Monday, August 10, 2020

Haying



Every summer, starting at age 10, I worked on relative’s ranches near Coalmont, CO (North Park) putting up hay.

 

These are old school, 110-120 lb wire tie bales. More common now are round bales 6’ in diameter and large square bales that need large equipment to move and stack.

 

Being a strong lad, I soon went from driving tractors moving and raking hay to busting bales, like 2,000 – 2,200 a day.

 

Farming today has become so mechanized summer jobs for kids are scarce if they are not family. I think the country is poorer in spirit and appreciation of hard work for it.

 

There are many worse ag jobs than bucking bales. Thinning beets comes to mind.

 

Once I was back home, there were the bales from our own 20 acres of hayfields to pickup and store in the barn. We had an old twine tie bailer so those bales were only 80 lbs. Each one had to be tossed onto a flatbed Ford pickup and then you would jump on and off the pickup to stack them six high. At the barn the process was reversed. Labor intensive to be sure.

 

My sister, nine years younger, would steer the pickup as I walked alongside bucking the bales. The little shit would slowly push on the throttle and I would go from a walk to a trot. Yeah, fun times.

 

“MOM, he yelled at me!!!!”

 

Well, no shit.

And I loath this "new and improved" blogger.

 

 

Friday, August 7, 2020

OK, I Was Wrong

 

In a recent post, “S^*t for Brains, I commented on a neighbor leaving a new Challenger out in the open to be hailed on. Still, why leave the GMC whatever in the garage? Get a cover for it. Maybe there is a domestic issue involved.


The monsoon clouds are gone today after some violent storms yesterday. The haze obscuring the mountains is from numerous fires on the Western Slope, some approaching 10,000 acres and only partially contained.

The forecast is for several days of hot and dry weather; perfect for wildfires.

ADDENDUM: Trying to work with the “New and Improved” Blogger is frustrating.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Moaners and Doers


As a manager, the people I supervised fell into two broad categories. The first, and largest, were the moaners. Always, they could find fault with the way things were done. They would come to me with carefully polished complaints, but very rarely any solutions. The second, much smaller group, were doers. When they came to me with a complaint, they also had a suggested solution.

Guess which group was considered for promotions and plum assignments?

I didn’t care if their solution was workable. I cared that they thought through a problem; that they cared enough about their job to want to make it better. Their effort made me a more effective manager. Hey, he/she has a point. Let’s look into it.

So, WSF, is this going somewhere? Glad you asked.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently proclaimed systemic racism to be a critical public health issue. You can read all about it here.

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news/racism-persistent-and-critical-public-health-issue

What I considered the “meat” of this overly long pronouncement is here.

Being silent and doing nothing is no longer acceptable. We affirm that racism is a serious public health issue, we know that the health and lives of people of color are at stake, and, most important, we are ready to take action. That is how we will make good on the promise of a healthy, equitable Colorado for all.

Take action! How? This whole pronouncement is, IMO, one long moan without a specific, “We need to do this” anywhere to be found.

Wanting to know more about “systemic racism” I read through this.

https://www.eeoc.gov/systemic-discrimination           

The wonderful thing about being a moaner is you can find fault, assume the moral high ground, and not put your ass on the line. That is, be personally responsible.  Where, in their carefully crafted piece, are specific responsibilities? As a Colorado citizen and taxpayer, I want specific, concrete proposals and not this moaner pap.

How about specific racism? I talk with a third generation Hispanic heritage lady who lives in our building about these types of issues. As a child, she and her friends were turned away from the municipal swimming pool; the attendant refused to accept their money. She still feels the sting.

This town has a large Hispanic population, mainly of Mexican backgrounds, and today you find many Hispanic surnames among elected officials, municipal employees, and county employees. Hard work and persistence made change happen.

Point: Equal opportunity doesn’t mean equal outcome. Trite?  Yes. True? You decide.

So, WSF, instead of moaning what are your specific proposals?

Get involved in the political process, support candidates who do have concrete proposals, and help vote the fucking (P)regressives out!

Yeah, yeah, what will you do? Next Tuesday I will be at a political organizing meeting in Loveland, and will become a volunteer (again, as I have many times over the years). You?

Moving on, monsoon season continues with heat and, for Colorado, humidity. (Yes, I can hear you southerners’ snicker). Yesterday we had an ozone alert.



This new and improved Blogger sucks, IMO. If you computer masters are having problems, imagine the frustration of a Latter Day Luddite.


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Coven Approved



New, high visibility reflective gear for the dog has met the approval of the chief harpie.

He walks easier in this, with less tugging on the leash, and less wrapping of the leash around his legs.

The “Service Dog” tag is Velcro and other patches are available. The law in Colorado is somewhat vague. The animal must be trained for specific tasks but the owner cannot be asked about why they need a service dog. I decided to put the patch on to  preclude any “Karen” busybodies from bothering me.

