Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the month “June, 2014”

Lois Lerner and Rose Mary Woods

Rose mary Woods

Rose Mary Woods was a White House secretary who accidentally erased 18 minutes of an audio tape that she was transcribing when President Nixon was asked for such tapes in connection with his impeachment. 

  I wonder whether Rose Mary left the White House to go to work for the IRS.  She was probably asked to back up Lois Lerner’s computer in order to save the emails requested by Congress when, dang it, Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed.  That inept Ms. Woods must have worked on other IRS computers too because I heard that six other computers crashesd at the IRS.  As bad luck would have it, the six IRS employees who used those six computers are also being investigated.  What are the odds of that happening?  I took Probability & Statistics as a mathematics course many years ago and, golly, even I am astonished by the improbability of all those computers crashing, the very ones containing emails that were being sought. 

I am sarcastically guessing that if my computer crashed, IRS technicians could retrieve all information helpful to convict me of tax evasion, were I being investigated.  I have heard that there are IT people who have the capability of retrieving emails from crashed computers.  Of course, in this investigation of the IRS, that is not possible because, as conscientious environmentalists, the IRS destroys crashed computers by some process of recycling that is very green, and very convenient for Lois Lerner, who “took the 5th.”  Those of us who are trained in the law, formally or by watching TV, know that is saying that one cannot answer because answering could incriminate oneself, and the 5th Amendment to the Constitution protects one from self-incrimination. 

Lois Lerner

I once claimed that my dog ate my homework.  It did not work then either.  I still had to produce the homework, or flunk the assignment. 

Lois Lerner might have a dog who crashed her computer, or maybe Rose Mary Woods has a dog and brought it to work.  It could happen.


Davy Crockett Quote on Big Government

Davy Crockett

Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have.”

Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier and United States Congressman from Tennessee

Jersey Girl

My wife and I went to the movie, Jersey Boys, last weekend.  We really enjoyed it.  The singing group, The Four Seasons, produced many enduring hits. 

I did not grow up on The East Coast and so the Jersey scenes did not bring back childhood memories for me.  Sugar, however, felt some connection because, though a Texan at heart, having grown up (mostly) in Texas, she was born in New Jersey and lived there until she was in third grade.  Her parents are both from that area, so she still has many relatives there.  Half of those relatives are of Italian heritage, like all the members of The Four Seasons.

My Miss Texas is bi-cultural.  She also is capable of imitating a Joisey accent as well as the Texas accent at the other end of the linguistic spectrum.  I kinda like it.



Apache and me

Camouflaged Cat

The cat formerly known as Simba has been re-named.  It really does not look like a lion, such as its original namesake. 

Its fur is more like camouflage such as other hunters wear. See below. Its new name is Camo.
It is almost eatingThe better to sneak up on Beau’s food dish.Pussy

Identity Theft

When I showed up as a freshman in college, I had a letter in my newly assigned mailbox at the student union sent by a girl who wrote how much she missed me and signed it, “Love, Betsey.”

The trouble was, I did not know Betsey.  Still, I was glad she loved me, but not having met me, I wondered how she missed me.  Nevertheless, since she claimed to miss me, now that we were both on campus, she needed to miss me no more.  I kept waiting for her to come up to me in person.  I guessed she was shy. I could not approach her because I did not know who she was. So, as I walked around campus, each girl I saw was a potential Betsey.

Later, I solved the mystery.  An upperclassman was going by my same name — first and last.  He, not I, was the object of Betsey’s desire.  He must have given her the correct P.O. box as I received no more love notes from her.

Soon I got to meet Betsey’s boyfriend who shared my name, as well as meeting Betsey, his date, when I was rushed by his fraternity, which I pledged and joined.

It turned out that it was okay to be mixed up with this particular fella. He did our name proud. For example, when he was selected for the honor of being Phi Beta Kappa, I cut the article out of the school newspaper and mailed it home — two states away. My grandmother was very impressed. She had never heard of a freshman being selected for Phi Beta Kappa in the first semester before grades came out. She told my mother, “Alan is so smart it scares me.” My mother, not so naive, was not scared. She announced, “It is not my son.” Party pooper!

My greatest feat as a swimmer came with my name-sharer’s assistance. Another coincidence was that we were both swimmers. I was not thinking about it at the time, but in our first swim meet together, we each won a couple events, he in some freestyle events, and me in breaststroke and Individual Medley. Then we swam in the same medley relay. I swam the second leg, which is breaststroke, and he swam the final leg, which is freestyle. So, combined we won five events — four individual ones and the relay.

The day after the meet, a sports reporter for the school newspaper, also a freshman, who knew me but apparently had not attended the meet, saw the race results, came up to me and complimented me.

“Al, you really had a good meet,” he said.

“Thanks,” I said, “we did okay.”

“More than okay. I saw that you won five events, but the most impressive thing is that you swam two legs of the medley relay. I have never seen that!”

I had not thought of any confusion until he said that, which made me laugh.

“Well,” I admitted, “you never will see that because it did not happen exactly that way.”

Rather than explaining, I should have shut up, let him report on how wonderful of an athlete I am, and maybe sent the article to my grandmother in Nebraska. I just wasn’t thinking quickly enough ….

