Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Nothing Much About Very Little


A younger man I occasionally mentor today asked me for investment advice. I gently declined as my track record is dismal.

Two examples.

Bought at the urging of a co-worker whose father was shepherding the first ever sale of Microsoft stock in the Spokane stock exchange, I only held my position for four years.

While living in the Seattle area, I saw the emergence of the espresso coffee craze. I didn’t get involved as I couldn’t believe people would stand in line for ten minutes and then pay $1.25 for a cup of coffee.

Currently I seem to be in a disgruntled state unable to raise much passion for anything. There are interesting things going on in the Centennial State.

Republicans continuing their country club gentry’s ways.

Even the “woke” occasionally get slapped.

Cry me a river, trust fund snots.

We know what is best for you. Often we must bend the law and misappropriate funds to do so.

The costs of “green” energy are going to slap people in the wallet this winter. IMO, just a taste of what must come.

The mayor hasn’t weighed in. He is former Congressman Mike Coffman and he is nobody’s tool.

Back in the day, a big fight was over the routing of I-70. Two routes were considered, US 6 and US 40. Both required tunnels under the Continental Divide. The geology of the proposed US 40 tunnels was known as the railroad Moffat Tunnel and an existing water diversion tunnel was in the area.

A twelve term Congressman, Wayne Aspinall (D) Palisade (near Grand Junction) along US 6 forced the current route. Now when Glenwood Canyon has frequent forced closures along with De Beque Canyon, traffic is diverted to the two lanes US 40. 

Motorist can enjoy the approaches to the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels (at 11,000’ ASL) and Vail Pass  (10,640’ ASL) when the route is open. Along the way they can marvel at the miles of 12’ high animal control fences lining the route.

Just a side note, the geology of the I-70 tunnels was a nightmare, doubling costs and construction time. Who would have thunk?

In other news, my health is improving. The Urologist has approved increased exercise and the Primary has me down to two prescription drugs (blood pressure and water retention). Both are the smallest doses available.

Given time I will soon be back to my perpetually outraged self.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Other Views


My niece is a career public health worker in Reno. While our political views are vastly different, my admiration for her courage and dedication is without qualifiers.

The picture was from a post to her Facebook page by her mother (my Sisty).

However harsh COVID has made our lives, for health workers it must be 24/7 combat. The public is resisting and the REMFs (Facui, et al) liars and corrupt. What a tough place to be.

So I ask the few readers that pass this way to say a prayer for the front line health workers, and pass along a thank you to those you may meet.

Thursday, July 22, 2021


As the card reader accepted my card, my cheapskate soul said, “Ouch”. $44+ for something I can do in twenty minutes and $18.

My excuse? Saw the Doc today and am cleared for moderate exercise. Does that include wrestling ramps and forcing a 77 year old body under the car? After arguing with myself a bit, decided not to take the chance. Does that fray my man card?

Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Those of you who can post a blog entry daily I admire. Those whose post covers many topics astound me.  My life right now is mundane and my usual outrage muted. The complete clown show going on in politics right now leaves me suspended in disbelief.

Because of my 100+ cousins (first and second) Facebook is a daily outlet. Add a few friends and I spend an hour or so a day there. Things I swipe for you bloggers end up as a post under the title, “Stirring the pot”.

The four years President Trump was in office had my FB feed full of harsh attacks, often vile, and written in a self righteous tone against him. Those same posters now are curiously silent in praising SloJo/Ho. Perhaps a bit of buyer’s remorse? Are they sensing a return of the stagflation of the Obama years? Any damn fool who bothers to think can see our country’s current economic path is not sustainable. Do we even have two years before the shit hits the fan?

On a brighter note, one grandson is in his AIT mechanic school at Ft. Lee, VA. I read today the National Guard is fast running out of money to pay the troops, with no bipartisan support in sight to remedy the situation. Oh, there was no money allocated for them to guard Congress against a “coup”?  Well shucky darn! Give Pelosi, et al credit for trying to keep the costs down by having the Guard bivouac in parking garages.

