Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fools, Damn Fools, and Tourists

There are fools, damn fools, and tourists, but I repeat myself (to paraphrase Mark Twain).

Roam around the Internet and you can find a story after story of people not respecting wildlife, or even domestic farm animals.

One incident that sticks in the memory was on NM Hwy 64 headed East out of Cimarron towards I 25. A minivan was pulled over with the tailgate up next to a fence with bison on the other side. 

 I stopped, wondering  if they needed help. Turned out they were trying to open the gate (locked) so their kids could get closer to the “buffalo”. On the gate was a sign similar to this.

They became highly offended when I tapped on the sign and said, “Just how dumb a shit are you, dumb shit”? I just drove on. What else?

County fairs and rodeos are another place to see the fools. I believe nearly every state has some variation of an equine law.

You can find some variation of these signs everywhere.

 Doesn’t deter the fools.

I won’t even get started on people stopping at any place, like blind curves, for a photo opportunity.

Yes, I'm aware of the irony of this rant compared to my blog title.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Colorado Drivers Rant

Monsoon season along the Colorado Front Range is producing a lot of rain. Colorado drivers who blithely drive ten over the limit on snow covered black ice, confronted with a bit of rain, start acting like Mississippi drivers in a blizzard. Aarg!

The rain is welcome, especially in the Southeast corner, and the areas with active range fires in Northwest Colorado.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What a Smackdown

Once in awhile you come across something so well written it makes you go, "Wow"!

I've no dog in this fight except for having a grand niece and grand nephew in the school system. I just admire the way the author expresses himself.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ignoramus Talking Points

Several high school classmates are “friends” on Facebook. A couple are Koolaide soaked (p)regressives. They are intelligent women with Master Degrees, who have, and still do, put their asses on the line for what they believe in.  We respectfully agree to disagree.

 What bothers me is they accept what they read on Daily Kos, Huffington Post, and other left-wing outlets uncritically. When I comment on some of their more inane Facebook postings, my comments usually include a link to the information I use to refute them. The comment section soon fills with shrill left-wing rants, as in, how dare you question this? 

 Being retired gives me free time, and the Internet gives me access, to vast amounts of knowledge and opinions. Since the President I most admire is Theodore Roosevelt, most of my reading is of the conservative, libertarian, and populist nature. If you look at the blogs I follow,  you won’t find any that a (p)regressive will read.

Something that pops out is the same dogmatic, shrill, “I’m, right, you are wrong”, mindset in a lot of stuff from the “Right”. Not as much as the “Left”, but it is there.

My approach is to research, to verify,  what I read before I accept it blindly. Life has taught me there is always more than one side to an issue, that I seldom have all the facts, and the best I can hope for is a somewhat intelligent and informed opinion.

What I believe, and have said in past blogs, is that you can’t spend all your time with people who believe as you do, if you want to change anything. Of course, there are those times when I just don’t give a shit. YMMV

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Master Criminals

One of my blogs directed to family members. Hope others aren't bored.

Murphy’s Law has an interesting post up on Arizona’s Petrified Forest.

That dredged up an old fart memory. Around 1955 my parents took a driving vacation and brought along her Wyoming rancher parents. My grandfather was an avid rock hound.

At the Petrified Forest, there were signs everywhere forbidding any removal of anything, with large fines promised. My grandfather collected several small specimens and stashed them in the bumper guards of my father’s 1951 Ford, assuming the rangers would be searching every car as it left. That didn’t happen.

After clearing the area, my grandfather tried to retrieve his loot, but couldn’t get the specimens free. Once back in Wyoming,  he and my father spent the better part of a morning removing the bumper guards. My father had a few, respectful, choice words to say on the subject.

During our next visit, my grandfather presented him with a well crafted petrified wood bolo (string) tie.

Grandfather Era Burtis, Grandmother Hattie Burtis nee Latham, daughters Virginia, Lois, Harriet, and son Ray. Both men had to turn slightly sideways when they went through a doorway. My grandfather always wore bibs. Here he is wearing his "business at the courthouse" hat. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Also fireworks. Makes it a bit of a challenge to work.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Stepping On His Pee Pee II

A  rant about Colorado politics. May not be of interest to those who don’t live here. You are warned!

Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper, aka Gov. Wishywashy, seems to be fixated on repeating dumb ass moves. Not satisfied with freezing out Colorado Sheriffs during the passage of stupid gun laws, he has now frozen out all Republicans, while pushing new fracking laws. Some of his own party have had enough, and are refusing to go along. To get this done, he needs to call a Special Session of the Colorado Legislature. “Meet with the Republicans? We don’t need no stinking meeting; we have a majority in both chambers”. 

Except, at least two Senate Democrats of the 18-17 majority (was 20-15 until two were recalled over the gun issue) are saying, “hell no”.

The person pushing this down the road is one Congressman Jared Polis (D), hailing from the Peoples Republic of Boulder, and a darling of the eco Nazis. Seems he wasn’t concerned with fracking until he came back from Washington D.C. one break to find an oil well being set up adjacent to his property. “Not in my back yard, M)&^$# F@*$)+%”.

Jared is extremely wealthy from his parent’s company sale, Wild Blue Greeting Cards, and their estate. He is one of the four wealthy trust fund principals behind the “Colorado Model” gun control push and turning Colorado purple.  Wishywashy seems afraid of his money.

Once again Wishywashey has an excellent chance to step on his pee pee. Probably will.

We all can appreciate his recent photo opportunities with the Lightbringer playing pool and drinking beer in LoDo. That will get him a lot of votes out in rural Colorado, not, but the Jefferson County soccer moms are thrilled.

