Thursday, October 31, 2019

Winning Hearts and Minds

Comment by LL on his blog prompted a memory.
I should sail across the pond with a hold full of really nasty sling shots - you know the wrist rockets with ball bearing ammo, land in the dead of night and haul the crates up the beach. You could modify them to fire cream pies (in the face) or just keep the ball bearing ammo. I wonder if they're illegal in Old Blighty?

I put together a “Care” package for my son while he was deployed to Kandahar. Among other items was a wrist rocket. As a teener, he got in lots of trouble with one. I thought he might hunt rats. No, he and his buddies repurposed it for winning hearts and minds.

They had a supply of Jolly Rancher hard candies to pass out to the local kids to build good will. Since the local kid’s favorite activity was throwing rocks as our vehicles passed, the wrist rocket was used to give them candy, usually a head shot.

He didn’t bring the wrist rocket back with him so it still might be in Kandahar and being used to win hearts and minds.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Trump's Gaffe Put To Good Use

On FB by one of my more conservative cousins. Missing Aspen, Pagosa Springs, Durango, Steamboat Springs, and Vail but the concept has merit!


I miss having a dog. The past years have required many motel stays and, being “unattached”, not having a home for a dog. Settled now, I’ve been looking. Introducing “Banner” (from Bruce Banner aka  The Incredible Hulk). He is a 7 year old lab mix living in a bad situation. A loving home but conflicts with another dog lead to them seeking an option. I responded to a Craigslist ad and now have a dog.

Shuttle Bus Driver

Saturday was my last day. Sunday a storm hit. Great timing? Took the job to replenish my savings. Mission accomplished. I will miss the trash talking water truck drivers and the decidedly incorrect remarks and opinions but not 60+miles of narrow roads with no shoulders, the Close Encounters of A Bambi Kind, and High Plains winter. This is only the 2nd storm this year. Great for people working outside. Maybe not so great for dry land farmers.

A few years ago I was doing insurance inspections. Not claims, just simple measurements, photos, and a condition report. The company recently contacted me and I may start those next month.

Blasted Trump

With this improved economy, people are paying their mortgages and my part time job bugging the laggards is drying up. Didn’t happen under Obama, just saying.

Fucking VA

Those lazy shits just don’t code third party billings properly, if they even bother. The nearby office “doesn’t handle billing”. No, I need to drive to Cheyenne for that. Can you say, “Road Trip”?


Breathing air and taking nourishment. Got that going, and, I am grateful. Nothing like living in a building where many residents are walking around with oxygen, walkers, and wheelchairs to make you appreciate what you have.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

2nd Responders

Much is written , YouTubed, etc.,  about 1st Responders. Rightfully so, these are compelling stories and the people who deal with the carnage are special people (I include my late son, the Army Medic and, later, ambulance crewman).

Those who follow up get little publicity (and don’t seek it). Their work is important and the impact on their lives can be as stressful as 1st Responders. Among these are people specializing in accident reconstruction, insurance adjusters, lawyers immediately dispatched to serious accident scenes by insurance companies, and tow truck drivers.

Consider this gruesome accident my sister, the insurance adjuster, was asked to handle.

She arrived on scene while the vehicles involved were still there along with the driver of the semi and other witnesses. My sister does more than called for. Among other things, she provides emotional triage such as referring people to mental health resources, arranging motels, transportation to hospitals for drug/alcohol testing, and other acts of a decent human being. Often she needs to arrange storage of vehicles and personal property.

We discuss these things. I’m not interested in confidential information (and she won’t share) but we talk. Everyone needs a sympathetic ear. Fortunately for her, I’m not her only resource.

1 am, Wyoming I-80, howling blizzard, multi vehicle pile up at MM 255 and her phone rings. Shortly, she is in her 4wd F-150 on the way if the roads are open.

Her work doesn’t end at the scene. Her professional, dispassionate and accurate report will help with the quick and fair settlement of insurance claims.

She is the best at what she does. Yeah, I’m her brother but I’m far from alone in my opinion.

So here is a shout out to all the 2nd Responders who do their difficult work with little recognition. Our world is a bit better because of them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Whiskey Is For Drinking, Water Is For Fighting

Old Colorado saying.

On the Colorado Ballot this election is Proposition DD, a scheme to legalize sports betting with large taxes going to “Water Projects”.

