Sunday, September 29, 2019

No Slap on The Wrist

Weld County, Colorado isn't noted for leniency for repeat offenders. Judge ordered several sentences to run consecutively, not concurrently, for this individual.  Total? 128 years.

Another miscreant who will soon know her fate.

I applaud the effort to quash gangbangers in the community.

Being a chronic contrarian, I would like to see an effort to nail drivers with misaimed headlights, or one headlight out. Who knows how many of those drivers have other legal"issues"?

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Oh Boy, Big Boy

Friday morning, Harriman, WY UP 4014 made a scheduled 15 minute stop. DRJIM    and I were there to see it.

SNAFU, instead of taking a few test shots with the camera, I was flapping my gums. By the time I got the camera going I missed the arrival.

A decent crowd was on hand, fifty or so folks of all ages but tending toward “senior” status. Again, no litter was left as the spectators departed. On the several occasions I’ve watched 4014, I’ve never seen any trash left by spectators.

The road to Harriman has a few challenging places.

A hint of the fall colors to come was showing in a few places.

The pronghorns didn’t pay attention to the passing traffic but were not pleased when I stopped.

All in all, a great morning.

The Big Boy will be touring well into November and there will be many places to see arguably the largest steam engine in the world.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Comedy of Errors

Reading the local rag, this story contains accounts of several dumb moves by more than one actor.

A jowl shaker.

Mundane stuff otherwise. If stupidity was a crime, we would need more jails.

I admire the men and women who can deal with all this and not lose their minds. I doubt I could ever have been in law enforcement.

Then it gets serious.

Common denominator?  Drugs and alcohol.

Monday, September 23, 2019


Good news/bad news phone call this morning. The good news is the carburetor is rebuilt and is being shipped. 

The bad news is I had to pay the shop! 

Next, getting it installed. I will probably pay the mechanic who removed it to reinstall it. The job is somewhat complicated and my fingers no longer work like they once did. Getting old, bah! It is not the four bolts that hold it on, it is all the little hoses, etc.

Seems at 33 years, and not designed to run on ethanol "enhanced" gasoline, the guts finally gave way.

When done, I will be in around $900 for a 33 year old rusted truck with 171,000 miles. Makes no sense financially I know. The truck has been the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned, including my two previous Mighty Max's, and I want to keep it.

My sister says she is going to bury me in the truck, assuming I precede her. Since the family has their own private cemetery, she can probably pull it off.

She enjoys reminding me several relatives in the area have backhoes (and she is their favorite cousin).

No doubt the truck will now pass emissions (a bi-annual $25 ripoff) and $71 for tags so will keep working for awhile to get the finances back where I want them.

All in all, progress.

Sunday, September 22, 2019


Yesterday, a day after my son's 44th birthday, I commented on the grey in his beard while helping him with his car. Told him it made me feel old.

Ungrateful wretch just laughed, then pointed out his brother will be 49 next month. Grrr!

Yes, I do know where sympathy falls between in the dictionary.

Friday, September 20, 2019


The people who are emotionally in favor of all kinds of gun control are motivated by selfishness, IMO. Please follow my possible feeble reasoning.

A large number of people hate guns. Perhaps they have had an experience with some nut job and had a traumatic experience. Perhaps they have never even handled a gun but are scared of them to their core. Will any amount of factual information do anything to change their minds?


Here is where the selfishness comes in.

  “I am special, my family is special, and my friends are special. It is outrageous we should be made to feel uncomfortable because of your, to us archaic and unfathomable, ‘rights’. Our need to be untroubled is far more important than anything you want”.

Today I read a comment on OldAF Sarge’s blog written by Prairie Adventure that resonated with me. I urge you to read it.

Because of this selfishness and the resulting dishonesty any firearm laws will be subverted and perverted by the gun grabbers while patting themselves on the back for their ‘superior’ wisdom.

