shell reaches its destination. Hearing it often, you learn pretty much to ignore the sound. That is "Outgoing", and even though it is very loud, you get accustomed to the more muffled sound because of the distance between you and the artillery battery.
Now the sound of 122mm rockets falling all around you? That's a different sound altogether. It is ear-splitting! It is a sound that makes you realize you may not survive the next minute.
And I fear THAT is the sound many of those residents of Kiev remaining in their homes are dealing with.
My heart aches for those people
This situation is not good for the people of Ukraine. It is not good for the people of Russia. It is unsettling for the entire world.
"Someone" needs to step up and read up about the failure of "Valkyrie", and make the world a better place.
And... SOON, please.
I want my heart to stop hurting.
02 May 2022
The little town we now live in has a population of... 6,000, down from a peak of 7,000 before all of our industry closed down. While Real Estate BOOMS in much of the rest of the country, our community is in the doldrums.
And that's okay.
We have a WalMart, a Pizza Hut, a Mickey D's, decent Mexican and Chinese restaurants and three "Mom and Pop" eateries. Our cost of living is NOT through the roof.
It's a good place to live.
My question today is about parts for automobiles-
We also have an "Autozone", an "Oh-Oh-Oh O'Reilly's" and on our Main Street we have an inconspicuous "Bumper to Bumper" store.
South of town, not far from Autozone, they've just opened a "NAPA" store.
How many Parts stores can a town of 6K people support?
I guess we're about to find out.
27 April 2022
Nineteen times I made the trip from Torrance, California back to the Midwest in a small helicopter.
Every time I made that trip I would marvel at the number of those wind turbines there were on hilltops and ridgelines along that route. Where there is one of 'em, there are HUNDREDS.
I have no idea what they cost, ($$$$$!) but I always wondered how long it would take for the energy they produce to recoup your initial outlay on one of them.
(And that doesn't take into consideration the amount of money you'll spend maintaining the eyesore so you don't get the result shown in the image.)
I've seen photos of them burying LOTS of the rotor blades because (like the old Soviet-era "Trabant") there is apparently no way to recycle the materials the things are made of.
I can't help worrying that so much of this solar/wind energy stuff is gonna bite us in our derriere in the long-term.
I'll watch and learn.
23 April 2022
How many of us look forward to it... scrimp, save, juggling investments around to maximum benefit for that day we can "Hang up the wings" and relax and do only what we wanta do?
That was me.
I started investing in Mutual Funds in 1970. I was initially conservative with my money, then after researching I realized that the market was volatile and there was a way to take advantage of that volatility long-term.
So I did.
I was investing on my own. When IRA's, 403b's and 401k's became available to me I took full advantage of 'em.
And when my company offered me an ESOP I was excited. I watched as my "ownership" of the company grew and made me feel rich.
I began to feel really comfortable with what my life would be like in retirement.
And then the bottom fell out of the bucket.
The financial institution that had initially valued the assets of the company that we employees purchased suddenly realized they had NO expertise in valuing something like a helicopter.
And we employees owned 15 of 'em.
The valuation of the stock we employees owned suddenly dropped to 10% of the initial valuation.
I was no longer headed toward a millionaire retirement, but I was still gonna be okay.
And I am. My investments, coupled with my Social Security and ARMY pension make life in retirement...comfortable.
So retirement? It ain't horrible.
I've been retired 9 years now. We've been traveling. When I reflect on the places we've been in the world I'm pretty amazed, actually.
It's been wonderful.
We've had the luxury of getting away from "The Great White North" during Winters, and that is something I've ALWAYS craved to do.
I've had the ability to buy and enjoy nice toys.
Still... retirement, as I had imagined it, has left a LOT to be desired.
My dream was that it would be all flowers, warm breezes, and all the Pina Coladas I could drink.
Much of that part of it has come true. But I forgot about "purpose".
In my job as EMS helicopter pilot I frequently was involved helping people often having the absolute WORST DAY of their lives.
And my part of that day... helping to make their lives better... was important. Many times my part of that day meant the difference between life or death.
I knew that while I was doing the job. What I did not realize was how much I would miss that feeling of satisfaction when I retired.
So for nine years I have reflected on having what I felt might be the "best job I ever had", wondering what I might do to fill the void I was feeling.
I've found something that helps:
I took a job with our local "Meals on Wheels" organization delivering food to people in need. Several of the folks that receive our meals would go hungry for the day if we did not deliver the Noon meal.
For my work I am paid "minimum wage".
I don't care.
(Don't tell anyone, but I'd likely do it for no pay at all.)
And that feeling is worth more than any dollar value.
Are you getting ready to retire?
How do you feel about your work?
