Saturday, December 31, 2011

Small, Small Town USA

Some of what is best about this country is found in small towns. Seems a sense of community is lost as population density increases. Of course, privacy increases with population; hard to have a totally private life in a small town.

The internet now gives these small town a bigger voice. Economics have killed off many a small town newspaper. In place, we have blogs. I would direct your attention to a small town blog HERE.

Nothing unique, just a sample of small town life. (Someday I will learn how to do hyperlinks.)

This little town looms large in my paternal family history. Various forefathers have roamed that part of the country since just after the Civil War (excuse me, The War of Northern Aggression) as both solid citizens and down and dirty outlaws. Maybe both at the same time.

The Ladies Club is today, and has always been, a potent force in the town and surrounding areas. It takes a fool hardy man to tell a Moffat County woman what she is going to do. Personally, I would rather play chicken with a coal train.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thank God and Greyhound

SUZ has started a Meme, “The top 25 on my play list”.

My contribution? Just one. Roy Clark, “Thank God and Greyhound You’re Gone”.

This story starts when my wife of twenty two years left me for another man, and moved out of state, leaving me the two youngest to raise. My standard joke, in absolute seriousness, is I wanted to send him a thank you card but feared he would send her back.

Forward a year and half later, she is back visiting. She was staying with our oldest, who lived on his own. Her wealthy paramour turned out to be all hat and no cattle. She came to visit on Greyhound and had no money for a rental car. I had loaned her a car, which she started abusing, so I put and end to that. Finally, she decided to go back to whatever she called home.

I agreed to take her to the Seattle Bus Depot. By the time I got her disorganized self there, my tolerance factor had nearly been eclipsed by her nuisance factor.

The depot was the usual zoo. One individual caught my attention. He was wearing a leather vest over a bare torso and flexing his muscles. Maybe had 18 inch “guns”.

The bus was oversold. She had two metal trunks and miscellaneous soft bags. The bus driver, already late, didn’t want to board her. Said he had to have a least two empty seats. I pointed out her luggage. I told him I would follow him clear across Washington State. At some point he would have to let her on. Then he could load her luggage. As an alternative, he could let her on, and I would load the luggage. He liked my alternative. After loading her trunks, I could see her in the bus struggling to stuff her other bags in the overhead luggage rack. Boarding the bus, I went to her seat and stuffed the damn bags into the rack. Going up the isle, I passed the gentlemen with the leather vest sitting in an aisle seat. He made himself small as I passed. Hmm, a six foot 280 pound red faced Celt, in a T Shirt, with 22 inch “guns”, and a most unpleasant visage, might have prompted him to avoid a confrontation.

The bus departed and I followed. Once Eastbound on I-90, I passed him and then exited on I-405 but pulled onto the shoulder. I wanted to see the bus go by by. As I waited, I put “Thank God and Greyhound” in the tape deck. Enjoying the moment, I was whooping and pounding the dash as the bus rolled by. Right then a Washington State Patrolman was at my window.

After the license, registration, insurance formality, I explained the situation to the officer. His question, “Have you been drinking” brought the answer, “No, but in about fifteen minutes I will be”. He lost his professional demeanor, leaned against my truck, and started laughing. A few minutes later I was on my way and he on his. As promised, fifteen minutes later I was making sure a few cold Rainiers weren’t getting stale.

That song will probably always be my favorite.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Sad Story of "Dead Dog" Fred

Two readers have been asking for another car lot story. Decided to relate the sad fate of Freddy “Dead Dog” Dayo.

Freddy could make a very realistic sound of a hurt dog. He and another miscreant salesman had a routine when things got boring. Freddy would crouch down behind a row of cars and start yelping. His partner in mischief, Flea, would rush up and down calling, “Muffy, where are you"? Soon, the green peas would be helping find Muffy and lose focus, allowing the veterans to beat them to fresh “ups.” The managers started calling Fred “dead dog” (when they were in a good mood).

Freddy wasn’t know for his reliability. Once he broke his arm. When he called his sales manager to be excused from work, he was told, “Fuck you, Dayo. I want to see the X-rays, not the cast.” When he finally arrived at work, the owner sympathetically asked, “Hey Fred, want to arm wrestle.”?

His passion, aside from loose living, was steelhead fishing. He lived to fish.

One day his ship came in. While driving a T Top Firebird from one lot to another, the glass T Tops shattered, showering him with glass. He was so horrible injured, he couldn’t raise his arms above shoulder level. Happily, he was able to start drawing Workman’s Compensation.

