Monday, August 15, 2022

Half Baked Thoughts


“What I like about you is also what I don’t like about you”, were the words of our General Manager. “What I like is you solve problems instead of expecting someone else to solve them”.

“OK, Greg”, I replied. “So what don’t you like?”

“Your damn solutions”, was his response.

And the point of this? I really dislike people who point out problems, often clearly, but have no solution and expect someone else to solve the problem.  What gripes my guts is when I can’t think of a solution but still want to bitch.

Half baked ideas emerge from my mind as I drive on long trips. Since I don’t listen to music or even turn the radio on the mind is free to roam as the body drives on autopilot.

Last week was a trip across the Colorado High Plains to near the Nebraska state line. Many conflicts between the indigenous inhabitants occurred in the past and my travels took me near some of the larger ones.

The elites of the time had little or no regard for the Indians. They had their hands full of that era’s version of Deplorables. What better than force the Deplorables West and replace them with more malleable immigrants?

Money could be made off both the emigrants who were still consumers and the immigrants who would work cheaper. Too many of the Deplorables were veterans of the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression and a menace to the status quo.

Overrun with invaders, the Indians fought back, often with great success, and were clever. Consider the “peaceful” Black Kettle village massacred at Sand Creek. Many creditable accounts exist of horses and mules found with steel shoes, of scalps from Caucasians, and other trophies. The young men would go out raiding and then find welcome in the “peaceful” villages.

For the record, I cannot blame the Indians for trying to preserve their way of life. Nor do I feel guilt because I’m a descendant of the invaders.

 The Indians were subjugated. They never could form enduring cohesive alliances and had no answer to the industrial base supporting the invaders. The bison slaughter eliminated a major food source.

Today we have elites plundering the Deplorables wealth via inflation and taxes. Wages? Why the open borders? Cheap labor and an assault on our traditional way of life. Divide and conquer. Food supplies are threatened in many ways including destruction of infrastructure and supply chain disruptions. The list goes on.

What is a solution, or solutions? I don’t have answers except for one. Each patriot takes one firearm and shoots one of the corrupters.

Will I be the first? Probably not.

 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Something Different

 


Post Civil War/War of Northern Aggression history was made here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Beecher_Island

Years ago when the population of the area was higher, a lot of time and effort went into buildings and campgrounds at the site. On a much smaller scale, the area communities strive to keep everything in good repair.

This gathering is a throwback to that era.  Perhaps authors might find insight to bygone times and the people who lived then.

The site is about 15 miles South of Wray, CO on Highway 385 and about 45 miles North of Burlington, CO/Interstate 70.

Burlington has an outstanding museum. Well worth a visit.

https://www.burlingtoncolo.com/DocumentCenter/View/119/Visitors-Guide?bidId=


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Life Goes On

 

The Big Picture is grim. In the small picture there are pleasures.

Root Beer floats! In honor of LL, I will attend.

Banner will be bummed as he won’t attend. 75 lbs of treat hunting lab in the midst of all that temptation I don’t want to contemplate.


Sunday, August 7, 2022

Inflation


Inflation hits everyone in ways big and small. Banner has powerful jaws that allow him to break bones and eat the toughest rawhide. He is selective in what chew toys he likes.

After a year of experimenting, I’ve settled on this product. It takes him months to destroy one and his vet likes the condition of Banner’s teeth and gums.

Bottom line? In two years the prices has gone up from $14 to $21.

At this rate I may need to start a GoFundMe for Banner chew toys.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Low Humor

An unneeded post on an insignificant subject. However, it may be worth a chuckle. 

I spend too much time on the computer and Banner will come over and stick his head in the knee well. After three years I should have figured out what he wants. He just wants to be close to me.

Bought a $3 throw rug at a thrift store and put it by my work station. He immediately claimed it as his own. Now, other than the two hours the sun shines on my bed that is where he stays.

Next step will be some kind of pet bed now I understand what he needs.