Let's talk about what happens to your life when you're spending a lot of time in a recliner, pressing buttons on a remote control!
20 April 2022
I took Sara Jean into Big Town yesterday for follow-up testing on her condition.
The results? Our "experts" say she has "mild impairment" and is slightly worse than she was during testing six months ago.
We sorta knew that before we went to the trouble to drive 90 minutes to chat with the experts.
I (we) have noticed degradation in memory; navigation; and mood.
And of course the realization that things are getting worse does NOT help the atmosphere in our home.
We still have no diagnosis. And if, as we suspect, the problem is Lewy Body Dementia, the only time we will have firm knowledge of the problem is when her brain is cut into very thin slices and shows the signs of Lewy Bodies.
Right now our experts will only go so far as to say they think the problem is "dementia".
Thanks a lot.
We sorta knew that already.
All this stuff is stressful. Sara Jean hates it because she realizes she's not faring well in the testing.
I hate it because when she is under great stress and "Momma ain't happy", our household is an unhappy one.
The drive to Big Town is unpleasant. We reminded our experts of that fact, and the light bulb went off:
"We can do the next testing virtually if you would like."
"Yes... we would like."
I don't think it will change much of the pre-testing stress, but it will keep me from being aggravated with Joe Biden when I fill up my fuel tank after burning three hours of fuel.
We cannot know exactly what we face in the future, but we have a pretty good idea. And this is not at all where we expected to be when we reached this point in our lives.
"Spring is sprung. The grass is riz."
It's time to wake the new RV and start making some memories.
I know I'll remember them.
I'm not sure Sara Jean will.
We need a miracle.
15 April 2022
A few years back I bought one o' those suckers.
Chambered for .45 Long Colt OR .410 shotgun, I then bought "defense" shotgun shells for the thing.
I asked a "firearm savvy" E.R. Doc friend of mine what he thought of the thing. His reply?
"If you shoot someone with it, shoot 'em in the FACE!"
Humanitarian, my friend the Doc.
My question? If I shoot someone with the .45 Long Colt, the ballistic signature of that round will be traceable.
What about the shot shell? If I "shoot someone in the face" with the .410, is there a ballistic footprint that can be traced?
13 April 2022
Watching this video will require 26 minutes of your life.
I believe you'll find it is worth that expense.
03 April 2022
I knock on the door, then knowing she's expecting me to walk in so she doesn't have to struggle to the door with her walker, I greet her cheerfully as I can; lay her lunch on the table between her and her TV, and try to extricate myself as quickly as possible because I have 25 more "clients" to serve.
This is difficult because I think I may be the only human contact she has on days I deliver.
I've now been delivering "Meals on Wheels" six weeks and my experience has been just about as I imagined:
There are folks that really need the service.
And there are folks that are taking advantage by "gaming the system".
The above-mentioned lady lives in a house in serious disrepair. It's dangerous to walk across her wooden porch to her front door. I'm sure her roof probably leaks.
But some of the homes where I deliver are beautiful and well maintained, with two nice cars in the carport. Why are we delivering meals to these people?
And this is the problem with all these Socialist government-run programs, isn't it?
Yes, we need a safety net for the folks Jesus Christ would have cared for.
But when I'm elected "King of the World" I'll be making some BIG changes in this program.
29 March 2022
28 March 2022
My part of the world is greening up now.
Willow trees. Tulip trees and Dogwoods are in full bloom.
Winter Wheat fields look gorgeous. (And with Ukraine's fields lying fallow the farmers that have wheat and soybeans in the ground have big smiles on their faces today!)
I grew up just South of Indianapolis, Indiana. During my formative years FEW had air conditioning in their cars because most simply thought a few summer months could be survived by simply rolling the car windows down.
And the resulting breeze required a BIG clockwise-twist of the volume knob on the radio!
During the "brass monkey alert" months of January it was this time of year everyone looked forward to.
Windows down meant Spring smells; Spring sounds; and the air hitting you in the face and blowing your hair wasn't uncomfortable.
Today? We isolate ourselves from the world, and we don't have to turn the volume up so loud to hear our Sirius/XM multi-speaker sound systems.
I have FOND memories of windows down AND radio blaring.
Just don't ask me if I'd like to go back there. ;)
23 March 2022
22 March 2022
19 March 2022
For several years I owned a company that was the Training/Sales/Service dealership for Robinson helicopters. In 1990 we purchased a new R22 (like the model pictured above) to use to teach people to fly. In four years we put 2000 hours on that bird and sent it back to the factory for a complete overhaul.
When the rebuild was completed my business partner and I were supposed to go pick the bird up and fly it back to the MidWest. The flight back from California is quite an experience...
