Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Many blogers write about their hunting experiences. One of the best is Brigid at http://www.mausersandmuffins.blogspot.com/
I enjoy reading their accounts but rarely relate to their enjoyment. My father and his relatives were, simply put, poachers. Not for profit, for food. We ate venison nearly every day, elk when we could get it, and pronghorn when we visited my grandparents in Wyoming. One of my earliest childhood memories was waking up in the backseat of our car as a freshly jack lighted deer was tossed in between the seats. As a toddler, I called deer “bang, bang cows.” Hunting, to me, was always a job of work. Sometimes pleasurable work, but none the less, work. My enjoyment was more the admiration, sometimes envy, of friends and relatives when I was successful. The biggest motivator was parental approval.
My father was a guide for several years after leaving the railroad. This was a critical endeavor, to have money for the winter months, that dominated our lives for many weeks each year. I came to understand the experience his clients wanted and, with his not too gentle tutelage, help him deliver the experience. In later years, he used that skill in real estate sales, and taught it to my sister.
When we hunted for ourselves, the goal was maximum results with the least expenditure of time, money, and effort. We would take a spike elk for the freezer, not a trophy. A fat two point buck; good eating. Only once did I see my father shoot a trophy buck for himself. We still ate the meat. You never shot a deer if you couldn’t drive to the kill in a pickup. Elk we would take where we could and I’ve quartered and packed out, on horses and mules, many animals as a teenager along with the occasional dude.
I never developed a passion for hunting. Instead, my passion was machinery that burned gasoline and could maim or kill you.
I haven’t hunted for years and don’t miss it. My very best wishes to those that do. If I run out of money I may start again.

Friday, December 24, 2010

House Guest - Repeat

Once again I have the grand dog as a guest.


FDIL and the World's cutest grand children are spending the Holiday with her parents. Since goats are present and the dog likes to chase them, he isn't welcome. This is his third stay with me. I enjoy him but.......... He seems to think he should get the same amount of attention as he gets from a pack of kids.

I like dogs. My lifestyle; work and travel, isn't a good match.

He is very well behaved and trained until he sees a squirrel. Next week he goes back home and I can take a shower without an audience.

One thing is certain. I don't spoil a dog like some in my family.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Doltish Drivers

I spend a lot of time on the road and try to stay alert by exercising my brain. One of these exercises is seeing if there is a link between doltish drivers and specific vehicles. The obvious, in Colorado, is a Subaru. A minority are going like the hammers of hell and the rest need a glass belly button to see where they are going. Less obvious, but the one that gets my vote, are drivers of Chevrolet HHR retro panel trucks.

What are your suggestions?

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Challenged again to tell a story not involving politics. Growing up in Northwest Colorado in the late 50’s, early 60’s, was around when snowmobiles became popular in the area.

Snowmobiles had a profound impact on the social life of the area. People were getting out and being active; interacting with their neighbors instead of hunkering down and surviving the winter. Lots of clubs formed and lots of trail riding. By necessity, many became snowmobile mechanics. Reliability was an issue, much like a Harley Davidson MC.

One unfortunate individual, now passed, became something of a legend. He really didn’t want the fame. First, he got his heavy cleated double track stuck in a combination of sagebrush and snow, while solo. He taped the throttle partially open then got in front and tugged on the skis. Worked well. The machine gained purchase, drove over him, and went away at partial throttle.
The owner waded along the track until he came upon the machine on its side in a gully, still running. Somehow he managed to right the machine. Deciding he had enough fun for one day, he returned to his truck.

His method of transport was loading the machine in his truck using a homemade plywood ramp. The system worked well when he remembered to secure the ramp to the truck. Again, it was not his day. Getting a good run into the ramp, he started up and the ramp slipped. The snowmobile went under the truck and the rider over the windshield and belly first into the back of the pickup.

Knocked unconscious, he was fortunate others came along and transported him to the local hospital. To my knowledge, he continued to ride. Hopefully, with a little more forethought.

Monday, December 13, 2010

TSA - Not Giving Up

Seems the TSA controversy is calming down. I'm not giving up. I've flown on Delta (my employer hates me) four times in four weeks. Each time I've filed a complaint. Here is one of their responses. I found it interesting another persons name also appeared, as an error, so I'm not alone. Do any of you think this does any good? A better way to protest?

Dear Mr.

RE: Case Number

Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding the service. On behalf of
everyone at Delta Air Lines, I sincerely apologize with the
disappointment with the new Advanced Imaging Technology.

I sincerely regret your disappointment with the new Advanced Imaging
Technology (AIT) also commonly referred to as full body scanner
technology. As you may know, this system produces images of the body in
order to detect potential threats concealed underneath passengers'
clothing that could have possibly gone undetected with the current

Please know I recognize your frustration and the inconvenience caused by
the airport security process. These procedures are conducted by the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and are required by federal
law. We realize the inconvenience that security requirements impose upon
our passengers, and we will continue to work with the TSA to minimize
the inconvenience to our passengers while at the same time maintaining
passenger security.

Nevertheless, I hope you will understand that safety remains the first
and foremost priority for all airlines and government agencies; I want
to ensure you it is also the guide for our day-to-day operations. While
federal regulations prohibit us from discussing the criteria used for
security decisions and we acknowledge they may be invasive and
disruptive, they serve to make flying safer for everyone. We understand
that some requirements may make it difficult for passengers to travel
and it may require them to make a decision on whether it is in their
best interest to utilize air travel. While we are sorry that it may
require some passengers not travel by air, we follow all directives
handed down to us from the higher authorities.

You may access the TSA web site, www.tsa.gov/public/, to obtain
additional information regarding security checks, TSA employee issues,
or with questions regarding missing or damaged items at a security check
point. For passengers without internet access, you may call or write the
TSA as follows.

Telephone: 1-866-289-9673
Write to: Transportation Security Administration
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 22202-4220

M _(not me), I hope I have been able to resolve any concerns you have
about our service. As a valued customer, your business is important to
us and given the opportunity of serving you in the future, I am
confident Delta will not only meet but exceed your expectations.


Aosta M. D'Souza
Coordinator, Customer Care
Delta Air Lines/KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Original Message Follows: ------------------------

Delta Air Lines Customer Care Form

Message: This is a continued complaint about TSA procedures. I will
continue to fly when my employer requires air travel. I will not fly for
my own travels. It is in the airlines interest to force change in the
TSA procedures.

Submitted: Sun Dec 12 2010 13:16:14 MST

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dating After Divorce

Dating after the end of a twenty two year marriage was difficult for me. Some of the “dates” were scary. I’ve been challenged to tell at least one dating story.

Friends invited me to a country western bar, the Silver Spur, to be exact. The promise was an introduction to one of their friends who would meet us there. The evening went as planned and their friend was easy on the eyes. She also drank much more than the rest of the group. As the evening winded down, she asked me to drive her home as she had a couple of DUIs and couldn’t risk another. Anticipation?

She gave me the name of the Mobile Home Estate where she lived. I knew the place. As we drove there, she passed out. When we arrived, I couldn’t get her to wake up. I finally went into her purse and found an address on some mail. Using that I found her unit. The keys in her purse unlocked the door. Now what? Did she live alone? Was a husband/boyfriend/significant other going to come out of a back bedroom and blow me away? She had a porch with two lawn chairs. I fireman carried her from the car and deposited her in one of the chairs. Still out.

