Monday, March 30, 2020

Boo Hoo Hoo

The Wuhan Flu fallout hits me. The $25 per visit walk in chiropractor  has been shut down by the state, and my right shoulder is out of alignment. I usually visit monthly. The shoulder is interfering with my sleep.

Social Distancing at the Post Office

On the positive side, you can’t tell how unprepared and dumb some patrons are, on a good day, when you are six feet behind them.
The Coven
Still meeting but now use three tables and keep to the 6’ distance rule.


Earliest I remember seeing virga. During the summer there will be bands east of the mountains where the rain shadow ends. In a light airplane you can experience a few “interesting” minutes.
We probably have virga year around and I don’t notice it.

Stay at Home

Coming east on Highway 34 (four lanes) from Longmont at 4 p.m. the traffic was sparse. A 65 mph speed limit limited access road, the usual speed at the time of day is down to 40-45 bumper to bumper. A car wash, one $13 monthly fee unlimited washes, I use had no one. There usually is a 6-8 vehicle line waiting to go in.

That is me! I go where I want, when I want. Comically, my little part time gig is considered part of essential industry so I’m legal! (letter of the law; certainly not the spirit).

If It Bleeds, It Leads

That is the media. Hasn’t it always been that way? These must be halcyon days for the media. Breathless reporting, opportunity to criticize the Trump Administration (from a sanctimonious perch), and in a fluid situation that makes fact checking difficult. They seem to be falling all over each other congratulating themselves.

As my late mother would say, “Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back”.

UPDATE: Shit, the Sombrero Horse Drive is cancelled.

The 61st annual Great American Horse Drive has been cancelled for 2020. Sombrero Ranches will running this important Moffat County event again in 2021.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Rambling Thoughts

Good News
Always up for a bit of good news.  Gas price war! It seems to be just in our little city as prices are higher in surrounding areas and much higher in Cheyenne.

Not Good News
On the darker side, Weld County, where I live, is the 20th largest oil and natural gas producer in the USA. Between the climate change idiots led by our (P)regressive governor, and the world wide turmoil in the energy market, we may see some serious employment problems soon.
This will probably mean an uptick in my delivery of mortgage dunning letters. I like the money but don’t relish the pain of my neighbors.

People Coping?
I needed to pick up my Metforman prescription. Two drive up lanes at the drug store had six or more vehicles in line. Parked, went inside, and was the only customer at the inside counter. The store had tape laid down on the floor six feet apart in all aisles. Social distancing?

Noticeable Impact
The stay at home order by the Governor seems to have cut down on traffic. My work is considered “essential” financial activity so I’m not affected. I do make sure I have my work briefcase with me at all times.

My middle son works in a factory that makes medical equipment components so he hasn’t missed work. His employer gave all employees a “note” to show police.

My oldest son, a 49 years old high functioning autistic man, lives in Seattle. He is having a difficult time with the isolation. I recently got him a better smart phone that he uses to email me, frequently. You never stop being a parent.
Out My Front Door
 So far our 90 unit senior building has been spared. The daily routines have been drastically altered and those individuals who thrive on pissing and moaning about everything are enjoying themselves.

From my three years as a medical courier I have an ample supply of hand sanitizer. I’ve gone back to the routines I used on that job, and wear cotton gloves. I have some twelve pairs of cheap brown cotton gloves (a year ago Harbor Freight had a special). Each evening the day’s gloves go into the wash.

Dog Life

We are now closing in on five months together, Banner the dog and myself. He does chase away any tedium in my life. We start each morning with a five to ten minute wrestling session which always puts a smile on my face. Then it is the walk around the building while he takes care of dog business. Next stop is the commons room to meet up with the “treat” lady (she who is the leader of the Coven). After that, it is on to the elevator, our hall, and then the apartment and breakfast! After that I’m allowed my first cup of coffee for the day.

Do we ever change from our “raising”? I was raised to take care of the livestock before I took care of myself.

