Monday, December 28, 2009

Poem

Sent to me by a friend

It's winter in Kansas
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles and hour
At twenty five below

Oh how I love Kansas
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut

Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
So, I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave Kansas
My ass is frozen to the ground

$$$$$$'s

As a registered Democrat, I get many money solicitations. Very rarely do they receive anything from me. Prior to Obama it was different. It seemed to me the party in power was in the hands of scoundrels. As an example, the FDIC lost nearly 1,000 auditors from 1999-2007 (Denver Post, 12/28/09). Not surprising we have massive bank failures. Now the party in power is in the hands of looney social engineers. AARGH!

These fund solicitations are starting to have a whiff of panic. Maybe they are reading the tea party tea leaves! I can only hope the GOP will offer up a slate of candidates not smelling of corruption. Yeah, I am a foolish optimist!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jobs Rant - Long, Skip if You Want

A sawmill operated upwind of the town containing my high school. Sawdust was burned and often smoke drifted into town. One citizen complained to my father, "Bob, isn't this smoke terrible"? My father loudly sniffed and replied, "I smell a $100,000 payroll." My father was in the middle birth order of twelve children. At one time, he and his brothers slept in a dirt floored hillside dugout near the small family cabin on a dry land homestead in Northwest Colorado. He was always working, or looking for work. Sometimes he worked two or three jobs. His siblings, his children, his nieces and nephews and his grandchildren have the same values. We may all be pulling a plow for the man but it is our plow and we pull it for whom we please. We own our pride and dignity. My great fortune is to have this heritage on both sides of my family.

Job destruction seems to be our national policy. About the time someone achieves a certain level of comfort and security or, worse, inherits it, they start campaigning to "save" something. My father defined an environmentalist as, "someone who bought his five acres last year." Everything has a cost. Basic economics describe the multiplier effect. Every dollar spent is multiplied by the number of times it changes hands (what that dollar is worth is another subject).
The multiplier works both positive and negative. Take that dollar out of circulation, by loss of jobs or remitting it to another country, and the economy shrinks. For proof, look no further than small farm towns or small to medium cities in the "rust belt". Today, tax revenues at all levels are falling caused by loss of jobs.

What drives job loss is corruption. Corruption in the unions, corruption in the banking sector, corruption in the board rooms. Our USA corporation aren't; they are registered offshore so they can use our services, infrastructure, and military to protect their assets without paying for their use. The top of this smelly heap is the past and present corrupt leadership in Washington, D.C.

I don't have all the answers but I do have two tools, my vote, and my wallet. I will no longer vote for the lesser of two evils. I will research where I spend money and not patronize corrupted businesses if I can avoid them. Great tool, the Internet, for find information.

A job is essential for dignity and self respect. As for those who won't work, my parents referred to what they called, "the belly flapping principle". Great motivator!

The question becomes; will any of this make a difference? Yes it will, to me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Petty-Mindedness

Is it wrong to enjoy the sight of a jerk being pulled over by the police?

Returning home last night after a nice supper, featuring pronghorn meat, with my sister and her well cared for dogs, I shared the road with a jerk.

This road is a four lane rural highway with several small towns. The speed limits in the towns are reasonable but slower than the open road. Said speed limits are diligently enforced. A small SUV was speeding through the towns then slowing way down on the open highway. He was driving with his high beams on. Not a good idea on what is known as DUI alley. In the third small town he ignored the 50 mph limit by ten or more and was caught.

Probably doesn't say much good about my character but, carefully passing the Crown Vic and SUV in the inside lane, I couldn't stop grinning.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Way Over The Top

People and their pets are often out of control. The question becomes, is the pet well cared for, or spoiled beyond belief? A case in point is my sister, ranch raised and otherwise sensible, who has small stairs at the foot of her bed so her Schipperke can easily access the bed. In my role as elder brother, I have tried to counsel her about the dangers of spoiling animals. These efforts have not been well received. In fact, they have been most rudely received. Oh well, a prophet in his own land, etc.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Compounding Irritation

This is a story of a $400+ hit to my wallet courtesy of a small town police chief.

The car dealership where I worked was located on twenty five acres along the frontage road of an Interstate Highway. The property is fenced on the three sides not facing the frontage road. A deep, wide ditch runs the entire length of the lot.

One night someone stole one of my personal vehicles, an older 2wd 1/2 ton Chevy, off the lot. They drove at an angle through the ditch. From the tracks, they got stuck and the bumper was bent from a tow hook when I got it back. Here we have two high traffic roads patrolled by three different agencies (state patrol, county, and city) 3/4 of a mile from three large gas station/truck stops and seven fast food restaurants, a truck in the ditch being towed out, brilliantly lighted, middle of the night and nobody sees anything? Or decides to check? Like that activity is normal?

After my report, a BOLO goes out and my truck is found about 20 miles away. It has a few missing parts, different tires and rims, but is drivable. No, prick small town Chief of Police has it towed and impounded. Guess his crime techs needed some practice. Of course, I get the bill for the tow and impound fees. Lots of reassuring blather about victim compensation when the thief is caught. Glad I didn't hold my breath.

Now the bad guys here are the thieves (may karma bite them in the ass). I am grateful for the sharp officer in another jurisdiction that spotted my truck parked back in the weeds. What bites is the small town Chief who compounded my loss for some b.s. crime scene investigation, I guess, because he could.

One bright spot was Officer Sweetheart took the initial report. She is a medium sized blue eyed blond way beyond good looking who looks much younger than her age. Her personality makes her a delight to be around. Alas, she is married. She is good at her job. One evening I saw her arresting a man at the truck stop. He and his companions were foreigners and seemed unwilling to take orders from a woman. I made eye contact with the two companions and stood there with them until her backup arrived. Very impressive, the way she handled the other man. He slowly and reluctantly complied with her orders but he did comply. After her backup arrived, I went about my business. Never found out why he was arrested.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Detailed

Another car lot story for DA. Bored car salesmen are dangerous; idle hands and minds can create major mischief.

At the time of this story, Mel S was a 70 year old salesman and weird beyond even car salesman standards. He drove a bright yellow VW diesel powered Rabbit pickup that appeared dark brown as it had never been washed in the five years Mel owned it. Mel lived at the end of a three mile dirt road.

We were working an off site sale at a race track parking lot. Business was slow and the group was bored. A couple of lot men were standing around. Mel's filthy pickup was parked nearby. A collection was taken up and the two lot men were put to work detailing (cleaning) Mel's VW. They did a great job!

At the end of the day, Mel came for his truck. He stood in front of it a good three minutes yelling about his truck being stolen; who did it, who saw it, etc. before it sunk in. After finding his key opened the door of a shining yellow truck, he started cursing. He was proud he never washed any vehicle he owned from the day he bought it to the day he sold it. The more he damned the group, the louder the laughs. Bored car salesmen = danger.

Sorry DA, you needed to be there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Can You Say?

My buddy DA asked for another car lot story. In the business you occasionally get an older car with very low mileage on trade. We took in a 10 year old Buick with 9,000 original miles, garage kept, with no scratches, dents, stains, etc. Like new.

My prospective customer for that car was an 82 year old retired chiropractor who was driving a monster Chevy Blazer. He and his wife had decided to give up camping, didn't need to pull a trailer, and wanted to downsize. Neat couple. In their case, age was truly just a number. We made an appointment and I buried the Buick in the back of the "bull pen" after putting a pencil eraser inside one of the spark plug boots. This kept the other salesmen from selling it before "my" customer could come in. Losing the keys is for amateurs. The cost of replacing keys is totaled monthly, divided by the number of salespeople, and then deducted from their pay. While you can usually get a locksmith to the lot in thirty minutes, the lazy bones service department will take three days to touch a car even if every service bay is empty.

My customer arrived and we headed to the bullpen. Walking back to the Buick we passed a car with fogged up windows. Figures could be dimly seen moving around in the front seat. As we approached the car, the driver's windowed opened slightly and the male occupant asked, "Uh, Tank, do you want to look at this car"? The female occupant was making wardrobe adjustments. "No, John, we don't want to look at this car", I replied. "Oh, good", was his reply.

