Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I hates them. This one does not look like it has my best interests in mind.

Yours, either.

Think about that!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

They Just Rob Your Pic a Nic Baskets

Scott Adams (Dilbert) really and truly does not like bears.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

I've Got Yer Ghost Town Right Here

I was on my way to Ravanna, which is one of the closer ghost towns around here and I saw these bulls talking to each other, and this meme popped up in the ol' noggin. The one closest to me on the right was kicking dirt while I was digging the camera out, and after I put it back up.

I guarantee you that conversation wasn't particularly friendly. They like to "fight" a lot at times, which is mostly just pushing and shoving, snorting, tossing of heads, and dirt kicking. Yet somehow things get bent, fences are torn down and other maintenance headaches happen during these events.

Both pastures had plenty of cows and calves further away from the road, and I guarantee you they noticed me with the loud pipes. But, they all just watched me drive by. Ravanna is straight ahead.

One of the very few buildings left - and it's built from limestone rock. Same stuff they used for fenceposts.

There are a lot of these remains of buildings - just a mound littered with limestone chunks.

I think this is the graveyard. 

A big mound across the road from the courthouse.

The courthouse sat well off the main road, with building remains in the foreground.

Better shot of the courthouse.
The last time I was here was back when I was a teenager. Dad and I drove by while he was scouting out some spots to hunt deer. In my mind's eye, the graveyard was a lot further south, but where I thought it was - well, it was just pasture there and not a clue. I also thought the old Finney County State Lake was due west, but I went that way and it is not - I'm thinking it is to the east. The lake dried out years ago, and is just a large flat depression full of prairie grass and other growth. That was what Dad was scouting, as I recall.

That courthouse hasn't really changed in the forty odd years since last I saw it. I can remember more substantial walls, and I remember Dad saying people had been carrying it off as souvenirs. I think some people were caught and prosecuted, and that crap stopped. Plus, some high school pranksters (seven or eight years older than me) got caught digging up some Civil War veteran in the graveyard. They had taken some of the stuff found inside the coffin - medals and such.

I also broke out my way better point and shoot camera, so the pics are much bigger and better if ya click on 'em. After seeing all this, I headed west to another local landmark - White Mound.

This is just a big bluff/plateau east of White Mound. I had forgotten it was here. That is a pretty poor stand of dryland milo in the foreground. If it rains, the strips of green plants will take off, but the dried up areas are forever gone.

White Mound! This place has some emotional weight for moi because there were several little ponds in the pastures to the west, most of which had fish, and Dad had permission from the owner to fish there. He, Cuzzin Tom and I all spent some time there - I was totally bored after a while. I'd hook up a Rapala just for something to do, on the very off chance there might be a bass in there. Alas, it was just catfish. Which didn't bother Dad in the least - we'd go up there with stinkbaits, worms, liver and such and Dad just sat at the pond's edge, smoking cigarettes and enjoying the peace and quiet. We might have sandwiches and ice water or a pop or three along as well, but it was mostly a chance for Dad to relax away from it all. I'd get chastised were I too noisy because Dad didn't want me scaring the fish, he said. Now that I'm older, I think it was just to get me to shut up and be quiet and not ruin his afternoon off.

I should also mention that the owner at the time had a passel of sons, most of whom were schoolmates. A couple of them became musicians and started a band called - wait for it - White Mound. I had one of their t-shirts, but it turned into a rag many many moons ago.

Plus, on a different sort of adventure, my buddy Road Pig climbed up that thing in his 4wd Blazer. I think it was the Blazer - he got sorta serious with an IH Scout later because the Blazer couldn't take it.

And this milo looks better - kinda thin, but if it rains, it'll be worth cutting.

Plus, the trip on the scoot was pretty uneventful. It has been overcast all day, and it was spitting a tiny amount of moisture as I headed north from town. I'm not gonna be ripping down those gravel roads very fast real soon. I used to just run 45mph on the ol' Virago, but that was mostly when the weeds in the ditches were higher than me. I hit a pheasant once that about knocked me off the bike, and that was how fast I was going at the time. Plus, I wasn't real wild about suddenly sharing the road with deer I couldn't see coming. The weeds aren't doing as well these days, since they seem to require at least a tiny bit of rain, so the approaches to the roads were pretty visible,and the deer were playing well away from me today.

