Thursday, October 29, 2015


                                Yogi Berra

     Just some observations here.  Do people ever look at themselves or listen to what they say on TV? 
      Weather people have got to be the most not aware of what they say and do.  Next comes TV news reporters.  Not naming names but one weatherman I give this advise:  Unbutton that jacket, when that button pops off it may knock out a lens or your director.  To several weather women:  Really, get someone with taste to pick out your clothes today.
     Here in Kansas we are never "Plagued" by rain unless your car is floating away and we have had rain for months.  Stop saying that!  I don't care if the little league has to cancel today. 
     Weather people, your fascination with where the weather went is not as important as where it is coming from.  Rain in Southeast Kansas is not in your viewing area, they cannot hear you.  Storms to the southwest line up on your town.
     Check the squelch on your radar.  When you show rain every day on the radar in northwest Kansas and they are still in the drought zone three months later means they did not get that rain.
     When the light rain you show on radar may not be hitting the ground, THAT IS A CLOUD!  When you show heavy rain over a spot you might want to check the area, the last 10 rains over us were not there.  Maybe you could check the accuracy of the radar location wise.  Google maps can't find anything out here, is your radar calculated off of them?
     There is no dramatic value to me or most people to stand by the side of a snowy road and point at the ground and tell us "this is snow".  We know what snow looks like.
     When reporting on floods and telling the public to stay out of the water you look ridiculous standing up to your waist in it and saying 10 inches could sweep you away.  Or standing in three inches of water and saying it used to be up to there.  Really!
     Quit telling people to not try to get a good picture of a tornado when you are running people off the road to get a good picture of a tornado.
      News people, if you are reporting from the scene of a crime from a half mile, or blocks away, the picture of a cop car running it's lights blocking anyone from getting closer is not news.  Pointing down the street and not seeing anything does not impress when you say it is going on down there and we cannot get any closer.
     Advertisers, there are a precious few that can make a cute commercial that gets our interest or makes us laugh.  The  rest just tick us off.  You think I am going to do business with someone that irritates me?  Doing the big box store commercial, when the 2x4 is pulled off the shelf, don't you think pulling the scabbiest one off the pile is not a good representation of quality?
     I have never and never will do business with car dealers that have to scream and act like idiots.
     And remember when the 'law' was passed that the commercials could not be turned up louder than the regular programing?  Well where is the prosecution of that because the ads still blare?
     Cable and satellite TV companies.  Do you even watch the worthless programming?  Who really comes up with the subjects of these shows?  It is beyond belief that I can have 500 channels of programing paying absorbent prices and have times that there is NOTHING on to watch.
     Finally network news people.  A little truth in reporting would be nice.  I don't give one whit what you or your boss want to support or attack.  We just want the facts.  As unreasonable as this may sound to you, we can make up our own mind if given the straight information.
     If you don't agree with this, I quote Yogi Bara again, "I really didn't say everything I said".

Friday, October 23, 2015


                                             Bede Jarrett

     I am angry and I will not apologize.  I have had an ongoing hate with the most insidious word in the human language, CANCER.
     I have related before that I have lost both Grandmothers, and most of my closest friends to cancer.  It has been such a soul wrenching experience that the continued fund raising for the cure, that has gone on all my life that I can remember, seems to have been to build a multi billion dollar industry.  You may think that I have gotten cynical.  Well yes I have.
     Two of my friends I could have held in my arms like a small child as the insidious disease wasted their bodies away before our eyes.  And the pain they felt cut through the soul.
     We lost one of our families best friends not long ago to the beast of cancer.  As the learned specialist assaulted her body with treatments it turned out that the body took the hit and the cancer thrived.  It is hard not to be totally angered by the system.
     I know that there are good people that are doing their best to beat this scourge of mankind.  But I am hardened that with all the money thrown at these problems, the last thing that was really totally beaten was Polio.  Even it is making a comeback because of laxness of people.
      What brings this to a head for me?  You may or may not know who Joey and Rory Feek are.  They are a really talented and entertaining couple who is in Country Music (the real country music).  They have a TV show on RFD TV.  Rory is from Kansas so ties us to his success.  We love to see Kansans do well.  Rory is a successful singer and song writer who has made a mark in Nashville.  Joey is his equally talented wife.  They live on a farm in Tennessee and have a music venue on the farm that they do a lot of great things from.  They are just plain nice people that you would love to have for a neighbor.
     I have never had the opportunity to personally meet the couple.  My music circle has not allowed the meeting to happen.  But I am a fan and as all fans have followed the pregnancy of Joey and the birth of their daughter who has Downs Syndrome.
     Not long ago cancer was detected in Joey.  She has had surgery and has been undergoing treatment.  The latest scan showed that the tumors have returned and many more have appeared. 
     They have had the dreaded conversation that no one ever wants to have with their doctor.  The "I'm sorry but" conversation.
     They have a time expectancy.  They came home and threw away the calendar and are concentrating on living not dying.  Which leaves only one thing that I and anyone else can do.  PRAY.
     Just as I do not want to see one more person die from war, accident, crime, and more.  I do not want to see someone die from cancer.  Can we be so impersonal that we can accept another death from something, that we as a people, are given talents from God to overcome?
     We know that we start to die the moment we are born.  Some believe that our 'expiration' date is set before hand.  But given free choice from our creator has to mean that there is a choice, be it ours or someone who is ordained to move that time back.  Doctors and scientists have worked under the mission to do this.  It seems that to a skeptic and someone who is angry that other things have come into play.  We kill our unborn, play bloody online games, engage in destructive behavior, encourage suicide, and relegate the aged to warehouses.
    Yes I am angry.  I would hope that that anger could be directed in a satisfactory direction.  In the meantime I Pray for Joey Feek, Rory, their family and friends.  Normally I try to not write when angry.  This time I think it is appropriate.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