As we walked on the customer asked me what that was all about. What to say?
One sales trainer I studied had some advice that seldom failed me. He said, when backed into a verbal corner with nothing to say, let your mind go blank, open your mouth,, and whatever comes out will work. "Mr. Customer", I said, "That was our special finance manager. I think he is working out a down payment." Thankfully, the customer laughed.

The Buick was soon sold for a nice gross profit. The customer was delighted. The Blazer trade I was able to sell a few days later. John made his deal too.

Somehow, the store Owner's wife found out what happened, prompting a rather heated meeting with the General Manager. Got to love the car business. Where else can someone call you "A kinky blankty blank" and it is a compliment?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Extended Stay


My house guest, Deuce, is still here. Youngest son and family have found a house and are moving in this weekend; took longer than expected. Will take Deuce back to them on Thanksgiving.

Daughter-in-Law has no sympathy. She points out she could keep the dog and give me the four kids! Love my grand kids but...........

Son is happy to be out of training and in the professional Army. Likes his unit and the people he has met. Life is good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Well Regulated Militia......

This past Monday I reported for jury duty along with approximately 150 fellow citizens. I'm sure they were thrilled, as was I, to be there. Sitting and waiting, I started thinking of various duties we citizens undertake.

The use of militia, as I understand history, goes far back in time. On this continent, militia service wasn't an option. Every free man was expected to be armed and to make himself available in times of need. For a militia to be effective, some order was needed; a well regulated militia.

The National Guard hasn't replaced the militia. It is more of a reserve component of national defense. I think the modern militia is found in Sheriff Posses. At least in the Western rural areas, most counties have an organized Sheriff Posse. An argument can be made that groups like the Deacons for Defense and Justice are militia. It seems to me the 2nd Amendment allows groups to organize and defend themselves from outside dangers or tyranny and this can't happen unless each individual has the unfettered right to own arms.

As to the jury duty, after about three hours I was dismissed. The individual was accused of embezzlement over a four year period, perjury, and attempted bribery; some fourteen counts in total. The judge estimated the trial would last several days. Like a military draft, I reported. Had I been selected, I would have served. It is all part of being a citizen.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

House Guest

Duece is staying with me until his family is moved into their new home. I'm enjoying him although we are still working on the pack leader issue! He is one strong dog.

I like dogs and miss having one. Spending 10 - 15 nights a month in a motel for the past decade or so kept me from getting one. Changing my lifestyle opens the possibility for having a dog.

The breed I'm considering is a standard poodle. I've been around several and back in the day my sister had one.

Soon Duece will be back taking care of the four grand kids and youngest son. FDIL will be thrilled! Sort of a love me, love my dog.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blog List

One of the blogs I follow is OccultBlackMetalZine. I don't understand it. The author is my middle son. He does understand his subject, is well read as anyone you will meet on philosophy. The last time I helped him move his library filled six totes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Flying Story

Received an email asking for another flying story from the past. A Super Cub needed to be ferried from a small Wyoming airport to Colorado. My employer purchased it, sight unseen, over the telephone (his common practice). One June morning I was dropped off at the airport to fetch it.

The airport operator wasn't friendly. His attitude I understood. Operating at a small airport was a marginal proposition at best. Losing any airplane based there cut his income. Further, he loathed my employer as he made very clear to me. He refused to give me the SC keys.

The SC was tied down in a plowed rectangle approximately 200' by 500' behind a hanger. Head high snow banks enclosed the tie down area. The only access was through the hanger. When I asked the FBO for access he offered me the use of a shovel.

Failure to complete the job was not an option. Had I called my employer, he would have told me to catch a bus to any destination of my choice. After an hour of deep thought I made a plan.

This being Wyoming, a stiff breeze was blowing. The wind was blowing across the 500' dimension of the tie down area. Using a small tool kit I carried, I removed the key cylinder from the Magneto switch. Leaving the tail tied down, I prop started the SC after a detailed preflight inspection and allowed the engine to idle for several minutes. Untieing the tail, I dragged the tail over to a snow bank and lifted the tail wheel onto the snow bank.

After putting on the seat belt and applying the brakes, I went to full power and adjusted the mixture to compensate for the 6,300' altitude. Releasing the brakes started the takeoff roll. The tail stayed up and I was able to hold a negative angle of attack which helped the acceleration. At about 300' the airspeed indicator started working and I lowered the tail slightly. With about 50' left, ground effect kicked in and we cleared the snow bank easily. Aborting the takeoff was never an option. My plan was bring the stick back hard and bounce over the snow bank. Happily, that wasn't necessary.

Although sorely tempted to give the FBO a good buzz job, I refrained. Given the small world we all operated in, I know there would be a future opportunity to kick his ass. The trip back to our base was pleasant and uneventful.

The Super Cub is a great airplane. Even with 85 h.p. and 6,000+ altitudes it performs well.




Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Proud Parent 68W 2nd Effort

With apologises to readers, the first post on this topic was deleted because of some incorrect assumptions on my part. That being said.......

Youngest has completed his 68W combat medic training at Ft Sam Houston and is now home with his family. His duty assignment will be an armour unit less than two hours for me. Puts the grand kids six hours closer; that will be tough to handle!

His primary motivation for joining the army, later in life, was financial security for his family. His profession is degraded by illegal immigrants, the scum that hire them, and the economic downturn.

He had the good fortune to meet, and the good sense to marry, a loving woman who has all her s*#t in one duffel bag. For seven months she has taken the job of the kids, dog, and home on alone (and done quite well).

Given his MOS, in due time he will go in harms way. Like millions of parents, I will worry and pray. Until then, I am going to enjoy this time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Colorado Welcome II


Still snowing. Not our biggest storm. October 1997 the snow was 51" deep on our car lot. This snow is good news for the dry land farmers who got their crops planted. Slow release moisture, insulating the ground, and killing destructive insects are all good news. Good for the aquifers. Good for the ski/tourist industry. This is a much better stimulus, courtesy of Mother Nature, than anything out of Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Colorado Welcome








First major Front Range snow storm of the Winter. Heavy, wet snow, that the kids love; it makes great snowmen. Not so much fun for the adults. No fun at all for anyone driving where the wind is blowing hard.

After shoveling snow you need to inoculate against the bite of the notorious Colorado Snow Snake! Pictured is my favorite anti venom. Some ignorant pilgrims deny jackalopes and snow snakes but that is my story and I am sticking to it!.

The selfish part of me hopes this storm is bad enough for me to be called out to plow. That will boost the, "Spoil the grand kids rotten at Christmas" fund.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ain't It A Bitch


Youngest son is in his final week of 68W Medic training; two weeks in the field doing simulated combat conditions.

At the start of his time in San Antonio, the temperature was 100+ day after day and the area was in a deep drought. Off to the field and?

Next week he gets to come home to his family but this week I imagine is pure misery.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Greatest Generation Inspiration


Greatest generation member Al Vella going for his daily walk. He walks well but uses the walker to rest and to help when his left leg gives out; a leg injured D Day at Normandy where he was a Combat Engineer. His mind is still sharp and his handshake firm.
Complaining to myself about my pains as I do my daily 45 minutes seems silly as I pass Al plodding along. What a debt we owe him and the men and women like him.

.44 Special Sight Modification




Macular Degeneration affects my right (sighting) eye. Thankfully, a recent exam shows it hasn't gotten worse in three years. It affects my ability to focus. A local gunsmith came up with a peep sight arrangement and I recently tested it. I was able to focus on the front post clearly with the target mainly in focus and the peep, while blurred, helped keep everything aligned.

Five rounds at a measured 25' with four solid hits and one grazing hit makes me think this will work. Before the peep I couldn't hit three out of five.

Practice is what is needed. With near zero availability of .44 Special, not to mention the cost, I am reluctant to use up my stock. My thinking now is a .22 revolver (Charter makes one) with a peep added. Also, having the gunsmith improve the front post - something better than paper white out. Suggestions are welcome.

I tried aiming using my left eye. Two hits, so much practice will be needed to go that route.

Some people think I am incredible cheap (paper plate targets among other things) while I prefer prudently thrifty. My personal standard for handgun use is to be able to make a body hit at parking lot distances. Seems I'm faced with spending some dollars.

