Saturday, September 11, 2010

Goodbye Little One

Two days ago one of my dogs died. It's still a terrible shock since he was the younger one of our dogs, and the most active. In fact, he had surgery about six months ago and the vet said he would have guessed his age at 6 or 7, not the 11 he was.

Reno was one of those dogs that everybody loved, and he loved everyone back as only a dog can; unconditionally and with all his heart. He was a constant source of laughter for us. here.

The night he died was like any other with him dividing his time between sitting next to me and laying his head on my knee, visiting everyone in the room hoping for a pat on the head, belly rub or a treat to eat. He was fine.

I went to bed and he followed me a laid down on the floor next to my side of the bed, just like he has for 11 years. Sometime during the night, he got up, went upstairs and laid down under my desk. That's where I found him the next morning; just laying there like he was asleep. He must have died around 3:00 am.

I buried him on the hill beside the house, near where he would lay in the afternoons watching the house. I wish I had the words to say what that little guy meant to me and my family. All I can do is thank the Lord for blessing us with such a good friend and companion. He will forever be in my heart as my little Reno-bambino.

Good-bye little buddy, I love you.

Why I'll Never Forget

Nine years, yet it still feels like it was just a few months ago. Vivid images and when I stop and think about it, I still feel the raw pain and emotion. I don't think I'll ever get over it. Acctually I hope I never do.

It started out as just another normal day; the weather was nice, not perfect, but not bad. The sky was blue with only a few high altitude clouds. It would be a full day of flying for our squadron of F-16s. Again, nothing really out of the ordinary; we had a full schedule planned and my job as the Lead Production Superintendent or Pro Super, was to ensure we had all the jets covered with appropriate mechanics. Their job was to either support the active flying or fix those that had mechanical problems. Just another day…

I spent the early morning like all others; in a meeting going over the condition and plan for each of our 27 assigned jets. Little did I or any of us know how the world was changing while we discussed aircraft status. After the meeting, I went out to my truck to get the daily work started. I was coordinating with the mechanics the who, what and where we would do that day when we had an odd radio call. “Attention all radios this net, this is the MOC (Maintenance Operations Center) with an announcement. All local flying has been cancelled; please respond with your call sign.” “Rude 1 copies” I replied but didn’t really think much about it. Cancelling flying is rare, but not uncommon in the military, but usually I have an idea of why; bad weather, an accident or something like that. This day however, I was just thankful we didn’t have to worry about flying our schedule, but could instead; focus our efforts on the several jets that needed maintenance. Boy was I in for a shock.

I still didn’t have any idea what was going on since I didn’t have the radio on. In my truck, I had to listen to two tactical radios and use my cell phone, so I didn’t play the radio. I was briefing my supervisors about the change in the schedule when another odd radio call interrupted me…”Attention all radios this net, this is the MOC with an announcement. Implement THREATCON BRAVO. I repeat implement THREATCON BRAVO. Please respond with your call sign, MOC out.” “Rude 1” I said then wondered aloud if there was an exercise I wasn’t aware of. I told my supervisors to get moving with BRAVO procedures, and then went over to a Security Policeman driving around the flightline. I asked him if he knew what was going on, but he was as clueless as I was. I couldn’t really call the MOC to ask, since they were probably eye-ball deep in what ever was happening, besides, I knew I would be briefed soon enough. Right now, we just needed to follow orders and get things done.

About ten minutes later, the Chief of Maintenance came out to my truck and started talking about smoke boiling out of the Pentagon. I thought he was talking metaphorically, you know, I pictured all the Generals with smoke coming out of their ears as they worked some issue. I still didn’t know. Then he talked about the crash into the WTC. “What the hell are you talking about?” I asked. “You haven’t heard? Where have you been?” he asked. Out here doing my job, now what the hell is going on?” He told me we were under attack. I couldn’t comprehend what he was telling me, so I went into our ready room and saw the images of the second plane flying into the south tower. I was stunned for about 20 seconds, then knew we needed to get focused and be ready for whatever tasking we would receive.