Also got 34.4mpg on that little excursion as well, so I couldn't have even come close with the FX4.

I will be doing this again - I had a lot of fun. It was my way of getting away from it all for a short time.

Just A Toy

2005 Suzuki C90 Boulevard. Actually, I think it's a C90T (touring) with the factory bags and windscreen. I wouldn't have bought it without those. It's got 26k miles on it, so it's been ridden.

It also has some extra goodies - the chrome fender lips have been added, the seat is not factory (it actually has another backrest - I like the extra room more than the extra back support), and it has a pair of slash cut pipes that are considerably louder than stock. It doesn't sound like a Harley - unless you think all loud V-twins sound alike. Of course it's got a throttle lock.

It's been a long, long time since I've ridden, and it shows. Mostly I have problems timing my stops so I don't drag my feet, and starting up again, as well as putting around in first gear going really slowly. With practice, I'll be "back."

I didn't want to spend big bucks on a Harley and then find out I don't wanna ride the dern thing. Not a whole lot of money in this sweetheart.

I was given an older size 2X Harley helmet with this, but it doesn't fit. Ordered a 3X Friday - I wanted a half helmet, but the dealer didn't have any half helmets in his catalog larger than 2X, which they had in stock anyway, and didn't fit. I'm pretty big on riding with a helmet, but it's hard not to do so when there is no helmet for Jeffro. So, I got some goggles that fit over my glasses (meeting semis about takes 'em off) so I can at least see safely.

I've just taken one short trip - went to Garden City. I took the long way - K23 north of Cimarron, then K156 on into Garden. I wasn't real confident in my abilities on US50/US400, so I kinda took the road less traveled. After I got done in Garden, I ran 'er back on 50 no problem. Other than having to duck behind the windscreen every time I met a semi.

I've really been wanting to get out on weekends and go see the local historical sites - old schoolhouses, ghost towns, museums, Indian battle sites, geological oddities and such. There are a lot of things to see within about 150-200 miles around here and all trip my trigger. I figure I can do all that a lot cheaper on this puppy than in the new truck. Not that I don't like the new truck anymore - that thing is slicker than snot on a doorknob, to rob one of Dad's old sayings. But the bike has it's charms as well, even if it isn't as comfortable.

So that's the evil plan.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Dunno....

Kitsey seems pretty resolute in her shunning of moi. Actually, Thursday morning at five am as I was headed out the door for work she did appear, and meowed at me wanting attention. At least I thought she did.

Sorry, but your timing sucks.

I skritched her head and headed out. She'd already had a couple days to do that, and I had to get to work to help keep her in Kitsey food.

So, the past couple days, I've seen her several times. She'll come out from hiding and roam around a little, but basically ignores me if I call her. In fact, if I do call her, she generally shows some heel and disappears again. She's hiding under a bed in a bedroom, and will not come out if I'm right there.

Just a little while ago I caught her at her food dish, so I approached her. I got hissed at.

Well, all this is kinda starting to piss me off, so I spoke rather firmly in a loud, fairly angry voice at her about how all this crap was not right - I had given her a home, I was feeding her favorite food, and I was more than willing to give her attention. If she wanted to be a bitch, just go back and hide.

I'm sure it was all "blah blah blah" to her, but she knew I wasn't happy, and she talked back to me some on her way back under the bed.

I was still wandering around a bit, and she slipped out and went back to her food dish. So, I spoke to her again in a firm voice so she wasn't surprised, and asked her if she was going to let me pet her. She did, and without hissing. Her back even rose involuntarily I'm sure.

Dunno if this is progress or not. It looks like I'm gonna really have to earn her respect, and I think I just made a big step in that direction letting her know who was the boss 'round here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not Quite What I Expected

I hadn't seen Bob in over a week. So, I texted Road Pig to see what was up. He informed me that Bob was there for the morning feeding, just like all the other mornings. So, he was ok. (In fact, later on last night, I did finally see him, plus this morning, and then this afternoon)

But that was not all. The past month has been pretty stressful for the family because they put his wife's mother in a rest home. Seems Mom had a cat who was originally her Dad's cat, but after he passed her mother took care of her. Now Kitsey needed a new home. Would I be interested? Poor kitty needed someone; she is so alone now, really tugging on the ol' heartstrings.

