Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Four Eagles

I’ve got poetry in me
Sometimes
Sometimes, like after a foot of snow,
Followed by sub-zero temperatures,
Requires me to walk to the barn
And I want to describe what I see
And how I feel.
At such a time, like today,
Frost forms on my mustache
From breathing cold air
And the breath of the horses is visible
For the same reason.
I like the smell of the hay in the barn.
I like the smell of the horses’ coats of hair
And their breaths of alfalfa.
Coming back inside
The house welcomes me
With warmth and the beauty of flames
Visible through the glass front
Of the wood-burning stove.
Today, my lovely wife had soup cooking
Which smelled better than alfalfa even.
Then she showed me the photo she took
Of four eagles in the same tree.
Don’t you wish you were here?

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Campground Seasons

The campgrounds are full of activity in Spring, Summer and Fall,

But in winter there are few brave souls, bringing few RVs, for solitude

Empty sites add to the loneliness by surrounding the very few occupied sites.

Ice fishermen and duck hunters have the place to themselves.

Sound like fun?

Resolutionary Ideas for the New Year

Shootin' the Breeze

Today is the day that many folks around the world pause to reflect on the past and set goals for the future, known as New Year’s Resolutions.  I am here to help.

My help will be valuable for the self-esteem of the multitudes of people who comprise The General Public.  My mission is to set you who are in The General Public free from the guilt that comes with broken resolutions by helping you compose a list of resolutions that you are unlikely to break.

You are unlikely to break resolutions to do things that you want to do anyway; or, to refrain from doing things that you do not want to do anyway.  This is a very successful method of self-help.  It is a form of psychological judo.  Judo, as I understand it, involves the principle of directing force rather than resisting force.  The force about which this advice is…

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Russian Allies

I have heard in the news that Russians have hacked into some voting machines across the nation and altered the outcome of our presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. It sounds very complicated and is even more nefarious if voting machines are not connected to computers into which to hack via the internet, also known, appropriately, as the worldwide web, which, as we know, was invented by Al Gore, who was cheated by hanging chads in Florida, prior to the involvement of Russia in our American presidential elections.

I, for one, am suspicious that the election fraud was not caused by computer hackers from afar but rather by Russian spies among us, who have wormed their way into the offices of election commissioners across the land, posing not only as Americans, but as election workers in the highest positions with access to counting ballots, or I should say, miscounting ballots.

These serious allegations do not trouble me. They teach me. In prior blog posts, I have announced my plan to skip traditional election campaigning to focus on obtaining votes in the electoral college from faithless electors. I have revealed my strategy of raising money by selling influence and using donations with strings attached to bribe electors to vote for me regardless of who wins in their respective states.

Now I see an alternate strategy. That is, I should recruit Russian spies and hackers to help me win the election in 2020.

I have a few years to learn the language in order to make friends with Russian spies and hackers.   It is all falling into place.

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

I am grateful to Hillary Clinton and her minions for explaining how to win an election.  She can really teach.

Campaign Finance

This is a sequel to my prior blog concerning my path to the Presidency.

You will recall, if you read that blog post, that I plan to bribe electors in the Electoral College to vote for me.  I estimated $1 million per elector would be sufficient.  I need 270 electoral votes.

Some might criticize my plan by questioning how I can raise $270 million. I am glad that you asked.  The answer is simple:  selling influence.  Admittedly, I am not the first to come up with the idea.  Some other political candidates have used the technique without always admitting it.  I am being transparent.

So here is the deal:  Pay me money, which I will use to bribe electors, and when I am successful obtaining 270 electoral votes, I will use the office of the Presidency to do favors for you.  The size of the favor depends on the amount of money contributed.  You scratch my back, I will scratch yours (in accordance with your generosity).

Some have used the term “pay to play” in connection with the Clinton Foundation, inferring some sort of access to the power couple for those donors.  I do not need huge donations.   I will provide small access to me for small donations.  Win/Win.

If 270,000 people donate $1,000 each, I will win the Electoral College.  Those donors will get VIP tours of the White House and a commemorative coffee mug.  For just $100, you get the mug.  For $10, you get an autographed photo of yours truly, suitable for framing.  We can do this.  Together.