Finally, I tossed her purse and keys inside and left her sitting there. It was summer so she wouldn’t freeze. Sitting up, should she vomit, there was a good chance she wouldn’t choke. Yes, chivalry was dead.

Never spoke to her again. The sad part of the story is, that was my best date that month.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Back To Insanity

Youngest son is now back in Afghanistan. We will see him in eight months.

I'm proud of that kid!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Story for Dirty Al, Part Two

Seems Dirty Al didn’t like my last story. He is concerned people will think he was “Bill”. No, Bill was Bill. However, this is a similar story that directly involved Dirty Al.

Dirty Al and the lovely Lisa were driving in Kitsap County, WA when a vicious snow storm hit the area. The conditions were so bad, Al pulled off the road. He found shelter in someone’s summer home carport and waited from conditions to improve.

Lisa needed to relieve herself. Al suggested behind the car. Lisa, a city woman, informed Al that she had never went anywhere but a bathroom in her life and that he was to find her a bathroom right now!

After awhile a snow plow came along and Al followed behind until they came to a service station. Turns out that was too late for Lisa.

Dirty Al has been very reticent about what happened next but, within two weeks, he and Lisa were history.

So Al, be cautious when you bust on me. I’m the one with a blog!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Story for Dirty Al

What is it with the upper Midwest and spring loaded toilet seats? Regional thing? Really, the only area I encounter them.

Dirty Al says I should tell more stories and do less political stuff so here is a story for Dirty Al, circa 1970.

Our group was going through an intense management course and were given a mystery shopper type of assignment. That lasted just long enough to find a friendly bar where we could strategize. While none of us were small, Bill was NFL lineman sized. After an hour of so, he went to use the sanitary facility.

The facility had a spring loaded seat. Bill locked the stall door. Undoing his garments, he pushed the seat down, turned, and sat down on the bare rim; the seat having returned to the upright position. To his dismay, he was stuck. Compounding his problems was the need that took him there and his decision to flush, hoping that would release him.

Eventually, another of our group visited the facility. Bill requested assistance. Soon, our entire group was in the room. Everyone was a sergeant and none a private but a plan was devised. The tallest member was lifted over the stall door to release the inside door latch. This took two attempts. It took three men pulling to get Bill unstuck. Had alcohol not been involved, the operation might have been conducted quietly.

Those in need used the facility while Bill got himself organized. When all were gathered at the table, the bartender came over with the bill and a request to find another establishment to patronize.

Since then, I have always been leery of mechanical devices in sanitary facilities.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Driving Decisions

Going to Northern Minnesota next week. One route is all Interstate to Fargo. 85 miles and one hour longer than North through Valentine, NE and Pierre, SD on mainly two lane roads. There is a small piece of business I can take care of in Pierre. The weather is forecasted to be a little better going the shorter route.

Why my hesitation? The South Dakota State Patrol. The Troopers covering that area are wickedly good. Caught me at 88 in a 55, dead to rights, two years ago. I'm a professional speeder; it isn't easy to catch me when I'm on my game.

Guess it will be Mr. Law Abiding, 3 mph over, on cruise control. Hope I can stay awake. Oh well, I will be paid by the hour, not commission.

Yes, Dirty Al, I can hear you laughing all the way from Texas. Maybe I should blog about your super RV spot you have occupied for the last month?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hammer the Hammer

Ah, the Hammer gets hammered. Tom Delay, guilty of money laundering. One more in a dreary line of sleazy slickers. The man who so lowered the bar on bipartisanship, he paved the way for Pelosi and fellow travelers.

What a legacy. His efforts to gerrymander Texas resulted in Democrat legislators fleeing the state to prevent a quorum and shutting down the legislature (I’m not a Texan; maybe this was a good thing).

The blatant flouting of rules with the likes of Abramoff so soured public opinion, he probably ended up getting more Democrats elected than Republicans.

Readers of this blog know I am no fan of Obama. Other than national defense, I see nothing to praise Bush. DeLay is the poster boy for the whole sleazy mindset of the GOP (and Dem versions of RINOs) during the eight years we were robbed.

Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yampa Valley Mail

The Yampa Valley Mail and a rambling Colorado Railroad story. Colorado once had scores of railroad companies but the two that survived the longest were the Denver & Salt Lake and the Denver & Rio Grande. Both focused on routes West of the Front Range.

The D&SL, aka the Moffat line, was the builder/owner of the Moffat Tunnel. As part of the bond financing, a property tax, the Moffat Tunnel Tax, was imposed on portions of Colorado along the original route. The D&SL made it from Denver to Craig, CO before running out of money.

The D&RG was the most successful railroad and did reach Salt Lake City. Many smaller railroads, including the D&SL, were acquired. The financial maneuvers involved probably wouldn’t withstand close scrutiny. When the D&RG got control of the Moffat Tunnel, they acquired the debts and obligations. One obligation was to provide daily passenger service from Denver to Craig. No service, no Moffat Tunnel Tax.

Passenger service was a money loser and the D&RG tried to get out. There were three trains, the D&RG portion of the California Zephyr (now operated by Amtrak, the Prospector, an overnight train to Salt Lake City, and the Yampa Valley Mail. The dastardly Western Slope residents wouldn’t let the D&RG out of the passenger train service unless the Moffat Tunnel Tax was rescinded. Hence, the Yampa Valley Mail continued. The train usually consisted of a ALCO PA1 locomotive with a unique square nose profile, a mail/baggage car, and one passenger car. The ALCOs could haul. Even with numerous stops, the train averaged 60 mph over a roadbed that was kept to freight, not passenger, standards. At some point the mail subsidy went away; then the tunnel bonds were paid off, and around 1968 the service stopped.

In Colorado, the railroads are responsible for fencing their right of ways and are liable for any livestock they kill. In the Yampa Valley area, annual snowfall can exceed 30 feet making for steep snow banks along side the tracks.

Along about March each year, a certain rancher would run out of “drinking money”. His solution was to kick one of his culls onto the track just before the mail train was due. The claim was always for his best prime breeder.

A sound business plan and proper marketing could have made the train profitable. Today, the Union Pacific owns the D&RG and has closed several of the routes. The Craig route has been built up to handle heavy coal traffic. The roadbed is in excellent condition,

The UP could probably build a profitable business running a train catering to skiers with a stop in Winter Park, Bond, and Steamboat Springs. From Bond, shuttle buses could easily serve Vail and Beaver Creek.

My father was a section foreman for the D&RG for ten years. We used the Yampa Valley Mail to visit Denver. Often we were the only passengers. Some of the route is nearly wilderness as no roads go into some of the canyons.

Hope some of you will enjoy this as a break from the current crap (TSA, Congress, the One, etc.).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TSA Second Thoughts

Quick trip to Detroit yesterday and back this morning. At DIA, they had both the scanners and the metal detectors in use. I opted for the detector line. Using my bumbling “just fell off the turnip truck” persona (Yeah, friends and family; not hard for me to do, yada, yada, yada) was able to engage three TSA Screeners in conversation. They rather enjoyed educating my dumb ass. Two things I picked up were, one; they believe they are keeping everyone safe and, two; the heat is on about the pat downs and they expect something to “come down from up above”. Attitude was about what I remember from MPs circa 1960’s. Didn’t see anyone being frisked.