Well, not really. Still kinda shaky on the whole Rooster thing.

The next tack was to disparage me. "Turn key deal. Current shots, dishes, litter box AND litter, bag of food. Just meet her, ya big chicken."

Well, I knew once I said I would, I'd be coming home with a cat. So I said yes. Barring getting my face clawed off.

That did not happen. We moved her in, and she immediately hid in a corner. After I took Mrs. Road Pig back home and came back, she was still in the corner. I had to eat supper, and after that was done, I picked her up and put her in my lap. I did get growled at a tad, but she settled down.

Barely tolerating me
I finally had to get up, so I put her down and took care of bidness. I figured she'd hide behind the love seat, but she got clever. I don't know where she's stashed herself this time.

Things haven't quite gone her way for some time, and this even upset the apple cart even more. So, I'm for leaving her alone tonight and letting her become acclimated to the new digs.

So, we shall see. I think she'll be ok - just needs some time.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

How Do You Get Through Your Day?

Richie Parker is a chassis and body component designer (read: engineer) for Hendrick Motorsports, currently the most successful team in NASCAR now and for all time.

You might notice during the clip that he was hired as an intern for ten months, and he has been employed with them for eight years now. While I'm sure the HR and publicity departments at Hendrick and at NASCAR look at Richie as a double bonus (black and severely handicapped), I can also assure you that he would not be there if he wasn't good.* Plus, he's been there eight years, and we're just now hearing about him?

I am just as guilty for whining about my health situation and the complications as anyone else out there. I am unable to do many of the things that were stupid easy many moons ago.

However, I have all the limbs and digits that God saw fit to equip most of us at birth. Kinda puts it all in perspective, no?

*unlike our Affirmative Action President.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I'm A Wealthy Sumbitch


Dayum. I'm a one percenter. Cain't be. Gotta be unpossible.

But we all know that lots more of an all knowing government overseeing every little detail of our lives is much much better. According to the progs, at any rate. And besides, one of the Koch brothers? Are ya freaking kidding me? What do they know about capitalism or free markets?

Oh, wait.

Well, they just gotta be wrong, regardless of the facts.

And besides all that, it's all W.'s fault anyhow.

H/T Kevin at The Smallest Minority


EULAs just keep getting tougher!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Betcha Ya Ain't Heard This One Lately


At least I hadn't - good ol' satellite radio.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Do Me A Favor, Willya?

Jess of Scratching to Escape has posted about how his mother wasn't doing so well, and today he let us know she has passed on.

If you have a chance, go and give him some support in the comments. Not easy losing your mother, and it's the least we can do for him and his family.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Not Just Colorado Farmers

I can sure remember Dad getting a call, running outside to his tractor, hooking up to the offset disk, and roading off to help with making a fireline.

That is just something you do.

H/T Jed

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Obsession

As I said in the last post, I bought a pickup. I have been driving a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 LT extended cab, and it had 185k on it when it puttered off into the sunset. I loved that truck - it was classy, it rode nice, and it ran like a scalded dog, Pass everything but the fuel pumps, because it had the tow/haul package with the tranny cooler and 4.10 limited slip rears. When I bought it, gas was $1.39/gal. Yes, I'm obsessive and kept track of every expense, repair and so on. I also had it chipped, a lower temp thermostat, cat back duals, and a K&N intake setup to let 'er breath a bit better. Before I loaded it down with a ton of crap in the toolbox and in the extended cab, it would fry the tires.

So I was all set to buy another Chevy. But, as I got to looking around, I got the impression that the new ones were not as well done as my older version. The interiors seemed more cheaply made, and finding out they didn't even have a change holder in the console anymore only heightened that impression. Plus, I got to seeing how ALL the other manufacturers offered a console shifter with their bucket seats, but not GM. Column shifter all the way, baybee. Even their new revamped 2014 doesn't have that available. I noticed on a USA Today article that there were a bunch of commenters that were looking for just that option in the all new and improved model only to find out there would not be one. I'm not the only one that figured they'd buy something else.

