Monday, January 31, 2011

Whacking Moles - AARP Scams

Received a clever marketing mail piece disguised as an enrollment form by my Medicare supplemental insurer. What tipped me off was the AARP logo everywhere. I have Secure Horizons/United Health Care.

I don’t belong to AARP and I won’t. Their activities surrounding Obama Care turned me off. I would prefer not to use United Health Care, a firm that paid one executive a one and one half billion dollar bonus. I am also aware of their relationship with AARP. After going over the various options with my agent, I reluctantly went with Secure Horizons as the best fit for me and the health care provider I use.

The crap I got in the mail I’ve forwarded to the appropriate Colorado government office regulating the insurance industry. In my letter, I pointed out my personal information, including Medicare number (Social Security Number with a capital letter added), was given to a third party by Secure Horizons. I await the State’s response.

My agent tells me, had I filled out all the forms and sent them in, I would have removed him as my agent. His commission would be taken back and given to another party. He is seeing a lot of this to the detriment of his business and his time.

The brazenness of this pisses me off. I doubt my letter will produce any change but, damn, I feel I must do something. Guess I will keep whacking moles whenever they pop up. The real issue is, the damn moles no longer have any fear of consequences.

In any case, off on another road trip so postings, comments, and responses will wait until I’m back. Yes, I hear the sigh of relief from the blogworld.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hooray for Common Sense and Initiative

From the Fort Carson Mountaineer

2nd BCT leaders tour Trinidad
by Spc. April York
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
Office, 4th Infantry Division
TRINIDAD — Leadership from 2nd Brigade
Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, took a city tour
led by various department heads of the Trinidad
community recently.
The tour provided the officers, who will deploy
to Afghanistan later this year, with an inside look
at all the nuts and bolts of what it takes to bring
public safety as well as water, sewer, gas and
electric to a local community.
“The purpose of the tour was to explain and
exhibit what it takes to run a small city like Trinidad,”
said Ed GildeRubio, city manager of Trinidad.
The idea originated from Kim Shultz, director
and CEO of the Trinidad and Las Animas Chamber of
Commerce. Shultz proposed the idea to Col. John S.
Kolasheski, commander of 2nd BCT, and according
to Martha Hackett, director of communication of
the Trinidad and Las Animas Chamber of Commerce,
he was receptive to the idea.
The tour consisted of presentations at various
locations. There was a stop in the
middle of the tour at the
Community Center where lunch
was served.
“We’ve done this kind (of)
training with educational systems
and other municipalities, but this
is the first time we’ve done this
training with the Army,” said
GildeRubio. “I believe the training
went well; the officers greatly
appreciated what they’ve seen.
Many of them have said to me that
they are amazed by what it takes to
run a city.”
GildeRubio said the tour will
help the leaders of 2nd BCT
with their upcoming mission to
Afghanistan, because it has helped
them to realize that they have to
bridge the communication gap if they want to benefit
and bring all the people together.
“It is a very good move on the Army’s part to get
local government involved with this type of training
and we are honored to help,” GildeRubio said.
“I will feel satisfied and accomplished if the
officers can use one thing that they have learned to
help them in Afghanistan and come home safely,”
Hackett said.

Proves to me good idea don't need to orginate in high places. Good for the citizens of Trinidad and good for the leadership of 2 BCT.

Given the heated feelings in that area over the proposed expansion of the Pinion Maneuver Area, this sort of activity is heart warming.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The need for laws would go away if we all followed the Golden Rule. As a species, we don’t, so laws are made to get us to act the right way and penalize us when we don’t. With this as a starting point, our cleverness has produced a nearly infinite variation of the same theme.

The current political rhetoric in this country shows how angry many are with the prevaricators at the controls of our institutions. Yes, I know, Captain Obvious.

One tactic used is defunding. Don’t want a law enforced? Stop funding the administration of that law. Courtesy of the gun grabbers, check out Question 7.

Courtesy of the eight years of the Bush Administration? Defunding the financial regulators. When Bush left office, 71 bank examination positions for the FDIC were unfilled. I have no idea how many agencies had similar situations.

