Monday, August 30, 2021

Gold Standard

Colorado’s mail voting has been called by many to be the “Gold Standard”. Maybe they mean “fools gold”. There is still limited in person voting. Of course, the mail in ballot is machine counted, mainly on Dominion machines. No chance of fraud there, correct?

Is this why our true blue (wannabe US Senator) Secretary of State is in such a snit? She, of the 200% personnel turnover in two years.

Suspicious minds wonder if the 200% turnover weeded out those people with integrity. Or, is this a telling example of sexual equality? That is, women can be just as incompetent as men in high public office.

Enter the Mesa County debacle.

Seems the horrid crime involved someone posting Dominion voting machine software passwords online. Mesa County is solidly red, and the most populous Western Slope county. Worse, from the (P)regressive’s point of view, it lies in Congressional District 3, the seat currently filled by pistol packing  Lauren Boebert who defeated typical GOP several term serving Scott Tipton. A nice guy but he was no real threat to the swamp. Boebert beat Diane Mitsch Bush, a ski town trust fund snot and big Democrat funder. Is the goal to negate Mesa County voters?

All this smoke and mirrors pulls attention away from Denver County, a true voting cesspool, IMO.

I don’t know if O’Neill would say the same thing today. I always thought him to be a decent person. Partisan yes, but believed in the Constitution and rule of law.

An example is my home county. Solidly red, it has a solid blue core within the City of Greeley built around the local university and a core group of LaRaza. The local school district is once again mandating masks for students and faculty despite strong opposition from parents. I expect this fight to get ugly and I hope it does.

Tyranny uses money as a weapon and Colorado’s (P)regressive assholes are trying to sneak another weapon into play. Need a state business license of any kind? If so, expect the state to demand you follow the mask guidelines or lose your license, Further, any business that employs your services will be required to follow the mask mandate. Resist and your business licenses are suspended. At the moment the scheme is being peddled as applying to health care providers. Once implemented at any level, it will mushroom IMO.

The Democrats have always operated under, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”. The Afghanistan mess is so epic it has riveted the country’s attention. With everyone distracted, what evil is being snuck in?

One hope is enough election cleanup in enough states will allow a more honest midterm elections and the House and Senate will flip (not that I trust the GOP to not f**ckup).

As always, YMMV


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Micro Economics

 For the past three years, to supplement social security, I’ve been working as an agent. Legally I’m a debt collector but none of my work involves money directly.

I’m seeing a surge of re-financing offers to be delivered.

The company who employs me provides various services to the mortgage industry. Most of my work involves going to the collateral address with a letter than, in essence, says, “Hey, you can’t keep missing payments and still live in this property. Contact us at the provided phone number immediately”.

Using a tablet I prepare a brief report, property description and three or more photographs. I’m seldom at the address more than 15 minutes. Pre COVID I made $800 - $1,000 for two to three hours work one or two days a week. With all the forbearance COVID programs that income dropped to 1/3 to ½ of what I was making.

As these programs expire, many of the mortgagees are way behind. I see deficiencies of $4,000 to $9,000+ on house payments under $1,200 a month. One lender we do work for if offering to refinance the homes clearing the deficiencies. Most of the lenders are demanding payment, period. More profit foreclosing and reselling in a hot real estate market would be my guess as to their motivation. On some of the upscale $800,000+ homes, the deficiencies are up to $40,000.

There is a lot of information floating around about hedge funds buying up homes and turning the country into a nation of renters. I don’t discredit any of this information but have not seen it in my little corner of the world.

Please don’t ask me for advice. The only pat answer I have is, if you are having problems making your payment, reach out to the lender first. Don’t wait for them to contact you.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Gasp! An Officer in Our Family

Youngest granddaughter is a High School Junior. She is in the NJROTC and was recently promoted to Ensign.

An honor student from Kindergarten, she has her sights set on the Naval Academy. Short of that, perhaps a full ride ROTC scholarship might come her way. Her interest is all things aeronautical with a focus on engineering.