About that time, the State Labor and Industries managers hired private investigators to start checking out the “injured” drawing tax free state money.
Freddy was the star of a video showing him lugging coolers, balanced on his shoulder, up and down steep river banks. The video showed his fantastic form casting lures.

Alas, his ship hit a reef. He was given six months to pay back every cent he had received from the state. When he put his mind to it, he was an effective salesman and paid the state back in the allotted time. Then the IRS hit him for the “tax free” money he received. Poor Freddy! For about ten months he had to work his butt off.

No moral here or purpose other than a requested story.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Please check out this site if you think deep pockets have too much influence on elections.

One of the founders, Ken Gordon, has walked the walk. I don't agree with him on all things but have the highest respect for him and what he has accomplished.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cell Phone Madness

This %$###@%^ nanny state bullshit just keeps flowing. Last statistic I could find was 2008. Per the Department of Transportation, there are over 196,165,666 licensed driver in the USA. Some will always be knuckleheads. Defensive driving, people. So here is the latest self important airhead wanting to further restrict our freedoms:

"According to NHTSA, more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents", said Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "It is time for all of us to stand up for safety by turning off electronic devices when driving."

"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."

Can we find people in government service who at least pass reality once or twice a day in the hall?

The fundamental problem is government people—pointy-headed bureaucrats—telling people what to do. There is an environment in this city of people unwilling to admit their mistakes and move ahead. The attitude toward rule-making has been so curtailed that common sense recommendations now take years and years.

— James Hall, NTSB, 1996

I am for hands free cell phone usage and no texting; even a scofflaw like me can change. Given the need, I will even learn to use the Bluetooth ear piece I bought four years ago.

Want to knock the economy down? Make people less productive and business less efficient. That time I’m in a vehicle, during business hours, is lost time. Any portion used productively is a boon. How well I remember the four D Cell pagers pulling down my pants, the frustration in finding a working pay phone, and the dangerous places I found a pay phone. Cell phones forever!

The illustration that accompanied the article with Ms. Hersman”s remarks? A black revolver on the left, a red blood splatter on the right with a black cell phone super imposed on the splatter.

Too bad this statistic wasn’t included:

The accidental gun death rate has been falling since 1930 and US accidental gun deaths per year were down to 613 by 2007, out of the 301,579,895 people in the USA, according to the CDC. For comparison, there were 29,846 accidental deaths by poisoning in 2007, again according to the CDC.

These are accidental deaths. Murder and suicide are not accidents. From Wikipedia:

The real percentage of suicides among car accidents is not reliably known; studies by suicide researchers tell that "vehicular fatalities that are suicides vary from 1.6% to 5%".[32] Some suicides are misclassified as accidents, because suicide must be proven; "It is noteworthy that even when suicide is strongly suspected but a suicide note is not found, the case will be classified an 'accident.'"[33]
Some researchers believe that suicides disguised as traffic accidents are far more prevalent than previously thought. One large-scale community survey (in Australia) among suicidal persons provided the following numbers: "Of those who reported planning a suicide, 14.8% (19.1% of male planners and 11.8% of female planners) had conceived to have a motor vehicle “accident”... Of all attempters, 8.3% (13.3% of male attempters) had previously attempted via motor vehicle collision."[34]

Might I suggest Ms. Twit and her staff focus on this? Oh, sorry; hard work involved.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas Poem

From my friend Hal Swift, Nevada Poet

Christmas is a Birthday Party
R. H.Swift

Christmas is a birthday party
we celebrate every year.
And happy invitations call
our guests from far and near.

The party held in Bethleham
found shepherds the first to go.
Then wise men followed, gifts in hand,
to worship in the glow.

This Christmas, too, we celebrate,
sing carols of peace on earth.
Just as the joyful angels did
the night of Jesus' birth.

Christmas is a birthday party,
and you are invited in...
to celebrate with grateful joy
God's wondrous gift again.
Just a note to wish you

The Swifts
Ralph "Hal" and Carol
cjrhswift@pyramid.netevade Poet.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Remora Feeding Frenzy

Received by snail mail from the Social Security Administration, Form SSA-4926-SM (1-2012), detailing my 2012 “Benefit Amount”. Nice, off the top they deduct $1,198.80 for Medicare medical insurance. Not mentioned is few mainstream medical practices are accepting new patients.

