12/08/2016

OK, Where is the Global Warming?

For the record, Kansas was once covered with ice and the glacier brought red rock from Minnesota and we have them all over the place.  Since then, the climate has been warming up and we no longer have a constant snow cover.  But, today it is 20 degrees outside with a 15 MPH wind blowing and that will blow you hair back and freeze it in place.  I had grand design to go find a Christmas tree today but that will have to wait.

Tonight, there will be a football game in Kansas City.  Heck, I wouldn't walk from the parking lot into Allen Field House to see the Women play Harvard last night.  I know that I will have friends there but not me.  I hope Oakland can't handle the weather and we can tie up the league.  Oh well, it is only football and there is a whole season of Big XII basketball soon to start.

Bill Self has 600 career wins under his belt.  The other day Facebook showed him in his office with all the trophies from over the years.  I sure hope he continues to be a winner and a recruiter that brings a lot of talent to KU.  I am sure that he gets a lot of help from his assistant coaches and staff.

Dave stopped by last night to pick up a package that UPS delivered here instead of at his house.  Actually our neighbor brought it over as it was not only not delivered to the wrong Petty house, it was left on the neighbor's porch.   It is always nice to see Dave and get a chance to catch up on things.  What I really want for Christmas from him is about an hour of Tech time to look over my computers and see if he can help them return to the fast speedy versions they once were.  I don't want to brag, but I have worn off the E, O, A and L on this keyboard and it is a good thing that I can still remember where they were (or are I guess)

The other night, I was at the KU men's game and I always sing with whoever sings the National Anthem.  The lady ahead of me turned and said that I complemented the group singing.  I told her that several years of singing with the Barbershop Chorus would do that for you.  We sang it several times each year for the local hockey team's home games.  I just went over to YouTube and listened to Pentatonix sing a few songs.  I am now listening to their last Christmas album.

Several time this past week or so, memories of my father have surfaced from unknown places in my mind.  I grew up a had a very troubled relationship with my father as he had manic depression and it wasn't until very much later on in my life did I have a chance to understand.   It was a problem for me that when my dad would call me to him, I didn't know if he was going to kiss or whip me.  Not that I didn't probably need both most of the time, it was the uncertainty that made me worry.  One time that just sums it up for me was for my 12th birthday I had saved up a few dollars and with my birthday money, we went to Sears to buy a new fishing rod.  When I picked out the nicest rod I could afford, Dad surprised me by buying me a new reel.  That winter, Dad was in and out of the Hospital for treatments.  The next spring, dad asked me if I wanted to go fishing.  I really didn't have much of a chance to use my new rod and reel that past fall.  When we got to the lake, I went to the trunk of the car to get my new rod and reel.  He looked at it and asked me, "Where did you get that, steal it?"  Sure took the fun out of that day.  Later on, Mom shared a story that dad had been given shock treatments and he had to get out of bed and look at the chart to remember his name.  No wonder that he didn't remember the rod and reel.  I don't remember fishing much after that.

Oh well, what a downer on this cold day.  I wonder if this is part of why I don't suffer fools gladly.

MUD



11/16/2016

When was the happiest time in your life?

I grew up as a Baby Boomer on the Far East side of Wichita.  Most of us were fairly poor and for the most part from working families.  The Neighborhood we lived in was built during the pre and war years of WWII.  Cheap houses with no air conditioning and for the most part no central heat.  Our dishwashers were for the most part our Mom's or in my case when I got another D in Algebra. 

All you had to do was walk outside in the summer and you could get a bunch of kids that were willing to baseball on the lot on the north end of Byrd Street.  For the biggest part, only the older kids had ball gloves and for the most part they were second hand.  All of the ball gloves were used by both sides when their teal wasn't at bat.  I would say we had batting orders but heck, I don't remember the names any better today than I did then.

The other day, some one made reference to hitting the cover off the ball and most of the under 40 kids didn't have a clue what this meant.  We would play with the old base balls until literally someone  would hit the ball and the cover would fly off into nowhere.  I can remember a time or two when we tried to play with the uncovered ball but it would very soon unwind the string and it would be unplayable. 