Plus there was the whole Government Motors thing, along with Ram trucks. Sorry, but I'm of the opinion that I should get a taxpayer's discount when purchasing one of their products. I'll always feel that way. And frankly, from what I've seen, the Ram's have one of the better powertrains, but after that not so much. Their cabs just can't handle being rode hard and put away wet - the doors rattle and have to be slammed, stuff is always falling off, and so on. The heavier ones with Cummins diesels can't be beat for towing, but the cabs are still junk. My neighbor has also broken his frame a couple times. The truck is falling apart, but that Cummins keeps right on pluggin' away.

I don't need a heavy pickup.

Toyota and Nissan don't make very good mileage, and their designs are dated. I was wanting a certain set of options, and they both seemed to think the luxury stuff I was looking at required DVD players for the back seat.Yeah, like I need that.

You can probably imagine how obsessive I was looking at trucks online and trying to find what I wanted. and AutoTrader kinda suck, because not all dealers pay to be on their sites. Plus it's hard to fine tune searches there - yeah, you can weed F150s out of the others, but finding extended cab FX4s with the luxury package not so much. is where it's at to find a specific vehicle. Much better.

I was also looking for an extended cab, but in these days of crew cabs, they are kinda hard to find. So, what I was looking for was a four wheel drive crew cab pickup with the luxury seats. I was pretty well spoiled by the power leather seats in the ol' Z71, and my butt wanted the same thing. Ford has ten way power heated/cooled leather seats with power foot pedals. Check!

I was also pretty well impressed with the looks of the FX4 - comparable to the Z71. It has skid plates standard. The real off road Ford is the Raptor, but it comes with the 6.2 L V8. I like power, but I'm more into better fuel economy. The Lariats, Platinums and Limiteds all have skid plates as an option, but most do not have them installed. Another thing is that all those other trims have is fake wood interiors. I'm not into the tons of plastic chrome slathered all over the outside, nor am I into fake wood. The FX4 has none of that.

I was also really wanting a tail gate step. Ford offers a step that pulls out of the tailgate when it's dropped, then it angles downward with a flap that flips over giving your foot some purchase. A fairly tall rod handle is folded into the tailgate, and flipping it up gives you something to grab to climb into the bed. The dealer I went to had a Platinum equipped just like the FX4 but with the tailgate step, 3.23 locking rears instead of 3.55s, the power retracting running boards (which I think is a bit much). No skid plates. I was really into the idea of the lower gears, but not so much having a four wheel drive pickup w/o skid plates.

So I went with the FX4.

That is ruby red metallic clearcoat - it's an extra cost option. I also was considering black or gray like the ol' Z71, but this is the color I really wanted. FX4s have an option called the FX Appearance Package, which is flat black painted 20"wheels (the same ones as these but different paint), red piping trim on the seats, red trimmed FX4 badging, and some hockey stick shaped stripes on the side plus a big patch on the hood. I was all for everything but the stupid decals. Were I to find one of those, the decals were gonna be history. But I like the low key low gloss silver/gray these wheels have.

Just about everything has a backup camera these days - that is what the eye is for on the tailgate badge.

The view from the cab.

Free Sirius for a few months.

The home screen. The little bucket seats are for heating and cooling. There is an electric trailer brake controller built in, and the knob controls the four wheel drive and locking rear. The two buttons at the top are for a hill descent program and for turning the traction control off.

Not even 500 miles yet, and I'm averaging 14.2mpg. I did fill it up in Dodge after coming back from Wichita, and it was windier than you know what. It said 13.8mpg, but actual was 14.0. Of course there are several other screens for different stuff there as well.

This thing has the Ecoboost 3.5 L V6 with twin turbos and a six speed auto. This setup has more torque and hp than their 5.0 V8 that is offered, and has much better mileage than the 6.2. I can tell you there is some turbo lag, but not much. I took it out to the old back road today, and ran it through were I thought our old quarter mile marks were. Probably over eighty five through the quarter, and it is electronically governed at 100mph. Runs good! I think the Z71 would take it at first, but on down the quarter the Ford would suck it's doors.

