Friday, September 30, 2011

Now This Surprised Me...!

Many of us, including me, might have thought that the folks in the eastern states would have led the struggle for women's rights. Turns out, that wasn't the case!

Looks like the people in the West were the first to recognize how important the vote was to the so-called "fairer sex," and were the first to take appropriate action.

Sept. 30, 1889:
Wyoming legislators write the first state constitution to grant women the vote

On this day in 1889, the Wyoming state convention approves a constitution that includes a provision granting women the right to vote. Formally admitted into the union the following year, Wyoming thus became the first state in the history of the nation to allow its female citizens to vote.

That the isolated western state of Wyoming should be the first to accept women's suffrage was a surprise. Leading suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were Easterners, and they assumed that their own more progressive home states would be among the first to respond to the campaign for women's suffrage. Yet the people and politicians of the growing number of new Western states proved far more supportive than those in the East.

In 1848, the legislature in Washington Territory became the first to introduce a women's suffrage bill. Though the Washington bill was narrowly defeated, similar legislation succeeded elsewhere, and Wyoming Territory was the first to give women the vote in 1869, quickly followed by Utah Territory (1870) and Washington Territory (1883). As with Wyoming, when these territories became states they preserved women's suffrage.

By 1914, the contrast between East and West had become striking. All of the states west of the Rockies had women's suffrage, while no state did east of the Rockies, except Kansas. Why the regional distinction? Some historians suggest western men may have been rewarding pioneer women for their critical role in settling the West. Others argue the West had a more egalitarian spirit, or that the scarcity of women in some western regions made men more appreciative of the women who were there while hoping the vote might attract more.

Whatever the reasons, while the Old West is usually thought of as a man's world, a wild land that was "no place for a woman," Westerners proved far more willing than other Americans to create states where women were welcomed as full and equal citizens.

Know what I think? I think that all of the reasons mentioned in the article above had something to do with the passage of these laws, but the real reason probably was the fact that most women in the western states had access to guns and knives...and knew full well how to use them!

Womanly wiles make a pretty formidable weapon by themselves, but when backed up by a skill with weapons...look out!

We got a pretty good rain last night (thank goodness!) so how about we have coffee in the kitchen? I have cinnamon rolls!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Have You Heard Of This Guy...?

This man's one invention changed the automotive world more than nearly anyone could ever imagine!

Hard to picture what the world would be without the Diesel engine. Not many things had as much impact on the world's industries as this engine and it's many applications!

Sept 29, 1913:

Inventor Rudolf Diesel vanishes

On this day in 1913, Rudolf Diesel, inventor of the engine that bears his name, disappears from the steamship Dresden while traveling from Antwerp, Belgium to Harwick, England. On October 10, a Belgian sailor aboard a North Sea steamer spotted a body floating in the water; upon further investigation, it turned out that the body was Diesel's. There was, and remains, a great deal of mystery surrounding his death: It was officially judged a suicide, but many people believed (and still believe) that Diesel was murdered.

Diesel patented a design for his engine on February 28, 1892,; the following year, he explained his design in a paper called "Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat Engine to Replace the Steam Engine and Contemporary Combustion Engine." He called his invention a "compression ignition engine" that could burn any fuel--later on, the prototypes he built would run on peanut or vegetable oil--and needed no ignition system: It ignited by introducing fuel into a cylinder full of air that had been compressed to an extremely high pressure and was, therefore, extremely hot.

Such an engine would be unprecedentedly efficient, Diesel argued: In contrast to the other steam engines of the era, which wasted more than 90 percent of their fuel energy, Diesel calculated that his could be as much as 75 percent efficient. (That is, just one-quarter of their energy would be wasted.) The most efficient engine that Diesel ever actually built had an efficiency of 26 percent--not quite 75 percent, but still much better than its peers.

By 1912, there were more than 70,000 diesel engines working around the world, mostly in factories and generators. Eventually, Diesel's engine would revolutionize the railroad industry; after World War II, trucks and buses also started using diesel-type engines that enabled them to carry heavy loads much more economically.

At the time of Diesel's death, he was on his way to England to attend the groundbreaking of a new diesel-engine plant--and to meet with the British navy about installing his engine on their submarines. Conspiracy theories began to fly almost immediately: "Inventor Thrown Into the Sea to Stop Sale of Patents to British Government," read one headline; another worried that Diesel was "Murdered by Agents from Big Oil Trusts." It is likely that Diesel did throw himself overboard--as it turns out, he was nearly broke--but the mystery will probably never be solved.

Now do you see the impact this engine had? Certainly easy to see why he might have had a LOT of enemies! Who knows what else he might have come up with if he had been around a little longer?

Fresh coffee on the patio sound OK this morning? You're more than welcome to pull up a chair!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Facts About Your Pet...!

A very large number of us have pets...or should I say that they have us!

If you are like me, there are certain things that pets do that are totally beyond my understanding! My cat (C.B.) and my Mom's cat (Amy ) both do things that seem strange to me. Fortunately for me, The Old Farmer's Almanac was able to furnish a little insight into their behavior.

That's one thing about the Almanac, you can almost always find something in their pages that you can use. Anyway, I thought I would share these little tid-bits with you as you might have a few questions as to why your pet does what they do!

Why do cats and dogs eat grass?

Most do at some point and then vomit. While no one is certain why, some say it purges unpleasant toxins from their systems. Others say they just like the taste of grass. Whatever the reason, vets agree it causes no harm unless the grass of choice has been treated with chemicals.

Pets at Home Alone

Believe it or not, vets recommend putting on a video or the television to keep housebound dogs and cats from getting totally bored if they're home alone all day. Other loneliness or boredom cures include playing music or calling home to talk to the answering machine. A bird-feeder outside a strategically placed window can provide entertainment for cats. An aquarium with a few fish (and the top on!) will also keep a kitty occupied. And dogs always love their chew toys.

When Pets Get the Blues

Pets get depressed for some of the same reasons humans do. Illness, loneliness, lack of exercise, or a major change of lifestyle such as moving to a new home can all lead to a pets depression. It is difficult to distinguish depression from symptoms of physical illness, so a careful watch is necessary. If a mopey cat goes without eating for 36 hours, or a dog for 48 hours, it's time to call a vet. In the meantime, here are some things to try with your pet that will be healthy, even if it's not depression:

Lots of playing and vigorous walks outdoors.

Put up a mirror where a pet can see his reflection. This might reduce feelings of loneliness, if that's the depression trigger.

Make sure your pet is included when you have visitors or a new baby in the house.

Playing music, particularly classical, seems to have a positive effect on many pets.

Dogs may be jolted out of the blues with a new friend. Visit a park or doggy day-care center or class.

A cat will love more stimulation outside her window, so attract birds to your yard and make sure she has plenty of scenic vistas.

Why Cats Do the Things They Do

Catnip Behavior

Why does one cat like catnip, while the next one ignores it? Cats under three months old probably won't respond at all. Males are more likely to respond than females, and unneutered males respond the most because catnip mimics the chemical found in female cat urine. The cat-active ingredient in catnip is nepatalactone.

