Friday, July 31, 2020

S^*t for Brains

I see this on my daily walks with the dog and, if I were a “Karen”, this is what I would say.

You have that new muscle car in your driveway. It still has the “happy tag” on it. Is your garage too full of “stuff” to park it inside?

Have your forgotten we live in an area with frequent thunderstorms? That most years the hail repair gypsies are parked all over town in vacant lots? Right now is monsoon season, and we get thunderstorms almost every afternoon.

At a minimum, buy and use a quality car cover. A good one costs ½ of your monthly stroke on that ride.

On the other hand, between summer thunderstorms and winter blizzards, Sisty the Insurance Adjuster is kept busy.

Why do I even care? I appreciate certain cars and have never liked seeing machinery or animals abused.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Wrong County, Partner

Happened in the town eight miles north of me. The perpetrator was a native of the town; should have known better.

Given the number of CCW  carriers in Weld County, he is fortunate he didn’t  get shot. The Weld County DA, continuing the tradition of his predecessors, isn’t inclined to be all warm and fuzzy about something like this.

Seems some ethnic groups in Weld aren’t COVID-19 believers.

Oops, does my slant on this story make me a racist?

To the South in the Denver suburb of Aurora, some of the rioters got carried away.

Aurora is split between Arapahoe and Adams County. I believe this happened on the Arapahoe side. 

The DA is a leftist pussy so the kid may skate.

The mayor is a former five terms Congressman and is not known for being tolerant of crime.

Speaking of crime, it goes on and on regardless. Convenience store robbers meet the police.

Brief aside. Years ago municipalities started annexing like crazy for the tax base (without means to provide the basic services formerly provided by the counties) and the City of Denver grabbed Green Valley Ranch, which is a tit of land sticking out to the east, and only marginally connected to Denver.

Abutting jurisdictions is why the Aurora police were involved. Given the deep blue city government of Denver, they are in more trouble than the punks.

Sunday, July 26, 2020


About two weeks later than usual, our summer “monsoon” has started. Here is a better explanation than any I can pen.

Some years we get hammered when the weather pattern is strong and gets jammed against the Front Range. Flooding in the slot canyons can cause loss of lives and wash out roads. As an example, Highway 34 from Loveland to Estes Park was washed out in places in 2017 and not open until Spring of 2018. Piddling, compared to 2013. Then there was July 31, 1976 when some 176 deaths were recorded.

So far this year it has been the High Plains that caught it, 12” of rain overnight in some places. The Union Pacific tracks near Wray, CO/Hagler,NE was washed out.

Here, the forecast is for another five days or so of high humidity. I find it strange to see clouds moving from south to north.

Depending on winds aloft around high and low pressure in the atmosphere, we may escape with just a few days of “being in the South” or, get hammered.

My friends west of the Divide are getting some much needed rain out of this pattern. In my youth, putting up hay in the summer, the monsoon could pose real problems. Now, it complicates walking the dog.

Tis a privileged to live in Colorado. Don’t like the weather? Wait a few days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Weld County, Wyoming

A long rambling, perhaps incoherent rant, about the place I live and the political scene. You may want to skip it.

Weld County, CO is located East of the Continental Divide , somewhat North Central, and abuts Wyoming to the North.  It is the third largest county in Colorado by square miles (4,017) with a population of around 340,000. That population is about 80% “white” counting the approximate 25% “hispanic”. Much of the ”hispanic” population is third and fourth generation.

In recent years the line between anglo and hispanic has receded, thankfully. I have acquaintances of my age that have deep, and justifiably bitter, memories of the Greeley of their youth.

There is an ongoing desire to break away from the deep blue parts of Colorado and join Wyoming going back to 2013. Currently, an effort is being made to put it on the 2022 ballot.

From Wikipedia.
In 2013, conservative Weld County commissioners began a campaign to secede from the State of Colorado and a state ballot measure regarding the issue was put on the November 2013 ballot. The legality of this initiative has been questioned by local attorneys.[9] On Nov 5th, 2013, 6 out of 11 Colorado counties voted no for secession, including Weld County. Elbert, Lincoln, Logan, Moffat, Sedgwick, and Weld counties voted no, while Cheyenne, Kit Carson, Phillips, Washington, and Yuma counties voted yes. "Weld County voters said this is an option we shouldn't pursue and we won't pursue it," said Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway, "But we will continue to look at the problems of the urban and rural divide in this state."[10]