The lint on the handgun is from the innocuous cotton drawstring sack I use for a range bag.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What Goes Around...Curse the Broncos

I am NOT a Denver Broncos fan. Many family members, alleged friends, and the community at large, are insufferable fans. Last season was every enjoyable, for me, as the Broncos stumbled along. This season they are 6-0. I am being persecuted, I tell you, by my ever loving family members. Worse, they are so enjoying themselves. AARG!

My team? Let's just say the NFL won't give Portland, OR, a professional team because then Seattle would want one.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Damn Pilgrims - Winter Driving




We are approaching the season of local frustration with our flatlander visitors and recent arrivals driving in our winter wonderland. Here is your first tip; GET OUT OF THE WAY! Stay in the right lane, use pullouts, and know your limitations. Locals have the tires, the experience and the need to get to jobs, day care, etc. Enjoy your experience, be safe, but have some consideration. If your safe speed is 30 mph, the truck in front of you is doing 28 mph, then you DO NOT need to pass him when the safe speed for the locals is 50 mph in the left hand lane. KEEP RIGHT!

Your second tip is this: Don't drive in a blizzard if you have never done it before. I-80 across Western Nebraska and Wyoming is a killer in a blizzard.

Your third tip is this: When your fuel gauge is on one half, you are empty. Don't pass a fuel stop if your tank is at one half or below. Avalanche and wrecks can leave you parked for hours in the middle of nowhere.

I imagine this whole rant is a waste of bandwidth but it makes me feel better.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Something Light




No rants or stories. Two pictures taken this week I like and one from the East Portal area from a few days ago.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

B.S. To The Tenth Power



Our small city recently built a new library. No problem there; the old one was about 1,800 square feet and noisy. The new facility is well designed and well constructed. The parking lot has several handicapped parking spots next to the entrance sectioned off from general parking with a sidewalk and dedicated entry and exit. No problem there; the design stops impulse parking. What gets my temper flaring are the six spots nearest the entry (see the photographs).

Having an inquiring mind, I sent an email to the patrol captain asking about the legal basis for these signs and fines for parking there. His reply was, in essence, WTF; we don't know but we will look into it.

My guess is some self important busy body got these installed. Public money was spent on those signs. The parking lot is public, not private, property. To some people, my gripe may seem petty. To me, this is an example of civil employees thinking they have the power to make rules and regulations. NOT!!! Elected representatives make rules and regulations. Civil employees administer rules and regulations. They are not free to use their positions to push their own agenda. We, as citizens, need to keep calling them out. My opinion; your mileage may vary.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Watch Out Again


Posted May 10, 2009 about my legendary driving skills. Today I finished training for a seasonal job as a snow plow operator. The picture shows some of the equipment I will be operating at the airport.

The flying public will be safe; the job is only on the public parking lots so no aircraft will be endangered.

This is an on call job so if it snows a lot this winter my 2010 summer travel fund will be fat. By Monday the 4x4 will be checked over, survival food and gear loaded, and the winter clothes taken out of storage and made ready. Past history says being stuck at the airport for three days is possible.

Me pass the tests? Must be low, low standards. (Friends and family, this is you cue to jump to my defense)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Medical Miracles

My good friend, Dirty Al, is a character. He has been a soldier, a mercenary, a bail bondsmen, and the best car salesman I've ever known. His eyesight was bad all the years I've know him.

Last year the VA fixed his eyes. They removed cataracts and fixed a detached retina. His vision has been restored to nearly perfect. When I asked him if the quality of his life has improved, he said greatly, except the county has put up a lot of stop signs since his eye surgery.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Does It All Mean?

I use three different spell check programs. None recognize the word "Obama". Is there something sinister going on? Some programmer's sense of humor? Nothing at all? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Un Yankee Doodle Dandy





Planned today to drive to Yankee Doodle Lake on the old Denver and Rio Grande Northwestern right of way over Rollins/Corona Pass. It was snowing but no problem; that is why we have 4x4. The pinhole leak in a coolant hose made a good case for not pushing on. Any evidence of common sense on my part is shocking to my family members, relatives, and friends but there you are. In the 1950's, when you could still drive the entire pass (before a tunnel collapsed), my father broke down near the summit and had to hike down ten miles in cowboy boots. As much as I admired him, that is one of his experiences I don't care to duplicate.

The pass was abandoned after the Moffat Tunnel was completed. In the early 1950's my father was the section foreman responsible for the tracks in the Moffat Tunnel. His father and an uncle traveled over Rollins Pass by train on their way to Northwest Colorado to homestead land. My sister's first home was at East Portal. I caught my first fish in Yankee Doodle Lake.

The area is popular with the ORV enthusiasts which is why I avoid the area on weekends. Colorado can be an aggravating, high maintenance place to work and live. For me, the mountains make it worth the effort.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Real Life Cops

Went to a city park tonight for my daily exercise walk. When I pulled into the parking lot (Yeah, I drive to find a place to walk) saw a policeman with his firearm out pointed at a shirtless man prone on the ground. Moments later there were several police cars and ambulances in the lot.

Not wanting to be a distraction, I stayed in my car until they had handcuffs on the man on the ground. Found it interesting the lone officer stayed about ten feet from the man being cuffed until help arrived. He maintained his distance until the second officer had the handcuffs secured.

Avoiding the activity, I started my 1.4 mile loop. When I came back to my parked car they were still there. The handcuffed man was sitting on his butt and there seemed to be an animated discussion taking place. The ambulances were gone.

I was quite curious but decided to MMOB, walked to my car, and left.

This is probably a boring blog but it has been an uneventful week.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Facing Reality

The following is a copy of a comment on CommonDreams.org posted by "Glenn Ford".

The left and right and middle have irrational, ignorant and/or violent people.

The left, right and middle also have rational, intelligent and peaceful people.

One who excludes a whole spectrum of political philosophy as being unapproachable and of no value is a politically unsophisticated individual.

Obviously the current us and them dichotomy has been a disaster.

Us and them is always a disaster on any level or in any context one may employ the use of us and them dichotomy.

Rulers have always abused the citizens by having the citizens buy into dichotomies of opposition.

This system has become highly powerful under a split political citizenry and simple mathematical and spiritual and political analysis and logic says a new paradigm of a united citizenry is the only power that will defeat the current corporate strangle hold.

And when one mentions revolution no one should assume violence but the word revolution must become comfortable before the reality of revolution will exist.

I don't agree totally with what he is saying. To borrow a line from former State Senator Ken Gordon, D CO, we spend too much time talking to people who agree with us.

There is a time and place for taking a stand no matter what. Long before that time and place are many times and many places for civil discourse with those with whom we don't agree. It isn't fun, comfortable, or uplifting but it is important; be it a family, a business, an organization or our country. I don't like Obama and will work to see he isn't reelected. Right now, he is the president and this country cannot keep drifting while the world's wolves are circling looking for an opening.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm A Snitch

Looking out my window this morning, I saw a woman park in the handicapped parking spot and walk to the employee entrance. This is not the first time I've seen that car parked there. After thirty minutes I went out and checked for handicapped decals. Finding none, I wrote down the license plate and then called city dispatch. Guess this makes me a snitch.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unhappy Customer?

Another car lot story. We had a previous customer visit our lot in an unusual way. The four lane street in front of our lot had a very high crown causing vehicles to drift to the right. Between the sidewalk and our fence was room to display three vehicles between our two entryways. One evening we watched a S-10 pickup drift from the inside lane to the curb and into our driveway without slowing. He hit the first vehicle, a Toyota pickup, squarely in the rear pushing it into the back of a Chrysler Le Baron which hit a Ford Probe. We later learned the driver had purchased the S-10 from us. Running up to the wreck, I could see the driver flopping around in his seat belt; he had a grand Mal seizure. After contacting 911, the dispatcher started asking questions. She told me it was important to keep the man from swallowing his tongue and she could talk me through the procedure. I could hear sirens approaching so I told her I wasn't sticking my fingers into any stranger's mouth. While she was discussing my attitude, the professionals arrived. His seat belt had saved him from serious injury and he was soon on his way to the hospital. In due course we learned his insurance was lapsed. We were out our $500 per vehicle deductable plus whatever profit we may have made. Expensive afternoon. We blamed it all on Discount Tires. Click the "Unhappy Customer" post title to watch a video.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tickets for Revenue-A Car Lot Story

Lots of arguments about traffic tickets as a revenue source. This is one case. I was managing a small lot in a Denver suburb when I had a car stolen from the lot. The lots was next to the local police duck blind on a four lane street headed downhill to the South. A cheap gas station was next door with two driveways shaded by trees. The North side of the station had a high wooden fence nearly to the sidewalk. The motor officers could sit under a our tree, hide behind our cars, and see a block and a half to the North and a full block to the South. Unless you were looking for him, Officer Friendly was hard to see.