​Is it me or the food?

Cats rub against people and objects to mark and claim their territory.

​Up But Not Down

If cats are natural-born climbers, why are they notorious for getting stuck in trees? Cats may be afraid of falling, or nervous about the commotion on the ground below them. Usually a cat will come down within a day if left alone, but a cat who's been stuck for much longer may need to be rescued.

Why Dogs Do the Things They Do

A Bark is Not Just a Bark

You can learn to recognize what your dog is trying to say with his barks and whines. Whining between barks generally means he is frightened or doesn't want you to leave (separation anxiety). Barking a long time, with brief pauses between similar barks, means he is probably bored. An exuberant bark means it's playtime.

'Fraidy Dog

Many dogs are afraid of loud noises. You can make yours feel safer by giving him his own small space to crawl into, like a crate or cage. You may want to cover it with a blanket, but leave the door open. As with humans, relaxing music may calm a dog during a thunderstorm.

I guess that you could apply these same things to human behavior, especially during storms! If I read this right, to stop being frightened during a storm all I have to do is to put on some classical music, stand in front of a mirror, and cover my head with a blanket! Think that would actually work?

Some of these things you may have already figured out for yourself. Most of us long ago gave up on really trying to figure our furry friends out...and instead concentrate on ways to love them!

Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio. I'll put on some music if you promise not to bark!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Putting The "Wild" In Wild Bill... !

Nearly everyone I know is aware of the legendary Wild Bill Hickok.

Apparently it was a name that was earned by his actions, and fit him pretty well! This guy was just a little over the edge! But that wasn't unusual for the time in which he lived. In fact, the most successful people in the law business had to be more than a little crazy! At least, that's the way it seems to me!

Sep 27, 1869:

Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok proves too wild for Kansas

Just after midnight on this day in 1869, Ellis County Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok and his deputy respond to a report that a local ruffian named Samuel Strawhun and several drunken buddies were tearing up John Bitter's Beer Saloon in Hays City, Kansas. When Hickok arrived and ordered the men to stop, Strawhun turned to attack him, and Hickok shot him in the head. Strawhun died instantly, as did the riot.

Such were Wild Bill's less-than-restrained law enforcement methods. Famous for his skill with a pistol and steely-calm under fire, James Butler Hickok initially seemed to be the ideal man for the sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas. The good citizens of Hays City, the county seat, were tired of the wild brawls and destructiveness of the hard-drinking buffalo hunters and soldiers who took over their town every night. They hoped the famous "Wild Bill" could restore peace and order, and in the late summer of 1869, elected him as interim county sheriff.

Tall, athletic, and sporting shoulder-length hair and a sweeping mustache, Hickok cut an impressive figure, and his reputation as a deadly shot with either hand was often all it took to keep many potential lawbreakers on the straight and narrow. As one visiting cowboy later recalled, Hickok would stand "with his back to the wall, looking at everything and everybody under his eyebrows--just like a mad old bull." But when Hickok applied more aggressive methods of enforcing the peace, some Hays City citizens wondered if their new cure wasn't worse than the disease. Shortly after becoming sheriff, Hickok shot a belligerent soldier who resisted arrest, and the man died the next day. A few weeks later Hickok killed Strawhun. While his brutal ways were indisputably effective, many Hays City citizens were less than impressed that after only five weeks in office he had already found it necessary to kill two men in the name of preserving peace.

During the regular November election later that year, the people expressed their displeasure, and Hickok lost to his deputy, 144-89. Though Wild Bill Hickok would later go on to hold other law enforcement positions in the West, his first attempt at being a sheriff had lasted only three months.

Always interesting to get the more complete story about how some of the better known "legends" got their start!

We often make heroes out of out of some pretty shady characters! Wonder why that is?

Ready for a refill on your coffee? I have some right out here on the patio!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Now This Is A Step In The Right Direction...!

There is no time limit on doing the right thing.

This family could have just continued with their lives, ignoring a wrong done by one of their ancestors long ago, and many folks would never have given it a second thought.

The actions taken here speaks volumes about the family character, if you ask me!

William Clark’s descendants replace stolen tribal canoe

By Associated Press
Sunday, September 25, 2011

LONG BEACH, Wash. — It was a long time coming, but the descendants of explorer William Clark have tried to make amends for a 205-year-old theft.

A descendant of the explorer in the Corps of Discovery expedition that opened a land route to the West presented the Chinook Indian Nation with a replica of a canoe that the corps stole in 1806.

Some of Clark’s descendants and a few donors stepped forward to pay for the canoe, which was custom built in Veneta, Ore. The five-hour ceremony on Saturday included songs, gift exchanges and the maiden voyage of the replica canoe.

Ray Gardner, chairman of the Chinook Nation’s tribal council, said the return of the canoe is a "good place to begin healing."

"It’s nice to see a circle completed," Gardner said.

After completing their journey west and spending a wet and wretched winter at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1806, Clark and Meriwether Lewis found they were short a canoe, so they stole one from the Clatsop Indians who had kept them alive all winter.

The Clatsop later became one of five tribes to form the Chinook Indian Nation.

It has long been a sore subject with the tribes in the Pacific Northwest, who perceived the theft as a major insult. Canoes were a sacred part of their culture and an important mode of transportation.

The Chinook Indian Nation is not formally recognized by the U.S. government. Federal recognition would make the tribe eligible for economic assistance, land, housing grants and other government benefits.

"I cannot help but think, if one family can step forward and right a wrong that has been committed against the Chinook nation 205 years later," Gardner said, "it would be nice if the federal government would do the same."

Clark’s descendant, Lotsie Clark Holton, said she was overwhelmed by the acceptance of her family by Chinook tribe members.

Holton learned of the theft while working at a Washington, D.C., nonprofit with Gardner, setting Saturday’s events in motion.

"It’s been a wonderful experience. The Chinook people totally accepted us," Holton said. "After 205 years, it was certainly overdue.

This is a case of someone just writing an interesting footnote to a historical happening of long ago! I think it was a very nice gesture about you?

I'm in the mood for some fresh coffee on the patio! How about you?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Helping You Smile This Sunday...!

Since it is Sunday, I thought we would all enjoy a quick little movie!

Been a long time since I just put a Sunday cartoon on! This is a cute one and actually is done pretty well! You have to appreciate the talent of these folks that put these kinds of shows together!

I hope that you enjoy it!

I hope you all have a very good Sunday! Enjoy the day, for tomorrow is promised to no one!

Now, my friends, how about some fresh coffee on the patio?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This Should Lift Your Spirits...!

If this story doesn't lift your spirits just a little, then you better check your pulse!

Out of all the stories I read today (and I read a lot, believe me!) this is one of the only ones that wasn't filled with bad vibes! I figure that anything that puts a smile on this young girls face has got to be good!

Aurora girl gets chance to cheer

By Julie Anderson

Linda Fox was looking for a little inspiration when she came across a story about Julia Sullivan, an Aurora, Neb., girl who wants to become a cheerleader.