At DTW this morning, the security check point I went through had both types of scanners. The full body type were turned off and the TSA people were using them for leaning posts.

My youngest is on his way home from Afghanistan this morning for two week R&R. This has provoked some contrarian thinking on my part. (or just being contrary; take your pick)

We have our troops out in shit holes around the world keeping the fanatics pushed back from our shores and too off balanced to do us major harm. Their daily lives make the few minutes of discomfort going through security trivial. I can hear my old First Sergeant saying, “You have all been drafted into the War on Terror. Quit your bitching”!

This isn’t as defense of TSA. That organization should be terminated and replaced with something else. Maybe contract it out to El Al. They seem to know what they are doing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TSA Searches and Groping

The blogsphere is buzzing with opinions about security procedures, enhanced body pat downs, etc.

The TSA flaks are at full throttle defending their agency.

We haven’t heard from the rank and file TSAers, the ones who will actually do the searches. Anyone have links to their blogs? Can’t imagine there aren’t a few. I suspect the TSA people aren’t thrilled by all this .

All of us travelers need to remember these are people doing a job, probably need that job, and must be keenly aware many of their fellow citizens thinks less than highly of them and their work. (Myself among them)

Lets remember who the asshats really are. GS-8 and above?

Friday, November 12, 2010

One job perk is scenery. Doing the local circuits, instead of the marathon road trips, means spending time is some very scenic places. After all these years I'm still not jaded.

My favorite time of year. The tourists and mosquito's are gone, and the skiers are just showing up.


Driving over an 11,000 foot mountain pass, on snow pack, with a doughnut spare. The direction of travel was AWAY from a possible tire repair and/or tire store.

Yes, the driver was female, and blond.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thank You, Weston Missouri

Westboro Scum Sucking Church gets the boot!



Reflecting on the recent elections, at the state and local level, we blue dog democrats sat this one out. In my district, the liberal democrat was reelected. Two points stand out. He had far fewer campaign volunteers than two years ago. Tons of outside money was spent on advertising.

The Senate race was bought by outside money paying for advertising. Again, the blue dogs didn’t work as volunteers.

The Governor’s race was a farce. I doubt the state GOP is organized enough to procure a pet license. So we have a liberal Denver mayor replacing a Denver District Attorney as Governor. Another four years of the Front Range against the rest of the State. Not a blueprint for progress.

Sitting down with some political friends, we all agreed that there was little enthusiasm for any candidate.

All the candidates I supported got beat so I may be expressing sour grapes. I’ll still fight the fight but right now it is hard to find motivation.

And the Judges? All retained.

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Places

Missed (thankfully) all the election hoopla by working. Always like seeing new places and finding new routes. Took a few personal minutes to view the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and to admire the older bridges spanning them.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Retirement? When Does That Happen?

Once laughed at the pictures of Guard members with their signs, “One Weekend A Month, My Ass” on their vehicles in Iraq.

Need something like that for my “part time" job. Just back yesterday from one trip and going out on another Monday. No blogs next week. My laptops are in the hands of my middle son.

Dropped off the ballot today. Impressive line of early voters. Two Election Judges on duty, one from each major party, and they have been busy all day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh, B.S., Rating Colorado Judges

Colorado has a system whereby the voters decide, "Shall Judge ________ be retained in office? Yes No.

In 1988, the Legislature created a commission to rate judges. As part of my effort to be an informed voter, I visited their web site.

Of all the judges in Colorado, they recommended retaining all but ONE!

Reading between the lines on each Judge's evaluation, I found reasons not to retain five out of nineteen that were on my ballot. With better information, the No vote total would be higher. As tempting as it is, voting No on all of them is irresponsible. Good people need to be recognized.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Small Business 101

I get calls from folks I worked with before retirement. Recently, one called asking to use me as a reference on her resume. We had a long conversation about the usual, who is where doing what, etc. We then got into an analysis of the operation of a small used car lot she managed under my supervision. Seems she still has issues with my way of doing things. I had to ask her why, after my retirement, her lot closed within six months. The lot produced a profit under my direction.

Small business operators have a tool, mostly ignored, that can help focus on what matters. This is “Cost per Minute”.

How many minutes, per month, is your business open? What is your monthly operating cost? Don’t know? Shame on you. Divide the monthly operating cost by the minutes you are open. If you have never done this, you will probably be shocked.

In the mid 1990’s, my employer had me organize and manage off premise car sales. We held sixty over a thirty month span. The cost? $32 per minute. Our dealerships were run in a most frugal, if not downright cheap, manner. No frills. Our operating costs were around $122 per minute.

Generating income per minute became a focus. Every problem can be overcome but time gone cannot be recovered.

Employees respond well, if grudgingly, to clear goals and practices. The ten minute gab fest around the coffee pot isn’t very enjoyable when you are focused on the cost per minute and revenue per minute. You want your program to work? Walk the walk and keep you pie hole shut. Find some other way to feed your ego. Your employees may have to listen to you in order to keep their paychecks. They can choose, if they so desire, to subtly sabotage your program. You really have only the power to fire. Don’t worry about being liked. Worry about being competent. Your employees want to know you have what it takes to keep the business going and keeping their jobs safe.
Focus on what is crucial, ignore the touchy-feely, and be successful.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Walker, KS Lesson

Small town Kansas has many fine churches. This one is in Walker, about twelve miles East of Hays and just off Interstate 70.

Once this was a thriving town, able to support a parochial school. Imagine the effort, dedication, and pride that went into making all this happen. Now the people are gone because the jobs are gone.

The state of USA agriculture, and the social impact changes have brought, has been analyzed by much more qualified people than me. We had waves of immigrants that came here for a better life. That life started with a JOB.

Today, the jobs can be moved to the people, and not in the USA. What happened to Walker, KS, is happening to this country as a whole. While taking the photos, a resident came over and talked to me. Nice man, and hungry for something novel, if only a stray tourist. Bad teeth, high starch consumption complexion, submissive body language, and wearing his Wal Mart work shirt. We talked for several minutes and I learned he is a fourth generation resident. I doubt his present is the future his forefathers wanted for him.

Recently, the GPS in my vehicle rerouted me through parts of Birmingham, AL. Block after block of burned out houses. Sullen, defeated people walking the sidewalks. Nothing cheerful in sight. What a challenge to make a life and raise children in that environment.

Folks, this is your children, grand children, and great grand children’s future if things don’t change. One of my jokes is the difference between a Republican and a Democrat is this; the Republican is focused on how the pie is divided and the Democrat is focused on making sure there is a pie.

Wealth gainfully earned I respect. Our government should not hinder those activities that make it possible. Unfortunately, greed and power follows, allowing the haves to exercise dominion over the have nots and exclude new players. We need referees, keeping the playing field level. That is the function of government. That is why we need the 2nd Amendment; so we wage slaves don’t become literal slaves. Google “Ludlow Massacre”.

So, how to create change? Get involved, at the local level, in politics. Talk to people who don’t agree with you. Try to find some common ground. Don’t be a passive victim; raise hell. It is something like contact sports. You will get bruised but they will know you were there and probably will avoid provoking you. Give thanks for what you have and thank those who do good to/for you. As an example, at a state highway rest stop, the worker cleaning the place was in the lobby. I went up to him and thanked him; that it was great to have a clean place to use. My thanks was sincere. If the place was filthy, I would have no problem finding out who supervises the facility, contacting them, and making my feelings known. It just takes a little effort.