I’ve yet to read any opinions from Wyoming residents as to if they want us. It will increase their population some 40%.
Our local sheriff is a strong 2nd Amendment advocate and if often at odds with the mandarins in Denver. This is a recent press release
1h · 
Weld County Sheriff’s Office stance on face mask mandate
We understand sometimes a message can get lost in translation in a 60-second newscast or a 10-inch news story, so the Weld County Sheriff’s Office would like to make clear where we stand on Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order mandating the wearing of face masks in public.
Our comment last week about whether we would "enforce" the mask mandate stemmed from a question we received from several media outlets asking if residents should expect to see the sheriff's office issuing fines or arresting people for not wearing a face mask. The answer to that question is no.
An executive order is not the same thing as a law passed by the state legislature. There is no citation in Colorado’s Criminal Code that states a person is breaking the law by not wearing a face mask in public. We therefore don’t think we have the authority to fine or arrest someone for not wearing a face mask.
Last week, we heard from a lot of people both in Weld County and throughout the state who think it is our job to lock anyone up who is not wearing a face mask. We don't think that is a reasonable response to the governor's executive order, which is why our deputies are going to encourage people to voluntarily comply with the order when we see them in public not wearing a face mask. We think it is more reasonable to have that conversation with people and ask them to do the right thing not only for their health, but also for the safety and well-being of others.
Weld County businesses are required to adhere to the face mask mandate or run the risk of losing their license, which is issued and controlled by the state. We are asking residents, regardless of how they feel about wearing a face mask, to give their local businessowners a break and comply with the order when shopping in their stores. It’s not their fault the mask mandate was issued. Anyone who fights with a businessowner or an employee, refuses to leave a business when asked or in some other way causes an unlawful disturbance will be arrested.
Furthermore, holding a valid Concealed Handgun Permit and carrying a concealed weapon is not a valid excuse for not wearing a face mask. Nowhere in Colorado law does it state one cannot wear a face mask and lawfully carry a concealed weapon at the same time.
Even though law enforcement agencies are exempt, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams made the decision to comply with the order after it was issued last Thursday. Residents can expect to see our deputies wearing face masks when they interact with the public and in situations when social distancing isn’t an option.

More from Wikipedia.

Weld County also holds the distinction of having more confirmed tornado sightings than any other U.S. county from 1950–2011, with 252 confirmed reports.[11]
On March 6, 2019, the county declared itself to be a Second Amendment sanctuary.[12]
Weld County is Colorado's leading producer of cattle, grain and sugar beets, and is the richest agricultural county in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, and the fourth richest overall nationally. It is also becoming more important as a milk producing county, with close to half of the state's cattle.[22] [3] Weld County is also an important area of oil and natural gas production in the Denver-Julesburg Basin.

Weld County is the number one producer of oil and gas in the State. 88% of all crude oil production and 40% of all natural gas production in Colorado comes from Weld County!
Some accounts peg the county as the 20th largest petroleum producer in the country. Lots more tax dollars flow from Weld into the State Treasury than flow back from the State to the county. The (P)regressives might find themselves in an even deeper hole, just saying.

IMO, the only reason the state isn’t CA, IL, NY, NJ, etc. is TABOR. We are the only TABOR state.

The TABOR Amendment, which was approved by voters in 1992, limits the amount of revenue the State of Colorado can retain and spend.1  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.  Referendum C, which was approved by voters in 2005, allows the state to retain and spend an amount of revenue above the TABOR limit base.2  This amount is limited by the Referendum C “cap,” which grows by inflation plus population growth from FY 2007-08 revenue.  Surplus revenue in excess of the Referendum C cap must be refunded to Colorado taxpayers.  The money is refunded from the state’s general operating fund, known as the “General Fund.”
The TABOR Amendment requires voter approval for tax increases.  Fees, which are not addressed in this handbook, can be increased by the state legislature without voter approval.  Voter approval is also required to increase the TABOR limit, which constrains state revenue from both taxes and fees.
The (P)regressives froth at the mouth over TABOR and continue to find ways around it. The current favorite is “fees” instead of a tax. It is keeping lawyers busy as things are fought out in court.

From the outside looking in, the county looks to be quite conservative. The county seat, Greeley, is home to UNC, once founded as the Teachers College, and still produces more teachers than any other Colorado higher education institution.

The Greeley area consistently voted for Dave Young, as liberal as they come, for State Representative. He is currently Treasury Secretary, part of the blue tsunami of the last General Election.

 The Southwest corner is home of many commuters in the technology fields and tend to vote more “progressive”. A former co-worker, Sister Kink, recently won the GOP primary for District 3 County Commissioner by 27 votes.  She was term limited as a State Representative.

The last time a Democrat Presidential candidate carried the county was LBJ vs Goldwater.