Red Flag Laws are the current example. I know, and I’m sure readers know, people who are so careless and bat shit crazy they are a danger to themselves and others. The gun grabbers see this as an opportunity, not to enhance public safety, but to disarm everyone (but their selected few bodyguards).

This is a battle that will never end. We must be committed to fighting it forever.

 As always, YMMV

A personal quibble. I don’t use the word, “gun” unless referring to a smoothbore. Firearms, pistol, rifle, whatever, but not “gun”.  Eight weeks at Ft Leonard Wood, circa 1963, reinforced that mindset.

I'm always willing to recognize I may be wrong. Herre is another view.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Old Grouch Rant

Out and about today, I passed our towns only Popeye Chicken emporium, recently opened, and stopped on impulse. I like their chicken, but not their sides. Used the drive thru and the problem began. I wanted four pieces of chicken only, no sides, and no drinks. The order taker was flustered and directed me to the window.

At the window I ended up talking to three different young ladies. Clearly, what I wanted wasn’t on their touch screen.

“OK, I said, “Give me a four piece combo and don’t bring any sides”.

This brought stares from the three gathered around the touch screen, then stares at the screen, and then stares at each other. I don’t know what they decided as I put the car in drive and left.

At my advanced age, I won’t put up with poorly trained employees who won’t take initiative.

As a supervisor I never berated an employee who took initiative and made a mistake. It was my fault for not training them properly. To those whom I reported, I took the blame.

Something I took away from my military service, “Loyalty Up, Loyalty Down.

My conversation with the employee usually went along these lines.

“You had a tough situation that you weren’t trained to handle, but you did your best and I appreciate your initiative. If the situation occurs again, what I would like for you to do is ………….”.

If you are a supervisor who won’t take the blame for a subordinates’ error, you don’t deserve to be a supervisor. You certainly don’t deserve any credit for their wins.

Addendum: What I'm having for supper.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Western Washington State Fair

Puyallup, WA, a favorite of my kids growing up. My oldest, a high functioning autistic man, lives in Seattle. “Doing the Puyallup” is something he looks forward all year.

Two days ago he got himself there on public transportation, once again.

When my two youngest were young teeners, they treasured “wrist band” day when they could ride nearly all rides all afternoon/evening as much as they wanted. I would take that day off. My one rule was they had to meet me at a designated spot every hour. They would each get $20 for snacks.

While they hit the rides, I would hit the food stands and exhibits. A hamburger covered with Walla Walla sweet onions was first on the list.

As a car salesman I loathed car shows and fairs. Very hard to sell anything there and the dealership damn well wasn’t paying for my time. The conversation with management usually went like this.

   “Tank, here is your floor times at the Puyallup”.

   “Fuck that, I’m not going. You want someone there to glad hand the  
   public?  Hire some hard bellied young women”.

After the ensuing shit storm ended, I usually agreed to pull one, and only one, shift and not on the weekend.

One year there was a bungee jump from a very tall crane. Some of the salesmen who truly disliked me (never understood why – I’m such a nice guy) made the mistake of baiting me about going on the bungee jump. Ah, a chance to make some money! After hustling them for awhile and getting the cash into a reliable third party’s hand, I did it. No big deal to me but I wouldn’t pay my own money to do it.

I usually try to take in one county fair each year and prefer the smaller ones. The 4-H and FFA kids work so hard and I can appreciate their efforts. Always in the back of my mind is my mother getting a Union Pacific scholarship to attend the University of Wyoming from sheep she raised. No snowflakes at these shows.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Longer Nights

Prairie dawn, 0600. Last month the sun was above the horizon. Fall is near.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Getting Old

Paid a professional mechanic to remove the carburetor on my 1986 Mitsubishi Might Max.
I'm literally losing my touch. Years past this job was within my skill set. Dropping things and less sensitivity means I could (would) create more problems. Best to suck it up and pay for expertise.

For the same reasons, the carb is off to a rebuild specialist.
Upon return I will probably use the same mechanic to install it.

Why spend $800 or so on a 1986 truck with 171K? No way the truck is worth much on the open market. I'm doing it because (1) I can (2) I like the truck and (3) it has been the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned.