Almost 20 hours in the little bird across the desert, through mountain passes, and requiring some fairly high-altitude landings/takeoffs.
A week before the day we were scheduled to pickup our rebuilt helicopter my partner called:
"Something has come up. I cannot make the trip."
I asked... "Do you mind if my Dad fills the empty seat?"
"Sounds like a plan..." he responded.
My Dad was a WWII Veteran and Purple Heart recipient of the Pacific theater, wounded in the Philippines. After the war he used his GI benefits to take flight training. I flew many times with him in various airplanes, from a Piper Super Cruiser he owned to a Stearman Biplane owned by a friend of his.
But he had NO helicopter experience at all. He jumped at the chance to make the trip with me.
The day before departure from home I plunked a new Garmin GPS in his lap...
"Dad, I need you to be familiar with how to use that thing to help me safely get out of the Los Angeles basin. We'll need to pass through the airspace of a BUNCH of airports, and you can help me with directions and radio frequencies."
I set the GPS up on "Demo Mode" and told him, "You cannot break this thing. Play with it and learn how it works until you're comfortable with it."
And I left him alone with the device.
Returning 15 minutes later I saw the GPS laid over on the end table next to his chair.
"So you're comfortable with how to use that thing?"
"No, I was afraid I'd break it."
So we departed with the newly rebuilt R22 from Torrance, California and I was a "one-armed wallpaper hanger" trying to fly/navigate/communicate/avoid getting my ticket pulled until we got East of Corona, California.
Stressful. And yes, I was aggravated with him. But...
We'd approach something on the ground like a Railroad track or a major highway, and as it passed beneath the aircraft he'd look at the display on the GPS and shake his head- marveling at how accurate the device was.
Reaching our destination he asked, "How much does this thing cost?"
And he bought one within a week.
My Old Man hated to be embarrassed. It was the worst thing you could do to him. The new technology scared him and he was frightened he'd make a fool of himself during our flight home.
He WOULD NOT HAVE, but that is beside the point.
That flight home with my Dad took three days.
Three days of sharing airtime with a fellow pilot.
And those days are a memory I would not trade for all the treasure in the world.
16 March 2022
Lola Albright, 1924-2017
Lois Nettleton, 1927-2008
We've been watching a lot of old-time TV lately. "The Fugitive". Alfred Hitchcock's half hour and hour long show. "Route 66". "The Twilight Zone". "Thriller". "The Outer Limits".
It's fun to watch the (first?) appearance of some folks that became BIG stars later in these shows.
You're lookin' at three I had a teenage crush on "back when". And I bet all three vied for the same roles in these shows.
Susan Oliver's life was too short... I think I commented in an earlier post about the amount of smoking in these shows. She was a heavy smoker and died of lung CA.
I was surprised to read she co-piloted the winning aircraft in the 1970 Powder Puff Derby after overcoming a big scare in a commercial aircraft a few years earlier.
All their stories are interesting and worth a little research.
"...we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,
we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
All too many are ignorant of history.
At some point we must say, "NO MORE"...
Or we'll be burying our own human treasure.
14 March 2022
11 March 2022
Twenty minutes in length, and I have questions:
If "the people" have access to information, can leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Castro, Putin, etc. survive?
Will advances in technology finally make warfare so ugly that we learn to get along with our neighbors?
Are we entering an era similar to that portrayed by "Star Trek"?
We live in interesting times!
10 March 2022
A BAD guy.
It can be argued, at one point he RAN Chicago.
But his reach extended way beyond the city limits of Chicago. I have heard stories of conflicts between "Bosses" in St. Louis and Chicago.
About what? Yes, money. But what did that money bring?
Young readers won't remember the TV series "The Untouchables". They MAY remember the movie of the same name starring Sean Connery and Kevin Costner.
Big Al had his tracks pretty well covered. He laundered his money through legitimate businesses. All the nasty stuff... keeping underlings and others under control, was done through subordinates.
They kept his hands clean so he could use some of the money coming into his organization to do philanthropic things. He could appear to be a "Robin Hood" in his neighborhood.
So since he was "clean", the FBI went after his Capos.
And knowing the extent of the funds that were coming into his organization they found a way to get to him via the tax code.
I'm thinking today of Vladimir Putin, and how much his place in this world resembles Alfonse Capone.
Yes, he has lots of money coming into his coffers. But that's not what he really desires.
What he wants is to be considered a player on the biggest stage in the world. A BOSS.
And to show the rest of the world he is a powerful man, Ukraine suffers.
I think he's made a horrific mistake, but right now he's certainly showing he has power.
And we need to figure out a way to stop him. Hurting the Russian people will be counterproductive.
They're NOT our enemy.
