Monday, July 29, 2019

Frustrated Latter Day Luddite

Today I was beaten and kicked to the curb by MacDonald's self order kiosk. All I wanted was a soft serve cone and wasn't smart enough to get it done.

I urgently needed a restroom which was the reason I stopped. As a personal value, I won't use a business' sanitary facility without spending money there, even if it is coffee or a lottery ticket.  I dislike mooches and avoid being one.

After three times becoming ill after eating their food, I swore off MacDonalds. The last time put me in bed for two days at a motel in Russell, Kansas (2006). A soft serve cone should be safe.

It is doubtful any fast food business worries about losing someone in my demographic. 

As usual when confronted with a problem involving something I really don't need, I just said, "Fuck it", and walked away.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

As The World Revolves

Life’s twist and turns upsets people’s path through this world in unexpected ways. Yeah, I know – not profound and not original.

A woman once married to a cousin in a hospice in Seattle not expected to live a month. Brain hemorrhages/brain cancer felled her three weeks ago while on an Alaska adventure.

A robust woman, she lived life with a zest despite many health problems (once traveled to India for a hip replacement). Her husband, my cousin, has fought MS for decades. For whatever reasons, and not my business, they have gone their separate ways. I’m not certain they have ever divorced.

She has two adult children and four grandsons. She is only 60.

Over the years she has become close to my two surviving aunts. For them, it is like losing a child.

If there is a lesson in this, it is enjoy the people in your life while you have them.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Second week on the new job. I would rather be sitting home drinking coffee but my compensation is seeing sunrises on the high plains.

What I do is transport drivers from the base 1 1/2 hours to the trucks.
Day crew up, night crew back. In the afternoon, repeat. 138 mile round trip. Not hard work and 2-3 months will get my finances back in balance. I am not planning on doing this in winter!

I wonder if many people consider the enormous investment in people time and cubic money needed to put gasoline at the pump at their local Shop-N-Rob?

Thanks to President Trump, much more of that investment is staying within our shores. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


It isn’t even August and the Mariners are 20+ games out of first place, far ahead of their normal fall collapse. (Signs of Fall in Seattle – rain is colder, days are shorter, and the Mariners are 20 games out of first place).

We lived in the Seattle area for 18 years and with Little League sons, we attended Mariner games in the old Kingdome. Even then, it was a $100 visit (tickets, parking, snacks).

We started watching the Tacoma Tigers, now Rainiers, for a much better experience (and a $30 visit). Outdoors, parking within sight of our seats, and my sons could roam around the place without getting yelled at.

AAA baseball isn’t too shabby and the Tigers were good!

I’ve been to a few Rockies games. Decent experience, but I’m not a big baseball fan.
I do enjoy Rainier Beer, brewed with pure recycled Seattle sewer water. Gives it that extra kick!

The waitstaff at Billy McHales, Renton, WA, home of 31 different beers, used to sneer at my Rainier beer order.  Interesting place after 10 p.m. with 16 car dealerships within a 3 miles radius.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Avoiding the Interstate

Had a job to do in Northeast Colorado and a choice of routes. Going east took a rural two lane state highway. Coming back, for part of the trip, drove old US highway 6. Did about 25 miles of Interstate and then back on a major secondary highway.

It was a relaxing trip not dealing with the 18 wheelers governed at 65 mph trying to pass each other. Add the #%&*^$# tourists in their poorly driven overloaded RVs who stick to the Interstates and the secondary roads are an easy drive.

Our heat wave is in a pause mode and temps were in the high 70’s.

As far as the job goes, left behind an angry man wanting to know where the money he has provided for the mortgage payment went. Sorry mister, relationship counseling is not part of the job.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Back In The Saddle

Took on another part time (3 days a week) job. With the improved economy, fewer people are behind on their mortgages, so I’m getting less work. (Thanks, President Trump).

There are some upcoming expenses and I avoid all debt so this move, for me, makes financial sense.

The job is driving the big Nissan van with up to seven drivers to a rally point near the Wyoming border. It is a round trip of 130 miles and takes about 3 ½ hours. These drivers operate big tankers that collect oil drilling waste and take the waste to a processing plant.

The plan is to do the job for three months this summer. Come winter and I am gone. Pays $15 an hour.

I’ll still keep the mortgage gig.

Yeah, yeah, at 75 I should be ‘retired’. Fuck that, I’ll go until I drop.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Harridans For Trump 2020

Who remembers when newly elected members of Congress were unknown outside their districts? Now we have four who have garnered national  attention, often on a daily basis, of the media, left and right.