I am extremely fortunate my city has a good public health clinic. Copay visit is $15. The care is adequate. Kind of like Sick Call in the Military.

(Thanks, Sisty, for your many years as a board member)

Now, if I don’t have supplemental insurance then I pay more. I don’t understand it all, and don’t want the brain damage of learning. My sister, who does understand, and the insurance broker in her building, hand me forms and tell me what to do. All I know is I have United Health Care, the outfit that gave their founder a $1.5 BILLION Golden Parachute, and is so close to AARP I think they are the same. While I despise both organizations, my broker tells me this is the cheapest way to go. Ah, money beats principal once again.

The tangible “benefit” is my generic blood pressure placebos are costing pocket change at Walgreen.

I do keep my VA status up to date. My children have been instructed, in the event of my becoming incapacitated, to drop me off at the VA Hospital entrance like an unwanted pet, and drive off.

Even the mainstream press report massive Medicare fraud. Didn’t the Lightbringer, he of the most transparent administration ever, promise to go after the fraud? Wasn’t that a centerpiece of paying for Obamacare? Perhaps when the political donor dollars were tabulated, money beats principal once again.

Seems the Remora have been feeding so long, and so lavishly, they are now part of the “entitled classes”.

I’m getting my “entitlement”. Never mind I’ve been paying into the program since 1958.

Text Message Rant

This Latter Day Luddite dislikes texting. Some text messages conveying information are useful. Phone numbers, status updates, information requests, and addresses are examples.

Relationships via text just piss me off. Want to dirty bitch me? Call. Don’t try to be in complete control by using your digits and a gizmo.

I tolerate it with my offspring. Others? Hell no.

The day I sign up for Twitter please shoot me.

As always, your mileage may vary.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Anarchy, OWC, and Soldier Posers

Identifying problems isn’t hard. Solutions are hard. Recently came across this.

Discusses problems and offers solutions. Are the solutions possible? I don’t know. I do know I find it refreshing to read something that isn’t a bitch session pity party.

Murphy has an interesting post about the Occupiers and soldier posers.

How hard is making it in today’s military? Probably no harder than in the past. Unless there has been a total change of focus, and my active duty son says not, the NCO’s at all levels are focused on success. Getting into the special ops units may be different. Seems most of the “veterans” at the Occupy sites fall into the loser category.

My experience started in the fall of 1963. Surprisingly, many of us served together throughout our time in the service, start to finish. Out of my basic training company, around twenty of us went to Combat Engineer training. When we went to Europe on the good ship Rose, we met up with many of our basic training members who had attended other specialty schools. About fifty from the Engineer AIT company went to Europe. Most ended up on the same Engineer Group; two battalions and four separate companies. We kept encountering each other at training sites, service clubs, and bars where we discussed the current status of soldiers we knew. Somewhere around one in fifteen didn’t make it. If there was one common denominator, it was laziness.
You could see it from the first few days of basic training. They were unwilling to work, to learn, to carry their share of the load. In my company, you could be a drunk, “civil” rights rabble rouser, get in fights, be stupid, etc., and the NCO’s would work to change you. Be a slacker, not do your job, and be lazy about your duty, and you were on your way out. Not just the command, but everyone would be unwilling to even acknowledge you. The common route out involved a Bad Conduct Discharge.

The 60’s 70’s anti war movement spawned some violent splinter groups. Bank robbers, kidnappers, etc. Between then and now, violent groups like Earth Liberation Front have formed. Watch for it; there will be organized attacks on the perceived 1%. The theory being, they can’t break the 1%, but they can insure the 1% don’t enjoy themselves. Golfers getting sniped? Bombs in exclusive area night clubs? Old generation, but still lethal, one man SAMS against private jets? Not hard to take the joy out of life and install fear.

No, I’m not advocating violence. Far from it; it is usually innocent bystanders that get killed or wounded. I just see a situation developing. Then the 1% use their wealth and power to protect themselves. How will that impact our liberties? Mix in a faltering economy, dysfunctional government, disappearing social “services” and we get perilous times.

Getting back to the start of this blog, I think all of us need to examine our approach to those we disagree with. The very first step is to vote. The second step is get involved with local politics at the local level. The third step is to find some common ground with your neighbors you disagree with. That starts the process.