I immediately called my supervisors together and had them round everyone up and form them up in the hangar. I needed to talk to them. I don’t really remember what I said, but it was along the lines of “Our country is under attack. We need to put our personal thoughts and feelings aside and focus on what we’re trained to do.” “Anyone with family in NYC or Washington, get with your supervisors after the brief.” “I know you’re worried about them, but I’m sure you won’t be able to get through to them for a day or two, so try to contact them, but don’t focus on it.” I told them to focus on what we needed to do to get our jets combat ready. We’re trained and ready, let’s show them so when the commanders start looking for jets; we’re right at the top, ready to roll.

I told the supervisors to keep an extra eye on anyone with family in the area, not to let happening. I told them to let everyone take breaks when they needed to get updated on what was happening, but to make sure they didn’t forsake their jobs. I didn’t need to worry since our biggest problem was getting folks to take breaks; no one wanted to stop working. Those men and women, some no more than pimple faced kids, had to be ordered to eat or rest. These people were (ARE) DEDICATED. I was so proud of each and every one of them, and humbled to have been leading them.

We got our jets ready and were standing at the ready, wondering what our tasking would be. Since I was the Lead Pro Super, I had to attend the pilots briefing to let them know what the status of our fleet was. As I sat there, listening to the latest intel I couldn’t help but feel for the first time in my life, that I was glad I wasn’t a fighter pilot. I looked at their faces as they were briefed on the possibility and rules of engagement of engaging and firing on an unarmed airliner. I couldn’t read their expressions, but know they had to be conflicted inside. I know they would have performed their duty had they been tasked, but was praying they wouldn’t have to. Thank God they didn’t.

The rest of the day was a mixture of meetings, giving and taking orders, and praying. Praying for the victims, praying for our leaders, praying for those who would be asked to go into harms way. Yes, it was only a few hours since the towers fell, but I know we would be sending folks into harms way.

Later that night, after working a 17 hour day, I was able to call my wife. She was on her Air National Guard weekend and 500 miles from home. She told me they had been on a C-130 getting ready to fly a training mission, when they suddenly shut down the engines and told to get off the plane and return to their squadron. After they were briefed, they went into action putting together emergency response kits (her unit is and Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron) and verifying everyone’s qualifications in case they were called to help. She too had a very long day and told me the folks in her squadron were just as dedicated and focused as mine were. I had no doubt about that; the people who serve, whether active duty or Guard or Reserve, are a patriotic, dedicated, honorable population. I’m humbled to be in their company.

While talking with my wife that night, we finally allowed ourselves to grieve. We cried on each others shoulder, even though it was over a phone line. We prayed together. We cried together. We comforted each other.

Since that day, we keep the victims, their families, and those in harms way in our daily prayers. We refuse to forget; please don’t forget either.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Crappy Update...

Just a quick crappy little update to let all four of my readers that I'm still alive.

A few fun tidbits...
1) Had a black eye for a while after a wrestling match inside the horse trailer with one of my horses... Some horses can really be a big pain in the ... wait for it...


2) Had another bear sighting the other day, actually the day I got my black eye (thanks again Gibbs). After I went up to the house to wash the blood off from our little trailer dance, I looked out at the pasture and all three horses were staring at the driveway where it crosses the creek, with their ears pricked up. I thought it was probably a coyote or something, but then a black bear came running down the drive, across the creek, and off into the thicket. Pretty cool living here!

Then, a couple of days after the bear sighting, there was a bear paw print in the dust on the back window of the Jeep. I hope he doesn't come back and scratch it; how do you explain to the insurance company that a bear scratched up your jeep, and now you need a new paintjob?

Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

Later taters!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Still Around

Just a quick note for the couple of folks who stop in now and then... I'm still here! I started a new job and this time of year is CRAZY busy. A poor excuse, but the only one I have!

Keep checking in, I'll post stuff as soon as I have a chance!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I'm so getting one of THESE T-shirts. It says it all on so many levels.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Aviation Pr0n v2.0 :)

Aviation Pr0n at it's lowest form.

Just for you Buck, I know you'll love it!

I'm not smart enough to get the whole thing to show up, so here is the link.

