Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

The last blogging opportunity of the year and I have nothing to write about. Until you find yourself obligated to write something nearly every day, you don't realize how boring your life can be. I follow several blogs and am amazed at the ability of some folks to be creative, funny, interesting, and thoughtful, day after day.

It will be another subdued night for us, New Year arrival, or not. We have a movie to watch, so that will probably take us up to the midnight hour. It’s no use trying to get to sleep earlier, as one neighbor usually fires a shotgun and another launches fireworks as the clock strikes twelve. The dogs will panic and bark, so sleep will have to wait until everything quiets down.

Here’s hoping that by this time next year we will find our Republic on the road to recovery…without blood in the streets.

Monday, December 28, 2009

One Year Almost Gone and Another Approaches

I might be crazy, but I can already feel the stirring of spring about this time of the year. Despite the daylight hours being only seconds longer, it's noticable already. Even the Cardinals are singing their spring mating song.

The hydrangias are expressing similar optimism, as fresh, green growth is already showing. Ditto for our mutant weeping cherry. As I was removing the Christmas lights, I saw new buds that weren't there three weeks ago when I put up the lights.

I did manage to get all the Christmas lights down and packed away. Only the tree remains to be stripped and banished to the attic for another year.

I've been working on the replacement engine for my convertible. It's been sitting in a corner waiting to be assembled since before we moved to East Texas and I finally got around to putting the pieces together. I'm missing some small parts that are on order, but when they arrive, I should finish in a couple of hours. It sure is nice to have a warm, brightly lit shop to work in.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Folklore or Fact?

It doesn't show very well in this photo, but there is a bright ring around the moon tonight. According to the experts, it doesn't mean bad weather is on the way, but according to the achy muscles and joints in my body, we're in for a storm. The Weather Channel agrees with the experts, as they are calling for only a slight chance of showers on Tuesday.

I guess we'll see who calls it right, and if I'm wrong, I can always blame it on impending senility. If they're wrong, they'll have to blame it on bad science.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Roy Orbison at Christmas

Christmases Past

Our schoolhouse was slightly larger than this one. It had three windows on each side, but it was much the same design.

As some of you know, my first eight years of formal schooling took place in a one room country school bereft of such luxuries as electricity and running water. Toilet facilities consisted of his and hers outhouses a hundred feet from the schoolhouse and water was hauled from farm wells to be carefully rationed out by the teacher.
The intense cold of the North Dakota winter was kept at bay by an ancient pot-bellied stove that the older kids kept stoked with chunks of locally mined lignite, and the glowing ashes from the coal stove were spread outside the door to help melt the ever present packed snow and ice in winter.
Despite rustic accommodations, the rural schools were the social centers of the townships and some type of event was held there on every major holiday during the school year. Christmas was no exception. In fact, it was the biggest celebration of the year. The modern issue of the separation of church and state was non-existent in a part of the country where the right to worship, or not worship, was respected and tolerated by everyone. There was even a framed copy of the Ten Commandments hanging on the schoolhouse wall and the ACLU might be disappointed to learn that religion in our schools didn’t turn everyone into Christian fanatics bent on denying Atheists their right to not believe.
Immediately following Thanksgiving, the teacher and students would begin preparing entertainment for the Christmas party that traditionally took place on the last day of school before Christmas vacation began. A play was always the main event and every student took part, often reciting their part from a simple script written by the teacher. I seem to recall that every year it was a story about the birth of Jesus, presented in different ways, which gave us the opportunity to sing different Christmas carols.
The day of the Christmas party, we would create a stage and curtains at one end of the room by hanging borrowed sheets on stove pipe wire strung across the room. Fathers would bring planks and concrete blocks from home to make benches for the audience to sit on. They also brought gas lanterns and kerosene lamps so we could hold the party after dark, which fell very early at that latitude, only a day or two after the winter solstice.
All the students would go home after classes, change into their best clothes, and return to the school for one last practice to see if everyone had learned their lines. The parents and neighbors would arrive early, each bringing casseroles and trays of goodies to be shared by everyone.
The play would last perhaps 10 minutes, then the kids would sing secular carols, and the best readers might read a poem, or short story. Then it was time to dig in and visit with friends and neighbors for the last time before the new year began.
No matter how long I live, I will never forget the sights, sounds and scents from those simple gatherings. Christmas was unapologetically called Christmas and people celebrated the birth of Jesus without a concern for political correctness. It was a good time for our country, and I was fortunate to have lived it.

Merry Christmas, Everyone.

Monday, December 21, 2009

When I Need a Music Fix

In my opinion, there has never been a better singing voice in the popular music field than that of Roy Orbison. His new website has a great feature called Roy Orbison Radio that features all of his music, as well as interviews and interesting bits about his life and career.
Roy Orbison Radio

Texas' Grass Roots Candidate for Governor

She has an uphill battle ahead of her, but word about her candidacy is finally getting out. If she doesn't win the Republican nomination, I hope she runs as an indpendent.

A Letter to the Editor

If the blogs I follow are any indication of typical blog activity before the holidays, I don't feel too guilty for not writing. In a lazy attempt to fill the blogging gap, I'll post a copy of the letter I wrote to the editor of our local paper today.

"If the health bill abomination comes to pass, the time will have arrived for Governor Perry to show some courageous leadership by openly and loudly reasserting Texas’ right to nullify all federal laws that are first, unconstitutional, and second, contrary to the best interests of Texans.
Some states might be content to subserve themselves to power hungry statists who will throw them a financial bone for their acquiescence, but I hope those of us fortunate enough to live in Texas can still find the spine to avoid losing our republic. Unless the individual states declare and enforce their sovereignty, the federal government will certainly grow so huge that it will be impossible to dismantle that bloated, inefficient, money-sucking leviathan on the Potomac.
To prove to the world that we are serious federalists, our state and local leaders need to shift their focus to developing and improving Texas based manufacturing, agriculture, energy production, banking, and anything else that will allow us to operate our own state without federal funding. If we can keep Texas self-sufficient and monetarily sound, we could tell Washington to their funds with all the controlling strings attached, but as long as we are content to lash ourselves to Washington’s whims and dictates, we will continue to lose our wealth, our historical sovereignty, and our liberty.
I recall an old story from back in the fifties or sixties, about a communist politician visiting an auto factory in Michigan. He inquired who owned the factory and was told it belonged to the investors and the stockholders. He then proudly stated that in his country, all the people owned the factories. The American pointed out the window and told the Marxist that in this country, all the people might not own the factory, but they owned all the cars in the parking lot.
Now we have regressed to the same point that Marxist was so proud to brag about half a century ago. The government owns the auto factories and the people can’t afford to buy the cars. Perhaps the government owns most of Michigan today, but if we get off our butts, we might yet prevent it from happening here."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pre-Christmas Catch-up

The weeks before Christmas move at a snail’s pace when you are a child, but it certainly isn’t that way when you reach senior citizen status. It seems as if Christmas has been galloping our way since last January, and I can hear the hoof beats already. Unlike most years, I’m actually done shopping, so I shouldn’t complain. The faster it arrives, the faster spring gets here.
For the first time since we moved to East Texas, we’re hosting a Christmas open house for the neighborhood and some of my coffee buddies and their wives. It’s fun to have a party during the holidays, but the party prep and later cleanup are not on my favorites list.
The weather has been typical Texas…schizophrenic. Two days ago it was 70 degrees and while I was cleaning leaves from the gutters I got enough sun to turn a little bit red. But, not to worry, it didn’t last and winter is back, though it’s barely freezing at night and that's what's forecast all week.

