Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Salt Lake City Run

Wyoming Sunrise this morning "Somewhere West of Laramie".  Through a not very clean windshield. For my friend who is home recuperating and for anyone who might like it.

Hotshot freight run last night to Salt Lake City; out and back.  Listening to the storm news while driving under a clear sky with a moon so bright I turned off my headlight and could still see to drive (but not deer and pronghorns). About two  minutes and the lights were back on.

1,051 miles. Nothing for a long distance trucker but pushing it for this geezer.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cowboy Poetry

My pal Hal Swift sent me another. Offered as relief from the elections drama.

The Cowpokes' Roll-Away Saloon
by Hal Swift

In the early history of the Golden West,
along the Arizona, Utah border,
there was only one bar where a thirsty cowpoke
could set down an' place 'im an order.

But north to south, Kanab to Fredonia,
the cowpokes' spirits was low.
Seems that lone saloon kept runnin' outta booze,
cuz the ol' freight wagon's so slow.

Some a the boys started stashin' their stuff,
so's to sneak a sip durin' the day.
But by late afternoon their off-key singin'
would allus give 'em away.

The cowpokes felt they was bein' held down,
an' it made 'em both mean an' cross.
 An' they got no help from the old, married men,
whose wives seem to think they're the boss.

If you happened to be too close to the house
when y'stopped to wet yer whistle,
you kin bet one'd see ya, an' give you a look
like she maybe jist swallered a thistle.

Some men got fired, and their wives got upset,
and declared no more drinkin' at all.
But the drinkin' continued in all sorts a spots.
One boy had a bar in a stall!

Things only got worse as the days went by.
The men was all mopin' aroun',
'til someone suggested that they build another
saloon on the outskirts of town.

They decided the state line would be a good place,
an' they'd build it on rollers becuz
then they could move it if worse come to worse,
an' the womenfolk found where it was.

So that's what they did, the boys built their saloon,
south of town maybe four miles or so.
They built a road to it, on top of the dunes,
where the ladies weren't likely to go.

Kanab's side of the border's where they parked it first,
an' ever'thin' hummed along fine.
Then the gals found out, an' went to set it on fire,
but the men rolled it over the line.

"We're in Arizona!" the boys all hollered,
"so you better stop right where you're at!"
The women said, "Okay, but leave it right there.
Roll it back, an' it's gone, like that!"

Then Fredonia's ladies decided they'd give
their Kanabian sisters a hand.
The men tried to roll their saloon back north,
but the thing bogged down in the sand.

The Kanab ladies heard, an' come back on the run,
an' you knew that the drinkers'd lose.
The saloon couldn't roll, so it set there an' burned,
with thirty-six kegs fulla booze.

With alla that alcohol burnin' at once,
the flames was angry an' loud.
The ladies was dancin' an' singin' with joy,
til a shout went up from the crowd.

Seems some a the cowpokes had stayed with the booze,
an' was there when the ceilin' fell in.
A collection was took up to care fer the widders,
an' a prayer was said fer the men.

Where the tragedy happened is all desert now.
Ghosts play in the light of the moon.
An' some folks say they've heard off-key singin'
comin' from down on the dune.


Based on a true story, reported in the
Southern Utah News by Dixie Brunner
August 21, 2002 Special Section p.8

And the cowboys in Kanab still do  their drinking in Fredonia.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


When you request an absentee ballot in Colorado, that, along with your telephone number if you give it, is a public record and available to campaign workers. Today, received a phone call from a lady on behalf of the Obama campaign.

She asked if I had sent in my ballot; if I had voted for Obama. Told her I hadn’t sent in my ballot and I hadn’t made up my mind. (Not exactly a lie. About Obama, made up my mind about him in the first sixty days he was in office. Still mulling over local candidates, judges, and ballot issues.)