Two weeks ago my prostrate got “Roto Rootered”, after far too long a delay thanks to COVID. So far, so good, and for once I’m following the doctor’s orders. Next week is my first checkup. Hopefully I can go back to my exercise program. Right now, my flab is getting flab. With this behind me, I’m down to two prescription drugs, very small doses, and maybe one more can be eliminated. Also had my bi-annual pacemaker check just before the medical procedure and there were no problems. The pacemaker has a memory function and my remote reader can transmit the data to the cardiologists.

The place I call home is a 90 unit 65+ years old apartment that was, pre-COVID, developing a real community. That is now showing signs of renewal. For me, with decent health and outside interests, COVID has been an inconvenience and diminished part time earnings. For many of the residents, it has been almost a prison sentence.  Now we have this “Delta” variant making the news (or is it the propaganda machine?).  Will the country stand for more lockdowns?

For now I’m going to enjoy my family, friends, and Banner the dog. The fire will return; it always has.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Vote Republican?


Disclaimer. Several years ago I changed my voter affiliation from Democrat to Independent. Since then I haven’t voted for any Democrat. Even if I vote for a Republican candidate, the Republican Party leaves me cold, or at best, tepid. Why? Mr. Caldara explains the state of the GOP far better than I can.

Last election highly qualified candidates were nominated. They were about as exciting a paint drying.

The bright spot was the Rifle, CO pistol  packing restaurant owner. She is not a favorite daughter of the country club crowd.


I’ve written before about my years as a Republican precinct committeeman and how the Evangelical faction of the GOP mounted a campaign to be rid of me. After losing that election I was soon the Democratic committeeman for the same precinct. This was in Renton, (King County) WA.

Speaking of the Evangelical Republicans, at the time it appeared they would always be dominant. Perhaps we are seeing the peak of (P)regressives? Please! May history repeat itself.

The Republicans liked to gather at a Holiday Inn, dine on lukewarm Chicken ala King, and feature speaker after speaker giving pats on the back; such fine people are we Republicans! Much superior to that Democratic rabble.

Democrats, I found, got shit faced at a longshoreman’s bar on Seattle’s Harbor Island while discussing how to grab the Republican balls and rip them off. Fun crowd!

You will not see me at a Democrat meeting rubbing elbows with woke P)regressives and communists. I loathe them more than smug country club Republicans.

1970’s cartoon had a man sitting reading a newspaper and declaring to his nearby wife,

“The more my thinking turns to the right, the more I find in common with the left. I think I’m becoming a middle of the road extremist”.

Living in the same district as a university, I’m in a blue dot in perhaps the reddest Colorado County. President Trump received 72% of the last vote.  The Congressional District is represented by Ken Buck (R), a career politician who may be the most conservative representative in D.C. Like him or hate him, he is very clear on where he stands. That I can respect.

An Air Force veteran and married to a cousin had a Facebook exchange I liked.

The founding fathers you all love to quote made these laws about guns that shot what one bullet at a time. There were not envisioning these weapons that can shoot dozens of bullets all at once. There is a HUGE difference.

Patrick G. Chalmers

At that time period, the enemy or opponent had the same capability (one shot at a time)!! To be able to defend yourself, you must have the same firepower as your opponent. Liberals say the interpretation of the constitution must reflect the changes in time, so also the 2nd Amendment must reflex the changes in time.

He is a solid man who has a college administrator liberal daughter. Other than her politics, I quite like her. She is gutsy and intelligent (for the most part). I admire people who will put it on the line.

On July 1 I had a prostrate procedure performed (not cancer!). In my head it was a minor procedure. Wrong, WSF! All went well and my recovery, other than my smug assumptions, is proceeding well. For once in my hard headed life, I’m following the doctor’s orders. Grrrr! As a bonus I now take just two prescriptions. One is a very small amount for heart pressure and the other very small amount for water retention.

The road to ruin the (P)regressive/socialists/communists are taking us scares me. Not for myself, at age 77 I won’t be living with the long term damages, but for my sons and grandkids. Will the election process be cleaned up in enough states to make the 2022 elections a turning point? We can only hope.

