Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday blues...

since Monday came on Wednesday this week...

5 days off; the lawn's not mowed (every time I start to get the mower out it rains, only compounding the problem), fished two of the five (Friday and yesterday) but since it keeps raining I haven't repacked the trailer wheel bearings so we still haven't ventured out of town to fish...yet.

Since the "temps" all got laid off at work, now they want everything we can build, so they started running overtime again last night, and we start working every other Saturday for the forseeable future. Of course, they couldn't time that right, so I'm working on the Saturdays Dottie is off...

We slipped out yesterday thinking we might get a couple of hours fishing in; we actually got to about the 5 hour mark as the skies darkened to the east for the 5th or 6th time. All day things had been moving past us on both sides, going directly north. This time we weren't so lucky...

We heard thunder, and Dottie wanted the boat on the trailer "instantly". We hadn't seen any lightning, and never did, but a few minutes after we heard the distant rumble the wind shifted and without even a sprinkle to say "hello" the downpour began!

Even at only 20 (speed limit on our little local lake) big raindrops start to sting!

And of course, Dottie is "blind" without her glasses, so when they are wet life is just a blur. I would say something about being "mad as a wet hen", but she deserves better for putting up with me!

Of course, trailering in a downpour and a crosswind is even more fun than just the crosswind, so that took a bit longer than usual. By the time we got the boat loaded and actually headed out of the park, the rain was letting up. 20 minutes later as I pulled into the driveway, it had completely stopped and the skies were starting to clear...

Despite all of that (and my sunburnt feet), it still beats work!

So I've been up for an hour now, letting my eyes wake up, fixing Dottie's cell, catching up on the news and signing some petitions; guess I'll go eat something and then try getting that mower out again...

Back to the "rat race"!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Truths they'd like to avoid!

Being ex-military, I know that the things that I saw were not always the things presented to the public as what was going on. Sometimes this is acceptable; there are times it is not!

"Soldiers for the Truth" was founded by the late Colonel David Hackworth as a way to try to do something for the guys in the field; the guys who are dying every day. One of the most decorated soldiers since Audie Murphy (actually, as I read, more decorated than Murphy) he never said what they would have liked him to, much as so many who have been dismissed these past few years. Some of you may have seen "Hack" on Larry King through the years; some of you will recognize the stories he broke as he tried to do "the right thing".

I am bringing this up now because his widow has continued Hack's legacy and is at the forefront of the body armor issue that has once again raised it's head. We of course, are told that our children are being provided with the best of everything; once again, just like the lack of armored Humvees and so many other issues, it appears that just isn't so!

Not a supporter of John McCain politically, I am still glad he seems to be wading into this if only for political reasons because perhaps that will give this life and death issue a high enough profile that something will finally be done! Then all we need to do is get our kids some weapons that actually work when they are needed, some helmets that actually protect them from head injury and some boots that actually hold together (borrowing from the last bit of Eilhys's article)

"As we enter the fifth year of this terrible war, SFTT will shortly formally announce the new Basic Five campaign to get America’s frontline troops the best available of the five most essential items of personal combat gear so they have the best possible chance to complete their assigned missions and make it home alive and in one piece in a plane seat instead of a body bag or on a stretcher. Doesn’t it seem criminal that the richest nation in the world, which spends more than the rest of the world combined on defense, can’t budget responsibly enough to provide its sons and daughters with a helmet that will prevent many more of the endemic, life-altering head injuries? With the same better body armor the generals choose – and wear hidden under their uniforms? With a rifle that’s not a jammer like Jessica Lynch’s M-16 and that’s at least as effective as the AK-47, the terrorists’ weapon-of-choice? With a sidearm that’s reliable and deadly in tight situations? And with boots capable of going the bloody distance?"

Somewhere I read a blog not long ago where someone's kid had written home and asked for a pair of boots, because they couldn't buy them in Iraq and the service wasn't issuing them! On NPR I've heard of Navy and Air Force personnel being retrained for ground roles in Iraq and Afghanistan because there aren't enough Army and Marine troops to do the job. (This explains why I keep hearing of Navy corpsman dying in country! They're being pulled to be medics!)

Though I wish I were "Jeannie" and could blink them all home and end this conflict yesterday, or last week, or last year, or make it never have happened, such is not my lot in life. I keep writing Senators (a Republican stone wall in my case) and my Representative, I sign petitions and I raise what little hell I can as so many of us do. In sharing this link with you, I'm hoping to give you each a bit more information
to use as ammunition in the fight not only to end this terrible war; not only to show this awful administration for the liars and profitmongers they are; but to try and help a few more of our kids come home physically intact!

Please, if you have a chance, read a few of these pages I have given you links to above? If you have a bit more time read some of the "DefenseWatch Feedback" correspondence like this one

Sorry for beginning your weekends with a rant; I know this is supposed to be the time we all get to escape the cares of the world for a few days. I also know that for our children who find themselves caught up in this, there are no weekends!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007


come in all shapes and sizes!