Looks like we're going to have another quiet Christmas with just us and the dogs, as no one can get away until Saturday, so like our delayed Thanksgiving, we'll have a delayed Christmas.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


If ever I acquire a burning desire to go exploring the ancient ruins of some distant continent, I’m going to save my money and instead spend a few days exploring the ancient contents of our freezers and pantry shelves. No expensive travel is involved and it might take as long, be almost as interesting, and contain artifacts nearly as old as those in some Amazonian temple.
Looking for a menu change this morning, I searched the freezer for the bag of waffles that I know I put there a couple of weeks ago…or was it several months ago? Whatever.
I pushed aside the two bags of special pasta sauce from last Christmas…moved the 4 boxes of pie crusts with one missing from each box, then paused for a moment to study the contents of a bag that looked mysteriously like the dressing from Thanksgiving…2008…or was it meatloaf?
When at last I found the frost encased Zip-bag I was seeking, the contents were barely discernable. They were disk-shaped and about the right diameter, but I had to put on my bifocals to be sure I was holding the extra waffles from some previous Sunday breakfast, instead of the bag of hailstones we collected and put in the freezer a few years ago.
It was a memorable breakfast. I don’t recall ever eating waffles that tasted like they had been seasoned with the fragrance of year-old ground turkey, pork roast, pizza, green peppers, ham, and smoked brisket, then dried on the countertop for three days.
I think I’ll have a bowl of fresh-cooked oatmeal tomorrow morning while I read the Sunday travel section in the Tyler paper. Maybe they’ll have an article on exploring the Amazon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Date That Will Live in Infamy...Ignored Again

What a shame that so many important historical events are being ignored by the mainstream media. I watched and listened on November 22nd, and hardly a mention was made of the assassination of our president. Today it was the treacherous Sunday morning attack on our ships an planes at Pearl Harbor in 1941 that failed to headline the news.

I listened to radio and watched television most of the day, and about all the mainstream media covered was the EPS's idiotic pronouncement that carbon dioxide is harmful to humans, and the start of the convention of liberty-thieves and environmental hypocrites in Copenhagen.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that we deserve what has been happening to our country.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Post Holiday Stuff

One major holiday down, and two more to go before we can relax again. The older I get, the less I look forward to this part of the year. Christmas was so much fun years ago, but between the crass commercialization and ever increasing expectations, the fun is long gone.
The weather has been nearly perfect for the past week, so I managed to get nearly all the Christmas decorations up. Last year, a circuit breaker kept tripping from the additional load of several C9 light strings along the sidewalk and driveway, so this year I bought some of the new LCD strings. So far there has been no overload, but the lights don’t match the rest of the clear lights on the house. The LCD lamps are supposed to be clear, but they have a light blue color and are much dimmer than the standard bulbs. They don’t look as good, but I guess the lower electric bill makes them worth it, and if Al Gore is happy, I’m ecstatic.
Our first killing frost is forecast for Wednesday night, so I’m moving plants from the patio to the house. Some of them have gotten huge and they barely fit inside the house. We’ll have to move some furniture just to get enough room to walk. I sprayed the plants with insecticide yesterday, so I think the bugs are all gone, however, it remains to be seen if any toads or lizards have hitched a ride inside, as they did last year.
We’ve been talking about buying a greenhouse, so maybe we’ll make that our shared Christmas gift. It sure would make winter storage easier and at the prices they want for plants now, it sure beats buying new ones every year.
My entries will probably be hit and miss…mostly miss…until the hectic holiday season is history, but I will try and post something at least once a week…or so. I managed to get this written while our clandestine Muslim president was lying about the Afghanistan situation, as I find it too difficult to watch him speak without upchucking.
It began raining a few minutes ago, so I most likely won’t get to post this tonight. Anything more than moderately heavy clouds blocks our satellite Internet service. I sure wish we could get DSL out here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For This I Am Thankful

I'm thankful that despite the ongoing leftist assault on our Constitution, most of our society still functions as it always has.

I'm thankful that in less than a year we will have the opportunity at the ballot box to reverse the damage that has been inflicted on our country by selfish, power-hungry politicians of all stripes.

I'm thankful that our citizens are finally awakening from the coma of comfort that has cursed the nation for decades.

I'm thankful that nothing has yet happened to set off the firestorm that rumbles just below the surface, waiting for a spark to ignite it.

Mostly I'm thankful there are still people willing and preparing to enter that firestorm in the footprints of our founders, should the props of civility crumble. This link will give you an indication of how seriously our situation is being viewed by some people.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Day on Friday

This will be an odd Thanksgiving for us. None of our usual guests are able to attend this year, so we've decided to cook Thanksgiving dinner on Friday to allow our good friends to join us. We'll make much of the food ahead of time, and I'm only deep frying one turkey this year, so meal preparations should go fast on Friday. That suits me just fine.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Eyes Have It

When it seems as if every day brings a new ache or pain in my aging body, it's refreshing to find one thing that's actually getting better. I had my eyes checked last week and for the first time since I was 13-years-old, I have 20-20 vision. I also am free of far! Several of my friends have had cataracts removed, and some were done when they were much younger than I am now.

The doctor said it's not unknown for nearsighted people to have their vision improve with time, but it's not exactly common either. When I was a kid, my mother was nearly blind without her glasses, but by the time she was in her seventies, her sight had improved to the point that she no longer required glasses to drive. At least I inherited one good physical trait.

Unfortunately, my ability to read fine print without reading glasses is deteriorating. I can still read most books, but the fine print they put on bottles and cans is getting awfully blurry. As Bing Crosby said in one of his movies...when you find yourself playing trombone with the newspaper, you know you're getting old.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Catching Up

I’m still fighting Internet connection problems, but it does seem to be improving slightly.

The weather was beautiful today, but the nights are getting colder and fall is quickly turning into winter. Yesterday, for the first time this season, I had to flip the thermostat mode from air conditioning to heat and the days are now so short that we have to turn on the lights when eating dinner. I wish I could say I was looking forward to more cold days and leafless, skeleton-like trees, but I’m completely spoiled by our wonderful summers. I would love if it stayed summer year round.

As I was leaving the house to go into town for coffee this morning, I saw a big whitetail doe having a drink of rainwater from the ditch. Despite hunting season opening last week, she was fearless, but she had better learn quickly if she wants to stay out of someone’s freezer.

The coyotes have also been coming closer to our little development recently. They usually stay in the meadow at least a half-mile away, but last week there was one singing on the hill across the road. The neighbor’s dogs were going crazy, but for some reason, ours paid no attention to the nearby racket.

The last hummingbird is finally gone, so I guess it’s time to take down their lone feeder and put one up for the seed eaters that will be arriving soon. I’ll have to buy new feeders, as the old ones are falling apart from age and marauding squirrels.

I attended a regional Oath Keeper organization meeting yesterday. The Texas group is growing at the rate of 10-15 a day and we now have over 500 members, so interest in the organization is snowballing. The actual numbers of supporters far exceeds the 500, as every day we hear of active duty military and law enforcement people who are unwilling to join officially and have their names revealed on a website, but who strongly support the Oath Keeper positions.

It was a somber meeting, with the members voicing concerns about the administration’s continuing swing to the left, and fear of government retribution for taking a stand in support of the Constitution. I would have never dreamed that the country could become so divided, and the assault on our liberty so intense, in such a short time.

Last week, I had a nice exchange of e-mails with an old high school friend that I hadn't talked to since we graduated. While renewing our friendship brought smiles and good memories, it also brought tears. Her daughter was in one of the World Trade Center towers on 9-11 and didn't survive the attack. The evil tentacles of terrorism even extend into small North Dakota towns.

You can read about her daughter on this website set up in her memory:Ann Nelson

Monday, November 16, 2009

High Speed Satellite Service...Another Oxymoron

The worst thing about where we now live is the lack of high speed Internet access. When we began building, the developer said it would soon be available, so we didn't give it much thought. It didn't happen by the time we finished building, and then the day came that we had to make the decision to get by with dial-up, or go with satellite Internet service.

