Tuesday, November 30, 2010

He Just Can't Help It

Poor Pat Oliphant. Sarah has gotten under his skin so far he's just about a one trick pony.He can't move on. Either she's dumb, her followers, or both. Unlike he and his fellow progressives, who apparently are sparkling intellectuals.

I've said it before - I'm not sure Sarah Palin is the answer to our need for a president. However, if she can keep provoking reactions like this with absolutely no effort on her part, well, she's got my support. I can just imagine four to eight years of exploding heads.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm Shocked, Shocked To Find That Gambling Is Going On Here!

With apologies to Claude Rains in Casablanca.....

AP – FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2010 photo, Willie Nelson performs before the start of the NASCAR AAA Texas 500 …
SIERRA BLANCA, Texas – A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman says country singer Willie Nelson was charged with marijuana possession after 6 ounces was found aboard his tour bus in Texas.

Patrol spokesman Bill Brooks says the bus pulled into the Sierra Blanca, Texas, checkpoint about 9 a.m. Friday. Brooks says an officer smelled pot when a door was opened and a search turned up marijuana.

Brooks says the Hudspeth County sheriff was contacted and Nelson was among three people arrested.

Oh, reeeeeeeaaaallly? Get out with yo' bad self!

Ol' Willie is still suffering as a man ahead of his time. The rest of the world just ain't caught up yet.

Of course, while capturing the old outlaw for smoking pot would hardly drain (or I'd hope so) the resources of the law enforcement community - it's still agin' the law, dude! Prolly shouldn't have been tokin' up just before ya cross a border check! Just sayin.'

Friday, November 26, 2010

Colorful History


Any old war photos or videos in color generally catch my eye - because the majority of the media is black and white. This is some rare footage of the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri. Go and read the Belmont Club's far more informative take on this video.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

There's A Little Geek In Ya

If you know what this is and where you would find it - and I don't mean the quarter, smarty pants!

Okay, Next Year - On the Menu!


A bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a pig. With bacon. And dressing.

Totally awesome!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
   come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
   It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
   we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Be safe, and enjoy the fellowship of family and friends!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I See What Oliphant Did Right There

See, he used racial profiling to prove his point - that searching everybody before boarding a plane is necessary for our safety and to prevent - racial profiling!

Of course, what he's wanting to do is show how white racist overweight Rethuglicans just don't get the big picture because there are terrorists waiting to slip through the cracks. Guess getting the message across wouldn't be the same caricaturing a Timothy McVeigh (the liberal fallback example of why racial profiling isn't perfect) type.

No, it's just far easier to blame those who still believe in the Bill of Rights for disrupting air travel than it would be to examine just who is really attempting to disrupt said traffic. And use a caricature of a radical Muslim to prove the point, thus showing his true racial feelings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Serving Notice

If you are sitting at a stop sign and see me coming, but do not stop and in fact pull out in front of me? And you take your sweet time winding that hoopty up? And I've had to stomp on the brakes to keep from running over your dumb ass?

Then you really weren't in a big enough hurry to warrant pulling out in front of me. Don't be surprised if I dog your bumper until you either get it in gear or I can get around you.

If I have to pass your cranium filled rectum, don't be surprised if I cut the room for my trailer just a tad short, just to let you know you f*cked up.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Was I Today?

There is a certain blogger who probably knows exactly were I was when I took this. All I'm gonna say is that is the museum display area of an Air Force base. The rather large plane seen from the tail to the left is a B1B bomber, and further to the right is a 707 decked out in Presidential livery. Another huge plane not visible in this shot is a B52. As many times as I've been to this town, you'd think I'd have visited these planes on display, but alas, I have not.

Southern Fried Rock


I don't know what I'd do with an iPod loaded up with all my records and CDs - mostly because I get more variety from SiriusXM. I've got a ton of stuff, but there are a lot of things I don't have.