I was rearranging the lot and had all the keys on the vehicle roofs when a customer came in to make a payment. A police motorcycle was sitting under our tree. I went inside long enough to write a receipt and came out to find our Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 gone. The empty space was directly beside the policeman. I ran up and informed him our car had just been stolen. He told me to call 911! WTF! Guess he was more concerned with writing tickets than catching a car thief.

Well I called 911 and soon had three cruisers on the lot but the car was long gone and never recovered. Rare car, only 3,000 were imported.

We had a decent relationship with the police and they always came quickly. The lot was in a high crime area. When I asked the street cops about the motor cop, they looked embarrassed - guess they didn't like the ticket writer squad either. At least, they didn't back him up when he finally strolled over and I told him to never park his Ramen eating, gutless, lazy POS, tax collector dressed as a policeman ass on our lot again. Seemed to upset him. He looked at the the other officers who looked back at him. He then went back to his scooter and drove off. After thanking the other officers for responding and finishing the theft report, we all went back to work.

Two days later a shift supervisor stopped by and we talked. He told me they had six motorcycle officers who did nothing but work traffic. Nice guy, we shared a cup of coffee and he looked over our security and video set up. I did monitor my driving closely within that city after that.

Guess you always have one in every group. In later years one of my sons lived within that jurisdiction and had numerous contacts created by his psycho meth head girlfriend. Their response was always professional. I still heartly dislike the way they work their duck blinds.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wyoming Peace Officer - Old School

It is flattering to have police officers following this blog so here is a story for them. In the late 1950's my Uncle Ray was appointed Town Marshall of the small Wyoming town where he went to high school. His father sold the ranch and moved to Arizona for health reasons. The position didn't pay much and the Marshall was expected to have a regular job. He provided his own vehicle and equipment. The city provided lights and siren, a radio, and a telephone in his home. The local telephone operators provided dispatch.

Uncle Ray was about 6'5" with sloping shoulders. You didn't realize how big he was until he turned sideways to pass through a door. His main qualifications were; available, patience, and he could whip anyone in the area. The retiring Marshall trained him.

His main duties were rounding up loose livestock, breaking up fights, and taking drunks to jail. For serious crimes he called the State Patrol. When he needed backup, he brought his wife. She was as tough as him and could hit a flying Magpie with a .22 rifle. In the area were the decedents of Swedes and Finns brought in for logging. In the summer, Mexican migrants cut brush on the power line right of ways. The two bars in town supplied a steady group of drunks and riots in the summer. Uncle Ray took care of the riots himself and once had seven drunks stuffed into his car.

The case that gave him the most joy involved a 450 pound drunk. Uncle Ray managed to get him out of the bar but the drunk then went to the ground and refused to get up. A face full of mace didn't change his mind. Uncle Ray took out his lariat, tied one end to his car and the other around the drunk. He then drove to jail where the drunk was only too glad to walk in; didn't even want to go around town again.

Uncle Ray viewed civil rights as, "If you ain't civil, you got no rights". Miranda was the Mexican he arrested last summer. Domestic cases were settled on the spot with a good ass kicking. For the five years or so he held the job, that was a safe and peaceful town.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Proud Father

Received word today my youngest is doing well in his Combat Medic 68W training. One requirement is passing the National Registry Emergency Medical Technician - B NREMPT-B testing which he passed this week.

My first born is Autistic. He recently passed his Washington State Food Handlers permit. This is, for him, a major achievement that he has been working on for two years.

Please excuse me while I puff up my chest and grin ear to ear.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blasted Squirrels


Wish I could have nice fresh tomatoes from MY plants. The squirrels beat me to them. They are particular, too. Only take the very ripest ones. Aargh!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Very Rare Use of Common Sense






Towing trailers has been mentioned in previous posts (May 10, 2009). This week I attempted to tow a RV from Pierre SD. My van was up to the job but my borrowed trailer wasn't. Instead of attempting the trip, I moved the RV to a storage lot to wait for another time and better equipment. This is shocking behavior, I know, to those who know me.

Interesting trip. I've never seen the Nebraska sand hills this green this late in the summer. We were able to experience a South Dakota thunder storm. Sort of a, "Hold my beer, this could get interesting". (Humor, I never drink and drive)

Just to keep up my foolish image, I made a stupidly low ebay bid on this RV. Now I own it!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Damn All Pet Dumpers

Damn all pet owners who dump their pets out in the country. A German Shepard was hanging around my sister's house. Two nights ago in a thunder storm she let her dog out for a couple of minutes. When she let her dog back in, the Shepard was on her porch, cold, wet and scared. She let the dog in. Now she may have a permanent pet.

She has done all the right things; called animal control and the animal shelter. If someone was missing their dog, they sure haven't tried to find her. The dog is big enough to fight one coyote but not two or three. A small dog or a cat stands no chance against a coyote, bobcat, or mountain lion.

People, whatever your circumstances, have the guts to take your pet to the shelter. If the pets gets put down it will be done humanely.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Family Update

With apologises to other readers, I occasionally use this blog to reach relatives (I have over 50 first cousins) with family news. Youngest son is midway along his Combat Medic training in Texas. The 100+ temperatures everyday he has been there he finds tiresome. He is on course to be an honor graduate and is currently his class leader (much like an acting NCO). Eldest son has stayed tobacco free. Since I gave him a financial incentive, come October I will need to come up with the money. Middle son has avoided layoffs but hasn't been able to put his BA degree to work in IT. Little sister and I went to a memorial service last week in the old home town. Sad occasion but a nice trip other than the joint tourist/construction season. Two cold winters have slowed the pine beetles but you see mile after mile of dead trees. Another cold winter may kill them off. Stopped in Walden and took photos at the cemetery. If I haven't sent them to you, send me an email. Hope all of you and yours are doing well.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Congressman Gets an Earful


Ed Perlmutter Dem CO has a "Government at the Grocery" one to two times a month. I admire him for making himself available. Today wasn't his day. Seems a lot of folks aren't happy about Obamacare. Peaceful crowd. Our local police were there in force to keep it that way. One plainclothes was hustling shopping carts for those who were there to buy groceries. Both sides were present with their signs. Some were even talking to each other.

Please excuse the quality of the cellphone photo.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Racial Profiling??? Don't Think So

In the early 1990's, working at a big car store, I became good friends with a man on my crew. We were of similar age, veterans, married, raising kids, buying a house, etc. Our primary differences were skin color and fear of the police. We often car pooled and he was always alerting me when he saw a police car. When he was driving he was always hyper alert for police cars. I got many an earful about "driving while black". We were never stopped which was a good thing. He was a daily cannabis user. I often wondered if the root of his fear was illegal activity.

During my time at this store, I came to know many police officers. We sold used cars to the county for undercover use. After a few weeks we bought them back for a few hundred less than we sold them if the cars weren't trashed. Our city police had to park in an isolated lot open to vandalism. Many wanted a cheap beater for commuting and I had many for customers. Good thing for my miscreant children. All these officers seemed focused on criminals, shitheads, dopers and drunks. Skin color was incidental. I rarely heard any racial remarks but many disparaging remarks about bad drivers, gang activity, drug dealers, ADAs and judges.