Because we could still recall the agony of dial-up, we opted for Wildblue satellite service. It was recommended as being better than HughesNet, but I can't imagine anything being worse. It's now been three days since we've had a good connection and the speed has been no faster than dial-up. If this was the first time it has happened, I wouldn't complain, but it's an all too common occurrence.

Since we moved in, we have learned that cable will not run this far from town, as there aren't enough houses to justify the expense of running lines, and DSL has apparently also been put on hold for the time being. I'm guessing the crummy economy has something to do with that decision.

When it comes to getting honest to goodness high speed Internet, I get to feeling like a Chicago Cubs fan...wait until next year!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ready on the Right...Ready on the Left...

I finally had a chance to test fire my new arsenal today, and the targets quickly disclosed the fact that it has been decades since I spent any time at the range.

It didn't take very long to sight in the .223 Ruger Ranchrifle, but it may take days for my ears to stop ringing. I neglected to take along my ear protection and that little rifle really barks!

I also quickly learned that the .380 Ruger LCP is not something to depend on for accuracy over about 20'. Once I determined that it was firing about 3" low at that range, I could put it in the target every time, but the center ring was elusive with, or without the laser. I actually did as well firing offhand as I did using the sights. Oh, well, it's meant to be a concealed carry pistol for close range protection and it should serve that purpose quite well...and the laser's red dot would certainly be intimidating if I saw it focused on my chest in the dark.

I did fall in love with my newest acquisition, a model 1911, .45 caliber Colt Commander. It is the smoothest, finest shooting handgun I've ever fired. It was simple to fire a 6" group at 50' and had I taken my time, I'm certain I could have done even better. It's easy to understand why it's been a best seller going back nearly a century.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Marines!

Happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps. I only wish all our politicians could be as honorable as a Marine.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Wall

The traveling wall made a stop in East Texas this week. If you haven’t had a chance to visit The Wall in our nation’s capitol, the traveling version is nearly as impressive, and elicits the same emotions. It’s almost impossible to walk the length and look at all the names without breaking down. Some did. I found myself swallowing hard and blinking a whole lot more than I usually do.

We were an aging generation that came to search for the names of friends and family we lost. A couple were in wheel chairs, others used canes or walkers…most wore caps, shirts or jackets that proudly identified their branch of service. Some were bedecked with colorful ribbons and badges that narrated silent stories of how they had spent and lost their youth. I saw a frail mother on the arm of a family member. She came to find the name of her son who had gone to war and never returned over forty years ago. Yes, it was difficult to control your emotions, but if you couldn’t, no one there thought less of you.

Though there were other names on the wall that I recognized,there were two I knew very well. They were both from my hometown in North Dakota, and one was a neighbor’s son. I found him on panel 02W, line 127.

1LT Byron Kent Kulland was a helicopter pilot whose rescue UH1H, call sign Blueghost 39, was shot down in Quang Tri province on 04/02/72. He was missing in action for years and his family held out hope that he had been captured, but a team searching for remains in 1994 determined that Byron and his crew had been accounted for. He was laid to rest on April 29, 1994 in Arlington Cemetery.

A side note. Blueghost 39’s fateful last mission was to participate in the rescue of the navigator of BAT21. The story was made into a movie of the same name, starring Gene Hackman, but the heroic role of Lt Kulland was not even mentioned. Such is Hollywood, but those of us who knew him will always have him in our hearts and in our thoughts. He was a good kid.

Thanks to Mineola Detachment #1378 of the Marine Corps League for your efforts to bring the display to our area. Semper Fi

Friday, November 6, 2009

Housecall in DC...Ignored Again by the State-run Media

Newspapers and television gave skimpy coverage to the estimated 10,000 to 40,000 taxpayers who gathered Thursday in front of the Capitol to protest socialized medicine. They must not have enough reporters to cover all the important events going on...probably busy doing a team followup on the 60-200 gay protesters who marched in Los Angeles protesting Prop. 8 the day before.

Whatever...since they obviously need help gathering news, I offer a link to a report from someone who was actually in DC for the event. Pay special attention to the comment from someone else who attended. If that doesn't give you chills, I don't know what will.

FWIW, the writers on the linked blog can get extra fired up at times, but I enjoy reading comments from passionate patriots.

Housecall report

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Goof-off Day

One nice thing about retirement is the ability to put important projects on the back burner and enjoy a day of play when the weather is nice.

Since it was clear and 75F, with a light breeze,I decided that I'd much rather wash and wax the truck than dig holes to plant shrubs. The truck looks nice and I think the Crape Myrtles will survive a few more days in their pots.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Don't Mess With Texans...Even Old Ones

This happened about 7-8 miles from where we live. You'd think these crooks would learn that breaking into someone's house can be hazardous to their health.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Big Shopping Trip

I don't often go shopping beyond the local WalMart and Brookshires, so I seldom get a real feel for how busy other stores are. However, today I drove into the big city of Tyler...population 91, make some purchases I've been putting off for a while. From the heavy traffic and the number of people in the stores, you would never guess the economy is bad. Traffic in many places was bumper to bumper, restaurant parking lots were full for the noon meal, and I had to stand in line to pay for my merchandise in every store. Maybe there are fewer clerks working the checkout lines, but I couldn't tell the difference.

What I did notice is that almost everything has had a significant price increase since the last time I shopped. A few months ago, I could get a 40# bag of dog food for $35, but now it tops $45! If it keeps going up at that rate, I'll have to train the dogs to hunt feral hogs for their meals. Bonnie might like that, but poor old Belle's legs wouldn't allow her to do much chasing.

It was a pleasant surprise to see the price of a pound of coffee beans dropped, so not everything has increased.

During these rare shopping trips, I usually treat myself to a Sonic-burger and a chocolate shake, and that's something else that has gone up in price. Not long ago, I could hand the carhop a $5 bill, give her a tip, and get some change back, but today it was almost $6. Guess I better get back on my diet.

Stopped at the gun store and once again took advantage of the Second Amendment before the socialists in Washington repeal it. Got a good buy on a new series 80, 1911 Colt Commander. I even picked up a box of Winchester .380 ACP ammo. It's the first I've seen on a store shelf since last spring. The ammo shelves were much better stocked than they were only a few weeks ago, so it appears that situation has improved.

I also bought a 23,000 btu kerosene-fueled heater to use in the garage when I'm working on the car this winter, and since it doesn't need electricity to operate, we can use it for emergency heat in the house. We've had the electricity go off several times since we moved here, so at least now we're covered for winter.

It certainly didn't look like a bad economy out there today, so maybe our part of Texas will be spared a severe recession. We can only hope.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mad Hatters in the House of Representatives

Has Congress gone stark raving mad?

Our economy is in the toilet; the Afghanistan situation needs immediate attention; graft and corruption are rampant in government; a president is grabbing power like a banana republic dictator, and Congress' priority is to discuss injuries in the NFL?

Rep. Conyers says he doesn't have time to read bills before he votes on them, but he has found time to worry about a few overpaid mental midgets voluntarily damaging their bodies in return for a few million dollars a year? How in the name of Odin can people keep electing these idiots????

Heat up that bucket of tar; I've got a couple of old feather pillows that I can think of a better use for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nero on the Potomac

Another eight Americans killed in Afghanistan today, pushing the death toll to fifty-five for the month…and still the president fiddles. Of course, he wouldn’t want to make any quick decisions about we are going to do there, that would require courage. Gen. McChrystal’s report of two months ago said that time was of the essence, yet no decision has been forthcoming from the White House, and yesterday, Obama had the unmitigated gall to tell a group of sailors that he would never send them into harms way until he was absolutely certain that it was the right thing to do. Then he would give them his complete support. Sure.