My Dad worked for Beech down at the end of the street and the Beech Aircraft Employees club had several activities for the kids of the Beech employees.  I guess you could say there were a lot of little son's of Beech - Crafters out there.  I played little league baseball several years and had a lot of good times.  Every summer there would be a day at Joyland where we could basically ride for free and mom and Dad could play bingo or whatever event they had that day.  At least once a month, Beech Employees Club would have a free late night skate at the Skating rink in Kiddie Land.  We did that a lot. 

One of the major past time activities among my friends was riding our bikes as far as we could.  To accomplish that, we often had to tighten chains and grease the wheel bearings.  One on trip, my bike got so hot that the hub of the front wheel started to smoke.  There was water in the ditch and I dipped the wheel hub in water.  It cooled off enough to let me get home.  That afternoon we tried to grease the bearings and they came out of the housing as individual balls with out the metal retainer.  We had to cannibalize on of the old bikes to find a wheel that would first of all fit and then work. 

One of the kids I went to school with had a Dad that ran a trash truck.  Leon would help his  Dad and he had first choice of the bikes other people would throw away.  He would take pieces and parts of the bikes and make custom bikes that really looked neat.  You could buy one from him pretty cheap.  The only bad part is they really didn't last long.  I spent $8.00 one summer on a bike that didn't last until fall.  I had to mow lawns to earn that money but hey I didn't really expect much.

I guess the point of all of this rambling is that this weekend we drove through the old neighborhood and it sparked a lot of memories.  So as I smiled away the short drive, I had a flood of good thoughts.  If that is what happiness is, I would take another trip through that time just for the kicks and giggles.

MUD (aka Wheezer from the Our Gang Comedies)

11/15/2016

How do You Define Happy

I guess this need a jumping off point and because it is my blog, I need to be the first Frog in this contest.  So, here goes.

First I think the fulfillment of needs and wants should be on the list.  I refer back to Maslow's Hierarchy of needs and say that I am well past the "need" for shelter, safety, and food.   I also mix in a little of the Leadership training I taught to Officer Candidates a few years back.  It is the area of motivators that a lot of lives fall short.  Recognition even if it is self provided is a basic given.  If you remember to praise in public and punish in private you have a good start.  Where do you start and end that journey? 

Once upon a time, (for you Military types adjust this to hey, this ain't no shit.)  I was given an Artillery Battalion that for many reasons had not passed an Army Readiness and Training test (ARTEP) a couple of times in a row.  To me, it was a simple thing to make sure that everyone knew what their job was and to make sure they could do it.  It was a great big elephant but no tough task for 400 guys to eat one bite at a time.  Instead of trying to do everything, I tried to make sure that the leaders knew what they needed to do.  That worked and we passed the ARTEP.  At the end of the big formation on the parade field at the end of camp, I shook the hand of each man in the battalion.  My hand hurt but they all knew that "we" did it.  I went home happy that day and it still gives me a warm spot in my memory.

Now that I am retired, I think about the things I need to do to be a social animal and talk to others.  I sang with a Barbershop chorus but it felt like I was asked to do more and more and the only feedback was negative.  I have stopped going to meetings and I am not sure if there is room for me to bring that back into my life.

With the last election in the bag, I have a lot of friends that think the majority (or at lest the Electoral College) and me, got it wrong.  I won't go into the reasons why I did not vote for Hillary but only to say that our system needed change and I didn't see Hillary as much other than more of the same.

MUD

1-92nd FA Newsletter

This is an article that was printed in the 1st Bn, 92nd FA Newsletter.  The only part that is incorrect was the unit I was assigned to.  I was in SVC Battery, 1-92nd FA not HHB.  The jobs I did for the Battalion was while I was in Svc Battery and an additional assignment because the Battalion really did not have room for me to be assigned to HHB.  The Information about B Btry is correct.
MUD

10/26/2016

Changing Things

I feel honor bound to start a new phase in my life.  I truly need to find new avenues to keep me occupied with life.  The joy of singing has lost it's allure and I am for the second time going to stop singing with the Topeka Capitol Men's Barbershop Chorus.  I have both men's and women's tickets for the KU Teams this year.  I intend to attend as many games as I can.