As always, your mileage may vary.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

BMW Modifier

The picture is of a 4 pound sledge hammer I’ve had for over thirty years. It has been retired from work but sits on a shelf next to my front door as part of my home defense plan. As an “at risk” senior, I face less possible legal problems bludgeoning an intruder than shooting an intruder.

The time I used it to modify a BMW was in the 1970’s. My employer produced UBC compliant modular homes along with other construction activities and a new dealer was installing their first purchase from us. I was onsite for “tech support”. When we finished, it was late and dark. My route home was different from theirs. In a few miles, I hit dense fog.

For those who know Eastern King County, WA, my route home was on May Valley Road near Renton. At that time, the road was a rural narrow two lane road with no shoulders and a steep drop off. There may be darker places at night than Western Washington when there is an overcast and thick fog. Inside a mine comes to mind.

This vehicle comes up behind me. There were the headlights, driving lights, and auxiliary lights, all full blast. My speed was only 15 MPH, all the visibility would allow, and now the glare from this jerk blinded me. I pulled into the first driveway I came to and let him pass. Pulling in behind him, I kept my lights on park and left on my two yellow fog lights. Now he pulls into a driveway and then back in behind me. I stopped. After putting on my four ways, I walked back to the car, a decked out BMW with a couple in the front. The driver lowered his window a crack. I explained he was blinding me and requested he kill most of his lights. He wasn’t cooperative. He also had a lot to say including telling me what to do. OK. The sledge was in the back of my pickup. Very soon, the BMW had one only operating light. Priceless expression on the yuppies faces! As I drove off, they just at there.

No visits later from the police. Probably, they were too shocked to note my license number.

Recently, my daughter in law posted a comment on this blog.

FDIL said...
Forget the apple falling from the tree! I think they all grew on the same branch! The biggest difference between you, your dad, my hubby and my male children is that you, your dad and my hubby didn't have me running the show and raising you! LOL There is still hope for my young sons! (As long as they don't spend too much time around Grandpa!) :-)

Wonder why she would say something like that?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quiet Sunday in My Hood

Hostage situation two blocks away. SWAT, flash bangs, loud speakers, HAZMAT team and every off duty LEO in the area present to punch the overtime ticket. Film at eleven?

Unfortunate family trying to unload a truck one block away. Looks like they are moving in. Probably not the Welcome Wagon they were expecting.

Customer Service

Rodeo contestants are unique group who put in unimaginable hours.

The owner of the car dealerships I worked at for many years was a former bull rider. We had many customers who were involved in professional rodeos. We went out of our way to accommodate them. Sometimes, this became interesting.

A repeat customer was a young Wyoming bull rider. As a committed Christian, he took his young wife and three children with him. They traveled in a crew cab pickup with a self contained camper. One night on his way to a rodeo he stopped by and they traded in their ¾ ton Ford for a one ton dually crew cab Ford. As part of the deal, we needed to move their self contained camper from the trade to the new vehicle.

Since he didn’t have camper jacks, we opened the shop and backed in the trade to one of the hoists. We were able to remove the camper by lifting it with the hoist and pull the trade out of the way. The problem now became backing the dually under the camper. Much less clearance and a much larger turning radius made for very tight squeeze. By now it was two hours after closing. The owner, another salesman, the customers, and I were still at the dealership. The other salesman, AKA, was by far the best driver in the group and was finally able to maneuver the dually into place. The camper was lowered and bolted down by the customer. While this was going on, the rest of us were transferring the contents of the trade to the dually. AKA maneuvered the dually out of the bay, the customer drove off, and the rest of us went home. The customers still had a seven hour drive in front of them.

Strange as it may seem, in our world, this was a normal transaction. Whatever the hour, whatever the situation, we dealt with it. The old Jackie Cooper axiom, “Winners do what losers won’t”, was a “core value” with us.

From where I look, the only place you can always find that commitment is in our professional military. Good reason to hire a recently discharged vet. They know how to work.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Latter Day Saints

So Romney is a Latter Day Saint (Mormon) . So what? I’m far more concerned that he is a RINO.

I’m not LDS. I lived in Utah for a few years and have done business in “Mormon” country most of my adult life. Once worked for a company that had two Stake Presidents and one Bishop in management. Once had a customer who is a General Authority. Point is, I know more about LDS belief and history than most folks.

I can recall only two times religion was a factor in business. One time the folks involved didn’t know I wasn’t LDS and thought I was a backslider. When that was cleared up, the problem went away. In the other case, took the two brothers aside and explained to them they were acting like asses. The conversation got quite spirited but we came to an understanding. In fact, the Church’s doctrine forbids a Saint from discriminating against a Gentile. Against amoral pieces of shit, yes, to the extent of protecting oneself.