Here’s a clue Mr. President…you already have troops in harms way and they are dying while you’re wasting your time raising money for the Democrat Party, playing golf and trying to pass a health care bill that the majority of Americans don’t want.

Read some of the interviews with soldiers in the combat zones. Just like Vietnam, morale is starting to fade because of feckless politicians who don’t know how to fight a war and don’t know how to get out of it.

When Obama was elected, I told myself I would never talk about him the way liberals talked about Bush, but I’m having a hard time biting my tongue while he dithers. Please, Mr. President, make a damn decision! As Commander in Chief, it’s your decision to make and it must be done now. Don’t destroy our military from the inside, the way every other recent Democrat president has done. Either give the generals what they need, or get the hell out!

Monday, October 26, 2009

End of the Month Catch-up

When I left on my trip to the Pacific NW, I expected to run into rain as soon as I crossed the Cascade Mountains into Western Washington, but it was a pleasant surprise to experience mostly clear, cool weather for my entire stay. What I didn’t expect was to return home and find Seattle weather in Texas, but I was informed that it had rained nearly every day that I was gone.

During those ten days, more than six inches of rain fell here at our house. My rain gauge holds six inches and it was overflowing the day I returned, so I’m not certain how much total rain fell, but one friend said we had about twice that. Then a couple of days later, we received another two inches, and last night and today, nearly two inches more. This is turning into the wettest fall I can recall in my thirteen years here.

A month ago, we were feeding upward of fifty hummingbirds from our four feeders, but every time the wind switched to the north, we’d lose a bunch of birds as they took advantage of favorable tailwinds. By the first week of October, only a few birds remained and I expected them all to be gone by now, but one little diehard, a female Rubythroat, remains. I hope we haven’t turned her into a welfare queen, so content with us providing her meals that she forgets to migrate.

I received the last of the major parts needed to rebuild the brakes and suspension of my Valiant, so I spent the day getting everything ready to install. If I can coordinate a nice day with my oftentimes-absent ambition, I’m going to start the big project. It will likely take several days, and though I’m not looking forward to crawling around on the concrete floor to do the work, I am looking forward to the improved braking and handling.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why Doesn't This Guy Get on TV?

I got this YouTube link in an e-mail...thanks Patricia.

What is it with the Republican Party? The same old faces and the same old tired rhetoric on TV. It's time for the current losers to retire and let some of the previously unseen faces be seen so the story can be told in a different way. The liberal bloggers hate him, so that's a good enough recommendation for me.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Slip-Slidin' Away

The morning I left Washington to return home, I was greeted by a sign that said Chinook Pass was closed. The Chinook Pass route is my usual shortcut through Mt. Rainier National Park that knocks nearly an hour off the driving time across the Cascade Mountains. Even though the highway is narrow and winding through most of the park, it’s still the preferred route.

Since there had been no snow the night before, I had no idea why they closed the road, but later that day I heard on the news there had been a landslide that blocked the highway near the town of Naches. No one was injured, but several houses were damaged, either by the slide itself, or from water when the river sought a new route through the slide area.

I didn’t much like the extra driving time, but I’m glad I missed all the action. Had I left a few hours earlier, I might have been right in the mess.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Small Town Fame

I was raised in a state that only a handful of famous people call home, so one of the things about Texas that amazes me is that almost every small town lays claim to a celebrity of one stripe or another. Sissy Spacek was born just two little towns away; Earl Campell was raised just a few miles down the road; Wiley Post called another neighboring town his home; Audie Murphy lived on a farm about thirty miles away, and singer Johnny Horton...Battle of New Orleans...was a Tyler native. Several well known politicians from the past also hail from around here, but I'm not going to give them any publicity.

Lindale has claimed the latest celebrity, in the form of country singer, Miranda Lambert. I've yet to meet her, but most of the folks around here have. She visits quite often and has done several shows in the area...even got into a bit of trouble in a Tyler honkey-tonk. It wasn't her doing, but it made the papers for a while.

The building in the picture above is her fan store run be Miranda's parents. They sell Miranda merchandise, and even a brand of Texas wine, despite this being a dry county. That situation is too difficult to explain, but just know that Smith County is often refered to as the wettest dry county in the state.

The small town where this video was filmed is not Lindale, but it could be.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Feel Better Already

I attended the first car show of the season with my Valiant convertible last Saturday and actually won an award. It wasn’t for a fancy paint job or a chromed, hopped-up, motor, it was for being “The car that makes you feel better”. First time I ever got an award like that, but I’ll take it. I always feel better when I’m driving it, so I suppose the award was appropriate.

Speaking of my convertible, while I was gone, some of my restoration parts arrived, so I’ll soon be covered with grease and nursing sore muscles and skinned knuckles. I’m going to rebuild the suspension, upgrade to modern disc brakes, re-chrome some of the interior parts, and then take it in for a repaint. By next spring, it should be handling and stopping like a modern car, and looking better to boot.

Another winter project is rebuilding my spare engine so that I’ll have a new one ready when needed. I have all the parts and pieces needed and I only have to assemble it. The original engine in the car has never been rebuilt, but still gets over 1,000 miles on a quart of oil.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Trip Report

Crossing the Continental Divide in Wyoming. This was on the way up, before they received several inches more snow.

Funny how life seems to turn 180 degrees as you age. When I was young, I needed a vacation to rest from the long days I worked. Now I need long days of rest to recover from my vacations.

I was gone from home nine days. Three days travel time to the Pacific NW, three days visiting family, and three days driving home. Now it’s been another three days catching up on chores and just plain resting, and I’m nearly back to normal.

Making that trip in the fall is actually rather pleasant. Besides the beautiful fall foliage, there is hardly any traffic and the motels offer their off-season rates. With my military discount, Comfort Inns were nearly as cheap as Motel 6, and the accommodations are wonderful.

A real highlight of the trip was my personal version of a pilgrimage to Mecca. I got to visit my old launch officer from my days on a missile launch crew. As I wrote in an earlier entry, next to my father he was the most influential male role model in my life, so it was a wonderful treat to see him after all this time. For several years, I promised myself that I would take the I-70 route across Colorado so I could make the visit, but schedules, or something else, always ruined my plan. This time, Wyoming weather made it the sensible route to take and though our time to reminisce was far too short, I’m glad I made that choice.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Home Again

Home again and checking in. It was a good trip, but there are lots of chores to catch up on, so I probably won't find time to blog until this weekend. Until then, I'll just post a picture of the sunrise I saw yesterday just outside of Raton, New Mexico.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On The Road Again

Time to get a good night's sleep, as I'll be rolling by 0530 tomorrow morning. It should be a beautiful drive through the Aspen country.

I'll leave you with one of my favorites from our old dope-smoking Texan

Friday, October 2, 2009

Catching up

The hummingbirds managed to devour nearly twenty pounds of sugar this fall, but we were down to two birds today. I imagine they'll be gone in a couple of days. I already hate winter.

As the hummers leave, the Monarch butterflies begin their migration. I'm seeing more and more every day. We're a ways off their main migration route, but still get to see quite a few.

I mowed the lawn today, but it was mostly a leaf chopping exercise. At least it goes fast with the mower in high gear.

Speaking of mowers, mine has developed a starting problem after only two years of moderate use. I guess I'll worry about that when the grass cutting season is done. Fixing it will be a good winter project.

And speaking of winter projects...I'll be working on my '64 Valiant this winter. I'm upgrading the brakes to discs in front and 10" drums in back. When you had to stop fast with the tiny 9" drum brakes all around, you needed more hope than an Obama voter.

After the brake upgrade, it goes into the shop for a new paint job. The previous owner gave it a cheap repaint over 20 years ago, so it really needs some TLC.