I think we must find a way to hurt him through his Capos... his Oligarch friends.
We've started that process. Taking away their spoils will eventually hurt Pootie.
And then I hope at some point Putin says, "Et Tu Brutus"?
(And as an aside, of interest maybe only to me... Capone died on the day I was born.)
09 March 2022
08 March 2022
07 March 2022
A friend of mine got married and had children immediately after High School. He won't admit it, but I know he did it to avoid being drafted and risk being sent to fight in Viet Nam.
I also know he condemned himself to a lifetime of wondering "How would I have reacted in Combat? How would my life be different today had I served my country like so many of my peers?"
He will never know.
The handsome man above is Ukrainian. He's one of the pro dancers from "Dancing With The Stars". Sara Jean and I have enjoyed watching him perform on the show.
When things began to be heated in his home country he flew home to Ukraine. When it was VERY obvious the Russkies were gonna invade, he tucked-tail and flew back to the U.S..
I can't judge him.
But like my friend who got married and became a father immediately after High School, I think he may always feel like a coward. Coming home while his countrymen are fighting (and dying) to protect their friends, family, and country...
He's gonna regret this decision until the day he dies.
05 March 2022
04 March 2022
03 March 2022
I'm watching this conflict with avid interest. When I wake in the morning it is the first thing I check on.
Before I shut the idiot tube off at night it's the last thing I check on. I'm aggravated that there's not a Channel I can turn to and get "up to the minute" news.
I'm now reminded about how "Uncle Ho", when asked "How do you intend to defeat the United States?" responded, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
Watching the way this conflagration is unfolding I now have no doubt this will turn out for Russia much the way our experience in Viet Nam proceeded...
Russian soldiers don't really want to be there.
Ukraines are fighting on their own soil.
Supply lines for Russkies will be a major factor.
World opinion will be a factor.
The Russian people are embarrassed and their input will soon be a major factor.
Sanctions? I'm no expert, but when everyone in Russia begins to feel the pinch, that too will be a factor.
To me, all this means that Putin, feeling like he was leader of one of the World's Superpowers and could do pretty much anything he wanted to do, has soiled his nest.
Russian paranoia is a mental illness for all those old Soviet Union personnel.
Putin needs a face-saving "off ramp".
Can we provide one for him?
I'm wagering he'll end up having a glass of wine with Jeffrey Epstein soon.
28 February 2022
The thought of going to war is exciting.
You train. You become an expert at using your equipment. Using your tool becomes comfortable as putting on an old pair of slippers. You and your buddies, training together, take pride in how well you can do your jobs together. Pride builds in your unit, your division, your country.
You eat, sleep, and share activities like playing cards together. It's all a game, and fun.
And then you go to war.
And you look at your buddy's aircraft burning on the ground. You had breakfast with him this morning.
Now he and his crew chief are burned over much of their bodies. His gunner's body remains in the burning scout bird. That man is dead. REALLY dead.
And that could be you.
It ain't fun anymore.
23 February 2022
It's one of my favorite stories from years ago, written by Brit Veterinarian James Herriot-
An "Upper class" lady called him to put her Boxer to sleep. She had tried everything possible to remedy the problem, but the dog continued to pass gas and embarrass her at her Tea Parties.
The dog was a beautiful, purebred animal, and Herriot asked her if she'd give him time to find a solution to her problem.
After leaving her home he visited an elderly client who was a Veteran of "The Great War". The old Vet owned a really old Irish Setter, eaten up by Cancer. Herriot euthanized the old dog, knowing the impact the dog's death would have on the old man.
And then it struck him-
"Would you consider adopting a pureblooded Boxer, free of charge?"
And the old man agreed to take the dog on a trial basis.
The dog was placed in his new home with hope the change would be good for both man and beast.
Two weeks passed and Herriot decided to pay the old WWI Vet a visit to see how the relationship was faring.
"How's the Boxer doing?"
"Oh Dr. Herriot, he's wonderful! Such great company. I don't know how to thank you!"
And at this point Herriot revealed why the adoption happened in the first place, which elicits wild laughter from the old man...
"You see Doctor, in the war I was involved in a tremendous battle. My eardrums suffered damage as you know because you have to shout at me to be heard. But what you don't know is that I also experienced a "Mustard Gas" attack which permanently damaged my sense of smell.
I cannot hear OR smell this dog's flatulence!"
A PERFECT match.
Now I need your help.
We have adopted a "mostly Chihuahua". He's filling a void in our lives left by the death of our little Lucy.
He's a GOOD BOY, but...
He is gassier than me. The smell of his flatulence would peel paint off walls if he was in close proximity.