She is beautiful inside and out. Can you tell I’m a proud grandfather? Here she is with her adopted Grandmother, another person beautiful inside and out.

After four generations of enlisted swine (as a butterbar once called me) we may be stepping up.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Sterling, CO

 Business today took me to Sterling, CO, a favorite place. Early 2000’s we held several successful offsite car sales in Sterling. The local car dealers were so arrogant we were welcomed by the City Manager, the newspaper editor (after a 30 minute interview conducted while sitting on a pickup tailgate) and many area residents who appreciated being treated with courtesy and respect.

Stopped for awhile to watch. Mainly Stearmans and one sailplane.

There are two ways to get there from Greeley. Both are about equal in distance and within 20 minutes drive time. This morning went to Briggsdale then east on Hwy 14. The traffic jam at New Raymer wasn’t hard to negotiate.

These events all over the West are almost always 98% local citizen volunteer organizers.

Feeling lonely and that nobody cares about you? Go rattle the gate at one of these missile sites and, in about fifteen to twenty minutes, you will be making new “friends”.

Just past this site the terrain becomes a series of valleys that are part of the South Platte River system.

Stopped for awhile to watch. Mainly Stearmans and one sailplane.

The RTB route was on the old US 6 to Brush then I-76 and Hwy 34. US 6 has little traffic and more interesting scenery. Fueled in Sterling and carefully cleaned the windshield for the drive west into the afternoon sun. Then, five minutes into the trip.

Sterling is a fairly stable small city. Agriculture is the dominant economic driver along with the petro extraction industry (currently under attack by Emperor Polis, et al). There is a well regarded Jr. College and a nearby State Prison with associated employee and faculty payrolls to smooth out the ups and downs.

Just off I-76, Exit 125, is the Overland Trails Museum. This is well worth a visit. Of particular interest to me is a wing devoted to rural electrification. The tremendous uplift in the lives of rural residents with the arrival of electricity is a neglected part of our national history, IMO.

Passing by Ft Morgan, saw vehicles entering the I-76 Speedway grounds. I need to get out there at least once this year. Just a ½ mile dirt oval with locals racing home made cars but savage driving and lots of action.

Finally, a political comment using a meme lifted off Falsebook.

And one swiped from OldNFO.

As always, YMMV.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Help, I've Fallen

Those forty or so folks who wander by and read my scribbles will most likely find this post even more boring. The intent, by sharing my story, is to encourage others to take steps to improve their health.

 First, I’ve taken seventy seven trips around the sun thanks to modern medicine. Circa 1995, after tests, a physician told me I had the worst case of obstructive sleep apnea he had ever seen. Recognizing he was dealing with a stubborn patient, he said something along these lines,

 “I can guarantee, within the next six months, you will have a major medical episode. It may be tomorrow, or next week, or next month but with six months it will happen. If you are lucky it will kill you. If not, you will be severely disabled. You do have someone that can give you 24/7/365 personal care, don’t you?”

 Immediately, I became interested in my options. Since then, I’ve been sleeping with a CPAP.

 In 2014 I face planted, twice, and ended up in the Emergency Room. Soon, I had a pacemaker. My condition causes my heart beat too slowly  to supply enough blood to  my brain. Per the memory function of the pacemaker I rarely have an episode, and the period is brief, but they happen.

COVID destroyed most routine medical procedures. Last month I was able to have a mundane prostrate procedure (NO CANCER, thankfully) and soon after a visit with my primary care physician. I mentioned my concern that I’m no longer able to get to my feet without using my arms to pull me up.

 I’m now doing physical therapy weekly and a few simple exercises daily. Slowly I am getting closer to standing without pulling up with my arms. Surprising me, my chronic knee pain is diminishing and my walking improved.

 My medical chart now reads obese, rather than morbidly obese, and I’m down to two prescription drugs from seven. The dosages are very small compared to when I started many years ago.

 As stated in the first paragraph, I encourage you to look after your health. My “reward” is not living out my years confined to a care facility. As always, YMMV.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

A Slice of Daily Life


A slice daily of life in a small city.