President Trump is still saving our butts. His 200+ appointments to the Federal Courts is the only impediment to the woke mob. Those three branches of government the Founder put in place still work.


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Old School Cool

Once again the Union Pacific is running a Big Boy tour.

 They recently did a test run to Denver and back so everything should be good to go.

 I missed that run. There was no posted schedule. I’m recovering from a medical procedure that has me housebound for a few days. I seldom miss a chance to see it.

 Given the historic hardnosed business attitude of the UP, I’m surprised they keep the steam program going. I, for one, am grateful they do. The amount of publicity and goodwill these tours generate must mute the bean counters.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Dealing With Aging Parents

Mine are gone and I will soon be 77. So far, my children haven’t had to deal with my problems and I hope they never are faced with the issue.

My apartment is in a 90 unit senior housing building, minimum age 65, with most residents in their 70’s and 80’s. Accepting limitations of failing bodies, and especially failing brains, is very hard for any of us to accept.

Many residents know I was in the car biz, and I get questions from time to time. One resident, Beverly, asked for my help in buying a used car. She just wanted something to drive to Wal-Mart. I asked her what was wrong with her Buick and got a long explanation about a dead battery and a son-in-law that wouldn’t come over and charge it. Big red flag! Two days ago, without my help, she bought a used car. We will see how long it takes her to crash it. Hopefully, no innocents will be hurt.

I’m reminded of my own mother who would ignore red lights and cross a busy 4 lane highway to get to McDonalds for free coffee. She had a Ford ½ ton conversion van. When she wasn’t looking, I crawled under it and disconnected the negative battery cable at the frame, insulated it, and reattached it. She would get her various boyfriends to jump start it. Of course, as soon as the jumper cable came off the van stopped running.

In this city there is a free ride service for those over 60. While not as convenient as your own vehicle, you can get to doctor appointments and grocery shopping. Users among my neighbors say the service is reliable and fairly convenient.

Thanks to a CPAP and a pacemaker, I’ve beaten the actuary tables. Looking at my extended family, those who dodged cancer have lived into their 80’s, even 90’s, so maybe I will. Not being a burden on anyone is my desire. The rest of life’s journey I will cope with.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Two Fools Gone

Two men in a Bonanza left the Aspen airport and didn’t make it over the Continental Divide. That is not unusual.

I learned to fly in Colorado with mountain pilot instructors. Drilled into all their students are some hard lessons about the winds aloft, mountain waves, and density altitude. There are passes you cross eastbound and passes you cross westbound depending on the winds aloft.

Aspen is especially tricky. Those two souls should have talked to the locals and added 20-30 minutes to their flight time by taking a safer route. What you don’t do at Aspen is take off in the middle of a summer day and immediately head eastward unless you have something with a 4,000+ feet per minute climb.

Winds aloft producing mountain waves can fool you. One time I was eastbound over Corona Pass in a C-180, 70 mph indicated airspeed, idle power, 40° flaps, and climbing 3,000’ per minute. The wave spit me out at around 18,000’. Then we dropped at 2,500’ per minute but were over much lower terrain.

Maybe it is wrong to make judgments until the facts are in but in this case I will speculate the key ingredient in this crash was pilot arrogance.

One addition. I've never had a problem walking into a FBO office and asking for advice no matter where in the country I might be.

1969 I was at Northway, AK in a C-170 that I was to deliver to Anchorage. After talking to the locals, made that very expensive call to the customer and advised him to come get his C-170. Two days later in the right seat enroute to Anchorage I was so happy I made that decision.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Safe to Say He Supports the 2nd Amendment

 Congressman Ken Buck (R) CO 4th is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

I live in his district. Not perfect, but has the guts to fight for things important to  our district. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Pay Forward


This is a long rambling post but it has a point, community and kin.

 Located along US 40 in Moffat County, CO is the small town of Maybell, population 72. Best known for the official coldest temperature recorded in Colorado (-61 °) and the annual (COVID Years excepted) Great American Horse Drive, it is a prominent part of our paternal family history. 


Central to the town is the Maybell General Store. This was recently on Facebook.