Julia had been born without legs and with arms that stopped short of her elbows. She'd taken dance classes for a decade and participated in pep band and marching band. But Julia hadn't made the cheerleading squad.

The varsity cheerleaders Fox coaches some 800 miles away at Portland High School in Portland, Mich., decided to honor Julia's spirit. They invited her to cheer with them at homecoming.

So on Friday, Julia will cheer at a pep rally and at the homecoming game. She'll ride in a parade through downtown Portland, a town of about 3,700 people about a dozen miles west of Lansing, the state capital, and stay up late for the team sleepover. She'll get a team uniform, donated by a local outfitter, and a football signed by the football team.

"What we're doing for Julia is in celebration of what this kid can do, her joy for life," Fox said. "She's doing the best she can with what God gave her, and that's a miracle."

The community has rallied, too, Fox said. Local businesses have donated the use of a van as well as meals and hotel rooms. The Michigan State cheerleaders will join the parade. So will a 4-year-old girl who wants to be a princess for a day, courtesy of the cheer squad's partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"We probably needed her like she needed us," Fox said. "Everybody needs that inspiration moment."

And inspiration, it turns out, can be a two-way street.

"They treat me like part of their team," said Julia, 16, "and I haven't even met them yet."

Carolyn Sullivan, Julia's mom, said she and her husband, Mike, are most excited about the friendships to be made. The family flew to Michigan at their own expense on Thursday.

"If none of this had happened, we never would have met these people," Carolyn Sullivan said. "That's what's cool about it."

And it will give Julia a chance to do what she long has wanted to do. Last spring, she tried out for her high school's cheerleading squad for a third time — unsuccessfully. In June, the family and their attorney told Aurora Public Schools officials that Julia should have been given accommodations for her disability.

The school district and the family last month agreed to work out a way to make accommodations before next spring's tryouts, leveling the playing field but offering no guarantees that she would make the squad.

Meanwhile, Julia has been practicing the cheers and dances the Portland squad sent along. She's also getting help from her sister, Emily Peterson, a former cheerleader.

"Starting to practice makes me even more excited to cheer with them," Julia said.

The Portland cheerleaders already have introduced themselves via Facebook, starting a countdown on Sept. 1.

Fox said her school's invitation was "in no way" intended to reflect badly on Julia's school. She just wanted to give Julia the opportunity to cheer.

Portland offers two cheerleading programs. In the winter, the school fields a competitive squad, which has greater physical requirements. In the fall, it offers sideline cheerleading. On Friday, Julia will be out there with the rest of the squad. "She's another athlete coming in to cheer on my team," Fox said.

Contact the writer:


Let me apologize for missing yesterday, but I had things that needed to be done! I hope to never have another day like that again for a long time!

Anyway, we are now clear to have coffee on the patio and I'd love you have you join me!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Need A Day To Myself...!

Sorry,my friends, but due to some family business, I need to take the day off.

Sorry to anyone that made the trip over expecting to see a post, but sometimes life gets in the way...ya know?

I hope to have everything worked out by tomorrow. In the meantime, have a cup of coffee on me, OK?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Older Doesn't Always Mean Wiser...!

Most of the time getting older means getting wiser! After all, the older person has had a lot of time to learn and remember!

However, there are always exceptions to that rule! I think this story proves that very thing!

Man wins dumpling eating contest, then dies

ReutersBy Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Paul Casciato

KIEV (Reuters) - A 77-year-old Ukrainian man won a jar full of sour cream for coming first in a dumpling eating contest and then promptly died, local media reported on Wednesday.

Ivan Mendel ate 10 dumplings in half a minute to win first place and a one-liter jar of sour cream in the contest held in the town of Tokmak in the southeastern Zaporizhya region on September 18, Fakty I Kommentarii newspaper said.

Shortly afterwards, Mendel became unwell and died, according to local news websites.

Dumplings, called "vareniki" in the former Soviet republic, are a staple of Ukrainian cuisine and are often stuffed with a range of fillings from mushrooms to cherries.

(Reporting By Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Paul Casciato)

Now the really good news about this story...the old guy won! The really bad news...he died! Guess he didn't remember his momma's advice about gobbling down your food! Probably should have listened better!

Coffee on the patio! Sorry, no dumplings left this morning!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Have I Got A Bargain For You...!

We all like a good deal, right?

Well, I found a bargain on something a lot of us may need sooner or later! Not only that, but this bargain comes from an area that makes it all the more special! After all, it's that "wow factor" that makes it all worth while!

Bargain coffins from Transylvania. Where else?
By Alison Mutler
Associated Press / September 20, 2011

SIBIU, Romania—Times are so hard in Romania that people joke they cannot afford to die. Yet in the mountains of Transylvania, carpenters are churning out cut-price coffins in a bid to beat the rising costs of death.

Ilie Troanca says he's beating the recession blues with bargain coffins that sell for around euro100 ($136) in Transylvania, home of the Dracula legend.

So far, he's sold just a few hundred, but the coffins have only been on the market for a couple of months. He has already attracted plenty of attention far beyond the Transylvanian city of Sibiu, 300 kilometers (188 miles) northwest of Bucharest.

"I saw there was an opportunity and that we had unused space," said Troanca, director of the Sibiu state timber and forest industry, which oversees 180,000 hectares (445,000 acres) of oak, beech, pine forests.

The no-frills coffins sell for 350 to 450 lei (euro82 to euro106 or $112 to $145) plus 24 percent sales tax, depending on the wood and the complexity of the design. Oak is the most expensive, while beech and pine are less pricey.

Coffins are big business in Romania, a country of 22 million, which has an aging population but where scarcely anyone is cremated. Regular coffins can sell for hundreds or thousands of euros depending on how fancy they are, and in addition to buying a plot, families often have to pay bribes to graveyard caretakers to secure a decent burial site.

Long slices of wood from the trees that cover the Carpathian Mountains were stacked outside Troanca's workshop like bread sticks.

"This would have become firewood" if we hadn't used it, he said.

It takes about one day to craft an inexpensive coffin before it is painted or lacquered. There are two designs, rectangular or hexagonal, which has a six-cornered lid.

"It's a good idea," said Sorin Ceausila, a 42-year-old carpenter who was jobless before being hired to make bargain coffins. "We all die and someone has to make the coffins."

Just think, you could order this up now and show it off to all your friends! In fact, you might even be able to sell it and turn a pretty profit! Of course, being laid to rest in a genuine "Transylvania" made coffin would certainly give the family something to talk about for a long time!

Let's face it! We all have to go sooner or later, but this is one way to go in style! Besides, at these prices you won't break the bank! Your heirs will appreciate that, I'm sure!

I have fresh coffee set up on the patio, if you'd like a cup.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Recieved A Present...!

Like nearly everyone I know, I enjoy getting gifts.

For those of you that own cats, or have been around cats for any length of time know...cats are notorious for bringing home gifts for their human friends. I don't know why they do this, but they do it quite often.