We chatted for awhile. We know each other through local politics. I explained I was a Blue Dog who is very angry with the “Progressives”. Her ringing endorsement of Obama? “Well, he is certainly better than the other guy.” She went on to denounce the “other guy”, never mentioning him by name. Loyal party worker, doing her part, one of the year in, year out types,  and that is her level of enthusiasm?

What a fucking statement about this election. Yeah, I’m voting for Romney. Not because I like him but because he is “certainly better than the other guy.” Shit!

The local campaign office is just three blocks away. Will wander over that way for coffee and conversation. Better than a singles bar for meeting women. Yes, I know. I’m disgusting.

End of the day, be a citizen, get involved, vote! Hold your nose if you must but vote!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Two Irishmen walk out of a bar.

No, seriously! It really did happen.

OH, B.S., Rating Colorado Judges II

October 25th, 2010, I posted about rating Colorado Judges.


Two years, to the day, nothing has changed. This cycle one judge is listed as "Do not retain" and one is listed as "No Opinion". All others, "Retain".

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Senior Moment

Pull up to the diesel pump. Find credit card. Gather used coffee cups and assorted trash. Place in waste/trash holder. Where is the damn credit card?

Some interesting design went into that island set up and access to the trash can. Access via a hatch on one side. Strange looks from other patrons.

On the bright side, did this before pumping diesel. Otherwise, 400 miles down the road until noticing the missing card. Gad, I’m getting old.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Colorado Beef Commercial Plug

Signs available from Colorado Cattlewomen's Association. Mountain scene or Plains scene.

Some old friends involved here. Good folks, good ranching practices, give back to their communities.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Motion Sickness

Long, pointless ramble about being on a troop ship fifty years ago.

Some recent blogs I follow have mentioned motion sickness.

I’m fortunate in not suffering greatly from motion sickness. The exception is when I’m nervous or stressed. Don’t do carnival rides; don’t enjoy them at all.

My one and only experience with deep water travel was aboard a military transport ship, the General Maurice Rose. January, North Atlantic, Brooklyn to Bremerhaven. Having never been near a body of water bigger than the Great Salt Lake and aboard a boat bigger than 20’ long on a lake, I anticipated suffering.

We boarded via a gang plank (proper term?) from the Brooklyn Army Yard dock to a door (hatch) about two thirds up the hull. Said gang plank was flexing under the weight of several men with their duffel bags ascending, had no railings, and wasn’t very wide. That was scary! As I recall, we were four decks down from the main deck. There were a series of compartments we were directed toward; me towards the stern. We were told to find a bunk (rack) and put our duffel bags on a hatch cover.

I’ve always tried to analyze every situation I’ve found myself in. These compartments had a series of canvas “beds” stretched in metal frames, about eight high, running the length of the  ship. At the end of the compartment was a bulkhead (?) with beds running across the width of the ship.  My analysis was (1) puke runs downhill so being on a bottom bunk wouldn’t be ideal and (2) the ship would roll with greater amplitude than it would pitch. No one but me wanted the top most bunk against many pipes and other oddities. While a challenge to get into, it was comfortable and had enough room to sleep on my side (carefully). The first night out proved my analysis was correct.

Certain I would get sick when the conditions got “rough” I waited for it to get “rough”. Whenever I felt the onset of vertigo, I would tell myself it wasn’t rough enough for me to get sick. Sounds silly, but it worked for me. Guess it did get “rough” as the nine day trip took fourteen days. Most days we were forced to stay on the open deck; in my case, the stern. Amidships was the enclosed area for military dependents and officers. Probably right up there with regular transoceanic ships as to fittings and amenities. The contrast with our plight was galling. We only went below, for meals,  until 2100. A few days we weren’t allowed on deck due to sea conditions.

Some unfortunate souls were sick the entire trip. We tried to cheer them up by telling them how good the food was (and we were well fed). Since they were already sick, they got assigned to the cleaning crews. I understood the troops going to Korea were at sea for almost a month. Lucky them.

