08 December 2023
This was one of the bands playing during our cruise aboard "The Norwegian Bliss".
Their performance set me to thinking-
A couple months ago we drove three hours to see a "Chicago" tribute band called "Leonid and Friends".
Over the last couple years we've seen tribute bands doing the music of the "Beach Boys" and "Earth, Wind, and Fire".
A friend has tickets in hand to see an "Eagles" tribute soon. (We cannot go due to a previous commitment.)
"Baby Boomer" music is SO popular... seen in movies and on TV.
How long will it continue to be, seemingly, the most popular music of the land?
25 November 2023
Many government schooled young citizens will see my title and say, "Who? What?"
And isn't that scary?
This cruise through the Panama Canal will take two weeks. I'm not sure whether it's the cruise duration or (like me) the fascination of passing through this historic piece of geography, but there are a LOT of people on this ship speaking a language I don't understand. (And some like the guy I chatted with yesterday from South Africa that my damaged ears can only understand with considerable difficulty.)
He was interesting. Born and raised in England, he has worked as a mechanical engineer in South Africa since 1970. So he's seen some **it unfold there. He's VERY worried about the election that is upcoming in a year and thinks it likely the several black tribes there will go to war with one another over control of that country. Asked why South Africa has not gone the way of Rhodesia he said, "Mandela... he was so admired, the people were willing to be patient for change. Now his influence is gone".
With all the actual "hot" spots and potential hot spots popping up around the world and here in the U.S. it's easy to see the boogeyman behind every bush. But when you're on a boat with interesting people from all around the world and (unprovoked) conversation gradually slides into the possibility of Civil War, it's easy to fear the shadows behind those bushes. And this ship is FULL... I can't help wondering if a lot of folks are now sailing to "eat dessert while it's available".
Wars have started over Soccer games.
Does anyone remember why that Serbian Dude shot Archduke Ferdinand and what happened afterward?
Sadly, few do.
23 November 2023
Thanksgiving Day 2023-
We are in Port in Manzanillo, Mexico on the "Norwegian Bliss".
In the Cruise Director's initial welcome talk we were informed just over half of the 4000 "guests" here are U.S. Citizens. When we booked this trip we figured there'd be some semblance of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and that assumption was correct. The daily newsletter that tells us what activities to expect on the ship says there'll be plenty of Turkey and trimmings.
(Sara Jean will be looking to see if there are Deviled Eggs... one of HER family's Thanksgiving staples. ;>) )
As always I'll point out that we need to thank GOD for the folks out there at work, away from their loved ones on this day.
Lots of personnel at Niagara Falls will be hard at work today.
To my like-minded readers-
I've come to know and care for MANY of you. I hope this holiday leaves you smiling.
To those who are not like-minded-
Look at the world you are voting for. What the HECK is wrong with you?
20 November 2023
The first day on a cruise ship is almost always frenetic. There are 4000 guests and 1600 workers on this boat, so when it left the dock it was like a small town sailing away. The "Norwegian Bliss" feels HUGE. Finding your stateroom, then getting a feel for "lay of the land" on the ship is disorienting and takes awhile. By the time you're ready to hit the hay you're tired.
I needed a shower. Our bathroom is fabulous... LOTS of room.
But the shower itself has two knobs- the top one is a multi-position thingy that allows you to direct spray from four different places in the stall. The bottom lever selects the water temperature and how much pressure you want directed to your body.
To say the least, it was confusing.
So I'm standing in the stall trying to figure out what to do with each lever, wishing I had an "on/off/hot/cold" system. Symbols on the levers were impossible to read without my glasses so I grabbed 'em. They immediately fogged up from previous attempts to make the system work for me.
And then my glasses fell off my face and the right lens popped out onto the shower floor.
This is "slapstick comedy" stuff, except I'm pretty useless without my glasses these days so I ain't laffin'.
I grabbed the lens from the shower floor and held it in place while I finally sorted out this Rube Goldberg shower system.
Ya have to have the glasses off your face to study them-
Is that tiny screw still hanging on them? It's hard to tell.
In the morning I go to the med clinic hoping someone there can help.
In Filipino English - "Go to the Gift Shop. They may be able to help you there."
I ask for Scotch tape and tape the lens in place.
I look like a Goober :>) but that's okay. I can SEE.
The Gift Shop won't open until 1000 hours so we go upstairs for breakfast.
Sitting at the table Sara Jean says "Let me see your glasses".
"The screw is just sitting there on them!"
Then "Oops, I dropped it!"
What are the chances we'll find this tiny screw on a multi-colored carpeted floor?
It's literally "A needle in a haystack".
Seeing Sara Jean on hands and knees 'neath our table... the gentleman in the table adjacent hands her his phone, flashlight on.
One of the attendants cleaning tables joins the search beneath our table.
"HERE IT IS!" he shouts, holding the tiny piece of metal between thumb and forefinger.
Now all I have to do is find a jeweler's screwdriver.
19 November 2023
"I'm sittin' in a railway station, got a ticket for my destination..."
And yet, even with ticket in hand, we stood on the platform and sadly watched as our train departed the station.
In 1987 our son was 4 years old and he was enthralled with trains. EVERY TIME he saw a train he forced us to stop and watch until it completely passed us by. When I had a school I needed to attend in Los Angeles we thought, "We have to make the trip anyway. How thrilled would he be if he got the chance to ride ON the train?!" I reserved a "Deluxe Bedroom" car, and we had everything we needed for the trip-
Room, board, and transportation to our destination. We made some wonderful memories on that trip. The food was nothing short of fabulous. The scenery out West was also wonderful. We met some very nice people who quickly got on a first-name basis with our son. And we ended up with many stories to relate.
Now it's 36 years later. We're taking our son on a cruise through the Panama Canal as a birthday gift. He only remembers the long ago train ride through the photos we took along the way. Why not repeat that trip on the way to board that big boat?
The First leg of the trip was on an Amtrak commuter to Kansas City to meet the train headed from Chicago to L.A.. After a long day we were overjoyed to hear our transport to L.A. had arrived. We were anxious to hit that bed. Standing on the platform ready to board our first indication of trouble was the shake of the head of the conductor looking at our phones displaying our tickets-
"Someone canceled these in September."
"Is there another bedroom available?"
He replies, "I'm sorry. No."
So the three of us stood dejectedly watching the train and our bed disappear down the tracks.
Now what? We have three days and two nights to spend in a town we had no intention of visiting.
Kansas City is a nice town. It's NICER if you have wheels.
09 November 2023
Safe. Legal. Rare.
The abortion issue MAY have the country divided almost exactly in half.
So politically, discussing it really is a NO WIN situation.
I'm "pro life". To me that means I am anti- "baby killing".
To the day I die I'll try to keep "tissue" from being thrown into the trash.
But the thing that pisses me off most?
I think the last statistic I saw indicated that more black babies were aborted than born in NY City last year.
How many of those were at taxpayer expense?
This is evil.
I don't want my tax dollars being spent for what I consider an EVIL outcome.
07 November 2023
THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE DIED on 11Sep 2001.
The blood of all those innocents is on the hands of 19 killers and the Muslim leaders that planned this attack.
They were in plain sight in our midst and we ignored the evil they presented.
Nineteen evil people.
How many of the "Gotaways" that have crossed our Southern border are equally evil?
How many of those equally would love to see the destruction of our country, our freedoms?
We have NO IDEA how much Cancer is now growing in our towns and cities.