They might be trying to show off what good hunters they are, or might be trying to justify their picky eating habits by showing us what kind of foods they really want, or maybe they just want to watch the reaction of the resident human when they deposit their latest catch at your feet!

My money is on the last choice! CB came in the house after being outside enjoying the recent rains. He has brought me gifts before of birds, lizards, snakes...all dead for the most part. Only a couple of times did I have to track down, catch, and release some poor critter that had survived the cat attack! Today, however, the gift was a bit different! A full grown squirrel !

Now I realize that a lot of folks might question my story that my small, lanky Siamese kitty could run down, catch, and kill a squirrel so I decided that a picture would be called for!

Besides, CB might want to hang it on his wall, if he ever gets one!

As you can tell, now that he has caught and killed it, CB shows no interest in keeping the tree rat around! He seems to think that if it won't run, it's no fun anymore! He has the same reaction to the other critters he has caught!

I'm thinking that this cat might be a good pet to have around in the event of a severe food shortage! I have eaten squirrel many times, and I would imagine that if times got really hard, I might even learn to like lizards or birds caught by "CB The Hunter Cat!"

I'm just happy that I didn't have to run down and catch this rascal after CB deposited him at my feet in the house! That would have been quite a chase, I'm thinking!

Let's have some fresh coffee on the patio this morning. The rain seems to have stopped, so we should be OK!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Zombie Fighting In The Old Days...!

Looks like the Zombie Wars have been going on for a lot longer than we would have ever believed!

I'm not sure if I am comforted by this thought or really worried by it!


Two early medieval skeletons from the 8th century were unearthed recently in Ireland with large stones wedged into their mouths — evidence, archaeologists say, that it was feared the individuals would rise from their graves like zombies. Rule #15: Large stones in the mouths of the dead prevent them from coming back to life.

The “deviant burials” were comprised of two men who were buried there at different times in the 700s. One of the men was between 40 and 60 years old, and the other was a young adult, probably between 20 and 30 years old. The two men were laid side by side and each had a baseball-sized rock shoved in his mouth.

“One of them was lying with his head looking straight up. A large black stone had been deliberately thrust into his mouth,” Chris Read, head of Applied Archaeology at IT Sligo, said.

“The other had his head turned to the side and had an even larger stone wedged quite violently into his mouth so that his jaws were almost dislocated,” he added. Initially, Read and colleagues thought they had found a Black Death-related burial ground. Remains of individuals buried at the end of the Middle Ages with stones stuck in their mouths have hinted at vampire-slaying rituals. It was believed that these “vampire” individuals spread the plague by chewing on their shrouds after dying.

In a time before germ theory, the stone in the mouth was then used as a disease-blocking trick. Since the vampire phenomenon didn’t emerge in European folklore until the 1500’s, the archaeologists ruled out this theory for the 8th century skeletons. “In this case, the stones in the mouth might have acted as a barrier to stop revenants from coming back from their graves,” Read told Discovery News.

I guess one good thing to know is that Zombies came to this area before the Vampires did. That is a good thing, right? One can only hope that these guys were dead before the stones were crammed in their mouths! Might be a little uncomfortable, otherwise!

I never knew about the "rock in the mouth trick" to help prevent Zombies! See, you are just never too old to learn something new! However, this is one bit of information I hope I never have to use! Just in case, I'm starting a BIG rock pile in back of my house, ya know?

How about some fresh coffee on the patio this morning? We can always move into the kitchen if the rain starts again...or we could sit out here and enjoy getting wet for a change!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thoughts About Taxes...!

Since it's Sunday, I thought we would do a little piece about politicians and taxes.

You know, nothing too heavy. Just something to think about this morning!


Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he ' s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won ' t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He ' s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he ' s laid...

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
' Taxes drove me
to my doom... '

When he ' s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom, if agreed, stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell ' politicians? '

Sad, isn't it? Sad but true!

Coffee on the patio, folks. It may just rain, but that's OK!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Some Folks Never Seem To Learn...!

Some day the fools that want to beat up on some older people, thinking them weak, will get the message.

Even though we don't have all the story, it seems to me that the younger guy in this story, who had a gun permit BTW, just took it for granted that the older guy wouldn't fight back! Bad decision!

Here's the story so far...

Officials: Good Samaritan shot man he tried to help

By Jazmine Ulloa
Published 12:35 a.m., Friday, September 16, 2011

A 62-year-old man who stopped to help a couple on the side of the road Thursday evening in Southeast Bexar County ended up shooting the man he was trying to help after he was allegedly attacked, Bexar County deputies said.

A 31-year-old man and his wife had been traveling on FM 78 around 7 p.m. when their truck ran out of gas at Firestone Parkway, and the older man pulled over to help, deputies said. A dispute arose between the two men over how the husband was addressing his wife. Investigators believe the older man was assaulted before he fired his gun, likely in self defense, said Sgt. Blake Johnson with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

The husband, who was shot in the shoulder with a revolver, was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in noncritical condition.

Investigators will be looking into the older man's use of force before making any arrests, said Johnson. The victim was said to have a concealed handgun license.

Read more:

Now I know that many will say that the older gent should have just stayed out of the argument of husband and wife, but you have to understand that this is Texas and women being mistreated is NOT acceptable, especially by the old school crowd!

Now my thought is that since the younger guy had a gun permit, maybe he was reaching for a weapon and simply was beat to the draw! Whatever happened, many would be well advised to realize that a lot of older folks are packing now days...a LOT! Being older doesn't necessarily mean helpless anymore!Especially in Texas!

Coffee on the patio if you want some. Just check your guns at the back door, please!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just Another Broken Promise...!

It's a shame that the history of our great country is filled with broken promises, especially to the native Americans!

It's no wonder that we were hated by the native Americans for so long, considering our abysmal track record of keeping our word about the treaties and rights for the Indians.

Sep 16, 1893:

Settlers race to claim land

On this day in 1893, the largest land run in history begins with more than 100,000 people pouring into the Cherokee Strip of Oklahoma to claim valuable land that had once belonged to Native Americans. With a single shot from a pistol the mad dash began, and land-hungry pioneers on horseback and in carriages raced forward to stake their claims to the best acres.

Ironically, not many years before that same land had once been considered worthless desert. Early explorers of Oklahoma believed that the territory was too arid and treeless for white settlement, but several suggested it might be the perfect place to resettle Indians, whose rich and fertile lands in the southeast were increasingly coveted by Americans. The U.S. government later took this advice and began removing eastern Indian tribes like the Cherokee and Choctaw to Oklahoma Territory in 1817. No more eager than the whites to leave their green and well-watered lands for the arid plains, some Indians resisted and had to be removed by force-most tragically, the 4,000 Cherokee who died during the brutal overland march known appropriately as the "Trail of Tears."