Our ongoing adventure involves his interaction with the other residents. This is a 90 unit building of 65+ seniors. Most are very poor and receive subsidized rent. I’m one of maybe twelve who pay “full sticker”. Many are sick – lots of wheelchairs and walkers are seen. Many are withdrawn and profoundly depressed. Along comes Banner and you see smiles. He gets petted, a lot. Even a hardened cynic like me finds it uplifting. My sister calls him a therapy dog, and says I’m the one who gets the most therapy. She may be correct.

Because of him I interact with the other residents much more than I did before I got him.

It isn’t all smooth sailing. Most of the dogs in the building are yappy little ankle biters, and most don’t like him. He is such a wuss – hides behind me as they yap at him.

He rarely barks, doesn’t chew on anything in the apartment, and has never had an “accident”. He does snore!

Weather permitting I take a mile walk each day with him. The walk is for my benefit as I continue to drop 5-10 pounds a month. Two to three times a week I take him to the dog park. He knows the route and starts getting excited when he sees the direction we are going.

He came from a house with two other dogs that kept attacking him. The family decided he was easier to adopt than the other two dogs. She had him for seven years, from the time he was a pup, and I’m sure giving him up was difficult. We exchange emails about once a month.

I tell others I feel I’ve won the dog lottery.

Life’s Shit Sandwiches
A friend is going through a family shit storm. One sister is in a hospice with Stage 4 cancer. Her alcoholic brother is soon to be in the hospital. Suffering from dementia, among other problems, he is rapidly losing weight. The weight of dealing with the VA, the insurance companies, etc. falls on her. She is a strong woman with her own serious health issues. Another sister refuses to become involved with anything involving her siblings.

 From me she gets hugs (forget social distancing), and an ear when she needs one.

We all know life isn’t fair, don’t we?

Tis a Privilege To Live in Colorado
On clear mornings I see this as I take the dog out for his dog business. Never fails to raise my spirits.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Signs of Spring

In the years of off and on living in the Colorado Rockies, the arrival of Red Wing Blackbirds  always was my clue Spring was at hand. True, we might get more snowstorms and even a nasty blizzard, but the birds always made me feel cheerful.

This morning on my morning walk with Mr. Nose & Appetite, the nearby wetland has the early arrival birds. Roosting on the cattails, they are signing away. Made me smile.

Colorado has gone to “stay at home” and lots of people are out walking.  Knock on wood, none of my close family, in four different states; have come down with the virus.

Perverse humor. The State Lottery Claims Offices are closed until April 21st, for now. Imagine, winning big on the lottery and not being able to get the money! I’m a $10 per week gambler. Yes, yes, I’m bad at math!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Kung Flu Responses

The way individuals respond to this Wuhan Virus says a lot about them as people,

A man I’m proud to call a friend is a very successful used truck dealer. I’ve known him for years and he may be the most ethical man I personally know in the business.

He is being shut down for the time being, and posted this on his Facebook page.

We were serve a warning that our Business DYEAUTOS will be closing starting tomorrow, be cause of this terrible virus we are happy to comply to protect our employees and ourselves !! So Today on any vehicle purchased today ! I will send you a Personal Check for $500. On any vehicle in our inventory ! No strings no conditions ! The deal must be completed cash or Finance! You-make your best deal at my Dealership !! This check will be a personal check to help you threw this pandemic ! Stay safe !! DyeAutos in Wheatridge Colo 80023 phone 303-286-1665 please share ! 

You may notice he isn’t the most accomplished writer. In fact, he was a Denver juvenile delinquent high school dropout when he joined the Marine Corps.  He credits the Corps for correcting his ways, and giving him the personal tools to be successful.

When he says it will be a personal check he means it. The funds won’t be coming out of the dealership nor will he scheme to make it a tax deduction.

In a business deal, I would rather have Dave’s handshake than any lawyer blessed notarized contract.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Plan B

Michael Bloomberg failed to buy the Democratic nomination for President. That was Plan A.

Plan B is to buy the V.P. spot, and he has made an $18 million down payment.

Assume for a moment Sleepy Joe is the nominee and somehow wins. He dies in office. Toad’s Plan B works to perfection.