The thought of it scares anyone with a lick of sense to death.
And I am irritated with my neighbors who voted for "Open Borders" Biden.
To me, they'll all be COVERED in the blood of our neighbors when (not IF) the next event happens.
I'm glad I don't live in a major city.
Be a good Boy Scout.
To the extent possible, please be prepared.
21 October 2023
The year 1863 was a big turning point in our Civil War. In the West U.S. Grant realized shutting down the South's ability to use the Mississippi for resupply would cripple them. To that end he laid siege to the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, using artillery to continuously shell the town. That resulted in Men, Women, and children digging caves to survive, denying the Rebels ammunition, and forcing soldiers and civilians to go hungry for seven weeks until they finally surrendered.
Of course there was wailing and gnashing of teeth from civilians in the North because of how inhumane this treatment was...
NAH, forget that!
The North wanted to win! They rejoiced when Vicksburg surrendered.
Tecumseh Sherman used a "scorched earth" policy in his "March to the sea" in the East, making life as miserable as possible for the enemy stating "War is Hell", bringing an end to hostilities.
WINNING was the goal.
In World War II, Allied forces in Europe used incendiary bombs to annihilate the town of Dresden, killing (hundreds of?) thousands.
The firebombing of Tokyo yielded more deaths than dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
And then there ARE some questions about the necessity of using "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" to end the war, (although most of those questions are now "Monday Morning Quarterbacking").
Few questioned our actions in 1945.
Back then we WANTED to win.
What has happened to us since?
In Korea we fought with one hand tied behind our back.
Same thing in MY WAR, Viet Nam.
It seemed we didn't want to hurt our enemy "too badly".
Our military actions now seem to drag on forever, likely resulting in more casualties on both sides of the shooting.
Our weak "leadership"... our country is now being tested all around the world.
It's time for BIG change.
Remember in November.
16 October 2023
"Let's get your height and weight" said the Physician's Assistant.
"Okay", says my beautiful wife.
"You're 5 feet 7 inches" says the P.A..
"That's NOT POSSIBLE!" exclaims my spouse.
"Well, let's check it again".
And the numbers didn't change.
When I met her 43 years ago she was 5 feet 11 inches tall, blonde, and all legs. In MOST stores she was easy to find because she was taller than the goods displayed in the aisles... all I had to do was look for that blonde hair over there across the store.
Somewhere along the way in that four decades she has lost 4 inches, (mostly in her neck).
Apparently this is not unusual.
Now I'M frightened to get on the scale and be measured...
I was a little "vertically challenged" to begin with!
13 October 2023
I'm trying to imagine the horrible situation Israelis are now facing. They're now realizing the only way forward is to eliminate HAMAS as a threat, but that means the almost certain death of many innocent hostages being held by these barbarians.
I'm reminded of the Lifeboat reality-
When your Lifeboat is at capacity and another survivor appears needing to be saved you have a horrible decision to make that is really no decision at all-
Letting another into the boat will result in losing all.
So unfortunately, the latecomer must drown.
Protecting their homeland, Israelis will have to accept the fact many hostages will be murdered or will be killed while the IDF bombs make the world safer for everyone. Watching this unfold will be heartwrenching.
Our world is upside-down.
08 October 2023
06 October 2023
Knowing what was "Possible", some time ago I started reading what happened in Argentina when the economy collapsed there, and I can actually begin to see similar events happening here.
One of the things our Marxist/Socialist/Communist brethren don't realize is this:
When the Zombie Apocalypse happens here and we are shooting at one another, what will happen to Social Services?
Your family is threatened by blood sucking parasites, will you stay at your job?
No. We used to talk about this at work:
If my family was threatened at home, that EMS helicopter was gonna be unstaffed. I will be home putting rear sight behind front sight.
The sick and injured that need the helicopter?
So sad. Too bad!
And do you think the folks that provide water when you turn the tap...
Electricity when you flip the switch...
Think they will be there when their families are in danger?
(Consider Chicago O'Hare right now. How long will those "undocumenteds" remain calm if they start getting hungry?)
We are stepping into uncharted territory here.
Pray for the best.
Prepare for the worst.
And watch ALL the news to know what is unfolding around you.
04 October 2023
"Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst."
My preparations may be for nothing because against Zombies my home is likely indefensible. I've taken the attitude that before I die I intend to make the world a better place by taking out as many brain-dead people as I can before I'm taken out.
I'm just glad I don't live in New York, Chicago, Baltimore, etc..
"Prepper!" has been a term used in a derogatory fashion by people smarter and better than me...
I'm hearing it used much less frequently these days.
And I smile.
A currency with which you can barter with your neighbors.
And a means to keep Zombies from stealing your preparations.
Hope for the best. But be a good Boy Scout.
02 October 2023
18 September 2023
A teacher is someone you normally hold in high esteem.
If they're good at their job they give you information you can use to make your life better...
And that information may put money in your pocket, or even be used to save your life.
I suspect we've all had some good teachers and some not-so-good teachers.
I certainly have.
My first (primary) teacher/instructor in flight school was a Viet Nam Veteran, and he was a GOOD teacher. He taught me for two months and from him I learned the basics of flying a helicopter.
I learned quickly, and he sent me solo around the traffic pattern before most of my classmates.
My next instructor at Ft. Wolters, TX was NOT such a good teacher.
He was also a Viet Nam Veteran. But for the next two months I had to deal with a guy shouting and belittling me while I tried to learn the more advanced stuff I needed to know; (formation flying and confined area landings and takeoffs.)
In spite of his abusive instruction I satisfactorily completed the course.
And at the end of the course it was customary to gift your instructor with a bottle of the good booze of his choice.
I don't remember what "bad instructor" wanted as his gift. Heck, I don't even remember his name.
I DO remember he invited me and my "stick buddy" to a get-together at his apartment in Dallas, almost an hour's drive from Mineral Wells, Texas.
The two of us showed up at bad instructor's home and the caps from several bottles of alcohol were removed.
"Ever hear of 'Screamin' Meemies?'" asks bad instructor.
I had not. Nor had my stick buddy.
Turns out Screamin' Meemies is sort of a party game. A "shot" of alcohol is poured into a metal shot glass. A match is hovered over the shot of booze until it is set afire. Then the object of the game is to drink the shot of burning (whatever), then lick the bottom of the shot glass clean so that no drip of the alcohol will fall from the shot glass if it is inverted. If the shot glass drips, the procedure must be repeated.
I failed at the task until I finally realized how much trouble I was in and refused to play anymore.
By the time we left bad instructor's apartment I could barely walk to my new Oldsmobile 442 even though I had an hour's drive to get back to my home.
I don't remember much about that drive. I did not get stopped by police. I did not hurt myself or anyone else.
Without a doubt this sort of behavior happened MANY times to those of us headed to Viet Nam.
Without a doubt MANY of my contemporaries didn't make it to Viet Nam due to this sort of stupidity inflicted on us by "bad instructors".
Four months later I finished my flight training and was awarded my Silver Wings. A year later, upon completion of my tour in Viet Nam
I returned to Savannah, Georgia as a Flight Instructor.
I hope I was NOT a bad teacher..
15 September 2023
I really don't even know how we got here.
I'm married to a woman who has a heart as big as all outdoors.
We live next door to a family that has extended family with, shall we say, "normal difficulties" of life today. These neighbors have taken in a 6 year old girl that is smart as a whip, but to this point has learned some "street wise" means of survival. She's not only smart. She's cute as a newborn speckled pup.