By 1885, a diverse mixture of Native American tribes had been pushed onto reservations in eastern Oklahoma and promised that the land would be theirs "as long as the grass grows and the water runs." Yet even this seemingly marginal land did not long escape the attention of land-hungry Americans. By the late nineteenth century, farmers had developed new methods that suddenly made the formerly reviled Plains hugely valuable. Pressure steadily increased to open the Indian lands to settlement, and in 1889, President Benjamin Harrison succumbed and threw open large areas of unoccupied Indian lands to white settlement. The giant Cherokee Strip rush was only the largest of a series of massive "land runs" that began in the 1890s, with thousands of immigrants stampeding into Oklahoma Territory and establishing towns like Norman and Oklahoma City almost overnight.

Wouldn't it be really nice for a change to have a government that would stop making promises that it had no intentions of ever keeping? That is something we will probably never know, at least not in my lifetime!

That's a real shame! It really is!

Time for some fresh coffee on the patio. Want to play under the sprinkler this morning? Probably our only chance for relief from the heat!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Practical Hobby Item...!

As most of you know, late last year I started the new hobby of "loom knitting!"

Just recently I started something new. I started making some survival straps or bracelets, if you will, using paracord. Paracord, or 550 cord, is real parachute cord and it makes a good cord for your survival stuff because of it's 550 pound test strength. The cord has 7 inner strands, each one having a test strength of 50 pounds. Could be used for fishing line, tying up shelter, so many other things that it is almost the perfect cordage to carry with your gear.

The bracelets are just a way to carry some extra cordage by wearing it. The straps are not only practical, but I think they look good as well! Besides, they are fun to make and since the paracord comes in 32 different colors...nearly any color combination is possible!

Here are some pictures of some straps, but I did NOT make these! They are here just as an example!

Now the reason I said this cord was almost perfect, is that I found a more practical cord for the survivalist package. It doesn't have the inner strands, but could have some great uses in the field!

Here is the break down of the cord from The folks at Vermont Barre Army Navy Store.

Kevlar Survival Cord - 25ft Hank A must for any survival or emergency preparedness kit! Made from Kevlar fibers with an amazing tensile strength that is unmatched by any other cord in the market so that a .036" cord can hold 200 lbs. Can withstand extreme temperatures and is flame-resistant. Features a polyurethane coating for UV resistance and increased abrasion resistance. Can be used for snares, traps, bows and can even cut through plastic flex ties. 25 ft. length Made in USA

Seems to me that this might be just the thing to have in a BOB or the backpack. Just felt I would point this cord out because I hadn't heard of it before.

Oh, I might mention that a lot of people sell these bracelets online, but they are pretty easy to make. If I can do it, anyone can! If you want one and don't want to buy it or make it, let me know and maybe I can make you one...for free, of course!

If you buy one, I wouldn't pay more than 5 bucks for it. Just shop around...!

Want some fresh coffee? Coffee and home made chocolate chip cookies are ready on the patio!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rough And Tumble Teddy...!

On the surface, Teddy Roosevelt was a pretty impressive individual.

To me, he became even more so as I found out more about him! This old boy was a lot deeper than I ever gave him credit for, let me tell you!

Thanks to the folks at, this article tells a little of Teddy's early days. I love to find these types of back-stories about historical figures! Makes them more real somehow.

Sep 14, 1901:

An adoptive westerner becomes president of the United States

On this day in 1901, the 42-year-old Theodore Roosevelt is suddenly elevated to the White House when President McKinley dies from an assassin's bullet. But while McKinley's untimely death brought Roosevelt the presidency, 17 years earlier two other deaths had sent the young Roosevelt fleeing to the far West where his political ambitions were almost forgotten.

In February 1884, Roosevelt's young wife died after giving birth to their daughter; a mere 12 hours later his much-beloved mother also died. Devastated by this cruel double blow, Roosevelt sought solace in the wide open spaces of the West, establishing himself on two ranches in the Badlands of Dakota Territory and writing to friends that he had given up politics and planned to make ranching "my regular business." Despite this, three years later he returned to New York City and resumed the political career that would eventually take him to the White House. Even after he had returned to the civilized East, Roosevelt always credited his western interlude with restoring his mental and physical vitality.

From an early age, Roosevelt had been convinced of the benefits of living the "strenuous life," arguing that too many American males had succumbed to the ease and safety of modern industrialized society and become soft and effeminate. Roosevelt thought more men should follow his example and embrace the hard, virile, pioneer life of the West, a place where "the qualities of hardihood, self-reliance, and resolution" were essential for survival. Roosevelt's own western experience was hardly as harsh and challenging as he liked to claim, yet the eastern tenderfoot did adapt quickly to the rougher ways of ranch life. He earned the respect of Dakotans by tracking down a gang of bandits who had stolen a riverboat and once knocked out a barroom bully who had taunted him. Though he spent the vast majority of his life in the East, Roosevelt thereafter always thought of himself as a westerner at heart, and he did more than any president before him to conserve the wild western lands he loved.

I never knew much about Teddy's politics, but I think I liked his attitude about most things. If I ever met him face to face, I probably would like him! Certainly more than most of the politicians of today!

How about we get some fresh coffee and sit outside on the patio for a bit? We can watch the garden die!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thank You, Francis Scott Key...!

A song that we all can recognize, we all can remember, and we can all feel!

That's what the National Anthem is to me. I'll admit to not knowing much of the history of the song, or the poem it was born of! The poem itself was written during the attack on Fort McHenry by Francis Scott Key, who was a witness to the battle.

I wanted to share this bit of history with you, in light of all that's going on this week!

Sept 13, 1814:

Key pens Star-Spangled Banner

On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The poem, originally titled "The Defence of Fort McHenry," was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak, as reflected in the now-famous words of the "Star-Spangled Banner": "And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."

Francis Scott Key was born on August 1, 1779, at Terra Rubra, his family's estate in Frederick County (now Carroll County), Maryland. He became a successful lawyer in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and was later appointed U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

On June 18, 1812, America declared war on Great Britain after a series of trade disagreements. In August 1814, British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and burned the White House, Capitol Building and Library of Congress. Their next target was Baltimore.

After one of Key's friends, Dr. William Beanes, was taken prisoner by the British, Key went to Baltimore, located the ship where Beanes was being held and negotiated his release. However, Key and Beanes weren't allowed to leave until after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry. Key watched the bombing campaign unfold from aboard a ship located about eight miles away. After a day, the British were unable to destroy the fort and gave up. Key was relieved to see the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry and quickly penned a few lines in tribute to what he had witnessed.

The poem was printed in newspapers and eventually set to the music of a popular English drinking tune called "To Anacreon in Heaven" by composer John Stafford Smith. People began referring to the song as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson announced that it should be played at all official events. It was adopted as the national anthem on March 3, 1931.

Francis Scott Key died of pleurisy on January 11, 1843. Today, the flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1914 is housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

I'd be willing to bet that Mister Key had no idea how important to us all his poem would become. One strange thing, though, is the fact that the poem was set the music of a popular English drinking song! I certainly didn't know that!

Now, my friends, how about some fresh coffee on the patio this morning? Still no rain in the forecast, but the mornings are starting to cool off!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys...!