He becomes the 47th President of our country.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

This Is Getting Serious

The Coven is no longer gathering for morning coffee. Banner is upset. His morning loving and treats are missing!

There were two main morning social groups, the Coven in the commons area and the anti-coven in the lobby. Both are on pause.

The afternoon gatherings are gone. One group gathered for board games. Another was a bible study group. We also have avid jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts.

Banner and I are passerby friends with all the groups but a member of none.

All of this was spurred by a second hand report that some resident may, just may, have come in contact with someone who may have been in contact with someone being “tested” for the Wuhan Virus.

We have 90 units and, with the exception of the in house maintenance man (no spring chicken) everyone is 65+. Many have serious health issues. Mobile oxygen generators and wheelchairs are common sights.

Maybe an over abundance of caution is warranted but Banner doesn’t understand!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

First Day Of Spring

First day of spring and the forecasted blizzard has arrived just one hour later than the weather guessers’ forecasted. Yesterday was sunny with 68°.

One good thing about being “retired” is I’m not out driving in this shit to make a living. I did that for too many miles and too many years.

Now I tell my clients, politely, they don’t pay enough for me to risk life, limb, and my personal vehicle driving in bad weather. They grumble, but live with my position (for now).

In a few days it will look like this again.

We will probably have one or more storms before mid April. These wet spring storms are good for ground water and the aquifer.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

100% Revolver

There are as many opinions on the “best” handgun as there are owners. To each his own, say I.

When selecting a handgun for my personal defense, I took a hard look at my capabilities and most likely scenarios that I would employ one in self defense.

Reality. I’m 75, with macular degeneration in my right eye. While right handed, I’ve become left eye dominant. My hand strength has diminished and my fine motor skills have deteriorated.

The most likely scenarios where I will need a handgun are twofold. First, I spend a fair amount of time in the boonies with large wildlife encounters a possibility. Along with that, in open range country, meeting a domestic bull is a possibility.

Second, self defense against humans. I’m well past the age of charging to the sound of gunfire, and firefights. More likely, I face being mugged; car jacked, or face a home invasion. Those encounters will be intense but short lived. The stress level will be high and I don’t want to be fooling with magazines, safeties, etc. With the Bulldog it is only necessary to pull the bang switch.

For many years I’ve carried a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special. Many, many boxes of shells have gone down range from that revolver. I have had zero, repeat zero, times when I pulled the trigger and it didn’t go, “bang”. Even with some rounds that were weak a bullet still left the barrel.  I’ve had a gunsmith add a rear peep sight to somewhat compensate for the macular degeneration. The trigger pull has been lightened.

When I practice my goal is all five rounds into a kill zone at 20’. That I can still accomplish.

For backup, and last resort, I have a North American Arms 5 shot .22 Mag. Currently on loan to a family member.

In the past I’ve owned semi autos. A Star 9mm Browning copy, a Walther PPK .380, and a military surplus 1911. I’m just not a big handgun guy. Long arms?  Much different story. I grew up in a subsistence hunting home, shot competitively growing up (NRA Jr Rifleman) and spent far more money at the Rod and Gun Club than bars while in the Army.

As an aside, I despise  M-14s. Give me an M-1, even a shot to shit basic training issue, anytime.

You have a different opinion? Bless you! We all have our own road to travel. I will suggest you spend time analyzing your own individual abilities and likely needs.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Chinese Flu

Several sources make a point about the limited number of respirators available for pneumonia cases. My medical knowledge barely extends beyond first aid so this may be a silly question. Can a CPAP be pressed into service? There are many in the hands of citizens. I alone have five, and am willing to donate some if they can be of use.
Kind Gesture
Walking to my car from the Safeway store this morning a woman passed me with a rather full cart.
“Do you need any paper towels,” she asked me. “I bought the last ones and will give you one if you need it”.

What a kind gesture! After thanking her, I explained I have enough on hand at home.

Health Impact Beyond Chinese Flu

Routine medical procedures are being postponed/cancelled. A neighbor was scheduled to have eye surgery Thursday. That has been cancelled. The number of postponements will probably run into the millions.
Paper Towels
Have a case of blue paper towels from the Auto Parts Store in my trunk. Might be an alternative source for you who need paper towels.

