December 21, 2018

Some Clean Friday Morning Thoughts

No cussing today. Yes Heidi really is sound to sleep in that photo. It was in 2011 soon after I picked her up from the basset hound rescue. With rain all night and very dark skies this morning for the 8am walk with Stella, the camera was traded for the 25' retractable leash. Consequently I have dipped into my photos archive to put something together for this post. It was fun to look back and each photo will have a paragraph of small commentary. Some interesting photos, I think.
Heidi, whom at the time was named Lucy, came with a reputation as "a runner". The foster mom and adoption agency told me under NO circumstances that she should ever be off a leash, no matter what. So we took walks that first week with her on the same 25' retractable leash I used this morning.
She was thrilled with all the space she could explore and run. Sorry for the blurry picture but I had a leash in one hand with a hound running on the end of it and my camera in the other hand.
After five days of following those instructions of 'leashed at all times' I could tell she was going to be great without one and gave her total freedom anytime she was outside. After seven years and six months, she has never ran away, has never gone near the highway and is let out on her own so she can explore solo. She likes that.
You have heard me talking about the "land of burs" just right of our path from the dead ragweed. After I pull those burs from Stella's coat before we continue our walk they all end up on my gloves or jeans. I have found the easiest way to shed them ... wipe my gloves on the tall field grass laying next to the ground.
Sometimes bigger is not better when it comes to large 4K HD televisions. This past summer I decided I needed a larger tv to give me more real estate to take advantage of Dish Network's 4-screen split, for watching ballgames. It is not the reason I switched from DirecTv after 19 years but it is a nice feature I found after Dish Network was installed.

During my research to see which tv was the best for sports viewing, reading through many lab reports, I found this diagram that shows the "honest" answer on what size of screen to buy. I pulled out my Stanley tape measure and decided the 55" screen would serve me better than the 65" or larger screens that had some great prices.
Since in the past I have bought duplicate movies on DVD and music on CD's, forgetting I already had a copy ... a year or two ago, I alphabetized my movie collection just like my music collection that I did years before. This might be a little OCD but I can find movies easier now when I am looking for something to watch and I never buy duplicates.  :)
Last summer during my week of reorganizing, sorting, recycling, throwing away stuff from electronics to 30 years of paper files ... I still have all of these electronic cords that are no longer used, outdated or more than I need. My local recycling no longer accepts electronic gear from stuff like this to tvs, computers or stereos. All of this sits hidden in my 'stereo' closet inside a new trash bag just waiting for me to find a place to accept it as recycling.
During Stella's destruction period when I first got her in 2015, she let me know real quick she loved the taste of a dried sweat baseball cap ... even if it was one of my favorites.
After you retire you have all the time in the world for yard work or other projects outside, that you never had time to do on weekends or during the week after work. Yes, that is the 'north' part of the yard where you see Stella ending her walks and hiding behind that first tree while facing the camera.
Here is the corner of the bank that I go back and forth with, whether to let it grow back under more control by me or keep cutting it as grass. The reason would be for soil erosion.
This idea to clear the brush all started when my neighbor a few houses away bought the field through an estate sale and had the land surveyed. To my advantage his survey was much different than mine in 2000, by THE SAME COMPANY!!!!  :) Once they planted that property pole on the corner, this was all mine ... so I cleared and burned the brush, pulled up roots with a rake, raked out some soil and planted grass seed.

I might have made a huge mistake. Now in heavy rain storms the water flows toward the camera down the center of that cleared area, makes a 90° turn right at the edge of that bank on the left and flows down the small hill towards my house. The old underground drainage system will be replaced by me this spring.
In June of 2008, 'Straight Line Winds' decided to show me what a 120' sycamore tree would do to my DirecTv satellite dish. At the time, it was mounted on a post in the middle of the front yard to clear the bank of trees facing south. After those winds cleared 80 feet of bank by pulling large trees out of the ground like weeds, I had a clear view of the southern sky. The new satellite dish installer was able to mount the dish near the house, like right on the house not the roof. It was my choice to mount it there to prevent high winds, which we always get, from destroying my tv signal .... I can't miss watching a ballgame just because of severe stormy weather. :)
I needed some landscaping bricks a few summers ago Another one of those projects you have time to complete when retired. The Home Depot cashier told me to pull around to their garden center. When I got to the gate of the garden center, he said pull your "Mini" right up next to the pallets by driving down the aisle. How's that for some service.
The just proves how versatile the Mini Cooper S 2-door can be. The owners manual for my 2009 Mini Cooper S told me I could put 700# over the axle. 22 bricks were only 400# and did not prevent me from going 75mph all the way home.
1961 VW Single Cab Pick-up w/Treasure's Chest

The Germans were way ahead of the design curve in pickup trucks. The edges around the truck bed fold down to make it a flat-bed truck. The "Treasure Chest' goes the width of the bed, right behind the cab, below the truck bed and can be opened on either side. It was great in snow and back in 2003 it was my main daily driver to work in all kinds of weather. Oh, the payload was 2,000 pounds and a pallet would fit with the edges folded up. Who needs that $64,999.99 Chevy Silverado when you can have one of these?
1967 Two-Tone Standard VW Bus - 1963 VW Cargo Van
The '67 use to be mine. It was my very first eBay purchase back in 2002(?). Driving back from Tucson, it blew it's engine 9 miles north of Truth or Consequences NM on I-25, an extremely hot Sunday morning. A year later I bought the '63 Cargo van in Salt Lake City, UT and met Dennis in Colorado right off Hwy 50 for some camping. He drove up from Alamogordo, NM and had installed a new engine, then converted it into a camper.

