Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sombrero Horse Drive II

Off to Maybell. May or may not find Internet connections so blogging and comments may be limited.

Of course, Colorado springtime, the two mountain passes I must cross are icy and snow packed from a "slow moving Pacific storm" per the weather guessers.

Note to any home invasion types. (1) I've little of value to steal and (2) the premises are occupied by a house setter (not to mention a savage attack cat).

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Adventures in Organic Living

While not a fanatic, I do try to keep my apartment at least sanitary. Much to my surprise, I was infested with small black and grey flying bugs that multiplied at an astonishing rate. What they found to eat I can’t imagine.

Went the chemical route, sprays and foggers, with no noticeable reduction. Fly paper got some of them but not enough. Google is your friend and I found the apple cider vinegar postings. It works. Vinegar, water, and a few drops of liquid soap in a dish. Set one out in each room and wait a few days.

They must lay eggs that take their own time hatching. Weeks will pass then I start seeing them flitting about. Reset the traps and a few days later they are gone.

The problem with all of this is it leaves your apartment smelling like the end of a three day drunken party. Not unpleasant, but visitors tend to look at you askance.

If you have made it this far, you now know how boring my life is, if this is the best I can come up with for a blog posting.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sombrero Horse Drive

(credit visitmoffatcounty for the header photo)

Looking forward to next weekend when I plan to drive to Maybell, CO for the annual Sombrero Horse Drive. The Sombrero Ranches are a large dude ranch operation with several CO locations. They winter their large herd in the Browns Park area which has milder (relative) winters and the horses can get by on range forage instead of hay.

Come Spring, the horses are rounded up and trailed to a ranch outside of Craig, CO where they are prepared for the dude season and distributed to the various Sombrero operations (Estes Park being a large one, for instance).

Some time back, the owners found they could charge a big fee ($2,500 this year) to dudes wanting the cowboy experience. 

Maybell is something of an epicenter for the extended clan on my father’s side and the horse drive has evolved into a family reunion of sorts. So we all gather to drink adult beverages, tell lies, and sneer at the dudes. As the years go by, fewer beverages are consumed, more lies are told, but the sneers remain constant. It is also possible to smell some cannabis being smoked. Tsk, tsk!

Here is a video shot by one of my more talented cousins. Best to start at the 2:24 mark.

Lots of Sombrero stuff on You Tube for those interested. One cousin has put up several under, “White Family Homestead”.

Browns Park is home to several bands of wild horses. Sombrero keeps wranglers with the herd during the winter to recover the mares the wild stallions steal. Gets interesting, it does.

Should you be interested in the wild ones, this lady has devoted years to photographing them.

Looking forward to the trip. My coworker and I have swapped days so I have no  pressure to get back. Worked out well as he has a family gathering the next weekend.

Of course, will post a snap or two when I get back. 

Maybell is on US 40 between Craig, CO and Vernal, UT. Most visitors to the Dinosaur National Monument just pass through. The residents work hard to keep the town alive with volunteer work. The one restaurant serves as good country fare as you will find anywhere and you will not find a cleaner establishment. You may not want to visit in the winter as the coldest temperature recorded in Colorado one winter was  in Maybell, minus 61 degrees. Camp sites at the city park are $15 a night, showers $3, and the place is clean. All isn't perfect as the local kids are noted for mischief. On the night before the start of hunting season, air was let out of many tires and the entrances were padlocked. The town response was bolt cutters, every available air compressor brought to the park, and several Wrangler seats warmed.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Ramble II

A classic Albuquerque Low weather pattern going on right now. This one is bringing a shit load of snow. At the moment it has almost stalled. If this was summer, the rising heat from the High Plains would produce thunderstorms stalled above the Front Range. Note the moisture being pulled up from Texas. This is meeting colder moisture moving in from the Pacific. Add rising heat from the High Plains and you get the epic floods mentioned in "A Ramble".

Cheery news from the National Weather Service.

Potential good news for downstream water users. Hopefully Nebraska and Kansas won't get their ten year share in two weeks. They whine so loud when that happens.

Remember, in Colorado, "Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting".

Friday, April 15, 2016

Legacy of Mismanagement

Something I care deeply about.

The mental suffering of veterans in combat is dwarfed by the mental anguish of their dealing with the Veterans Administration. This is not new. Talk to a Korea veteran.

Damned if I can understand how this shit goes on, administration after administration, decade after decade, and only gets worse.

I'm far from a Bernie Sanders supporter but give him his due. As a Senator he has always fought for veterans. That he has been unsuccessful is probably an indicator of his ability to get things done should he become President. 