I have to admit that, during my childhood, I spent a lot of time with ol' Hopalong!

We rode off on many adventures together, although a large number of them were only in my imagination. I would imagine a lot of kids from my generation had a hero or two they went on similar travels with!

It could be that lots of what they tried to teach us got through. I can remember so many of the "cowboy rules of living" Hoppy and his friends passed on to me and many of them are just as good today as they always were! Guess that it's a good thing we had someone like Hopalong to serve as our guide and mentor. Some kids today could probably use some of that mentoring, don't you think?

Sep 12, 1972:
Hopalong Cassidy rides off into his last sunset

After nearly 40 years of riding across millions of American TV and movie screens, the cowboy actor William Boyd, best known for his role as Hopalong Cassidy, dies on this day in 1972 at the age of 77.

Boyd's greatest achievement was to be the first cowboy actor to make the transition from movies to television. Following World War II, Americans began to buy television sets in large numbers for the first time, and soon I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners were standard evening fare for millions of families. But despite their proven popularity in movie theaters, westerns were slow to come to the small screen. Many network TV producers scorned westerns as lowbrow "horse operas" unfit for their middle- and upper-class audiences.

Riding to the small screen's rescue came the movie cowboy, William Boyd. During the 1930s, Boyd made more than 50 cheap but successful "B-grade" westerns starring as Hopalong Cassidy. Together with his always loyal and outlandishly intelligent horse, Topper, Hopalong righted wrongs, saved school marms in distress, and single-handedly fought off hordes of marauding Indians. After the war, Boyd recognized an opportunity to take Hopalong and Topper into the new world of television, and he began to market his old "B" westerns to TV broadcasters in Los Angeles and New York City. A whole new generation of children thrilled to "Hoppy's" daring adventures, and they soon began to clamor for more.

Rethinking their initial disdain for the genre, producers at NBC contracted with Boyd in 1948 to produce a new series of half-hour westerns for television. By 1950, American children had made Hopalong Cassidy the seventh most popular TV show in America and were madly snapping up genuine "Hoppy" cowboy hats, chaps, and six-shooters, earning Boyd's venture more than $250 million. Soon other TV westerns followed Boyd's lead, becoming popular with both children and adults. In 1959, seven of the top-10 shows on national television were westerns like The Rifleman, Rawhide, and Maverick. The golden era of the TV western would finally come to an end in 1975 when the long-running Gunsmoke left the air, three years after Boyd rode off into his last sunset.

One thing about it, I'd be willing to bet there are a lot of folks that can remember Hopalong Cassidy and all his sidekicks, even if they didn't watch him on television! That's how big an impression he made on so many people! Even today his name is known by many!

Let's get some fresh coffee and go sit on the patio for a bit! You can tell me about some of your early heroes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Else Can Be Said...?

Nothing I could say would even begin to do justice to the loss of 10 years ago.

America as we used to know it ceased to exist! It will never be the same again, unless we forget the terrible events of that long ago day.

I started to post some nice music video, or try and write a heartfelt post about the anniversary...but what is left to say? How can music portray what we all feel? Nothing I could do would even begin to be enough!

Instead, I'm going to stay at home and pray for the families of the heroes lost that day. I'm going to pray for the families of the survivors, that they will always have the strength to enjoy life without guilt. They were spared for a reason, and should feel no guilt in that!

I can only hope that we never forget the past and that we learn from it.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just In Time For Breakfast...!

I found this story that I thought was just perfect for this morning!

Even though it's very old, it just sort of makes a perfect post for a Saturday! Besides, I like old things! You can tell that by looking at my clothes!

Old, Weird Tech: Huge Spatula and Bacon Skates Edition

By Alexis Madrigal
Sept 2 2010, 2:50 AM ET 5

Ok, I admit it: there's no tech hook to this post. But I would be failing in my duties as your faithful Internet curator if I'd come across a photo of a young woman with bacon tied to her feet standing in a giant skillet holding a huge spatula and declined to post it.

So, yes, this photo was taken in November 1931 in Chehalis, Washington at the town's Egg Festival. The occasion was a try to break the world record for largest omelette. Two women tied bacon to their feet and skated around the warming skillet to grease it. Then a team of chefs cracked and beat 7,200 eggs and made a breakfast delight.

Vern Gorst, a self-taught pilot and entrepreneur was on-hand to capture the momentous occasion. He donated his photo collection to the University of Washignton, who uploaded it to Flickr Commons.

I think this just goes to show that folks have been doing some crazy things to obtain world records for a long time! Biggest pancakes, biggest burgers, longest cars, largest cakes, and even the world's biggest omelette...just like these folks
are doing!

All I can say is that is a good thing most of these people had chickens back in those days! At today's prices, this would be a costly breakfast!

Coffee on the patio anyone? Maybe a slice of lemon cake to top it off!

Friday, September 9, 2011

All About Yesterday's Circus...!

I must be getting old!

I can remember when days like yesterday weren't much of a problem. I more or less just took them in stride, and most of the time I try to do that now days.

I should have known things were going to go south when I started to go to the store and couldn't find my wallet! Wasn't where I normally keep it and that's pretty strange. Since I live alone, I couldn't blame it on anyone else (except maybe the cat!) but he doesn't drive!

Only thing I could think of was that I must have left in at the store the day before. So, I took off and went to all of the four stores in my neighborhood that I might have been in. No luck!

Back home, I checked in all the places I could even imagine losing the wallet, even checking in Mom's house and car! luck! I was getting madder and more frustrated with each passing minute, let me tell you!

One last thought led me to a pair of pants I hadn't worn in a year until the day before. They weren't comfortable, so I only wore them to the store then hung them back up! Just in passing, I checked them and BINGO! There was my wallet, right where I had left it the day before! Old age, I guess!

While celebrating the finding of my wallet, I realized I hadn't posted yesterdays post, and as I went to do that I had no internet! I knew right away what the problem was, as the modem started acting funny last week. Just to be sure, I went through all the usual rituals to try and reboot it, but it was GONE! By gone, I mean it had crapped out for good! Belly up! Died! KAPUT!

Rather than waste any more time, I got my newly found wallet, loaded up the modem in the car and took off for the local Comcast office! I've been there many times before, so I knew just where it was. 25 minutes later, I realized I was almost at my mechanic's garage and not at the Comcast office (which was about 10 miles in the opposite direction)! Turning around, I finally made it back to Comcast! I had to stand in line for around 30 minutes. This is NOT my favorite way to waste my time, but it beats waiting almost 2 weeks for a repairman to come out and replace the modem!

When I finally made my way to the counter, the clerk took one look at my modem and said "this one is so old, we don't have this one any more!" She went to the back and came out with a modem twice as big, and said it would work! Then she said it would be simple to install myself and handed me a four page booklet with instructions on how to install it.

This new modem is a replacement for the old modem, my router, the whole bit! Plus it's wireless! My old one wasn't! This meant I had to go back and reconfigure my security and internet connection settings! Another fun way to spend a couple of hours!