One day I was involved in a minor fender bender; the other driver swerved into me. His story, told to Sgt. K, was he was trying to miss a dog. He had other problems. His car wasn't registered to him, he didn't have proof of insurance, and his fluency in English was poor. When Sgt. K wrote him a citation, he went off. "No, you no give me ticket. No, you make insurance go up. No, you find dog owner give him ticket. No, no sign ticket. You pick on me, me Asian, you no fair to me." Talked himself into handcuffs and a ride to jail. Sgt. K was a mellow policeman, more of a peace officer than a cop, but he had his limits. The driver got arrested for being an asshole. That is what I said in court six weeks later. The judge had a few choice words for me.

I strive to treat everyone with courtesy. On the few occasions I've had to deal with Badge Heavy officers, I've kept my cool. The time and place to deal with them is with their supervisor. I've done that. It takes a little fortitude to talk to the Undersheriff or Chief. You are not in a friendly environment. If you are not prepared to take action, STFU. If you don't have the guts to deal with the problem, you are the problem. That is my position. Your mileage may vary.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hunting Dogs and Buicks

After years of roaming, my parents settled down in a then small mountain town. In this town was a proud Buick owner who got a new car every two or three years and took great pleasure in showing off his relative, to his neighbors, better financial status. He was also thoroughly unpleasant and haughty. One winter night, two high school students jacked up the rear of his car and put blocks under the axle near each wheel so that the tires were barely off the ground. He gets off work, starts the Buick and tries to back up. When it didn't move, he floored the accelerator. Either the spinning tires made ground contact or the Buick fell off the blocks. In any case, the Buick ended up across the street buried in a snowbank.

New to the town was a Southerner with hunting dogs. To train them, he had a crippled bobcat. He would take the bobcat outside of town, let it loose, and recapture the cat after his dogs treed it. Great fun for everyone but the bobcat. One day the bobcat got treed in the rafters of Buick owner's garage. Buick owner, investigating the commotion, finds a half dozen dogs jumping on his Buick trying to get the bobcat in the rafters. While he wasn't amused, the rest of the town was. The combinations of dog bites, fist fights, police, Game and Fish, lawyers, city fathers, and insurance adjusters involvement's took the town through the winter doldrums all the way to spring.

Recently, a bear was found wandering the town streets. Ah, the potential of a bear, dogs, and the trust funders who now populate the town makes my imagination go wild.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sometimes Life Kicks You In The Gut

Just learned the wife of a good high school friend/classmate was killed yesterday. She was run over by a truck while she was at her mailbox. A great woman dead because of "inattentive driving". Years ago an aunt was hit and killed in the breakdown lane of I-80 while trying to help a stranded motorist. In another state, a favorite cousin was mowed down by a drunk driver. Such a waste.

Seems we should be grateful for those blue lights behind us. Not only is the general public being protected, we are being guided away from behaviors that can lead to a lifetime of regret.

Rest in Peace L.F.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lookout Kansas!


High Plains, Eastern Colorado, early afternoon producing lightning and starting prairie fires.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Train Pictures


I've always liked trains and have tried many times to take a decent train photo. I like this one, The Cheyenne Frontier Days Special, just North of Platteville, CO at Mile 37.

Friday, July 17, 2009

How to Lose a Sale

Piss off a deputy sheriff. He had me drive a manual transmission Dodge Diesel as his right arm ended in a hook. I knew he was a deputy but forgot on the test drive and did my usual slow roll through a stop sign. He yelled, "I can't believe you did that in front of a police officer!" "Sorry", I replied, "That was stupid".

He didn't buy the truck. I felt bad, not because I didn't make the sale, because he was a customer looking for a truck and I spoiled his visit by hurting his feelings. It wasn't a personal slight on my part; I am a traffic law scofflaw. Perhaps he was a wee bit too sensitive?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Evil Car Sellers

Another car lot story has been requested. Balloons! Lots use hundreds of balloons and many tanks of helium each month trying to attract customers and create excitement. They have other, sinister, uses.

We had an asshat manager who needed spinning. He was required to return to the store whenever a burglar alarm was tripped. One cold night we turned the heat up in the service department until it was nice and toasty. Just before closing we inflated and released a few white balloons in the service bays to float against the white ceiling. Then the heat was turned down. A couple of hours later the heaters with fans kicked on, the balloons started moving, and the alarm sounded.

His wife had to drive him to the store. With two DUIs and half in the bag, he couldn't be caught driving. His wife was angry and the police who responded weren't in a good mood, especially on the third call early in the morning.

Strangely, I was accused. My defense, that I wasn't smart enough to come up with the idea, wasn't completely accepted. The waste of police time was regretable but they did have an opportunity to charge him with being an asshat, drunk and disorderly, or other creative ideas.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NEW BLOG

A new blog devoted to buying and selling cars. Several past associates are very unhappy with me. No reason to feel that way as most people don't have the moxie to help themselves.

http://consumercommandocentral.blogspot.com

D.O.T. Approved????

Sunday, July 5, 2009

VAST Right Wing Conspiracy???

Seems the leftist and their favored elected officials see a "vast right wing conspiracy". Isn't a conspiracy something organized? If not a conspiracy, the people opposing their agenda are "dumb" or "stupid". Must be easier for them to accept than to acknowledge most of their fellow citizens find them to be pompous assholes. Your milage may vary.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weasels and Other Gutless Wonders

Many people I encounter want to "unload" their frustrations on someone else; usually someone not empowered to do anything. These unfortunates must accept being dumped on to keep their jobs. The gutless wonder dumper hasn't the courage to take their complaint up the chain of responsibility. At some level they must know they are weasels, that their actions diminish them, and the person they are dumping on quietly holds them in utter contempt.

Years ago a POS got into my blank checks and spread some $3,200 worth around town. Standing in line at the bank customer service counter with others having the same problem, the woman in front of me was loudly and vulgarly complaining to everyone in earshot. She turned to me and said, "Well, aren't you angry? This is terrible"! My reply, "If this is the worst thing that ever happens to me, I will be truly blessed. Terrible is death, illness, house fires and the like. This is an inconvenience. Given time, I'm sure the bank will correct the problem" received nearly hidden smiles from the two young entry level ladies catching the heat. The young ladies have won several promotions. I get superb service at that bank. One son's first car loan was approved there. All but $200 of my money was restored in five days. Good luck to the woman in front of me. The loss of the checks was on me for not securing them and my home; not the bank.

People who won't own their own problems anger me. My mistake is my problem. I own it and deal with it. That being said, I am not a willing or complacent victim. Taking action up the chain of responsibility gives those folks catching heat a perfect reason to get stupid policies changed. They don't need to confront their superiors with a "hey, stupid"; they are "dealing" with a citizen/customer complaint. When I unload, I want to unload on the s.o.b. responsible, not the insulating underlings. When I can't get it done, I call my little sister. Trust me, you don't want to deal with her.

In sales, the rule is 80% of sales are made by 20% of salespeople. Is this the case in other area? 80% of problems are solved by 20% of the people who care? For sure, I want to be among the 20%.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Soldiers


Youngest son passed basic and is now in Texas to be trained as a medic.
The ceremony was impressive; scripted and executed to perfection. What a difference from my experience at the same post 46 years ago!

Turns out I needed a hankie. I noticed several grey heads with a similar problem. Towards the end of the ceremony their company commander had them repeat their oath.
Everyone in uniform I saw was repeating it at the same time.

I was shocked by a statistic in the CSGT MAJ's speech. He said less than 1/2 of 1% of our citizens serve in the military.

Everyone in my son's platoon made it and their DI was named the outstanding DI for the cycle.

I need some time to mull over this experience and the paths my thoughts are taking. Perhaps a few posts will result.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Proud Father-Military Service

Youngest son finishes Army Basic next week. In the morning will leave to pickup his wife and four children so we all can be there. Will be away from this blog for a week. His motivation for joining was economic; no steady work for a Master Plumber.
He, along with several second and third cousins, is the eighth generation of our clan to serve.

Being FORCED to spend several days with the world's cutest grandchildren is part of the deal.

In other family news, oldest son is off the patch and is now three months smoke free.

Will post again and answer comments when I return.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Got Weed???

Recent crime news from the Peoples Republic of Boulder involves a robbery of a Medical Marijuana Facility. In Granola ville, where the normal vehicle is a Subaru or twenty year old Land Cruiser, these master criminals used a Black Escalade. Other than the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile you would be hard pressed to find a more conspicuous vehicle.

