Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Cowboy Tough

So this guy wearing cowboy boots (spoiler alert) went to the rural post office and went in to get his mail.  Coming out, he slipped on ice and fell hard on his left side.

A young man who saw the fall picked up the mail and asked, “Are you okay?”

The ruggedly handsome cowboy on the ground bravely responded, “I don’t know yet.  Let me lay here a spell.”

Then, heroically, with no regard for his personal safety, the cowboy grabbed the hand rail over his head and pulled himself up by a display of extraordinary strength.

Others in the parking lot witnessed the effort and came over to steady the huge mountain of a man, who looked like an NFL linebacker or at least an unsigned free agent.

As the little people attempted to hold him up, the tough cowboy, well, I hate to say it, fainted.  and the well-meaning citizens could not hold him up, so he awoke after a few seconds on the ground again.

Someone said, “We better call 911.”

“No, just help me to my car please.”

They did both.  He made it to his car with assistance.  It was maybe 30 feet.  At the same time, some tattletale called 911.

Soon emergency personnel, EMTs or whatever, arrived and checked him out.  No, he did not hit his head.  Yes, he knew the day of the week, date of the month, year and who the President is.  Yes, he could move his toes.  No, it did not hurt too much when the fella pushed on his hip.  It was noted that the courageous cowboy refused an ambulance ride.  There was much muttering.  “I thought John Wayne was dead,” someone remarked.

They watched him drive away.  Not into the sunset, as it was morning, but away.  Away to his ranch, where he got out of the car to open the gate, got back in, drove to the barn, got back out, watered the horses, tossed out a couple bales of hay, got back into the car, and then drove 25 miles to get crutches at a pharmacy.  Then, legend has it, this amazing man, drove another 25 miles and used the crutches to get into the house, pulling up four steps.  Some say it was 50 steps, but that is an exaggeration.

His wife, from Texas, came to the house later.  She said, “It probably is not broken or you would be in more pain and could not do all that you did.  I broke my ankle that time and it really hurt.  Look, your hip is not even bruised.  Don’t be a pussy.”

By all accounts, the uninjured fall victim used the crutches to assist in his mobility the rest of the day, night, and through the next morning.  His wife then suggested going to urgent care to get an x-ray, just in case, because the pussy was avoiding putting weight on the unbruised and unbroken left leg, relying too much on the crutches.

According to the national news reports, the cowboy and his wife, whom we shall call Miss Texas, drove through Wendy’s on the way to urgent care.  He ate a Dave’s cheeseburger and had a chocolate Frosty around noon.

Urgent Care suggested just going to the hospital for x rays because if there is a fracture, that would be the place to go to anyway.  So, they went to the hospital ER, got x rays, were told the left femur (whatever that is) was “fractured” (see, it was not broken) and would need to be pinned.  The patient  having just eaten, the surgery was delayed.

Later there was a change of plans.  The trauma surgeon saw the x- rays and recommended a total hip replacement because the angle was wrong for just a pin, leaving a high risk of failure.  He said the surgery would be the next morning.  It was.

In hindsight, I see that I probably should have accepted the ambulance ride from the post office.  Maybe next time.




All American Mom

When my mother was growing up, there were not many opportunities for girls to participate in sports.  Here is what happened when I tried to include female participation in basketball at our garage, which had a backboard and rim attached, and a driveway which served as the court.

To fully appreciate the setting for this story, I must tell you that my mother had an older brother who was an All American football player.  He also was a basketball star and a good track athlete.  So good, that his nickname was Flash.  He is in the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame.  I am not in the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame, but when I was in 5th grade, I fully expected future induction.

So, I was shooting hoops with my friends and my mother came by on her way to the backyard clothesline.  We were, as you could have seen if you had been there, excellent athletes, whereas my mother was, of course, just a girl or, more accurately, a lady who was my mother.

I teasingly passed the basketball to her.  She caught it and immediately shot the ball.  It went into the basket.  The shot was from the side, maybe 15 feet from the basket.  Swish!

Then she made like she was wiping her hands and offered to play with us again when we improved.

I don’t recall ever playing with her again.  She was one for one.  Perfect record.

Thirty Pounds of Puppy

Gus at 15 weeks

At 15 weeks of age, last week Gus  went to his primary care physician for his veterinary care, which included shots and a checkup.  The checkup involved weighing him on a scale.   The scale read 30 pounds.

That weight for a Labrador Retriever of that age is not unusual.  Some are smaller, some are bigger.  What was remarkable to me is the rate of growth.  Three weeks ago, when Gus had a vet appointment for his 12 week checkup, he weighed less than twenty pounds.

Now for me to gain ten pounds in three weeks is easy.  But for a puppy to increase his body weight by half again what he weighed would be like me gaining 100 pounds in three weeks.