And my wife has fallen in love with her.
I suppose I have too.
She calls Sara Jean "Grammy".
I'm "Poppy". When she wants something she bats her eyes at me and smiles.
And my heart melts.
She went to kindergarten half a day last year in government supported schools and apparently purported herself VERY well. The idea she'd be subjected this year to the indoctrination of our Public School system made me a little sick to my stomach.
Sara Jean and I discussed options.
Last year we donated to what we consider "worthwhile" charitable organizations. I contacted my tax preparer and was surprised to find my contributions had NO impact on my taxable income.
So we decided our contribution this year would be detoured to a more local charity-
We will try to insure this wonderful little human being will get an education free from government indoctrination.
We will pay her tuition at a local Christian School.
She's been in school a month now. She brings her schoolwork to us for review. The work we see as a result and her obvious intelligence bring tears to our eyes
It's a small step. Financially for us it's one of those things:
We'll have to deny ourselves somewhat, but we feel we're planting seeds that will bear good fruit in the future.
We're tired of watching the destruction of our values.
For us, this is a way to "dig our heels in" and say... NO MORE!
12 September 2023
11 September 2023
"Sure", I responded, and followed her out the front door.
There I found my wife with a hammer, some tacks, and Old Glory.
She proceeded to place the Stars and Stripes as shown above then said, "Tack it up there for me."
And I did.
Initially I was uncomfortable with the display. But after watching my president(?) suggest we all "Go to bed",
I think the concern she wants to portray is more than valid.
If we all stand by and let this lunacy continue, we deserve the whuppin' we're gonna get.
My Wife says, "Speak up. It's time!"
05 September 2023
This whole subject drives me a little crazy. I'm sure I've written about this previously but I don't remember getting a satisfactory answer to my question:
The same sort of "scientist" that is now suggesting we need to make drastic changes to our lifestyle to avoid a future catastrophe will tell us that 10,000 feet of glacier ice covered the ground I now live on here in the MidWest millions of years ago.
No humans existed back then... What melted that ice?
Dinosaur farts I guess.
30 August 2023
When we see photos of street traffic in Havana, Cuba I'm always amazed. Only the very rich (and politically connected) can afford new cars there. For the most part the newest autos you see there are pre- Castro takeover of the country, meaning almost all are vintage 1959 or earlier. The folks that own those old cars have to be incredibly ingenious to keep them on the road. How many miles does the '54 Chevy leading that line in the above photo have on the odometer?
On our leftie coast California has now mandated that NO automobiles with internal combustion engines will be sold in that State after 2035. Granted, that's a long way off, and there may be really wonderful improvements in technology that will actually make electric vehicles utilitarian by that time. But that will not only require changes in the cars themselves... California's electric grid will have to be drastically improved to service that increased electric consumption.
We're already seeing a change in the automobile sales market. Manufacturers, unable to sell the electric cars they are producing are jacking up the prices of gasoline powered cars to make up the shortfall.
That extra expense is having a ripple effect in that consumers are holding onto their older cars longer.
There's also been an increase in the price of USED cars because of it.
Our socialist government thinks they are doing what is best for us peons.
But the free market system knows better!
22 August 2023
Lately I've been watching videos of "Stolen Valor" by a Navy Seal by the name of Don Shipley.
During the videos Don's language frequently puts me off, but I certainly understand his frustration.
He claims that so far he has exposed 9000 fakers claiming to be Seals.
I believe him. As a Viet Nam Veteran helicopter pilot I too have had many experiences where I met people claiming to have been Huey pilots in Viet Nam, whose claims completely fall apart when details of their service are questioned.
Until recently I thought "Stolen Valor" was simply an irritation I had to put up with. But after watching Don's videos I've learned that IF anything of value is gained by the false claims, that is a CRIME. (That includes that 10% discount at "Hardee's!)
Pictured above is one of the sitting Senators of Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal.
Little Richard campaigned as a Viet Nam Veteran and won his election. I vomit a little in my mouth every time I see him on TV because he NEVER served in Viet Nam.
This fact is now common knowledge.
Little Richard has apologized for misspeaking.
Can winning an election to the U.S. Senate be considered gaining a thing of value due to Stolen Valor?
I think so.
Why is this liar still in the Senate?
If you have the stomach for it, search YouTube for "Don Shipley Stolen Valor".
19 August 2023
18 August 2023
17 August 2023
10 August 2023
PBS is running a blurb about the people who are "anxious" about how climate change in the world is impacting them.
How sad. I'm not sure my input would make them feel any better-
The population of China is now (about) 1,500,000,000.
The population of India is now (about) 1,500,000,000.
Total population of those countries: 3 BILLION SOULS.
Population of the U.S.? ONE TENTH of that total.
China is opening a new COAL FIRED powerplant every week.
The people of India burn cow dung, (they pick it up free off the street) to prepare their meals and heat their abodes.
They are NOT signatories to any agreement to control climate change.
Ever hear the term "Drop in a bucket"?
Our worries about climate change accomplish little to nothing.
I refuse to worry about it.
09 August 2023
Some years ago I registered with the Veteran's Administration "just because" I MAY have been exposed to Agent Orange. Since registering I have been subjected to a semi-annual checkup with them that is pretty thorough. Today was my day to pee in the bottle and have blood samples taken.
Frankly, it is downright freaky what they can tell about your health just by examining the fluids they take.
Today I got poked in both arms. My blood-taker started taking the sample in my right arm, then blew that vein and had to finish taking the necessary sample from my left arm.
My only complaint about this whole procedure?
I feel guilty walking into the facility-
Upright; with no walking aids; and all my extremities intact.
As a Purple Heart recipient I know I am blessed. And that knowledge makes me DOUBLY blessed.
06 August 2023
(Might as well start off with the lede.)
TEN THOUSAND BTU's sounds like a lot. But maybe we needed 20K?
When I ordered the unit, (if you're in the dark, drop down several posts until you see the photo of something that looks vaguely similar to R2D2), I thought it was about the same size as our son's unit.
It ain't. His is at least half-again bigger.
And because of that fact, it's sort of like General Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn-
Part of the limiting factor is the "exhaust tube". Obviously, the hot air has to be transported OUTSIDE. The tube to accomplish that is an accordion-style plastic tube about 8 feet long. The only place we can position the unit is in our bathroom, blowing TOWARD our bedroom. The tube is not long enough to allow us to place the unit all the way into our bdrm. Also the tube itself, carrying the hot air, gets... HOT.
So it does an excellent job of cooling the room it is in... the master bath.
The master bedroom? I suppose it might drop the temp there a degree or two.
So IF you have been waiting on this update to determine whether or not to follow our example, some suggestions:
1. Do your research on where you can place the unit, including the positioning and length of the exhaust tube.
2. As we used to say while playing Pinochle in Viet Nam- "Go BIG or stay home!"
When you hear "size is not important", don't believe it.
02 August 2023
Delivering "Meals on Wheels" we have one stop that inevitably pisses me off:
The dog is chained to it's dog house. It's been chained there so long all the grass within the length of the chain is gone exposing bare soil that turns to mud when it rains. Because of that she ALWAYS needs a good bath.
She's being fed and watered, but I think that's the extent of the care she gets from her "owners".
The dog is a sweetie. I'm guessing she's a Samoyed mix. When I pull up in the van to deliver the client's meal she perks up. She knows I'm going to not only pay attention to her, I always give her a Milk Bone treat.