Like The Outlaws. Southern Fried Rock? Got some. Molly Hatchett? Check. Charlie Daniels? Check. Marshall Tucker Band? Check. Little Feat? Check. And so many more. But, for whatever reason, no Outlaws. So, I'd miss out on hearing songs like this one. Two lead guitars and harmonizing vocals. Enigmatic lyrics:
"From what I gather, there was an album out, the best of The Rolling Stones, called 'High Tides and Green Grass.' That was the name of the Rolling Stones' greatest hits - this is like 1966 - and I think it was a manifestation of that title turned in reverse, 'Green Grass and High Tides.' I know that much. And I know that it was a song written for rock and roll illuminaries, from Janis Joplin to Jimi Hendrix, and it had nothing to do with marijuana. But it had to do with, I think, a specific person's [Thomasson's] lyrical look at rock and roll legends. 'As kings and queens bow and play for you.' It's about Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. 'Castles of stone, soul and glory.' A lot of it is just sort of a collage of words that really don't have all that much to do with anything, they just fit and sounded right. But I have to say it's one of my favorite lyrics. My songwriting is more Steinbeck, really rooted in accuracy and reality; this is definitely Alice In Wonderland. It's the whole 'White Rabbit.' It's sort of like one of those magic lyrical moments that will forever be mysteriously, unclearly conceived."[2]

That was founding member Henry Paul speaking about the meaning of the lyrics.

The Outlaws are still around and have been in one form or another, but their heyday was from the early seventies until around 1980. After that, their sound changed, and they ceased to exist for periods of time.

But, when they were on, they were on.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Ah hab uh code. Doan hate me for bean a whynur.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

He Wishes

Stay classy, Pat Oliphant!

Can you imagine the outcry if Teh Won were depicted as dead, and portrayed in a manner that indicated the death was a good thing? I can see him now, x's for eyes. Secret Service and the FBI hauling my butt away. Since that would show aggression, hatred, racism - what else am I missing?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Soule's Folly

One of the cool things about living in the old Wild West is the history associated with the area. What you see north of US50 meandering across the terrain is the remains of an old canal dubbed Soule's Folly. The dry riverbed to the south is the Arkansas River.

Asa Titus Soule, born in Duanesberg, NY on August 2, 1824, was hardly the prototypical western hero. The eleventh child of Quakers, it is believed he had no involvement in the Civil War. In fact, it wasn't until he was in his forties that he found success as a patent medicine manufacturer - the Hops Bitters Company, with its showcase products Dr. Soule's Balm Syrup and Soule's Hop Cure for Colds and Coughs.

Armed with money, he was convinced by some friends from Dodge City to invest in the area by developing it. In the 1880s the area was being touted by the government as a potential paradise, and land was cheap. Irrigation could make the area bloom. He decided to found a town - Ingalls. Emerging towns, in order to survive, really needed about any advantage they could obtain - rail service was important, plus the legitimacy conferred by becoming the county seat. Soule sought this for his new town.

The problem was Cimarron (my hometown). Founded several years earlier and fairly well established, Cimarron was determined to become the seat of Gray County. It already had a fairly established farm based economy. Plus, Cimarron won the initial census and vote count for county seat, with Montezuma coming in second and Ingalls a distant third. Enter Soule with his money. He promised Montezuma and Ensign (another town in Gray County) a railroad. Ingalls was to get a sugar mill. Dodge City was to get a college - which it did. Soule College was built on the north side of town, eventually becoming St. Mary of the Plains College. Destroyed by a tornado in the forties, it was rebuilt, and I studied pre-med on an academic scholarship there.

Plus, Soule began build a ninety mile irrigation canal starting around Ingalls and ending in Edwards County between Spearville and Kinsley. Water rights along the way would be for sale. The local population along the canal exploded.

So, on October 21, 1887, the stage was set for the election for the county seat. Was it all aboveboard and legit? Are you kidding me? Cimarron won, but probably the most egregious perfidy among the gunplay and ballot box stuffing was from a group of Foote Township (where I live, and I'll gladly entertain bids for my vote - just sayin') Equalization Society, aka The Oark (sp???) Lantern Society. Apparently 72 farmers sold their votes to a group of Cimarron businessmen for a bond worth $10,000. The bond was found to be a forgery since the businessmen all signed each others' names, so the Foote Township farmers didn't make a dime for selling out. 

Naturally, charges of fraud were brought up by Ingalls. Cimarron gained a leg up when the County Commissioners appointed a County Clerk Pro Tem, who on the order of writ from the Kansas Supreme Court obtained the county records from Dodge City and brought them to Cimarron. A temporary courthouse was established on the second floor of a building downtown. It used to be the Western Auto store when I was a kid.