I've looked online for help and find nothing. Everything there just says insure he isn't eating trash or anything else he might pick up outside, or a change in his food is suggested.
But he's a really PICKY eater. He's older and his teeth are bad, so we have to feed him canned dog foot. And believe it or not, he turns his nose up at chicken.
I'm hoping one of you has a miracle cure.
I'm NOT deaf. And my sense of smell is still reasonably good.
He absolutely GAGS me about once an hour.
Is there a secret anti-gas fix we can apply?
21 February 2022
When I got the email I didn't recognize the name...
"Hey ****, it's Suzie. Remember me?"
And THAT presents a problem. During my High School years I enjoyed dating two "Suzies". Which Suzie IS this? So I have to play a game and hope for clues.
Both girls were cute as bugs. One had the BIG eyes of a Doe.
As it turned out, "Doe eyes" was the Suzie emailing me.
We corresponded off and on for a while, then set up a reunion with other classmates.
The reunion happened in her home. Ten classmates showed up... most of 'em
I had not seen in almost 40 years. I graduated in a class of 140, and had attended the same school with 70 of those for all 12 years of elementary/High School. We were a close group.
But WOW, how my classmates had changed in 40 years!
Friends are important to me. I LOVE staying in touch with them, knowing what's going on in their lives.
But time ticks away... tick, tick, TOCK.
And when you've not seen someone in a long time, you MUST prepare yourself for what time has wrought.
"Doe Eyes" was now a 65 year old woman, looking NOTHING like I remembered. But the reunion was great, and it took all of 15 minutes for all of us to be perfectly comfortable with one another again.
We've had several reunions since.
And that's the only way for the passage of time to not be a shock.
I recommend LOTS of reunions.
18 February 2022
Lots of controversy about 'em now. I think my fear about buying one is similar to most- Range.
I now get into our car/truck and drive 700 miles+- to Destin, FL. Along the way I'll stop to get fuel at any of a thousand places that can provide it along the route.
EV range IS improving. I think Toyota is now claiming some of their vehicles can almost make that trip.
But "almost" is... almost, not quite, damned near. IF I could stop somewhere along the way and do a simple battery swap in a few minutes, then continue my journey... I'd sure consider buying an EV.
(Unless I lived in California where apparently they'll not be able to recharge their EV's this summer because of their energy shortage. :) )
Battery technology is a hot subject right now. I just heard of something called "Niobium" for the first time.
Do your research.
For YEARS I got outta bed in the morning, drove 90 minutes to work, and did my job.
And HATED having to wake to an alarm.
And then the guy on the "Lead Pilot's" shift got hurt and had to quit. And I volunteered to take his place.
I started working straight nights. My shift started at 1900 hours and ended at 0700 hours. This meant I didn't need to set an alarm clock to go to work. I woke, had a couple cups of coffee, and drove into work.
At work, I practiced "EMS"...
I "Earned Money Sleeping". (And sometimes I was paid for doing more than sleeping.) :)
I LOVED my job. I still miss it like crazy.
I retired in 2013. At first I enjoyed the idle time. But WOW... that gets old in a hurry.
I mostly missed the feeling of helping others.
Here in our little 'burg we have a government-subsidized program similar to the "Meals on Wheels" program.
Three Buses depart the base in the A.M. and go out to retrieve elderly people and bring them back to the base for "Day Care", where they play games, eat a balanced diet, and sometimes go out on field trips.
While these folks are enjoying the time at the base, drivers carry meals out to those in need in remote areas of the county.
Today I took a test to prove I can safely drive one of the Buses that carry elderly passengers to/from the Day Care Center, and transport meals out to folks that need those meals.
I passed the exam.
It fills a niche for me. Delivering these meals once again proves to me how absolutely blessed we are.
Many of these needy people now are younger than me.
So I smile.
And I give folks something they need.
I AM BLESSED, and thankful for my blessings!
But MAN... I hate this early morning crap!
03 February 2022
I'm NO art expert, but I know what I like when I see it.
I've always found Salvador Dali's work interesting.
Picasso? I can do that crap myself.
And the stuff the experts turn up their noses at?
Like Norman Rockwell...
I sure wish I had bought a ton of his work while "experts" were ridiculing it!
01 February 2022
The "bathtub ring"... at Lakes Mead and Powell. If you're not familiar with the situation there, you should do the necessary research. MILLIONS of people's lives will be impacted by water resources in our Southwest region. And I'm once again realizing the truth in the saying "That which cannot continue... won't".
Our Western States are running out of water. It's a question of when, not IF, water will begin to be rationed in Denver, Phoenix, Tucson, L.A., San Diego, and other Southwest cities.
