Friday, August 30, 2013


                               DESPERATE GOVERNMENTS WILL DO
                                        DESPERATE THINGS.

     There are watershed moments in everybodys life when you remember just where you were at and what you were doing when the event occurred.  Those who remember the announcement that Pearl Harbor was attacked, the day Kennedy was shot, the planes plunging into the Twin Towers.
     Much to the dismay of most of the American people I am afraid that we will have another of these very soon.  Do we learn nothing from history?  I do not want to be able to say I remembered the moment they announced the beginning of World War Three.
      It is not any secret that I am not a fan of our president and the policies that are dragging down a once shinning light to the world.  More and more even his supporters are realizing that the Change he was elected on is not the way our founding fathers envisioned.  They went to great lengths to keep what is happening today from taking place.
      Without the support of anyone in the world or in this country, except for those who want to see the US humbled, the administration seems determined to take us into a war, again, with no goal of winning.  Into a country where both sides are our enemies.
      Our sons and daughters will be drawn into a global conflict and sacrificed so a President can save face.  I am sorry Mr. President but your dignity was lost a long time ago.
      Limited strikes for short term is the justification and yet Russia is putting warships into the fray and allied with our major credit provider.  We will see the rise of a united Caliphate and not have any economy left to support those who will be put into harms way.
     Can a country stand for long that has a leader that will openly defy the law and create executive orders to bypass all that keeps us free and the true leader of the world?
     The legendary Paul Harvey continuously reminded us that the only way to lead is by example.  We the People cannot become the enforcer of the world.  Time and again it has been demonstrated that the United Nations is totally ineffectual in solving crisis let alone being a governing body for the world.  The true leaders of the world are in the background and pulling the strings.  As the old saying goes "show me the money".  The administration has become checker players in a chess game.
     So I hope that you will reflect on the moment when where you were at, when the Third world War began.  I hope we will be able to look back and thank God when it was over.  How do you think history will look back?

Friday, August 23, 2013


                             AND LOOK STUPID, THAN OPEN IT
                                       AND PROVE IT!
                                                          Cowboy Wisdom

     OK, it has happened again.  Some self appointed Bozo has pronounced that Kansas is number 50 out of 50 states for scenery.  I am sure if he ever has been in Kansas it was driving 85 MPH on I-70.  It was probably gloomy and mostly at night.  Otherwise this guy should be banned from driving and given a white cane.
     I once again was able to road trip to Manhattan Kansas for a battery charge from people who love this state, and life in general.  I started by not going the fast and direct route but going north from the Wildfire Ranch and driving through Stafford (one of my favorite towns) and on to Ellinwood.  I picked up my friend Basil who has just become Chamber of Commerce Director and head cheerleader for the town.  This is going to be another of my favorite towns because of the antique stores, restaurants, and the preservation of many historic buildings.
     Since we have been in one of the worst droughts in years it was so nice to see everything green, especially in August.  I am sure even the farmers who had their hay rained on were not that mad since there has actually been adequate to almost too much rain up there.
     The Smoky Hills were in rare form and so were the Flint Hills.  If anyone failed to enjoy the scenery on I-70 this day they are truly blind.  Kansas beauty is subtle.  You don't need a pile of rock going to 14,000 feet to have wonderful views.
     Then in Manhattan it was the first time I had been on the K-State campus since high school.  It is fantastic!  The Kansas mascot was everywhere,(the orange cones) and the traffic was awful.  Of course it was the weekend of students moving in for the fall semester.  Parties abounded.
     I discovered that Manhattan has a really great Zoo.  The Flint Hills Discovery Center needs to be experienced by everyone.  If you don't take your kids there you are derelict.  The movie on the Flint Hills is like nothing you have experienced.  And I mean experienced, you will just have to go to see what I mean.
     On the way home we had a great chicken dinner at the Brookville Hotel at Abilene.  Then we stopped at the Russell Stover store at the candy factory.  They are open on Sundays.  My blood sugar went up just looking. (I did only get the sugar free).  What candy store do you need a shopping cart for?  WOW!
     After a long weekend I was wearing down and thank goodness that the dime store in Stafford was open on Sunday afternoon so I could use the facilities and get a sugar free cherry limeade at the antique soda fountain.
     I returned home exhausted but full of the great scenery of Central Kansas.  Whoever that snob is that scoffed at the beauty of Kansas can stay in his concrete jungle and ogle the rats and trash that he so loves.  We can live quite nicely without him.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