I'm just sad I can only brighten her day on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I've never understood how anyone can do this to an animal. I've pretty much had dogs and cats ALWAYS in my life. My exposure to them has shown me that they are all individuals with separate personalities. But one thing has pretty much remained constant with them all-
They are loyal and devoted to us. And some of them (the dogs) would willingly give their lives trying to protect us. Seeing this dog chained in the mud breaks my heart.
Our Chihuahua mix "Chico" passed away Sunday night. The post below this one will update you as to why. Losing him was... beyond hard.
Burying him was harder.
While I was present at home he was stuck to me like an extremity.
Getting accustomed to his absence is gonna take a while. Right now I'm seeing him everywhere, anytime something moves near me. Tears come easily.
When they die it hurts like heck.
But the memories of good times and the love he shared are irreplaceable.
31 July 2023
Last Wednesday I was walking "Chico" our Chihuahua-mix on a leash.
I knew he needed a bathroom break and didn't intend to keep him out long because the ambient temp was HOT. I felt a tug on the leash and turned around to find him lying on his right side on the concrete, motionless. Not breathing.
I quickly grabbed him up and started rubbing his chest. Breathing resumed, but something was still wrong.
He seemed confused, and his rear legs didn't seem to be working properly. I walked him into a shady area near a tree and he tried to hike his leg, gave up on the idea, and peed while standing on all four.
Back in the A/C he acted more normal but behaved as if he was exhausted. I'd seen this kind of behavior before in a former girlfriend's (old) miniature poodle who had frequent epileptic seizures. That dog finally had an event he never recovered from. The rest of the day Chico was listless, and although not interested in food, he did drink water.
Thursday morn, he seemed normal. Sara Jean let him out for his morning "takin' care o' business" and he was fine until his buddy the neighbor's dog showed up. He then repeated the "falling over onto his right side" scary behavior.
This time he didn't recover so quickly. More confusion, and attempts to stand him on all four legs was impossible- his back legs wouldn't support him.
This dog adopted us as an adult so we have NO idea how old he is.
The Vet's best guess is that he's 13 or 14 yrs old. But he's been so spry 'til now we're slapped in the face now knowing age has likely caught up with him. And us.
Now it's Sunday. Eating has resumed, sorta. He drinks every few hours. He can shakily stand and walk on all four but pees while standing. No pooping so far. He "fidgets" constantly.
We are dog lovers. We've been on-and-off in tears knowing what we are facing here... if not right now, certainly in the very near future.
This dog is an extension of my body when I'm not moving-
At my left side when I'm in the recliner; snuggled into the crook of my legs when in bed. I feel his warmth ALL DAY.
We went down this same road with our Lucy some years back. I'm not sure we've fully recovered after all these years from that experience.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Remind me... what is the definition of insanity? :>(
28 July 2023
Our neighbor has a flock of chickens and provides us fresh eggs at a very reasonable price.
We also get, at NO COST, the benefit of knowing when it is about 0400 hours +-.
He had a beautiful Rooster like the one pictured above.
I say HAD, because our neighborhood also abounds in Raccoons, Opossums, Coyotes, and Foxes.
Those critters are devious, and hungry.
The beautiful alarm clock disappeared, but has been replaced by one that looks like "Foghorn Leghorn."
You might need to research that name if you're not near my age.
26 July 2023
Happening more frequently now-
At 3 A.M. she sits bolt upright in bed.
Her rapid intake of breath tells me she's frightened again.
"What's the matter Honey?"
She's looking at her pillow-
"THERE'S BUGS ALL OVER THE BED!"
I sweep my arm where she's indicating and say, "See, there's nothing there."
"YOU'RE SPREADING THEM ALL OVER!"
"No honey, look. There's nothing there."
Still frightened, she stares down at her pillow for a while, confused.
Eventually the bugs disappear. She lays back down and quickly goes back to sleep.
My heart is pounding.
I lie for over an hour thinking about how I don't like what I see in our future.
24 July 2023
Wow, was I excited when I found out this series was going to air!
I imagined the show would be similar in scope to "Route 66" with Bronson riding the Harley Sportster all around the country, (I have a bunch of seat time on the Sportster), taking the starring role away from the Corvette in Route 66.
Close. But no cigar.
The problem for me was "attention to detail".
I never saw Buzz and Todd trying to compete with the 'Vette in a World Rally competition!
Bronson not only rode the Sportster on the highway, which it was perfectly suited for, but with it he supposedly competed in Motocross and other similar events-
Enduros. Hare/Scrambles. Hill climbs.
And those of us that truly knew bikes could tell instantly that Bronson no longer was straddling a Harley Sportster!
What a shame... all the producers needed to do to keep the series credible was have Bronson borrow a bike from someone on which to compete at the different locations.
But still, I watched.
And sometimes gagged.
21 July 2023
This is the opinion of an outsider.
Yes, Artificial Intelligence may be a big factor here. But it ain't the only one.
In my lifetime Hollywood has ALWAYS been synonymous with quality movie-making. Now and then, some foreign movie maker would come up with a product that hit the charts here in the U.S..
Now, our Hollywood studios are trying, apparently, to turn out stuff that won't offend anyone.
"The Little Mermaid" is a hybrid fish/human of color.
"Snow White and the Seven Magical People" is just... sad.
Many experts I respect are willing to talk about how the "Star Wars" series of movies is just... crap;
A "Silk Purse" turned into a Sow's Ear.
And in this environment the people that make movies stop even producing this substandard entertainment.
Other than Artificial Intelligence, there are some BIG factors that might come into play here:
"Bollywood" is now producing entertainment that more people are talking about. And something that I was unaware of until the past weekend-
Nigeria is now an entertainment market that is bursting at the seams.
Much of the stuff we now watch is produced in Canada. You might be surprised to find how much of the stuff you consume has been produced in Vancouver, B.C..
As I said, I'm no expert on these matters. But it seems to me this strike comes at a very dangerous time.
When the "Horseless Carriage" began to be a real thing, the folks making Buggy Whips lost the majority of their market. Time, technology, (and markets) move on.
I think these writers and actors now find themselves living in "Interesting times!"
14 July 2023
Yep, it's HOT.
So hot, the world will likely end by August 15th, 2023.
(Or maybe the 16th at the latest.)
But we want to be comfortable until we die and slowly mummify.
Until a couple years ago Big Bubba lived in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Regular readers may remember we once spent a while there and saw 123 degrees F. reported as the high temperature.
Yeah, it's a dry heat.
So is your oven.
His home A/C system couldn't handle that kinda heat. It ran ALL DAY LONG and would not cool his upstairs bedroom to the point he could sleep well. Together we went to Lowe's Home Improvement and I purchased, and together we installed a small window unit to cool his bedroom.
For about a year this worked satisfactorily.
And then KAREN from the Homeowner's Association noticed the unit hanging out his bedroom window... (which took some doing because it was on the side of the home), and wrote to tell him that was against the rules and would have to be removed.
So what now?
How to cool his bedroom to comfortable sleeping temperature without the assistance of a unit that pisses Karen off hanging out his bedroom window?
The answer to that question is shown in the photo above.
That's 10,000 British Thermal Units of cooling power shown there brothers and sisters!
(Make manly grunting noises here.)
It resides in the center of the room being cooled with a hose that exhausts the hot air to the outside of the home mostly without having anything visible for Karen to complain about. If she notices the plate that holds the (nearly invisible) hose in the window, that plate can be easily removed and the window closed while the unit is not in use, then repositioned at night when Karen is home drinking her Cabernet, not irritating her neighbors.