I read a lot of conservative blogs. I also read leftist blogs. Each has one common detonator and that is nasty name calling. No respect for the oppositions viewpoint and personal disrespect freely given. If problems are going to be solved, we need to get back to being a civil society. Now it is who has power to ram it down the other throat. We are all in the same boat. If we can’t find ways to row in the same direction, we may all end up swimming.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Voices Speak to Me

Back home from a round trip to Alabama. The vehicle involved has upgraded GPS with traffic and weather alerts among other bells and whistles. Part of the job is using, evaluating, and reporting on everything in the vehicle.

Going through Birmingham the system alerted me to traffic congestion and suggested a detour. OK, I will play. An interesting experience. South of Birmingham was a fuel stop. A vehicle I recognized as being in the pack North of Birmingham pulled in as I was leaving. Time savings of about twenty minutes.

Northbound through Nashville the system took me off the Interstate. Past Nashville I caught up with a delivery truck I had followed into Nashville so no time savings there.

The system put me on the old, pre Interstate, main roads. Two negatives. One, long traffic lights. Two, neighborhoods that I wouldn’t want to wait in for AAA with a flat or breakdown. The upside is not being “trapped” on the limited access Interstate.

More information, properly utilized, is almost always a good thing. Would I pay extra for the system in my personal vehicle? Probably not. My five year old GPS serves me well although I’m irritated every time I pay more for the updates than the cost of a new unit. Thanks, Magellan. Won’t catch me next time.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Steam Engine Fix

As a kid living along side the old D&RG mainline, I never tired of seeing steam locomotives. Even got to ride in the cab of one.


Last month the Union Pacific pulled the Circus train with a Challenger and I was there. Yesterday, visited the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

Interesting contrast of steam engine and the engineer on a cell phone.

No blogs for about a week as my "part time" job is sending me on an assignment.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Taking the Oath

Old NFO, http://oldnfo.blogspot.com/, has a wonderful post, “Welcome Home.” Worth the visit and nothing I can improve upon.

A father/son pair I know are THE GREATEST PATRIOTS. Think Ronald Reagan was nearly a demigod. Strong conservatives; just ask them. Neither has come within a mile of a recruiting station. The father has all kinds of excuses for skipping the draft. He has made certain his sons didn’t serve but, they applaud those who do.

One Veterans Day the son said to me, “Thank you for your service.” The first person to ever say that to me in the forty plus years since serving in the Army and it comes from a hypocritical puke! Wanted to punch him. Instead I said, “Your Welcome,” and walked away.

I respect anyone who raised their right hand, took the oath, and fulfilled it. Whether they were on the tip of the spear or a cook at a stateside training post, they have my respect and heartfelt thanks.

A lot has been said about the treatment of the Vietnam veterans. Fair enough, it needed examined. The vets who really got the backhand of their country were from the Korean conflict.

We seem to be doing better as a country in our treatment of our service members. Hopefully, my son now in Afghanistan will find his fellow citizens more appreciative of his service in the years ahead.

As to those who could have served and weaseled out, they will never have my respect. Probably won’t matter to them but it matters to me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Some acquaintances call me Mr. Maytag; always agitating. Today's Delta Flight was only 40% full so I started making an issue about wanting a Pepsi, not Coke. The Atlanta based crew were not amused. There was some talk of placing me in the smoking section (out on the wing) and vague threats about what would transpire once we landed. Sheesh. The coffee they served was good. I rarely drink sodas. I often, in the words of Beat and Release, http://beatandrelease.blogspot.com/ poke people with a stick.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Afghan Blog - Youngest Son

Youngest son is currently without Internet. We may see some postings when he gets access. He is able to call home (Skype). As of this morning he was fine, per wife, and, good news to this father, in the rear with the gear.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Evil Car Salesmen Again

Another car story requested. This one explains why it isn’t smart to be rude.

The dealership, to build customer traffic, had weekend advertised specials. The prices were low because every bit of profit was stripped. The vehicles were usually base units with few extras. Salespeople were paid a flat $50 commission.

One Saturday we had a proto typical Subaru customer; a skinny, bitchy, uptight schoolteacher, about thirty, with a sneering, superior attitude. Her male companion had long ago surrendered his gonads. She probably had them in her purse. “Take a turn,” the manager told me. Oh joy, prime selling time consumed for a deal that would net me $25.

The customer offered $2,000 less than our sale price. She was insistent her offer be presented to the manager. I insisted she make a firm commitment; signed offer plus “earnest money". We argued. I told her the manager was going to yell at me for bringing him such a low offer and I wasn’t getting yelled at for not bringing him a firm offer. Finally, she produced a credit card and signed the offer sheet. On my way to see the manager, I copied the credit card front and back and put the copies away. The manager had me return her card and throw her and her companion out (politely).

Have you ever tried to cancel a magazine subscription? About six weeks later at the public library, I gathered subscription forms from the magazine section.
Big Beautiful Woman, Hot Rod, Field and Stream, etc. were ordered and prepaid. A lifetime membership in the NRA was part of the package.

Yes, I am a vindictive, low life, backstabbing sorry excuse for a human being. Deal with it. Way past the statute of limitations.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why a Democrat

So a young friend asked me, “What is a Democrat”? Hard question to answer. I could only tell him where I come from.

In business, there is a principal called “The Laws of Adhesion”. Simply, in a contract, the stronger party cannot dictate terms unfavorable to the weaker party. The contract is unenforceable if challenged in court. I believe the principal should apply to most facets of our lives.

MY Democratic Party WAS the champion of a level playing field. What it has become is something I don’t recognize.

To me, the Republicans are the “I’ve got mine, screw you” Party. Since the majority of my relatives are Republicans, we have outrageous arguments and nullify each other at the polls. I see little difference between the tactics of Tom Delay and Nancy Pelosi.

This election I find myself working to elect two Republicans for Congress and two others for county offices. The incumbents I cannot support.

In past blogs, I’ve talked about getting involved at the local level. That, and being a campaign volunteer are ways I can, in a very small way, push my views. For a past blog go to:


So irritating, getting people off their ass just to vote, let alone get involved.

Perhaps I cannot fit under a "Big Tent".

Monday, September 20, 2010


The job involves moving pre-production cars between test locations. Some are disguised with body cladding to obscure styling details.

Recently, while experiencing the joys of HWY 287 paving projects, we were first in line. The flagger and I had a LOT of time to chat. “Is your car cold?”, she asked. “Is that why you have it’s jacket on?”

Got to watch out for those Baca County women.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Afghanistan Blogger

Son in Afganistan has started blogging. You can read it at


Please stop by and say hello.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gun Control???

When a recent business meeting, held in the capital city of the Peoples Republic of Boulder, ended, I had lunch with a group of ultra liberals. The subject of gun control was raised (not by me). “Why”, asked one, “Are you gun nuts against any sensible gun control measurers.”? “Because”, I replied, “You gun grabbers are liars”. After I made the point that labeling someone as a gun nut or gun grabber didn’t lead to any reasoned exchange of views, we, as a group, had an actual conversation.