I am also going to find a new way to get more physical exercise.  I don't intend to find myself in worse shape as I start next year.  In the past, I found the downtown YMCA a great p[lace to swim and work out.  I hope that I can fins a way to get Barbara to participate with me.  I owe her the same opportunity to be at her best as I can hope to be.

I will also use this change to start accumulating my many posts on this blog into what I hope will mount to more than just a way to pass a few hours.

I will do my best to be charitable, somewhat truthful , and to remember as many humorous things as I can.

MUD

10/12/2016

Have I Told You How Much I hate Getting Old?

Yes Dear one's, I know the alternative is worse, but I really do hate not being able to complete projects with the same energy I had even a few short years back.  Even getting up off the floor is a challenge.  Can you imaging me crawling under the floor in my son's house to fix a leak in a Pex water line?  If you knew just how hard it is to get up off the floor you might understand. 

I have a brother-in-law that shared with me that maintenance on his rental's finally caused him to sell them.  I think I am nearing that point faster and faster each year.  The problem is that keeping them is just going to diminish the profit point as I have to have more and more maintenance hired out. 

Every time I go out somewhere, I see more and more Vietnam Vets wearing their baseball caps proudly.  The problem is that they are all old guys.  Hell, I went to Vietnam with a bunch of kids not a bunch of old farts. 

Being retired from the National Guard, I get their newspaper monthly.  I find it more often than not, the new Generals and major unit commanders are people that I don't even know.  I guess the fact that the Adjutant General was a Captain that worked for me should tell me something.

I am considering buying a member ship to the YMCA again.  I found a regular workout/swimming schedule was great a few years back.  I will admit that the hot tub really made it nice after a work out.  

Oh well, here I sit complaining about getting old and I need to get up and go do something.  I did notice that I have nearly a million view on my blogs.  I wonder if there is a time I need to stop even this effort.

MUD

Have I Told You How Much I hate Getting Old?

Yes Dear one's, I know the alternative is worse, but I really do hate not being able to complete projects with the same energy I had even a few short years back.  Even getting up off the floor is a challenge.  Can you imaging me crawling under the floor in my son's house to fix a leak in a Pex water line?  If you knew just how hard it is to get up off the floor you might understand. 

I have a brother-in-law that shared with me that maintenance on his rental's finally caused him to sell them.  I think I am nearing that point faster and faster each year.  The problem is that keeping them is just going to diminish the profit point as I have to have more and more maintenance hired out. 

Every time I go out somewhere, I see more and more Vietnam Vets wearing their baseball caps proudly.  The problem is that they are all old guys.  Hell, I went to Vietnam with a bunch of kids not a bunch of old farts. 

Being retired from the National Guard, I get their newspaper monthly.  I find it more often than not, the new Generals and major unit commanders are people that I don't even know.  I guess the fact that the Adjutant General was a Captain that worked for me should tell me something.

I am considering buying a member ship to the YMCA again.  I found a regular workout/swimming schedule was great a few years back.  I will admit that the hot tub really made it nice after a work out.  

Oh well, here I sit complaining about getting old and I need to get up and go do something.  I did notice that I have nearly a million view on my blogs.  I wonder if there is a time I need to stop even this effort.

MUD

What did we Learn in School?

It never ceases to amaze me that young voters think this is the worst race for the President.  Over the years there are elections that said horrible things.  "Ma, Ma, Where's my Paw?  Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha." This  was an attempt to pin paternity on Grover Cleveland. ( I have no idea if there is any truth in it)  Goldwater was going to blow us all up!  The press printed the results that Truman lost when he really won. 

I am sure that back to the beginning there have been campaigns that said and did things that were bad and in a lot of cases wrong.  The report was that Lincoln would lead us into a Civil War when it was the inevitable thing for a house so divided. 