The most important thing to Latter Day Saints is family. I was a good family man. I didn’t just talk the talk, I walked the walk, all the time. My behavior, my wife’s behavior, and my children’s behaviors were noted. We were accepted and had no problems with our neighbors. Small things, like babysitters when we wanted an evening out, were never a problem.

So, do we disqualify a candidate who’s religion focuses on morals, integrity, self reliance, family and community service?

Doubt my party will even allow a primary challenger.

I hope we get a great candidate to oppose the Lightbringer. If Romney is the candidate, his being LDS won’t influence my decision. His damn flip flopping and past Second Amendment positions will.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Need To Be Able to Laugh at Ourselves

A "Progressive" friend directed me to this Facebook site.

I find this title hilarious. The author? Needs an enema.

Monday, November 21, 2011


According to the stat counter, this blog is drawing more page views every new posting. I see some new followers. Since I can't seem to figure out how to send you a welcoming email, welcome, and thank you.

This blog was started as a new way to run my mouth, to communicate with friends, and allow the members of my clan to have new material to "tsk, tsk" about, without having to expose themselves. Should you find anything of interest here, feel free to comment. I enjoy arguments! Some will think I'm a bubble or two off plumb. Feel free to say so; you will be right.

Again, to all who come back to read this blog, thank you. I am flattered.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hunting With My Father

From an early childhood, I was involved with hunting. I was part of the group, but it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school my father and I, alone, went hunting together.

For many years, he guided hunters and provided horses and gear. This was a critical component of the family finances. Hunting was, for me, work. Pack in gear and hunters. Pack out game, hunters, and gear. We were always subsistence hunters. Guiding hunters was simply an extension of food hunting. No one worked harder, and put in more hours, than my father. I was expected to keep up. Sometimes, it was just the two of us packing, and we “hunted” as we packed, but the packing took priority.

By my senior year, my father had found a good paying, steady job, at the power plant. My mother had a job with the Forest Service. We had a small ranch but it wasn’t large enough to provide a steady living. With the acquisition of the power plant job, my father quit guiding.

We were hunting elk and were sitting on a rock, on the South face of a scrub oak covered ridge, waiting for the pressure of other hunters to drive something past us. At that time in my life, I had acute hearing. I heard an animal moving quickly from our West and alerted my father. He didn’t believe me at first. I got into position, aiming where my hearing indicated I would get a clear shot, and waited with my Model 94, 30.-.30, open sights. The bull came into view, about 150 yards below us at a trot, with a downward angle of about 45 degrees, and 90 degrees to us, i.e, broadside. Now my pride got in the way. Wanting to impress my father with my skill, and not spoiling any meat, I aimed for a brisket shot. Just as I fired, the bull stopped. I saw hair fly, then he was gone. Had I aimed for a neck or shoulder shot, he would have been meat on the table. We checked for blood and only found a few spots. Nothing to indicate a serious wound.

That day some “Sportsmen” jumped a elk herd a few miles from us and started shooting. They wounded more than they killed. We came across some of the wounded and put them out of their misery.
I came across a gut shot yearling cow who was so exhausted she stood bleating and watched me shoot her from less than twenty feet. Made me feel like a mighty hunter - not.

The game wardens managed to catch and prosecute several of the “Sportsmen”.

Turned out my father and I never hunted together alone after that. We hunted with others, but that was the only time it was just the two of us.

I read about other folk’s hunting experiences and wonder if I missed something. I enjoyed the outdoors experience, enjoyed the successes, the tracking and stalking, but only in the context of putting meat on the table. Always, there was an underling tension of not wanting, not allowing, failure. Hunting just for the enjoyment of the hunt I can understand, at a mental level, but I’ve never felt it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Cop Created

This is dedicated to the late Duane Laeger, Weld County Colorado Deputy, Chief of Police, Platteville, Colorado and all my PEACE OFFICER kinfolk. Received this as an email.