With the holidays here, I will give it a try.


Beau as Pet of the Year

Readers of this blog who are familiar with numerous posts about our Yellow Labrador Retriever named Beau have an impression of him as an amusing trouble-maker.  Today, I want to amend that view of Beau.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not taking it all back.  The stories about him are all true.  He is indeed a character with a funny personality.  You might recall that many of Beau’s activities have involved “collecting.”  He has robbed both a UPS truck and a FedEx truck.  He has brought me tools from workers.  He has “found” a hat of one of our guests.  He has borrowed towels intended for hot tub occupants.  He has helped himself to breakfasts of persons who negligently got up from the table to get coffee.

But Beau has revealed a selfless side recently.  For acts of kindness, I nominate Beau as our Pet of the Year, an honor that has eluded him for the first six years of his life.

What changed?  Beau has accepted responsibility as the babysitter of our new puppy, Gus.  Beau patiently plays with the exuberant puppy.  He is careful not to hurt Gus.  He allows Gus to climb all over him.  He seems to realize that it would not be a fair fight, so he tolerates the puppy taking Beau’s toys.  He even coaches Gus about fetching and pottying outside.  It is heart-warming to watch the two together.

Today, I witnessed something else that warmed my heart and inspired me to write this post.  Besides Beau and Gus, we also have a female Lab, Sadie, who has tried futilely to teach him how to live his life.  She comes when she is called, for example.

Sadie has always been the first to eat.  No matter which bowl I put down first, that one is hers.  Today, Sadie did not go to her bowl.  Beau finished his meal and stood, waiting for Sadie to eat.  I had to lead her to her food.  Sadie is fourteen, almost.  Her eyesight is going, I suppose, but not her appetite.   I was amazed that Beau did not take Sadies’s food.  He just stood and waited for me to lead Sadie to her food bowl and patiently watched her finish her breakfast.

And for that act of respect  and selflessness, I nominate Beau as our Pet of the Year.


Mortal Frenemies

mortal enemies (2)

Our puppy Gus apparently subscribes to the sentiment behind the immortal words of Will Rogers, “I never met a man I did not like.”

Gus believes that no one has ever met him who will not like him, including our cat, Camo.  Camo deserves credit for being tolerant of the puppy.  Sometimes.



Growth Progress

Our puppy, Gus, is growing up.  The photo on the left was taken when he was about 8 weeks old.  The photo on the right was just taken now that he is 12 weeks old.  What a difference a month makes.  He has doubled in weight, from 10 to 20 pounds.

Take a look at his feet.  He is growing into them.

Senior Menu

I remember well the day I was offered a senior meal discount at Burger King.

I had been going there regularly for breakfast on the way to work.  I knew exactly what it cost to get a croissanwich and coffee because I was in a rut.  I had my money ready.  The young lady at the counter was new.  She did not know I was a regular customer who knew my menu prices.  She charged me less than expected, less than usual.

To impress her with my honesty, I corrected her and said the  price that I was used to paying.  My what a guy!

The cashier, without any discernible public relations skills, pointed to a sign that said, “Free coffee for seniors with purchase of sandwich.”  She had assumed that I was a senior.  So I asked her the age requirement to be a senior at Burger King.  She told me age 55.  That means she believed that I looked to be 55 years old.

She was wrong.  I was merely 53.  I informed her that I would be paying for my coffee for two more years.

I resisted telling the manager of the incident and insisting on her discharge from employment.  I was benevolent and forgiving.  I even resisted boycotting Burger King.

I continued to patronize the establishment.  They probably noticed my saintly behavior.  They probably had a meeting about it at the regional office because from that day on they allowed me to pay full price.


The Cesspool in LaLa Land

They were acting

in Hollywood

that it was okay

But rumors

of the casting couch

have been confirmed,

The powerful


the naive

whose ambitions

made them vulnerable.

And romances

among the stars

were not so glamorous


Thoughts and Prayers

Lily was a lady at church,

She was blind.

Her husband, Brian, held her arm

As they walked together

To the pew where they sat holding hands.

Many people, when something sad occurs,

Say that their “thoughts and prayers” are with you,

Which is a nice thing to say

Or to write in a Hallmark card,

And most probably mean it

But none more than Lily

Who was a prayer warrior.

When she said she was praying

You better believe it,

And God knew it too,

As she was one of his frequent fliers,

Visiting with Him every day.

In a powerful way,

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor


Beau, pictured on the right, has taken under his tutelage young Gus, pictured on the left.  Gus emulates many aspects of Beau’s behavior.

twins (2)


Double trouble.  Me and Mini Me.

What were we thinking?

Post Navigation