Thursday, May 30, 2013


George S. Patton
     There was a ribbon cutting today that I am not celebrating.  I think that it will soon become the most hated piece of real estate in the country.  However government officials are wildly happy about it since you did pay for it.  Or that is we paid for it with Chinese money we borrowed.
     It is the biggest building in history under one roof and it is located in Utah.  The building belongs to Homeland Security and it is going to be the repository of every e-mail and phone conversation in the country.  Isn't this the stuff of fiction?  Technology is so far advanced that foreign agents hack into our Dept. of Defense computers but Homeland security has the technological might to record everything you say or communicate?
     Of course this is for your own protection.  Why bother a judge to see what you are up to?  And don't bother trying to mind your own business not only can they read your license plate from the satellite from space, for a fee you can spy on your neighbors yourself with Google Earth.  And don't forget the drones.  All livestock producers can count on being photoed to make sure they are not polluting everything downstream.
     I am sure there are many on the ultra left that are toasting the targeting of others by various government agencies for harassment.  But they had a comeuppance when the AP was targeted.  You know all this can come back to haunt them.  When things go to the control of a few anyone can become a target.
     Now saying this has made me a target.  And you may dismiss this as a paranoid conspiracy theorist.  Ten years ago I would have agreed with you.  Yet we have a people who are so out of touch or so angry by there own beliefs that it enables those who would bust down your doors given an excuse.
     I have a poor memory but when did the Homeland security agency who's intent was to be a clearing house for intelligence and aid for disasters, start to be a national police force?  Why are police officers from homeland security responding to peaceful Tea Party demonstrations and not places where violence is the norm?  Who is this new police force that has bought one billion rounds of ammunition and the weapons that go with it?  And where did the hundreds of armoured vehicles come from?  There is not enough local, state, and federal officers to do the job?  Why are these officers not on the border?
     I still have memory enough to remember a candidate say HOPE AND CHANGE.  What change he promised he is giving.  I hope people wake up before lining up for the cool aid.  Can't wait for the movie to come out, oh wait it already has many times.  And there is the book BIG BROTHER.
     Is this what millions of people who gave us this country died for?

Sunday, May 19, 2013


     There has been a noticeable kick to my cooking for our guests here at Wildfire Ranch.  And it is a Kansas original and I am crazy about it.  I was stopping at the COOP FEED STORE for coffee and whatever one morning and I saw a little sign in the window.  It reminded me that I had seen this simple plaque all over the country.  It simply says 'DUCKSALT.COM'.  It got my attention and I was finally going to see what all the signs were all about.
     I asked Connie, who manages the store, I have to know what in the world Duck Salt is.  She sold me a bottle and said "go home and try it".  I had never seen it in the grocery stores and she said they sold it in bars and feed stores and anyplace they could get it on the counters.
     Now with my stature and the 32 years I spent in the Garden Plain/Cheney communities I have done a lot of cooking.  I have my favorites but this was something new and I just love it.  So I had to find out all about it.  My reply on facebook only resulted in "it was made in a FEMA trailer, it was probably the only productivity that has come out of a FEMA trailer".
     Ok I was hoping for an interesting story about an idea that took off and the entrepreneurial spirit that has come out of the tornado.  Well I guess the story is there but I have had to do research to find it.
     So the mans name is Matt Dighton.  He is a survivor of the Greensburg tornado and took his passion for food service prior to the tornado and to have something to do at night in FEMA housing DUCK SALT was born.
     I found more of the story from the HUTCH NEWS article of 10-20-2012.  The name is the first thing.  After the tornado it seemed that the handiest thing around was DUCT TAPE (Red Green's favorite).  He had this formula took it to a kitchen in Kansas City for production and needed a short catchy name.  So was born DUCK SALT.
     Even more unusual is his marketing.  The standard method of selling product is to get a wholesale broker and put lots of money into buying space in grocery stores and hope it is one of the few single products that actually sell.  Talk about David and Goliath.
     Instead he utilizes his enthusiasm and hits the road and puts the product into any place that will let him.  Bars, gas stations, feed stores, anywhere he can drive to.  Then the simple signs DUCKSALT.COM.  He is utilizing the outreach center in Greensburg and is marketing as fund raisers to schools.
     His test kitchen is his customers.  There are "no rules" proclaims the website.  Everything from steak to ice cream, I have not tried that one yet but then I cannot have ice cream anymore.  He posts the recipies on his website.
     If you eat with me you will find me slipping it into eggs, hamburger, steak, grilled onions, and just about anything I fix.  Dighton does not expect to become a Carey or Morton but I predict a nice business and future.
     Which reminds me I just run out of my 2nd bottle I am heading to the feed store in the morning and get me more DUCK SALT.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