Top 10 Lowest Flybys

Thursday, March 25, 2010

General Ron Fogelman; Real Leadership

Recently, I've been thinking about leadership. Actually, I think about it all the time, a result of nearly a quarter century of military service. Over my life, I have been blessed to observe real leadership in many forms. From my Grandpa who never learned to read very well, or to write little more than his name, but taught his sons, daughters and grandchildren the value of hard work, honesty and integrity. He did this quietly through his own example. From countless junior and senior NCOs throughout the years. I remember their names and lessons, both good and bad vividly. They taught me the value and art of leadership either directly or merely through their actions. And from many junior and senior officers too numerous to mention.

However, there have always been a few standouts; those that clearly had a significant impact on my leadership style that I can pinpoint. One in particular was General Ron Fogelman, a former AF Chief of Staff. I first met then Lt Gen Fogelman in Korea. He was the 7th AF Commander, and I was an E5 Staff Sergeant working on the F-16. As the 7th CC, he didn't get to fly as much as he wanted I'm sure, but whenever he did, I was always impressed as to his approachability, willingness to find out how things were going "out on the flightline" direct from those of us who were in the middle of it, and lack of pretentiousness. He wanted the unvarnished truth of how things were going. Sure, he got briefings all the time, but usually from folks 3 or more times removed from the action, and who usually sugar-coated the info. He endured the usual pomp and circumstance that always accompanies VIPs, but he never seemed very comfortable with it. He was a tough commander but he was fair and made decisions based on what was right, not what was popular or politically correct. He took the heat for his decisions and didn't pass the buck. I even had the pleasure of meeting his wife, known as Miss Jane, during a photo op for their Christmas card. She too made an impression on me that day. She was polite and pleasant to even those of us who were mere grease monkeys. Classy is how I would describe her.

Years later, he was appointed as the AF Chief of Staff amid a bit of grumbling and controversy due to his being a rather junior General. He continued his steadfast leadership style of doing what was right and taking full responsibility for his actions. Integrity and Honor were not buzz words to General Fogelman, they were defining, unwavering commitments to him. He faced some very sensitive issues during his watch, and finally resigned a year early in what I feel is one of the most courageous acts of leadership. He faced the problems with integrating women into the cockpit of offensive aircraft, to the aftermath of the Khobar Tower bombings with distinction. From his success in the Kelly Flinn case to his resignation over the politically motivated scape-goating of Brig. Gen. Terry Schwalier for the Khobar Towers attack, General Fogelman showed what real leadership is.

I'm proud to have served with so many fine, dedicated, real leaders, and sadly watch as they seem to becoming a dying breed. I read once that the Navy used to be made up of wooden ships and iron men, but now consisted of iron ships and wooden men. I know that is not entirely true; that in today's military there are still plenty of iron men and women. However, the civilian side of the leadership equation is sadly lacking in that department. I only hope and pray that the iron men and women survive, and go on to change the paradigm of civilian leadership.

I found this article from several months ago that describes General Fogelman's resignation and compares his leadership to what happened recently with Obama's criminal (in my opinion) delay in getting needed troops to Afghanistan. Pay particular attention to General Fogelman's statement:
“As chief of staff of the United States Air Force, charged with providing military advice to the civilian leadership that the civilian leadership did not value for whatever reason, I had become ineffective as a spokesman. This was a crowd that took any kind of military advice that ran counter to administration policy or desires as a sign of disloyalty on the part of the person providing the advice. That was one element; the other was based on what I had seen and the way the Khobar Towers tragedy had been handled. I simply lost respect and confidence in the leadership that I was supposed to be following.”

Iron man.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Call to Arms

I'm stumped. And I'm scared. The country I love and willing to die for is being fundamentally changed into something I don't recognize; where personal achievement and success is punished by the government. Where the very foundations of this nation are being destroyed by those who are sworn to protect her. Each and every member of Congress took an oath very similar to the one I took over and over during my military service; SUPPORT and DEFEND the CONSTITUTION of the United States against ALL ENEMIES, foreign and DOMESTIC... The apathy of the American people is appalling. To let our elected officials get away with destroying the fabric of the greatest nation in the history of man, is sickening. The greed of the non-contributing citizen coupled with the guilt of many for achieving success while others fail, added to the power-drunk politicians equals an environment that could very well be the downfall of America as we know it.