Discussing this with Sisty (whose opinions I value, not that I agree with her) she brought up GODDAMNDENVERWATERBOARD as spoken on Colorado’s Western Slope. They have been stealing water for over a century.

A junior imitator, the City of Thornton, has bought out over the years the water rights of farmers to the Cache La Poudre River. All those farms were allowed to “dry up” and abandoned.

Thornton’s grand scheme has hit a roadblock. They need to complete a pipeline in Larimer County. The county commissioner have said, NO! They may have an option to build in Weld County. I imagine the Weld Commissioners say, “Not only NO, but Hell NO!

The water wars will continue forever as the Front Range population grows. Pass the popcorn!

As to Prop DD, my vote is No. Too vague, and I don’t trust those (P)regressives currently dominating Colorado politics not to pervert and misuse any new laws.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Foreman Material

Foreman Material

As someone who spent many years in supervisory roles, I am fascinated by the interactions of the truck drivers I shuttle to the oilfields.

There is no direct supervision of these drivers. By the very nature of their work, they must be able to operate independently and isolated for much of their time. They are trained, and have detailed instructions as to how to perform their tasks. Via tablets, they have contact with a dispatcher (one of whom is a twit, 1st Class!).

It is when circumstances fall outside normal operating procedures that foreman material emerges; those individuals who take charge and make decisions while the rest just go along. Worse, they wait for the take charge types. Not for them to open their actions to criticism.

Age and experience doesn’t seem to matter. Often it is one of the younger drivers who “takes charge”.

What are the requirements to be a foreman, you ask (or already know)?

1.    Recognize and analyze the issue/problem.
2.    Come up with a plan of action.
3.    Implement the plan.
4.    Accept the consequences to his decision and plan.

Management should prize these people and not take cheap shots (and ego building) criticizing them.

In my supervisory role, I would often take this approach.

“Joe, I appreciate you stepping up and handling the problem. It saved all of us some time and expense. If something like this happens again, don’t hesitate to take action. You might consider ……… if it happens again. That said, thank you for doing what you did”.

Perhaps the hardest part of my shuttle van driving is staying in my  lane.  WSF, “You are just a driver. SHUT UP!”

As always, YMMV!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Screwed, Blued, and Tattooed

In April, my vehicle registration was up and the vehicle didn’t pass the bi-annual emissions test.

After a considerable delay, repairs were made and the vehicle passed the emissions test.

When I renewed the registration today, I was fined $100 for not renewing the registration in April, plus the registration fee, and the registration expires next April, not October.

Tis a privilege to live in Colorado.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Post That Wasn't

Wanting to do a post on a corn maze I drive by, I was beaten to the subject by Brig.

No way to top that.

Then I discovered none of my snaps turned out. Blurred, one and all.

What you get is a farm country story.

A local farmer was manureing  his field. For those not familiar with the term, he was spreading dried cow feces, which enriches the soil by providing nutrients for future crops.

Returning to his stockpile, he neglected to disconnect the power to his manure spreader. At each bump, some of the remaining load shook loose and he manuered Westbound WCR 44.

And that is all I’ve got right now.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


An off year election is here.  Mainly, the various city/town mayors and council seats are up for a vote.

The two items in the picture most likely ended up in the trash at most homes. Mine are being read. I’ve never missed voting and try to be somewhat informed.

Only two statewide issues are up for a vote. Proposition CC and Proposition DD.

Colorado is unique as the only state to pass and incorporate TABOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights) and incorporate it into the state constitution.

The TABOR Amendment, which was approved by voters in 1992, limits the amount of revenue the State of Colorado can retain and spend. The TABOR limit “base” is equal to the lesser of the prior fiscal year's revenue limit grown by Colorado inflation and population growth, or the current fiscal year's revenue.

The (P)regressives hate TABOR as it keeps them from spending money the state doesn’t have and to refund taxes collected over a certain limit. Prop CC is an effort to cripple TABOR.

One wonders why large sums of dark money from out of state are flowing in to get it passed.

Prop DD involves legalized gambling with some vague promise to use the tax revenue to fund water projects.

I will vote “NO” on each. Prop CC because I love TABOR because it keeps us from total Californication. Prop DD because of the vagueness.

Why are these two propositions on the ballot? Cynical me says because off year elections have sparse participation, the backers believe their interest group can be fired up enough to vote.