The truck won't pass emissions. Years of ethanol added gasoline has finally eaten the rubber guts. I can scofflaw register it at a country address outside the emissions area and save the expense. Penny wise and pound foolish, IMO. Leaves me open to the "authorities", which, given my big mouth, is always a consideration.

Our extended family has a private cemetery on an old family homestead in Northwest (Moffat County) Colorado. My sister expects me to precede her in death, and plans to bury me in "Maxine".

This is my third Mighty Max, and my sister has named each of them with a name starting with "M".

Monday, September 9, 2019


Sisty nails me on Facebook.

Sunday, September 8, 2019


Posting about dream cars and some comments brought up a humorous memory. A fellow employee had a very nice Pontiac GTO.

We were having lunch and talking about cars. He said he lusted after a Ferrari. Another employee had a MGB.

  He said, “Ted, why not an Alfa? You can probably afford and Alfa”.

  “Fuck you”,  replied Ted. “If I can’t have something, I’m going to have the very best”.

Good philosophy.

Warehouse Needed

My sister, Sisty, and I occasionally indulge our fantasies if we won the lotto and agree we would need a warehouse for our vehicles.

Some commentators have questioned my tastes in vehicles. What follows are images taken from various sites which probably means I've violated copyrights. If it is yours, wait to sue me until I win the lotto. 

In no particular order, here we go.

Had a government surplus long bed stepside, slant six, four speed. Loved that truck!

Our father had a 58' two door hard top cop car version in red and white. Car would do 135 mph+. I would have this one for the sheer wretched excess.

Just because - kick ass Merc.

Got a ride in one as a teen. 180 mph speedometer. 289  V-8 with a supercharger. Saw the speedometer in triple digits.

66' Toronado. May have been the first GM car our father owned. He kept it for years. Winter it had studded snow tires on all four corners.

Had one just like this before going into the Army. A babe magnet! Got about 2,500 miles between head gaskets. Lucas was an upgrade over Italian electrics.

Dumped a Renault 16 in trade on a 73'. Served our family well. Did require buying a six pack of voltage regulators but they were firewall mounted, three screws, and one electric plug.

Sisty's first car. The high school boys had fun putting it on top of snowbanks.

Never owned one but always wanted one, even with Lucas problems.

58' was always my favorite Bird. 
As a kid, thought this was the absolute apex pickup.

Other cars/trucks could make the list. Not suitable for the warehouse, but a definite addition to the purchase list is this.
Just pure fun!

As always, YMMV.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

UP Steam Schedule - Southwest

Just released.

Remember, there is time, Indian time, and UP Steam time. The schedule is what they hope to run. 4014 is old and complicated.

Monday, September 2, 2019

A Monday Drive

Labor Day, a holiday, and I am working. Why? I’m reminded of a saving from my car selling days.

      Winners do what losers won’t
          Jackie B. Cooper

Climate Change
9/2/2019 and I can’t remember seeing the short grass prairie this green this late in the year.


One wonders what stories involved this old veteran.

Roadside Temptation

Jowl Shaker

I drive through this intersection several times a week. Speed limit is 55 mph on the four lanes segment and 65 mph on the two lanes segment (WCR 49 and CO 392. Nearly every week there is a semi truck and car or pickup accident. It doesn’t seem like a dangerous intersection.

Lifetime Values

Sisty was explaining to a young cousin (third, fourth removed, but we don’t count or care) that she and I were raised without two words, can’t and quit.

I see people my age and younger that are defeated; they are just marking time (and feeling sorry for themselves). Damnit, people, you are going to live until you die! Gather up some guts, and fight.

Yeah, yeah, WSF understands depression. A colorless, emotion free cocoon where you don’t feel anything, not joy, not pain, that can be alluring. I’ve felt it, and I have rejected it. Please don’t try to convince me it isn’t a choice.

For me, I’ll die on my feet before I live on my knees.

As always, YMMV.