Friday, October 31, 2014

A Friday Ramble

 Oh how well the organs of government work. Not! Had a scammer contact me about something I had listed on Craigslist. The usual, sent me a check for $1,450 for a $350 item. Wants me to send him the difference via a Money gram. Since I get everything at my Post Office box, and few people know my physical address, turned over the envelope and check to the Postmaster. He was visible reluctant to take it, but said he would send it to the “investigators”. Still waiting to hear from them. At one time, mail fraud was taken seriously. Guess times change.

From, One-Quarter Of All Doctors Refuse Obama Care - Lunch Alert!‏

Proving once again you can’t just cram something down the people’s throats. Maybe get away with it among the Free Cheese low information voters, but rebellion is in our national DNA. What is sickening (no pun intended) is all the money that has been pissed away, and our national health system is getting worse.

Have a job again test driving preproduction cars when I’m able to relocate closer to their base. Confidentiality agreements, etc., keep me from disclosing anymore information. Part of the orientation was a Liberty Mutual Insurance video titled “Decision Driving”. I’ve been licensed for 56 years, and I got a lot out of it. If you have a chance to see it, it is a well spent hour. Of course, friends and family are having great fun pointing out my past mishaps and asking, “Did they really check you out”?  Sheesh, over the course of ten years or so,  tear the door off a $100,000+ preproduction Lincoln, drive a tall truck under a low bridge, and drag a 30’ gooseneck trailer across the front of two Kias, and folks start questioning your ability. No need to bring up that one ground loop in a Stinson Voyager. 

Today was another day I’m happy I didn’t go into police work. Stopped for gas ($2.94 a gallon) and then went into the convenience store for coffee and to make my retirement fund payment (bought a lottery ticket). Outside near the entrance was a “piss bum”. He was sprawled on the walkway with one hand down his pants masturbating.  As one police officer once told me online, something seen can’t be unseen. I was far enough away that I couldn’t smell him. Sorry, my character flaws keep me from feeling much compassion for him. I left; the store personnel and police are the proper people to deal with him 

The ignition lock on the old truck is worn. The beeper chime letting me know I left the key in the lock stayed on, intermittently. Very annoying. A retired service manager I worked with has a shop that would not be out of place at a dealership. I stopped by and he got under the dash and strangled the buzzer. Cost me thirty minutes of conversation. Across the field from his property is a riding arena used by Colorado State University women practicing flat saddle skills. Most of the thirty minutes was listening to his crude remarks about the women. This, from a man with a very attractive wife. He is faithful to her but ????? Oh well, not my problem but I would have a lot more respect for him if he wasn't such an ass.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Medical Update

Had my little heart episode two months ago (Aug28). This post is primarily an update for my extended family (50+ first cousins) who occasionally read this blog.

Two months in, my nose is fairly well healed. Since it was broken so many times, it is strange to see a straight, normal nose in the mirror.

The cardiologists had to reattach one of the two pacemaker leads. That was on October 1. They only kept me for a few hours. As you cousins and aunts know, I’ve lived most of my life at high altitudes and inherited the Burtis genes for shoulders and chest size. Even when I’m less than 200 lbs, I still wear a size 52 coat and a 20/36 shirt. Seems the cardiologists had trouble finding a good location for the lead. Dr, Gryboski would instruct me to take a deep breath. The lead would move. I seem to remember five attempts. At my two week check up, the lead wasn’t optimal but within tolerances.

When I did the face plant (twice) August 28th, I must have received a bad concussion. I’m still wobbly and have some balance problems. I’ve lost an edge mentally. As to the heart, my energy level is way down and strength is off. Must use a jack now lifting my truck instead of just putting it on jack stands (yeah, yeah).

Now the bills are rolling in. Somewhere North of $100,000 and climbing. Between Medicare and United Health Care, most will be paid or discounted. My share? Don’t know yet, but it will bite.

In summary, I’m living the joke; if I knew getting old was like this, I would have put it off a few years. On the other hand, I was 70 years old before I spent a night in a hospital (as a patient).

Life goes on. If I can avoid the family cancer curse, I will be content.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hope and Change

Let’s start with and oldie but goodie well understood by most folks.

Six Stages of a Project

Initial Enthusiasm.
Search for the guilty.
Punishment of the innocent.
Honors and Praise for the non participants.

Six Stages of a Progressive

Nagging doubt.
Double down.
Look for a savior.
Find some way to cover their asses.

Are we there yet?

F4U Corsair

Does anyone know a blogger who might relate?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Favorite Season

Fall is my favorite season. Cool days,  crisp air, and a riot of colors, if only briefly. In my youth it meant hunting season with my Dad. It is bittersweet, as I know what follows.
As I get older, the less I appreciate winter. Maybe I should become a snow bird.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Thoughts On Firearm Ownership

This will be a rambling post with no real point. You are warned.