A Cop Created

When the Lord was creating peace officers, He was into His sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
And the Lord said, "Have you read the spec on this order? A peace officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle his uniform."
"He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day."
"He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of way."
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.
The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he asks, May I see what's in there, sir?" (When he already knows and wishes he'd taken that accounting job.) "Another pair here in the side of his head for his partner's safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, You'll be all right ma'am, when he knows it isn't so."
"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."
"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck." The angel circled the model of the peace officer very slowly. "Can it think?" she asked.
"You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop...and still keeps its sense of humor."
"This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crimes scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn't sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects."
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the peace officer. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."
"That's not a leak," said the Lord, "it's a tear." What's the tear for?" asked the angel.
"It's for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice."
"You're a genius," said the angel.
The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," he said.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And Another Evil Car Salesman Story

Dirty Al has been bugging me for another car lot story, Too much politics, he says.

Car sales people all have common foes, the buying public, and management. While mainly self centered, they will defend their pack. One young jerk learned this the hard way.

He pulled on to the lot, parked, and got out of his car. One of the black salesmen, Dandy Man, approached him. The jerk said, approximately, “Look, I won’t buy a car from a N____. In fact, I don’t even want to sit in a car a N____ has sat in.”

“No problem”, said Dandy Man. “Hey Sam, come over here a minute.”

Sam, Celtic, freckles, red hair, and pale as a ghost, took over. Two hours later the jerk was driving off the lot in his new, to him, used car. Done deal, he owned it. Dandy Man spots him and shouts, “Shit Sam, you done sold him my uncles trade in”. The outraged look on the jerks face only intensified as every salesman (and woman) within ear shot started laughing.

Somehow, I doubt Sam got many referrals from that customer.

Another blast from the past. Just because I looked like the biggest redneck around, giving me a Klan handshake only meant I was going to hurt you financially to the best of my considerable evil salesman talents.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

USMC Birthday

Good friend is a former Marine. Each year I call him and wish him a Happy Marine Corp Birthday. The conversation usually goes like this:

"Happy Birthday, Jarhead".

"Thanks, Ditch Boy, now go spit shine your shovel".

Monday, November 7, 2011

Watch the Circus

Link to a service that will send you emails on how your Congresscritters vote. You can specify your Congressional District and your Senators will also be reported.

What is interesting, to me, is how damn few votes are taken.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Country Folk (Redneck) Funeral

Recent humorous emails themed “Etiquette for Rednecks” sparked a conversation about how my sister, late brother in law, and I acted like we didn’t have “proper fetchins”.



5. Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession

Our extended family has a history of taking care of funerals for our members. Professional mortuary service are usually not used except for preparing the body and placing the remains in a casket, or boxing the cremains. A section of the old family homestead West of Craig. CO., has been set aside for a family graveyard.

My father had remarried at the time of his death and his wife wasn’t coping too well. Various family members prepared the grave. I conducted the services at the Community Church, while an aunt played the music.

A step brother and I picked up the body, in a coffin, at a Craig Mortuary in my late father’s GMC pickup for his last ride. We stopped in the small town of Maybell, CO for the service. That is where the trouble began.

The widow’s sister in law tried to take over. We damn sure didn’t need her “help.” My sister could see I was, quite literally, ready to kill. She got between us and put the sister in law in her place, with a hovering throng of kinfolk standing by, and we started and finished the service.

The ten mile procession to the homestead was outstanding. There were nearly forty vehicles. Strangers going Eastbound stopped their cars and trucks, stepped out, and paid their respects (love the Old West people). After a brief Odd Fellows graveside service conducted by a cousin, we closed the grave and everyone left except my sister, brother in law, and myself. We stayed there about an hour, talking quietly, and trying to calm down.

I had borrowed a cousin’s S-10 4x4. As we left, I started roaring around the sagebrush, kicking up dust, and generally raising vehicular hell, i.e. laying down rubber. My sister was whooping and hollering. My brother in law was silently and grimly holding on for dear life. If our father was watching, he was laughing and whooping and hollering too. That is just the kind of irreverent people we are. You can be sober, prim and proper, and solemn for only so long. In fact, I needed to decompress, before going back to town and the post funeral pot luck. I still wanted to kill that bitch.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We Have A WHITE President????

Sure seems Mr. Obama is getting paler. Look at the four pictures.

Received my Democratic Membership letter. For the forth years, didn't send any money.

Like the slogan, "Winning the Future." Easy shorthand, WtF. Brilliant!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Travel Essentials

Off to Sin City at O Dark 100. Driving what is called a "High Security" vehicle so it is straight through. No overnight parking. Fly back the next day.