I sure thought about changing out the air intake, adding a low restriction exhaust, and chipping this puppy. "They" say it really unlocks a bunch more power and torque, but I've got a warranty to consider. Ford isn't gonna stand behind their turbos if I put something upstream from them that ain't factory. And used to be, you could tweak the chip, and if you had some trouble, change it back before taking it to the dealer. Not anymore - they have telltales that let 'em know if it's been messed with. I may have been a fool, but I purchased an extended warranty, just because I'm pretty sure all this electronic crap isn't gonna make it for six years trouble free. After all, this thing is using Microsoft Sync, so there ya go.

For sure I'm getting some brush guards - the plastic crap on the Chevy up front looks stouter than this thing. I don't think it will take a pheasant hit very well. And I still may get a cat back exhaust - the service manager I talked to said they didn't have any conflicts with the warranty if I did that because I would be replacing all the parts that the warranty would cover, plus they didn't affect the other factory parts.So I got an unofficial go ahead there, more or less.

So, I'm hoping this thing lasts as long as I tend to keep vehicles. I really don't want to get something else for a long, long, time.

Landlord No More

Some of you already know this - and I was keeping pretty quiet online about it - but I finally sold the family ground. Since Sis and I have half shares, we split it down the middle. The money is enough to help out for some time, but it is not even close to being enough to retire on. Half sections of ground, while the price has gone up, are not that high out here compared to dedicated corn and soybean country.

Since the ground does not get enough rain to continuous crop like the guys in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and so on do,we have to summer fallow it, which means it sits idle for a year before it can be planted again. With the way the weather has been cooperating, that means I'm all in once every two years. This year, it was several late freezes plus drought that knocked it out. Two years ago, drought and hail - but the miniscule amount sold for a price I certainly wasn't used to. In all the years that I've been in charge since Dad died in '98 - Sis and I have gotten exactly one crop yielding over thirty bushels to the acre. I can remember Dad hitting it two or three times, but Dad generally planted milo, and had cattle. So he had three possible revenue streams. It got to where we just never could get milo to grow well enough to pay for the seed, so we stopped that. As a landlord, I rented out the pasture rather than run cattle.

And having the old farm house burn down didn't help either. I'd have liked to put something out there, but even after selling it I don't have the money to do much other than to plant an older used mobile home. It's cheaper for me to rent the place I've got now and it's a lot more convenient to "live in town." I'd have figured differently, but it turns out I'm a lot more adaptable than I thought I was.

And Sis could sure use the money as well.

And I sold it to the family that had been leasing/renting the place already. So, it's gonna stay a family farm. Dad would like that, I think.

So, I'm gonna be getting a new incisor crown - I've been toothless up front for long enough. Y'all probably know about the new pickup, or assumed that since I sold the old one. I've got some health related issues that need to be addressed, so I'll be taking the time to do all that. When yer on an hourly wage and ya ain't workin,' it makes it tough to pay the medical bills, much less the rent and other things.

And, I've always admired Charles for his World Tours. I'm not sure just how far I'm gonna get, or how long I'll stop, or much of anything other than I do want to to to OKC ( and I really, really need to see Chaz), Grand Rapids, MN, and Michigan to see relatives. Not sure if I'm gonna make it west to Denver - I've got an uncle there I really need to see (as well as several other people....). I've got another couple cousins on the west coast, but - well, not sure if I have the time to do all the other stuff and go thataway. Of course, this means that I'll be wanting to see all my online pals I've never met - Grey Havens, Farmer Frank, and Gawd willin' and the crick don't rise stopping off in Indy to meet the residents of Roseholm. I'm sure it would be best were I to time it to drop in on one of their blogmeets, should they hold one again. Not limiting myself to just this list, either - just don't want to get to detailed and promise something I cannot fulfil.