Healthcare is the first step and if we don't get off our backsides and stop them right now, in their tracks, America will no longer be the "Shinning city on the hill" the world looks to in times of trouble. She will no longer be a beacon of truth and light to the down-trodden masses. Instead, she will become a used up whore.

It's time to stand up or stand aside. Pray endlessly for our country. Attend functions, campaign for worthy candidates and without fail, write, call and visit your representatives that voted or otherwise supported this disastrous legislation and let them know you will do everything in your power to see them run out of town on a rail.

God save us from our "representatives".


Bob Lonsberry has a great piece over at his site.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

As usual, my friend Cara has a terrific analysis of this illuminating poll.

Go over and give it a read; you won't be disappointed.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Save the SEALs

The Washington Times nails the issue of the three Navy SEALs being Court -Martialed for allegedly punching that dirt bag terrorist Ahmed Hashim Abed (you know the one, the slime bag who murdered, mutilated, burned and hung the American contractors) in the gut.

These warriors need to be commended, not only for capturing the slug, but for exercising restraint in not kicking the living shit out of the asshole.

The last paragraph sums up the situation cleanly;
"This argument (letting the CM go forward to prove their innocence and clear their names) would carry more weight if the SEALs could get a fair trial. But in the current politicized atmosphere and with an administration that goes out of its way to placate Muslim sentiment, it's not a sure thing that the accused would be vindicated. Having the charges dropped is preferable to seeing these young men railroaded to serve the political designs of the White House. That would be a fiasco indeed".

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I Don't Know Which One To Buy

I've always wanted a nice lever action rifle in either .44 or .45 long colt caliber. I think I'll get one this summer, but I'm not sure which one to buy.

There is the Uberti 1860 Henry,

The Henry Big Boy,

or the Uberti 1866 Yellowboy.

Decisions decisions...

Scary Shit

This is scary. The economy is in a death spiral and unless it is stopped, and stopped ASAP, we're going down.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Petulant Jackass

What a spoiled little jackass we have running the country. Instead of arguing his point, he tries to bully his position. "The election is over..." in other words, shut up. We're playing in my yard so I make the rules.

As the 2 or three people who read this blog know, I'm vehemently opposed to this so called health care reform. I'm sick of the semantics and creative financing touted as being a good thing. For example, the latest cry from the left is that the insurance companies want to raise their rates in spite of the fact that they made billions in profits. Well, let's take a look at that. First of all, not all health insurance companies made such large profits, Here is the latest info I could find. Secondly, the amount of profit doesn't mean anything. It's the profit MARGIN that tells whether or not a company is gouging the customer. Anyone who has run a business knows that anything under a 7% profit margin is near impossible to stay in business. So what is the health care insurance average profit margin? 3.4%. The reason for the large profits is the VOLUME of sales, not the gouging of customers. The only way you can sustain a business on 3.4% profit is by large volumes. Adult beverages averaged over 25% profit. Where's the out cry there?

I have a vested interest in health care reform; my lovely wife is a health care provider. Right now, her clinic is losing money, mainly for two reasons. First, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements are so low that they are having to refuse new patients with these programs. Second, the other insurance companies are running scared (my opinion) and are not reimbursing in a timely manner.

Another popular line out there now is the promise "...not to add one dime to our deficit." or "The plan will be deficit neutral." Sounds good right? Um, not so much cause you see the 1 plus TRILLION dollars has to come from somewhere, and the ONLY place the US government gets money to spend is from TAXES. Nothing is free. They try and spin it so it sounds free, but the only way it can happen is to raise taxes or cut spending somewhere. Yeah right, cut over a trillion dollars somewhere else in the budget? Ain't happening.

I'm not the smartest guy in the room although I do have an IQ higher than Joe Biden; but the fact is simple, basic economics proves that this approach to health care reform is the wrong way. Besides, if it was so f'ing good, why is congress exempting themselves from it?