On November 8, 1888 a second election was held, with both sides claiming victory. The Kansas Supreme Court determined that Ingalls had won the Sheriff and County Clerk positions, but the citizens of Cimarron refused to part with the records. Soule tired of this and hired (remember, this is the Old West) several gunmen to take the records by force. Two of the notables were Bill Tilghman and Jim Masterson (younger brother of Bat). There were other members of the notorious Dodge City Peace Commission hired as well.

On January 12, 1889, the "Ingalls" men rode into Cimarron. The pro tem clerk, threatened with his life, played for time as the records were loaded into a wagon. The "Ingalls" men found themselves surrounded by about two hundred Cimarron men. In the ensuing gun battle, some of the Ingalls men tried to hide out in the "courthouse," but were shot at through the floor from below. Many were wounded, but only one man from Cimarron was killed - a John Wesley English (I had some neighbors named English). The governor sent two companies of militia to maintain order, and Ingalls got their county seat.

A disillusioned Soule retreated to New York and his elixer business. Within a year, he was dead. His canal (which he had fortuitously sold) failed - the ground was too sandy and the water just disappeared into the ground in the first several miles. Plus, a drought hit the area, bringing water levels down and hurting the economic viability of Ingalls, who no longer had their benefactor for support. Many Ingalls residents left the area. On February 1, 1893, a special election for county seat was held, which Cimarron won. There are still hard feelings between Ingalls and Cimarron over the dispute.

A flood in 1895 destroyed some of the buildings at the head of the canal, but it filled the reservoir the canal was to obtain it's water. Some investors installed two centrifugal pumps, but once again, the canal absorbed too much water in too short a distance. A second flood in 1921 buried the pumps - one of which has been recovered and is on display in Ingalls. Also, in a battle still fought in the courts today - in 1902 the US Supreme Court ruled that the State of Colorado could use as much water from the Arkansas River as it wished. They did, and still do, leaving bupkis for Western Kansas. Can you say John Martin Reservoir? But, to be fair, continual depletion of the water table from irrigation from water wells has a lot to do with not having a river in our river.

So, Soule's everlasting monument is some mounds of dirt left only in virgin prairie - the canal has been farmed over for most of it's length. Of course, Soule Street in Dodge City is named for him, and Canal Street in Cimarron marks where the canal actually passed through town. It's pretty likely without his interference, the Gray County Seat War would have never happened.

My sources for this post were mostly from Cimarron's premier third grade teacher Elsie Wagner. Her passion was local history, and she published her book Cimarron, the Growth of a Town after she retired. She wasn't my assigned third grade teacher (not my choice at the time, I really wanted in her class), but she did teach my class history. Excerpts are available at our former John Deere dealer Pete Thomas's site CimarronKansas.net - a neat destination in it's own right. Not many towns have a site like this. Also, I used information from kansapedia, the Sole Society, and the Kansas Collection. I have seen some of the old bullet holes in the old Western Auto building - the second floor was converted into an apartment where a friend lived many moons ago.

Gunfight at the OK Corral? Professional gunfighters in quick draw battles? High Noon?

Not really. But pitched battles between mostly ordinary citizens in a small downtown? Hired gunmen? It happened in my hometown, so many years ago.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Is a Veteran?

I can remember getting this email several times, so being the inquisitive type I am, I looked it up. This piece has been misattributed to Father Denis Edward O'Brien, M.M. - with his first name spelled as Dennis.
He was always quick to state that he was not the author, but did find the text poignant.
It turns out the piece does have an author:

Dear Kind Sir or Madam:
I think your website is fantastic!
I hope you will consider my request in the sincere manner in which it is made. In reference to the piece, “What is a Vet?” which is often attributed to Father Denis Edward O’Brien, USMC: the correct reference should be: Editorial, The Richmond Times-Dispatch: November 11, 1995.
My husband, Anthony Barton Hinkle, wrote the piece for a Veteran’s Day editorial. Basically, the editorial hit such a nerve that it was quickly passed along and eventually ended up on the Internet, attributed to Col. James Hackworth, a CEO named George S. Gennin, somebody named Bob Jack, and most frequently Father Denis Edward O’Brien. As with lots of emails, it just took on a life of its own and is hardly ever properly credited. However, the editorial is reprinted by the Times Dispatch every year on Veteran’s Day.
Would you please take the necessary steps to have the reference corrected on your website? I have a link at the bottom of this page so that you can verify the legitimacy of this information. [Webmaster’s Note: The link to the above reference to the Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Very sincerely,
Dawn M. Hampton
Richmond, VA
November 3, 2006
Before posting this, I just wanted to make sure it was what it appeared to be, since it came in an email. I didn't want to give credit where credit wasn't due, thus the lengthy explanation. So, without further ado:


Anthony Barton Hinkle

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg – or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s alloy forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.
He is the Nebraska farmer who worries every year that this time, the bank really will foreclose.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 39th Parallel.
She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another or didn’t come back at all.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who never has seen combat – but who has saved countless lives by turning slouchy no-’counts into soldiers, and teaching them to watch each others’ backs.
He is the parade-riding legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the anonymous hero in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the other anonymous heroes whose valor died unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now and aggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp, and who wishes all day long his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being – a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
Be sure and thank a veteran today. We owe them.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Warriors! Come Out To Playeeyay!

Our saga today begins with Our Good Green American Guys gettin' some good ol' R&R - relaxing as much as a stiff plastic figure can. It's been tough on Our Guys, and they deserve some time off to unwind. Maybe they shooters can relax their grips for a little bit.

What? What just happened? Can't Our Guys get some rest?

Apparently not. Some sort of fantasy trans-dimensional horror warriors have just materialized - threatening Our Guys. "Warriors, come out to playeeyay!" they say. It's a low down old fashioned gangland sneak attack, is what it is. These half alive, half dead beings won't be happy until they have sucked the marrow from Our Guys souls.

Yeeeees, they are a rough looking bunch for sure. I'd bet those cleavers haven't been sterilized in a day or three.

Oh, but wait! It's popular cartoon characters Buzz and Woody! "Stop!" says Buzz. "Hi!" says Woody.

Oh my, I think they're here to "dialog." Do they have any sort of powers that might help Our Green Guys?

Meh. Not so much. Woody appears to think he can break out the old Somebody Else's Problem Field. Buzz just raises his fist. I don't think denial is a river in Egypt for these two.

Oh my. This is not good. The green trans-dimensional warriors are chopping our cartoon icons into little bits. Our Green Guys (didja notice the wicked warriors are a much more sickly and disgusting green?) have been caught off guard - the Stealth Fighter is parked without a handy runway, the jeeps are out of gas, and the tank needs reloaded. Oh, my, what will they do? 

Silly trans-dimensional horror monster warriors - they should know Our American Green Guys always have someone watching their six. Leader guy called in an attack helicopter air strike.

Hah! So there, mean old monsters! A few rockets and some cannon fire kinda trumped rusty old cleavers and worn magic staffs! Guess that'll show y'all not to mess with the Best! Get some rest, boys, you've earned it.


I'd say Ramirez has it covered here......

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Gonna Get High


Frankly, this jaded internet junky found this video a bit inspiring. It's ten minutes long, so your intertube will be sucked dry for a while, but the views are worth it. I didn't even mind some sermonizing at the end.

Thanks to Nunkle Kim

Thursday, November 04, 2010

For Some Reason

I like to sleep when I'm in a motel room.

Tuesday night? When I posted last? Sleep? Not so much.

I'm gonna name names here - I and two others had rooms at The Branding Iron Motel in Faith, SD. It's a little place, older but seemingly fairly well kept. The room was neat and clean when I checked in, but hot. The building is "L" shaped, with a tiny restaurant near the center - which was also the office. I checked the thermostat on the wall for the heater - and it was set a fifty degrees. I turned down a wall heater, and there was another heater under the desk. It gets cold in that area, so I'm sure all those heaters would be a good thing at the appropriate time.

Just not tonight - it was just too hot in there. So, I cranked up the wall unit A/C and went to the cafe to eat. The cafe was pretty good, but the only waitress there really needed some help - so if you wanted a refill on iced tea, you had to ask. But, like I said, they were busy and she needed some help. Our corporate credit cards didn't want to run, so we were gonna have to wait until the next morning to try again and get our receipts.