     I am doing something I have not done since writing this Blog.  And here is why.  Dad went with mom this week to a meeting in another town.  It was in a nice little cafe in an old historic downtown building.  Having a good meal in pleasant surroundings was ruined by a trip to the restroom.  The attempt to be handicap complient was stopped short by either ignorance, a cheap owner, or a contractor that should be required to use the facilities that he puts together.
     The room was big and the porcelain thrown was miniature.  There was not a bar within reach and getting up was virtually impossible.  I will stop here before details of getting up are discussed.  Needless to say it will be a place I hesitate to go to myself.  And I love to eat in these places.
     So I am going to repeat a piece I did in August of 2012 because most of the papers that pick this up did not publish, but I have yet to have a piece be complimented as much by those who get it online.  One of my most valued readers clams it was the best piece I have ever done.
(Aug. 2012).   OK I am going to be the resident curmudgeon and climb on my soapbox and irritate a lot of people!  This is a subject that I have had a burr under my saddle for years and if it applies to you TOUGH!
     I have gone up and down with my weight over most of my life.  At one time not long ago I was to the point of being and invalid.  Thank God I have fought the battle (still fighting), and have gotten my life back.  So I have a particularly delicate subject I now want to discuss.
     BATHROOMS, RESTROOMS,WATER CLOSETS, THE FACILITIES, POWDER ROOMS, the HEAD, what ever you choose to call them.  And I want to address the ARCHITECTS, PLUMBERS, BUILDERS, OWNERS, AND DECISION MAKERS that are responsible for them.  Ask any woman and you will get an earful about the public and many private facilities in this country.
     Only because of the ADA laws are many, not all, facilities actually friendly to the users of them.  And even these rules get messed up for the convenience of some builder is too lazy to give any consideration to them.
     Miniature toilets stuck in unreasonably small rooms are a sure indication of either stinginess, unconsciousness, and/or stupidity.  Sure thing that those responsible are so skinny that they should be watched for bulimia or sadism.
     The fact that 60% of the American people are obese should have those responsible for customer and user comfort paying attention.  Anyone paying for the design and installation of the facilities should insist on the privy being built for the comfortable usage of everyone including themselves.
     For years we have been squeezed into stalls or rooms that you cannot turn around in.  We have doors that swing inward so it is impossible to get around to set down.  Toilet paper holders have been installed so low you have to be double jointed to get at the paper.
     If you have ever seen these huge plastic appliances on the wall, so low that only a 4 year old could get into, and wonder why so many of them have been damaged?  It is because, through desperation, many have hit, pried, or otherwise popped them open to get to the massive rolls of narrow, sand paper, to clean themselves in a civilized manner.  I don't care how much money is saved by these monstrosities it just shows that you don't care about easy usage by your customers.  HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOUR CUSTOMERS ATTITUDES?
     I feel so sorry for the truly disabled trying to have some bit of decorum while fulfilling a basic body function.  It can be maddening.
     There are some companies and builders that do good jobs and seem to care, but take a trip across the country and see the horror that awaits you in many places.
     I have also been in homes that were either built by people so cheap or skinny that you cannot even get through the narrow doors let alone use the throne.  If you can spend thousands on a kitchen to make it user friendly can't you spend a little more on doorway widths and size of bathrooms?
     If you shared these frustrations I hope this will move you to be more vocal.  If this irritated or embarrassed you, FANTASTIC!  That was the whole point of this.
      When I point our simple remedies to problems in the restrooms most will be very attentive and then ignore it when I am gone.  Maybe if you will also point out the little things that could be corrected, enough of us could actually make them realize there is a problem.  SPEAK UP!!!
     Now here is some simple things that those of you can pay attention to who are responsible for the facilities:
  1. Toilets tall enough not to have knees near the cheeks (face).
  2. Toilets set out far enough to be reasonable.
  3. Doors that swing out away from the stall.
  4. Toilet paper above the bar and accessible for everyone.
  5. Grab Bars that do not protrude into the minimum space for the fixture.
  6. Toilet not too tall that your feet swing.
  7. Doors wide enough for everyone to get through.
  8. KEEP IT CLEAN.  Nothing is more disgusting than a filthy facility.
  9. Do all this because you want to do what is right and show you really care.
     As you might note I do this with much emotion and I try not to write when I am worked up.  But this has been brewing with me for years and it is time to point it out.
     There are a few companies that I would like to give an award to for their excellent facilities.  And to the others I want to scream, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING OF?!!!!
     I hope this will inspire more women to go into design and architecture because the men that do this need to go get a real job!
(note-I hope this gets published this time or your woman finds out why)