My sister does insurance adjusting for our city. She had an interesting discussion with a couple of city officials about what will happen as people start flushing paper products that don’t decompose.

Interesting Times

As I put as a comment on a blog, the Chinese have given the whole world an “Interesting Times” curse. Who knows what unforeseen challenges lay ahead?

Am I the only one who sees similarities between our current situation and the aftermath of 9/11?


Heard the Dutch have closed the Amsterdam Red Light District!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Perfect Storm

Our local Safeway stores (owned by Albertsons) have been undergoing remodeling while remaining open. Empty shelves were common while everything was being re-positioned. Then the Wuhan Virus panicked buying hit.

There was no way I was going to any store this past weekend, but went into my local Safeway this morning. Chaos at 1030 hours!

Three checkers open with four to five shoppers in line for checkout. Eight self service checkouts with lines stretching back into the aisles. There were empty shelves everywhere. Some were from the remodel, true, but which?

After using the self service machine for my lottery tickets (yes, I know. A tax on those bad at math) in the front of the store, I left.

Those Safeway employees are entitled to combat pay, IMO.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Adapt and Thrive

Seeing pictures of mobs panic buying took me down memory road to 1953 when my father was the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Section Foreman at East Portal, CO., responsible for the tracks in the Moffat Tunnel.

Isolated, at 9,200’ ASL, the hamlet of East Portal was home to around 30 souls.

Most of the men were control room operators. The control room was staffed 24/7/365. After a train entered the tunnel, from either end, a canvas curtain came down over the opening and huge fans blew air the entire 6.2 miles of the tunnel. As an eastbound train approached the east portal, the curtain was raised.

 The other men were the section crew.

The nearest supermarket was 42 miles away in Arvada, CO., assuming the road past Rollinsville was open and the state highway was plowed. The town, other than the railroad, was often isolated for weeks in the winter.

Flatbed pickups were owned by some residents and shopping expeditions to Arvada were organized. The store manager loved seeing the mob arrive. After all the purchases were made, a flat bed pickup would be backed up to the entrance and loaded.

Dry mix milk was a staple as was powdered eggs. Most residents had chest type freezers. It was simple adaptation to the needs.

Adult recreation was Saturday night at the Rollinsville Stage Stop. Local musicians would play and adults would dance. No television reception was available.

We kids attended a one room school. Recreation was what we could make for ourselves. I fished and roamed the hills with my dogs.

Most people don’t realize how well they can adapt and thrive when faced with challenges, IMO. Root hog or die brings out traits they didn’t realize they had. We will survive the current hysteria and be stronger as a country when it subsides.

Wuhan Virus Planned?

A Facebook Page I read, Kiss My American Ass, had this up today.

Pay attention folks, there's much more going on here than what meets the eye.
Is it a coincidence that just when the economy is booming, the stock market is setting record highs, we are winning the trade wars, school shootings have stopped, our nation is at peace, the Democratic party is a disaster and so is their likely nominee(Biden). He hasn't a chance in hell & they're not about to let an outsider(Bernie) destroy their scheme.
It looks like Trump is a sure bet for reelection after fending off 3 years of investigations and impeachment, then all the sudden world crisis pandemic. Stock market tumbles, companies are laying off employees, everything is closed and canceled, CEO's of giant companies are resigning and indictments are coming.
Now they say there are a couple ways a President doesn't win reelection. Those are an unpopular war or a poor economy.
But there is something larger going on here driving this sudden outbreak right after Trump beats an impeachment. Especially the fact that it(Coronavirus)originated in China who we are in a global trade war with brought on by Trump. Let's not forget Biden's back door deals with CHINA as well.
China doesn't want 4 more years of Trump either. It all seems rather convenient for the nations and opponents of our current President and economy 5 months before an election. Couldn't have hit at a more perfect time.
With the Democrats running out of campaign talking points in light of no school shootings, no migrant caravans at the southern border, fighting in Syria winding down, North Korea not firing missiles and Trump beating a sham impeachment. The coronavirus gave them one last hail mary to try and point fingers at Trump with the clock winding down in 2020.
This is almost the perfect fascist playbook. Control the population with fear-mongering and panic, control the media, spread propaganda and the fan-favorite disarm the population.
Sorry but I don't think we are all going to die. Remember when Ebola was what was going to kill us all, and the media kept showing the piles of body bags that were prepared for the fallout. Then a month later it was totally forgotten.
The common flu has killed more people this year already and the media is SILENT!
A handful of deaths out of 320 million Americans and we are in panic tearing down our society and costing our economy billions in the wake. It all just seems fishy, a little too well-timed if you ask me.