Not the greatest photo, but until I can afford to replace the Nikon I really don't dare take it in the boat! This is with a little Fuji digicam that I bought a while back off the closeout table at Nebraska Furniture Mart for less than a hundred dollars. 5mp, only 3x zoom. When we finally moved in closer he decided it was time to leave, talking to us the whole way as he flew off. Dottie tried to catch the flight, but he was quicker than the autofocus.

Still, it gives you an idea of what an old WPA/CCC lake from the late 30's looks like 70 years on.


Monday, May 21, 2007

A houseful...

of grandchildren were here when I escaped work on Friday night. Saturday found me trying to get up "early" to have time with them. Never easy on my schedule and with the way my body craves sleep! Coffee..."Monster" energy drink...soda...perhaps I should just mix them all together!

I had bought muffins for breakfast thinking they would like them; they'd rather have Krispy Kremes next time, thank you!

Saturday morning was our county's Hazardous Waste disposal day; they do 4 of them through the course of the year, and I had some things that needed to go; old batteries from the Chrysler, the AMC and my last truck; the oil changes from the boys cars through the winter. John had some things at his house too, so I loaded up mine, put a car seat in the truck and then we went to their house. Each stop we rotated kids so everyone got a chance to ride in Grandpa's truck. The girls at the Hazardous Waste site were bit worried about that car following me until I explained what was going on!

A stop at Cabela's on the way home, a walk through the aquarium and I picked up some odds and ends. Dillon found a bag of water balloons, so I bought them as well since they had come with "water toys" to play with in the yard.

One of the things John was disposing of leaked in the bed of my truck, so when I got home I washed it, and when Dottie came home she fed the kids and got them in their swimsuits, then they got to play in the hose and with the sprinkler toy they brought with them while Grandpa made water balloons for them to play with. They had quite an afternoon!

Their first rides in the boat got put off again as John wasn't feeling good and he and Noel want to be there the first time they go out in the boat.

At 5 we went back to their house for dinner, returning the grandkids and finally giving Dillon the rest of his birthday presents. They had bought him "Arthur and the Invisibles" so that was the evening's movie; quite good, really!

Sunday I really wanted to fish, but Dottie's car was overdue for an oil change and the free ones from the dealer have all been used. I tried to talk myself out of it, but I felt to guilty to let it go another week, so I changed her oil and switched it from "regular" oil to Mobil 1 so I don't have to change it as often. Then I cleaned up and we went fishing, hitting the lake about 4 in the afternoon.

The wind was kicking a bit; trying to run a trolling motor and tie knots is always fun! Dottie had one rod still rigged from last time, so I handed it to her and set about rigging two of mine. By the time I made my first cast we were most of the way across the dam and the wind was easing a bit. I caught a small bass, then a couple of casts later my first "keeper" of the year. I didn't keep it, of course...18" fish are too rare in that lake right now to only catch them once, and if she hasn't spawned yet hopefully she can pass some of her size genes on!

A few more smaller fish through the rest of the afternoon, and since Dottie had to work today we cut things short a bit after 7 and came home. Still a delightful day!

In one cove as the sun was starting to settle behind the trees there was a crane who seemed to think I was trying to take his dinner; Dottie took some photos with the little digicam. I still have to get it out of the boat, and if any are halfway decent I'll try and get one up tomorrow!

I hope you all had lovely weekends and that the work week is kind! A 4 day for me, I'm looking forward to those 5 days off!


Thursday, May 17, 2007


I took a vacation day last Friday and we fished; Dottie worked both days this weekend, and Sunday after she came home John surprised her by taking us out to dinner at one of those places we'd probably never go on our own. Not only the surprise of the dinner, but getting to spend time with him, Noel and the grandkids on Mother's Day was the highlight of her year, I think!

Monday we both worked; Tuesday I took another vacation day to coincide with her day off. I knew it was going to rain early, so we went to see "Spiderman". Good movie, good tie up for the trilogy if it ends there! It was supposed to clear off around 3, but the drizzle and wind were still going at 4 so she talked me into changing the water filter under our kitchen sink and the hose to the spray nozzle on that faucet.

I shut off the water to the house, changed out the filter, then walked outside to go to the garage and get some tools- wouldn't you know the sun was out, the wind had quit and it had warmed up to close to 70!

Of course, the hose didn't cooperate and by the time I finished and had the water back on it was a bit after 6 and too late to bother to hook the boat up and go fishing before dark....

But, at least that's one thing off the list for this weekend!

We are hoping to take the grandkids for their first rides in the boat this Saturday, and that evening we'll give Dillon the rest of his birthday presents. When we had the party at the park for he and Andrew (his best friend, and son of Noel's best friend) the other week, Andrew's classmates were supposed to come as well, and it was decided that we should just take one gift that day and save the rest for later...

Sunday, despite the crowds, I hope to get a line wet!

I have her next Friday and Tuesdays off as vacation as well; they happen to coincide with my 3 day Memorial Day weekend. I don't know if she's figured out I have 5 off in a row yet...I may have to make that up to her somehow!