I stressed we all have a mutual interest in curbing criminal behavior. Gun owners are not giving up their firearms. Gun control advocates will not find any common ground with gun owners so long as they use deceit as a tactic, i.e., the “Gun Show Loophole.” Or tolerating a system where Veterans, who put their asses on the line for our rights, are administratively deprived of those rights if they truthfully answer certain questions asked by the VA. That patient/doctor confidentiality is compromised. Thank you, Sen. Shithead. There are many examples but I used those two. To my surprise, some of the group saw merit in what I had to say.

The people who don’t like firearms do have one valid point; safety. We’ve all seen them, the yahoos whose unsafe practices make you want to dive for cover. Those of you who are range officers all have examples to share. These yahoos scare the hell out of folks and, right or wrong, they see all of us in that light.

One modest proposal. Most states have a requirement for a hunters safety course and endorsement before you can buy a hunting license. Can’t this be used as a framework to insure more firearm owners have some basic safety and handling instruction? It is a requirement in Colorado before getting a CCW permit. Have what you want on your own private property. Be required to have a valid safety card to have a firearm in public.

If something like this was offered by the firearms community, I think some of the opposition would be in support. The result would be a safer country, the fanatic gun grabbers would have fewer allies, and it could be a bulkhead against more extreme proposals.

Enforcement of existing laws isn’t consistent. We had a period of time in Colorado where the firearm laws were enforced and the enforcement advertised, much like DUI laws, Violent crime went down. An ambitious federal prosecutor was setting up a run for the US Senate (failed). With his departure, the effort died down. What I hear from the law enforcement, courts, probation, and corrections communities, is the system is so overloaded with drug cases, DUIs, and domestic violence cases that compromises must be made. The problem is, compromises become excuses and the status quo.

Age hasn’t made me a total cynic. I still believe reasonable men and women can find common ground for common purposes. Your mileage may differ.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thanks, Son

Just what you want to see, your son, in a war zone, standing in front of a IED damaged vehicle of the type he drives!

The picture is downsized for OPSEC. The original is 1.54 MB. You can see individual cords in the ripped tires.

Since I didn't raise him to be weak and fearful, guess I have no one but myself to blame. Like most parents, I suspect, I would trade places with him just to keep him safe.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fleet Week

Old NFO’s post http://oldnfo.blogspot.com/ on SWATH vessels brought back a fond memory, though only marginally related.

Every year Seattle has Seafair Week and the Navy brings in several ships they open to the public. I imagine this is a royal pain for the Navy personnel. One year I took my then preteen younger two sons to the waterfront to see the ships. The lines for the carriers and other big ships were way too long for us. Off on it’s own was a ship with no lines so there we went.

The ship was the USS Pigeon (ASR-21), a catamaran hulled submarine rescue ship. We were aboard three hours and saw everything from the keel up. During that time, there were perhaps ten other visitors. Obviously, a bored crew happy to have visitors. At one point I breathed a helium/oxygen mix, then did the Donald Duck talk, much to the delight of my sons. The visit, for my sons, was a great adventure. I enjoyed the chance to compare Navy service to my Army service. My only exposure to the Navy, at that time, was fourteen days on a troop ship (General Rose).

Sorry, recruiters, the visit didn’t make my sons interested in joining the Navy, but it remains a fond family memory.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Meaningless Post - Amusement Only

My friend, Dirty Al, once lived in a large apartment building in a Tacoma, WA, declining neighborhood. The busy street in front had a large, rowdy nightclub which was frequently visited by the police. Down the street was a large AA meeting room (where Al trolled for women).

Al, being a former bail bondsman and repossession agent, claimed a trained observer could tell which residents in the apartment building had outstanding warrants by whose shades remained drawn when police activity happened at the nightclub. Those with nothing to worry about were hanging out their windows watching the drama.

Middle son lives in a similar apartment complex. The attraction, for him, is cheap rent. As I’ve said in past posts, he looks like a character out of a slasher movie, and nobody bothers him.

Recently, I waited for him to get home from work and parked for forty minutes in the lot. I backed into a space with shade and a good view of entrances. What a hoot watching the residents pull in and out! Was I “The PoPo”? The “Hook” (repo man)? Process server? Bondsman? La Migra?
Seemed like one out of three residents were very nervous.

Seems to me, if not for the pesky probable cause requirement, the police should have little problem arresting prior offenders just by observing their behaviors.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back Home II

Back from my excellent adventure and then a six day 4,200 mile trip to SW Florida. Nice, drama free trip other than traffic jams in major cities and construction/paving. Whenever I'm in the South I get reminded of the power and intensity of Southern rain storms. Almost prefer a Wyoming ground blizzard. Best thing in the South? The people! Manners are still alive.

The boss keeps sending me on these trips. Is it because of my great skills? Or, "Honored Citizen" status, AAA, NRA, American Legion, etc., memberships that get motel discounts?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Outsourcing Jobs - Is There No Limit??

China now has the worst traffic jams in the world. One takes 36 hours to negotiate. Excellent planning to be sure.

Having driven I -70 Eastbound through Kansas City today, I find no improvement over the other four times I've driven it this year. I do believe the planning for these "improvements" must have been outsourced to the crack team of planners in China.

My profound sympathy to those residents who endure this daily.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fool's Excellent Adventure

This past week, went to Washington State to pick up a “free” motor home. This blog will be long and rambling but will tie into the “Fool” title of this blog.

My long time friend, Dirty Al, used his windfall to purchase a magnificent 45’ diesel pusher Prevost Liberty motor home. He gave me his current motor home with the stipulation I moved it from his location by 8/21/10. Background here:


This trip ended up involving the use of three different bus systems, two airlines, two light rail systems, a taxi company, and the Washington State Ferry System. This meant I was subject to the policies and performance of multiple peoples I have no control over. Not something part of my skill set; at least, rarely used.

First was the ride to the airport on the regional bus system. The only trip available put me at the airport two hours early. Next, Alaska Airlines to SEA.
Fortunately, the plane had just three vacant seats. Otherwise, Alaska would have delayed it under some pretext until they had a revenue load. At SeaTac, had a great cell phone conversation with NFO http://oldnfo.blogspot.com/ Caught the light rail to downtown. Senior fare just $1.25. More on light rail later. Near Boeing Field, watched Air Force One pass over. The ONE came into town for a fund raiser, etc., for Senator Murray. I’m sure the Democratic Party was picking up the tab for the trip! Not the first time I’ve seen Air Force One but it is the first time I’ve seen the plane looking dingy; not gleaming as in the past.

Downtown for the rental car; 60% less than at the airport. Picked up my son and had a wonderful day. Next day turned in the rental car, used the Seattle bus system to get to the ferry terminal and took the ferry to Bremerton where I met Dirty Al. We had a great afternoon and evening. The next morning my dawn departure in the motor home took place about 11:30. 170 miles later, things got very interesting.

Being ranch raised and spending many years in the car business, I am accustomed to dealing with vehicles with problems. Al had some carburetor problems, probably the float, and the fuel would drain out if not run daily. This made the vehicle hard to start. Also, the idle was set too low, or idled too slow because of internal carburetor problems. Fool that I am, I took off anyway. Just approaching The Dalles, OR, the engine started running wide open. The foot feed had no effect. The over revving threw off one fan belt. I exited I 84 and started negotiating stop signs, etc. by “blipping” the engine with the ignition switch like it was a rotary engine and using the brakes and managed to get parked safely.