If you have read this far, I thank you. There is a small, yea minuscule, group of Colorado centric readers of this blog. This post is for them.

My apologies for the many fonts and sizes. I'm a Latter Day Luddite.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Trade War Victim?

Trying to restock the fishing tackle box and checked three places for simple lead sinkers, finding none. Is this part of the trade war with China?

I know lead is supposed to be banned on federal lands in 2022.

All of the fishing accessory displays were nearly bare. Very few lures and other small items were on display.

No biggie for me as I am a sporadic fisherman at best.

The experience did remind me there are consequences, good, bad, or just mediocre to all events.


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Greeley Old Time Farm Show

A free three day annual event held again this year, COVID-19 be damned. Despite Governor, aka Emperor, Polis’ recent ORDER of 100% mask wearing in public, the show went on. Damn few attendees were wearing masks, social distancing wasn’t observed, and many hands were shaken.

There were lots of tractors.

In my youth spent many hours on Johnny Poppers like these.

The various vehicles on hand were, shall we say, eclectic.

Not everything was petroleum powered.

Other machinery was on display.

As usual, a good show of small engines.

The blacksmiths put on a display in addition to providing a trailer with bench seats pulled by a tractor for those who needed help getting around.

On the southern end the lawn garden pulling club was set up. I don’t think these folks are wrapped too tight.

A pleasant highlight was running into drjim, SLW, and TLG

TLG enjoyed a rubber duckie stock tank setup while the adults talked. Banner (the rescue lab) graciously allowed himself to be petted.

Once again, the show is free. There is some commercial promotion and the usual refreshment booths. Beyond that, the farm community puts it on 100% volunteering. To me, shows like this highlight the best of rural communities and allows a lot of pride to be shown without apology.  

Friday, July 17, 2020

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Retail Car Biz - A Rant

A long, rambling rant written for my pleasure. You are free to skip it.

Every Blade of Grass has a post up about their car shopping experience.

The retired car sales manager/salesman in me became irate. Not about the blogger; about the dealerships they visited. What a pathetic pair of losers!

During a severe downturn in construction circa 1986 I started selling Suzuki Samurais while waiting for the construction industry to recover. Ended up spending 30 years, with occasional gaps, in the retail car biz.  Why? Money! I started mid March and made just short of $50,000 that year. Plus, I was home every night.

Getting hired in the biz is easy. One cynic said, “It is a job that hires people no one else will hire, to do a job no one wants to do”.   A lot of truth there.

My good fortune was starting out working for a hardcore son of a bitch. You performed, or you were out. He taught me the ways of the “deal” and to park my ego and personal problems in the employee lot before walking in the door.

People come to a car lot to buy a car/truck. Let them! Spare me your, “Yah, buts”. Your job is to find a way to make that happen! Store is closing in ten minutes? Bullshit, the store closes when the last customer leaves.

Indulge me in a personal story. I worked for Steve Lance, aka Little Hitler, in a used pickup and stock or utility trailer lot. A repeat customer of mine was a young professional bullrider from Wyoming. He traveled with his wife and children (damn, they seemed set on repopulating the earth) in an extra cab pickup (I had sold him) with a large slide in truck camper. They pulled in one night around 7:30 pm and left just short of midnight in a crew cab dually. We opened the shop, used a hoist to transfer the camper to the new purchase, and they went down the road to some rodeo in Texas.

This type of a sale wasn’t uncommon. We did, in the words of the immortal late Jackie B. Cooper (see him on YouTube), “Winners do what losers won’t”.

Over the years I made it a point to attend at least two or more sales seminars put on by Jackie Cooper, Grant Cardone (again, on YouTube) or others, shelling out greenbacks from my own pocket. Shocking, to those who know how tight (or cheap, your choice) I am with my money. Why? To get, “A checkup from the neck up”.

From where I sit, there are few professional salespeople in new car dealerships. The hardcore mutts are at independent used lots. Why? Money, of course. I blame the “bean counters”. When you examined a 1990’s era balance sheet, a number that jumped out was 25%-35% sales commission payout. Oh boy, we can do some trimming here! What escaped, and continues to escape, these narrow minded accountants is the word, “commission”. Commission, as in if you don’t sell anything, you don’t get anything.

Perhaps the worst example of this thinking was Robert Strange McNamara, Ford Motor Company and LBJ’s Secretary of Defense.

At Ford, the number crunchers determined it was cheaper to pay out the occasional successful law suit than fix the problem with the Pinto gas tanks. At the Defense Department, they decided to go with a different grade of ammo for the M-16 than what it was designed to use (powder formulation, I believe) to save money. We can only speculate how many soldiers/marines/sailors died because of that decision.