Whew, my blood pressure is going up, and the way things are going, I won't be able to get health care, so I'd better shut up now.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Telling It Like It Is

This guy is giving me hope for our government.

It's about damn time that the clowns in office figure out that business as usual ain't gonna cut it anymore.

The Price of Freedom

Go here. Once again, Bob Lonsberry gets it right. Everyone should read his column.

God Bless USMC Lance Corporal Lance Smith and his family.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Freedom to Breath

There is a bill on the table in Arizona that needs to be passed. Colorado needs to copy this bill and pass it ASAP.

God save the 10th amendment!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Aviation Pr0n :)

Military aviation was my profession for most of my life, and now falls into my fetish category. This video shows the simply amazing maneuverability of the Raptor (F22).

Boy, I can see why congress decided to stop production on it. I mean c'mon, who needs Air Superiority anyway? We'll just step up production of this little wonder instead.

Thanks to Laura for the video link.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Horses are many things; companions, money pits, dangerous, gentle, healers, playful, hard workers; the list goes on and on. I've been blessed with good horses for the most part. Part of this I think is having a good eye and sound judgement when it comes to buying them. With one exception. :)

I've learned to listen to the old saying "never buy a pretty horse". Obviously, I don't take this literally, and neither do any serious horsemen (horsepeople?). I mean, a pretty horse has good conformation, which we all look for. What it means is not to make a purchase solely on the horses appearance. So, let me tell you about my pretty horse.

When we had to put down JT, we needed to replace him. A friend of ours said he had a couple he needed to get rid of, so off we went to have a look. When we got to the corral, there they were, two geldings. One was a big dapple grey and the other an average looking sorrel. The grey was one of the nicest looking horses I've ever seen, and I immediately wanted him. (never buy a pretty horse) He was difficult to get near, he was very nervous and skittish. (never buy a pretty horse) Finally, after about an hour of trying to get near him, he finally allowed me to touch him, although he was still very nervous. He was good with me handling his feet, and putting a halter on him, but he never really seemed to relax. The sorrel on the other hand, was really peaceful.

We talked to the guy who had started the grey as a two year old, and he had great things to say about him. Said he was a good horse from what he remembered. When we told him that the horse had been turned out to the pasture and not ridden from the day he came home from the trainer, he suggested we take him back to the trainer he had worked for when he started that horse.

Well, we knew the trainer as well so we asked him about the grey. He said he was a good horse, but only had 90 days on him and was still pretty green when he went back to the owner. He agreed to take him back for another 30 days and work with him. By this time, we (I) had decided that we needed to have this horse (never buy a pretty horse!), so we picked him and the sorrel up (the sorrel was basically thrown into the deal for free) and took them to the vet for a vet check, teeth float and jock cleaning. Both were pronounced sound and healthy by the vet. We called our friend and said that since they were fit, we'd take them.

The grey's registered name was Costa Lotta Chex. Little did we know how apt his name was...

While at the vets, Chex was given Rompun to relax him for the floating and jock cleaning. Here's where it starts to get exciting! I'm holding his halter, talking to him and rubbing his neck while the Vet is floating his teeth. All of the sudden, Chex goes down, knocking the Vet over and (luckily) through the door to the storage room. We later figured out that he fainted! He wasn't knocked out by the rompun but rather just passed out! I went down with him and as soon as he hit the floor, he came to and started thrashing trying to stand back up. If you've ever seen a horse trying to stand while agitated, on a concrete floor, you know it's not a gentle thing. I'm holding his halter, trying to stay clear while talking to him, trying to calm him down. Luckily, he recovered quickly and stood there nervously wondering what the hell just happened, just as I was! Thankfully, no one was hurt, including Chex. All that happened to him was a slight abrasion on his right front knee.

We loaded Chex and Jethro back in the trail and drove over to the trainers and dropped Chex off for his 30 day refresher course. Or so we thought. After 30 days, the trainer didn't think he was ready. I trust this guy completely. He has been training, working and showing for all of his life, plus he and his family are good friends with us. He was concerned that since my wife was an inexperienced rider, and Chex was still pretty green, he didn't want her to get hurt. So we left him there for another 30 days.