With all the new updates at the Maybell Store, I think this would be a great time to share some notes written by Ole C. Barber with permission from the present day Barbers. I believe these notes were written in 1985.

Ole stated that one of the first buildings in any new town would be a General Store and so it was with Maybell. He couldn’t remember when the store was built but he saw a picture of the first automobile standing in front of the store - it was a 1904 model although he didn’t know what make it was. He saw the store in 1914, when he was around 5 years old. The following are Ole’s notes:

AB Kapple and family moved to Maybell somewhere around 1900, built the store on a corner lot facing the main road through town along with a house just north of the store. The store was 30 ft wide by 40 feet long . He planned a general store, knowing that the closest store was in Craig, 30 miles away and the only mode of travel in those days was by a team of horses or horseback. So he stocked everything from bachelor buttons to harnesses, including groceries.

It was always an interesting tour of the store, when I would get to go with the folks grocery shopping. When we first walked in, on the right sat a glass show case, stocked with cigars and chewing tobacco. Behind the tobacco case on a counter was a tobacco cutter. The chewing tobacco came in five pound boxes, lined with an oiled paper to keep it fresh. The plugs were about eight inches long and three inches wide and ¾’s inch thick. The cutter had a cast iron base with a knife attached to a long handle. The base was marked with lines to tell how much to cut off for a certain amount of money, such as 5, 10 or 15 cents worth. Roy and Ruth Barber ended up with the cutter.

On top of the glass case sat a cigar lighter in which almost every kid in town cut the end of their finger off - just a small slice mostly skin. It had an automatic knife which sat under a small hole in the top, intended to cut the small end of the cigar off. There was also an arm stuck up on the top that was hinged so when it was pulled out at the top, a spark would light a wick to light the cigar. Also when this arm was activated it would reset the knife under the small hole. The knife was spring loaded when a finger or cigar was inserted in the hole, the knife would automatically release consequently trimming the end of said finger or cigar. We kids most all had to try it once but being fast to learn, it usually took only one try to teach us.

Next to this was a case filled with candy. From the candy case there was a counter about 8 feet long with two rolls of wrapping paper. Customers didn’t help themselves at that time. You ordered what you wanted and the clerk set it out on the counter for you.

Next from the counter was a cheese case that looked like a butcher block. It had a high glass dome top. The cheese was about 16 inches in diameter and 8 inches high. A cheese knife was hinged on a pedestal in the center of the cheese. For a pound they knew just about how much of a wedge to cut. It was surprising how close they would come to the right amount that was ordered. Next sat the coffee mill. They didn’t sell ground coffee at that time, they only kept the beans and would grind whatever you ordered. This mill was real interesting to us kids. It sat on a stand about table height and was painted bright red with gold trim. There were two big wheels that worked like counter balances. Across the back of the store he had his harness and leather material, collars, hames, tug chains, bits, most always a side of harness leather. Starting back up the south side, He had shoes, shirts, overalls (Levis) and gloves. The gloves were mostly buckskin and there were two kinds. . . Hodkins and Russell, all better that what one can buy today. The buckskin gloves you buy today won’t begin to wear as long as those that Mr. Kapple stocked back then.

Next from the gloves were needs for the house wife, from needles to thread, buttons, knitting needles and about anything they would need including hair dye.

He also had a store room about 16 feet wide and the full length of the store where he kept groceries that weren’t put up on the shelves along with some farm machinery, walking plows, harrows and etc.

The World War and homestead rush seems to have happened all about the same time but I remember the homesteaders coming along between 1915 and 1916 and a lot more later. They could file on a piece of land and live on it a specified amount of time and if they did everything required of them, they could prove up and get a government deed to the land. So around 1917 to 1920 the town of Maybell grew up pretty fast. In 1917 Kapples sold their store to H. B. Pleasant, a brother of F. H. Pleasant who managed the First Federal Savings for many years.

Mr. Pleasant immediately rearranged the whole inside of the store to make it look more modern. He also built a frame house just north of the Kapple house , for his wife’s mother who needed to live close to them.