Back to the room, where it was still hotter than Hades. The A/C was cooling a tiny hallway leading past the bathroom, but not reaching into either the can or the bedroom area. I'd hate to see how hot that room might get when it was warmer than about fifty degrees outside. Mkay, lets see about the internet. As I said in the previous post - no signal. So, I go to the can, man. About a fourth of a roll of bunghole fodder awaited me. No spare roll. Plus, the restaurant/office is now closed, so TP conservation is now in order.

It was just too hot to sleep - even with no covers. Toss and turn - nada.

Until about midnight - they are on Mountain time so it was one am for me. Someone just walked right into my room! I hadn't noticed the door didn't automatically lock. As it turned out, it didn't really matter.

Oh, sorry!

Ok, mumble mumble.

Well, that was unexpected. About five minutes later:

Hey, you in there!

WTF now?

You're in the wrong room! We've got the key, and this is supposed to be our room!

Uh, no - I've got a key and I've got this room.

Well! We've got a receipt! Do you have a receipt? Can you prove this is your room?

I've got to run my card in the morning when I turn in the key before I'll get a receipt. Otherwise, I've got the key and I'm already in this room. I'm not going anywhere.

Crap, what now? Are these guys gonna crash in and try to throw me out? I was just in some gym shorts and had my stuff all laid out all over the place.

So, is there a number we can call?

Yeah, that's me, expert on all things considered with this motel. If y'all already have a key and a receipt - you've been around this place well before me.

Hell, I dunno - this is the first time I've ever stayed here. Can't help ya there.

So, they went away. Had there only been one guy, I might have even offered to let him have the other bed in the room. But two of them? Probably drunk? Meh, not so much.

I lost track of things about two am - when I finally fell asleep. When I got up the next morning, it was evident that I had rationed the bungfod perfectly, if you know what I mean and I think that you do. The shower was just that - a tiny fiberglass shower. Patched with duct tape. I'd gotten about half soaped up when the hot water just quit. Oh boy, does it get any better? I shut the water off and figured I'd do a super quick rinse, if you know what I mean and I think that you do. When I got ready, the hot water came back - at least long enough for me to finish.

When I checked out, the waitress at the cafe told me the room mixup was her fault. I remembered why my card wouldn't run - we aren't authorized to purchase anything at a business that sells alcohol. Since the cafe serves beer, we can't charge a room - unless we call our finance guy and he clears it for us online. Well, it was well before he got in to the office, so I just paid cash.

She said she gave the two guys a refund - but where they slept? Got no idea. I'd looked online and knew there is another motel across town, but most of those places sell out every night. On my way back home, I drove by and it has truck parking, plus it's a hell of a lot more modern. I suspect we'll be staying there in the future - if we can get rooms reserved early enough.

If it comes down to staying at the Branding Iron or quitting a lot earlier - it's an easy choice for me. I won't stay there again.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Broadband Blues

Since I live in motels for a major portion of the week, availability of broadband in said "home away from homes" is pretty important to me.

Many is the times I've been disappointed. Usually it's a problem with signal strength - the motel's owners put a WallyWorld wireless router in their office and called it good. Which is apparently the case tonight - while it's a secure network, I'm only getting one bar on my meter from the built in card in this laptop.

Ok, so I've got a backup. I carry a USB wireless stick that gets better reception. Only tonight, when I hook it up, the status light blinks about three times and quits. My 'puter recognizes the gadget, but it ain't workin.'

Well, crap. Normally, that would be it right there, unless I wanted to take my laptop outside in my underwear to get a better signal. No one wants that. While I'm an internet addict, I'm not willing to go that far.

But, things have changed. I've got a Droid 2 and it can be tethered. Verizon wants another $20 a month to use it as such.

Say what? I'm paying for an unlimited smartphone data plan that I can't access?

Enter PdaNet. The download is free, but you can't go to a secure site with the free version - so Gmail, or Google Reader, or dowloading email from my ISP's server ain't gonna happen. Unless I pop for the full version - which was supposedly somewhere around $25. They had a special and I got it for $17.95, if memory serves.

Works pretty stinking good, too. I've noticed the charging really can't keep up with the battery drain - so a long session really pulls the it down. I've read some reviews about how hot the phone gets as well - and that is a tethering issue period and has nothing to do with anything PdaNet does. This phone warms up, but not enough to make me worry.

So, if you've got an Android phone, I heartily recommend PdaNet. It doesn't support bluetooth tethering, but neither does the Verizon setup.

I can still get my fix!