Miss the days when my "kit" was a small shaving kit and some clothes in an AWOL bag.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Redneck Woman

PROBLEM: Snow laden trees branch in danger of breaking. Two story house. 1/10 pitch roof too dangerous to climb

REDNECK WOMAN‘S SOLUTION. Five rounds of 12 gauge Pheasant loads into the snow laden branches, thereby removing the snow.

PROBLEM: Solved.

Don’t mess with my sister. She will hurt you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Obama"s Fault?

We have been enjoying 80 degree weather along the Front Range. Yesterday, a storm came through dropping 8 or more inches of wet, almost cement, snow. Today Obama visited Denver. I'm blaming him for the mess.

Other than catching trees still with leaves, a heavy moisture storm like this is good for our parched soil. Going from 80 to snow kills off a lot of grasshoppers, etc., which will be helpful next summer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011


We were swapping stories at the early morning senior coffee McDonalds meeting.

The topic was winter driving and inept and ignorant drivers. Everyone at the table was, of course, a total professional. My contribution.

Prior to Interstate 70, going west from Denver you had two choices, US 6 or US 40. They merged from just East of Idaho Springs to just West of Downeville where they split. Drivers could then choose 11,990 foot Loveland Pass US 6 or 11,307 foot Berthoud Pass US 40.

Downeville had a large and prosperous gas station with a large service shop and wrecker service. Many drivers would stop there and have their tire chains installed. The workers would put the vehicle on lifts making installation easier and faster.

One winter evening in 1968, I stopped in Downeville for coffee, before going West over Berthoud Pass, and noticed a shinny black Eldorado up on a lift. The mechanic was putting chains on the rear tires. The owner was closely watching.

Being a helpful sort of smart ass, I pointed out the Eldorado was front wheel drive.

“Young man”, said the owner, “THIS is a CADILLAC!” Behind the owner, I could see the mechanic give a slight shrug. “Oh,” I said and kept on walking, leaving the damn fool on his own.

Advice for those who have never used tire chains. If you have access to an air hose, or a station with one is nearby, let some air out of your tires. Put on the chains as tight as you can by hand then air up the tires.

Oh, and know which of your wheels are powered!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The "My First Car" Meme

OK, I’ll play.

Ranch kid, so I grew up driving in fields and country roads. If the deputies happened to see you, and it was a farm vehicle, they would just wave.
Driving something else into town was different.

A great uncle I worked for in the summer had a ex Marine Corps M-2-4-233 one ton 4x4, no top, and no seat upholstery left. At some point, surplus 24 ply aircraft tires had been mounted. The plies were slowly peeling off but there were so many plies the tires held air. My great uncle would send me to “town” to get a load of bailing wire. Coming back one day with a load, a Colorado Courtesy Patrol officer (State Trooper) pulled along side me as I chugged along at 35 mph or so with tire cords flapping. Here was a 12 year old kid, sitting on two boards over a seat frame, no license plates, no windshield, and most certainly no current safety sticker, operating a motor vehicle. We made eye contact. He just shook his head and accelerated up the highway.

At the time, at age 14, you could get a license to ride a powered scooter. Two cousins had one they didn’t ride because they were old enough to drive cars.
Early 1950 vintage Sears Allstate, probably built by Cushman. Ah, freedom. Not practical for Colorado winters unless you are very stubborn and 14.

First car, 1951 Ford. Flathead V-8, manual 3 speed with overdrive. The previous owner had damaged the right front fender. I didn’t care, drove it for three years, and sold it for more than I paid. I could fix anything that went wrong with it with help from my father or uncles.

When I got it, the rear end was lowered, the shift lever had been moved to the left side of the column (allowing you to keep your arm around your date) and the dome light painted with nail polish. Nice pink glow! Got rid of the lowering blocks to improve the handling. Kept the other modifications. The one serious problem was the vacuum powered windshield wipers. They only got enough vacuum at low rpm. Fitted an electric fuel pump which had a vacuum boost on one side and fuel pump on the other side. Took at little plumbing to get everything working but I could both drive fast and see; a good thing!

Push button AM radio. All buttons set to KOMA, OKC, or XELO, Chihuahua, MX, the only stations we could receive at night that had good (teenager) music.

"Yes indeed folks, get your 3D framed wall mounted picture of our savior. His eyes follow you everywhere. Just send $5 to XELO, Chihuahua, Mexico for a 3D picture of our savior autographed by he himself! Yes, $5, XELO, Chihuahua, Mexico."