First, I detested the use of the word “gun” unless you are referring to a smoothbore. Firearms have been part of my life since childhood. There was always a .30-.30 over the front door, a rifle in our vehicles, and a .22 in a closet. I can’t tell you how young I was when I first fired a firearm because I can’t remember. Likewise, I can’t remember a first use of a hammer, saw, axe, hay fork, or cow hobbles. They were tools that we used, sometimes daily. From 7th grade through high school, I belonged to the NRA Junior Rifleman program. The weekly range session was the highlight of my life. At no time did I hear anyone referring to a “gun”. Please take my word for it, in the Army, circa 1963, referring to your M-1 or M-14 as a “gun” would bring swift, and unpleasant, attention from the NCOs. Even the .50 M-2 was a “weapon”.

Second, I detest people who don’t handle firearms safely. I think everyone should demonstrate a basic competence and understanding of safety issues before they can own a firearm. Yes, I understand this is not happening because anything of this nature will be gloomed on to by the gun grabbers and perverted. There already exists a model, the hunter safety card.

Does it work? Damn right it works.

Third, I think every household should have a firearm and ammunition, and know how to use them.  Of course, some households have members who are not emotionally stable or mentally competent, and access must be restricted. I say this as someone who has personal experience with the issue. Rapid access in an emergency is compromised, but compromised access is better than no access. As I type this, a revolver is available in the drawer of my desk beside my right knee.

Fourth, I think every business should have trained and armed employees in the workplace. I spent thirty years in the retail automobile business. Believe me; you do not want to rob a car dealership. While some are “gun free”, none I every worked for were, even when the “official” policy was “gun free”.

Two times in my life I’ve faced a criminal armed with a hand gun. The first time was around 1970 in Glendale, CO at a small coffee shop on Colorado Blvd. My employee, Glen, and I were at the cash register paying for our coffees to go when the robber approached and waved a firearm. Glen was an 11B about one year removed from the 173rd in Vietnam. Without a word spoken, Glen and I both tossed our hot coffee in the robber’s face. Soon, the robber was happy to see the police and ambulance.

The second time was mid 1970’s in Renton, WA. I was on a test drive. When I stopped to change places with the “customer”, he pointed a semi automatic p.o.s. at me. Dumb little gang banger, he had the safety on. Funny how your military training kicks in, even after years away from it.

In both cases, I devoutly wished I was armed. Discussing the second case with a supervisor, he told me I was armed, with my wits. Yeah Don, not a substitute for my .44 Special.

I doubt many readers of this blog will disagree with me, even my (p)regressive friends who occasionally wander over here. I believe everyday violent criminals leave potential victims alone because they are afraid of getting shot. That, I believe, is a good thing.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hell Freezes Over - Political Edition

The Denver Post newspaper has now endorsed two Republicans, Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado District 6, and Rep. Cory Gardner for US Senate.

Maybe there is something in this "climate change" business!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Political Ads

I seldom watch television, but live in a house where it is on 14 hours a day. Don't listen to the radio in my vehicle, but am in stores with radio stations playing. Even with my limited exposure, the political ads are overwhelming.

Colorado seems to be a national battleground. In recent days, some of the Democrat ads are being pulled. Hopeful sign. I'm a blue dog Democrat who hasn't voted for a Democrat, except in local races, for several years. This year every blasted Democrat running is a (p)regressive. I hope they all go down in flames. Maybe by 2016 the (p)regressives will form their own party (hey, I can hope).
The GOP has one good congressman running for reelection that I will feel good about voting for, as I did with a check to his campaign (Mike Coffman).

The candidate for governor is the usual recycled past, failed,  candidate. Lifelong banker and a one term Congressman who has been associated with many shady, if not criminal, happenings.  In spite of that, Governor Wishywashy seems to be in trouble.

Lots of chatter from the 2nd Amendment people. More chatter from the ecofreaks about fracking. Instead of, "I support the 2nd Amendment, but.......", you hear, "I'm not against fracking, but............."

Say the GOP, at the national level, takes the Senate. What can we expect from B.O. and gang during the lame duck session? Bet it won't be pretty. Then, two years of the Elmer Fudd show. Aarg! I'm getting negative again.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lying, Needlessly

Once again, I'm reminded that law enforcement, car sales people, and insurance adjusters are the professions people have little compunction to lie, about everything, even when it isn't needed.

The woman who came by and bought my Escort strongly implied she needed it as a donor car to keep her Escort running.  Now, I find, the car went to a salvage yard. This woman buys cars for them.

Like I care, so long as I get paid. She isn't much of a negotiator, and she paid about 40% more than the car is worth for salvage. Mind you, this car has dents in every panel, the roof rack is bent, and interior trim pieces are missing. It has near new tires, struts, and a perfect windshield, but they will be hard pressed to part it out, then sell the hulk to a crusher, and recover their money.

Of course, you can tell the literal truth and still be misleading per this found on a Facebook posting.
As always, YMMV.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


lumper (plural lumpers)
1.  Extra labor hired by a trucking company to assist a driver and/or customer unloading or loading a truck.