Being self taught on the computer, I don't work as fast as some folks do, but somehow I seem to finally get the job done! Which is what I did, so here I am! Boy, I'm glad that's all over with! At least for now!

Let me take a minute here to say "HOWDY!" to the new followers that joined our family in the past few days! I appreciate all my followers and the readers that come by, even if they don't sign up as followers! Having new folks drop by is always a nice feeling to me! I really appreciate all the visitors I get, I really do!

Now, how about some fresh coffee on the patio? Still pretty cool in the mornings, but warm in the afternoon! By warm, I mean in the low 90s!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back On Line Again...!

Finally got back on line again, after replacing my cable modem!

The old one crapped out on me last night. Been trying to go out for a while, but being stubborn like usual...I waited until it was totally belly-up before I replaced it.

You would think after all these years, I would have learned my lesson! Nope!

Anyway, I'm back online again and ready for another day! This one has certainly been a bummer!

I'll explain it all in tomorrow's post. The kind of day that all of us have once in a while, then try our best to forget!

Thanks for the concern, guys!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sometimes You Get What You Ask For...!

I've always heard you should be careful what you ask for, because you might just get it!

That holds true for this poor slob. You have to give this woman credit, though. She managed to give this jerk just what he asked for and did so without getting hurt! That's the important part!

This lady has a lot of nerve and more than her share of luck!

Woman crashes into police building with carjacking suspect on her hood

A man jumped on the hood of a woman's car today on U.S. 71 in Kansas City, pointed a gun at her and told her to drive.

So she did.

She stomped on the accelerator and drove straight from U.S. 71 near 29th Street to Kansas City Police Headquarters at 1125 Locust St., where she rammed through a garage door with the man still clinging to her hood.

A civilian worker in a booth in the garage radioed to officers that someone was trying to ram into the garage. The car hit the door three times, she reported, before breaking through.

Once the car got into the garage, the man climbed off and ran away. Officers arrested him nearby as he tried to get on a city bus. He did not have the gun with him. Police believe he may have dropped it during the ride to headquarters. He was at a hospital being treated for minor wounds, under police guard.

Police were interviewing the victim, a woman in her 30s, and investigating the incident as an assault. She said the suspect had stopped traffic on U.S 71 by dancing in the road before he jumped onto her car.

The garage door was ruined in the 12:15 p.m. incident. The impact crumpled the metal and broke the glass windows.

The victim's car sustained minor scratches and remained inside the headquarters garage.

Police officials said it was the first time they could remember a crime victim -- or anyone -- crashing through the garage, much less to deposit a suspected criminal.

"Very effective," noted Sgt. Tom Dearing.

Christine Vendel, The Star

Read more:

One classy lady, I'd say! Hope the "so-called" car-jacker learned something from this. However, I wouldn't count on it!

How about some fresh coffee this morning? Sure would enjoy the company!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Now This Bothers Me A Lot...!

Someone is going to have to talk long and hard to try and convince me that this practice is acceptable!

I'm thinking that they are extremely lucky that someone with a good rifle didn't take them out! That may happen yet, if the word isn't given ahead of time when this exercise is going to take place!

Mexican military flies over South Texas
Official says U.S. has cleared flights in war on drug trafficking


With a Mexican navy helicopter whirring low over a rural community on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, an American military veteran armed with marksmanship skills and a hefty rifle hankered from the ground to shoot it down.

"Don't do it," Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. recalled warning the man on that Sunday afternoon last year.

The flight is one of as many as 10 in the past 17 months in which South Texans - in broad daylight - have spotted Mexican helicopters hovering overhead. The aircraft was so close to the ground military personnel could be seen inside, Gonzalez said.

While an array of U.S. federal and state agencies declined to comment, a Mexican government official confirmed that Mexican military helicopters have permission to use Texas as a staging ground for missions into Mexico to fight drug traffickers.

"Yes, I can tell you they exist, they are going on," said the official, who has knowledge of the flights. "Certainly, for the last couple of years," he said, noting that the U.S. government also has permission to fly unmanned surveillance planes in Mexico.

Most sightings have been in the vicinity of Falcon Lake, a region where authorities in Mexico are fighting the Zetas cartel.

In some instances, American civilians snapped photos of the flights and shared them with police. In the most recent incident last month, a Mexican military helicopter landed at Laredo's airport.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection offered minimal details, saying the pilot was lost.

'Highly sensitive'

Although apparently rare, permission to allow Mexican government helicopters to fly out of the United States goes back at least until 1987, when Mexican federal police flew in from West Texas to attack the legendary drug boss, Pablo Acosta, a marijuana kingpin.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, who represents part of Harris County and is chairman of the Homeland Security Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, declined to confirm details about the Mexican military's involvement with the United States.

"It is a highly sensitive, coordinated effort to take out the cartels that has been effective," he said. "Beyond that I don't want to compromise the operations or the safety of our agents."

Not the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration or the Border Patrol would comment when contacted by the Houston Chronicle.

Gonzalez, who testified before a congressional committee in May about border security, said he doesn't know what he can tell the citizens of Zapata County.

The massive Rio Grande reservoir is where an American jet skier was reportedly killed last year while fleeing Zetas cartel gunmen in boats. His body was never found.

"Given the corruption in Mexico, how do I know what these guys are doing, dropping something off, picking some thing up – kidnapping somebody and taking them back to Mexico?" the sheriff asked.

"Citizens have complained," he said. "What do we do, shoot them down? Can you imagine someone saying, 'This is my country, I'm protecting it.' "?

Robert Kline, a retiree who lives part of the year in Zapata, said that in March 2010, the thump of helicopter rotors moving over Falcon Lake from Mexico startled him.

"I am standing on the deck looking at it. 'Holy man, that's not one of ours,' " he recalled.

On the helicopter was Marina, the word the Mexico uses for navy.

Catherine Frazier, deputy press secretary for Gov. Rick Perry, said state law enforcement is not being told in advance of any operations in which Mexico's military has permission to fly over Texas.

"Failure to do so stirs up unnecessary concern among local people, and could result in situations of mistaken identity or friendly fire, putting our peace officers and citizens in harm's way," she said.

Incursion reports

Ricardo Alday, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy, declined comment.

"The Mexican government does not comment on operational characteristics of its efforts to confront transnational organized crime," he said.

In years past, the U.S. government has labeled some flights as "incursions," or unauthorized border crossings.

The conservative group, Judicial Watch, which specializes in obtaining government documents, has posted reports listing incursions by Mexican government employees, including at least eight helicopters in 2007, apparently the last year in-depth descriptions were available.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said he can't imagine the Mexican military being permitted to fly over U.S. soil.

"There are always excuses that can be made for flying helicopters around …but to have authorized activity of that nature would be explosive," he said, adding it would "make the Fast and Furious program seem like a tempest in a tea pot."

'Very disturbing'

Fast and Furious was an operation in which federal agents let guns slip into Mexico as part of a plan to track them to cartels. But the weapons were lost and some later turned up at the scene where a Border Patrol agent was killed.