It worked GREAT. The unit was surprisingly affordable; worked FAR better than the window unit; and served the additional purpose of providing White Noise for my son which he needed anyway.
It was so efficient we noticed, since cold air is more dense than warm, that conditioned air from his bedroom actually did a decent job of cooling the downstairs of his home.
So now we are enjoying pretty high temperatures here in the Midwest. Our Air Conditioner here at home now runs virtually all day trying to keep our home comfortable.
So yes I'm old. But this old dog still learns lessons.
We just bought a unit like Big Bubba's for $400. Our plan is to set the whole-house thermostat at about 75-80 degrees and use the unit to cool our upstairs bedroom with hopes we'll see the same results we saw in Arizona to our living area downstairs.
Amazon will deliver the unit in a week.
Stay tuned. I'll letcha know how it works.
04 July 2023
27 June 2023
The video below is about a couple dealing with dementia. Husband Jason is a medically retired Air Force Officer who was involved in an IED incident. His brain injury MAY be part of why he is now experiencing symptoms of dementia. Until recently it was thought his memory problems were caused by "Lewy Body" dementia, the same disease we now think is affecting Sara Jean.
But tests now are casting doubt on Jason's Lewy Body diagnosis so he and wife Leslie, (a Registered Nurse now retired so she can devote 24/7 attention to Jason) are trying to figure out what Jason's problem really is.
In the video you get a solid feeling for the frustrations Leslie feels dealing with the disease. 'Til recently, anytime Leslie turned on the camera Jason "turned on the charm" to appear funny and normal. They call it "Showtime".
...Not so much in this video.
Leslie talks about her loneliness because she's losing her lifetime partner. This, so far, is NOT my problem with Sara Jean. She has always been a "talker". And when I am home she has always wanted to be in the same space I occupy.
Leslie talks about every dementia case being different, so I'm left to wonder how my/our lives will unfold as Sara Jean's disease progresses.
Yesterday morning I filled both our coffee cups, handed hers to her, and sat down to watch the morning news. Five minutes later she asked, "Do you need coffee?" Then realizing her memory has failed her she's embarrassed.
I fear she'll no longer be embarrassed soon.
Pray for us and ALL suffering from the different forms of this disease, please.
23 June 2023
I'm fishing for information from someone who knows more than I do.
The "Titan" apparently imploded on its way to visit the Titanic last week, killing its occupants in about .11 seconds.
That fact means they likely didn't even have the time to THINK "uh-oh" before they were vaporized.
My question is about "carbon fiber", stuff about which I need an education. I know it is VERY strong. I know it is light compared to other materials. And I know it is expensive, (but not as expensive as say, titanium, a fact that may enter into the cause of death of those five souls.)
Here's my query:
The pressure vessel on that sub was being subjected to MASSIVE compression forces. I think that carbon fiber hull would have been much stronger in the other direction- expansion from inside to out.
Seems to me strength against compression in this case is the wrong application of the material.
15 June 2023
Some years ago our mailbox and ALL the mailboxes on our street were destroyed by someone, (probably exuberant youths). Since this was the second time this had happened I was exasperated. To replace our box I bought a box made of very heavy-duty plastic that snapped together like a kit.
That box lasted undamaged until today when my wife returned from an errand and asked, "Have you seen our mailbox?"
I had not. It was in several pieces alongside our road.
I just returned from snapping our "kit" mailbox back together.
"I just published a post supporting President Trump on my FaceBook page" says she. "I'm sure that's the reason someone did this to us", says she.
"Paranoid", thinks me, (but wanting to maintain peace in our household I kept my thoughts to myself.)
But isn't it a shame that that thought even occurs to us? And it certainly falls within the realm of possibility.
Today you cannot put a conservative bumper sticker on your car without having to worry about your vehicle being keyed! I'm no longer comfortable with my world. Heck, I'm no longer comfortable in my own neighborhood.
I'm ready for the "reset", even though that will be ugly.
10 June 2023
The "24 Hours of Le Mans" is being run today. As a BIG racing fan this is an important day for me. "Motor Trend TV" is broadcasting the race in its entirety.
The wonderful unfolding stories during this endurance race interest me.
"Racing improves the breed" has always been the mantra, and it's certainly true. For years enthusiasts have pointed to Ray Haroun's use of a rear-view mirror in the first Indy 500.
The photo above depicts two Cadillacs that were campaigned in the 1950 Le Mans race by a sportsman named Briggs Cunningham. The strange looking beast was aptly nicknamed "Le Monstre" by the locals and, with special aerodynamic alterations to the body, was purposely designed to just go FAST. The other was a relatively stock 1950 "Series 61" Cadillac Sedan.
And the "unfolding stories" I referred to?
Cunningham crashed "Le Monstre" and retired it from the event.
The old Cadillac Sedan soldiered on, and "Grandpa's car" finished 10th overall ahead of the specialty-for-the-race built "Le Monstre" which came in 11th.
For differential speed and safety reasons, there basically are three classes of cars that now race at Le Mans.
Yes, it makes the race safer.
But does it make the event more interesting?
Not to me.
06 June 2023
I just want to be up front... right here... right now-
I THANK GOD for California, New York, and right here in Illinois... Chicago for being "Sanctuaries".
While our country tries to figure out if it wants to be a "Sovereign", those sanctuaries are taking it in the third point of contact.
(And maybe you have to be military... maybe even ARMY to understand that reference. Look it up.)
Damn I'm glad I live downstate in "MAGA" country!
04 June 2023
We ate a free breakfast this morning in the La Quinta Inn in Miramar Beach, Florida, after a week's stay here. Our stay here has been "as usual" for June...
Great weather. One of the most beautiful beaches in the world. HORRIBLE traffic, because Destin is no longer a "best kept secret". Road construction in several areas cannot keep up with the number of people coming here to stay.
This hotel is full.
No one eating breakfast with us is speaking English.
Me: "When we were in Greece I wonder how the Greeks felt about all the folks there speaking English?"
She: "We weren't there to STAY."
Another brilliant insight from my better half.
26 May 2023
In May of 1966 Uncle Sam decided my services were desperately needed to insure the U.S. Army could continue to do the good work it was doing all around the world.
"Greetings!", the letter said.
It then detailed when and where I was to report for duty.
Born into a family where virtually all my Uncles served, any thought of avoiding the draft by running to Canada never entered my mind. So I reported to the recruiting center in Indianapolis at the designated time and date.
Although I resented being enslaved by my government I decided to make "lemonade out of lemons" whenever I could. And having heard my Father at age 39 say, "If I had stayed in the ARMY I'd be retiring now with a nice pension", I also decided unless I absolutely HATED the ARMY I would stick it out.
I retired after serving 22+ years. I felt my service made the world a better place and I respected my superiors and my fellow warriors.
The news these days is reporting that all branches of the military are falling short of their recruitment numbers. The recruits that DO volunteer frequently cannot meet military standards due to obesity or other physical deficiencies.
Briefed by the folks in charge of the Officer's Candidate School at Ft. Benning, (now Ft. Moore), we were told that the main reason prospective Officers fail to graduate is because of bone structure injuries.
(Too much time playing video games?)
This ain't my Father's military.
How do we fill the shortfall we're now experiencing?
I know one way to do it.
But there WILL be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
18 May 2023
People pass through your life. Some make an impact. Others? Meh.
One of the folks that made me take notice some years ago was one of my Flight Paramedics.