Brigid, at Home on The Range,

writes about, 

  really crappy jobs we had when we were young”.

Like many folks, I had many,  including “pearl diving”, i.e., dishwasher. The one that sticks in the memory banks was a day job unloading a truck.

After the Army, I enrolled in college. To get a few extra bucks, I would sit along side Brighton Blvd in Denver with my cardboard “lumper sign”. Truckers, who wanted their trailers loaded, or unloaded, would stop. The job would be negotiated.

One Sunday I followed a trucker to a rail car whose contents needed to be transferred to the trucker’s trailer. After few hours of working in eighty degree weather, the cargo (boxed electric fans) was transferred.  When I asked to be paid, the trucker refused.

“You just worked for free”, he said with a smirk. Then he raised his shirt to show a hand gun in the waist band of his trousers. “What are you going to do about it”?

What I did was throat punched him, kicked him in the crotch, and took his little p.o.s. .25 revolver away from him. After opening the action, put it on the pavement and stomped it into two pieces. Then we renegotiated the payment, with an additional generous bonus. Once I had my money, I took all his keys, tossed them in the weeds, and rode off on my Yamaha.

After that, I found other things to do besides lumping. Me, on a motorcycle alongside Brighton Blvd., and him driving by in an 18 wheeler didn’t seem like a good match up. I often wondered how many times that trucker pulled that stunt. He seemed very confident. Not smart of him pulling that stunt with me close in front of him.

Please don’t think I wasn’t afraid, because I was. What I had learned, up to that point, is, don’t talk, act. A fair fight begins with you employing a sucker punch, and ends with you walking away unharmed.

Reminds me of a movie scene.

This may have appeared in one of Murphy’s Law Saturday Man Movies.

Over the years I’ve worked many jobs but none, so to speak, under the gun. (Yeah, bad joke).

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Medical Update II

Everything went well yesterday. Sent me home about an hour after the procedure.

Back this afternoon to have the pacemaker checked. Firing on both cylinders.

Inconvenient to have my left arm strapped to my side, but need to let everything start healing.

The rest of potential heart problems don't seem likely. No stents, bypasses, etc. Arteries and veins don't have plague, and my heart itself seems strong. All in all, reassuring.

What If?

President Obama is planning to visit Peking in November. What if China invades Taiwan during his visit and holds him hostage? He has already shown his weakness. What would he give up to save his precious ass? Damn sure, it is not to die for his country.

Things would go pear shaped very quickly. Joe Biden puts his foot in it often, but I don’t think he is a wuss. Hopefully, B.O. has enough smarts not to take him with him on the trip, and the Chinese realize Biden will act.

Wonder if this possibility will be presented to B.O. at his daily briefings that interfere with his tee times?

OK, I know, I’ve too much time on my hands and an overactive imagination.

As an aside, I deliberately use Peking, and a Hawaiian love sign to the Communists and what they prefer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Well, Shucky Darn

Great year! They finished third in their division, only 11 games out of first place, and had a longshot chance at the wild card. Most years they are 20-30 games out of first place. (Sarcasm intended)

The only reason I  bother to follow them is I was living in Seattle when they joined the league. For a baseball fix, I took my sons South to the AAA Tacoma games.

My oldest son is autistic, and is a professional dishwasher. He was working at the deli in Larry's Market, on the Eastside. One evening I came in to take him to dinner, and Ken Griffey, Jr. and family passed by shopping.

"Hi, Sean", called out Ken Griffy.

"Hhhii Kken", said Sean. "This is mmy Dad".

I smiled and just said, "Hello". The man was out shopping, after all.

He replied, "You have a nice son".

My reply? "Thank you".

Over dinner, I asked Sean about "Ken".

"Oh, he is a very nice man, and when I take things out his car, he always gives me a nice tip. His wife does, too".

Sean didn't understand what a superstar was. Perhaps Ken Griffey appreciated not dealing with a fawning fan attitude.

Perhaps that encounter is another reason I like the Mariners.

Oh Shucky Darn? A successful race horse at the old Longacres race track.

Medical Update

This post is mainly for my relatives that aren't using Facebook, but do read my blog to see what craziness I've come up with.

Went in the hospital this morning to have the atrial pacemaker lead reattached. Not a big deal, and was discharged about an hour after the procedure.

Seems the problem is physical. My chest expansion is much greater than most people, and they had a hard time getting enough slack in the lead to accommodate a "deep breath".  When I'm under 200 lbs (like that will ever happen again) I wear a size 52 or larger coat. For the first 17 years of my life, I lived at 7,000 feet above sea level, or more, which leads to a large lung capacity.

What was not fun was the replacement of the pacemaker into the previous "pocket". They gave me a local numbing shot, or shots, that wasn't completely effective. I've a high tolerance for pain, and they tested that that tolerance quite thoroughly.

Once again, my left arm will be immobilized for a week, especially when I sleep.
Sponge baths only for four days. Getting old is a bitch!