Friday, October 30, 2020
Long day Thursday as my sister and I spent nearly 12 hours driving to Maybell in Northwest Colorado and back. The reason was a funeral service for Bill Sloan, who died last week at age 78.
Bill was married to a cousin, Linda, daughter of our father’s oldest brother, Ed White. Linda lived for years with an artificial heart, and then a heart transplant. A tough, courageous woman, she had a son and two daughters who were at the service along with many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Bill was a great fan of Ford trucks and rode to the cemetery on one he restored.
It is hunting season in Colorado and we saw lots of hunters. We also saw scores of deer hanging around Craig, CO (pop 5,000) where they are safe. No dummies, those deer.
The weather was perfect and the roads dry. My sister took the longer route via I-80 through Wyoming. Twenty minutes longer per map programs, no mountain passes, and fewer stupid flatlander drivers made for a relaxing trip.
Banner, the dog, came along. After the cemetery service, the Maybell Women’s Club served a meal at the City Park (outside because of COVID). All the small, and not so small, children swarmed him. He took it all with stoicism.
Across from the park is the old Victory Hotel.
It is for sale. I hope someone buys it and keeps it going. Both my sister and I have stayed there but not this trip.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
A welcome sight on this morning's walk. The fires aren't out but the weekend snow has stopped their growth, for the moment.
Sisty and I are attending a funeral service in Maybell, CO., Thursday. He was the husband of one of our cousins. Not all that well liked but he was a good husband to our cousin. She lived for years with an artificial heart, then a heart transplant.
Weather reports are favorable and roads dry but we plan to loop around through Wyoming on I-80. Neither of us particularly like sharing the road with flatland drivers infesting the roads going to the ski areas.
Easier to dodge English as a third language big rig truck drivers on the Interstate.
Yeah, that is an xenophobiac remark. Bite me!
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
They started yesterday (no school) and nearly wore the snow off the hill.
Much better for the little ones. The Mom offered to let me use one of the tubes. I politely declined. Banner took over getting petting and giving doggy kisses. The husband was amused.
Until some of the snow is cleared or melts, my walking schedule is changed to mid day. I don't want to risk a slip and fall.
Seeing all the kids, including teeners, having fun puts a smile on my grumpy face.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Waking up to falling snow. The weather guessers got it right. Should help put down our wildfires.
I have a lab who hates snow, rain, and water. What, anyone expect WSF's world to be normal?
Still snowing and expected to snow through the night. Light snow, not heavy or wet. News reports are of the wildfires being slowed down but a lot more snow will be need to extinguish them for the winter.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
The fires continue. Some snow is foretasted this weekend.
Can't remember a worse season. Other states are having a worse one.
Climate change to blame? Hell no. Tree huggers filing frivolous lawsuits blocking known and proven forest practices are to blame. They need to visit Germany and see how forests can be managed, IMO.
This "new" blogger sucks. What I type and what prints often differs.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Do (P)regressives know, or care, about the negative consequences of their actions? I doubt it. As a group, they are so certain of their righteousness any self examination or doubt seems beyond them.
This is very personal with me as a parent. My oldest son, who will be fifty Sunday, is autistic. He has lived in the Seattle area since early childhood. We relocated from Utah because there was a program in Seattle that would work for him and I had a decent job offer there.
Last night I received this email.
Someone living at Keystone assault a staff this morning and the police didn't come when the staff had called the police and the guy at Keystone had got away with it and the police had been around Keystone and I had not been seeing the police in my neighborhood lately and last night when I had took a walk a lady had harass me and those days the Seattle police don't care and Seattle is getting more dangerous And might be another Detroit
I get similar emails frequently.
So far his neighborhood, Wallingford, has been fairly peaceful. It is north of the insanity and across Lake Union from the city center and Capitol Hill. “Keystone” is a facility that houses, in different wings, the mentally ill, domestic violence victims, and mentally challenged people like my son. It is a volatile mix though mainly peaceful. That said, they often need police service.
Keystone once had a cafeteria to serve the residents and my son worked in it for years. When Seattle (P)regressives got the minimum wage raised to $16 an hour, the cafeteria was closed leaving the residents to fend for themselves. My son has access to a small kitchen but must keep his food under lock in his room.
COVID-19 restrictions has hit the mentally challenged even harder. The public library remains closed. The failing transit system monthly bus pass is now around $36 a month. Church service and twelve step programs, both central to my son’s life, were suspended and now operate in a restricted manner. The Puyallup Fair, an annual event he enjoys immensely, cancelled. He worries he won’t be able to take Amtrak to Portland Christmas to see relatives.