Thank you in advance for your support.

robuststache

 

 

A Modest Proposal For My Path To The Presidency

A couple days ago, I was talking to my friend, Kent, about the pressure being put on electors in the Electoral College, and I came up with a path to win the presidency on a reduced budget.

Kent is something of a Constitutional scholar.  He explained the concept of “faithless electors” voting contrary to the popular vote in their state.  I thought it was automatic that electoral votes, at least in “winner take all” states, automatically go to, well, the winner.  Apparently, Hillary Clinton supporters believe the electors should vote according to one’s “conscience.”  Presumably, it follows under their view that anyone with a conscience would vote for Hillary in the Electoral College.  That is, unless one’s conscience has to do with honoring the American system of electing our President.  At any rate, pressure is being put on electors to be “faithless” to their commitments to honor the popular vote.

And that is when I came up with my plan.  It is an improvement on Hillary’s campaign because it saves money by ignoring the costly campaign to win the votes of regular voters, who matter less than electors in the Electoral College.  You see where this is going.

My plan is to win the hearts and votes of electors regardless of any popular vote.  It is very costly to run television advertisements.  It is costly to travel to rallies around the country.  It is costly to put on a nominating convention.  My plan is to focus on bribing electors to vote for me.

As I recall, it takes 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency.  Let’s budget for $1,000,000 per electoral bribe to persuade electors to be “faithless.”  I would use the budget to heelp these people of conscience feel good about voting for me as a matter of conscience.   Who cares about nominated candidates and votes in the general election?  Let’s let 270 electors “do the right thing” by benefiting themselves and America as well.

My advice, dear readers, is to look into becoming an elector in 2020.  Then you can look forward to meeting me to discuss voting your conscience, unhampered by the votes of the deplorable voters in the general election.  It will be worth your while.

Now I just have to come up with $270,000,000.  I’d do almost anything for that amount of money.  Let’s talk.

Hey, I know, you could contribute to my foundation.  That’s the ticket.

Good Ride, Cowboy

Ray grew up on the ranch adjacent to ours.  He left to have a career as an engineer, then returned when he retired.  A good neighbor, a pleasant man, a devoted husband, father, foster father, sincere friend and a devout Christian, Ray was driving home from a Bible study when a truck pulling a trailer pulled out onto the highway from a side road and killed Ray when they collided with his car.

Ray had the right-of-way, but he is still dead.  His wife is a widow.  It was a wrongful death.  His wife, Robin, called last night to tell my wife, Sugar, about the accident.  That is how we found out.

Last time we saw Ray, a few days ago, he was walking in his pasture when we drove by on the county road.  Last time we talked was when I called to tell him that one of the cows seemed swollen and was walking awkwardly and might have been bit by a rattlesnake.  He thanked me and checked it out.  Previously, he had called me to say he found our cat.  Good neighbor.  Nice friend.

He is missed already.

Sugar could not sleep last night.

Robin asked her to sing at the funeral.

The song is one they had at their wedding.  It is Borning Cry.  God is with us from the beginning.  And at the end.

Good ride, Cowboy!  Good ride!

Poopy Pants

Miss Sugar and I have been  camping.  We have not really been roughing it because we have a camper trailer.   It includes a bathroom.

Those of you familiar with the joys and responsibility of camping in an RV are aware of the need to visit a dump station at the conclusion of the camping experience.  Guess what is dumped at a dump station.

Yes.  You are correct that a dump station is where one dumps what went down the sink and toilet in the recreational vehicle.  There are two types of “water” — gray water and black water.  Gray water comes from a tank where the sink and shower water go.  The black water is exactly what you imagine, i.e., the contents of the tank filled with contents from the toilet, which is more than mere water.

Miss Sugar, my trusty trophy wife, is very knowledgeable about camping in general and the operation of the gray and black water release systems in particular.  As her able assistant, I use my own personal hand to open the pipe and the respective valves under the verbal direction of Miss Sugar.

For those of you interested in the details, please visualize that the dump station has a hole.  The camper has a pipe.  The pipe is connected to the hole by a wide collapsible and flexible hose known in the camping world as a “stinky slinky.”  In another blog post, I described our initial experience with such a device.

That post was posted years ago.  Today I am writing about an event that occurred this very day.