H. B. had been in the store business in Denver and had an altogether different idea on how to merchandise his wares. Once everything was rearranged in the store, I had never seen things displayed on tables. There was a lot of stock in the store, most of the small things such as knives, watches, wrenches and small tools had always been kept in cases but H. B. had some small tables made and displayed the dollar watches, pocket knives and a whole bunch of small things like that out where they would attract attention. I got out of school one evening and going home horseback I noticed Dad’s buggy down at the store, so decided to go down there and see what they were doing. I walked in and saw all those goodies on one of the tables right close to where I was. I saw a nice shiny Corouso dollar watch and just somehow it slipped off the table and into my pocket. I visited with the folks a bit and said I guessed I’d just go on home and start the chores. I walked out and untied my saddle horse and was in the act of getting on when I heard a gruff voice behind me. He said “Wait up a minute son . . I want to talk to you!” I looked around. H. B. Pleasant was a big man, but at that moment he looked about 10 times bigger than he really was. He said, “What do you want to do about that watch you have in your pocket?” I said “I don’t have any watch.” But he just said “O yes I think you do for I saw you take it!” He gave me a choice . . either give him a dollar or if I would rather he would put it on my dad’s account and that if those choices didn’t please me I could give it back to him and he would forget the whole affair. Well you can bet I wasn’t long finding it and handing it back to him, telling him how sorry I was. He said he knew I was sorry and that I was a very good boy but didn’t want me to get started doing things like that, for it would get me into some real trouble later if I kept it up. I can truthfully say I have never let anything slip off into my pocket since and was for sure he didn’t tell Dad. It was probably my best lesson in life!

Things started going downhill and some of the businesses in Maybell went broke. The dry farmers were trying to suffer it out until they could prove up and get a deed to their acres but Maybell slowed down a lot. Nobody had much money, just barely enough to buy groceries.

The Maybell Store has had several owners over the years and currently is owned by Joe and Mary Schminkey. They have made some fantastic changes to the store and are excited now to mention that they have a liquor license so will be selling beverages to your liking! Be sure to stop in and say HOWDY to these awesome folks!

My grandmother, Louise White, nee Ferrel lost her husband to cancer in 1935. At the time they had a truck farm in Wheatridge, CO, the current location of the Wheatridge Historical Society.

She moved to Maybell (family were in the area) and left her three youngest daughters at home while she worked, often away from town. One summer a daughter fell into a coma for several weeks.

My father, who was scratching out a living in the area, would stop in and check on his sisters. He found they were often out of food. He made arrangements for them to get food as needed from the Maybell General Store. One of my aunts told me, privately, had he not, they might not have survived!

Today the sister who was in a coma is a wealthy woman. Nearly 90, she still works at the family owned business in Portland, OR. One of her favorite great nephews is my autistic son in Seattle.

Some time back she asked me for his bank account. She wanted to give him some extra money monthly. When I said she didn’t need to do that, she flatly told me it was her money and she would spend it as she pleased!

“Yes, Aunt _____”.

Whatever her motivation, it occurred to me my father’s contribution to his siblings in need is now being carried on to his grandson. Payed forward, if you will.

The owners of the store didn’t need to agree to the arrangement. The security, if you will, was the word of a 15 year old. That is what I mean by community.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Unfocused Mind



A rambling post with no specific direction. You have been warned.

100 years ago – Local Rag edition.

The price of gasoline has fallen again in Greeley. It dropped 2 cents to 24 cents per gallon. Dealers believe the gas price will continue to drop every 30 days. It is because the price of crude oil falls quickly.

Editorial: “One of the most discouraging tasks in the world must be praying for Congress. One chaplain prayed for the Congressmen 25 years ago, and they are no better off today.”

What has changed?


A long time fixture in the Colorado Country Club mafia, aka The Republican Party, is one Dick Wadhams. Excerpts from a recent article he published regarding Colorado’s senior carpetbagger aka Senator Bennet.

Republicans must nominate a candidate who will run an aggressive, disciplined campaign with a clear agenda that is in stark contrast with Bennet and that focuses on the issues that appeal to unaffiliated voters rather than repel them. 