Smart. Quick witted. Compassionate.
He was one of those that if I had been involved in an accident and I woke in the back of the helicopter to find he was part of the crew caring for me, I'd have relaxed.
He met and fell in love with two boys and wanted to adopt them, but there was a problem.
He'd been arrested a year or so before because he had gotten "out of control" after overdosing on "uppers".
It was an "out of the ordinary" situation, he said.
I believed him, and wrote a letter testifying to his good character, signing it with my signature as a retired field grade military officer.
Whether or not that made a difference can be argued. The adoption was approved. Two years later his wife divorced him and he took sole custody of his two sons.
That was several years ago.
He's been a great Father. The two boys have thrived. I've watched their lives unfold via FaceBook. He's made me proud of the fact I stuck my neck out a little to vouch for him when he wanted to assume responsibility for the boys.
But now he's gone dark on FaceBook.
My attempts to contact him there are going unanswered. And I'm worried.
We are told there is a thin line between genius and mental illness.
I don't know how to contact him with no FaceBook link.
I hope he, and the boys, are okay.
17 May 2023
The "Durham Report" has been released.
It points out the way the Hillary Clinton campaign conspired with the FBI, the CIA, and our major news media to put out disinformation about Donald Trump and help defeat him in the 2016 presidential election.
And it worked.
Now we have a committee reviewing the report, headed by Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Senator from Connecticut.
He's the miscreant that lied to us about being a Viet Nam Veteran.
How can we get to the truth of any matter re: our government when our govt. officials are liars?
13 May 2023
I've been called "Hero" because of my military service to the Nation.
I'm uncomfortable with the label for many reasons.
When I was drafted, the Viet Nam conflict was beginning to explode and I was scared to death about what my future held .
I decided to do whatever I needed to do to delay any trip to Southeast Asia. That included signing up for any school that would use up time, hoping the folks trying to bring an end to the conflict could come to an agreement.
So I attended Officer's Candidate School: Six months.
Then the "Rotary Wing Aviator Course" used up another nine months. And still the negotiating continued as too much human treasure was sacrificed in Viet Nam.
And then the morning came when I woke and thought to myself- "Soon, people who don't agree with me politically will be trying to kill me".
And some of the natives of Viet Nam did just that.
A few years ago I organized a reunion of Soldiers who had attended Armor Officer's Candidate School at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. At this reunion and others I have attended, there is a "Vibe" between men who served in Viet Nam and those that served elsewhere... for Armor Second Lieutenants that mostly was Germany. These reunions have made me realize how FORTUNATE I was to serve in, and survive, my experience as a helicopter gunship pilot in the Viet Nam conflict.
Addressing this gathered group of heroes I expressed my genuine thoughts:
ANYONE that signed up to attend OCS during this time, (1965-1968) knew fully their attendance might mean service where someone who disagreed politically with them might shoot live ammunition at them.
Only a few of us were chosen to serve there.
And it seems SO odd-
I signed up to attend OCS hoping that schooling would take long enough to eliminate any chance I would go to Viet Nam. But OCS and EVERYTHING that followed opened doors for me I could never have imagined when, at age 19, I signed that application.
I was drafted. If I'd had the chance to avoid my ARMY experience, I'd have jumped at the chance.
I ain't no hero.
But all those signing that "Blank Check" back then, and those signing it today?
Thanking them "For their service" may seem like a throw-away comment to them.
Thank them anyway.
12 May 2023
Four years ago we cruised across the Atlantic from New York to Lisbon, Portugal with a few stops along the way.
We departed Lisbon to drive to Gibraltar. I was surprised to find the border between Portugal and Spain was unmanned. If you weren't paying close attention you wouldn't notice you had crossed from a Portuguese speaking country to one speaking Spanish. No lines. No mass of people.
I've been thinking about why there are thousands and thousands of people amassed at our Southern border desperate to enter the U.S.A., and the most obvious reason is economic.
People are leaving "garbage" countries to come where there is more money and a better quality of life.
I think the quality of life in Portugal and Spain is relatively equal, so there's no reason to leave one for the other.
And that points out how to resolve our problem here-
Equalize everything about the U.S. and the countries these folks are fleeing.
So as soon as the U.S. is equal to Venezuela, and we become a garbage country, the rush to cross our border will cease.
With the amount of traffic down there now that should happen pretty quickly.
07 May 2023
In our little community I had this friend named Dennis. He was a couple years older than me.
Dennis had a problem... he had a newspaper route. His family was moving, and he had to find someone to take the route from him.
I had tagged along with Dennis on the paper route a couple times. Dennis was a generous kid...
He always had a "jingle in his pockets" and when I accompanied him delivering papers he always bought me a candy bar and a soda.
I liked that.
I wanted to be Dennis.
"Can I take Dennis's paper route?" I asked my parents.
I was 10. They were worried. The Regional Manager of the Newspaper was unsure.
No question, I could remember where the customers were and deliver their newspapers. BUT... what about the money side of things?
When collecting for a week's worth of newspapers, could I make change without making mistakes?
I proved I could. I delivered "The Indianapolis News" (which no longer exists) for four years.
And always had a "jingle" in my pockets.
I even saved enough along the way to buy my first motor scooter when I was 12. (Law Enforcement in our area ignored the 12 year old delivering newspapers on a motor vehicle!)
My parents encouraged me.
The Regional Manager encouraged me.
And that set me on the "Positive Mental Attitude" (PMA) course.
Thomas Edison failed a LOT.
And in failure he learned what DID NOT work. Using that knowledge, he kept moving, trying, failing, until he began to see things that worked better and better until he succeeded.
Looking at the world today I am dismayed. I think we are more and more fearful of failure.
"That won't work."
"I can't do that."
If you tell yourself you can't, you won't even start, and therefore you're right- YOU CAN'T!
It's the Elon Musk's of today that are succeeding and getting rich.
Try. Fail. Try again.
If you fail, learn from they experience. Learning is a good thing. Like Elon, try again and again until you succeed.
Your PMA will rub off on others, making their world AND YOURS a better place.
Be Elon Musk.
And surround yourself by people with "PMA".
You'll be richer... maybe even beyond your wildest dreams.
01 May 2023
Where do I start?
Let's start here-
For YEARS I thought I was unaffected by my Viet Nam experience. Heck, I had returned to "Life in the World" with few complications
(I thought). And then in '95 one of my Huey Crew Chiefs called and asked me to come to a Unit reunion. I hesitated. "I don't want to spend time with a bunch of guys crying in their beer, still living in 1969."
"No... you'll enjoy it, I PROMISE" says he. It was in Dallas. I have family there, so I figured if I was upset with what was going on I could just spend time with my kin.
But I was surprised. We had a great time. We laughed. We listened. And I must admit, we cried a little.
My wife, 10 years my junior, learned much about her husband (also her older brother who was a Marine VN Veteran).
I mostly let my buddies talk. She also sat quietly and listened to the stories my fellow Vets were telling.
She heard, "You mean he's still alive?! His legs were gone when we loaded him onto the helicopter!"
This kind of conversation is why these reunions are so important.
It is THERAPY of the best sort... at little cost.
And now our Viet Nam Vets are dying at a similar rate to what we heard about our WWII Veterans 20 or so years ago. Which means these reunions are doubly important for those of us still healthy enough to attend, (and some NOT so healthy).
IF you are a Combat Veteran, DO get together with your fellow Warriors, even if you are reluctant.