What a gift for President Trump! Potential voters aren’t sleeping now, but alert and pissed off. Any potential Democrat presidential candidate who might qualify as a rational adult is being forced on the defensive by these four harridans as they stir up the (P)regressive side of the Democrat party.

These four are raking in the long coin from donations that would otherwise go to electable Democrats. The pissed off Deplorables who voted in President Trump are staying pissed off (and awake).

It probably doesn’t hurt the President Speaker Pelosi isn’t covering herself in glory.  She can’t shut them up, and she seems to have lost personal control. Running from the podium and leaving someone else to gavel “adjourned”  after causing a firestorm with baseless allegations of racism is just pathetic, IMO.

In other news, popcorn futures are soaring.

Day Tripping

My employer wanted a debtor contacted near Glenwood Springs, CO and upped their offer until my greed took over. It turned out to be 472 miles round trip excursion.  Like many states, Colorado has two seasons, winter and construction. Add the many rock falls that require mitigation and the Google Maps travel time forecasts are laughable.

Sorry, no pictures. Technical problems (sick computer). Very little snow in the high country now as opposed to trips over Vail Pass in the winter.

Oh, how I revel in the scenery, no matter how many times I’ve made the trip. Oh, how I get frustrated with the ^%$@@$%^& brain dead tourists.

One trip I enjoy is west on I-70 from Grand Junction to the intersection with I-15. 

Miles and miles of this.

Reward is scenes like this.

Now days I’m more of a homebody.  Semi-retired and all that.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Piss and Moan

Ethanol gasoline has finally eroded various rubber components in my Mitsubishi Might Max carburetor and it won't pass emissions.

A local shop also sells landscaping equipment and used motorcycles so has two techs who know carbs. One hour labor to swap out. OK, find a carb. Price seems to run in the $350 - $450 range!

Partial rebuild kits, which doesn't include a needed solenoid, can be had for around $75. Do I want to tackle a rebuild with my 75 year old fingers with some carpel tunnel problems?

I'm keeping the truck. It has been the most reliable, trouble free vehicle I've owned. 

Colorado has made it difficult, and expensive, to register a vehicle outside the areas requiring emissions. Doable, but a pain in the ass.

For sure, this gives Sisty another over thinking subject to bust my balls.

Having another vehicle for a daily driver helps. The Mighty Max bumper hides the date decals effectively but any traffic stop is trouble.

Oh well, it isn't like I haven't been a lifelong scofflaw. That won't change.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


Seems most of the blogs I read have received the same spam comment.


I haven't, and I feel slighted. Guess my scribbles are too pathetic to even attract spammers.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Well Shucky Darn It (Updated)

Monday drove to Pine Bluffs, WY to see the UP 4014 Big Boy going east for a Midwest tour. Out of a half dozen memory cards for my camera, I picked the one that is “corrupt”. Hence, no pictures.

There is time, Indian time, and Union Pacific Steam time. Scheduled to come through Pine Bluffs at 0930, the train didn’t leave Cheyenne until 1130 or so. It needed some last minute repairs. Since the engine is 78 years old and extremely complex, can’t find fault with the UP.

Actually watched it pass at Burns, WY. While waiting, I looked at some property in the area with an eye toward COLOEXIT.

When it came by, it was very quiet. Cheyenne is 6063’ ASL and Sydney, NE, the next scheduled stop, is 4088’ ASL. Going downhill it wasn’t working too hard.

The UP is frugal. May be why it has lasted 150 years. In addition to the usual cars, the Big Boy was pulling 20 or so bulk carrier cars.

All along the tracks were clusters of die hard steamer fans. Not like the trip last month but probably in the hundreds altogether.

At Pine Bluffs, curbed my usual smart ass response to stimulus. At the Sinclair gas station a cluster of older motorcyclists with Marine Corps club vests were next to where I pulled in. Several had rank insignias, one an E-8. I needed to pee so refrained from making Jarhead comments. When I came out, they had departed. Just as well. As my sister points out, I don’t move as fast now as in my younger years.

Some random observations.

 Many of the GM products seen had only one functioning daylight running light.

The further out in the sticks, the greater the difference in cattle behavior from scattered in the pastures near town to tight herds with the babies in the middle and the mamas on the outside in the wide open prairie. Coyotes.

Lots of green. The grass along the highway shoulders is waist high and the state is busy mowing.

Saw one severely neglected property. One pasture was loaded with more tansy than I recall seeing. A pretty flower in a garden, tansy is poisonous to livestock and crowds out desirable forage.  Once heard a rancher describing a new neighbor as, “Keeps his fences fixed, his tansy picked, and does more than his share on the ditch committee”. Good neighbor.