During the next 30 days, he brought my wife out and would let her ride Chex while he kept an eye on things. Chex was really good with her on him, but still never really relaxed. He was being worked 6 out of 7 days a week. Everything from ground work, round pen and arena work, to working cows on the ranch. He would do really good for a week or two, then out of the blue he would blow up. Strangely, he would only blow up with very experienced riders, never with my wife. This led to yet another 30 days at the trainers.

After the 90 days of consistent quality training, we decided to loan Chex out to anouther local rancher for the summer, to use up at his cow camp. Again, Chex did really good for about three weeks, then one morning...

C had been riding Chex everyday working cows for three weeks. This day, he saddled him up, stepped up into the saddle and as soon as his right foot was in the stirrup, Chex EXPLODED. Now C rode saddle broncs for nearly 20 years, and it takes quite a lot of horse to throw him. C told me later he couldn't remember ever riding a horse that bucked so hard. C stayed on him for quite some time, losing his hat, glasses, cell phone and finally a stirrup. At that point he decided to get off before he got really hurt. After he got back up, collected all his gear, and climbed back up on Chex, everything was fine.

We finally decided that Chex just wouldn't be a good fit with us and decided to sell him. Unfortunately, the horse market was in the crapper and we wanted to make sure who ever bought him knew exactly what they were getting. I tried to convince my wife to let me take him over to rodeo outfit I knew, but she didn't want that. Too bad, I thought it would be cool to hear the announer call out "...riding Costa Lotta Chex...". Oh well.

As luck would have it, a patient of my wifes was an old cowboy who had heard about Chex and wanted to see him. So we showed him, told him everything we could about him, and he offered us a deal we wound up taking. D is a big man. I mean a BIG man! What he proposed to us was a trade; his 15yr old appendix he used in the mountains for Chex. A big, stout, smart trail horse that would be safe for my wife. She rode him a few times, and finally decided to do the trade, with the stipulation that if either party was not satisfied, we would trade back with no hard feelings.

Well, we got to keep Jethro, who is a good horse, but getting on in years, and Taco, the wonder horse. Neither are what you'd call a pretty horse, but both are rock solid. D got a strong, athletic 9yr old that could in his words, "Carry my fat ass up and down the mountains all day long."

I'm still partial to dapple greys, and will own another someday. But I'll make damn sure I don't buy a pretty one, but rather a pretty damn good one.


My friend Cara has a great post about Conservatism. Once again she writes what I want to say.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

He is at it again. All I can say is FUBO. Why is bipartisanship always defined as Republicans abdicating to Democrats? He is so full of shit it makes my head hurt. I listened to him today squawking about how the Repulicans need to stop obstructing and bring some ideas to the table. Again, let me say this. Better yet, in the one's own language... "Let me be perfectly clear," ttthe Repulicans have been bringing ideas, good ideas, to the table and the DEMONcrats are the ones dismissing them out of hand. Again, FUBO.

I never in my life thought I'd utter these words, but it might just be time for a revolution. Mr Obama can revolve his ass on the foot America needs to plant there.

FUBO; figure it out.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The president (yeah, not capitalized) never ceases to amaze me. He goes in front of the Republicans during their retreat and blames them for "obstructing" progress.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the democrats, his party, had a filibuster proof majority for a year, and failed to accomplish anything (thank God!). So how did the republicans obstruct progress?

The president is giving them credit for a lot more power than they actually held. How about this Mr. O; the American people put the (deserved) fear of God into your party (and hopefully into the rhinos) and prevented your socialistic agenda.

I just wonder what color the sky is in his little fantasy world. Gotta hand it to him, he has some set of huevos.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Country vs CIty

I was cruising around the blogs today and found this one and it reminded me of a post I wrote back in 2006. I thought I'd re-post it for any who care. So...