Stories taken from the local rag, excuse me, newspaper.

This is a real jowl shaker. I drive that section of 10th Avenue daily. That section has no obvious dangers. Very wide, multi-lanes and few side streets. Heart attack?

Small city but we still have a criminal element.

Even 100 years ago.

Chief Ben Florance is in the news again. This time, he and his son were leaving the house early in the morning to go fishing, but they then discovered the chief’s auto had been stolen. The chief said he didn’t think anyone would want that ramshackle auto. It has no fenders, no windshield and no taillights.

COVID gets all the headlines but there is other nastiness out there.

I know a man that had this and he was flat on his back for two weeks.

Speaking of COVID, not all health care folks are on board.

One of many reasons I support our local peace officers.

This is not “woke” country and this piece of shit won’t be getting a slap on the wrist. President Trump carried this county with 70% of the vote.

While not strictly local, this is good news.

This was accomplished by the Colorado Department of Transportation with no help from either the Feds or Emperor Polis and the Boulder Mafia, excuse me, (P)regressives. It is heartening we still have good state employees.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Small Victory

The lobby of Peakview Trails has been nearly restored to pre-covid configuration after 15 months. I’m taking credit.

A few days ago the manager and assistant manager were having lunch in the community room and invited Banner, and me, to sit down. While Banner kept some unwanted fast food out of the trash, I had a few words to say. Specifically, the lobby needed to be restored.

My points were:


1.    This building is a residence, not an institution. While managed by the county housing authority, it is owned by private investors and we residents pay near market rent.


2.    Entering the vast open space from the front entry is depressing.


3.    The COVID excuse has expired.


4.    They brought up some residents don’t police up after themselves and extra cleaning is required. My response was for them to pay some resident a stipend to spend an hour or two daily to keep everything clean. They first said that wasn’t possible but I pointed out it is being done at other properties under the housing authority umbrella.


5.    Then I drove the guilt train. “The difference between private industry and government agencies is how problems are viewed”. Since they were still listening, I said, “Private industry first asks how to solve a problem. Government agencies first ask why something cannot be done”. I should add all of this was in a respectful tone and my temper was firmly in check.


Early in my management career, I was taught a lesson that has served me well over the years. My boss, ex Boeing engineer and Harvard MBA said, “We have policies to cover 90% of the day to day operations. We do this so we don’t spend time on trivia. The difference between a profit making business and government is how the other 10% is viewed”.

While I don’t want to go back to peddling cars, I think I still have the ability.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Estes Park, CO

 Relatives from Nebraska are vacationing in Estes Park, CO. Last afternoon Sisty and I joined them for dinner.


After dinner we returned to where they are staying for a quieter place to have a conversation.


This YMCA today would sell for millions. Such a treasure.

 If you are seeking a family friendly place for your vacation you won’t go wrong with this.

 You will need to share with the local residents.


Smoke continues to blanket Colorado.

 Estes Park is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. Like so many parks, it is being loved to death and reservations are required. The Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake, CO is not for the faint of heart but a worthwhile experience.

When you flatlanders visit the mountains, stay hydrated! Altitude sickness is very real and will spoil you experience.

 I’m not a resort type person. That said, if you are, Estes Park is a great designation. Great restaurants, funky bars, all kinds of outdoor recreation, boutiques, and, hopefully not needed, a good hospital. For the budget minded, several fast food chain outlets are scattered around town.

 The roads and streets are paved and getting around fairly easy. Like the nearby park, the town can be loved to death and crowds are to be expected. Just part of the resort experience.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

91 Bravo

Grandson Connor called this morning to let me know he graduated A.I.T. and is on his way back home to South Carolina. He is a National Guardsman. What he was trained to do:

Naturally I’m proud of him. The services today are not nearly as easy as in the past despite what many think.With smaller forces, the selection criteria is much more stringent.

Connor is a 5th Generation soldier.