Probably a fun break in routine for the Boulder P.D.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Great Uniter???

Skimming the "Progressive" sites today, about 3 to 4 out of ten posts are Obama negative. Is it possible he can unite the left and right in a common distaste for him?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Evil Airplane/X-Country from Hell

Another flying story has been requested. At the start of my short lived aviation career, I worked for a madman who bought airplanes sight unseen. After he bought one, someone would be sent to fetch it; in this case, me. One fine day I was dropped off in Lexington, TN to pick up an Ercoupe and return to Colorado.

The Ercoupe is a simple two place fixed gear low wing aircraft with a bubble canopy cockpit and twin tails. Looks like a mosquito. Entry is made via the bubble. Two panels slide down and you can fly it that way. They have interconnected controls and are stall and spin proof. You maneuver on the ground with the yoke much like driving a car. I find them fun to fly.

The Ercoupe I found was in poor condition and "out of license". A local A&P (mechanic) signed it off for a ferry flight and away we go. The Ercoupe has three fuel tanks, in each wing and behind the engine. The lines are inside the cockpit and the rubber hose for the left tank ruptured. Ten gallons of gasoline was now soaking my left leg. What you might call a potentially explosive situation. First, I slid down the canopy windows. Then, very gently, I started a shallow climb. This allowed the fuel to run to the tail where small holes are built in to drain condensation. The master electrical switch, conveniently located on the bulkhead behind the pilots head, I left alone and the radio I didn't touch. After an hour I started to think about landing. Paducah, KT, seemed to make sense.

Per my sectional map, the airport was five miles West of downtown Paducah. Picking up a sectional line, I flew the appropriate amount of time to cover five miles. No airport. The fine compass in the Ercoupe showed me flying Northwest. This compass was an automobile accessory compass with a price tag that said, "Gamble 39 cents".
After several tries, I figured out the railroad tracks from the map to the ground and followed one until, the airport! On the ground, I learned Paducah is one of the few places sectional lines don't run East/West.

With repairs made and clean pants, off we go until we hit Interstate 70. Hard to get lost following an Interstate. On a warm day, the average VFR pilot will climb to smooth air, usually about 2,000' above the ground. Keeping the Interstate off the left wing, you have an easy and smooth flight. Exactly where most General Aviation aircraft can be found, outside of Kansas City, an aerial intersection called Bonner Springs is located. This intersection is where large jet airliners are maneuvered for approaches to Kansas City airports. If one deliberately set out to create a perfect place for mid air collisions, this is the place. Here I am droning along in the haze when I see the nose of a TWA 727. I'm close enough to tell the captain isn't wearing a hat and the copilot is. People will tell you you can't snap roll an Ercoupe. Maybe so, but I did that day.

When I got the cursed Ercoupe to Colorado, the only instruments working were the oil pressure and altimeter. Did I mention the brakes stopped working? Fun, fun, fun.

Note to Dirty Al. The story you want to see won't happen. Statute of Limitations doesn't apply.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Yeah, I Can Hit a Target



Recently had work done on my .380. Today, it got tested. The results won't impress any competitive shooter. My criteria is to hit a target at "parking lot" range. So, standing two hand modified Weaver and Macular Degeneration; think a TA might take his business elsewhere?

Again, I am reminded why I prefer revolvers to automatics. At some point the .380 will get traded. What will work is a Charter Arms in .22 for practice and the .44 Bulldog for carry. If five shots won't get the job done, the situation may be more than my skills can handle.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Get Rich by Running for Office???

Can a candidate get rich siphoning campaign contributions and stashing them somewhere? Who knows?

Let us consider candidate Obama, a Chicago politician with no money but smart and a hustler. He hustled his way into a prestigious high school, then a minor league college, then other, more prestigious institutions of higher learning, all on scholarships, grants, etc. He hustle himself into politics and learns how to raise ever increasing, nay staggering, sums of money. Along the way he is elected twice but doesn't seem to care about the offices themselves.

He then hustles himself onto the national stage and, oops, gets elected to the highest office in the land. He hasn't prepared for the job; doesn't grasp the nuances involved and is proceeding to produce one cluster ____ after another. If we, as a nation, survive his four years, we can hope he will devote himself to hustling his Presidential Library.

That is a change I can believe in.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Callous Car Sellers

As requested, another car lot story. Most salespeople work on straight commission, leading to bitter arguments as to who earned what. A customer on the lot is an "UP". A salesperson, not making progress, cannot "Lot Drop" the UP; they must see their manager. The manager decides if another salesperson should talk to the UP. This is a "turn". If the second salesperson is successful, the commission is shared.

Maggot was a poster child for bad salesmen. He found few chemicals he didn't enjoy abusing. He was a major gambler, always in debt to lenders with collection methods not acceptable to the BBB. His ethics were those of a starving piranha. Worse, he was a mediocre salesman and got fired two to three times a year. This life style led to chronic high stress.

One day while showing a car on the showroom floor, a blood vessel in his brain ruptured. Lots of drama, ambulances, etc. Another salesman took control of the customers and was able to complete the sale. Three days later Maggot was taken off life support and died.

The question here is, should Maggot be on the deal? NO, he didn't make a proper turn, he committed the ultimate "Lot Drop", and he no longer works there.

Free advice. If you are not hardcore to the bone, don't try to sell cars.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lapsed LUDDITE

Back in the day, Dirty Al, always a leader in tech stuff, urged me to get a computer. I hated computers and only learned enough to work car deals and pull credit reports. I wouldn't even discuss cell phones.

This morning I set up my first desk top. This replaces one of my two laptops that has screen failure. In the house, not including the cell phone, there are three digital cameras, a drawer full of dead cell phones and a GPS in the car. Of course, I have mastered none and still hate reading instructions. Thanks to help from Mo and Jan, and checks written to SC'sPC's, they all work after a fashion.

So to Dirty Al, laugh you damn hyena!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fall Far From the Tree?

Work took me to a Wyoming resort town where I spent a day making sales calls with the customer's outside saleswoman, Mrs A. We started swapping small town stories and I shared one about my father.

My parents had the only White Volvo 122 in their county. One day my father noticed a White Volvo pull up so he jumped in the passenger side saying, "Where are you going, honey"? Not his honey, not his car.

About two hours later we were leaving a business when I took a cell phone call. We were riding in Mrs. A's White pickup. Finishing my call, I opened the door, got in, and asked, "Where's our next stop"? "What do you have in mind"? replied the well dressed, very attractive driver of the Audi station wagon I was sitting in. Outside, I could see Mrs A holding on to her pickup and laughing.

One benefit of being a lifelong fool is having lots of practice dealing with embarrassing situations. Order was soon restored, apologies made, and on to the next stop.

I do regret not being able to ditch Mrs A.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Predator Control


Criminals are predators. They view their victims as a resource to be exploited. They have no more compassion for their victims than a coyote has for a rabbit. In their heart of hearts they feel they are entitled to their actions. I am frustrated with those opposed to firearms (firearm, not gun, unless you are referring to a shotgun) who ignore that which is obvious. Every creature on Earth will fight for their survival. A firearm is a great equalizer.

Freedom isn't free and our exercise of our freedoms with firearms will have collateral damages; it is the price we pay. Are there people who should never have a firearm? Of course, and sadly, that includes some of my family members.

Automobiles give us great freedom of movement. Misuse results in horrific collateral damages. Do we try to minimize damage via laws, training, fitness tests, etc.? Of course. Automobiles are used in drive by shootings. Lets stop drive by shootings by banning automobiles. Make sense to you?

Now we are being blamed for the problems in Mexico; a country that has kept their citizens disarmed for decades. The predators in Mexico are well armed because they are CRIMINALS!

Until our "leaders" can show me how they can control predators, I will keep close at hand my tool for predator control. Your mileage may vary.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Policeman's Delight

Decades ago, in a small mountain town, my mother was a leading light in Real Estate sales. Known as Sainted Demented to her children, SD embarked on a campaign to have traffic lights installed. The town was growing and the lights were needed. She started raising hell at every forum available to her; Chamber of Commerce meetings, Toastmistress, City Council meetings, dancing at the El Strangle,etc. She ran for City Council with traffic lights as her issue. She lost which was a good thing; the council meetings would have been acrimonious had she won.