I hope the week is being kind to you all!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

To all those who are, were, or will be-
in fact,
in heart,
in spirit;

May this day bring you joy and beauty
worthy of the caretakers of our souls!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

For weeks I've stewed...

while this civilian

who couldn't be bothered to do the job he trained for while I was on active duty in the Navy thirty some years ago floating on a carrier off the coast of Vietnam has made comment after comment about the civilians in Congress trying to tell the generals at the Pentagon what to do. He accuses them of trying to micromanage!

Every general who disagreed with the above civilian and his cronies was reassigned, retired, or demoted. Colin Powell was exiled. He and his civilian buddies have micromanaged the deaths of 3400 of our children in 4 years, and he thinks he should still have a blank check!

Now he says he will veto the next bill if they only fund him for 60 days at a time, since he didn't like the last bill and vetoed it!

I hope he does!

I hope he gets so mad he holds his breath until he turns blue!

Meanwhile, the battle he could have won in Afghanistan is spinning out of control for lack of soldiers and equipment; he's going to lose both of them before he's done!

Yesterday he promised to help a little town in Kansas rebuild after the tornado that left only one building in their town standing. I remember when he promised the Gulf Coast he would help them rebuild as well...

On NPR they said that FEMA trailers that were destined for Katrina victims are being diverted to Kansas. I guess that means that there are still people waiting for trailers on the Gulf Coast, let alone the damn rebuilding!

Lower than a dead flea...

at the bottom of the Marianas Trench!


Monday, May 07, 2007

Connie got that right!

In her comment on my last she was so prophetic about our weather! I'm hoping Lori is OK because she's a lot closer to where the really wicked storms have been these last few days, along with those further South like JLee. Until tonight we had some rain, and some wind, but not "oodles" of both 'til the last 12 hours or so. Now they've issued a flood warning for one area just north of us "until further notice"! I've never heard them put it quite that way before!

Our week off flew by! Dottie worked last Monday and I mowed and puttered. Last Tuesday it was supposed to rain, but the "front" broke slowly and we made it out for 6 hours fishing. Not thinking we'd have that long neither of us put on sunscreen, though she finally did about 3 hours into our sojourn. Between us we caught a dozen bass and one bluegill; no keepers, but keepers in the lake we were on have to be 18". Wednesday the rain hit, so we did some more shopping for Dillon's birthday and some odds and ends here (while recuperating from a mild sunburn on both our counts). Thursday it was still raining, so we had a movie day; "Next" followed by lunch and then "Grindhouse". We both liked next; enough action for her, enough love story for me. "Grindhouse" got two thumbs up as well; I liked the "first" story better, and she the second. I have heard they are talking about adding footage into both and releasing them seprately in Europe; I would be curious to see the difference if the do. I loved the fake "trailers" and such they had before and between them as well.

Friday was overcast and supposed to rain again, but I couldn't stand it, and though it was sprinkling a bit, we went fishing again. The rain held off, and though the wind was getting up a bit we were out about 5 hours. Not as many fish this time, but bigger. We had arranged to keep all 3 grandkids overnight on Friday night, so as I tried to run the trolling motor and pick a backlash out of my reel about 4 on Friday afternoon, my phone rang. It's still amazing to me that I can be fishing and have that happen! On Tuesday I had been checking the weather on it to keep track of the storms...quite a world we live in!

Saturday was a joint birthday party for Dillon and his best friend Andrew, followed by the weekly shopping we tried to do while it wasn't raining for a bit. Today was mailing my unemployment card for last week, then a trip to Borders to use a 30% off coupon and some Border's Reward money and get Dottie one of her Mother's Day presents; the first season of "Stargate:Atlantis". I've been taping them all for her since it began, but the DVD's are so much better quality, and easier to store and keep track of!

For those who were curious; my wife is a bit of a technophobe to begin with, and also a very very private person. There are things about her I still don't know after over 30 years together, and have no doubt that I never ever will know them! I am the opposite; everything there ever was to know about me I told her before we ever one of those old B.B. King blues songs says; "I ain't no refrigerator, I can't keep nothin' in"! When I had my first computer with Windows 95 and ICQ I was chatting with people all over the world, particularly in Russia because somehow I had always known that the divisions between us had more to do with keeping politicians in power than the fact that we couldn't get along among ourselves. That I would talk to a stranger for hours on end that way bothered her then and still would.

With her working days, and me working nights, we don't see each other except when one of us is sleeping, except on the weekends or her days off. So I come home from work and hang out with you guys some, and if the window unit in our bedroom is running I can get away with watching a bit of TV without waking her up; otherwise I read or surf the net 'til I unwind and wander off to bed.

The next wave of storms is moving in now, so I'm going to shut down for tonight just in case. The lights in this old neighborhood don't go off as often as they used to, but even with the battery backup and the surge suppressors, I don't want to take a chance!

Hopefully all of you are dry and doing well!