So, WSF, are you looking forward to a Republican Governor? Not the one who has the nomination. If you took every negative stereotype of an inbred, wealthy country club, privileged, lily white caricature of an insider Republican, he would be the poster boy. Add being implicated in many local banking and savings and loan scandal for the last thirty years and the picture becomes clearer.  I’ve never voted for him, will never vote for him, and won’t encourage anyone to vote for him. That is one place on the ballot I will likely leave blank.

My feverent hope is the voters in this state will rise up and put the boots to the Democrats in office this coming election. Not saying they will be any good; just saying they won't do as much harm.

Fracking? That is the only job creating industry in the state. The rest are being strangled by regulations and taxes.

 Fleecing tourists is still encouraged. Out of state visitors should read the fine print on car rental agreements, know they will get gouged with "hospitality" taxes at motels, and, for their financial health, stay the hell off  the E-470 toll road. Driving on E-470 in a rental car will cost you north of $80. Oh, and have a nice day!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dash Camera Saves a Reputation

Sisty is an Independent Insurance Adjuster, experienced in truck accidents among other insurance claims. Her office, and more particularly her by name, are often called upon when a client's truck is involved in an accident.

Earlier this week, there was a bad one near her office. Without going into all the details, two large box trucks ended up colliding head on. One driver lost his legs. But for the help of two passing motorists with first aid knowledge, he would have lost his life.

One truck was equipped with two dash cameras. When the State Troopers reviewed the recordings, they spotted two other drivers acting stupid in front of the truck before it went out of control and into oncoming traffic.

Serious citations are in progress as the evidence is processed. The driver's reputation is cleared. One imagines the company's managers are grateful they invested in the technology.

Sisty always tries to find something positive in the worst situations. As she points out, two trucks of similar size and weight, hitting head on, is better than one truck hitting a car or van with a family aboard.

These dash cameras aren't terrible expensive, often less than a decent GPS. I'm considering getting one. Takes the, "He said, she said", out of the equations, don't you agree?

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Responsibilities of The Elderly

This summer will mark my 70th orbit around the sun. In my mind I am the same person I have always been, although my body constantly reminds me I’m not. I simply don’t think of myself as old, and am surprised when strangers react to my age. Seems the younger folks are intimidated. I am making an effort to tone things down.

Today, I want into a department store to buy a money clip. I knew what I wanted, knew where it was located, and needed someone to open the display case. After locating a young lady and asking her to open the case, I noticed her hands were trembling. Sheesh, guess my car lot nickname, “The Tank”, still applies. After reaching the cash register, I asked her, “Don’t you just hate shoppers like me who take forever to make a decision”? Startled, she flinched, and then giggled. Portal to portal, I was there less than ten minutes. Hopefully, I left her smiling and laughing. My point? I had thoughtlessly made a young person very uncomfortable.

My sister is fond of remarking that I am not impatient, only because I have no patience. True, I won’t suffer fools. True, I focus on the task at hand and ignore distractions. For the many years I spent in commerce, I was usually a manager. When someone came to me with a problem requiring a decision, they got one. I was guided by General George S. Patton Jr.’s advice.

“A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.”

I believe as a “Senior Citizen” I am obligated to set an example to the younger generation and, by example, pass on some of the lessons life has taught me. That may be just conceit, but I don’t think so.  Doing so, I am finding, is far harder than I expected. It seems younger people are, in the main, polite, even deferential, towards me. I’m not sure if it my age, or my size, but I’m making a conscious effort to not be that grumpy old man. All of us, at whatever age, need to be aware of those around us, and, “not harsh their mellow”.

However, should they want to be a jackass, then I need to offer them my cumulative life experience in being a nasty son of a bitch.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tourist Kills Self and Family in Preventable Accident

Yesterday, another flat land pilot managed to kill himself, his wife, and their six year old child while flying westbound over the Colorado Front Range.

He was flying an airplane with a 14,500 service ceiling over  12,000+ foot terrain on a warm day. Probably decided following Interstate 70 would simplify his navigation. Guess he didn’t think about flying into a box canyon with little room for a 180 degree turn. Where he crashed is about 10,800’. He was not the first in that area.

On Google Earth, find Silver Plume, CO and follow the interstate to the tunnels. Just before the tunnels, US  6 takes off south to Loveland Pass. That is where he hit. Then look at the route he wanted to take.

Around the old Stapleton Airport, there was talk of Jet A used to refuel the Martin, which had recips.

I learned to fly in the Colorado Rockies, so mountain flying was part of the training from day one. There are “safe” routes going east, and “safe” routes going west, depending on the winds aloft. You ignored them at your foolish peril. An airline co-pilot, familiar with the area, and flying an AT-6, tried Devil’s Thumb Pass westbound and hit 75’ below the crest.

Turbulence, downdrafts, and updrafts can make for some weird conditions. Once I was in a Cessna 180 climbing 1,200’ per minute with idle power, full flaps, and 70 M.P.H. indicated over Rollins Pass eastbound. That configuration should have resulted in an 800’ per minute descent. The air had been perfectly calm, and the visibility was severe clear. The turbulence was such I didn’t want to attempt a turn. The mountain wave spit us out at about 15,000’.

At any FBO on the Front Range, a visiting pilot can ask about safe routes. No matter how busy it may be, someone will take the time to show you. Or, take an hour out of your itinerary and fly Cheyenne, WY, Laramie, WY, Hanna, WY, and Rawlins, WY to Craig, CO. Not saying you need to land at each one, just much easier terrain, good airports, available fuel, and some interesting scenery. Plus, you won’t become another statistic.