One afternoon SD was pulled over by the Chief of Police. After securing her license, he asked her to exit her vehicle. "SD" he said,"What is that hanging over the intersection"? "Oh Ab, you've put up the traffic lights", she replied. "Why, yes we have. Didn't you see them working right outside your office window? And guess who has the honor of receiving the very first ticket for running a red light in this town?" The Chief replied. "Some day's I just LOVE my job."

To those of us who know and love her, four things stand out. She paid the ticket without complaint, her license wasn't expired, her inspection sticker was current and the license plate on her car was current.

Witty remarks about what tree I fell from are not required.

Friday, May 15, 2009

You Want a Trailer???


Happy to bring it on any trip.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Watch Out!!

A legendary auto sales trainer, Jackie Cooper, was fond of saying, "Winners do what losers won't". Combine that outlook with tunnel vision, no patience, and less than stellar driving skills and you have a considerable "downside" potential. Over the years I have been banned from driving vehicles up display stands and pulling trailers.

My first ban came after a customer expressed a desire to see the underside of a 4x4. The shop was closed but a display stand was open so I pulled the truck up the ramp to the stand. Unfortunately I drove off the side of the ramp and the truck landed on its side. Took a wrecker to set it upright. While waiting for the wrecker, the customer was able to examine the underside to his complete satisfaction. After making a price reduction we made the sale.

The trailer ban came about when a problem kept the customer from taking a 40' tilt bed trailer home. I agreed to deliver it the next day. The fact I had never pulled that long a trailer didn't seem important until I turned a corner too short and dragged a new car into another new car with the trailer wheels. The trailer wasn't damaged and I was able to deliver the trailer without wrecking anything else. My employer then banned me from ever pulling a trailer. Of course, these things get forgotten in the heat of battle and, over a span of several years, he had four more reasons to keep the ban in effect.

In the next few weeks I need to trailer a Class B RV from Pierre, SD to Colorado but am having a difficult time borrowing a truck and trailer. I thought these people were my friends!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Service Story - Misconduct

Received a request for a "war story". Between Basic Training and Engineer School at Ft Leonard Wood I was trained/licensed as a truck driver. The promise, by the 1st Sgt, was exempt from KP if we volunteered. He was true to his word but circumstances and subordinates changed the rules. One morning a KP from my platoon became ill and a replacement was needed; ME. Despite my protestations that I was exempt I was dispatched to the Mess Hall where I was assigned to pots and pans.
Pots and pans were cleaned outside the Mess Hall on a concrete porch open to the elements. I was not a happy camper.

"Edible" garbage was placed in barrels and collected by civilians for hog food. Pamphlets can be written on the process. The civilians had become accustomed to ordering trainees around and that afternoon two pulled up in their truck and one said to me, "Boy, throw them slops in my truck". I told him to commit an improbable sexual act upon himself and continued to clean pots. He decided to teach me a little lesson so I put him head first into the slops. His partner came to his rescue so I hit the partner with an oversized aluminum pot. At this point the Mess Sergeant came strolling out. He sees his KP drowning one civilian in edible garbage while the other civilian was holding his bleeding head. Ordered by the Mess Sergeant to report to the Orderly Room, I was soon standing in front of the 1st Sgt. He ordered me to put on a clean uniform and come back to wait for the Company Commander.

The CO wasn't in so I sat, in a clean uniform, and waited. The 1st Sgt got the whole story from me. He asked, "Aren't you one of my truck drivers? Why were you on KP"? As I sat waiting, the 1st Sgt went into the CO's office and shut the door.
I could hear muffled laughter. This happened several times. The CO arrived and he and the 1st Sgt had a conference. I was then sent back to my barracks.

I spent the next week during my "free time" double timing around the Battalion area in full pack, pot, and rifle but no Article 15 and no more KP. I did receive a mark on my record that kept me from getting a Good Conduct Medal. Oh well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Family Updates

My niece sent a link for her son Kaeden's soccer team. He is wearing #5 and his name is misspelled Caden. The link is http://www.sparkseclipsesoccer.com/Home Page.php After the site comes up click photo album.

Oldest son is now two weeks without a cigarette. He is using the patch and seems motivated to be tobacco free.

Youngest son is dealing with boot camp and being away from his wife and kids.

For other readers please understand we are part of two large clans. I have (living and dead) over 50 first cousins. This blog helps keep the interested ones informed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

PROUD DAD

Oldest son is on the patch. Now five days without a cigarette. I've offered substantial financial rewards for 30 days cigarette free. Money I will be happy to give.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Is the FBI Unable or Unwilling???

I keep getting junk mail from entities claiming to be the FBI, it's director or both. I always thought impersonating a Fed was a crime. Is the FBI unable or unwilling to track down these spammers?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You Have Mail

Youngest son has his basic training at the same post, where, 46 years ago, I went through both basic and advanced. The Basic Training Company had assigned an obnoxious PFC Mail Clerk who enjoyed messing with trainees. He stopped messing with my platoon after being bitched slapped the length of the barracks by a few of us. Strangely, no repercussions. The day after we received our orders to our next units, he announced all of us must send our new address to everyone so he didn't need to forward any mail. I noticed an advertisement that guaranteed to put your name on 1,000 mailing lists for only a dollar. With a little effort I got around 15 or more trainees to respond. Three years later I was still getting mail forwarded from that unit.
A daughter-in-law thinks I have an evil mind. Wonder why?

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm a What?

While I didn't attend any tea parties, I am a fellow traveler. Reading some of the opinions of the liberals I am identified as a racist homosexual redneck!
Well, they got the redneck part right.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This is the Army Mr. Jones

Youngest son reported for duty yesterday. All along the recruiting process he was told where he was headed for basic. Yesterday, there was a change and he was sent somewhere else. He is still in transit after two plane rides and a night in a hotel. Some things just don't seem to change.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mystery Shopper Rant

Recently, a good businessman, who once worked for me, called and asked my opinion of "mystery shoppers". Bad managers love to add gadgets to their mix to disguise their incompetence and general gutless approach to running a business. Along with unfocused meetings, solutions in search of problems, elaborate instructions, rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, and unneeded and unread reports, is the employment of "mystery shoppers". How some Bozo recruited from Craigslist can provide a meaningful evaluation of a business escapes me. Their report empowers the manager with a tool to "ratwhip" an employee where the employee has no recourse. I've spent most of my working life among the 20% who produce 80% of the sales. I refused to participate in these so called evaluations; being both willing and able to take my last three pay stubs to any dealership and go to work that day.

The great dealers and managers I've worked for over the years didn't need any mystery shoppers. Without fail, every day, they called each of their stores to see how the telephone was answered even if they had to use a satellite phone from Australia. They randomly picked recent customers to call and discuss that customer's buying experience. They knew what was going on in their business.

Corrections were made immediately. Their employees knew the standards would be enforced. No need for outside intervention.

Some good advice given when I decided to retire was to taper off. A man, who I greatly respect, pointed out I had been running at "redline" for thirty years and it was dangerous to just quit. Good fortune lead me to the perfect part time job. Three days a week, eight hour shifts, five to six of those hours are very intense and the job ends in June. My supervisor is someone I both like and respect so I grit my teeth and listen while he reads the "mystery shopper" reports as required by management. Management? I wouldn't trust these clowns to procure a pet license.

Over the years, as a supervisor and manager, I "shopped" my organization. I would call myself to see how I was treated. (OK, I had someone do the talking).

To me, this was important. Never would I entrust this to anyone, let alone some total outsider. Knowing how your organization is perceived by the people who keep you in business is, I believe, the most critical part being a manager.






Thursday, April 9, 2009

You're Getting Repoed___Or Maybe Not




This suddenly showed up in my drafts folder.Written some time ago. May be a repeat. Oh well.

Making payments on your ride? You don't own it; the "bank" owns it and is letting you buy it one month at a time. Stop making payments and the OWNER will make every effort to gain possession of their property. Your moral compass may differ from mine; to me, use of an other's property without compensation is theft.