Real Estate prices in Phoenix were crazy. We discussed the water situation with our son and convinced him that NOW would be a great time for the rats to flee the sinking ship.
He sold his home in the Phoenix suburb, put a lump of money in his pocket, and came East to find a new home in the Nashville, TN area where taxes are low, water is plentiful, and aging Mom and Dad are an easy drive away.
Dad is in surprisingly good shape for a 75-yr old man, but Mother is showing early signs of one of those exotic diseases... "Lewy Body Dementia". All things considered, it was a good time for him to move closer to home.
Equity from the sale of his Arizona home gave him the luxury to find a beautiful home in a Nashville suburb big enough for he AND his parents to be comfortable. The home is in a military (Ft. Campbell) community... five bedrooms/3-1/2 baths. We can all live and not draw knives against one another.
A big, empty house needs filling. This Tennessee home is considerably bigger than was his Arizona home where we spent a wonderful six Winters. He/we sold much of the Arizona furniture rather than move it in a big truck halfway across the country. Now we find ourselves shopping for the furniture and accessories that turns a house into a home.
Consignment shops; Goodwill stores; Salvation Army stores; and furniture stores too...
We shop together and try to agree on things we all can live with in the future. (I'm fine. Give me a recliner and a BIG TV, a good coffee pot, and a comfortable place to sleep!) We're getting "there". The big pieces are all in place. Now? Sara Jean and Big Bubba are skirmishing about wall coverings and minor stuff like that.
And I'm in my recliner, Scotch and water at arm's length, watching the "History Channel".
Life is grand.
"PC" means "Politically Correct".
More of my 0300-hr random/scattered thinking this morning about acronyms:
PCB- Panama City Beach.
PCH- Pacific Coast Highway.
PCP- Angel Dust.
PCS- Permanent change of duty station for military personnel.
PCV- Positive Crankcase Ventilation.
This business of waking and lying in bed thinking of crap like this needs to stop!
31 January 2022
Tired of the "same old-same old" that irritates me on the news, we have fallen back on reserve forces-
Our "Roku" device.
Many of the TV offerings that I mentioned in that earlier post have "Classic TV" offerings:
"Twilight Zone". "Alfred Hitchcock", (both his original show and the later hour-long offering of shows that SHOULD have been limited to 30 minutes.) "Thriller". "Route 66". "Naked City". "The Fugitive".
It's such fun to watch these old shows I sometimes watched when I was a kid.
First... incidental cars that pass in the background as the stories unfold. Lots of old Coupes that make me drool. (How wonderful it would be to own one with modern underpinnings!)
A surprising number of Studebakers. And I didn't realize Police Departments used that many "Nash" automobiles back in the 50's. (Wow... those bathtubs were really UGLY!)
Secondly... some of the "bit" players in these old shows are REALLY familiar. I continually find myself asking Sara Jean... "who is that?", then waiting for the credits to roll to reveal it's someone that got famous later.
David Jannsen, playing "Richard Kimble" frequently puts a match to a cigarette during "The Fugitive".
He died at age 48 of lung cancer.
James Franciscus is COOL when he offers nearby actors a cigarette, then lights one up for himself.
He was 57 when he died of emphysema
And the one that really stabs me through the heart:
Rod Serling- (Real name "John Phillips"), a WWII paratrooper, was a chain smoker. Born on Christmas Day of 1924 he collapsed while mowing his lawn in 1975 and died during coronary bypass surgery at age 49.
All of the old stuff we're watching is telecast in black and white. And I am reminded how "normal" smoking was during prior to about 1970. It was the cool, macho thing to do,wasn't it? Just like "Vaping" today!
A couple other things we are noticing:
There are NO new story ideas for dramas. Everything is recycled from back when, and-
Actors are better at their craft today, even though unfortunately, they're regurgitating those old stories.
29 January 2022
We bought this "Roku" device. To use it you MUST have an internet connection. Our internet connection is marginal, and we frequently find ourselves watching the "circling the toilet" symbol while the video we are watching buffers and tries desperately to catch up with us.
Yes, it's irritating. But...
There is stuff on this system that is nothing short of amazing.
Our son gave us access to "Plex". On it he has, literally, a library of over a thousand movies and TV content. A month ago I wrote and asked him to download Ken Burns' "Country Music" miniseries. A day later he wrote me... "Done".
Sixteen hours of country music history, and we binged. Done watching in five nights, we yearned for more.
Another friend gave us (legal) access to his "Sling" account. It's impossible to tell you all that's available there. On it we watch "Fox News", "Fox Business News", "TCM", "Circle", and several other networks important to us.
There's other content on Roku available:
"The Roku Channel" has stuff I cannot even talk about intelligently.
"Stirr"? Same. "Pluto TV"? Ditto.