P.S. Betsey married the other guy, not me, which worked out for them and for me — because I got to marry Sugar. Betsey was not Miss Texas and, well, I was not Phi Beta Kappa, even as a senior, but I never told Gramma. I wish I still had the Phi Beta Kappa newspaper article so I could impress Sugar. She seems kind of skeptical. I suppose that my Mom got to her.

The Cowboy Look

This weekend I went into a barbeque restaurant in Cheyenne, looking around for a friend whom I was to meet there.  A man sitting at a table by the front door, eating alone, asked me, “Are you a rancher?”

I said that I was, although that is an exaggeration.  I am a lawyer who lives on a ranch without making a living as a true rancher.  I was wearing a cowboy hat, jeans, and boots.  I guess I looked the part.

Then he remarked, “You ride horses a lot, don’t you!”

I told him that I have ridden horses since I was very young.  I wondered what he was getting at.  Then it dawned on me.  I had a similar conversation with a lady in The Black Hills last fall.

Apparently, my cowboy legs are remarkably bowed.  Here I thought it was my hat these city slickers noticed.

I am starting to feel self-conscious.  Naw, more like proud. I don’t mind being a tourist attraction.

coffee at churchbeau feedingmodel buffOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Disposable Dads

I wrote this last year. It bears repeating because not all fathers experience the scenes depicted in TV advertisements.

Shootin' the Breeze

Fathers’ Day is not a happy celebration for every father.  Some feel left out.

The marketing of Valentine’s Day probably causes many who do not have sweethearts to feel left out and lonely.  Similarly, women who long to be mothers are likely sad amidst the hubbub of Mothers’ Day, feeling left out.  Mothers who have actual children who ignore them on Mothers’ Day are even sadder for being disregarded.

Fathers’ Day is coming up.  If your father is still alive, he would appreciate a card, at least, or a call, or both if it is impossible for you to actually spend the day with him.  By the way, a text message is not sufficient.

According to the JC Penney ads on TV, all fathers will have a fun picnic surrounded by children and grandchildren, wearing new golf shirts by the new grill.  Fathers who see those ads and have that…

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Miss Texas Can Cook!

My wife, Sugar, aka Miss Texas, has a new idea, and when she has an idea, she pursues it with enthusiasm.  Now you are wondering what she is pursuing with enthusiasm, so I will tell you.

Sugar is starting a bed & breakfast at our ranch. 

Here is the deal:  We have a guest house called The Bunkhouse.  bunkhouseIt is an old log cabin that was the original homestead cabin in the 1880s.  If all you knew was how old it is, you might be apprehensive.  However, over the years it has been well-maintained.  Really, only the rustic logs are old.  It has a new roof, new foundation, new chimney, a bathroom addition, new wiring, new plumbing, new storm windows and door, and — even a sauna. sidebunk Like with everything she does, Sugar goes overboard. Her
concept of a bed & breakfast is turbo-charged. Check out the listing and the About page on this blog. westview riverlookrainbow bunkvistaprongsbufflone star flagparadescamp bowingsadieswimcowsintreescowdogondriveSugarnmeLonghorndisplayantlersscampOur Home 017additioniceUsSantaFe


Have Some Dignity — Or Else

My friend Kirk is a tough guy.  After lettering as center on the state championship team when a junior, during football two-a-day practices our senior year, Kirk kept practicing even though his side hurt, and it turned out that he was playing with a ruptured appendix and ended up in the hospital. 

Kirk was the second oldest of six children, with three younger brothers.  All of his brothers were good athletes too, including a college wrestler.  When his youngest brother started kindergarten, he had a reputation to uphold. 

At the dinner table after his first day of kindergarten, someone asked Kris how school was.  He replied, “Well, some kid got beat up on the playground.”

His mother said, “Oh, that is terrible.  That poor little boy!”

One of his brothers inquired, “Who beat him up?”

Kris admitted, “I did.”

“Why did you do that?” asked another brother.

Kris had a perfectly valid explanation.  “He was running around and stuff and it bothered me.”

Kris had learned that it is important to be cool.  If you are not cool, beware of where Kris draws the line.

Something for Dad

I wrote this two years ago. I am re-posting it today because my father’s birthday was yesterday and Fathers’ Day is Sunday, so I am especially thinking of my Dad.

Shootin' the Breeze

We were on the starting blocks.

“Swimmers, take your marks.”

Each assumes the position, poised for the signal.

AAAAAAAAAA.   Rather than a starter’s gun, the signal is an electronic buzz through speakers.  It echoes in the high-ceilinged pool venue.

The swimmers uncoil, fly horizontally for a moment, and angle into the water with momentum pointed toward the other end of the pool.

As soon as the momentum wanes, with arms forward, legs moving together with a rhythmic dolphin kick, I initiate the first arm movement of the butterfly stroke.  The race is on.

In the individual medley (IM) event, all four competitive swimming strokes are employed, in the following order:  butterfly, back stroke, breast stroke, and freestyle.  This was a 200 meter IM in a 25 meter pool, so participants swim 50 meters, i.e., two lengths of the pool, of each stroke.  If it was on a track, the distance is about half-way around a football field.  I don’t…

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