                                                   Ronald Reagan

     One of the side affects of aging is that all the things you had been wanting to do all your life is now out of the question.  Giving up dreams is very hard to do.  When you are young and bull headed it is just a matter of how much you want it and how hard you are willing to work for it.
     A lot of times things happen that just get in the way of what you want to do.  Like having kids or facing health problems.  Or getting so tied up and invested in a job that it precludes doing what is in your heart.
     Now this is a mixed bag.  When it comes down to it, it is not all about you.  But today people think it is.  Things like responsibility, intelligence, faith, hope just seem to be a concept from a bygone era.
      It used to be that a person would find a vocation and expect to stay with it for the rest of his working life.  All the while dreaming and pondering on what he will do when he retires.  So many retirees I have visited with all have the same thing to say.  "Do it while you are able to". 
     How many people have you known that waited for retirement and either lost their health or died?  How many retired and within weeks or months they were dead or debilitated?  How many retirees have you known that went to the rocking chair and aged before your eyes?
     Those who do make it start noticing all their friends dying off and those who's company they enjoyed became bitter and withdrawn.  There is also the ones that become curmudgeons.  Grumpy and opinionated and not able to get along with themselves let alone others.
     If you notice that you are starting to stiffen or having health problems. If you find the discussions that all are about health now, (didn't that drive you crazy when you were young?), it is time to be self aware.  If you did not blow your savings on a new corvette or girl friend, you made it through the middle aged madness?  It is time to start ageing gracefully.
     You have a lifetime of experiences that you can share if you are pleasant enough for others to be around.  Use a little tact, you did not take advice from old fogies when you were young, but when you wanted a little advice from someone you respected it was given freely.  Wait til you are asked.
      When you are drinking coffee at the Liars Club and solving the problems of the world maybe a little more listening and less lecturing will give what knowledge you have a chance to be taken a little more seriously.  A little awareness and thoughtfulness goes a long way.  And maybe someone may actually listen to you.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


                                                       Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

     I started writing poetry as a way to deal with the sudden loss of a very good friend.  It was a loss that had started some time before when my best friends started to die.  The most of which were from cancer.  Youth has a way of shaking off loss because there is always the prospect of tomorrow and the optimism that we are bullet proof.  When you look back it begins to dawn on you that it was amazing that we have made it this far considering all the crazy things we did.
     I did have the advantage of building a wall around my emotions because of the work I did on the fire department and ambulance.  You deal with people at their best and worst.  And though you always try to help you soon learn that there are times when your best is not good enough.  If you took to heart every tragedy that you dealt with on a regular basis it would drive you crazy.  So you deal with the things you see that no one should and build a shell and a strange sense of humor to cope.
      There were times that all the shielding in the world would not stop a knife being plunged into your soul.  That was the kids.  There was no callousness that could stop the pain of losing a kid or dealing with severe injury.  I am sure that this was among the many influences in my life as to how I arrived where I am now.  I guess this is why I don't understand the thinking of anyone who supports abortion.  I have seen how fragile life is and how valuable it is.  And how I would work to exhaustion at times to preserve a life.
     Losing friends and aging has a way of opening your mind to many things that you kept bottled up.  Poetry and music was a way to deal with it and it is something that I enjoy doing.  I would have liked to be able to put more time and energy into my entertaining and writing but there are many things that demand my time.  So I have to appreciate the friends that I have in the music industry and the fact that they have allowed me into their world.
     There is an old saying and it was put into poetry and song by many about old cowboys that "he never sold his saddle".  I have my custom built saddle sitting in the shed and it will be the last thing that goes and that is, hopefully, after I am gone.  Above all the many things I have done in my life it was working on the farm and ranch that defines me the most.  Some may laugh at me loving the cowboy life I hope when I am gone there will be a few that thinks I was a fair hand.
     I was listening to the radio online today to my buddy the WESTERN BELLE on COWTRAILS.  It is a program of cowboy and western music on the public radio station in Mancos Colorado.  Belle, or Barb Richhart, and I have become good friends through the music and declining health.  She is on KSJD FM Radio.  Once in a while she will play a cut off my CD and sends messages out when she knows I am listening.
     Today my favorite cowboy poem was read.  It is one of those things that you wish you had written.  It hits so close to home for both myself and many that I have been friends with and have known.  It is called 'THE MEN WHO RIDE NO MORE'. 
     It was written by Joel Nelson, a Texas horse breaker and cowboy.  He is also in demand for his poetry that he writes and performs in a style that you know he is the real thing.  He was on his way to Hawaii to break horses for a ranch and stopped into a nursing home to visit an old cowboy.  It was his first time in a care home.  What he saw weighed on his mind and he wrote the poem.
"Bronc to Breakfast" calendars hang faded on the walls
There's a lost and aimless wandering through the corridors and halls
Of slippered feet that shuffle on a waxed and polished floor
And vacant stares of emptiness from the men who ride no more