Friday, May 10, 2013


     A question is asked "WHY RURAL", the answer is THERE ARE 60 MILLION OF US.  So why do we wring our hands at the decline of the small town and rural communities?  Because it is important!
     There are those who labor to improve the quality of life and preserve historic buildings.  And many who run mom and pop businesses putting their life into providing a service and a living.  Many provide jobs that are sorely needed.  Only to have their 'friends' and neighbors drive an hour or two to buy at the big discounters.  Never made sense to me to not give a small mark up so your hometown business can survive and spend fifty or a hundred dollars in gas to save ten bucks.
     As those who made the trip to the Kansas Sampler Festival in Liberal this year found out that Kansas is a diverse and wonderful place.  Yet were you there to see it?
     A friend of mine at Wellington put his heart and soul into creating a new festival there.  Because of a little rain (everyone should have been dancing in it) few showed up.  Several of the organizations that 'backed' the festival have pulled out and left him holding the bag for two thousand dollars.  Yet it was a beginning that could be a huge draw to the community someday.  Funny on the same days was the community garage sale days and they were packed.
     I travel to many rural communities in a years time and the diversity is so amazing.  And yet there are those who are content to let everything fall down around them in ruins and won't walk across the street to do anything fun.  Many of these 'grumps' are not satisfied with just ignoring things they have to be the chronic pains in the neck at the meetings or set on the boards and do their best to keep things stirred up.
     So where do you fit in?  This is a question you can answer honestly or ignore, but, if you really want to preserve what is good in your world you have to stop and decide if you are part of the problem or the answer?
     If you are interested in keeping the rural flavor tasty and not bitter you need to take a day trip and discover what is all around you.  Go to a small business and spend some money.  Go to a small post office and buy your next months stamps.  Go to the local festival and immerse yourself in the vast talent we have.  Take the two lane roads through the towns and quit whizzing through on the Interstates.
     You have one year now to plan to go to Wamego for the next KANSAS SAMPLER FESTIVAL, but you can find something going on this weekend just about anywhere.
     So I come back to the original question WHAT DO YOU SUPPORT?  Then WILL YOU SUPPORT IT?

Saturday, May 4, 2013


                                          (paraphrased) PATRICK HENRY

     It is a mystery to me how so many would destroy the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution for the reason of passion or bias towards those who exercise their rights.  The same people consider their 1st Amendment sacred to the point of denying others the same right.  In the heat of passion after a terrible incident like Sandy Hook the great call was "do something now" when actually changing what is wrong goes undone.
     What makes others want to make law abiding citizens into instant outlaws?  Are not the prisons overflowing as it is?  We have become a society of laws and not justice.  Small vocal groups dictate what we say, think, and eat.  Yet the freedom of choice on how you live your life is still a gift given from God.  You do not answer to me or Mayor Bloomberg, President O, Homeland Security, or anyone else.  You eventually answer to the creator that gave you the right to say yes or no.
     I am tired of being continually attacked by those who demand that I accept homo-sexuality, alternative lifestyles, and other things that affront God.  I do not want to be constantly insulted by those who want anything they do accepted by me and if I don't I am racist.  I don't know why I have to approve of what they do.  Those who do not agree with me are many and I have no special position.
     We cannot call illegal immigrants what they are anymore.  The designation Muslim Terrorist has been removed from the Homeland Security training manual and no one in the government can call them this.  Labeling of Homeland Security of Veterans, Christians, and 2nd Amendment supporters as terrorists is worse than ignorant it is criminal.
     The changing by the government on how you report unemployment is a slap at the intellignce of the people.  A 7.4 unemployment rate that is actually around 16 to 18 percent is really believing we are dumb enough to think this is OK is stupid.  Because your unemployment is finished and you are not working does not mean your are not unemployed.
      Labeling the Tea Party as a hate group when the marches were peaceful, without incident, no arrests, and even picked up their trash is criminal.  Turning around and calling the 99 movement when they trashed everywhere they were at, had multiple rapes and criminal activity, and had to be forced out by police, a peaceful movement is ignorant.
     If you cannot discuss facts and solutions and resort to name calling, lies and hate, you are not part of the solution you are the problem.  I can at least credit Mayor Bloomberg for being open enough to admit that they would take down the constitution and replace it with something else.
     To get to my original point.  Whether you like me owning a gun, or have the ability to say what I believe, to take down one ammendment of the Constitution destroys the entire document.  If you delight seeing your neighbors door kicked in, how will you like it if a statement is made against you and it is your door being kicked in?  Don't think it has not been done.  Ask the family who had the baby taken from the mothers arms in California or others who have been raided for no valid reason.  If it happens to you I am sure you will be the first to start calling for your lawyer and wanting your rights.  I hope that the answer won't be that "oh that don't exist anymore, this is for your own good".