While not monolithic, I think the majority of Federal Employees vote Democrat and their various unions contribute to Democrat candidates. Perhaps that is why few in Washington,D.C. are willing to take them on.

UPDATE: Just came across this.

So if the bureaucrats ignored the plain intent of the law, why aren't they facing criminal charges? Seems to me that would get their undivided attention. 


A comment left on one of my postings.

Clutch? What is this 'clutch' you speak of...? CenTexTim

I’ve nothing against automatic transmissions but seem to own manuals. When I was married I learned very quickly to make sure “her” car was an automatic. That woman had a rare talent for abusing machinery.

One of my favorite memories from the car biz was a certain Mr. Pedersen, a gentleman in his late 70’s who had recently lost his wife. His children pitched in to buy him a reliable car so he could visit his extended family scattered over several states.

After a three hour rodeo, the consensus was a slightly used  green VW Rabbit with an automatic and A/C.

A few weeks later he had it in the shop for an oil change and a minor warranty issue. As I usually did, went over to him and  thanked him for coming in and asked how he liked the car.

“Well”, he said, “I’m still having problems with that self shifter. Every so often I forget and push in on the clutch”.

The mind boggles at possible scenarios.

Other than my Lincoln Towncars, every vehicle I’ve owned since my divorce has been a manual. The real reason is I’m cheap and a manual is usually a G less. 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Ramble

A low income project in what passes for a ghetto in this small Northern Colorado city. In 2014 this was under water. Seems we have "1,000 Year", "500 Year" and "100 Year" floods every two to three years.

An "Albuquerque Low" forms in New Mexico. As the winds circulate around it, moisture is carried to the East Side of the Colorado Front Range where it meets winds from the West and North and more Pacific moisture. The system stalls and the rains fall. Then we get floods from hell.

Naturally, urban planners know this but approved a subsidized low income project where there was standing water in 2014.

There has been not a single flood control measure taken since 2014 on the Cache La Poudre river.

The housing is needed. Low income subsidized housing will, I fear, only increase the problems of gangs and crime in that area. Oh well, it is off the beaten path the gentry take.

One nice part of my part time job are nice sunrises in Wyoming.

Most folks don't associate Wyoming with fog - wrong. Along the Laramie Rivers and the North Platte it can get close to zero visibility. The first 40 miles or so North of Cheyenne can reduced your speed to the 30 mph range. So, blizzards in the winter, fog in the summer. Spring? Just a lull between blizzards or so it seems. We've had a wet enough winter that we should have a "green" Wyoming this summer. Folks who live there, or have lived there, will know what I mean.

Obama's war on coal is producing long lines at food banks in Gillette, something locals can't remember ever happening. Too bad the S.C.O.A.M.F. can't make war on ISIS with the same efficiency his administration does on the domestic energy business. 

Recently added another vehicle to the household, a 1987 Bronco II. Living large as the Mitsubishi is a 1986. Must learn to pace myself.

Yes, some body cancer in the doors. Near as we can tell about 104,000 miles. Too many indicators the miles aren't 204,000. 2.9 V-6, 4WD, 5 speed, good clutch, working cruise control and cold A/C.  Getting into the habit of spending money like a politician as I paid $800 for it after some minor fixes. Time will tell is WSF was a fool.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Thunderbird Supercoupe

Old NFO posted a story about buying a Taurus SHO.

Fantastic cars. The engines in the early ones were a collaboration with Yamaha engineering and Mercury Marine manufacturing (mainly intake manifolds). Sparked a memory of selling a 1995 40th Anniversary Thunderbird.

I was having a weird month. Every blasted new car I sold was an “advertised” unit. We were paid $50 for selling one. One Friday morning I sold eight, six while the sales meeting was going on. As a point of pride, I always had a customer on Friday morning so I didn’t have to attend the sales meeting. If I was the only salesman present, I snagged all the early customers. (Why yes, I was a ruthless asshole, thanks for asking)

My manager’s nickname for me was “Grossy”. While I didn’t always sell the most units, ten out of twelve months I would have the highest gross profit numbers. Neither he or I could figure out why I was stuck on “ad units”. The store owner was pissed at me for selling all the units but reminded me if I didn’t produce enough gross I wouldn’t be getting performance bonuses. He made three mistakes. First, he pissed me off. Second, he had put the only 40th Anniversary Thunderbird we were getting on ice. Stuffed it in a shed to keep for himself. Third, he went on vacation.