The real sad thing today is that the press lacks credibility in reporting so bad that no one really knows fact from fiction.  Today a Gary Heart's picture on the poop deck of  Monkey Business would not be believed.   How did our past Presidents get such a free pass and candidates today are excoriated at the first drop of any hat.  

If you can make sense of any of this, you are a better man than I, Charlie Brown. 

The United States presidential election of 2016, scheduled for Tuesday, November 8, 2016, will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Voters will select presidential electors, who in turn will vote for a new president and vice president.     

MUD

10/11/2016

How do we fix this mess?

This morning, I had a nice talk with a black professional man and we agreed on more than we disagreed on.  Because he is a professional, I will not divulge his name.  He has worked hard to become a success in his field and I will treat him as such.

First of all, we agree that our Country is in trouble.  His biggest complaint is that there is some strange trend that thinks that adding new laws and layers of paperwork will solve problems.  I think that all laws should have a sunset and a published cost.  In case you don't know, we right now are incapable of funding all the laws on the books.  Each budget cycle, is more burdensome in cost and in the mix, something must get left out.  If our Tax code was simply a table with what you pay based on the amount you make.  Cut out the loop holes and don't allow changes.  (Except to raise the percentages as it costs more)  No free rides no tax loopholes.

I think Congress must first agree on what the heck they first must fund.  The cost of having a Federal Government is pretty much at the top of the list.  Second, our Military Defense is a requirement.  You can list the other Government functions until the money runs out.  But, they must really understand how much it costs and how much of it they can fund. 

If Dave Ramsey was the OMB Director, he would make them first write down what everything costs and to develop a budget that is realistic.  If the President wants to import 80,000 Syrian Refugees, what in his budget will he cut to do that.  You and I might want a new car but we sure as heck don't get on if we can't pay for it. I am not sure where I draw that line but I am sure that we can predict what Natural Disasters will happen and build in a slush fund to pay for them. 

Congress needs to cut out the Petty squabbles and get to work on funding how and what we are going to do as a nation.  I promise you that if the first time they can't it was taken out of their pay that failure would be not repeated. 

How the hell did someone convince the congress that allowing Companies to move their operation over sea's would help us?   Instead of the $20 - $30 per hour job in manufacturing, we have the state of California giving Burger Flippers at McDonalds $15.00 per hour.  Instead of having our young  youths have jobs that they can live on, we let Mexican Immigrants cross the border and take the hard labor jobs at a rate our citizens can't live on.  Then, in spite of the difference in pay, the Mexicans are allowed to send home Millions of dollars each month without the Government taking a bite out of it.  Can you feel that somewhere down the line, some bright bulb in the Congressional pack is going to tell us that all the illegal workers need to be given Social Security even if they haven't paid in to the fund?  Anyone want to take that bet?

The problem really boils down to the fact that the Democrats and the Republicans aren't made to get together and do their jobs.  In fact, it is easier for them to sling mud at each other than do the real hard work of Government.

MUD


10/01/2016

Water Leak again

Yesterday I spent the majority of the day fixing the water leak at Dave's.  The old Plastic fasteners on the PEX lines from the 80's are prone to break and because they are under the house a major pain in the backside.  This time I opened the floor in the master bathroom to attack the problem from above.  I still did have the problem of getting my big old body through a hole and then back out.  I got the leak stopped but I need to work on replacing the broken T adapter.  Then I will have to fix the hole in the floor.  Oh well...

Today will be a pretty nice day to get out and do some yard work here at Rabbit Run.  Barb has a lot of her plants that she will want to bring inside.  There are three trees that need planted and black walnuts everywhere.  If the squirrels would do their job, the nuts wouldn't be a problem.  At least they are not eating the nuts on the sidewalk and leaving nut hulls that become shrapnel when I mow.  The other thing I hate is the nuts falling on the roof and banging their way to the ground. 

The Barbershop chorus is getting to elect the 2017 officers.  Seems like my name just slipped off the list this year and I do not have a job other than to attend a few meetings and work on a committee or two. 

Oh well, gonna close here and see if I can get a few things done.

MUD