Friday, March 29, 2013


     My birthday this year landed right on Good Friday.  Needless to say I did not have a steak or a cake.  I will make up for that.  But the birthdays are surprising me more every year as they add up and the speed at which they come.
     This week a young man told me he was seven and a half.  It struck me how the longing for age when young is reversed.  I will now say I am fifty eight and when I say and a month or a half it is trying to hold the time in not hurry it along.
     It strikes me that age is not only becoming a personal detriment but many other things are treating me that way.  I now know that liberals do not address the problems of age because it is increasingly becoming your duty to die.  If you are not drawing out benefits you don't cost the system.  The only reason now that we are not in a crash down hill is that the numbers around my age and older still are the biggest demographic and many have the assets and the reasons to care what happens.  We all still vote in a larger number.
     I find a lot of delight in the younger generations that still care about their communities and the people who built them and those who sacrificed themselves so the next generation has a great life.  I am worried about this set of leaders that are dead set on spending the future away.  I blame both parties.
     The great thing for me is that growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.  I still don't know what I will do when I grow up.  I hope that is on my tombstone.
     In the 58 years I have been here I have been so fortunate to have seen and done so much.  I have met and been friends with a wonderfully interesting group of people, and continue to do so.
     For one that was drug kicking and screaming into the 21st Century I have spent a big part of the day saying thank you to most of the 1000 facebook friends that I have.  (I really was not trying to build that number).
     I hope that I count among all of you as friends.  We do not have to agree on everything as long as there is a free discussion.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


     I am always amazed at the people who I always consider thrifty and enterprising and how they can totally let something useful rot away to nothing.  When I was in the Real Estate office I wished I could manufacture old farm houses on 5 acres with a barn.  I would have been the busiest in the office if I could.
     People love old houses and properties.  There are even whole towns that would rather let the houses and buildings fall down and the town die than let anyone have use of them.  It makes no sense.  Taxes are paid on the buildings whether they are used or not.  They become fire hazards and home for varmints.  It is also an eye sore for those in the community.
     People lament the kids moving to the city yet there is no starter housing that is affordable for young couples who would stay.  I know people that shake their heads when we drive by an abandoned place and they say "what a shame."  Yet they are letting their own places fall apart also.
     There are many ways to utilize old buildings for new uses it takes imagination and the will.  It still has been proven more economical to re purpose an existing structure than building a new one.
     What also drive me nuts is the "collective wisdom" of boards and commissions to take something historical and knock it down to put up an eyesore.  There still is a bit of the urban renewal virus in towns and cities.  Community character is an important part of the mind set of our small and independent communities.  A local town is in the process of knocking down a big building on main street and a metal monstrosity will more than likely go up ruining the downtown character.  If as much effort was spent trying to revitalise the structure rather than condemning it it would become a useful part of the town again.
     There is nothing like being around the energy and vitality of the younger people who care about their communities and are not bound by the mentality of 'it's old knock it down'.  This is why I come back from the WE KAN conference so full of good feelings.
     If we are going to win this country back it has got to be started on the local level.  If we allow the nay sayers to influence everything there won't be much left to stop the Buffalo Corridor when the bozo's back east decide there is no useful places left in our communities anymore.

Friday, March 22, 2013


   Is your small rural town surviving, thriving, or dieing?  There is a lot of attention being paid to the survival of our small communities.  In Kansas we have the Kansas Sampler Foundation which makes this their whole focus.  But what are you doing to help?
     I was listening to my friend Ron Wilson from the Huck Boyd Institute at Kansas State talking about a successful small town grocery store.  A point was brought out that caught me because I have seen the attitude before.  Small business and small towns have to earn the business and loyalty they get from home folks.  You cannot just set back and say I am here and pay taxes you should do business with me.  It just does not work that way.  People have to want to come and do business locally.  It is a two way street.
     How does your town treat customers?  How do you treat citizens.  It is amazing how a town with multiple steeples and basic good citizens can end up acting like bullies.  Service and a smile is what creates loyal customers.  Compassion for the needs of citizens is another.  Many small towns have low income and handicapped housing.  Many end up treating them like a bother or second class citizens.
     Many of the people in the low income facilities want to be as normal as possible.  Many do not have drivers licenses or vehicles and yet they are several blocks from the grocery store, Dr. office, and other business.  Many towns are making provisions for the use of golf carts.  This is a great alternative in fair weather.  Many senior citizens and others utilize golf carts for there own needs.  So does your council make realistic provisions for them?  One town, who should know better, has required carts to be totally street legal, licensed, and driver have a license.  Really?  Power chairs can zip up and down the street, so can mopeds, but golf carts and other buggy type vehicles are required to have a licensed driver?  These people don't have licenses.
      Retirement communities in all the snow bird states recognise the efficiency of golf carts and welcome them.  There are town councils that welcome them and those that harass them.  Which are you?  This reflects on whether your really are a community worthy of surviving.
     I had a good friend that built a air trike.  He drove it around Wichita and one morning he was stopped by a patrolman to look at his creation.  He ended up having several officers there.  He did nothing wrong and they all concluded that it did not require a tag or license, (it was a slow night and they all had a great time looking at it).  I wonder how he would have been received in your home town.
     There is a principle that rural people have always lived by and it is "to have a friend you have to be a friend".  Funny how a town council can decide how they are going to be by who is driving and who is not.  Some can work things out and others act like a bully.
     I tend to believe that the friendly, industrious, and charitable small town will survive better than a town with a bully attitude.  Which is your community?