The call was bittersweet. He sounds so much like his late father.

Being in the Guard will give him a financial floor of around $4k a year to start.

Soon Spartanburg will have another qualified mechanic working on their cars and trucks.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

What Is The Difference?

A political rant.

Political power in the history of this country has ebbed and flowed, up till now. One hundred years ago was Prohibition. Some places it even extended to tobacco. The religious folks were in power.

WWI brought draconian edicts from the Federal Government, many of dubious legality. The socialists were in power.

The Roaring 20’s kicked ass, socialism was weakened, and the religious block got their asses kicked with the recall of Prohibition.

The Great Depression gave socialist another chance. WWII and Eisenhower slowed them down.

1980 saw the rise to power at all levels, from local to the White House with the election of Ronald Reagan, of the Evangelicals. At the time I was a Republican Precinct Committeeman. There was no compromising with the Evangelicals. They were in the right and anyone who didn’t agree with them was the enemy. (More below)

Today’s leftists are just like them, only with a different doctrine. They have the same fanatic belief in their “cause”.

So WSF, what is the difference with today as opposed to the past? Respect for the rule of law, IMO. In the past, most people had a respect for the rule of law. It may have ebbed faint and twisted, but it was there. Today, the Democrat leaders don’t have any respect for the rule of law. None!

Side bar:

Being a precinct leader is mainly thankless and time consuming. You are elected 99% of the time with no opposition. Often the position goes vacant. The Evangelicals put up a candidate to oppose me and worked harder to elect their candidate than they did for the important candidates. I lost by three votes.

After turning in my files, etc., to the King County Republican Headquarters, I went two blocks away in Seattle to the Democrat Headquarters where I was appointed to the vacant office in my precinct.

For the next three elections I “delivered” my precinct to the Democrats.

The main differences for me, personally, were the meetings. The Republicans had lukewarm Chicken ala King at the Holiday Inn meeting rooms and listened to long speeches. The Democrat meetings were at a Longshoreman bar on Harbor Island. The speeches were still long but, remember, the bar!

Recently divorced, my transition to single life and interesting females was enhanced.

Where do I stand politically? It depends on the issue.

In the 60’s there was a cartoon showing a man in his living room reading a newspaper. His wife stood by his side. His words directed to her were, “The more my thinking moves to the right, the more I find in common with the left. I think I’m becoming a middle of the road extremist.”


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Iron Horse


Spent the morning in Pine Bluffs, WY viewing the passage of the Union Pacific “Big Boy” 4014. It is embarking on the 2021 tour.

A side note. The Big Boy is not the world’s largest steam locomotive. Most likely it is the largest one operating today. The largest was operated by the Northern Pacific and called the “Yellowstone”. It weighed 624 tons to “Big Boys” 604 tons. The Big Boys were far better locomotives. The Union Pacific owns vast amounts of coal In Wyoming and only retired the 4000 series because they are labor intensive to operate. The 4014 was converted to oil.

 An agriculture aerial applicator was busy.

Most days you would be able to see for 100 miles but all the drifting smoke from the West Coast fires continue a month+ of poor air quality.

We met up with my sister for the viewing. We then went 14 miles west to a truck stop operated by Indians (from India) where she bought lunch; chicken curry on rice. Banner made new friends with some of the kids playing on their scooters in the parking lot.

Banner and I stopped in Briggsdale, CO for treats and a cup of coffee. The town is a spot on the map in the middle of Colorado’s largest oil and gas field. 

It is a fair assumption few Xiden voters live around there.

When passing by I like to stop and look at this old truck.

No pronghorns were seen on this trip but two weaned fawns in a creek bottom had thoughts of crossing the road.

A nice morning.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Your Opinion May Differ

 My niece, as I have mentioned, is a career public health employee in Reno. She has a razor sharp wit and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. This morning she put this up on Facebook.

While I seldom agree with her, and don’t here, as I have often said I admire her courage and the fine job she has done with her two children. This missive of hers left me shaking my head in rueful admiration.