Today, after I attached the stinky slinky to the dump hole at one end and the trailer pipe/tube to the other end, opened the black valve, emptied it, then opened the gray water valve and emptied it (the order is important), Miss Sugar directed me to rinse out the stinky slinky by transferring the end of it attached to the now emptied trailer over to a water spigot so that it could be rinsed by that fresh water after the gray water.  Get the picture?

Sugar operated the handle of the water spigot as I obediently held the stinky slinky and moved it to a position under the faucet.  Blessed with excellent eye-hand coordination, I accomplished the task.  Sugar’s water flowed down the wide tube, cleansing the you-know-what down the tube.  When she said, “Okay,” I interpreted that to mean that I could remove the stinky slinky because she was shutting off the water.  I was wrong.

I moved the tube away from the spigot but Sugar did not turn off the water.  Consequently, as the tube moved, its contents back-splashed onto my pants.

Sugar thought it was funny.  She suggested that I write this post and is credited with the title.

Despite her instructions to me and direction of me, let’s be clear about who wears the pants in the family.  That would be me.  I wore those particular pants as I drove all the way home.

 

 

Gathering of Champions

All real sports fans are well aware that I was captain of the 7th grade intramural flag football champions.  After that I eventually became an undrafted NFL free agent.  But enough about me.  Yesterday my wife, Miss Sugar, and I met the wife of Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner, who won heavyweight wrestling at the 2000 Olympics.  The championship match is comparable to the U.S. Hockey team’s “miracle on ice.”

Rulon defeated a Russian who had been undefeated for years, including winning prior Olympic gold medals.  He was much favored.  Rulon, an underdog from the University of Nebraska, courageously turned the tide and shocked the experts by defeating the Russian.  You can look it up.

Miss Sugar proudly shared that I have been to the national championships for the Senior Olympics and the Senior World Games as a swimmer.  Somehow my accomplishments paled in comparison.  I am going to wait awhile before pulling out my Superbowl ring.

 

Beau and Cujo Go Camping

Some loyal readers have asked how Beau, our Yellow Labrador Retriever, is doing. I have some news to report.
Beau, who has extraordinary self-esteem, and consequently expects that everyone, all creatures great and small, will like him, discovered, sadly, that is not true. It was not true when he met a Mastiff at a campground last week.
As Miss Sugar told the story to me, the Mastiff, apparently irritated by Beau’s exuberant attitude, barked at him. Beau, delighted to have his presence acknowledged by another dog, pulled on the cable to which he was tied so hard that it broke. Beau happily ran to the campsite across the road, dragging the cable, expecting to play.

When Beau arrived, the Mastiff, whom we shall call Cujo, knocked Beau onto his back and went for Beau’s jugular.
Miss Sugar and Cujo’s owner watched in horror. Beau realized that Cujo was not playing nicely and managed to bite Cujo’s face. That move allowed Beau to get up and try to leave the adversarial situation. Unfortunately, Cujo was not finished. He bit Beau’s left hind leg. He bit all the way through the leg.
Miss Sugar called for Beau to retreat. He did.  It is rare for Beau to come when called.
Cujo’s owner owner was embarrassed. She stated the obvious, “He does not get along with other animals. That is why we take him out for walks at 4:00 a.m.” It seems the dog has a history. Beau was not Cujo’s first victim.
She kindly offered to help with Beau’s anticipated vet bills. Then she added. “Our dog’s face is bleeding.”
Sugar did not offer any sympathy.

Sugar did take Beau to a vet she found in the area.  (I was not there to help.  I was at work, scheduled to join the family later.)  The vet treated the puncture wounds from the bite and prescribed antibiotics.  She said Beau might need a shunt to drain infection if that sets in.  He had to wear a cone to keep him from licking his leg.

When I arrived at the campsite, Beau was not the happy camper I am used to seeing.  He was depressed.  He was in pain.  He did not want to walk on his swollen limb.  He hated wearing the cone.  We were sad to see Beau so very sad.  I think part of his depression came from the realization that  Cujo did not like him.  That fact did not Beau’s worldview that everyone likes him.  He seemed to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But don’t worry, Beau fans, he has bounced back.  He did not need a shunt.  He no longer limps.  The cone is off.  He has re-captured his gift of enthusiasm.  Beaurunning

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