The '63 Cargo van had dual Weber carbs, a 'freeway flyer' for a transmission and I cruised back to Indiana on I-70 and I-64 passing cars on the outside lane with room to spare under my accelerator pedal. The 80mph speedometer was maxed out most of the way. Ran like a champ.
Living proof just how tall the Tulip Trestle might be. Read about the trestle here, still used to this day by trains traveling east and west in the country through "the tropics' of Southern Indiana.
A lake and great campgrounds a short distances from the house. You have to have a government ID card to get on the base where the lake and campgrounds are located. That results in very few people around, an open lake to sail, canoe or kayak. Plus very quiet campgrounds
In the summer of 2002, since Cincinnati was building their new Great American Ballpark so close to Riverfront Stadium they cut a section out of the circular Riverfront Stadium left field, tore out the Astroturf and planted grass. The Reds still needed a place to play that season until the new stadium opened in March 2003.

Many Reds fans agreed with me ... with the modification, a great old stadium, why not keep it instead of building new. We all know the reasons ... they need new stadiums and all those corporate boxes sold to make payroll so they can pay those overpriced athletes.

It was found out later the new stadium was close to the same design presented to those in power back in the late 1960's. Instead they built Riverfront Stadium. The design was popular then because it was a circular multi-purpose stadium where baseball and football could be played. Duplicate round, multi-purpose stadiums were built in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis about the same time.
I wonder if I could use this 5 Schilling bill at my local mini-mart for that 20oz coke and a small bag of chips I pictured the other day on my blog post about my eating style?

I had seriously thought of writing a clean version, no cussing, about the tv news I've been tuned into this week instead of what I have posted here. I can say I have turned into a calm unbiased news viewer/reader away from an angry, cussing tv viewer/reader since my last post. It is hard to sort out all the stuff presented. I've gone back to CNN most of the time for my news after years of boycotting them.

They seem more "newsy" than their competitors. I can sort out the fake stuff and the real stuff on my own, I'm not that stupid. Still, they do have certain commentators I have to turn off because it is very obvious they are not as unbiased as I am. The latest news affecting the world ... they say ... is the James Mattis letter telling the world that he was quitting and why.

Personally for me this has always been a tough question to answer. I can see both sides of having American troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. My nephew has been able to survive three different tours to Iraq. I've been on deployments 20-30 years ago on aircraft carriers outside and inside the Persian Gulf. I have also worked in government, closely with those that did those ground deployments after 9/11.

Conflicted might be the better word than confused.

Those countries have their own way of life. They are 1,000s of years old not just a couple of hundred. The majority do not want American anything on their land but they love our money paid to them by the billions. The small minority beg the USA for help in troop support and funding. Otherwise they will be overrun and killed. So there is that.

The longest war in history yet no chance of winning even with small victories if you call them that. Veterans that have served in heavy battle say it's never a good thing to leave those countries. After spending over a TRILLION dollars and no light at the end of the tunnel 'our' checkbook says pack up and get out.

Parents of those killed, say get out while some say if you do that then my son or daughter died for nothing. Past experience shows if the USA troops leave, that hole is sucked up by those they are fighting, making things worse there and increasing the chances for another attack on the USA ... if you believe the military experts.

Of course any good Congressman/woman is going to say stay. Especially if there are business, factories, etc in their congressional area that makes a profit, large or small, from selling their products for war. They want to be re-elected next time. Believe me, war is big big business and many times they last more for financial reasons than just spreading democracy.

So it's hard to decide what to do ... keep spending money and leave the troops there, helping the very small minority or pull the plug, pack them up and fly them home.

Another way that lingers on how to look at it from both sides. Would you as an American citizen want a foreign government to send their troops here in your towns/cities to  force their beliefs down our throats or else? Or does the USA still need to keep their troops fighting to prevent that situation from ever happening?

With a financial background I find it hard not to view the situation from a financial point of view instead of an open mind.

Well as I glance out the window, it's not sunny, but it's not raining. It's just dark and cloudy. With that in mind and the low energy hounds I have sleeping near my desk, it is doubtful that I will post anything tonight. That is unless I am slapped up the side of my head with a rant, an idea, an opinion or some great photographs to share.

Dark, overcast and rainy is still a good day in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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