Lots of proposals out there. All would cause some loss of power by those who now have power. They are not likely to willingly relinquish that power. Again, Captain Obvious. So, term limits, and not just for elected officials. There needs to be accountability of career bureaucrats, swift and sure.

I see a 2nd Amendment solution coming; one that would weaken us and make us more vulnerable to our world enemies. I hope I’m wrong.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

US Army Float Bridge - Germany - 1965

A friend asked me to post these on my blog. Sorry for the quality. They are 46 years old. Damn, I hated those baseball caps.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

GoPed Madness

"Prevent Crime and Maintain Peace" are the words on police vehicles in our town. Yesterday, the Police Department was having a ceremony at a picnic pavilion in the main park. The Chief, Mayor, Ward Leaders, etc. were in attendance along with the honorees and their families.

A young man, of my acquaintance, chose that moment to drive through the parking lot on his newly acquired 2 cycle, unmuffled, gas powered noise making GoPed. Lovely toy; you can hear it two blocks away.

Very quickly the GoPed rider was involved in conversation with one of the officers not attending the function. Rather, his patrol area included the park and surroundings.

My friend was allowed to push his machine the two blocks to his home. Promises were made as to the consequences should he be found riding the machine on city streets.

Our town is around 33,000 residences and twenty square miles. We have an excellent police department overall. Noise ordinances are enforced, especially car sound systems. My friend is very lucky to not be cited.

To bad the police can't shove.........

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vaccinations and Autism

I get in heated arguments, in person, and on blogs about this subject. Two disclaimers. I have an autistic child (now an adult). I'm nowhere near rational about the subject.

Dr. Andrew Wakefield was one of the first to suggest a link. He is now cast as a villain. I ask all who have an opinion to read the following short link.

No need to get into any further arguments. I'm done debating this issue.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Stupid is as Stupid Does - A Car Story

Is there a “Stupid” scale? Two local brothers are master repossession agents. They also do bail enforcement and are meticulous in doing their work “by the book”.

One of their repossessions had been hard to find. They were paying me to do some sleuthing to help them out. I found the debtor’s new job location and the brothers visited the employee parking lot mid morning. They got the car and, per procedure, called the local dispatch number with their information. About thirty minutes later, the brother, Boyd, driving the repossession, was pulled over and then two more police cars pulled up. Boyd realized they were doing a felony stop. He totally cooperated.

Seems the debtor had seen the car drive away. He called 911 and said he was car jacked at gun point.

Slowly the facts came out. The call to dispatch. The repossession documents. The pat down with no weapon found. When asked if he minded if the car was searched, Boyd readily agreed. A revolver was found under the drivers seat. Oops! Soon the trunk was opened and more guns were found. It wasn’t long before some were linked to recent burglaries. Drugs were found.

The car was impounded and it took Boyd a few days to get it released. Two officers drove to the debtors job site to “get a statement”. The debtor was waiting. His first words, “When do I get my car back”? Not sure of the answer, if any, but the hand cuffs and seat in the back of the police car probably was a definitive answer.

Just how stupid are you to have the police out looking for your “dirty” car?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Well Regulated Milita

Now we have a "professor" claiming the 2nd Amendment mandates "gun control".

At Ludlow, CO a "Well Regulated Milita" was the perpetrator of the massacre of women and children. April 20, 1914.

The killing stopped when citizens armed with their private weapons made it stop.

Asshats! Do they ever learn from history? Guess not. Can't happen now in these enlighted times, I suppose.

Monday, January 10, 2011


So once again I’ve been asked to write another car lot story. This is a “spiff” story. The term goes back to the late 1800’s and refers to monies paid for specific performances. An example would be for selling a car in inventory too long, the first sale of the day, three sales in a day, etc. This is paid above and beyond the regular compensation.