Food for thought.

Enough for now. The dog wants to go for a walk and I need to do my daily mile.

Friday, March 13, 2020

What Say You?

Russian Collusion
Finally, proof of Russian collusion with the Trump Administration!

Seems the bankrupt Russian airline never took delivery, leaving Boeing with a couple of white tails. But Russian, Russian, Russian!!!!

It is possible Air Force One is a step down for President Trump from his personal 757?


While I’ve never stopped working, I now work when I want. I don’t want to work in this.

I’ve been a licensed driver now for nearly 62 years and have driven in nearly every kind of weather (and volcanic dust). Now, if I don’t want, I don’t!

WSF, Song Writer

Back a few years, one of my sons challenged me to write a “blues” song. Recently, cleaning out stuff on the computer, I came across it.
Soldier Blue
Woke up this morning
   my bunk out in the sleet.
Snored so loud last night
   no one could get to sleep.

Went to the barracks door
   and no one would let me in.
Cold and wet and shaking
   that’s how my day began.

Yeah I got them soldier blues,
   I was drafted off the street.
From beer and women and cars
   to wearing out my feet.

Someday I’ll lose the blues
   when I get home for good.
I’ll whip ol’ Jody’s ass
   And start living like I should.

Yes, I know – don’t quit my day job.

My music ability is nill and I learned that at an early age. Christmas pageant, 2nd grade in the choir, I was singing my little heart out. Suddenly, I was a Sheppard.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Well Shucky Darn

 Past trips in the Nebraska Panhandle have been time driven and places I would like to visit were passed by. Yesterday my business in the area was handled when I wanted.

Chimney Rock was a major landmark along the Oregon Trail. My visit? See photo.

Oh well, dropped down to Bridgeport and then west on Hwy 88 to visit Courthouse and Jail Rocks.

Yep, the road up to them is closed.

Strange day in terms of wildlife, as in none except for a one coyote at a dead run. Dropping down Hwy 85 from Cheyenne I did see a few Pronghorn a few miles into Colorado.

My business was contacting an individual far behind on his mortgage. Cute, he had a wrong address painted on his mailbox. Called up overhead pictures on Google and MapQuest, matched with what I was seeing, and knocked on the door. He was not pleased to see me. Big surprise, there! Concluded my business and left with him holding the documents I was paid to deliver.

If there is a typical call in my biz, this was it. Large brick home, attached two car garage plus outbuildings showing neglect. Unkempt yard, broken window in the garage, torn screen and what appeared to be one garage door off tracks. In the driveway were a newish Dodge Megacab 4x4 and two year old GMC Yukon.

As a man who has always tried to live below his means, I have no sympathy for people who make these economic decisions.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Interesting Times

Ancient Chinese curse? Applicable today?

Our (P)regressive Governor is embracing the crisis (coronavirus).

What is the real risk? Who knows?  Suspicious minds remember Rahl Emanuel.

There is little doubt the economic impact will disturb the status quo. What directions? Way smarter people than me are working on that.

The energy market has a more immediate impact. The county I live in is the 20th largest petroleum producer in the USA and around 75% of Colorado’s output.

The (P)regressives are attacking the industry on many fronts. They don’t seem to understand where the bulk of Colorado taxes, directly or indirectly, come from.

Please excuse listing this ad blocker leftist rag.

Colorado is unique in having the TABOR Amendment which forces the legislature to balance the budget. Simplistic explanation, read more there.