All good stuff.
I'm the sort that enjoys being educated and entertained at the same time. But this stuff is cutting DRASTICALLY into my book reading time.
Is that a good thing?
What are you spending time watching?
28 January 2022
Let's avoid creating a bunch of trash and mutilated human flesh in Ukraine.
My solution to this problem?
Send a Ukrainian to the ISS, (International Space Station).
There, the Ukrainian and Russian Astronauts can engage in fisticuffs, or arm wrestle, or play a game of "Killer Chess".
Winner of the contest gets to determine what happens in Ukraine, and a BUNCH of lives and equipment don't get wasted stupidly.
27 January 2022
"Judged by the content of character, NOT by the color of their skin."
Biden will make history by nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
NOT... the most qualified for the job.
But a historical first.
Until we stop doing "virtue signalling" stuff, our country will continue to die.
I fear we're already beyond the tipping point.
I hope the Black "woman" he nominates is transgender.
THAT would be historical!
24 January 2022
NONE of this is true. (Maybe):
Our neighbors became guardians of a little girl a couple years ago. Her actual parents care more about chemical substances than they do about the mental and physical health of this little girl, so our neighbors have taken her into their own home.
She's a delightful, smart, active little girl.
She's now FIVE.
Trying to give our neighbors a "now and then break", we've invited this little girl to visit us on Friday nights so our neighbors can go out to eat and enjoy one another's company. The five year old can pretty much wear us out in a few hours. She loves us both, and literally WALLOWS all over us to get our full attention.
We love her to pieces.
Saturday morning after our normal Friday night "Babysitting" job our neighbors called to say they had tested positive for Covid. Is this one of those cases where "No good deed goes unpunished"?
Our plans to head South to spend a few days with our son are postponed for at least five days.
IF... this was a true story we'd be mighty grateful that Sara Jean and I both seem to be immune to most "gallopin' gump" types of infections.
Good thing this is NOT a true story, right? :>)
22 January 2022
Wife and I have been discussing the number of "celebrities" that have been killed in Aviation accidents.
The first one I think of in my limited memory of history is Knute Rockne.
And the list goes on from there.
Buddy Holly, Richie Valenzuela, J.P. Richardson.
Stevie Ray Vaughn.
The above list may not be in proper "timeline" order. But most of 'em were due to stupid Pilot error.
Can you think of, and enumerate, others?
17 January 2022
In July of 1969 I walked outside my hooch in Chu Lai, Viet Nam, looked up at the moon and marveled, knowing Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were looking back at me from there.
In the '70's the Apollo missions included "cars" for our Astronauts to use like the one above so they could explore more of the moon's surface while there. Three of 'em... from Apollo 15, 16, and 17 are still up there.
"Been there, done that"... we began to take these missions for granted and wondered how long it would be before regular service to the moon would be established for us all.
And then? We lost vision. We started looking at costs, and sorta forgot about the cost/benefit analysis.
How would our lives be different today had we not had an Apollo program?
But exciting things are happening today.
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are blazing new trails.
The moon? Mars? Beyond?
It's been 50 years since anything this wonderful has been considered.
I want to go back to the moon and establish a permanent base there. From the moon we can explore asteroids and mine exotic stuff. From the moon we can more easily get to Mars.
And those three "Rovers" are sitting there... not corroding 'cause there's no atmosphere, just waiting for someone to recharge their batteries and take a spin on that surface.
Bring one back home, please.
You'll be the center of attention at any "Classic Car" show!
15 January 2022
Freshly divorced, I needed an escape.
Sister was serving in Key West with the Navy. I owned a Cessna 182 that needed the exercise. My Mother and pilot Father were up for the trip. If anyone would have understood I'd have shouted "Air Trip"!
It was a few days before Christmas, 1976.
I can remember that the weather cooperated during the flight down, during our stay, and during the flight back to the MidWest. Sitting on the beach outside a bar with my Brother-in-law, drinking enough Scotch and Water on the rocks to get a nice buzz while listening to halyards bang against the mast of a dozen Hobie Cats pulled up in the sand is one of my fondest memories.
Another memory... fond, but maybe troubling now, was that my Sister and her husband got an Atari 2600 for Christmas that year.
All were fascinated with it. One or the other of us would sit until the wee hours of the morning playing "Space Invaders" on the game. At some point there would be a "bonus point" target zip across the top of the screen and my Mother would shout "get that 'Googly-Moogly!"
But with the benefit of hindsight I can see-
This was the start of our addiction to playing games instead of going outside to play... whatever.
We have kids in homes all around us here at "Casa Greybeard".
When I was a kid you'd hear us shouting, screaming, laughing while we played in the out of doors.