Some two hours later, I found a place to store the beast and got it safely to the storage facility. The storage owner expressed some interest in the beast. An interested buyer and a motivated seller is a beautiful thing. The motor home is now his problem.

Greyhound comes through The Dalles at 4:20 am. Caught some sleep in the motor home and had the local taxi take me to the bus stop. Greyhound now requires you to have a ticket; the driver cannot sell you one. If you don’t have a computer, internet, and a printer for your e-ticket, you are out of luck! I did ride that bus to Portland, OR where I paid my fare. The ticket seller was about as happy as a toll booth attendant after a ten hour shift but the deal got handled.

Light rail to PDX, $.95 for “Honored Citizens”. Family members please note: I am not an “old fart”, I am a “Honored Citizen”. Please address me accordingly. Bought the last seat on the next Frontier flight. Being nice to the hired help pays off. Paid the “ride in the baggage compartment” fare, at the last minute, for a window seat three rows back from the door, with leg room and in flight amenities. The lady said they were having a “special promotion”. Again, family members, I can be charming when needed + the rugged good looks.

Easy flight to Denver at FL38. Pilots maneuvered around the bumpies. For a 1830 arrival on a Denver summer afternoon, it was an unexpected treat.

I like the light rail but can’t help thinking how much it costs to build and the impact on neighborhoods. At least in Seattle, a lot of low income housing was lost. Sure, if a tornado went through Rainer Valley, the headlines would read, “Tornado touches down in Rainier Valley, does $7,000,000 in improvements.” Folks need to live somewhere. Do these systems ever make a profit?

Please don’t think the trip, for me, was a disaster. Disasters are floods, fires, dread diseases, deaths, and not having a terrorist with a SAM when you need one. I got a break in my routine, saw people I care about, spent time in some beautiful country, and had good food and conversations. All the rest was irritants, nothing more. One benefit of being a fool is most things are just petty b.s. Drive on!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Screw You, Overseas Warfighter

Lots of chatter today about States asking for waivers from the MOVE act and suggestions to contact the Pentagon and/or the Department of Justice.

You can read about it at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/at-doj-military-voting-rights-hang-in-the-balance/

Far better to put the heat on locally. I live a few blocks from my State Senator and have had many conversations with her. This is the email I sent her.

Dear Senator Hodge,
I am a Brighton resident with a son deploying to Afghanistan.
The MOVE Act signed into law Oct 2009 mandates a minimum of 45 days in which a overseas absentee ballot be sent out. The military had asked for 60 days. There is a provision for states to request a wavier in case of emergency. I am appalled to find Colorado is one of twelve states to request a wavier. What emergency do we have in this state that will prevent timely mailing of absentee ballots?

I will be sending similar emails to my state representative and making a personal visit to my County Clerk and Recorder. This should be a bottoms up issue, not top down.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Car Story

Had a request for another car story.

Before the Big 3 started their own finance companies in the late 50's-early 60's, your friendly local bank wanted a minimum of 1/3 down or more. GMAC had lower requirements. Most dealers would "spot deliver" a new car and then sweat the financing.

My friend Gene had a nice clean Chevy. He would trade it in on a new car and drive the new car until the dealer would call to tell him the financing failed. This was usually a week to ten days. Gene loved the program and got to drive four new cars for a few days.

He then got a 1962 Turbo Corvair. He decided he didn't like it. After two weeks went by, he called the dealership and asked them when he should bring it back. Their response was along the lines of, "Why, Mr. K? Your financing was approved and YOU OWN THE CAR".

The Corvair had a ninety day warranty. On the ninety third day, the turbo went out. In the three years it took Gene to pay for the Corvair, repairs were needed monthly. Thanks in part to Mr. Nadar, he couldn't sell or trade it. His friends were properly sympathetic.

He always had me to laugh at. At various times I had a Fiat, a Hillman, a Renault 16, an AC Bristol, Springer Harley, Airel Square 4, Norton 750 and a 2 cycle Saab. Ah, foolish young men and motor vehicles.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wrong Way Corrigan + Colorado Front Range=Death

Three people dead. Out of state pilot flying a Bonanza from Boulder, CO to Southern California. Tried going West via Corona/Rollins Pass. Bad decision.

Local pilots learn there are passes that should only be attempted Eastbound and passes that should only be attempted Westbound. Visitors need only to ask at any local airport.

You cross a pass at an angle, not straight on, so you can turn ninety degrees to head for lower elevations.

Think your super whizbang 400 can climb? I knew an airline First Officer flying his personal AT-6 who tried Devils Thumb East to West. Lacked 300 feet.

Ah, what is the use. The smart pilots already know this stuff and the arrogant ones won't be bothered.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Great Day

Born today another grand child, my fifth, a 7 lb. 8 oz. boy. Both mother and child are doing well. My son, the medic, participated/assisted with the delivery. What a profound experience that must be.

I am ever so grateful to his chain of command that delayed his deployment for thirty days.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

The words, "Former Congresswoman Pelosi", will be a great thing for our Republic (in my opinion). I've sent a check to her opponent's campaign to aid the cause.

Donate By Mail
John Dennis for Congress
1592 Union Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 729-5846

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Do Fools Ever Change?

Family, friends, and acquaintances sometimes ask me where the blog title comes from. Two main contributors are a unregulated motor mouth and damn the consequences, full speed ahead, approach to life. Age hasn’t tempered either to any noticeable degree.

The imminent birth of another grandson, eagerly and joyfully welcomed, brings to mind a past episode that probably should not be repeated.

When middle son was born, I was able to watch the delivery. Soon after, my parents came to see the new arrival. The two mothers were in the bedroom (wrong, they were in the kitchen) and the two fathers in the family room. My father, with genuine interest, asked me to describe the birth experience. After some thought I said to my ranch raised father, “Well Dad, it wasn’t much different that pulling a calf.” As he pondered and shook his head in understanding, an explosion erupted in the adjacent kitchen. Two very agitated and vocal women proceeded to verbally flay the hell out of us.

“Son”, my father said, “I know they don’t have bars in this state, but is there somewhere we can go get a beer”?

Hopefully, my daughter-in-law, who I really like, will understand.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Same Sentiment, Fewer Obscenities

Many thanks to Texas Ghostrider for providing FOCUS! Very useful stress reliever.


My part time job is evaluating preproduction cars and trucks. The requirements are to drive specific routes in specific ways while performing various tests and recording and reporting results. The vehicles have numerous “black boxes” and are GPS equipped. Everything is recorded; no excuses. The job is not overly difficult unless you take pride in doing it well.

The other day, the task was driving a SUV pulling a trailer. The trailer is equipped with a “sail” to increase wind resistance and loaded with weights to bring the whole load to the maximum rated vehicle gross weight capacity. The route includes Vail Pass, altitude 10,603 feet. The temperature at the summit was 73 degrees F. That put the density altitude at 14,000 feet plus (I don’t have the barometric pressure). Engines operate on density altitude and lose about 2% rated power per thousand feet. On this day, my vehicle’s engine, and all others not turbo or supercharged, was putting out about 60% rated sea level standard day power. In summary, the SUV was loaded to the max, pulling a 6% grade, automatic transmission, with slightly more than half the usual power. This resulted in 42 mph, 1 st gear, 400 rpm from red line. Perfect conditions for overheating and mechanical breakdowns and nothing in reserve.