A side benefit is more exercise as I step over him to get to the coffee.

Most likely, he will master Windows 11 before I do.


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Big Boy


The UP 4014 returning from Denver to Cheyenne this morning.

I’m a steam engine fan and usually position myself for a great view with a photogenic background. This week life got in the way.

Eight years ago the UP brought 4014 back from a museum in California. My very amateur video is it passing Tie Siding, WY in a snow storm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7MOBSIdPuU&ab_channel=FrankWhite

Later I was able to tour the Steam Shop in Cheyenne and see it dismantled and being restored. Since then I have missed very few opportunities to see it running.

https://wellseasonedfool.blogspot.com/search?q=UP+Steam+Shop

844 is still in Cheyenne and in operating condition. The Challenger has been given to another railroad museum. I saw its last run pulling the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus train. Sadly, that was the final circus train run.

Go Woke, Go Broke


 Back in the day selling cars, one pain was the visits by manufacturer reps. Worse was going to one of their meetings. In twenty+ years, only two would I have had on my crew and one, Peter Butterfield, was President of Kia at the time.

Painful to watch is this buffoon with his plan to destroy Ford.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUdHx2zX4Uo&ab_channel=Velocity

 I’m sure this plays well to the elites he runs around with and does wonders for his ego. What none of these jerks, with their focus group think mentalities is they don’t know their customers and what their customers really want.

 The great unwashed car consumers, in large numbers, don’t really like cars. They have them because they need them. What they want is a Ford Tempo of which I personally sold hundreds. The perfect, at the time, a no brainer car, it filled a very large niche.

 The inside was roomy enough for four people and was easy to enter and exit. Visibility was adequate. The four cylinder engine, basically one half of a 302 V-8, was stove bolt reliable and had adequate acceleration and an easy cruising speed. The car had a comfortable ride. Turn the key and it started. Shift into drive and away you went. With A/C, cruise, and a simple sound system, the down payment and monthly payment was within the reach of many people. For whatever reason, the two door models and the 5 speed manuals had a few problems but the four door automatics were nearly bullet proof.

 As a salesman, the gross profit on one was laughable but I loved selling them. A quick easy sale, they inflated my monthly numbers. At that Ford store, selling 20 cars a month put you into large bonuses.

 Ford replaced it with the Contour, a sexy European Ford. The Contour cost more, was cramped, and never as reliable. The mechanics loathed working on them.

Ford has made it clear they are committed to electric vehicles and plan to be 100% EV by 2035. Corporate suicide.

What has kept Ford alive through good times and bad times, especially bad times, are trucks. They seem determined to fuck that up, too. EcoBoost engines are crap, per my friends still in the business. Loading the trucks with excess electronic crap that is hard to use and doesn’t do a damn thing to help a truck do truck stuff, Ford is doing the dance of death.

I’m not commenting on their agriculture products as I don’t have a clear idea of what is happening.

The biggest mistake the corporate types make, IMO, is not recognizing who their customer is. It tain’t the family leaving the lot with a happy tag flapping in the breeze. The customer is the lending institution writing a check (ok, direct deposit) to the dealership. They are the buyer and the driver(s) buys it one month at a time.

To the few wokers who might read this, this curmudgeon Senior would like to bring this to your attention. The consumer always keeps the right to vote their wallet. When you try to force what the consumer doesn’t want, the cash flow that sustains you will dry up. Go woke, go broke.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Popular Sentiment.

As seen in my neighborhood.


As seen in the patch. 


Democrat affordable housing, soon to come.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Will Innovation Save Us?


 A Senior Citizen curmudgeon has a few words to say about our current society. You have been warned and may choose to move on.

Climate change warriors, along with their social change fellow traveler warriors, are determined to fundamentally change our world. Inspired by  their Messiah, the Lightbringer,  aka Barry Soetora , they are certain they know best and the rest of us are their inferiors.