Over the years I’ve helped him, very limited help, because I want him functioning on his own. I’ve never became his guardian; he is legally his own person in charge of his own life. Tough love? He has a smart phone I pay for and a computer he somehow acquired (and a girlfriend).
The events and social systems that led to Hitler’s rise to power are similar, in too many ways, to current events in our country. What is lacking is a charismatic figure. Kamala Harris?
Anyone who reads even a little about pre WWII Germany knows what happened to the “mentally defective” and other powerless people. I’m convinced many of today’s (P)regressives will be all in favor of similar programs in our country. YMMV
Seattle has a long history of radicalism and exploitation. Geography plays a part as does being a port city. In that regard, it isn’t too different from port cities around the world.
I lived in the area for eighteen years and enjoyed my time there. If it weren’t for the political climate (rain doesn’t bother me) it would be high on my COLOEXIT list.
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Not forecasted, but most welcome, is this drizzle that is also falling on the Cameron Peak fire (now 200,000 acres). It won’t put it out but will slow it down.
A younger cousin recently asked me if I remember wildfires, like the recent ones we have, when I was young. My answer was, yes, but they didn’t rage on week after week.
Many people have moved to Colorado, most of the tree hugger inclination, and have settled in the foothills. While I take no pleasure in them losing their homes and possessions, I do hope this year will have them pulling their collective heads out of their asses.
The two easiest, and most cost effective, ways to reduce the size of wildfires is grazing cattle in the National Forests in the summer and logging (removing) dead trees.
Grazing? Yeah, that is what Bison did. Sorry if you’re excellent outdoor hike requires you to avoid cow pies. Yeah, the usual loggers removing dead trees are at the bottom of the socio-economic scale and are an unsavory looking group. Get over it.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
After two wonderful days of sun and blue skies, the smoke and ash is back until the next wind shift.
The ten day forecast is for cooler temperatures but little to no precipitation.
The smoke makes my sinuses kick my ass but I remind myself my home and possessions are not threatened. Imagine the stress of those who are, and have been for weeks.
The dry conditions in Northwest Colorado are causing ranchers to severely cull their herds. Shipping the culls is a huge problem as the fires have caused many roads to be closed. About the only reliable way to markets in via Loma, aka Douglass Pass between Rangley, CO and Loma, CO (near Grand Junction) to Interstate 70. Longer distances mean higher costs.
There are just a few Colorado mountain passes that cause my reproductive tackle to shrivel. Among them is the South side of Loma Pass.
Some advice. If you like beef, and have a freezer, fill it now! After the culls get processed, the beef supply will drop. This situation isn’t unique to Northwest Colorado. The dry summer has hit the entire region.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
As I work on filling out the Colorado Mail In Ballot (only option in CO) I found this site very useful.
Amendment 77 is the only one I agree with their position. This allows the local citizens of the three counties with casino gambling to determine what games, limits, etc., will be allowed. I believe in local control over local affairs. On a personal level, my “gambling” is limited to $10 a week in lottery tickets.
When I do submit my ballot, it will be in the drop off box at City Hall.
Monday, October 12, 2020
After a Sunday of high winds, this morning is calm. Because of the numerous forest fires, smoke has been our day to day reality.
Good to see the mountains gleaming, and good to see they got at least a dusting of snow.
Looking 300° (yes, the tree is in the way) there seems to be haze up DRJIM's way.
One lone lenticular cloud is to the North of Longs Peak so not much of a mountain wave, yet.
My sinuses indicate there is still smoke in the air but I will take this morning (not that I have a choice)!
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Birthday girl with a grand nephew
Two of my father’s sisters are still alive out of a total of 12 siblings. The youngest was 85 last week. A family gathering was today at the “soddy”. Probably 30 people from four states representing four generations were present.
The place where my great grandfather homesteaded is now a Wheatridge, CO park. The sod house that was there when he acquired the property still stands as does a modern house he later built next door.
Yesterday was the annual Cider Days gathering and our family had a reserved spot next to the soddy and away from the folk music, quilting, etc. that is part of the celebration.
Banner had a banner day with thirty different strangers petting him. How many treats he got behind my back he isn’t saying.
The face mask, social distancing, self appointed police were quick to confront me. Since a cousin has a part time position with the historical society, I refrained from profanity. Instead I used my limited vocabulary to tell them to fuck off. Their feelings were soooo hurt!
Before urbanization, the area along Clear Creek where the homestead is located was a vast truck garden raising vegetables for the Denver markets. The water table is high and the native grasses were prairie tall grass while the surrounding area was short grass.
Prior to WW II a large number of Japanese settled along the South Platte River downstream from Denver and started raising vegetable for the Denver market. They were better farmers than the “whites” who soon found themselves in perilous circumstances compounded by the Great Depression.