Enter please my fellow travelers.

Two men, older POS, having a spirited conversation as evidenced by four hands waving around. FOCUS

Marlon Brando wannabe Harley pack riders, graying hair, Billy Bad Boy attire, out for an excellent putt, at 5 mph under the speed limit, spread out for a half a mile on a two lane mountain road. FOCUS

Any vehicle with a Nebraska plate - county 21. FOCUS

Any Gold colored Toyota Camry. FOCUS

The driver occupying the middle lane with vehicles passing on both sides. FOCUS

The motor home driver with a 5 mph speed differential passing the 18 wheeler doing 35 mph, looking at the sign saying, “Minimum Left Lane Speed 55 mph." FOCUS

Tourists that have been seeing the signs every ten miles since crossing the state line saying, “Keep Right except for Passing.” FOCUS

The list can go on and on but, thanks to Texas Ghostrider, I only need to shout one word instead of several. Yes, they don’t hear me. Yes, it is immature and probably a character defect. For those who think that, FOCUS!

It is always a joyful moment when we pass the red and blue lights and know someone is receiving a good citizen award. (Unless those lights are in my rear window)

Oh, and welcome to Colorado, where our motto is, "Spend your Money then Git".

On a kinder note, visitors from lower elevations should note their lungs are operating at about half capacity. Altitude sickness can ruin your vacation. Feels like flu. Take it easy, keep drinking liquids until you are peeing every thirty minutes, wear sunscreen regardless of your complexion (UV radiation above 8,000' is greater than sea level by a factor of four or more) and seek shade where you can,

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Achieving Success

The area surrounding the part time job building is vacant land. Ugly vacant land. Several colonies of cute prairie dogs live there. A new two story warehouse/office has recently been finished next door. Nice landscaping including lots of grass was recently installed. The prairie dogs have moved in. This morning I thought I heard "Moving on Up", the Jefferson's theme, coming from one of the holes.

Hope the building owners are from Boulder.

My sister will be happy, being a huge prairie dog fan!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Obama - Where Can He Be??????

In the past two weeks, have driven border to border across Illinois twice on Interstate 80 and didn't see our President's name once. In fact, didn't notice even a bumper sticker.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Military Flying Story

Old NFO has some great military flying stories. Us mud dabbers can only read them and be amused. http://oldnfo.blogspot.com/

An Army flying story circa 1965 involves the rude comeuppance of a certain Captain of Aviation, T, by a Private First Class of Engineers, O.

Said PFC was a two year draftee from Texas who grew up in a crop duster family. By the time the Army called, he had many hours of low level flying experience. In typical Army fashion, he became a combat engineer while the Army was spending $18,000 or so to teach people to fly.

The PFC had a medical problem that involved a long wait for an exam. When there was an exam opening in Frankfurt, our unit was in the field, hours away. A decision was made to fly him to Frankfurt in a L-19/O-1.

Captain T was assigned the mission. His favorite diversion was scaring his passanger by pulling back on the mixture control until the engine ran rough. He would then put on a panic act until the aircraft was about 200’ AGL. Turning his head, he would say, “I’ve done everything I can think of. Can you do something”? He did this in the vicinity of the Main River, which PFC O knew went past Frankfurt.

The L-19/O-1 was soon about two feet above the Main River. PFC O stayed at that altitude all the way to Frankfurt, lifting over barges, and going under bridges.

PFC O said there was some initial struggle over the controls but most of the trip was made with Captain T’s hands in his lap. He said there was a large amount of vocalization over the intercom, orders being issued, and so forth, which he ignored, wanting to concentrate on his navigation.

Some veterans may remember the “Overseas Weekly“. PFC O was the subject of an article. The incident as reported involved alcohol, public urination in downtown Munich while totally nude, and his clothing being found in some civilian’s automobile. While he was a willing worker, some of the unit officers and NCOs believed PFC O had an “attitude” problem. Perhaps this is what confounded Captain T.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Denver Summer Afternoon

Flying onto Denver late summer afternoons can be real interesting.

Sorry for the quality of the cell phone snap. Next phone upgrade will include a better camera function.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence Day

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. Made my first dollar on the 4th at the old Dillon, CO Rodeo. The site is now the bottom of a reservoir courtesy of the goddamndenverwaterboard (a single word in parts of Colorado).

At the end of the Rodeo, the roping calves were available for the kids to ride. A rope was stretched across the ground and, if you stayed on past the rope, you got a silver dollar.. I was four, going on five, and crossed the rope under the calf, getting kicked and stepped on.

My sister recently quipped, "You may not made style points, but you did finish in the money!"

The 4th, to me, is a tribute to all those before me who made the holiday, and the memories, possible. I hope I’ve contributed to keeping it going.

Friday, July 2, 2010

More Gutless Wonders

“They can have anything I have” said the 50 ish liberal as his simpering wife looked on. “Nothing we have is worth dieing for” he smugly proclaimed with an air of moral superiority. The couple, recreational hikers, were being interviewed on television. Some tool allegedly tied up a couple who were hiking.


The authorities were warning people, including the two television stars, to be aware. Guess he would also be willing to hold the tool’s testicles off the hot sand while his wife was being raped. Fuck all willing victims; they deserve what happens to their gutless asses.

For what it is worth, the area includes the Peoples Republic of Boulder, CO.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


With my youngest child soon to be deployed to Afghanistan, my interest in what is unfolding there is intense. My son is well aware of operational security, and says little, which I respect.

Wars now don’t seem to be won the way WWI and WWII ended; with nations surrendering to other nations. Vietnam was, in part, to stop the expansion of communism. If that was the principal reason, an argument can be made that we did, in fact, win.

If our goal in Afghanistan is to deny a secure base, sanctuary, and shelter to the jihads, do we need the whole counter insurgency strategy? A secondary goal may be disrupting the international drug trade and denying the profits to our enemies. Can we achieve these goals without the whole nation building effort?

My late father served in the CBI Theater in WWII. He had a rare talent for learning languages. He spoke four or five dialects of Hindu, Spanish, and Navajo, all learned while being a foreman. He was no racist in his day to day dealings with the people who worked for him. He firmly believed the two things Asians understood was a boot on their neck and rice in their bellies. When those two things were consistent, harmony prevailed.

The way in which Asian people govern themselves, worship, do business and, in general, conduct themselves shouldn't’t concern us unless and until their activities become a threat to us.

I hear all the arguments, all the theories, all the justifications. What is so striking, to me, is the proponents are rarely, themselves, the ones who will go into harms way.

My position? Remove the threat and get the hell out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Well Seasoned Fool: Aarg!! Poor Computer Skills#links

Well Seasoned Fool: Aarg!! Pooe Computer Skills#linkshttp://www.elections.colorado.gov/Default.aspx?PageMenuID=1400

Aarg!! Poor Computer Skills


Election Judge

The midterm elections are coming. The Democrats are desperate. Election Fraud is a distinct possibility. Become an Election Judge. The link is for Colorado but the requirements are fairly uniform across the country.

The commitment is one short training day and one LONG working day. It is a way for an average citizen to have an impact.