The (P)regressives hate TABOR and try to circumvent it with “fees”. Keeps the courts and lawyers busy.

What the (P)regressives fail to grasp is their Utopian schemes can’t be funded solely by raising taxes and “fees”. No energy sector tax revenue? That will collapse local and state government. While painful in the short term, there may be a long term benefit.

On a purely personal level, the good economy means fewer people in default of their mortgages and less fee only work for me contacting them on behalf of the mortgage companies.

Just how strong is the economy? In my area, and a business I know well, many small used car lots are closing, or have already closed. I suspect it is a generational issue more than economic. The principals are reaching retirement, and their children aren’t interested in the business. 60+ hour work weeks don’t appeal to them.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Strong Self Esteem

Woman, 40’s, coming out of the liquor store with a case of beer. She was wearing a flannel shirt, a give me cap, and Wranglers with a snuff can outline on her hip.

To swipe from a song, I don’t think she gives a rip what people might think about her.

I admire people like her.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Colorado Politics Rant

A rambling rant about the state of Colorado Politics – probably pointless. May bore non residents. So why am I cluttering up the internet with this? Because I can! You don’t have to read it.

I live in Congressional District 4, represented by Ken Buck (R) , a Weld County resident. A former prosecutor, he is basically a conservative. As a human being, the jury is out, IMO. Opposes gun control.

Our junior Senator, up for his first re-election, is Cory Gardner (R), from Yuma, CO. Yuma is on the Eastern Plains where his father was a farm equipment dealer. He is back in Colorado a lot, and in all corners of the state. He was, repeat was, a Never Trump member. Seems he has changed.

Last election the state went deep blue. The Boulder idiots and fellow travelers want to shut down the energy sector and are not too favorable towards animal husbandry and agriculture. Smart? Yeah, kill off what produces most of the taxes for the state government.

They control both houses but the Senate has enough Republicans to deny a quorum if they stay away. A historical tactic used by both parties in many states (Texas, Oregon for example), the Donkeys scream. Priorities? Once again highway funding isn’t happening as too many idiot green fantasies occupy the limited time. Other, little things, they can’t be bothered with. Prisons, for example (other than closing private ones). More prisoners have died riding in dilapidated, worn out, prison busses than have died from capitol punishment.

Our senior Senator, Michael Bennett (D) was appointed to his seat then won his first election. A carpetbagger, he is from entrenched East Coast elites and may be a sleeper candidate for the Democratic V.P. ticket. His presidential effort failed but gave him an opportunity to rub shoulders and make contact with Democrat insiders. A bland, coreless man, he does little to offend anyone. Along that line, he does little to help Colorado other than riding the coattails of our Junior Senator. In Washington, he votes the way he is told to vote.

His most noteworthy accomplishment was nearly bankrupting the Denver School system when he ran it with risky stock market buys with the Districts’ reserves. His brother, James, is editor of the New York Times.

Colorado breaks down, politically, into three geographic areas. First, the Front Range (Denver, Boulder and extended urban areas), excluding Colorado Springs, but including Pueblo – basically the I-25 corridor.

Second, is the ski bum trust fund corridor from Steamboat Springs to Pagosa Springs including Aspen, Breckenridge, and points in between. The area along the West side of the Continental Divide extending maybe fifty miles westward covers most of it.

Third, the mainly rural areas and my county, Weld, that is 20th in the USA in petroleum production.

The discontent of the rural areas is high. Not unique to Colorado, that can be said for much of the nation. We have had a 51st state movement. Currently, we have the Weld County, WY effort. How much traction it will gain as they target the 2022 election cycle remains to be seen. Thinly populated, the counties along the I-76 corridor would be candidates. Is Wyoming interested?

My ties to Colorado can be serviced from Wyoming, and I continue to plot a COLOEXIT.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Wouldn't Happen Today

A picture from an earlier time (around 1958) of a truck load of my cousins having a fun ride. Somehow all of them grew to adulthood.

I was off somewhere working, as usual.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Tribulations of Indie Authors

Indie authors face enough challenges without this.

My talent doesn’t extend to serious writing but some who read this blog are talented writers.