And I'd dearly love to see my dairy farming family buds in upstate New York, as well as Tatyana in NYC, but again, not sure about time to travel and all. I know Tatyana is dying to have me tour "her" city that she is so in love with, and it would be so awesome to see the crew at Northview. Were I to go that far east, I could not forgive myself were I not to see Washington DC and the Smithsonian, Philadelphia and other historical sites of interest.

I haven't even set the time yet, nor how much time I'll take. I've got three weeks (one benefit of seniority at this job), plus some personal days, but again, I'll probably approach this on a "when I decide to leave here, I'll go" basis. I'm kinda tired of hauling ass to get to a site to get unloaded, and hauling ass back to go out again. I'd kinda like it to be MY idea for a while.

So, there you have it. I may be coming to a town near you. Tickets iz free.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sad Anniversary

Twenty years ago today Davey Allison perished from injuries sustained when he failed to land his helicopter properly in a confined area at Talledega Speedway. He was the son of NASCAR legend Bobby Allison and the nephew of Bobby's brother and fellow legend Donnie. The Allisons, Red Farmer (who was in the crash and is still alive), Davey, Neil Bonnett, Hut Stricklin and Jimmy Means were all part of a group loosely called The Alabama Gang, because they were all from Alabama.

Larry McReynolds, who is now a color commentator and racing analyst for Fox, TNT and a columnist for, was hired to be his crew chief and they had quite a bit of success. It was assumed that Davey would eventually win the Winston Cup - he mixed it up regularly with Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Bill Elliot, Richard Petty, and Rusty Wallace, all champions as well.

NASCAR has more than a bit of nepotism built right in. Right now, there are several rising stars that are sons of former drivers - Jeb Burton (son of Ward Burton) and Chase Elliot (son of Bill) are a couple that pop into my head. But, there are no more Allisons for NASCAR.

And during that time, drivers weren't just getting killed on the track, no, they were dying in aircraft as well. The very same year Davey died, Alan Kulwicki, the newly crowned Cup champion, was killed in a crash in his sponsor's plane (Hooters).

But these days, they all seem to die on the track.

Goodbye Old Paint

Goodbye, faithful and trusty steed! You were relatively trouble free, reliable, comfortable and fun to drive for over 100k miles. You were snappy and had a darned decent amount of power, and your four wheel drive saved my hiney many a time. May you enjoy your new home!

Awww, Geeez

I know y'all are used to me posting political cartoons that get under my skin or make a point.

But today's strip from Overboard got under my skin in a somewhat different manner.

Don't be buying some purebreed over bred expensive freaking animal from some breeder. Save one of the many totally suitable critters at the local pound or animal shelter. They'll love ya with all their hearts. You just have to give them that chance.

I know this to be true.

Friday, July 12, 2013


This will make ya stop and think and go: "Brrrrr......"

Go read the analysis from Powerline.

I am in awe at the complete ignorance displayed here.

And I thought about labeling this "satire," but sadly it's completely true. Can't be satirical.

Color me gloomy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Future Meteorologist???


I'm thinking not.

Just sayin.'

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Man, I Gotta Tell Ya

I find it difficult to disagree with Ted Rall here. He's not been happy with Hope and Change for quite some time, and originally for different reasons than conservatives, but it's hard to not side with him on this issue.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Just Heard This


On a rerun of Letterman. John Fogerty with Dawes.

Now that right there is what I'm talkin' about.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Independence Day Blues

Yannow, for as long as I remember the Fourth of July has been a joyous occasion for yours truly. Little Jeffro, who didn't know any better, was totally into the fireworks thing. What a great day! All day setting off firecrackers, and then at night, shoot off a few of our own and watch the display the city put on. Great stuff.

Older me learned to appreciate the sacrifices and the highly unlikely events that led to the formation of our country, which in itself is a rather unusual form of government with some clearly out of the box thinking. I was proud of our heritage, how we had tamed a continent on the way to becoming the place the rest of the world wanted to be.

The good ol' U S of A's can do spirit, the unabashed inventiveness and cleverness, the freedoms we enjoyed, the eternal optimism certainly can make someone a tad nationalistic. We literally are number one in about any meaningful way of measurement.