My only real complaints were (1) no chairs - no where to sit except the deck - and (2) the head. A long stainless steel appliance with holes and indentations around the holes approximately buttock shaped served for waste evacuation.  Under this, a trough with sea water flowed at  high volume. Cold sea water. No need for toilet paper as the appliance worked as both a commode and bidet as the ship rolled. Not conducive to sitting and reading.

We did have movies! One open area, where we sat on the deck,  with a sheet taped to the bulkhead, top only taped. As the ship rolled, the picture would go in and out of focus. Helped those suffering for motion sickness. After a couple of days, I got pissed, found some tape, and taped the bottom of the damn sheet.

Some friends had coached me prior to going into the Army. One lesson, always remove your name tag when you are in transit. When questioned by authority, “My gear was lost, and this was issued to me”, got a “Ok, what is your name”?,  followed by an assignment to some shit detail or another. Being red headed and freckled, I would give an Irish or Polish name - not my own - and never show up for the detail. Like the NCO would remember my face or even care. He  was in transit too and didn’t like being in charge of the shit detail. It helps to be adept at hiding. Be just one minnow in the middle of the school. Also, be able to lie with a straight face.

“Private, why are you here? You were assigned to KP.”

“No sergeant, I’m on stairwell cleaning.”

“Yeah, what’s your name”?

“Duffy, Sergeant”.

And so on.

Then the P.A. call. “Private _____ _ ____, Serial Number  RA_________, report to the Sergeant Major’s Office.” Oops, duffel bag fell on the deck. Or was put there by someone who was jealous?  Nah, everyone liked me.  Oh well, it was a good run.

My one, and only, motion sickness episode was on a charter boat off Grays Harbor, WA. A company “bonding” function. Forty foot boat, fifteen foot swells. Was fine underway but when we started drifting I understood why the boats are called “pukers”. After about three hours of it, said, “Fuck it”, and started drinking beer. The beer stayed down, I got drunk, and ended the trip in a fist fight with the bean counter. Career enhancement, team bonding. Probably not in the MBA handbook.

Have nothing but respect for those who served, or are serving, in the Navy or Coast Guard. Just never wanted to be one of them. Being a power boat operator in an Army float bridge company was a close as I ever cared for the Navy life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Taken off Facebook

Posted as a public service. Did you think I'm partisan?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wyoming Day

This post is for a friend confined to bed who wants to know about my day. Hope some of you will enjoy it. Sorry for the picture quality - point and shoot pocket camera.

The job.

A balmy Wyoming day.  Touch of wind.

A little dust.

Touch of left rudder to compensate for the quartering 40 mph headwind.

Prime ranch land

Another pipeline going in.

Poor, frightened deer, Lysite, WY

Some people learn the hard way.

Close to home. Tis a privilege to live in Colorado.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Yard Signs

Colorado is a "swing" state. Adams County, where I live, has more registered voters claiming Democrat, by far.

See 2-1 or better Romney yard signs than Obama. Tells me the Republicans are outworking the Dems at the  local level. Also tells me many Dems have no enthusiasm for this election.  Makes this old Blue Dog smile. Two years from now we will take back the "big tent" and send the Progressives packing.

This year I'm supporting one, and only one, local candidate.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wisdom From Abroad

Perfect Quote
Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way that you can quickly understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic . Someone over there has it figured out. It was translated into English from an article in the Prague newspaper Prager Zeitungon
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America.  Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their president."
 From an email I received.

Monday, October 8, 2012

More Evil Car Salesmen Stories (Vulgar and Profane)

My friend, Dirty Al, is the best car salesman I’ve ever met. He got his start with Ralph Williams. Some insight.



Neither of us ever worked for this guy.



Reminiscing with Dirty Al, the subject turned to Arthur Floyd Kinsman, “The working man’s friend. Bring your trade and your wife and we’ll dicker.”

He was among  the most outrageous individuals I knew in the car business. Art was a decorated  Korea War Marine,  former Green Bay Packer guard, and had one of the foulest mouths I’ve  ever heard.