Friday, March 15, 2013


     I have written before about the KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION and all the efforts they make to help promote rural Kansas and the lifestyle we enjoy.  I just came back from the WE KAN conference that is held every two years at Salina at the great Webster Conference Center.  My head is just swimming.  I intentionally went for the first day that was for Geeks.  I am not electronically savvy and I was hoping to at least absorb some understanding even if I don't know what it is all about.  And I was right my head is just spinning about everything I never knew even existed out there in cyber space.
     Makes it look how peaceful plowing was (and that is out of date even).  There are some very exciting people that are coming back home and others discovering what a great place Kansas really is.  We all know that rural life is changing but there are some great ideas and a lot of moral support.  There is even some physical support.  Like the group of Explorers that will be traveling to help create a baseball museum out of a water tower.  Does Hall of Famer Joe Tinker ring a bell.  Look into it.
     A marketing genius just moved from California back home to Kansas and is making a difference in his new home town of Mead.  He also is going to make a big impact on all rural Kansas.  Remember the name Basil.
     If you do not think you have anything in your community that would interest anyone from elsewhere, stop to realize that there are people that want to see a cow, and real crops.  They want to meet real farmers and ranchers and cowboys.  If you have an old building that is setting not being used there is someone somewhere that would love to do something with it. 
     Many rural people lament the fact that the kids all leave and never come back.  There is example after example in little towns and communities that there are kids coming back and are rural by choice.  Before you make the statement that your young people are just waiting to leave maybe you need to ask them what they want and work with them to stay.
     Maybe you need to quit asking newly arrived people "how in the world did you get stuck in Kansas" and say "welcome what attracted you to believe in our area?"
      I can be perceived as a grumpy old man but I prefer not to accept the unacceptable.  I love living in the Gypsum Hills and am not afraid to say it.  I also believe in shopping locally.  One community in our state has a 'buy it locally' program.  They focused on toilet paper.  If everyone in town bought all there toilet paper from local merchants it is over a hundred thousand dollar amount of money that stays in the local economy.  Apply that to most of your groceries and take the savings in gas and see how it affects your area.  I would rather my money stay local than be sent directly of Cincinnati or Bentonville.
      Besides you have never seen pictures of shoppers at the grocery that you do with the crowd at the late night Walley World stores.
     If you want to know more about Kansas, or what you can do in Kansas I encourage you to check out the KANSAS SAMPLER FOUNDATION website and start getting rural.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


     The day we have been waiting for down here in the hills has arrived and what a great thing to sleep by rain bouncing off the roof.  With the two snow storms giving 2 inches of moisture and around 1.75 to two inches today, we are looking at a reprieve from the drought that has plagued us.
     The Gypsum Hills are a normally draughty type of country.  It is a pure pleasure to see sloppy roads and standing water.  Not a lot of that standing because the ground is sucking like a sponge.  What little run off the ponds need real bad.  We are not going to go skipping away saying it is over, we are just getting a little relief.
     The wheat is already greening, what is left anyway.  We have had terrible damage from not only the drought but a massive amount of snow geese that stripped a lot of fields.  Snow geese are not supposed to be here, but their population is exploding and they are ruining their Arctic nesting grounds and shifting into areas they never have been before.
     The weather also brings a fresh attitude and I have been so irritated at the idiots in Washington it is nice to just ignore them for a week.  This will tickle my liberal friends.
     This time of year I am not terribly fond of.  I am ready for spring and getting out and doing things.  I am sure many of you are the same way.  I know the cow calf people are working their tails off and I am sure they are looking forward to green grass again.
     Many people don't realize what they miss by staying in the rat race.  There is not a day that I don't say to mom, after seeing something like deer, coyotes, road runners, and such out the window everyday, we are so lucky to see daily what 95% of the world only sees on TV.
     So my view from the hill today is one of gratitude.  Hope you all count your blessings.

Saturday, March 2, 2013



Never the less: 
     I have about had enough of the news media, Washington politicians (especially the head one) acting as if no one other than their faithful can have an intelligent thought.  I have had enough of the scare tactics used over the implementation of the Sequester.
      At least half of the country knows that the United States is bankrupt the others either don't know or care.  I am mad enough at both parties to want them all thrown out.  Now the 'clever' chief executive has had his own program rise up and bite him.  Everyone in Washington is expecting the end to be near.  OVER SPENDING CUTS!
      DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!  We have been yelling for cutting federal spending and downsizing the government for years.  Both parties think that federal and other government jobs are the answer for everything.  The whole firestorm is over 2% cuts.  There is not one of you that could save that much just off the top of your head.
      If there is a major impact on people it is designed to be so.  Our state agencies have been cutting 10% from their budgets for several years and under two Governors.  We are still afloat.
      The news media, Democrats, and Republicans have been lying to us for years.  There is nothing short of a Constitutional Convention that will clean up the mess.  The few Congressmen we have gotten elected are neutered by their own parties when they try to actually do what we elected them to do.
      With the tremendous waste that the Government has, if the cuts are used to compromise our security it is a deliberate act.  There are entire government agencies that need to be done away with and get out of the way of free enterprise.
      The lies told about health care are being uncovered and people are discovering that the taxes that were not supposed to be there are already in place.  A huge lie.  Congratulations to Cabala's for having the courage to put on every receipt the 2 1/2 % sales tax to fund health care.  (you were not supposed to know about that).  Another official admitted that there would actually be health care shortages and death panels to decide who would get rationed health care.  There is another big lie.
      I will be contacting my congressman and urge more cuts.  Any idiot knows we need to cut off aid to foreign countries other than our strategic allies.
       Why are we fighting over gun control and giving fighter aircraft and battle tanks to Egypt so they can point them at Israel?
      I am also tired of seeing our Boris Bedenov and Natasha every time I turn on the television.  Thank goodness for the new season of Swamp People and Duck Dynasty so I can turn the CHANNEL from the major networks and watch people more intelligent than they are
     ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe next week I can cool down enough to return to positive thoughts.