Along this line of thought check out LL’s recent post.  https://www.virtualmirage.org/heroism/.

As these heroic (in their own minds) warriors work to force these changes upon us, their principal weapon is to destroy/deny what we lesser people depend upon. With no other choice someone will come up with green replacements. Innovation by necessity. Or, useless carbon critters will simply die off.

Why should they believe otherwise? While growing up they have always received what they wanted/demanded. The sacrifices of previous generations to create the world they inherited are rarely acknowledged and their values are those installed by teachers (those that can work, those who cannot teach).

Reality? That is for lesser mortals.

Mix in the all too common human failings (avarice, jealousy, degeneracy, etc) and you have a perfect shit storm coming.

Do I take any satisfaction in their fate when this whole weakened system collapses? No, because my sons and grandchildren will be harmed.

 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Climate Change


Sitting in a waiting room, bored,  I picked up a TIME magazine. There was an article on oceans I thought might be interesting. Probably the first time I’ve looked at a TIME in years.

First paragraph the author said”….., climate change, which we have caused”. I didn’t read any further.

The relationship between Gaia’s trip around the Sun, and the Sun’s activity, has more to do with climate change than any human activity.

https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2948/milankovitch-orbital-cycles-and-their-role-in-earths-climate/

Yah, but. Notice the sidebar, …..last hundred years. Science be damned, must keep selling the narrative.

In the past 100 years approximately 500 above water volcanoes have erupted. What impact on the climate is the result?

Volcanoes under water are common with little known as to how many or their intensity. What is their impact on the oceans?

Pollution? Look to China, India, and lesser Asian and African players.

To me all of this climate change bullshit is political.

Solutions? I have none I care to commit to print.

As always, YMMV

Monday, July 18, 2022

Bitch, Moan, Complain

Alas, poor pitiful me.

Last week the A/C Compressor clutch on my car went south. Original equipment, it only had 193,000 miles on it. You would think it would have lasted longer.

I use a mechanic who works out of his house. He needs the money and I’m cheap. That, and every shop in town, worth using, is booked solid for weeks. A new compressor installed but won’t engage – some electrical problem. Yesterday the mechanic went step by step diagnosing the problem. The conclusion is the dash control is toast. He will look in the salvage yards this week. The dealership just laughs when you say your car is a 1995.

The next few days are going to be a challenge with this current heat wave (quit laughing, Texans).

Banner won’t suffer. He gets to spend the day at Sisty’s air conditioned house when he isn’t in his air conditioned apartment. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Too Much Doom and Gloom


With all the negativity flowing around us, and the justified concerns about food supplies, personal security and rampant stagflation I try to enjoy what the moment brings.

In my building at least ten people carry treats with them to give Banner. He eagerly accepts them and much hilarity ensues.


 Down the hall, Kate keeps a dog treat station we must pass on the way to the elevator. The header picture is across the hall from our door. Abuela Esther keeps treats in that container and leaves the occasional morsel for Banner to find.

Further down the hall is Tom, Mr. Sneaky Treater. An amputee, he hides treats in the hall for Banner to find. When I challenge him, he claims total innocence. 

Crossing the lobby sometimes takes ten minutes. Often, comments are made about poor Banner forced to live with a grumpy old man.

All of this lightens the spirits of everyone.

I won the dog lottery with this beast.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Minor Miracle


Praise the Lord

While not especially religious I am a believer and yesterday driving home from helping my son move I took time to thank the Creator for the good people he has put on this Earth.

Some background. I have a son with Asperger Syndrome. I attribute his condition to multiple inoculations as a toddler. His older brother is autistic.

This son has had a turbulent life but has, in the past ten years, overcome many setbacks and problems. He has been living in a rented room for four years in a house six doors down from a notorious motorcycle gang clubhouse. He was able to find a nice apartment to lease. He spent two months meticulously planning the move which was to occur this past Saturday. The movers, All My Sons Movers, didn’t show up on time.