I see GW Bush is being blamed for Chicago losing the 2016 Olympics. Thanks, W, you probably saved the taxpayers several billion dollars and kept a few hundred terrorists out of the country.

After record cool weather in much of the country this summer, several states are already reporting record lows this fall. That's a sure sign of global warming. Meanwhile, sunspot activity remains at a low ebb. Of course, that has nothing to do with our weather. It's those damn SUV's and George Bush.

Heard a Republican politician bragging today that the socialist Obama agenda means great things for GOP candidates next year. Apparently he hasn't paid any more attention to the tea parties than Obama and the Democrats. I'm as fed up with spineless, incumbent Republicans as I am with Democrats, and many I've talked to share my opinion. It should be a good year for Libertarians and primary challengers in both major parties.

I'm off to the Pacific NW on Tuesday, so won't be blogging until I get back in about ten days.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

When Government Bureaucrats Control Healthcare

The rhetoric over this Obama care/health insurance reform/health care reform, is getting ridiculous. Are people so stupid that they can’t understand basic facts, like the laws of supply and demand, or that the government has never, ever, overestimated the cost of a purchase or service? Despite that record, some fools still believe government mandated universal health care will be cheaper than what we have now.

First, consider Medicare. The Democrats argument is that they can reduce Medicare costs by offering more and better coverage. Is that patently stupid, or what? The fact is that if they cut the cost of Medicare, some people, or some maladies, will not be treated. If their plan is to lower cost by eliminating waste, what exactly do they plan to fix that couldn’t have been fixed in the past 40 years?

Death Panels. The Libs claim opponents are spreading lies. Of course, a panel of experts is not going to look at each person’s case and say yea or nay about pulling the plug. There will simply be a rule that after a certain age, or if the chance of a successful recovery is uncertain, some treatments will not be approved for payment. That means that if the treatment is not approved, the patient will suffer with it forever, or if it’s a serious ailment they will die. Life and death will be meted out by a bureaucrat with an instruction manual. It’s not exactly a death panel, but the results are the same.

Jail sentences for those who don’t buy insurance. The leftists pooh-pooh this claim, but if it’s not true, what will be the punishment if someone can’t, or won’t, pay the fine? Isn’t imprisonment the usual punishment after fines? Maybe they will send a harshly worded letter.

The Democrats don’t want health care reform, they want power over people.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Two North Dakota Crops

Flax and oil. If I knew who to credit for this photo, I'd do it, but it's too good not to share.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Muslim Day of Prayer in Washington DC

On Friday, 9-25-2009, organizers are expecting up to 50,000 Muslim faithful to gather on the mall to pray. Perhaps they will pray that their leaders clean house and purge the looneys from their faith.

If I haven't posted this before, this is a running body count of the peace-loving Muslims. Makes it difficult to maintain religious tolerance.
Link to the religion of peace

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Semi-annual Doggy Rodeo

Whenever it’s time for the traveling vet to visit, it turns into a doggy rodeo around here, and today was the day…a day I always dread.

Because we have three dogs, it’s easier to bring the vet to the house than it is to take each dog into town and sit with them in the waiting room while they shiver and slobber all over. They still shiver and slobber, but they only do it for the few minutes they are actually getting poked, prodded and injected, not all during the trip and while waiting to get in to see the vet.

Cricket and Bonnie are finished rather quickly, but since Belle is too big to carry out to the van, we corner her in the house, tackle her and then hold her down so the vet and her assistants can come inside to administer to her. Of course, she always leaves a puddle when you catch her, so we try to make sure she is on the tile when we catch her.

After receiving her scheduled treatment, we have the vet clean her ears. Some Shar-Pei’s have strange corkscrew-like ear canals that are extremely difficult to clean, so we prefer to let the experts do it instead of possibly hurting her. This process takes three of us about twenty minutes, and when done, we’re covered with hair, slobber, and the cleaning liquid she shakes from her ears. All this time, we’re sitting or kneeling on hard tile, and I’m too danged old to take that for very long.

All the dogs checked out healthy this time, so now we can relax for a few months before their rabies shots are due again.

If anyone wonders why we love Shar Pei's, this should give you an idea. How could you not love something that looks so goofy?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Invasion of the Wild Mushroom

The week of rain we just experienced brought a crop of mushrooms like I've never seen before. Most are Fairy Rings, and in places the entire lawn is white with them. A few brown ones are also popping up in places, but I have no idea what variety they are.

I don't enjoy eating mushrooms, so I have no interest in picking them. Tomorrow, or Monday, they get mowed along with the recuperating grass. That should spread enough spores to grow a serious crop next year. Maybe I can get an agricultural tax exemption for our acre of mushrooms.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weather and Wildlife Report

Last Friday morning, after putting off watering because of the daily promises of thundershowers, I began dragging hoses around to water our parched St. Augustine lawn. That afternoon, It began raining and dumped over two inches before it temporarily stopped. Saturday evening, it began again and has been raining off and on ever since. We've now accumulated over seven inches and the forecast is for three more days of showers before it clears up. Just north of here, they have had over eleven inches. After so long without rain, I'm not going to complain.

When the dozens of hummingbirds left a couple of weeks ago, I thought we were pretty much done feeding for the year. For several days, a half-dozen birds were all that visited our feeders, and that's typical of what we've experienced in the past. Then one day, we suddenly had dozens of birds again and it's been like that for over a week. I've been making a gallon of sugar water every day and some days I've had to make more than one. I think they are waiting out the rain and the southerly winds before continuing their migration. When the wind switches to the north again, I suppose this big batch of birds will leave too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Everybody Loves a Nut

Here's my favorite picture from the Washington rally...and they even have a website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Few Thousand Angry Old People....and Friends

Once again, the media fails to do their job as there was almost no coverage of the 9-12 rally in Washington. In the few places it was covered, there was no effort to discover the reasons that perhaps a million people showed up to register their displeasure. The spin artists blame it on two things…the health care bill and racism. What a bunch of idiots! If they honestly can’t understand what’s happening, they are in for a rude awakening.

Even our moderately conservative daily newspaper put nothing on the front page of the Sunday paper and had only a short AP regurgitation on page 5A. That irked me enough to fire off a letter to the editor that I know won’t be published!

Here are some photos of what the liberal bloggers said was a few thousand angry old people. One even said that the reason the crowd looked bigger was because the Park Service had given a permit for a black family to have a reunion in the same area. Who are you going to believe, the libs and their media buddies, or your lying eyes?

They had better pay special attention to the sign shown in the last picture.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Hooray, we have access to the Internet again…and what a frustrating several days it’s been!

Over a week ago, Judy decided to take advantage of an advertised offer to use an online computer backup service, without charge, for a month. It didn’t occur to her that uploading everything that was on her computer might put us over the usage limit for our satellite Internet contract…but it sure did.

To make a long story short, the satellite company…Wildblue…slowed down our access and periodically shut us down. This is supposed to happen until our usage averages below the maximum allowed. Thinking it would take a couple of days, we waited it out, but nothing improved.

Finally, I called the company and asked how long it would be, and they said it could be October 6th before our service returned to normal! That is the day our 30-day moving average is next calculated. After I regained consciousness, I told her that we couldn’t wait that long and that we would have to cancel their service and sign up with their competition. Those were the magic words. They reinstated our service and gave us a free month, along with their apologies. Not only that, but since we talked, our service has been faster than it’s ever been since we signed up in 2007.

After I catch up with everything again, I’ll get back to posting.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ISP Problems

I'm still alive, but have Internet access problems.Not sure when they will be cured.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Meeting the Tea Party Express

The Tea Party Express busses were in Dallas yesterday and an estimated 3,000-4,000 people showed up to greet them and wish them well on their trip to Washington to attend the 912 rally. I heard they actually made the national news, though I didn’t see it.