You may not think you need the therapy, but you may be wrong.
And remember there are others that need someone to listen to what they experienced.
Your attentive listening may prevent a tragedy.
That's Doc Greybeard's advice.
29 April 2023
I'm writing this from Columbus, Georgia where I'm attending a reunion of graduates of Officer's Candidate School. These reunions are therapy for me. I'm surrounded by like-minded people who had similar life experiences 50+ years ago. We're VERY comfortable with one another so conversation flows freely, and is sometimes compelling.
To get here I entered the address of the hotel into the GPS and followed "Carmen the Garmin's" instructions. She did a great job.
Some several miles North of Columbus I ruefully smiled:
"Columbus, Ft. Benning... next exit."
With our new social conscience that sign, and MANY others around Columbus will be changed.
Fort Bragg. Fort Rucker. Fort Lee. Fort Hood. And how many other BIG road signs will be coming down?
At what cost?
But we'll all feel better, right?
12 April 2023
"But whatever you say about RFK Jr., he never drowned a woman, like his uncle. He never crippled one, like his brother. He never raped an underage babysitter, like another of his brothers. He’s never been accused of raping a woman, like one of his cousins, or beating a teenaged neighbor girl to death with a golf club, like another of his cousins.
Come to think of it, his opponent for the Democratic nomination, Joe
Biden, has been accused of rape, by his former aide Tara Reade. And
unlike Biden, none of Bobby’s daughters have ever written in their
diaries that Daddy used to take long showers with them when they were 11
This campaign will be mighty rough for "Average Joe". Republicans will enjoy it; democrats will squirm.
Pop the popcorn.
10 April 2023
I moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1974. The guy that lived in the apartment above mine owned the roofing company that had re-roofed the Anheuser-Busch brewery.
"Hey Greybeard... Come with me. I'm gonna inspect the work my crews have done at the brewery and we can drink all the beer we want while we're there."
At that time, (no longer), there were coolers of draft beer strategically placed throughout the brewery and workers could drink all the cold beer they wanted. Contractors could too.
We became "tipsy" roof inspectors.
We met one of the brewmasters and I got to ask a question I had been curious about-
"How do you make 'Light Beer?'"
"Basically we just add distilled water to it" was his response.
I stopped drinking Light Beer at that point. If I want Light Beer I'll add my own water, thank you.
This kerfuffle about the brand will be interesting to watch.
In my opinion, A/B has backed themselves into a corner with their customers-
Can they apologize? If they don't, they're gonna take a huge hit in sales. (Just ask "Kid Rock"!)
If they do, they'll lose the Trans community, and the apology probably will now fall on deaf ears to the customers that have been loyal to the brand.
Coca Cola realized their mistake with "New Coke" and changed course.
I don't think that will be possible for Anheuser Busch.
01 April 2023
30 March 2023
My wife was born and raised in Chicago. Her family still lives there... NOT actually in the City, but in various suburbs. When we chat with them they assure us they feel safe in their cocoons.
A dozen or so kids die in the city every weekend. "Not my problem... all that stuff is happening several miles away"... in The Zoo-
And then comes the mass shooting in Nashville, and those same people get all up in arms about gun problems.
And I shake my head.
Yes, there is a problem. But the reason these kids are dying goes WAY deeper than just guns.
And government is at the heart of the trouble.
We don't have the time to discuss ALL the "Whys".
And we probably wouldn't agree anyway. Lefties "have my mind made up. Don't confuse me with facts."
SEVENTY PERCENT of Black babies are born to single Mothers. So those kids have no Father figure in their lives ready to tie a knot in their ass when they misbehave while growing up. They go out and find a "family" gang and that group establishes their value system.
And why does this problem exist? Our Government pays these Mothers to have babies!
We already know this 28-year old in Tennessee had a confused upbringing.
Just how "confused"? We'll find out when we learn more about the manifesto She/He left before killing a bunch of innocent Christians.
But still there is now outrage because our legislators are doing nothing about "assault weapons".
And "Jacoby" in Chicago will go out this weekend and shoot up a bunch of Chicago Southsiders.
How did Jacoby get his gun?
If you take Jacoby's gun away from him, how long will it take for him to find another?
What legislation would stop Jacoby from being an angry thug, capable of killing his fellow man at the drop of a hat?
Our world is angry.
Can we find a way to fix that?
I have an idea the left WILL NOT LIKE-
28 March 2023
My bride is not only "movie star beautiful", she is also smart.
She has a solution to all this gun control controversy...
At birth, cut off baby's thumbs.
With no thumbs, no gun or rifle can be cradled with enough force to pull a trigger.
(Or just abort 'em. Aborted babies don't kill people.)
No charge for this "think tank" brilliance, folks.
19 March 2023
11 March 2023
She'll be angry if she knows I posted this, (so keep it to yerself).
I have a hiatal hernia. Sometimes, particularly when I'm eating fowl or fish, I swallow and that food makes it about halfway to my stomach.
It ain't comfortable. Sometimes the situation requires I excuse myself to the bathroom. (I'll leave it at that.)
Yesterday my beautiful bride brought me a Quesadilla made of turkey, cheddar cheese, and a light squirt of yellow mustard. It tasted great. BUT... About halfway through finishing the thing I had a "stoppage". And the fact I was uncomfortable caused Lewy Body Dementia to take control of my wife.
She got upset that the meal she fixed me caused me discomfort. MY discomfort made me less tolerant of her upset condition. Once again I forgot that at times the person that looks like my bride... is no longer the wife I married. I'm now married to this disease.
My problem is that I have not yet learned how to defuse the situation. And yesterday I failed completely.
Change DOES NOT come easily for me.
But for me to remain sane...
To care for her in the best way possible...
Major change is gonna have to happen.
If prayer comes comfortably to you, pray for me and all who are dealing with dementia and other terrible health issues.
10 March 2023
05 March 2023
We live on 2-1/2 acres with an adjoining 5-acre pond. We love our neighbors and MOST of the time love our homestead.
Until the wind picks up.
On our property you'll find Maples, Oaks, Paperbark Birch, Hickory and one Pecan tree. When the wind blows, as it has recently, Mother Nature does a natural pruning of the trees, especially the Maples.
It's been quite windy recently, so last week I decided to clean up the mess Mom Nature left for us. We have a "Burn Pile" down near the pond and I move the downed branches there. Weather permitting we let our neighbors know we'll be setting the pile afire and invite them to come roast weiners and burn marshmallows.
An hour into my cleanup task I realized a couple things:
I'm no longer a 27 year old, and-
I've got to get off my butt and resume walking again ASAP.
As we've said many times before- this "aging" business is no fun at all.
27 February 2023
10 February 2023
On our daily walks we'd have to stop at his fenced-in yard and "give a little love" to this dog-
A 100+ pound walking mass of "give me some attention" canine named "Bear".
He wanted "some" attention, but after a few ear scratches and some "whatagoodboys!" he would have enough of that and wander away.
This was an almost daily experience.
BIG dogs live, on average, about 10 years... 12, IF you are fortunate.
Bear is 14.
And tomorrow, he will be no more. Our neighbor has resigned himself that Bear's quality of life is just not there.
Tonight we went over to say our goodbyes. Bear paced the floor... he cannot get comfortable. He begs to go outside, then begs to come back in after a few minutes.
Several times while we watched- his back legs gave out on him and his butt hit the floor.
Trying to comfort his owner we assured him-
"Yes, you're making the right decision".