One of the coolest things I’ve read in a long time was Sheila’s account of her experience traveling through Colorado many years ago. Recently, my wife and I were driving through Colorado and Utah and I kept thinking what it would be like for someone who spent their life in places like New York City, Chicago, LA, or even Atlanta, to see the West for the first time. How they would react if they were suddenly exposed to not only the wonder and majesty of the wide-open spaces and towering peaks, but to the lifestyle of those that live out here. Not those that live in Denver or Salt Lake City, but those that live in the many small high mountain towns; I mean really live there. Not the big city folks who spend a few weeks or months in their high country “cabins”; but the folks that make their living here. Those that work in the agriculture industry, or the family owned local restaurants.

I imagine it would be as foreign to them as my first big city experience was to me. I grew up in a town of 1500 people, and my high school class had 52 students before the dropouts and flunkies. This school had students from two different towns, and about a 20-mile radius of all the farms and ranches. The first time I was in a real metropolis scared the crap out of me. I was (still am to a degree) claustrophobic from the crowds of people, and not being able to see the horizon; sometimes for days! I imagine someone from the big city would have similar feelings of anxiety. Looking out across the horizon for 50 – 60 miles with no sign of civilization would be frightening as well as inspiring. I chuckle at the thought of having someone from NYC come visit us at the house we’re building back in my small hometown.

First, they would have to fly into Denver, and then be driven for 5 – 6 hours along two-lane state highways to a town with one traffic light. Finally, finish the trip out on eight miles of dirt road to a solar powered home with the nearest neighbor barely visible down the canyon. During the night, coyotes howling along the dark ridges would serenade them and if they get up early enough, they would see wild deer standing outside their window.

Mountain living is definitely laid back. I remember several years ago, my in-laws were visiting us in Colorado. My wife and I were camping on our property (where we’re now building our house) for two weeks in a tent, while the family stayed in town at an RV park. We were making dinner at the RV park, and realized we didn’t have any baked beans, and since it was a Sunday afternoon, the market was closed. (no such thing as a 24 hour market here!) I said I would run up to the camp and grab a can or two, which Grandma thought was ridiculous since it was close to 20 miles round trip. To us, it’s just part of life. You have to plan ahead and be willing to be flexible when needed. You want to see a movie? Fine, the nearest theater is at least 16 miles in the next town, and they have one screen!

Driving back through Utah that week, we were between Monticello and Moab as the sun was setting. The vermilion landscape was bathed in a blazing sunset of yellows, oranges, red, and purples; I wish I had the skill to describe the over-whelming BEAUTY of that vision. Its times like those that I’m reminded how lucky I am to live where I do. I like the big city, but Love my mountains. My Mom told me something a long time ago as I was leaving to join the Air Force; “The Mountains will always be here, and you will come back someday cause they get in you blood and will always draw you back.” In other words, I guess you can take the boy out of the mountains, but you can’t take the mountains out of the boy. Corny I know, but oh so true. I just wish everyone had the chance to REALLY see and experience them.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Am I The Only One Tired Of It All?

Several things have been rambling around inside my noggin lately, but I just don't seem to have the energy to put it all down on paper.

Chris Dodd; I think his decision to not seek reelection is simply this: By not running, he is free to shove healthcare reform, cap and trade and any other legislation not wanted by the majority of Americans down our throat with out repercussion. Discuss.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: He is NOT a SUSPECTED terrorist, nor did he ALLEGEDLY try and blow up flight 253. He IS a terrorist and he DID try and blow up flight 253. He set his fucking balls on fire trying to do it; that is conclusive to anyone I know.
Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Janet Napolitano: Can anyone be a more embarrassing head of an organization? Wait, oh yeah... Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid... Never mind.

TSA Agents: Good on them for identifying and detaining the guy in Bakersfield, but then being overcome by honey fumes? What a bunch of clowns.

Media and the Left: When will the statute of limitations run out on blaming GWB for everything? Your thoughts?

Sorry for the lack of deep thinking over here, I just ain't into it right now.

Attention all Horse Owners/Future Owners

BR over at Buckskins Rule wrote a wonderful piece about the dedication and education required to be a good horse owner. I couldn't say it better, so go on over and read his thoughts.

Go on.