In walked a Norwegian fishing boat captain and his first mate/bride down from Dutch Harbor after a successful season. A few hours later he was the proud leasee of a 40th Anniversary Thunderbird and I had $5,000 in gross profit on my book.

When the owner returned from vacation, he faced the classic Jewish dilemma, free ham! On one hand he didn’t have his collector car. On the other hand he had an enormous profit. He and I had a strained relationship. I was an asshole but as long as my productivity value exceeded my nuisance value, he put up with me.

One month there was a $500 A/R (deductible) on my wash out check.

Me, to my manager, “WTF?”

Manager, “Rich (the owner) thinks you need anger management. That is what the class costs”.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and the owner encountered me on the showroom floor. “When are you going to anger management class”, he asked?

My reply, “Shit, Rich. I thought I had to pay for the class. I didn’t know I had to attend it”, wasn’t well received. And, I never did attend the class.

When my marriage broke up and I ended up as the custodial parent of two tweener boys, I left for a used car lot with a lot fewer hours. Took a big income hit but the time I got to spend with my sons was priceless.

The Thunderbird Super Coupe with the supercharged V-6 engine was a great car. The Anniversary editions were built in the Atlanta plant and had many problems. That Norwegian skipper was one of the unfortunate owners. Ford ended up buying it back under the Washington State Lemon Law. 

When I could, I would steer customers past Atlanta built cars. Same with Kansas City plant trucks. Best quality Ford vehicles came from the Twin Cities plant. Why the difference I don't know but it was real.

Gall, Colorado Politics Edition

1.    1.
bold, impudent behavior.
"the bank had the gall to demand a fee"
effronteryimpudenceimpertinencecheek, cheekiness, insolence,audacitytemeritypresumption, cockiness, nerve, shamelessness,disrespectbad manners
"she had the gall to ask for money"

More Shillary bullshit.

The Governor’s residence is owned by the citizens of Colorado. I suppose an argument can be made Gov. Wishywashy (D) Special Interests is entitled to privacy. Is he entitled to use public property for partisan political purposes? Will any of Rush Limbaugh’s “Drive By Media” or BZ’s  “American Media Maggots”

even ask that question?

The real answer is a question. WSF, why are you even molesting electrons and using bandwidth asking dumb questions? And the answer is because I can, even if it is just pissing into the wind.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bad Influence Bloggers

Lots of chatter recently on various blogs about chicken fried steaks, a  personal favorite I’ve been avoiding. The old “trying to eat more sensible” effort and all that. This morning I succumbed.

Went to a local restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch only.   While on a commercial street, it is not a chain (Village Inn, Denny’s, etc.) and the customers are mainly locals. Older crowd, lots of canes and walking sticks present. The wait staff are wonderful but it is not Hooters. All are North of thirty five.

I ended up at a table in the middle. The three tables around me were filled with people solving the problems of the world. In no particular order I overheard the following topics.

   Utah’s welfare system.
   Salt Lake City gas stations.
   USDA agriculture subsidies (in some depth and passion).
   The state of the oil business.
   Range fires.
   If a certain county road will ever be paved past a County
   Commissioner’s place.
   What the green stripes the city has been painting on the
   streets are for.
   Cruz, Shillary, Bernie and Trump. Nothing favorable.
   Knee replacements.
   The merits of different types of carpet kickers (stretchers).

I did have the small chicken fry (didn’t overlap the plate), hash browns with extra gravy on them, scrambled eggs and added sourdough toast for a more healthy meal.

Fortified, I then changed the spark plugs on middle son’s car. I don’t do anything heavy anymore but this was a simple job, and under $20. I use NGK with Iridium tips. A bit more money but I’ve had good luck with them.

 Yes sir, living the wild and crazy retirement life right here in Northern Colorado.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Problems in Paradise, aka Peoples Republic of Boulder

From one of my favorite sites, a true insight into the (P)regressive's minds.

Money quote.

, but in the unique world of Boulder County where reality ceases to exist, it doesn’t matter that the more liberal law is already flouted. What’s needed are stricter laws and more signs.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Rocky Mountain High

Living in Colofornia is a never ending circus. From prairie dog defenders to the special lunacy of Pitkin County (Aspen) and the People’s Republic of Boulder there is almost always something in the news.

The Broncos play in Mile High Stadium. Naming rights come and go as the firms owning them go bankrupt.

Now, on April 1st, a marijuana firm wants to buy the naming rights.

Marijuana now being legal (somewhat) in Colorado, the jokes will be endless.

Wonder if you can get weed along with your beer?