I worked Saturday and, due to the heat, left Banner with Sisty. I was there when my son called in despair. Sisty, a remarkable and formidable person, came up with Plan Z. At 1700 on a Saturday she was able to secure a rental truck for Sunday after 1100.

Sisty, with her huge heart, provides a home for several good people who have stumbled and are turning their lives around. She treats them as her “children” and they are family.

Sunday I was at my son’s when the movers arrived. After surveying the job, they got in their truck and left. They didn’t even have the courtesy to speak to my son. They just drove away.

Called Sisty. She picked up the truck at 1100 with two of her “children” and drove the 50 minutes to Commerce City arriving around 1300. By 1700 all of my son’s belongings were in his new apartment 18 miles away. I might add the temperature was 100°.

Praise the lord for such good people who will drop what they are doing and help a fellow human!

Saturday was to be a great day for my son. Instead, he once again had to rely on his father.

Father is grateful for family and good people. Father is also grateful to see his son in a decent place instead of living in a house with crazy people in a dangerous neighborhood.

Temporary Permits

Back in the day when you bought a car a 4x6 inch temporary permit was taped somewhere in the rear light (window). They were hard to read especially with dark tint. The state changed to a license plate sized plastic wrapped temporary to be affixed to the license plate location. The expiration date is clearly visible from some distance away.

The old car salesman in me always notices them. I’m amused by how many are expired, some two months or more. Yesterday I saw a car with one so old the plastic had separated and was flapping in the wind. Do you think that might attract police attention?

Corvettes

I’ve never owned one nor wanted one. I don’t fit as a start. Still the concept and styling I find appealing. This new mid engine Corvette is, to me, ugly. Especially from the rear, it is “Butt Ugly”. If I were to spend big bucks on a sports car, it would be a Morgan Aero Super Sport.

Sad Fact of Life

At a nearby Senior Housing place this morning there was an all too common sight. It happens where I live often.

Gratitude

I’m grateful at age 77 (soon to be 78) I’m still able to work and persevere. I’m grateful for my health and especially for my family. Rather than complain about all the shit life brings us, I prefer to remember the words I learned from Jackie Cooper, “Winners do what losers won’t”. I’m no champion but I’m damn sure no loser.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

How About a Laugh, For a Change?


Banner this morning. Lucky me, he lets me sleep here at night but wants a freshly made bed in the morning.

Is this dog spoiled, or well cared for?

Friday, July 8, 2022

Motherhood Rant

I’ve mentioned my part time employment as, legally, a collection agent. Specifically, I hand deliver a letter on behalf of the mortgage company and file a report with photographs.

One recent assignment left me disgusted. A single mother with a filthy house (as seen through the open door from the porch), lawn full of weeds not maintained, and clutter everywhere. A surly teenage male came to the door then very rudely called out to his mother. She came to the door and started a “poor little me” well practiced spiel.

Why she has allowed that worthless son to grow up in this fashion baffles me. He should be keeping that yard and that house looking good instead of sponging off his mother.

I know many strong women who haven’t let life’s events and lousy choices in men keep them from living a productive life and raising decent children. My respect for them runs deep as does my loathing of quitters and whiners.

My assignments range from million dollar trophy homes to single wide wobblies in the boonies.  A common sight is expensive toys and vehicles (most likely leased) on the premises. I stay emotionally detached, for the most part, but on occasions my hard heart is touched. “Oxygen in use” sign is one trigger.

My visit is, to the mortgagee, stressful. I’ve long ago lost any need to “Lord it Over” anyone so my time on their porch is as brief and impersonal as I can make it.  Other than the occasional crazy, it works for me.

The economy? Every month my assignments increase. Most now involve refinancing offers. I anticipate most of those refinanced homes will be seeing a visit from me in six months or so.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Independence Day


Attended a community cookout here in our 90+ senior apartments. Good food and good conversation. Disappointed that only my apartment displayed a flag, I decided to send a message with my attire.