Their next stop after leaving Dallas was a rest stop along Interstate 30, outside the small town of Mt. Vernon, TX. One of the people on the bus said they expected 10-20 people to show up. As Gomer Pyle would say…Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! There were at least 1,000 of us in the unruly mob. Some folks drove as much as five hours to join us. It was a 45 mile trip for me, but what a nice bunch of people I got to visit with. Some days I listen to the network news and can’t help but be disillusioned, and then I attend one of these events and my faith is renewed again.

Thousands of cars and trucks driving by showed their support by blowing their horns and waving. Texas really has a lot of patriotic people…or right-wing extremists, as the administration prefers to call us.

One of the guys on the bus was black, but we know he was paid by the RNC, because there are no black conservatives, yet he stood on the back of a truck and yelled: “I’m not an African-American, I’m an American!” I think he got the biggest cheer of the day from all the racists that we know populate these events.

I should have had a camera along, as some of the signs were priceless. One person carried a sign that declared that she was a Democrat, but she was fed up with Congress and the President trying to destroy our country.

I wish I could go to Washington for the big tea party, but I guess we'll have to do our protesting here in Texas.

Here are a couple of links to the event:

TPE Blog

Hideaway blog

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Letter to Liberals

The Old Hippie's website is one of my favorite places to find good letters, videos and articles. This one is a keeper!

"American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce... I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way. Here is a model separation agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass, each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.

You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).

We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC, ABC and Hollywood.

You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.

We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.

We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot.

Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like minded liberal and conservative patriots. If you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you as to which one of us will need whose help in 15 years. It won’t be us.

John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, &Jane Fonda with you.

P. S. S. And we won't have to press 1 for English."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Merry Christmas!....Bah, Humbug!

When I went grocery shopping yesterday, I wanted to pick up something from the WalMart garden shop, but when I got there, I found the garden supplies gone and the shelves filled with toys. My God, it’s not even Labor Day and they’re getting ready for Christmas!

Today, I was shopping at Lowes, and found their garden and patio section filled with Halloween junk, including a human-sized witch that moved and cackled. I was so impressed, I wanted to hurl. At least they are two holidays behind WalMart, but since Halloween is still nearly two months away, they’re pushing it too.

That sort of nonsense takes all the fun out the holidays. By the time Christmas arrives, I’m so sick of the pre-season marketing, that all I want is for January 1st to arrive so the winter doldrums can set in. Maybe I'm getting old and crotchety, but that's just the way it is.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Hummers Have Arrived

The hummers are here and they brought lots of friends.

In the past two days, the number of birds using our feeders has jumped from six to about twenty. The feeders were empty this morning when I went out onto the patio before sunrise, and I could hear the birds already looking for something to eat. I filled the feeders then and by noon they were already empty. At 5PM, I filled them again, and by the time the sun went down tonight, they were nearly empty. Time to put up a few more feeders.

The neighbors also have two feeders up, so the little birds are feeding heavily.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Obama's War

The August American death toll in Afghanistan is the highest since the conflict began, yet there are no protests from the left, or at least the media has not been reporting any. Why not?

During the campaign, Obama constantly harped that we should get out of Iraq and send more troops to Afghanistan. His argument was that the terrorists lived there and that's where the 9-11 plans were hatched.

Okay, Mr. President, now that the troops are leaving Iraq for Afghanistan, what are you going to do about that war? It's now your war, so what is the mission? When will we know if we won? What is your exit plan? When will the troops come home?

Just asking.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Please forgive me for careening away from the problems of today to indulge a blast from the past...pun intended.

This is the missile I was assigned to from 1959-1963. It was known as the TM-76A Mace, and was operational in Germany and Okinawa from 1959 to 1969. I was on a launch crew, and while that might sound marginally exciting, it mostly involved sitting in a blockhouse and waiting for WWIII with a deck of cards or a pocket novel in hand.

As you watch the video, don't bother trying to turn up the's a silent movie...but do watch for the chase plane to flash by just after the missile leaves the shed. The pilot earned the nickname "Sagebrush Kid" when he returned to base with a twig of sagebrush caught in the intake of his F-100. Watching him approach the missile pad just before launch was like watching a plane taxi at 500mph. He was so close to the ground, you couldn't see daylight between his plane and the desert floor.

This old film was taken about the same time our crew was there in 1959, but we were on a different launch pad. The base is Holloman AFB, New Mexico, which is adjacent to the White Sands Proving Ground. I spent a week there and it was the most interesting week of my Air Force career. We got to see dozens of Air Force, Army and Navy missiles being tested, and most were top secret at the time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Proudly Made in the PRC

If I recall correctly, I posted a rant about Chinese made goods a few months ago, so consider this rant #2.

I've been working in the garage the past several days, trying to organize and finish things like shelves, cabinets, door trim, etc. I also installed a window air conditioner in the workshop. Instead of setting it in the window, I cut a hole between the garage and workshop and mounted it up and out of the way. The damn thing was brutally heavy and getting it up the ladder and in the hole was a major undertaking.

Yes, just as you probably guessed, after a few hours of operation, the blasted "Made in China" heap of high-tech camel dung has stopped cooling. Now I get to climb the ladder and remove it...hopefully without dropping it...and then drive twenty-five miles to return it to Home Depot. Of course, instead of giving my money back, they will replace it with the another of the same unit. Then I can go through the installation process all over again.

The way my luck has been going with Chinese products, it will fail again, but this time it will happen a few days after the warranty expires.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obama in Montana...the Rest of the Story

A friend passed along this e-mail that explains the warm reception the president got in Montana. The Wizard of Oz is still behind the curtain and the state controlled media can't bring themselves to open it.

Hello All,

By now you have probably heard that President Obama came to Montana last
Friday. However, there are many things that the major news has not
covered. I feel that since Joe and I live here and we were at the
airport on Friday I should share some facts with you. Whatever you
decide to do with the information is up to you. If you chose to share
this email with others I do ask that you DELETE my email address before
you forward this on.

On Wednesday, August 5th it was announced locally that the President
would be coming here. There are many groups here that are against his
healthcare and huge spending so those groups began talking and deciding
on what they were going to do. The White House would not release ANY
details other than the date.

On about Tuesday Joe found out that they would be holding the "Town
Hall" at the airport. (This is only because Joe knows EVERYONE at the
airport) Our airport is actually located outside of Belgrade (tiny town)
in a very remote location. Nothing is around there. They chose to use a
hangar that is the most remotely located hangar. You could not pick a
more remote location, and you can not get to it easily. It is totally
secluded from the public.
FYI: We have many areas in Belgrade and Bozeman which could have held a
large amount of folks with sufficient parking. (gymnasiums/auditoriums).
All of which have chairs and tables, and would not have to be SHIPPED
IN!! $$$$$
During the week, cargo by the TONS was being shipped in constantly.
Airport employees could not believe how it just kept coming. Though it
was our President coming several expressed how excessive it was,
especially during a recession. $$$$$

Late Tuesday/early Wednesday the 12th, they said that tickets would be
handed out on Thursday 9am at two locations and the president would be
arriving around 12:30 Friday.

Thursday morning about 600 tickets were passed out. However, 1500 were
printed at a Local printing shop per White House request. Hmmmm......900
tickets just DISAPPEARED.
This same morning someone called into the radio from the local UPS
branch and said that THOUSANDS of Dollars of Lobster were shipped in for
Obama. Montana has some of the best beef in the nation!!! And it would
have been really wonderful to help out the local economy. Anyone heard
of the Recession?? Just think...with all of the traveling the White
House is doing. $$$$$ One can only imagine what else we are paying for.