U.S. Rep Ted Poe, whose district stretches from Spring to Beaumont, asked for an explanation for at least one flight which occurred over Starr County, not far from Falcon Lake.

"My office contacted Homeland Security and they confirmed that there was an unauthorized flight over Falcon Heights that day, but they said it was impossible to confirm whether or not it was actually a Mexican military helicopter or the drug cartels flying in a helicopter painted to look like a Mexican military helicopter," he said, "The Mexican military denies that they had any military helicopters flying the area that day."

Neither scenario is acceptable, he said.

"It is very disturbing that here are incursions into American air space by any aircraft originating from foreign countries and no one seems to be held accountable."

Maybe I'm over-reacting here, but I do not think this is a good idea! In fact, I think this whole practice truly SUCKS!

I have no idea who ever allowed foreign troops, armed troops, to freely fly across our borders without any warning to the citizens in the landing area! Just how are these locals supposed to know that this is NOT an invasion? In my humble opinion, the jerks behind this "brilliant" move are putting United States citizens right in harm's way!

Every day I have to question more and more some of the decisions that are being made by the PTB! I am not impressed! Not at all!

Coffee on the patio, anyone? I have some peach cobbler, some brownies, some chocolate cake and even some 7 up cake to go along with it! Sorry, but I'm saving the peanut butter cookies!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Almost Hate To Say This...!

Tomorrow we have a family get-together.

We have one every year about this celebrate my late father's birthday. One day a year that members of the family can get together and visit, talk, and generally catch up on things.

I hate to say it, but there will be a few family members that won't show up. Some that won't show very seldom do. Family doesn't seem to matter to them anymore, if it ever did.

But that's their decision and they will have to live with it. The main thing I keep thinking about is that my Mother is getting on up in age, and who knows how many more of these reunions she will be around for!

You would think that out of respect to her, they would show up. But respect has become a thing of the past for some, as has manners and common courtesy. Slowly we are loosing touch with family and old friends. With the passing of our contacts, a lot of the oral history and stories of the family is lost and gone forever!

However, I'll be here as always. Don't know if that's a good thing or bad, but I'll be here regardless.

Since tomorrow is a holiday and there will be some folks here, I'm gonna take the day off. I hope everyone has a good Labor Day celebration! Be safe, no matter what you do...OK?

C'mon, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Not A Lucky Sailor...!

This guy is going to give sailors everywhere a bad name!

Sort of makes you wonder about his mental stability, know what I mean? He just seems to go from one bad blunder right into another one!

Police: Boater defecates in squad car

Sailboat owner reportedly drunk when arrested

Updated: Friday, 02 Sep 2011, 7:14 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 02 Sep 2011, 1:38 PM EDT

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - It was one of the most memorable sites caught on camera during Hurricane Irene. The Coast Guard rescued two people from a sailboat at 9th View near the Ocean View fishing pier in Norfolk.

Thursday night, police arrested the sailboat owner, Michael Calabrese, for a second time since that incident. Calabrese is accused of being drunk in public. He also reportedly defecated in the back of a police car.

Calabrese met with the Coast Guard and city staff at the site where the boat washed ashore during the storm. According to Norfolk spokeswoman Lori Crouch, Calabrese appeared to be intoxicated, but denied it. There were beer and other alcohol bottles strewn on the beach nearby.

Coast Guard personnel asked Calabrese what his plan of action was to remove the badly damaged sailboat from the beach. He reportedly said he wanted to dig a pit from the boat to the water and then tow the boat to Cobbs Marina. The Coast Guard told him this was not possible, as the vessel was not seaworthy.

Calabrese then agreed to have a detailed plan to the city by noon Friday explaining how he would manage to load the boat onto a trailer for towing instead.

Sometime after city and Coast Guard officials parted ways with Calabrese Thursday night, Norfolk Police arrested him.

This was Calabrese's second arrest since the August 27 rescue. Calabrese ended up behind bars after he was arrested for allegedly being drunk at a hurricane rescue shelter.

In addition, a judge issued Calabrese a citation to remove the boat from the beach, giving him a September 5 deadline.

I have a feeling that this man has had better days, ya know? Of course, if he wasn't an idiot to begin with, he wouldn't be in this situation!

Since we aren't going to get any rain, let's have some coffee on the patio.

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's Important To Pay Attention...!

No matter what you are doing in life, it's important to pay attention to everything around you!

All it takes is just a second for things to change, and not always for the best...if you know what I mean!

Although this is just a humorous way of showing that fact, it could just as easily be a situation that is anything but funny!

Life is way too short, my friends! Pay attention to it...all the time!

After all, you don't want to miss anything important, right?

I've got fresh coffee out on the patio if you're interested.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Man, What A Twisted Family Tree...!

When reading about this family and the crimes they committed, it's hard to believe they managed to stay free as long as they did!

You have to wonder if the madness ran in the family, or was it just the mother? They were all pretty sick if you ask me.

This type of story makes you sad to know there are people like this on the loose in the world. At the same time, it scares the hell out of me! This is almost as though these folks were straight out of the pages of some work of fiction, and not real people! Unfortunately, that is not the case!

From the good folks at, this story certainly gives us all something to think about!

Sept. 1, 1981:

A teenage boy murders his father

Fifteen-year-old Eric Witte shoots his father, 43-year-old volunteer firefighter Paul Witte, in the family's Indiana home. Although Eric admitted to shooting his father, he claimed that the gun had accidentally gone off when he tripped on a rug. The bullet hit his father, who was lying on a couch across the room, in the head. The shooting was ruled an accident, and Eric was released.

Three years later, Eric's grandmother, Elaine Witte, 74, was killed with a crossbow. A few months after the murder, the entire family was arrested in California for forging Elaine's signature on her Social Security checks. In the subsequent trial, the bizarre story behind the murders came to light.

Eric's mother, Hilma Marie Witte, had tried to kill her husband, Paul, by lacing his food with rat poison and Valium. When this proved unsuccessful, she convinced her son to shoot his father by telling him that Paul was going to divorce her and that they would end up living in the streets. She later persuaded John "Butch" Witte, Eric's younger brother, to kill his grandmother by convincing him that Elaine planned to kick them out of the house. John, who witnessed his father's murder at the age of 11, was 14 when he killed Elaine Witte. At the trial, John stated, "My mom said I could strangle her or use my crossbow. It was up to me."

A few hours after killing his grandmother, John went to court with his mother to inquire about receiving disability benefits from his father's death. When they returned home that night, they began cutting up Elaine's body with a knife and a chainsaw. Marie and her two boys then scattered the dismembered body throughout California.

John and Eric were given 20- and five-year sentences, respectively, and were released in 1996. Hilma Marie Witte received a 90-year sentence.

Now, many of us have some slightly bent branches in our family tree, but I'm pretty sure none of us have anything like this! I know that if I did, I wouldn't admit it!

Just way too many crazy folks in the world, I'm thinking!

Want some fresh coffee? We can sit outside, if you can take the heat!