A few got the message.


Not This Year


Three years ago at Walden, CO. Named for the nearby mountain range, The Never Summer Rodeo.

Tis a privilege to live in Colorado.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Unwanted Notoriety

This is a local breakfast and lunch place owned by a Greek family. You will find three, maybe four generations at work with young grandchildren bussing the tables. The husband cooks and the wife runs the dining room. She has a long memory.

We occasionally have Sunday brunch there. Several years ago I tripped over that pictured step and went flat face forward on the floor. Every time I eat there, including this morning, she reminds me to, “Watch your step”.

 What to do? I simply thank her and watch my step since I will never live down that one misstep.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Big Ones


Crew installing new power lines North of Cheyenne along US 85.



When Surveyors Disagree

East of LaGrange Wyoming Highway 151 ends (70 mph). Nebraska Highway 88 (65 mph) begins. One problem; they don’t join so a vicious 45 mph S bend joins them.




Unusual Wyoming Sight

Calm day. Over the years I’ve used this facility many times. Usually you need to park so that you  don’t need to open your door against the wind.


No Electric Cars

During my 380 mile loop yesterday I didn’t see a single battery powered car. (Picture from the web)

High Plains

Looking East not far from the foothills of the Rockies, there isn’t a mountain for over 1,000 miles.

A wandering post from a wandering senior citizen mind.


Friday, June 24, 2022

High Risk Credit Cards

A tiny micro economic indicator may be my personal financial situation vs. credit decision by lenders. Recently, and not at my request, Chase Bank who carries my Amazon credit card quadrupled my credit limit.

So what is the problem, WSF? Just this, I shouldn’t qualify.

In the many years spent retailing automobiles I became something of an expert on retail credit. The basis of loan decisions is the four Cs.

Character, as in your credit history. Things like loans paid off as agreed, bankruptcy, collections, delinquent child support, unpaid judgments, etc. Next is capacity. What is your debt load now against the income you have now. Third is capital as in savings, asserts such as homes, stock market shares, etc. In other words, are you worth suing? Four is collateral. After your down payment, if any, how much of the value of the item being financed is the lender carrying.

Another factor is your credit score which is determined by organizations like Equifax based on their evaluation of your credit history. The rating is from 0 to 800+.

In my case, none of my income can be attached. Social security can’t be touched. Unless it is a capital item like my recent computer purchase, little of what I publicly own is worth going after should I default on a credit card. My “character” coupled with a very high FICA score is my only one of the four Cs that justifies such a high credit line.

There is no rational reason for Chase to give me such a large credit limit. Should I max out the card then never pay, they are fucked. They will have next to zero recourse.

Perhaps because I pay the full balance off each month on all my cards that is their rational. If so, they are stupid.

So, WSF, what is your point. Just this. High risk credit seems to be the norm. As someone who lived through the dismal Carter/Reagan years and the 2008 subprime collapse, I hate seeing the same mistakes being made over and over. The rich didn’t get to be rich being stupid (unless they inherited). Why are they acting, on the surface, stupid? What is the payoff for them?

As always, YMMV.

On a related line of thought.

Along this line, why shouldn’t they play this game. You, the depositor in their bank is the one on the line. Check this out.

Can banks take your money to save themselves?

The Dodd-Frank Act. The law states that a U.S. bank may take its depositors' funds (i.e. your checking, savings, CD's, IRA & 401(k) accounts) and use those funds when necessary to keep itself, the bank, afloat.Mar 18, 2020

 Credit Unions, on the surface, are exempt but crushing regulatory requirements so raised operating costs many smaller credit unions have gone under.


Comments don't seem to be posting. Here are two.