But, we've seen our rights and our principles eroded over time. Our response to terrorism is to distrust everyone except those that are causing our problems, all in the name of political correctness. Our willingness to work out solutions has turned into a "what's in it for me for free" attitude that demands to be fed, housed and entertained at the expense of the rest of us. Our "free" markets have been so corrupted and distorted that only government aid can keep it all afloat, and that bill has yet to be paid.

This has all been true for some time, but in the past a lot of us had the idea that we could vote our way out of this, because by God, we ARE We The People.

But this year in particular we've learned the hard way that we are not in control and never will be. How do you vote out a bunch of career bureaucrats, such as in the IRS?  How do we stop the spying on ourselves when our elected officials act like it's nothing - if you don't have anything to hide, you have no problem.

Bullshit. You ain't supposed to be looking just because you want to. And then we get to the courts - they seem to be legislating out their anal orifices instead of the laws as written and our Constitution. And hey, guess what? We can't get rid of a bunch of 'em, and most of the voters could give a rat's a$$ in the first place.

Now some of my liberal friends are thinking "Wow, what a Republican rube!" because they'll automatically think I'm blaming Obama. Yeah, Dear Leader has definitely taken the reins and spurred that dark horse into a full gallop towards totalitarianism, but the roadwork was laid even before George W. and the Patriot Act, which turned that route into an interstate. This is not something one can lay at the feet on just one party.

This has been coming for a long time, and "this" isn't just one thing - it's a sickly melange of a ton of separate problems interlinked into a stinking Gordian knot of political corruption.

So, sorry if I'm not acting like the spouse of a wife beater, always putting out a happy face for public consumption while she is getting the tar beat out of her. Nope, I'm not much on facades, and this whole mess is just another veneer covering a nasty stench.

Monday, July 01, 2013


Day one with Feedly.

I survived.

Many of you are saying "What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is Jeffro talkin' about - the damn fool?!?"

Feedly is an aggregate news reader. Google had one until today, known as - imagine this - the Google Reader. Many of us loved it, but they decided to give it the axe. A$$holes.

Just to get technical here - most blogs and news sites have RSS or some variant (like Atom) of a feed whenever a new post is put up. So, when I post something new, Blogger software sends out an RSS feed on a specific web address. Software that checks on those specific sites can then use that information to inform a subscriber that a new post is up - thus the feed reader.

When you follow much over fifty blogs, it's far easier to use a feed reader than it is to check each blog manually, because you and I both know lots of blogs may not update for days or even weeks. Using a reader bypasses all that, and you don't have to visit the blog to see updates. Using a reader actually freed up a lot more time so I was able to keep track of more blogs. Good deal all around.

And Google Reader was simple, effective, and user friendly. Alas, no more.

Google Reader was a specific website of Google's that one had to sign in to read - the advantage there was that you could sign in on ANY computer anywhere and read the blogs with new posts.

Feedly is not Google Reader. It is, however similar, but it is now a piece of software in my browser - an extension. I'm sure I'll still be able to access it from a different computer, but I'm not sure yet. Plus, it doesn't automatically update as often as the old Reader did. I haven't played with the settings enough to know if that can be changed. For now, manual updated is ok, I guess. I liked the layout of Reader better as well, but this will work.

Rumors are that Google killed off the Reader in order to push us all more into Google+, a service I've never completely warmed to. I'm on it, but I'd bet I haven't logged on in more than a month. And many in the geek world feel this was a terrible error, including Facebook, who is rumored to be working diligently on a feed reader that would be integrated into their services. Facebook will gladly take on the Reader contingent.  Google never monetized the service, which means they didn't have ads. You can bet your bippy the "free" replacements will.

Another thing I had to do was clean out all the unread posts I'd accumulated in Feedly. I'd had it downloaded and integrated into my browser some time ago and continued to use Reader. Well, according to Feedly, I'd never read about 2500 posts. So, I had to go to each blog and manually "mark all as read" to clean it up. Took about five or ten minutes.

So, I mourn Reader, but I figure I'll survive. And yes, I do realize this all marks me as a major geek, because 95% of you out there could give a rat's patootie about RSS, feeds and blogs. So what, I say.

I do, and that's the way it is, July 1, 2013.