Some of the stories are beyond belief. Once he said to Sam M., while working a deal,  “I want you to tell your customer I want a sample of what he is smoking”. A few minutes later Sam dropped a baggie on Art’s desk. “Get that shit out of here”, Art roared.

Once  he was filling in for my manager. It was early morning and the store was empty except for a customer I had in the upstairs office and the customer's friend sitting in a corner of the showroom. The customer had rejected our first two offers. In a loud voice that echoed in the store, Art instructed me, “You go tell that banko faggot that we are the only fucking place that can get him financed and that is the fucking deal.”   After sitting down across from the customer, I said, “Ah, Milo.”  “I heard”, snarled Milo. “Where do I sign”?

Another time, unknown to the salesman and Art, a customer followed the salesman and stood just outside the entrance to the sales tower.

“Art”, said the salesman, “She wants the keys to her trade. She wants to leave”.  “Yeah”, said Art. “What does the little cunt really want”? Stepping into the tower, the customer said, “This cunt wants her keys.”  “I know that”, snarled Art. “What is it going to take to earn your business”?

At a slow off site sale, Al was on the P.A. system trying to stir excitement. He would announce a non existent sale as, “Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. They just bought a new Toyota”! All of us were to applaud. Then he announced, “Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Heater. They just bought a new Peugeot”!  (Heater, in car lingo, is a unhappy and irate customer)

Art taught me bore and stroke; down payment and monthly payment. Get the customer focused on that portion of the deal and you will make the deal.  He wouldn’t lose a deal over profit. He would say, “I’ll take a $300 deal, It is all iron, and I can get more iron. But, before I take a $300 deal, I’ll grind their tits off for four hours.”

Art’s time was before Customer Satisfaction scores became a big deal. He liked me; liked I averaged one chest bumping or fist fight a month with other salesmen. Art, the Pritchmeyer, and I, probably paid more in store fines (involuntary charity contributions) than anyone else in the organization (and I was in a distant third place).

Art lived large and died young. He strongly influenced scores of salespeople in the Seattle area. The man was without pretense; you knew exactly where you stood with him.  His highest praise? “You kinky mother fucker,” when you explained how you closed a sale.

Hope this post got a laugh or two. Serious times in our country but we still need to laugh.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thanks, Google

Noticed the number of comments have dropped off. Seems Google is deciding what is spam; essentially, everything that is "Anonymous". Wish I had an answer. The blog gets more page views in Russia than anywhere else. Can't believe what I rant about is of any interest to Eastern Europeans but may be of interest to professional spammers.

The only comments I ever delete are ones that are clearly spam. If you have commented, and don't see your comment, thank Google.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shot or Hung? Which Preference?

Redistricting moved me from one Congressional District (CO 7th) to another (CO 6th).

What a wonderful choice, albeit stark, I have this year. The incumbent, Mike Coffman ® is a way out right wing evangelical extremist. Has no problem trying to legislate his religious beliefs into law. One of the backers of the “Personhood Amendment”. That would normally keep me from voting for him.

 Personal note. I am not in favor of abortion but think the Supreme Court got it right in Roe vs. Wade; it is privacy issue between the woman and her physician.

Enter the Democrat candidate, Joe Miklosi, a proud Progressive who thinks Obama is too conservative.  He spent time in the State Legislature, rose to leadership,  and brags about what a fighter he is. Of course, the legislature didn’t accomplish squat because of all the infighting. That was the fault of the Republicans, the “Tea Party”, etc. stubbornness. Certainly not “Fighting Joe’s” leadership. Nor his enthusiastic support of every tax increase bill introduced by any party member. Not one word is his campaign propaganda about bridging differences.

There are two other candidates, a former Democrat and the Libertarian dilettante, that don’t resonate with me.

I think a vote for Coffman is a vote against Obama so that is the way I will go. Just wish, for once, I could vote for someone that doesn’t make me gag.