Men who once rode proudly-men with long straight backs
Men who covered hill and plain with steel shod horses tracks
Now pass their idle days in rooms with numbers on the door
With orderlies and nurses for the men who ride no more

Time was when spur rowels jingled when boot heels bumped the floor
Dawns with hot black coffee and saddling up at four
With feet in tapaderos and broncs between their knees
And silken neck scarves snapping as they turned into the breeze

From full-blown living legends true to riding for the brand
To the scarcely mediocre who could hardly make a hand
They would gather for the branding or the shipping in the fall
Now it's walker, cane, and wheelchair in the antiseptic hall

And they all have their mementos on the table by their side
Like a cracked and fading snapshot of a horse he usta ride
Or standing with the wife beside a thirty-seven Ford
A high-heeled boot hooked nonchalant on a muddy running board

Just instants frozen from the past that somehow give a clue
To who and what they were before their riding days were through
Horseback men with horseback rules from horseback days of yore
their one and only wish would be to somehow ride once more

To once more rope a soggy calf and drag it to the fire
To long-trot for half a day and see no post or wire
To ride a morning circle-catch a fresh one out at noon
And trot him in when the day was done to the rising of the moon

To put in one more horseback day and have just one more chance
To ride home to a pretty wife and drive her to the dance
To take her hand and hold her close and waltz across the floor
Before the time to join the ranks of the men who ride no more
Joel Nelson

Thursday, October 1, 2015


                                 Black Hawk, Sauk

     What has been happening at the hand of government that has no basis in right and honorable is lamented by many.  However, when the wrongs of the past are continued by a government that has no sense of right, wrong, decency, and morality, there should be outrage.  And those who raise the issues of the past the most are guilty of perpetuating the wrongs today.
     The disaster of the Gold King Mine that released millions of gallons of toxic chemicals into the Animas River was done by and with the forewarned knowledge of the EPA.  Warnings were there before they commandeered the mine and started the process of disaster.  Even a week before it happened a geologist sent a letter to the Leadville CO. newspaper warning of the disaster.  Checking the papers web site the first thing that is shown is "Yes we printed that letter".  The volume of inquiries prompted them to post this to save the time of responding to each request and reference of the paper for that week.
      Had this been caused by any private company there would be a major uproar.  Investigations would be held, jobs would be lost and indictments made.  Yet no official has lost their job or faces criminal charges.
     Yet as the yellow poison flowed down the river focus was on the immediate area.  The major part of the river flows through the Navaho Reservation and they were given no notice.  And when asking for help received more from private organizations that the government that caused the problem.  On a reservation that has grinding poverty and a history of the brutal treatment of the tribe the government continues the indifference and miserable treatment of the people.
     According to the President and Vice President of the Navajo Nation there has been virtually no return of calls or action from the government.  Their farmers and ranchers are being devastated and the one's that caused the problem are doing nothing. 
     Worse yet the Animas River flows into a slow moving river where the poisons will settle out and cause long term problems.  It is not safe for human or animal to drink the water.  The organic production that the Navajo farmers and ranchers live by has been ruined.  And the little that was done for them was withdrawn after the spotlight was gone.  Now it is back to business as usual.
     It has been ignored and nothing done on the same reservation about radioactive uranium spills on reservation land.  As bad as this is it is not isolated.  At the same time on Apache Reservation land the Government with the backing of John McCain, AZ state senator, a mine is being started by outside companies with no permission or input from the tribal council.
     Is it any mystery that the persistent mental state of the native people is of a defeated people?  People pay lip service to the atrocities of the past and yet still perpetuate the wrongs today.  Native people were herded onto the worst land that no one wanted originally and when value is found on that land it is stolen from the tribes again.
     We live here in the center of the country and have minimal contact with the sheer might of the all powerful central government.  Many even support the ability of government to make all decisions of how to live.  We should take warning from the continued treatment of those being run over by a government that uses its power to ignore science and commons sense and justify what ever it wants to do.
     Yet to come:  The replacement of UN Agenda 21 with Agenda 2030.