Lots of petroleum development with new pipeline construction. Saw two gas facilities with flare stacks going. Gasp! Carbon pollution.

The Midwest tour schedule is here.

The return is August7/8. An overnight stop in Sydney is scheduled on the 7th and on to Cheyenne  the 8th.  I plan to be there. Sydney is about 135 miles and 2+ hours driving time. Plus, the original Cabella store is there. Bass Pro Shop now owns Cabella and is closing the distribution center in Sydney. My understanding is the store will remain open. I’ve always found something to warm my cheap ass heart in their Bargain Cave.


Found on YouTube. In the distance beyond the grain elevators is a silver painted signal tower. I'm using it as a brace.

Monday, July 8, 2019


Church, 2 miles from my apartment, hit by lightning and set on fire. Services were underway when it hit. No one was injured.

Last night we had cloud to cloud lightning and the sound of thunder went on and on.

I blame all the wind farms for disturbing the normal airflow. Hey, as "scientific" as most of the climate change bullshit.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Off To The Races

My sister, the insurance adjuster, was a guest of the July 5th race sponsor and dragged me along.
We had great seats and amenities but not a great place for taking pictures, hence none of my very amateur snaps.
We were sitting in front of the Beer Garden. 

Fun to watch races until lightning starting cracking around the venue and the spectators were asked to leave the metal bleachers. Racing was to resume but Sisty and I elected to leave. Right and proper thunderstorm hit as we were exiting and Sisty had her wipers going full blast.

Headed North just a sunset (which lasts for awhile at our latitude) we were enthralled by the colors breaking out around the various cloud formations. Once again, a privilege to live in Colorado.

We suffered the tradition of the crackling public address system as the Anthem was sung. Must be a law.

Over the years I've enjoyed watching small venue car racing and don't know why I stopped going. May change that.

Good news! No lightning strike deaths or tornadoes from the thunderstorms in the area. Further East towards Kansas there was some flooding. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Barf Days

Suddenly the Democrats are ranting about the “deplorable conditions” detained illegal, repeat illegal, immigrants face in custody. Questions?

1.  Who invited them.

2.  Why is it our obligation, as a country, to provide Holiday Inn Express level accommodations to those breaking our laws.

3.  Who stopped the flow of money to the agencies responsible for housing these illegals .

4.  Who created a situation where the managers of these facilities have been forced to spend funds allocated for other purposes to keep even a modicum of safe holding conditions.  The same managers theoretically face charges of breaking laws by moving these funds.

5.  Who believes these Democrats give a rat’s ass about the “plight” of these illegals beyond providing television sound bites.

The Democrats fight any kind of immigration reform.  Why? It might help President Trump. He along has showed a wiliness to tackle really tough problems. Witness prison reform at the federal level that he has pushed through.  He is perfectly willing to tackle immigration.

President Trump is hated because he is an outsider, and doesn’t give a flying fuck about all the carefully constructed norms of the swampers. Want a small but telling example? His 2018 White House budget was $22 million less than the preceding year. The First Lady has a staff of four. Lots of rice bowls being threatened.

Readers of this blog know I don’t like him on a personal level which means jack shit compared to his performance as President. Over the years I’ve work for, and with, many individuals I loathed personally but admired their ability to perform their jobs. (Surprisingly, some of them didn’t like me!)

My hope is these (P)regressive Democrats mouth’s have overloaded their asses and voters will send them packing in 2020.


ADDENDUM: Swiped from a FB posting.

No one mentions that illegals are free to

 leave detention centers anytime to go back

to mexico. They aren't our prisoners.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Simple Pleasures

A big thunderstorm rolled over the WSF’s senior slum building last night. At times, counting the time between lightning flashes and the thunder sound was “one one thou……”. No hail, but buckets of rain.

DrJim lives about 20 miles NNW of me and reported only sprinkles.

After the cell passed, I opened all exterior doors and windows and let the fresh washed air circulate (aided by two ceiling fans) in the apartment. A simple pleasure to be sure, but I enjoy it.

As I get older I take these moments whenever I can.

Depending on the source, Colorado is #4 or #5 in lightning kills nationwide. My mother was struck twice. Her sisters never developed dementia but she did. No proof that being struck by lightning was the cause, and no proof it wasn’t.

My sister lost a valuable American Saddle Bred horse to lightning. He was a superb jumper.

Gaia has her ways, and mere humans won’t change that.