On Friday Joe and I got out to the airport about 10:45am. The groups
that wanted to protest Obama's spending and healthcare had gotten a
permit to protest and that area was roped off. But that was not to be. A
large bus carrying SEIU (Service Employees International Union) members
drove up onto the area (illegal)and unloaded right there. It was quite a
commotion and there were specifically 2 SEIU men trying to make trouble
and start a fight. Police did get involved and arrested the one man but
they said they did not have the manpower to remove the SEIU crowd.
The SEIU crowd was very organized and young. About 99% were under the
age of 30 and they were not locals! They had bullhorns and
PROFESSIONALLY made signs. Some even wore preprinted T-shirts. Oh, and
Planned Parenthood folks were with them.....professing abortion rights
with their T-shirts and preprinted signs. (BTW, all these folks did have
a permit to protest in ANOTHER area)

Those against healthcare/spending moved away from the SEIU crowd to
avoid confrontation. They were orderly and respectful. Even though SEIU
kept coming over and walking through, continuing to be very intimidating
and aggressive at the direction of the one SEIU man.

So we had Montana folks from ALL OVER the state with their homemade
signs and their DOGS with homemade signs. We had cowboys, nurses,
doctors you name it. There was even a guy from Texas who had been
driving through. He found out about the occasion, went to the store,
made a sign, and came to protest.

If you are wondering about the press.....Well, all of the major networks
were over by that remote hangar I mentioned. They were conveniently
parked on the other side of the buildings FAR away. None of these crowds
were even visible to them. I have my doubts that they knew anything
about the crowds.
We did have some local news media around us from this state and Idaho.
Speaking of the local media...they were invited. However, all questions
were to be turned into the White House in advance of the event. Wouldn't
want anyone to have to think off the top of their head.

It was very obvious that it was meant to be totally controlled by the
White House. Everything was orchestrated down to the last detail to make
it appear that Montana is just crazy for Obama and government
healthcare. Even those people that talked about their insurance
woes........the White House called our local HRDC (Human Resource and
Development Committee) and asked for names.. Then the White House asked
those folks to come. Smoke and mirrors...EVERYTHING was staged!!!!!!!!!!!

I am very dismayed about what I learned about our current White House.
The amount of control and manipulation was unbelievable. I felt I was
not living in the United States of America, more like the USSR!! I was
physically nauseous. Joe and I have been around when Presidents or Heads
of State visit. It has NEVER been like this. I am truly very frightened
for our country. America needs your prayers and your voices. If you care
about our country please get involved. Know the issues. And let Congress
hear your voices again and again!! If they are willing to put forth so
much effort to BULLY a small town one can only imagine what is going on
in Washington DC. Scary!!

Bozeman, Montana

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Crime Report

I'm glad we didn't build our house on the road that goes past our little development. It's a dangerous place to live.

Last year, a drunk took down one side of our neighbor's fence and kept driving. They found the car a half-mile down the road with an 8' section of wooden fence jammed underneath. He had torn the front suspension out when he hit the fence and was skidding on the wood for the entire distance. A state trooper found the driver some distance away, trying to leave the scene on foot.

Last night, someone hit a different neighbor's brick mailbox and completely destroyed it. From the looks of the damage, it appears it was hit by a trailer or the side of a flatbed truck. The way some of the locals drive with their farm trucks, it's a wonder there aren't more accidents. The road is narrow and hilly and it's difficult to see oncoming traffic in several places, especially on the stretch where the two accidents happened.

Accidents...break-ins...drunk matter where you live, most of society's ills manage to follow.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Outrage on the Left

Sure is good to see Barney Frank’s ire over someone calling Obama a Nazi. He’s been so consistent in condemning such reprehensible acts, such as Nancy Pelosi claiming town hall opponents to the health bill were wearing swastikas, and Durbin and Murtha claiming our troops were acting like Nazis. Well, even if he didn’t say anything about them, I know he condemned the protester in the photo….you mean he didn’t? What a surprise!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fall Comes in August

The calendar might say that autumn falls during the third week of September, but I believe it comes earlier than that.

Somewhere around the middle of August, everything in nature begins to change. The mockingbirds stop singing, The air takes on a hazy look, additional hummingbirds show up at the feeder, and the bluebird families stop being territorial and flock together. Today was the day.

I had the water sprinklers on all afternoon, and the front yard was a playground for the bluebird families. At times, there were twenty-plus young and old birds taking a bath and playing in the sprinkler. Even a Red-bellied woodpecker joined the avian frivolity for a while. I tried getting pictures, but none turned out clear enough to post.

Just in time for the increase in sugar prices, our visiting hummingbirds are showing up at the feeders. There have been up to four birds feeding regularly, but today there were at least six, and the air-to-air battles have begun. I'll soon have to put up more feeders to cut down on the number of fights. Though it was a lot of work, I hope we see the numbers of hummers we had two years ago. That year I had five feeders up and some of the smaller ones had to be filled two or three times a day.

BTW, happy birthday, Rita. The card is usual.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Brush With Celebrity

The death of Eunice Shriver reminded me of one of my few brushes with celebrity.

It was the 1972 presidential campaign, and VP candidate R. Sargent Shriver was scheduled to visit the Seattle area. Boeing was in the depths of the deepest cyclic slump in decades and the Democrats were trying their best to capitalize on the local joblessness. Ambassador Shriver was due to arrive at Boeing Field within a half-hour of shift change at our plant, so a friend and I decided to stick around and see what happened.

The plane arrived on time, and the two of us were standing against the fence when Shriver walked the rope line before leaving to make a speech in downtown Seattle. He spent a few minutes greeting all the union people that had been bussed by the locals to make sure there was a big crowd. Then he climbed into his limo. As he turned to wave to the crowd, I gave him a thumbs down and he responded by leaping out of the car and striding directly over to me.

When he got to the fence, three television crews crowded in with cameras and microphones. Instead of asking me why I wasn’t cheering him, Shriver launched into a spiel, promising me that he’d find me a job. I told him I was already working…no thanks to him.

At this point, I should explain that one of the campaign promises was that if elected, the Democrats would pass legislation to immediately replace all the engines on old commercial jets with new, quiet designs that caused less pollution. They claimed it would provide hundreds of jobs for Boeing. Of course, it was an idiotic idea, since the engine manufacturers couldn’t supply the new engines fast enough, and even if they could, normal engine changes would be accomplished by the airlines, not Boeing. A bigger issue was that the airlines would only replace them as the old ones wore out, since they didn’t have the money with the entire aviation business in a recession.

Shriver kept on telling me that he would get me a job, and I kept on telling him that I had one, and I tried to explain the stupidity of his idea, but his ears were closed. The conversation lasted perhaps two minutes, with him sticking to the canned campaign statements and totally ignoring what I was telling him.

Finally, he grabbed my hand and shook it, then rushed to his limo. As he drove away, my friend told me that the moment Shriver headed toward me, two Secret Service agents pushed everyone out of the way and planted themselves on either side of me. Since I was concentrating on the conversation, I hadn’t even noticed they were there.

That night, the local news broadcasts covered the event and all three stations deleted the sound, but showed me talking to him and then him grabbing my hand. Without sound, it appeared that I was a supporter and that there was no opposition to him in the crowd.

When I got to work the next day, I had a tough time explaining to everyone that I was merely a victim of media bias. Some things never change.

FWIW...It took years for the airlines to change all the engines on the planes in service, and their maintenance crews did nearly all the work. Meanwhile, the McGovern/Shriver ticket was defeated in a landslide.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Here's to You Mr. Jefferson"

I wish Mike Church had a show on broadcast radio, but as far as I know, it's only on Sirius. He's not only a conservative voice, but he's also an expert on the Constitution.

This is my favorite parody of those he has done recently.