3 hours ago
What a good post. I used to joke about a minimal Chase credit card debt, "What're they gonna do, take my CD collection?" (people still had CDs in those days...). Fast forward to now. No credit cards, no debt, a Credit Union savings account and a... safe. And I know it's not possible for many but I HATE being in any kind of debt. Cash on the nail, best way, imo.

Yesterday
Yep, few credit unions are left... sigh

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Attention Getting Headline I Can't Think Of

 

Politics

Colorado is a vote by mail state. Unaffiliated voters for the primary election receive two ballots, one for each party. Only one can be returned and there is no provision for splitting your vote. Should you try to game the system and return both ballots separately or together, both will be rejected.

At the county level elections are run by the elected County Clerk and Recorder. In my county ours is straight arrow when it comes to elections. Statewide? With 64 counties who knows. Mesa County’s (Grand Junction) Tina Peterson may or may not be straight arrow but the (P)regessives are after her hammer and tongs. Metro Denver and Pueblo have a “history”.

Harry Truman, who once said he wasn’t in an organized political party because he was a Democrat, wouldn’t recognize Colorado’s party. Only one contested race and that is for University of Colorado Regent. Might be important; that is where Emperor Polis started.

Slo Joe is so weak Emperor Polis has Presidential fever. According to the Colorado Peak Politics site, Polis is trying to portray himself as some kind of libertarian champion. That might sell in other parts of the country.

The Republicans have many contested races. As usual, several polished Country Club loyal opposition (yawn) candidates and a handful of mavericks. There are even a few damn decent people sticking their necks out.

I’m in the newly formed 8th District where Sister Kink is a candidate for the new Congressional seat.

Gardening

Those residents into gardening seem to be doing well. The way things are going in our country they may end up feeding the resident in our building. Before.

Sisty

She stepped up and bought a new Kia Sorento. In her work she needs the reliability and her old one was, surprise, getting old. She used Kia of Cheyenne. The owners and General Manager I worked with for years. They know her well as she did many things for all of us over the years. I didn’t ask how long it took her to shift all her “stuff” out of the old Kia. Hope she didn’t forget the NAA derringer I lost in Horsetooth Reservoir many years ago.

A Fool and His Money

While on the subject of vehicles I continue to dump money into my 1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max. Two reasons. First, I know what is wrong and what is right about this truck. Second, there is nothing I can buy with the same money that might be reliable. As LL points out, two is one and one is none. I need two vehicles.

Next month, assuming I make it, I will have been a licensed driver for 64 years. My wants in a vehicle have devolved. When I turn the key it starts. When I let out the clutch it goes. It goes down the road at legal speeds. In my adult life I have personally owned more vehicles than I can remember. As to the impression others may have of me and/or what I drive, I don’t care.

Micro Economic Indicator

Most readers know I am an agent for what is legally a collection agency. I go to residences where the owners are behind on their strokes. They get a letter and the visit is documented. I’m getting slammed. It will get even busier with the Fed raising interest rates. I sense the residential real estate market will shrink rapidly because new mortgages will be much harder to obtain. Those folks thinking they can sell at a big profit and save their asses are, IMO, wrong.

Will it be as bad as 2008 with the subprime collapse? We should be so lucky that it doesn’t get much worse.

Veterans Administration

I have never tried to hide my negative attitude towards the VA. Slowly, I’m changing my attitude because the people I’m dealing with at the patient level in this area are good people with a good attitude. Next month I will be trying their physical therapy program. Age is sapping my leg strength and falling, and not being able to get up without help, is a concern.

Steam Locomotives


An interest of mine, I am disappointed the Union Pacific’s summer program is in a state of flux. A Northwest tour was planned but is now on hold.

The various tourist trains in Colorado are up and running. All, IMO, are worth a try.

https://www.colorado.com/articles/complete-guide-colorado-train-trips

Sisty’s birthday present last year was the cog railroad train to the top of Pike’s Peak. For various reasons, medical, it didn’t happen until later. Wonderful experience!

Banner

I’m so glad I adopted this dog three years ago.