The family had holdings 200 miles to the Northwest where Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming meet so several, including my father’s immediate family, moved back to Cross Mountain. Their cattle herd grew much faster than the regular breeding practices that were the norm.
What made this a special gathering was, for once, we weren’t attending a funeral! Assuming 2021 is a “normal” year, we will gather again in Maybell for the Great American Horse Drive.
Dudes pay around $3,000 to participate. My sister and I moved horses with just the two of us and a good dog; granted, not nearly as many.
The old family homestead including our private family graveyard is about 14 miles West of Maybell.
Friday, October 9, 2020
In my part time job legally I’m a debt collector and must identify myself as such when I contact debtors. One requirement is to inform them anything they say can be used against them. What is involved is contacting people behind on their mortgage payments.
The picture isn’t a home I’ve visited but is offered as an illustration. I bet every one of those vehicles is leased. That is about a $1,500+ monthly nut along with $500+ insurance premium. The house probable runs a $1,000+ mortgage payment P.I.T.I. Again, an assumption based on many years of experience, that household is three paychecks from bankruptcy every month.
Whenever I hear of government bailout programs, my first thought is,
“Why should we protect damn fools from their own folly?”
As always, YMMV.
Oh, WSF, have you no compassion? WSF responds he has been there. Life happens, medical bills, legal issues, job losses, and family problems. What WSF hasn’t done is be a damn financial fool.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
LL started me down memory lane with a post involving Syrian car salesmen.
In 1986 got a start in retail automotive sales with Suzuki Samurais in Renton, WA. The plan was to sell cars until construction recovered from Ronald Reagan and we could go back to making big bucks in Alaska. With gaps here and there, I was still in the business until 2010 in one capacity or another.
If there is one inflexible rule in the car biz, it is the deal COMES FIRST! When a salesperson and desk (sales manager) is working a deal, no one interrupts. Ever!
The Seattle area had quite a number of Iranians. One was a wholesaler. I was working a deal with Beefy Boy and the Iranian kept interrupting. Since he was “greasing” Beefy Boy with cash and drugs, in his arrogance he decided the rule didn’t apply to him.
The lot was level but dropped off sharply and our building was about 12’ off the ground in the rear where the sales office was located. There was an open window and I threw the Iranian out the window. Then I turned to Beefy Boy and said, “Desk my fucking deal”.
Beefy Boy in his prime was a shot putter who was on the Olympic team going to Moscow. A few years earlier at an offsite sale we got into it and I put him on his ass three times before we were separated. No coward, he looked at me and said, “Fuck, you are a tank”. From that day on in the car business I was known as, ‘Frank the Tank’. Thank you Coach Romano (high school wrestling coach) and Green Machine hand to hand combat training as he easily outweighed me by 50+ lbs.
After the Iranian extracted himself from the blackberry vines, he took his sad tale across the street to the new car store and complained to the general manager. That caused him to be banned from doing business with the store for six months.
The GM’s sales team at a different store had included me when I had $500 deducted from my pay for anger management training. A few weeks later the owner stopped me and said,
“Tank, when are you going to anger management classes?”
“Shit, Rich, I knew I had to pay for them. I didn’t know I had to attend them”.
The owner wasn’t amused. That said, I never did go to the classes.
I do manage my anger by focusing on whatever is pissing me off and neutralizing it. Side effect? Seems to make other people angry; they should seek anger management, IMO. YMMV
If you have read this far, you are saving, “WSF, you are a bigot”. Not necessarily so. In my personal life I take everyone as they come until I have a reason not to. In business, there are patterns of behavior associated with groups, ethnic, financial, religious, age, sex, professions, etc. If you are to survive, in business, you better have a basic understanding of the groups.
Examples: I’ve only known one, just one, Samoan with good credit. I’ve never had a Chinese tell me what they had for a down payment and then not come up with it. I’ve never had a Jew, after all the haggling; shake hands on a deal then renege. I’ve never had a West African tell me anything truthful.
And one last example. The customer starts, “Well we are Christians, and we………………..” In my mind, I’m getting all the cash before you drive off in our merchandise.
All these young people out demonstrating and causing chaos have an upside, IMO. At least they are not apathetic sheep. As they mature, they might, just might, see the errors of their ways and beliefs.
Their activities are making those who oppose their views get off their comfortable asses and get involved. Overall, that is good for the Republic, IMO.
OK, WSF, are you a contrarian or a grumpy old shit stirrer? You, the reader, decide.
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Some place else got the smoke today. Temperatures in the 70's. October may be the best time of the year in Colorado.
Walking the Big Pooper at a local park, it was good to see people enjoying themselves.
Hardly a face mask in sight and little regard for social distancing. Emperor Polis wouldn't be pleased.