Mike Church Website

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Another species has been added to our patio critter collection. We now have at least one Blue-tailed Skink making a home in our plants, but he’s a shy little guy. He jumped out of a pot when I was watering and then quickly ran around the corner to hide. I managed to get the one poor picture,(he's just above the tag) but when I tried to move in for a close-up, he dived into the pot and burrowed out of sight.

I don’t know why our toads disappeared, to be replaced by all the little lizards, but like the toads, they are keeping the patio plants free of grasshoppers and other large insects.

It’s back to dragging hoses around the yard again. After that nice 2” rain last week, summer has taken over again and the grass is quickly dying out. I hope I can keep it from getting too bad until the next rainfall arrives. If The Weather Channel can be believed, that might be later this week. At least the temperatures haven’t been too high, so I've been able work out in the yard until mid-afternoon.

The local tea party promoters have chartered a bus to take them to the big protest in Washington D.C. next month. Wish I was a few years younger so I could enjoy making a trip like that, but I’ll have to be content with attending our local tea parties. I really hate to travel any more.

Standing up to the constant barrage of liberal attacks on our freedom is like standing on the sea shore with a scoop shovel and shoveling against the tide. Now they are attacking the Oath Keepers organization on various websites. I guess an organization with the stated goal of helping assure that the Constitution is followed doesn’t appeal to the left.

Speaking of leftist tyranny, the snitch website has already found a couple of my conservative friends. They received e-mails from the White House attempting to set the record straight about health care reform. They had to have had their e-mail addresses reported to the Obama brown-shirts, since their addresses are not publicly posted. Looks like dissent is going to have to go underground. And the left complained that Bush was intercepting phone calls from terrorists. What has this country come to?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

From the Author of State of Seige

Tricorn hat is one blog I try to read every day. Blogger Michael Florey has been posting chapters of his book, State of Seige", which is a spine-chilling story about what happens when this country is taken over by leftist extremists. Does the plot sound plausible? It's a great read and I can hardly wait until the book is published.

Mike is multi-talented, as this video shows, and since this song by Louis Armstrong is one of my favorites, I'll end the week with it.


It seems as if I’ve been walking around half-asleep most of the past week, but I finally woke up and got some things done yesterday and today.

Yesterday, I decided to forego my usual morning coffee run to take care of some yard work while it was still cool. I managed to get nearly all the flowerbeds edged and weeded before the temperature became uncomfortable. I had been putting off that chore for days.

Next, I cut a hole in the garage wall and got the air conditioner mounted, so now I'll be able to work on some other projects in cool comfort.

This morning, I took in the gun show in Tyler and actually found some .380 ammunition for Judy’s Ruger LCP. It was about the same price as you can find on the Internet…when you can find it. However, without having to pay shipping and tax, it came out a bit cheaper. Now I can take the little pistol out in the woods and get the new laser sight adjusted.

After the gun show, I stopped at Home Depot and bought more shelf material, plus some nifty hangers for the garden tools. I managed to get everything hung this afternoon, and now most of the junk that was sitting on the floor and in corners is up and out of the way. The garage is actually beginning to look organized!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Speaking of Things Dogs Do...

One of the endearing things about dogs is that they have such distinct personalities. Each has different likes and needs, and just like people, they have to be treated differently.

Belle, the oldest Shar-Pei is fearful of people, unless it's on her terms. Generally, she stays beyond touching range, but she loves playing with stuffed toys, especially those that squeak when she bites them. Her favorite game is to retreive a toy from their toy box; bite it a few times to make noise and then bring it to one of us to play tug of war. Of course, she always wins and then she struts around, wagging her tail and looking pleased with herself.

Another thing she enjoys is getting her butt scratched. She has deep wrinkle above the root of her tail and at times, it apparently itches. Then she will come up, bump our hand with her head and back up to us. It's her way of saying that she needs help with an itchy spot. After a good scratch, she again moves beyond reach.

Bonnie, the youngest Shar-Pei, needs loads of affection. She comes up to me, sits as close as she can and then raises her left paw for me to hold...she's a southpaw. While holding her paw, she leans against me and I have to pet and praise her. She closes her eyes and sucks up all the loving she can get.

Cricket is something else, too. She is afflicted with a condition known as a reverse, or backward sneeze. When she gets excited, she begins to make weird sounds, like something a seal might make, and appears to be struggling for air. It's not uncommon in small breed dogs, but the first time we heard it was a scare. The vet said it's nothing serious and that she might even grow out of it.

The older I get, the more I enjoy the company of our furry kids, which reminds me of the old saying: "The more I learn about people, the better I like my dog".

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If Humans Were More Like Dogs....

Last Sunday, Judy drove to Denton to visit a friend in the hospital and since no dogs were allowed, I got to babysit Cricket, Judy's little Maltese. Normally Cricket goes everywhere with her, but with the summer heat, she can't stay in the car, though I think she would have preferred that to being separated from her "mom" for several hours.

As the photo shows, Cricket spent much of the day peering under the fence, waiting for Judy's car to drive up.

I doubt we will ever understand what it is that bonds dogs to humans, but it's amazing that two completely different species can be so close without sharing blood.

Hardly a day goes by that you don't read a story about something a dog has done to protect or serve their people...and they ask for so little in return. A kind hand. A place to lie nearby. A fresh drink of water and a shared sandwich, or a scrap from the dinner table. For these few things, in return you will receive absolute loyalty and love. If only humans were so easy to please.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New Babies on the Patio

We have a bunch of these Green Anole babies on our patio. They apparently hatched in the last two weeks and are growing fast. The first ones I saw were only about an inch long, but are now a little over two inches.

I'm not much of a fan for any critter with scales, but most babies are sort of cute, no matter what the species.

Friday, July 31, 2009

One Doc's Opinion of Obama Care

A Texas surgeon, who goes by the name of Bonedoc33 on The Old Hippie's forum, received a letter from the President asking for his support to enact healthcare reform. Old BO obviously doesn't understand that socialized medicine doesn't sit well with medical professionals, 'cause it sure put a bur under one doctor's saddle blanket. Yes, he signed it with his real name and he said I could also use his real name here, but it's no use tempting the leftist nut-jobs any more than necessary.

With Bonedoc's permission, I give you a wonderfully written letter guaranteed to make any patriot smile and cheer.

Chairman Obama (I refuse to call you President as you stand against everything I belive in)

You, Sir, are absolutely full of crap. This national healthcare reform plan you are so vehemently pushing will do nothing but destroy the best healthcare system in the world. As a current medical doctor I do not want a future consisting of a system of rationed care, long lines, shoddy doctors and high taxes. You need to wake up and realize that the vast majority of the citizens of this great country do not agree with your plan, nor do they want it enacted. This is just another bid for big government and a step closer to your goal of absolute power.

Sir, you are the Josef Stalin of our time. You are desperately trying to move us into a socialist system, and you do not care that the people do not want it. Look at communist China. Look at the former USSR. Look at Cuba. Socialist systems DO NOT WORK, HAVE NEVER WORKED and WILL NEVER WORK. In order to give someone something that they have not worked for, you must take it away from someone who has worked for it. Your idea of pouring money into social programs for the lower classes who do not care to work for anything will only furthur bankrupt our country. Wealth does not trickle up, it trickles down. Your plan will not be one of trickle-up wealth, but one of trickle-up poverty.

To conclude, Chairman, I think you are a complete moron who will not stop until you have destroyed this great country. I would tell you where you can stick your national healthcare plan, but that would just be rude. The fact that you hesitated when asked if you would enroll your family into the plan speaks scores for the unviability of it. Finally, I would just like you to know that I am doing all that is in my power to see that you do not serve a second term in office. I have organized Tea Parties, I send emails that uncover your lies to everyone that I know, I follow your political agendas and tell people the truth about what you are really saying and I will be actively campaigning for whomever your opponent is in the next election. I fully intend to get you thrown out on your ass in 2012.

Good day, Chairman