So far, so good. Then the lofty GOP high road takes over..  "

And the candidate cannot get mired in discredited conspiracy theories about alleged stolen elections".

Gutless wonder! Colorado’s election results were likely accurate as the Secretary of State for several years was a man of integrity. The rest of the country???  Now that  the office is held by a woke (P)regressive, who has a 200% turnover in staff her first two years, Colorado will join the rest of the Blue wave election corrupters, IMO.

He concludes.

Colorado Republicans have another opportunity to get it right in 2022. If not, Bennet will be headed to another undeserved victory.

Not if they continue their lofty and mannerly (don’t sully our hands like the Democrats do) ways.


One of my favorite Colorado towns. Back in the day we held five off site sales there, including our last one. It was always a good one for us My crew did their best to enhance the local economy’s bars. We had an excellent relationship with the police, county sheriff, and area state patrolmen. Lucky me, not having to bail out anyone.

Some recent good news for the area is reopening a coal mine.

Since the coal is to be shipped abroad, my question is what ports they will be able to use? The Earth Huggers are fighting any coal exporting facilities on the West Coast.

The area as a whole I enjoy. Going westward toward the Sangre de Cristos, you encounter lava dikes. Northwest are the Spanish Peaks, locally referred to as the Spanish “tits”. In the area is the site of the Ludlow Massacre.

The area, in the past, saw lots of mining, and lots of labor strife.

Fisher Peak dominates the area. Should you think surveyors aren’t important, a quiet fight goes on as to it being in Colorado or New Mexico. So far, Colorado. The huge mesa eastward towards Boise City, OK  is worth exploring.


The south side is a very open expanse of NE New Mexico from Raton, NM to Clayton, TX. There are things to see.

The north side was the route, along the Purgatory River, of the old Santa Fe Trail. One of the more obscure sights is Picture Canyon. My late son claimed some of these are Norse runes.

Also along the Purgatory is what is left of a Japanese WW II internment camp.

Further up the Purgatory is the US Army’s Pinion Canyon Training Area. My late son, who trained there with the 4th Infantry Division, told me there is a complete empty internment camp behind barbed wire fencing tucked away in a side canyon.

What future use?

I’m tempted to move to the area. The problem is escaping Colorado politics. The other side, New Mexico, has appeal. Again, the state politics are distasteful.

As always, YMMV.


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Stuff Off Facebook

Taking up Biden’s challenge?

Why is the Colorado River, among many, getting smaller?

Faint hope.

Yes, lame. So sue me!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Hell No!

This angers me. A boondoggle at we taxpayer’s expense.

What did it cost to send this to every Colorado resident? What bright (P)regressive came up with the Lottery sheeple bribe?

Lottery? I can buy my own ticket, thank you very much.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Victory at Sea


One of the first television shows I remember watching was Victory at Sea.

Circa 1952-1954 my Dad was the Section Forman at the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. At an elevation of 9,200’ ASL in a deep valley, the tiny town of East Portal had no television reception. AM radio was full of static and only a few 50,000 watt stations could be heard.

My Dad had a sister and brother-in-law living in Wheatridge, CO west of Denver and they had television reception. When we visited I was fascinated by Victory at Sea on their tiny black and white television set.

Browsing YouTube I’ve come across episodes. They don’t fascinate me like in my youth but do bring back memories of riding two hours in the back of a 1951 Ford just to see television.

Times change. That handheld device that rides in my pocket will let me see anything nearly anywhere, except East Portal. No cell service there.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

CAT Scams

It seems the  theft of catalytic converters are one the rise.

I have a question those readers in law enforcement might be able to answer. Who are the buyers of these catalytic converters? Fences, I would call them.

There are well developed and time tested methods of dealing with fences. Pawn shops come to mind. While nothing works 100%, nailing and prosecuting fences might make buying a catalytic converter too risky.

This isn’t a new problem. Back in the car biz day, I always checked under any trade vehicle I appraised. Customers often removed them (Hello, Wyoming) where emission tested wasn’t required.