                             THAT'S WHY DREAMERS ARE SO LONELY
                                                   Erma Bombeck
     I guess I have always been a dreamer.  I prefer to think of it as visionary, but that word seems to have too much hubris in it.  I have to admit that I have too many interests and ideas seem to flow so fast that it irritates others.
     I am a died in the wool International Harvester truck fan.  Specifically the light trucks especially the Scouts.  I was ogling a great looking 1/2 cab scout 800 on the facebook page.  It is the time of the year that all IHC nuts are drawn to a gathering in Iowa.  I have never been and want to go sooooo bad.  Mom looked over to see what I was oohing and aahing about and said "quit dreaming."  NOPE NOT GONNA DO IT!
     Through all the ups and downs of my life if I did not have a dream I would not be here today.  If I quit dreaming I might as well be dead.  This is why the thought of a nursing home scares the bejemers out of me.  Of what do you dream there?  I dream that the AARP would quit persuing me after selling out their membership.  I have reached the age of 58 and realized that with the health issues and time left there are many interest I will simply be unable to do.  But that does not stop my dreaming.
     I am with my friends in the music world, dream and vision that things will change and Western music will once again be recognised in Nashville and the music industry.  (Although watching the CMA makes me wonder where the Country really is).  I dream of singing on stage with my friends and those I admire on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
     I have the dream of bringing the right people together and film a feature Western motion picture here in the Gyp Hills with many of the big names and cowboy actors that still exist.
     I dream of actually selling my writing and remove the FREE from Freelance.
     I dream of running a radio station that people really want to listen to.
     I dream of rural Kansas finding the ways to attract visitors, businesses, and young people to our wonderful state.  I still dream of Kansans being proud of where we are and what we have.
     I dream of owning old buildings and run businesses out of them and helping others do the same.  I want to restore a building to make a music venue out of.
     I dream of a small farm and ranch that is my own, and paid for.
     I want to start an artists guild in our area with the purpose of opening a gallery on Main Street in Medicine Lodge.
     I still want a 1/2 cab or Terra Scout.  I still love old barns and farm houses.  I like old tractors and trucks, canning food, doing things the old fashioned way.  And finding a woman that likes it too.
     I want history to be taught to everyone the way it was and not the way some think it should have been.  I want schools to worry about music, reading, writing, and math instead of what class of league will we end up in next year.
     I want to see those who would dominate our lives with their agenda put into the place that they deserve.  I want to see government officials actually stick to their pledge of defending the Constitution.  I want to see us stop sending our troops to fight wars that were never intended to win and only fight those who are attacking us.
     I dream that those who have no idea what it takes to feed the world to quit trying to tell those that do how to do it.  Somehow bugs and stem cell hamburger are not going to do it.
     I dream of energy that is developed of every form and it be cheap and reasonable and free from the politics that hinder it now.
     I dream of a day that God is asked back into the affairs of our country and not be banished by the minority that would take him from everyone.
     I would like to see the people of this country remember what a sense of humor is and stop getting enraged over something that does not mean a thing other than a good laugh.  And that being profane is not really funny.
     Yes I admit that I am a dreamer.  A visionary, I will leave that for others to judge when I am gone.  I hope that when I stop dreaming it means that I am gone from this life to where all dreams are fulfilled.
     If you dream, never apologize for it.

Friday, August 9, 2013


                    A CHILD EDUCATED ONLY AT SCHOOL,
                           IS A CHILD UNEDUCATED.
                                             George Santayana