I cry...And feel somewhat stupid that I'm crying.
This isn't even MY dog. But it IS a friend of sorts.
Many times I have commented that we invite these fellow living creatures into our lives knowing from the outset that in 10-15 years we will suffer heartbreak that will make us miserable.
And still we do it- because the positives SO FAR outweigh the negatives!
Bear has been a now-and-then bright spot in our life.
And we will miss him.
08 February 2023
My family went to see "Elvis" during a matinee showtime at an AMC theater about a month ago.
Great movie. Recommended, even if you are not an Elvis Presley fan.
There was one other person in the theater other than my bride, son, and myself. We obviously had our pick of any seat we wanted from which to watch the movie.
Now the powers-that-be at AMC are discussing applying "graduated pricing" at their theaters...
Seats in the middle of the auditorium will be priced higher than seats in the front rows, and maybe seats way back in the back?
-Will you pay a premium price to sit in the middle of the theater?
-If you enter an empty theater having paid the lower price for "undesirable" seats, will you sit anywhere you darn well please?
-Will ushers become "enforcement personnel" and demand you prove you are sitting in the seat you paid for even if the room is virtually empty?
-Is this idea more or less likely to make you want to watch a movie in an AMC theater?
If AMC management is trying to increase profitability, I'm not sure this will play out as they imagine.
07 February 2023
I made the mistake of dialing NPR on my FM dial this morning only to hear a lawyer discussing the investigation into "Corrupt" president Trump. The DONALD apparently paid Porn actress "Stormy Daniels" $130,000 to keep her mouth shut. Yeah, he's a dirtbag.
So they are going over Trump's Business records with a fine-tooth comb.
Now I just hope these same folks delve into Brandon's financial statements from ALL his private businesses.
03 February 2023
I may be the outlier.
I'm still in touch (via this magical invention we're now using) with the neighbor I played Cowboys and Indians with 70 years ago. And I'm glad.
...High School Classmates have seeped out of life's fissures.
Several of the guys I rubbed elbows with in Officer's Candidate School still pretty regularly converse with one another. These guys all meet at now-and-then reunions and hug one another without embarrassment.
Flight School buddies... Fellow Viet Nam Vets... similar situation.
On my search engine I frequently enter names of old girlfriends, friends, and acquaintances that have had an impact on my life. This is how I found (and was shocked by) my first wife's obituary.
My point is if you've been an important part of my life in the past, chances are I'd probably like to find out what has happened to you since we were last in physical contact.
So I admit to cruising FaceBook now and then, trying to find old friends... male AND female.
What am I noticing?
Something that should have been obvious, but took a 2X4 to my left temple to sink in...
Not everyone has the desire to stay connected with their past as I do. To some, I'm a considerable pest.
And that is simultaneously a revelation and disappointment. It requires a "reset" in thinking.
The "salve" that helps heal the dull ache caused by that reset?
My continued efforts to locate folks from my past continue to be successful.
And many of those contacts are actually glad to hear from me and share histories.
It's a wonderful way to pass the time, doncha think?
01 February 2023
So the Paul Pelosi video has been released.
I heard he and his assailant shared the hammer when the Police came.
I heard Paul Pelosi was in his skivvies and the assailant was likely a homosexual lover.
But now I've watched the video, and I am sickened by what I see.
I'm ashamed to admit I thought the rumors were true. I risked my life to defend this country because I loved it... still do.
But we are broken.
And we need Jesus Christ to lead us out of this hatred and chaos.
25 January 2023
I graduated Officer's Candidate School at Ft. Knox, KY as a Second Lieutenant with the title "Small Unit Tank Commander". Then I attended the ARMY'S "Rotary Wing Flight School" as a Commissioned Officer.
I know just enough about the Armored Beast pictured above to be dangerous.
Brandon, our Fearless Leader, is sending 31 of those to Ukraine to kill Russians. They are, arguably, the "top of the food chain" in the world of tanks.
Thinking the U.S. had weak leadership, Putin assembled his troops on the border and invaded Ukraine almost two years ago. Lots of lives on both sides have been snuffed out since. Many innocent non-combatants in Ukraine have died.
It would be nice if PEACE would break out there. Will the addition of Abrams and (German) Leopard tanks there help that happen?
I don't know. I'm frightened.
I DO know this-
Putin WILL NOT give up Crimea. To do so would be a loss of face the "little man" cannot stomach.
In my opinion, this addition to Ukraine's combat capabilities is literally.... Poking the Bear.
How does this conflict end?
I'm not clued into any intelligence information. I hope those folks who are know what they are doing.
But it sure seems to me the way this comes to an end will be similar to the conclusion of our effort in Viet Nam and Russia's Afghanistan experience-
It will become politically untenable.
It seems to me that's the only way Putin backs down. (And is replaced?)
We are playing with fire.
I think the Russian people are the key to ending this tragedy.
I hope they're getting enough "News" to understand that.
And "sooner" would also be nice.
15 January 2023
12 January 2023
We came home the day after Christmas to Niagara Falls in three of our downstairs rooms.
(If you don't know what I'm talking about, drop down a couple posts and catch up, you slaggard!)
I slogged underneath the house and got the water (mostly) shut off, then called our insurance company-
(Take into account... this was the day after Christmas at 2000 hours.)
"All our agents are busy. Your call is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received."
90 minutes transpire. And when I actually got a chance to chat with a real human being she was professional, nice, and sympathetic to our situation. We discussed our dilemma for an hour.
Next morning, trying to get in touch with a plumber I called DOZENS-
"This is (blah, blah, blah) plumbing. We are out of the office until January 4th. Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR!"
I knew these facts:
The temperature in our area had dropped WELL below zero. The likelihood that many (hundreds) in our area were dealing with the same problem we had was not gonna be in our favor.
We had no water for 48 hours. I suspect we've all been in this position...
Coffee! Go to the faucet with carafe in hand and reach for the faucet only to realize that's a futile effort.
This happened SEVERAL times before I went to (evil) Wally World and bought a few gallons of distilled water.
We don't realize how spoiled we are until we are deprived of certain things-
Flip the switch and illuminate the room so you don't bust your derriere.
Push the lever down to make that bad smelling stuff you just sat down and deposited go away.
(I won't sicken you and tell you what we reduced ourselves to doing while we had no water.)
Fortunate- we had a pro plumber show up about two days after our incident. And he didn't charge us an arm and leg to find and fix our problem. He even crawled beneath our house twice!
And how odd it felt... looking at the damage to three rooms in our (formerly comfortable) home, knowing what the future held with having to tear the place apart in order to get back to something like "normal".
But... we could take the carafe to the tap, turn the handle, and make coffee.
Thinking of folks long ago who had to make coffee over an open campfire after they fetched water from a "crick"...
I said a prayer and thanked GOD for my many blessings.
02 January 2023
Like Forrest Gump, I know "I am NOT a smart man".
So I need an answer to my silly(?) question.
Thousands and thousands of "undocumented future democrats" are crossing our Southern border on a daily basis. I've been watching the videos of this chaos/fiasco, and it seems to me most of those crossing are solo, young, (military age) males. Here's my question:
If they are coming to the U.S. because they are dissatisfied with the conditions in their own country... instead of risking their lives to make the terrible, life-threatening, several thousand-mile journey here, why don't these healthy young males use their energies to CHANGE the conditions in their own homes?
Instead of making life better for themselves, that action would make life better for THOUSANDS of their countrymen.
It's a puzzle to me.
But I am not a smart man.