In the late 80’s to early 90’s My employer was a large Ford store selling 1200 cars a month with fifty or so salesmen. A productive salesperson, selling 180 to 200 cars a year, could make over $10,000 in spiffs alone. The competition was fierce. I’ve seen NBA and NFL alumni who couldn’t take the pressure.
The General Manager had a series of fines, called “stop spiffs”, for various infractions. If levied against you, you paid taxes on the earnings but the spiff went to charity. Don’t like it or think it is fair? Work at “down the road motors”.

About every six weeks, the GM went over the stop spiffs for the benefit of new hires. $25 for parking your car on the lot. $50 for missing a meeting, etc. He also had three, called Substantial ($200), Major ($500) and Legendary ($1,000). Threats to coworkers might be a Substantial. A fist fight might be a Major. After he went over the program, he would announce, “And in the room today, we have two double Legends, Pritchmeyer and the Tank”. John and I would then stand up to be cheered/jeered, etc.

There was no stop spiff for theft of any kind. Immediate termination, end of story.

Some may be curious as to how the Legends attainted their status. In the case of the Tank, it was for informing insufferable tools the precise nature of their tooldom, on two separate occasions. For the Pritchmeyer, the first was parking a full sized Bronco on it’s roof in the adjacent bus transit parking lot.
The second was for selective editing credit reports faxed to a bank too cheap and lazy to pull their own.

Of fifty salespeople, seven made 40% of the total salespeople earnings. John and I were in that group.

The car business has lost the warrior spirit. Depending on your point of view, that is good or bad. In my years in the business, I met exactly one car company “Suit” I would have hired for my team. The rest wasted my time.
You want stupid? One training seminar they brought in Jane Fonda as a motivational speaker. When a dozen or so of us walked out, the factory men went nuts. One man, not me - too slow, told them, “We will be at the bar until the bitch is gone”. Nothing happened at my store. The owner was an ex Flying Tiger.

So there you are, my anonymous friend, another car lot story.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Globull Warming

Just finished the fourth application today of shovel and broom to the several inches of global warming on the deck, stairs, walks, and vehicles. So far, this has been a dry winter on the plains and this moisture is needed to fill local aquifers and irrigation reservoirs.

As storms go, this is nothing for this area. Guess it is the other parts of the country getting hammered along with Alberta. Still, it validates why I keep a 4x4 on hand.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coal Trains

Two BNSF coal trains waiting for a clear track. The steam clouds are from the generating plant they serve. Standardized at 110 cars and two locomotives at each end, they run from near Gillette, WY to where the coal is needed. They can be seen at every hour. Not very "green" but lots of jobs and lots of electricity being provided.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Birther One Term

Lets start the year with some controversy. My buddy, Dirty Al, wants me to stay away from politics. Sorry Al, I’m like the scorpion riding across the river on the coyote’s back. In any case, I’m already on too many shit lists to worry about it.

Interesting angles on the “birther” issue now with Democrats talking about it.

Here is scenario that makes sense to me. To get on the ballot again, Obama will face many state election officials demanding he proves he is a “natural born citizen”. There is a major embarrassment in his records. More on that to follow.

The Democrat movers and shakers will decide he can’t win and will try to give him an “out” carrot with the birth certificate stick.

As to the embarrassment, what is the name of the father on his long form birth certificate? Remember, Obama has said more than once his father served in WWII. His purported father was seven years old when Patton was in North Africa. There is a chance he made a mistake, a misstatement.

Certain of his detractors question his parentage. They don’t produce any proof. What is known is his mentoring by a clique of openly Communist professors at the University of Hawaii.

We have a precedence. Imagine, right after Watergate, Nixon had made this kind of statement. “Certain overzealous members of my reelection staff have caused a crime to occur. Since I hired them, the responsibility is mine. I apologize to the Democratic Party and to my opponents.” Within a week the whole affair would have blown over and Nixon would have appeared strong.

If Obama is hiding something, it is too late now to come clean.

Our citizens love a rags to riches bootstrap story and admire those who overcome humble beginnings and adversity to become successful. Just look at the way Michael Vick’s public image has been rehabilitated. Personally, I think he still is a puke. Had Obama been forthcoming from the beginning, many people who dislike his politics would still admire him as a person.

He will be a one term president. Now if we can just survive the rest of his term.