Don't just bitch. Bitch and kick!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Frugal or Cheap???

Dirty Al, former Blanket Head, Charter Boat Captain, bail bondsman, repossession agent, and the best car salesman I’ve ever known, has been having some hard years. Major health problems, family problems, financial problems, friends dying and an ugly and unfounded accusation in a local unsolved crime have taken their toll. During it all, he has remained upbeat and has never quit. He is also cheap. I’ve accused him of still having his third grade lunch money.

Within a month he should receive a tidy sum of money; enough to last him whatever years he has left. He has decided to put a new windshield in his thirty year old Geo Metro and paint one fender with a spray paint can. He asked me if I think using two cans is extravagant. I told him not if he didn’t use masking tape but masking tape plus two cans is extravagant.

This is a lame post. So much of the news and HOPEANDCHANGE is depressing, I need to find something upbeat and humorous. I’m so happy for Dirty Al. We go back a long ways and have always had each other’s backs.

For older Dirty Al Post go to:



Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Been on the road. On Delta from ATL today. Asked for a Pepsi. Didn't get it.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Waste and Stupidity; Government Style (But I Repeat Myself)

Went to the Aurora, CO, Social Security Office this morning. Pleasant experience as these things go; in and out in forty minutes with task accomplished. While waiting, noticed these two hard working individuals.

Folks, every service window in this place is made of 6" clear plastic. All doors are hardened to bank standards. The building is ten blocks from a police station. Why are two armed guards needed? What is the cost? Is this standard in every Social Security office in the country?

If an armed presence is needed in these offices, why not draw from the existing staff? Extra pay, a good training program, and ARMED! Should save a lot of money.

I'm no security expert. Just as a mental exercise I formulated an assault plan. First, take out the two guards pinned in a corner sitting on their asses. Next, using a ladder brought for the purpose, lift out one of the ceiling panels and drop over the "armoured" wall.

Consider the two guards. Want to put me in hell? Make me do that kind of "work". At some level, they must understand how useless and unneeded they are.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hey Barack, Get a Clue

You are the most unprepared President since Carter. You have surrounded yourself with the intellectual elite who are masters of budget meetings and academic turf battles. Solving real life, complex problems; not so much so.

Call on our ex-Presidents for advice. Do it privately so public confidence isn't further damaged. Put aside your ego and LISTEN to them. It will shorten your on the job training time. Personally, I don't think much of any of them but they have been there, done that.

Or, resign. Even that idiot Biden is better prepared.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

In the Northwest corner of Colorado is a private cemetery on ten acres left from an old homestead. Buried there is my father and eight of his siblings. Yesterday we gathered to bury the ashes of one of his sisters. Around forty people attended.
All his brothers who were physically able served in WWII including one who was nearly blind in one eye. Most of his sisters married servicemen. Of the men in the yesterday group maybe two out of three are veterans. Among my father's nieces and nephews, several have children serving or who have served.

The pictures are of what remains of the five brother's sleeping quarters for two or three Colorado winters during the Great Depression.

What I want to say to those who want to take away our freedoms, our way of life; to subjugate us, our children, our clans is this: We know where we came from, we will fight; and we will prevail. Don't fuck with us!

God bless all who have fought for this country and the freedoms we enjoy; have served in our armed forces; or have kept their homes intact waiting for their warriors to come home.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tea Party - For Real?

Had a recent interesting conversation with my sister about the Tea Party and how long it will last.

We grew up with politics played out in our living room. Our parents, especially our father, were active Republicans and held many county level offices. They often hosted candidates. My sister remembers sitting next to a United States Senator at a community fund raiser pancake breakfast. We have witnessed over and over the bursts of enthusiasm that fade away leaving the same hardcore of party workers that stay year after year. Who is left from Ross Perot’s Reform Party?

We both agree that more citizen involvement is a good thing. She is of the opinion the Tea Party participants are not “stayers”. My guess is she is right but there will be a percentage who are “stayers” and they will have an impact for years to come. Many of the evangelicals who overwhelmed local school boards and had a huge impact on the Republican party in the Reagan era have dropped out. Some remain and still influence Republican politics.

If you want to have an impact, get involved. The mother of my children is a lifelong activist. We have an autistic child. She became an unpaid lobbyist that my earnings supported. The draft Washington State Education for All Act was written on our dining room table by her and four other pissed off mothers. She spent three years lobbing for the final successful passage. In the process, she came to know many people. A campaign manager for one candidate running for governor told me they though she influenced at least 4,000 votes. This from one couple who for certain were never rich and could have used the money her efforts cost for personal needs. While our marriage didn’t survive, what she accomplished is still working.

Perhaps there is a parallel between involvement in local politics and military service. It is a voluntary commitment. You are required to do things that may be boring at inconvenient times. You deal with people you may dislike. You are often criticized and even belittled. Someone needs to do it. Your personal reward comes from looking in the mirror and knowing you contributed.

Some folks have demanding travel schedules that restrict what they can do; been there and done that. There is always something you can do. Be an election judge as an example. A two day commitment every two years. Scoff? How else do we keep elections honest?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

President Popular????

Back after 4,100 miles, Colorado-Florida-Colorado. Entering Texas from any direction you see big signs honoring George Bush. From East St. Louis through Illinois to Kentucky I didn't see one sign with Obama's name on it. To keep alert, I look for bumper stickers. Saw fewer than twenty Obama/Biden stickers. Saw NO McCain stickers. Saw at least a dozen fading Bush stickers. Mean anything? Who knows?

Old NFO posts about bad days. Can't top him but someone wasn't having a good day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Work Calls _ Blogging Stops

But First, a Headline in the Denver Post

May 13, 2010 11:17 am US/Mountain Psychic Doesn't Foresee Her Fraud Arrest

“Part Time” job is now a six day, 4,000 mile test drive. No blogs until next week. This will not be a joy ride. Colorado to Florida and return.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Close Call - PTSD

Just missed going on the NICS background lists as mentally incompetent thanks to the smiling lady at the Veterans Administration. At the urging of friends, applied for and was approved for VA medical care. It is not something that I need or want to use now. In the future, who knows? Can’t hurt to get it set up, right?

Said lady was screening me as part of the process to set me up with a primary care facility and primary care person. Lots of questions. Inoculations, medical history, surgeries, etc. and then the Post Trauma Stress Disorder screen. Four simple questions. Having been a salesman most of my life, I can spot setup questions as fast as they are uttered along with the body language and voice tones of the questioner. Me, admit to PTSD? No way, but she almost got me. Then the sex questions. “Was I every subjected to…………”? Answer, “Yes”. “Have you suffered trauma because of this”. Answer, “No, the trauma was suffered by the person making the unwelcome advances”. End of questions. Thanks to the senior Senator from New York (a gutless asshole who has never once put his personal safety on the line, who wants to disarm you and me while he is licensed CCW) most vets can be barred from purchasing firearms just by answering four generic questions the wrong way. If I am wrong about this, please correct me.

I was treated well at the VA Hospital. The process was fast, well structured, and the personal comportment of the staff I encounter was very professional.

As to PTSD, I know some veterans have been emotionally devastated by their service experience. In no way do I not respect their experiences. The majority are, I believe, like me. I was an asshole when I went into the Army. The Army didn’t cause that. When I got out I was the same, only with some stress added.