28 February 2022

Thinking of War. Going to War.

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

Dogfarts !

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

"Hey! Remember me?"

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


Electric vehicles.
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.
Exciting stuff.
Do your research.

"Morning Person?" HA!

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.
I drive.
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

Picasso. Dali. Grandma Moses.

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

Turning a "House" Into a "Home"-

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!