Oh, and Colorado votes by mail. My suspicious mind wonders how that plays out or doesn’t, in terms of election integrity.

Thursday, October 10, 2019


My 1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max is back on the road. I’m $800 poorer.

Years of ethanol contaminated gasoline degraded the carburetor innards to the point the truck wouldn’t pass the Colorado mandated emissions test.

As removed.

As received from Guaranteed Carburetor.

My fingers don’t work well anymore so had to hire the work done. Once reinstalled, a few minutes with the key on to activate the fuel pump, a few turns of the starter motor, and she fired up. Two or three coughs then bliss! Didn’t even need to adjust the idle speed.

Took it for a drive – no problems. In the next day or two will run it past emissions testing then off to spend $71 for the tabs.

So what kind of fool spends $800 on a 34 year old rust bucket import truck with 171,000 on the odometer? Why, a well seasoned one.

Monday, October 7, 2019


“Your cows are out!” are chilling words for any stock grower.

Last night on Weld County Road just West of 49 Parkway, we came across some cows in the road.

About ¼ mile further on, we spotted a driveway occupied by people unloading horses. When we told them of the cows in the road, one said they were their neighbors and proceeded to give us directions to the neighbor. I had a van full of people and a deadline to meet.

   “Do you know your neighbor’s number”, I asked? Receiving an affirmative, I asked him to call them.

Asshole! A real rancher would re-saddle his horse, bring the cows to his corral, and then call his neighbor. My father would have done it and would have kicked my ass if I hadn’t. And yes, my father and our neighbor didn’t like each other.

Just another old virtue slipping away.

Friday, October 4, 2019


These handmade signs are starting to appear in Weld County, CO. Weld County has over 23,000 wells, most capped. Fracking has greatly expanded the gas and oil production to the point the county ranks #20 in the nation.

In the last election voters overwhelmingly rejected ballot initiatives that would shut down the petroleum industry. The state then went deep blue filling every state cabinet position and, of course, the governor’s office. The (P)regressives achieved a super majority in the House and a majority in the Senate.

The (P)regressives then passed laws that restored the defeated initiatives and Polis gleefully signed them. Each law was deemed and labeled an “emergency”. Under Colorado law, this makes using the courts to oppose and overrule extremely difficult. Neat trick, no?

An emergency would be a pandemic Spanish Flu outbreak.

By using this procedure to shove their agenda up our asses, the (P)regressives placed themselves as tyrants. Like the lair who isn’t believed when being truthful, any (P)regressive initiative will be greeted with skepticism because they have shown themselves untrustworthy.

Is this any different than what we see from the Democrats nationally?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Saratoga Road Trip

Business took me to Saratoga, WY 10/1/2109. I decided to take Hwy 130 out of Laramie via the Snowy Range. Saves 20+ miles but ads a lot of (worthwhile) time. The sights are worth it.

Saratoga has some transient residents.

Due to the several hot springs in the area, the town was named after the better known Eastern spa.

My maternal grandfather was a rancher in the Walden, CO area when he was brought low by arthritis. He was taken to Saratoga on a stretcher to the springs. He walked out.  Shortly, he became the manager of the bath house. Later, his father-in-law bought his ranch and helped him buy a ranch outside of Saratoga. Granddad continued to bathe daily in the springs for several years which allowed him to lead a productive life.

My mother, a Wyoming sheepherder, married a Colorado cowboy which allows my sister and I to say we are the result of a mixed marriage. WWII was on, my father was shipping overseas, so my mother returned to Saratoga where I was born.

Lots of wealthy people come to Saratoga for the springs, hunting, golf, and trophy fishing on the North Platte River. Not unusual to see private jets at the airport.

For the history buffs, a couple of pictures. The brass placard for the Overland Trail has long since been stolen.

The North Platte a few miles downstream from town. Also the local “necking” hangout. Wonder how many pregnancies’ started there?

Going West from Laramie you begin to approach the Medicine Bow Mountains.

Some ferocious winds in those places.

And tragedy.

I need a wide angle lens or a video camera.

Looking ESE toward Colorado.

The fall colors are just starting.

The backside of the range is unremarkable.

My faithful road warrior.

Should your travels take you across Wyoming’s Interstate 80, budget some time (in the summer) to take in the Snowy Range. It won’t add any miles, 
just memories.