I hear NONE of that now...
Because kids are indoors shooting Great Googly Mooglies-
And the only part of their bodies getting exercise is their thumbs.
11 January 2022
I heard a (clean) joke that made me laugh this A.M. and wanted to share-
"A Priest, Rabbit, and Baptist minister walk into a bar. The bartender asks, 'What can I get for y'all?'
The Rabbit responds, 'Don't ask me... I'm only here because of autocorrect!'"
09 January 2022
Sara Jean's Father had no idea who his Father was. He even questioned if the woman that raised him was his real Mother. So SJ's lineage is REALLY foggy.
Just before Christmas she had mentioned wanting to do a DNA test to better determine where she came from, heritage-wise. So for Christmas I sent off for one of those kits where you use a swab on the inside of your cheek and send it in for analysis.
The kit arrives tomorrow. I have no idea how long it will take to get results once we send 'em the swab.
My Father's name is a not-uncommon English name.
My Mother's maiden name was VERY German.
My chromosomes are at war with one another, I believe.
08 January 2022
I'm surprised every time it happens-
"That's a neat old truck."
I guess it does look different than the newer Dodge trucks. But is it THAT different?
I bought it because of what ya see here-
3/4 ton. Extended Cab. Two-wheel drive. And powered by the Cummins Diesel built near my boyhood home in Indiana.
The odometer in my truck now registers 260,000 miles+. It still runs strong, burns NO oil, and gets 21 mpg on our Interstate trips. My only complaint with the truck has nothing to do with the truck itself-
It's with the fuel.
Why in the world is Diesel fuel, which takes less trouble to refine than gasoline, more expensive than gasoline?
(Spoiler answer: Taxing Diesel fuel is a simple way for government to pass on expenses to ALL consumers via the amount of it used by 18-wheelers.)
Well, fuel cost is NOT my only complaint about the truck...
When I pull into the drive-up window at a fast food restaurant, our truck is SO noisy I have to turn the engine off for the person in the speaker to hear my order. I HATE drive-up windows!
But I'm still surprised at how many truck lovers notice and comment on my truck.
I've owned it now over 10 years and last week found the email address of the guy I bought it from.
He sold it because it would no longer pass California's strict emission restrictions. I benefited from his problem.
Because of the sound it makes, I named him "GRUMPY".
And I intend to hang on to Grumpy for quite a while.
06 January 2022
We're all watching cable or satellite TV now, so I'm not sure if this happens today-
In my young TV watching days if a network came out with a show that garnered good ratings, the other networks would soon come out with their own imitations.
77 Sunset Strip/Surfside 6/Hawaiian Eye.
Bewitched/I Dream of Jeannie.
The Munsters/The Addams Family.
As a kid, "Lassie" was one of my favorite shows. And I've often wondered-
Did the writers of "Fury", a show with a smart, amazing horse, and "Flipper", a show with a smart, amazing porpoise, watch "Lassie" and simply adjust their scripts to allow their amazing animals to imitate what the amazing Collie did?
Imitation is the most genuine form of flattery, right?
05 January 2022
Ask a Socialist-
They'll tell you the only reason Socialism hasn't worked in the past is because it wasn't implemented correctly. So let's talk about this "DEFUND THE POLICE" movement-
How could it have been better handled so it would have actually worked?
(Please answer quickly. My tongue hurts from being forced over into my cheek this far!)
01 January 2022
I HATE my cell phone.
I sold my business some years ago and since then I mostly carry it in case some sort of emergency happens to me, or around me.
It VERY seldom rings.
Just now it shocked me.
It made a sound for several seconds that was impossible to ignore. I reluctantly picked it up to see what all the racket was about.
"TORNADO WARNING. Take shelter in your basement or in a room in a lower level of your home with no windows."
I know a tornado "Warning" means there is one on the ground somewhere. I looked out the window in my room and the sky was dark, but not particularly foreboding.
I remained in my recliner, goblet of Chardonnay at my right hand, faithful dog snuggled in at my left between my leg and the arm of the chair.
Life is good.
It began to rain.
Wind blustered and blew the rain almost horizontally.
The dog paid no attention whatsoever.
And the emergency(?) passed.
We are just outside Clarksville, Tennessee. HORRIBLE tornadoes passed just Northwest of us here a couple weeks ago destroying many homes; killing many souls.
This heavy rain made me think of how frightened people there must be when cell phones make this obnoxious warning noise.
How many people got this warning? How many people actually were at risk? Like all the Covid warnings we're suffering from these days, is Karen scaring us to control us?
I got out of the recliner and bothered the dog.
I hate to do that. He's "such a GOOD BOY".
But my wine glass needed refilling.