So, Frank the Tank, in your infinite wisdom, how do you sell a car?

First contact, meet and greet. “Hello, welcome to DowntheRoad Motors. Thank you for coming in. I’m the Tank, and you are?”

Now, shut the fuck up and let them talk. They want to say, “We’re just looking”. Don’t make it easy – puts you way behind the power curve.

Next up, don’t start asking questions. You haven’t earned that position, yet. No, don’t let them walk the lot on their own. Have practiced verbiage. “Folks, we have $6,000,000 in unlocked inventory and the owner doesn’t want people just wandering around. I will follow along, not bothering you, but available to answer any of YOUR questions”.

(Yeah mutt, are you here to buy a truck, or to snag a control knob missing from your ride?)

Find, land them on a vehicle. Get them to drive the vehicle (on your preselected route – not theirs.)  During the drive, keep your fucking mouth shut! That vehicle is a far better salesperson than you. On the way back ask them if they like the vehicle. With an affirmative response, ask them this. “If we can make you a great deal on this car, will you drive it home today?’  “Well, we are still shopping”. “I understand, but you haven’t finished shopping until you see the price, have you?” You may need to ask this three times a little different each time. Practice!

Get them inside and get it on paper. From that point your “desk” (sales manager) will work the deal.

Here comes the Yah, but  choir. “But, I don’t want to waste my time. What if they can’t buy?” At this point, and only at this point, do you have a customer who has decided to buy and doesn’t want to start the process over at some other lot. Now, you take control and find them a car, with the advice of the “desk”, that they can buy.

The average sales person will sell one out of six to eight people they talk to. The best I ever knew was Dirty Al Imhoff, who did one in three. My records (you do keep records, don’t you?) show I averaged one in 4.2.

I’m glad to be out of the biz, and I’ve enjoyed the other stuff I’ve done since “retiring”. 

In appreciation of those who bothered to read this far, here are a few tips. The best time to buy a car is the first three business day of the month (some weekends overlap into the next month). The best time is right after opening hours. Try to find out who their top salesperson is, and make an appointment.

OK, why? In the biz, if you are going to have a great month, you need to jump start it. Most car sales are made in the last week of the month. The top salespeople know this, and will bust their butts to get their month started (as in, working the “desk). The sales manager (“desk”) wants to, “get the store open”. The desk will take any damn deal that isn’t a loser to, “get one on the board”.

Now, consumer, it won’t be a cakewalk. One hard case manager put it this way, “I will take any deal that makes us $300, but before I take it, I will grind the tits off the customer. It is all iron; I can get more iron. I can’t always get another customer”.

Yes, I know, consumer, YOU DON”T LIKE IT. Tough shit. If you fight the fight for three hours, and save $800, what does that come out as an hourly wage?

So, back to unicorns and butterflies. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


The Coven meets. To hell with exact social distancing. Screw your yellow tape blocking off areas. We have important topics to discuss; in highly animated fashion.

The dog and I took a different exit.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

ATandT Sucks

For several years my cell phone provider has been Cricket. Not the best coverage but adequate for my need until they were acquired by AT&T. Since then the quality has declined.

 The staff at the local store has always been helpful dealing with this Latter Day Luddite grumpy senior citizen. That means a great deal to me.

Last month, with no notification, AT&T raised my bill $20.

Enter Comcast/Xfinity, the only internet provider for my building, sending out mail bait for service at a lower rate for seniors. Being cheap, I went to the local Xfinity store to check it out. I didn’t qualify.

The young man helping me out started talking about cell phones. I appreciate a good salesperson, and he was good. Seems their cell carrier is Verizon and they had a deal.

My autistic son in Seattle and I now have new 5G (whatever the hell that is) phones and my monthly bill is 46% lower, locked in for two years. Our combined data use is so trivial we will not exceed what the plan provides.

The company for whom I’m an agent provides a tablet with their proprietary software installed. Their carrier is AT&T. I seldom see more than two bars and uploading results is frustratingly slow.

Am I wrong assuming Ma Bell is AT&T? Ma Bell always sucked and AT&T faithfully keeps the tradition alive.  Pox on them.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Class of 2020

My niece and her son. What a fine young man he is.

What future faces this year's graduates? 

Unrepresented. Maybe the class of 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945 had a more uncertain future.

Thursday, July 9, 2020


Out for the evening walk with the dog. Winds aloft are light so we get a few building cumulus. Tomorrow is forecast to be 101°. Some may laugh at that but remember, we are a mile closer to the sun. It gets intense!