We do two one mile walks a day, weather permitting. The first is early morning and the second after sunset to avoid the heat of the day. He doesn’t care but his fat owner avoids the midday heat.

I think the high visibility harness will make walks safer for both of us.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Tough Times


Spotted this mobile home and some memories came flooding in. At one point in time, my parents, little sister, and I lived in one like that, size and color too, for a year or so.

The old saw, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do”, applied to my parents.  Around 1949, my father got hired by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. We became railroad gypsies, living in “house cars”, that is to say railcars made into mobile houses. Some were quite nice, others were Spartan at best.  At various times we lived, along the tracks in Colorado; the North Denver yards, Plainview, Rollinsville, Pinecliff, East Portal, Kremmling, Tabernash, Toponas and Steamboat Springs.

 My sister, who is nine years younger than me, was born while we lived in East Portal.

The railroad operated on the seniority system. After a time, my father was promoted to Section Foreman. The management was always consolidating sections. A section would be consolidated, everyone “bumped” down, and everyone moved. In ten years, my father never went higher than next to last and many times he went back to being a section hand. That was the reason we lived in that dreadful mobile home. Kremmling was where he could go.

The Section Foreman was provided with a home by the railroad. We were in a nice home in East Portal when my father got “bumped”. What was opened to him was the #1 section hand in Kremmling. We lived there for a summer and winter when he was able to become the Section Foreman in Toponas, and later, Steamboat Springs.

Kremmling was dreadful. Mosquitoes as bad as Alaska. My sister, still in diapers, and I shared a small bed in the rear while my parents had a fold out couch in the front. It wasn’t a fun time!

Steamboat had better opportunities for my parents and they were able to leverage their “ranch raising” to better jobs with summer camps and private schools. They were able to buy a small ranch. They still worked “town jobs” and, in later years, made a lot of money in real estate sales when the “ski boom” took Steamboat from a 2,000 population town to a world class skiing destination. 

My sister had the good fortune of growing up in Steamboat, attending school K -12. She took her horse riding to a high level, becoming, age 13, the youngest certified riding instructor in the country while working at the Perry Mansfield Camp.


She was also a gifted dancer. While not enrolled in the dance programs, the instructors would coach her on the side.

Steamboat for me was a place I came to hate. Always the new kid, and never one to kiss anyone’s ass, I was accustomed to fighting whoever was the school bully. Him, a 6th grader and me a 2nd grader? No hesitation, fight on!  Steamboat was different; I always had to fight two or three at a time. That finally died down but I was never accepted. What I did develop was complete self reliance and trained myself to not need anyone.

What I gained from that upbringing was the willingness to tackle any kind of job head on, with no fear of failure. Fail? Fuck it, what’s next?

This blog gets read, from time to time, by members of my extended family. Some of the younger ones may gain something useful from it. Hope the rest of you weren’t bored.

For the record, while I was growing up, my parents were honest, sober, hard working responsible people. They walked the walk. (Poaching deer doesn't count)

Friday, July 31, 2020

S^*t for Brains


I see this on my daily walks with the dog and, if I were a “Karen”, this is what I would say.

You have that new muscle car in your driveway. It still has the “happy tag” on it. Is your garage too full of “stuff” to park it inside?

Have your forgotten we live in an area with frequent thunderstorms? That most years the hail repair gypsies are parked all over town in vacant lots? Right now is monsoon season, and we get thunderstorms almost every afternoon.

At a minimum, buy and use a quality car cover. A good one costs ½ of your monthly stroke on that ride.

On the other hand, between summer thunderstorms and winter blizzards, Sisty the Insurance Adjuster is kept busy.

Why do I even care? I appreciate certain cars and have never liked seeing machinery or animals abused.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Wrong County, Partner



Happened in the town eight miles north of me. The perpetrator was a native of the town; should have known better.


Given the number of CCW  carriers in Weld County, he is fortunate he didn’t  get shot. The Weld County DA, continuing the tradition of his predecessors, isn’t inclined to be all warm and fuzzy about something like this.

Seems some ethnic groups in Weld aren’t COVID-19 believers.


Oops, does my slant on this story make me a racist?

To the South in the Denver suburb of Aurora, some of the rioters got carried away.


Aurora is split between Arapahoe and Adams County. I believe this happened on the Arapahoe side. 

The DA is a leftist pussy so the kid may skate.

The mayor is a former five terms Congressman and is not known for being tolerant of crime.

Speaking of crime, it goes on and on regardless. Convenience store robbers meet the police.

Brief aside. Years ago municipalities started annexing like crazy for the tax base (without means to provide the basic services formerly provided by the counties) and the City of Denver grabbed Green Valley Ranch, which is a tit of land sticking out to the east, and only marginally connected to Denver.

Abutting jurisdictions is why the Aurora police were involved. Given the deep blue city government of Denver, they are in more trouble than the punks.