What do these names have in common?
      Sean Connery, John D. Rockefeller, Richard Branson, Abraham Lincoln, Racheal Ray, Bill Gates, Will Smith, Henry Ford, Dave Thomas, Pete Cashmore, Michael Dell, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Sean 'P Diddy' Combs, Kirk Kerkoran, Gurbakesh Chahal, Mark Zuckerburg?
      Take a little time and think about it.  Meanwhile, I have had a lingering opinion that we have an education system that has gone so far off the track that the real purpose of it has eluded even those who are engaged in it.  Something is badly wrong and there is a lot of hand wringing about it but no real progress being made towards revising it.  There is a recent revision and if adopted will put way more students out into the land of functioning or dysfunctioning, hoards.
     Look how easy it has been to allow education to put so many into untenable situation especially in the major metro areas like Detroit, New York, East St. Louis, and many others  Drop out rates in major metro areas sometimes climb to 70%.
     The average college bound student is destined to come out with a degree and more than $50,000 debt.  Or even more than that.  Making them indentured servants bound to the debt for years.  Functioning illiterates is not so uncommon that you more than likely can name at least one that you know.
     There is something wrong.  Many teachers work in the trenches trying to affect the outcome of their students in a positive manor when the teacher in the next room does not.  The work that one does is undone when the student goes up the line and hits a teacher that cannot advance the student or does not care.  All the while the school boards are more interested in hiring superintendents with the letters PHD behind their name.
     I have had some great teachers that have made a difference in my life even today.  And I have had poor and incompetent teachers that have the same effect.  I am sure that everyone of you have the same experience.  We are so chained to the NEA and other unions that tenure is more important than performance and so the system is rift with those who cannot be fired for incompetence.
     School boards are also so tied to how much they can sue the state to increase funding that the concerns of actual education become secondary.  Buildings are more important than employees and income from the state revenues is above all more important.
     Is this outrageous coming from me?  Look to yourselves and your kids.  What group has the highest percentile in the ACT scores every year?  Home Schooled.  What schools rank highest in overall excellence?  Private schools.  Who are the groups that the government would like to do away with?  Home schooling and private schools.
     Education needs to be turned on its head and rebooted.  Do I have all the answers?  NO, but I do know that a student coming through the 4th grade should know how to read and write, and do simple math.  I do know that the content and challenge of students to learn about multiple subjects is more important than if we have Astro Turf on the football field.  Students should be able to write a check, cook a meal, sew on a button, read and comprehend the newspaper, and should know how to critically think about any subject at hand.  This is not being done today.  The ability to come up with the right mathematical answer is more important than the equation used to find it.
     One of the things that is hot on the Internet right now is the 1949 8th grade test to graduate from school.  Remember back then you only needed 8 grades and a certificate from a teachers college to be a teacher.  I have had my grandpa's graduation questions from 1924 and I would hate to take it myself.  So everyone gripes about teaching for the test?  Seems I always had to pass a test to get a grade.
     OK, about those names.  What do they have in common?  None of those successful people had a college education.  An instructor for children's violin once told me that "they are too young to know it is suppose to be hard".  I guess this group of names did not have the handicap of professors telling them what won't work.  Oh yea, and the founder of Federal Express put his business plan in as a college paper and got a C- on it.  The instructor said it could never work.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


                         INTERSTATE, GET OFF ON THE STATE
                             AND COUNTY HIWAYS AND SEE REAL
                                PEOPLE AND THE BEAUTY OF KANSAS

     I had the time to go on the scenic route through the Flint Hills on my way to the Lazy T Ranch, near Manhattan, for the Day of the Cowboy.  Though the reputation of US 50 highway has not been top notch for safety it is a good road and the repairs have been finished for a while where many of those grinding crashes occurred.  I enjoy the Cruise through Walton, Peabody, and Florence.  Every time I go this way I am always irritated at the Round a Bout and the engineer in Topeka who actually think these things are good.  By the way, I don't give two hoots for what they do in Europe which is where these waste of taxpayer dollars come from.
     Oh well, with the good comes the bad.  My goal this day was to see what has happened at the Clover Cliff Ranch after the auction and to eat in Cottonwood Falls at Emma Chase Cafe.  The meal was good, the conversation good, and they are still holding my secret of having cherry pie for desert, oops.
     My trip up US 177 past the Z Bar Ranch was made so much more pleasant by the fact that it had rained and the temperature was not normal for the last part of July.  This was also the Flint Hills Scenic Byway.  Wonder where that global warming went?  Oh well I digress.
     I had not been past Council Grove going on north to Manhattan before so this was all new scenery for me.  I rolled into the Lazy T with plenty of time for a nap in the K-State room at the B&B there before the Day of the Cowboy festivities.  I really enjoyed Ron Wilson and his family and friends, Ron is the owner and host of the Agri Tourism business there. 
     The show for the night was my friends Judy Coder and Jeff Davidson and they gave a great performance.  The crowd had a great time as well as a great meal and they learned something about the cowboy of history and today.
     My return trip home was one for speed so I jumped on the interstate and was disappointed that I was too late for fried chicken at the Brookville Hotel at Abilene.  The area was really soaked with rain from Salina south and I was not surprised that Lindsborg had flooding troubles when the rains cam again.  Of course I think all these soaked areas should share a little rain with us and those on west.  We have had a 1/2 inch out of all that storming.
      The point of all this rambling is that we have a wonderful state here that has a lot of great scenery and people in it and so many Kansans just don't get it.  For heavens sake get out and take a day trip in rural Kansas and see what you are missing.  Become a Kansas Explorer.  If you want to have a little help along the way and see Kansas with a whole new set of eyes join the Kansas Sampler Foundation and become an official Kansas Explorer.  We even have a secret greeting sign.  Just google Kansas Sampler Foundation and tell Marci or Wendee that Roger sent you by.