The "bank" doesn't want your ride back. Talk to them. If nothing can be worked out bring them their property. This is in your long term best interest.

Being semi retired I don't look for this work. My only client finances cars with full recourse. You don't make the payments then he does so the "bank" avoids losses. He gets financing for people who can't qualify for conventional financing. Most people make their payments. When people fall behind he and his staff try to work with them and get them back on track. If not, he asks for the return on the vehicle. When they don't return the vehicle I get involved.

Recently I contacted an individual in NE Colorado at his home and politely asked for the car. He made threats backed up by a firearm. A few days later my assistant and I were in a nearby town to pick up a voluntary return when we spotted this individual pulling into Wally World. While he was shopping we were driving the car to the local police station to make our required report and give the police a copy of our paperwork.

Mr. Blivet comes out of Wally World with his groceries, wife and kids, thirty miles from home, to no car. He then needs to find a way to the impound yard to retrieve his work items. The impound yard collects the cost for my picking up the car before he can get his stuff. There is also the pending matter of threats he made against me in the presence of two police officers at one location and in front of an off duty deputy at another location. This man needs a glass belly button, so he can see where he is going.
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Folks, please, don't let your problems get to the point of repossession. Your debt will get much bigger, your wallet will take an immediate hit, and you will be facing problems for many months to come. Mr. Repoman will get the collateral; you can take that to the bank.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Obama

Some family members and friends (yes, I do have a few friends) are hurt by my Obama stance. I do respect their position and understand he inspires them and gives them hope for the future. I hope they are right for the sake of this country and the future of my children and grandchildren.
We are a country that has lasted, in part, by having a rule of law; that checks and balances exist. Our system protects minorities from tyranny from majorities (race, religion, political beliefs, sex) and our property from those in power or influence. The system isn't perfect. As an example, what happened with my mother's house and the city hall/developers cabal.
With Bush we had eight years of neo-cons deciding which laws to obey, "signing statements" that circumvented laws passed by Congress, and a lack of interest in enforcing regulations that were in place to prevent our current economic collapse both from the half baked programs of the Clinton era and the unchecked greed of the Bush boosters who grabbed hold of them and ran.
My principal reason for not voting for Obama was his ignoring a Federal judge who ordered him to produce a birth certificate. I loath the kind of person who thinks they are better than the rest of us. Dress it up with any number of legal spins be damned, he should have complied. Once elected, he filled his staff and cabinet with the most odious usual suspects from the Clinton era.
What do I fear? He will turn the country into a large version of Chicago politics. Will his programs work? Can we borrow our way to properity? I can see spending money on infrastructure (roads, bridges, electrical systems) produces many benefits. Giving money to LaRaza and Hamas? Seems stupid to me. Of course, your milage may differ.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fighting Words


World's Cutest Grand kids! My grand kids are cuter than yours.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mountain Wave


Standing altocumulus lenticular clouds.

Reactionary

Given what this day is and my blog title are you surprised?
Reactionary is a word I didn't believe would ever describe me. Last week I rejoined both the American Legion and the NRA after a 30 year lapse in reaction to the Obama administrations actions. First, the idea of veterans forced to use private insurance for service connected disabilities. How pissed am I at these arrogant assholes who have never once put their personal ass on the line for anything? Enough to start writing checks. Second, "common sense" gun laws. I don't see the words "common sense" in the constitution. And who's "common sense"? Sarah Brady? What I can do is support those fighting for things I believe in.
This last election I didn't give dime one to the Democrat Party for the first time in years. I did contribute to the campains of candidates I felt shared many of my values. I voted for a Republican for President for the first time since Gerald Ford.
My youngest is going on active duty this month. I've always supported the troops and now have a selfish interest in doing so. I'm very proud of him and damned scared at the same time.
This posting is more of a rant than anything else but, hey, it is my blog!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Accident Alert


First real storm this winter and the transplants are learning winter driving. The "bulletproofed" AWD/4x4 drivers are relearning. This is good for the vegetation, wild life, tow truck drivers, body shops and insurance adjusters. So happy I don't need to go out today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Beat Up by a Rank Beginner


This is a target shot by a daughter-in-law who has been shooting once before. This is her first effort with my .380. No, you will not see any pictures of my targets.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Winner???

Won my stop sign ticket case this morning!!! (Posts on 1/18/09 and 1/23/09) The City Attorney had a pre-trial conference with the officer and then me. He offered a "deal" which I declined. He then said he would dismiss the case because he didn't believe he could win. Said I was getting the "Well prepared Good Citizen" break. I'm glad I didn't need to act like a lawyer. Overall, I am confident in my skills but I was damn nervous. Great feeling walking across the parking lot to my car - a couple of fist pumps.
The real question is, did I really win? Three trips to court, a few hours taking photographs, more hours preparing and a real change in my driving behavior begs the question, who won? All this has eroded my scofflaw standing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Words You Wish You Could Take Back

One fine morning at the car lot we watched several police cars fly by, lights and sirens on, and my brilliant remark, "Wow, must be a sale at the donut shop" got a laugh from all present.

Later in the day I learn Skyler was hit on his bicycle and airlifted to the hospital. He was the brother of one of my son's girlfriend. Skyler recovered and wasn't left with lifelong problems.

I'm still bothered by my quip whenever I think of police and EMTs seeing a child laying in the street by a twisted bicycle and having to deal with the whole horrible scene.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dangerous Pilot - Maximum Scofflaw

A flying story was requested. The following is definitely in the "don't do as I did" category.

Becoming a pilot is expensive. To become commercial rated requires 200 hours of flight time before taking the test. To build time I delivered and repossessed airplanes for a dealer who was as loose an operator as I've known. He always kept keys to the planes he sold under "full recourse" (In effect he co-signed the loan). Miss a few payments and had the plane "recovered".

In June 1969 we were looking for a Tri-Pacer and found it in Baton Rouge. I was the junior guy. While the senior guy distracted people I untied, loaded my stuff, and started the Tri-Pacer. No preflight except checking the oil. I started taxing and called Ground Control for clearance to the active runway when three or four men started running towards me. A long taxiway was in front of me so I used it for a runway. Lots of yelling on the radio by the controllers. Airborne , I turned right and headed North for Mississippi. Weather was bad and fuel was low so I landed in Jackson, MS. The weather got worse and I was stuck for the night.

The next morning Jackson was socked in. I knew the weather was clear thirty miles West and the cloud layer was about 1500' thick and clear above the clouds.

I was not instrument rated. The people at the Jackson airport were becoming hinkey. Looking at my chart, I decided where I would be least likely to encounter legitimate IFR traffic and took off. All my instrument training was "under the hood" and I had never been in clouds. The plan worked and 20 minutes later I was above the clouds. Another 40 minutes and I could see the ground.


I loved the flying but not the genteel poverty of General Aviation. I have vast admiration for the men and women who have made careers in GA - better folks than me to be sure. My short lived aviation career did help my later endevors more than anything else including college and the Army.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Public Range - Anarchy???

A friend and I both have handguns we haven't fired so went to a public range in Weld County, CO. This place has just a few signs and no facilities. Perhaps a dozen vehicles were parked in the area and their occupants were shooting everything from shotguns at clays to someone with a .50. No authority present; just people exercising good judgement and courtesy. Responsible gun ownership at it's finest.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Repo Story Part Two

Finding the car was step one. Step two was coming back with a driver and spare keys. My middle son was available so we set off for Farley.

My middle son looks like the lead character in a Slasher movie. I love him like a son but think his appearance needs adjusting. I've seen gangbangers cross over the street when encountering him.

We arrive at the car, unlock it with the spare key, and middle son gets in. I go to the door of the shack nearby and pound on the door. My target "John" answers. After a brief, intense conversation he goes to the car to retrieve his personal possessions in exchange for keys, owners manual and sales documents. Then he starts whining about the cash down payment he made and when we will give him a refund! We go back to his shack and he produces the keys, etc. I advise him to stay inside for thirty minutes and middle son and I drive away.

I apologize for the lack of drama here. I've done many, many repos/rollbacks without drama. Done correctly, there is no drama. Being 6'+ 285lbs with a naturally red face and scarred knuckles probably helps.