Sunday, May 27, 2018


I met Arnie in 1966 while attending flight school in Texas and Alabama. He became a very close friend and was someone from whom I learned so much in friendship, growing to manhood and preparing to go to war. Arnie was from Seattle, Washington and I was from a small town on the coast. He always made me laugh and was a poster child for living life on one's own terms. I had never met anyone like him before, and few since. 

Arnold Nakkerud was killed flying helicopters in Vietnam in 1967. I learned of his death from a letter from my mother and father back home who received notice from Arnie's fiancee in Seattle. She and Arnie had just spent a week together on RnR in Hawaii. 

Arnold Nakkerud, you are not forgotten.  God Bless you my friend.

Take the time this Memorial Day Weekend to remember and thank those who died in the service of their country. 



I found this video drilling through youTube last week and thought you might enjoy.



Ebola is finding its way into little corners of the news again and I did take last week's suggestion to read up on it.

My father once told me, in passing conversation, that he would work for a penny a day doubled every day for a month. I was learning my times tables and early grade school math at the time. I thought it odd that dad would work for so little for a month and be happy with it. 

If anyone ever offers this to you, make sure you are working in a month with 31 days. 

A good read to park in the corner of our minds. If Ebola reaches our shores this season, immediately up our game. Self-sufficiency and self-reliance are key. Could you and your family stay home isolated for a couple months and take care of basics? What will you need?

Ok, so the maps are wrong. So what? I only share this in passing that this is proof in the facts that the facts we are presented at any time on any event may not be truth. And it is Ebola. Might all folks involved in working on the spreading of this disease get it all right from the beginning. Ebola seems to come around each year. The disease only has to be successful one year in mass spreading. The world has to get the control right every year. 

This weekend, I read where some of those infected will not seek medical help, but rather try other therapies. Other patients have escaped to attend prayers. 


I should have raised the bucket on the tractor as I turned the corner.



A .pdf file is included in the article and worthy of saving. Give it a look and see if some of these things can be put to work for you and yours.

Paying attention to what other folks are doing is worthy of note. That the Swedish government is putting out information like this could be just CYA or hopefully, a serious approach to have their society be prepared in case there is an all-out situation developing into war or long-term disruption of life as they know it. God knows that the fabric of this world is tearing at every seam and the idea that the better folks are prepared, the better folks are prepared. 



A bill to allow school nurses to give medical marijuana to students in school. 

I have a difficult time taking any school initiative seriously anymore. Any teacher, any student, any movement. If the adults in the room are more worried about this, to the point of legislation, then we have already lost our kids. No wonder they need safe places (dude), living in a victim-rich environment and ripe to have the government save them from everyone and everything. 

Can you imagine trying to have any kind of serious conversation about school safety or any other child important education plan with these folks? Our children in schools are truly at risk.  


This is ok to watch as no one gets hurt. But in keeping with Adults in the Room, what in the hell were these folks thinking? Especially the woman with the child. 

The photo below was taken in the Dewilt Cheetah Park, SA in 2007. The information is copied from an old web site I built that year. 

The Cheetah is the only animal with the tear markings around the eyes and face. A Cheetah can run up to 70 MPH, turn 90 degrees at speed and maintain the speed for about 1500 feet. A mechanism inside the Cheetah tells it when to stop to prevent death from over heating. A Cheetah can out race a Formula One car for the first 300 feet. Its stride is 24 feet and it takes 3 strides per second.

I took the photos below in 2007 in a game park near Johannesburg, SA. We were parked on one of the touring roads. Canon 5D with a 200 mm telephoto. We toured several of the big game parks and never ever ever got out of the car while driving through the park. See video below.

Lions eating video. South Africa game park, 2007.

Long holiday weekend; short work week. Mother Nature is starting her seasonal storm engines and it appears that this first one is going to soak Louisiana and nearby areas. 

First year not planting a garden here. More flowers and working a yard with too many ants and weeds. 

Heads up this and thanks for the visit this week.

Monday, May 21, 2018


New element.

Balonium—science fiction—fictional chemical element...

In James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction series, episode two, David Gerrold (science fiction writer) explains balonium. “ that stuff you make up to make the story work....if we had the right balonium, we could make faster than light travel work.”

From this I get the impression that way behind the scenes of writing science fiction stories, there come times when writers need to invent something not yet in the real world, yet needed to advance a story. Faster than the speed of light is an example. You and I are sold “Warp Drive---Jump--etc.” as the balonium we need to buy into. A little “handwavyium (distracting the audience) using visual light spears and apparent fast motion helps move the characters and story line faster than light speed.

The science fiction writers challenge is to get us to buy into it. If we do, the story advances.

Marvels, Agents of Shield has ended its 5th season now and we have been with the series since the first episode.

Ever since Colson hopped into his 1962 Corvette, in episode 1 and flew away, I was hooked. “gonna be a good series and story line me thought.” And it was for the first few seasons.

But this season 5 has sunk to the point where the wife and I now fast forward to the end of an episode, unable to wade through more “gravitonium.” Yep, gravitonium. Writers are trying to sell me, and have been for way too long this season on gravitonium. The writers have wound this series and its characters in multiple tangents of impossible to follow worlds, times and story lines. It has all finally turned into crapatonium and we skip watch recorded episodes mostly out of habit.

When I found balonium explained in James Cameron's new science fiction series, gravitonium (AOS season 5)  made sense. The 5th season is all about gravitonium. They are trying to get me to buy into a far-fetched science fiction force and science fiction worlds that are poorly written and produced. But I get it now. Balonium!! 

Problem is (AOS season 5 writers) are no longer capable of writing great to even good science fiction. If the season was detached and run a muck, the final episode in the season final ending was baloney that had been left in the sun for a few days yet served up as a main course. And killing off a long time key cast members was a serious mistake. 

The Marvel group and the characters all suffer at the hands of writers lost in a world of poorly developed baloney.

Will I watch a season 6 if there is one? I have little hope that writers can get out of their own way to save this cast and adventure.  They need new blood at the writing desks and maybe if they get a few 12 year-old kids to help write another season, I will peak in. 

The upside from all of this is that the wife and I now have a whole new vocabulary of “iums.” All rooted in the purposeful struggle to make any story believable.



Foolishly, I bought into the idea that the bear will not return this season. He has found new traveling grounds and thus I can leave my bird feeders up for the season. Not.

Found all of the tree-hanging ones on the ground, not too much worse for wear. The two wooden ones have been yanked and dragged from their stumps and they need roof repairs.

Adding insult to the nights work, the bear left scat as some kind of final statement before he moved on. I know, he is just trying to make a living and that is ok, but the scat in the middle of the morning ruins is truly a slap in the face. 



Graphic video of a bad guy with a gun trying to rob from women and children meeting a good woman with a gun. Do not watch if you are bothered by these kinds of things.

Personally, I find a few moments with John Wick, Jack Reacher or a 15 second Walking Dead commercial to be much more graphic in the name of entertainment, not self-defense.

Regardless, this video shows who the criminals prefer to use lethal force against. All bets are off when the gun is introduced into the crime.

A disarmed society is forever doomed to the whims of criminals. Makes no difference which side of the debate you are on. The opening few seconds of this video depicts clearly what real crime looks like. No laws in the world will ever make a difference to the person intent on hurting others. 

The woman with a gun in this video was well-trained.


--The royal wedding this weekend was a good distraction. I found some of the moments and scenes wonderful. I could not turn off the audio commentary fast enough though. How about that XKE departure?

It appeared to me that the Jag just took off with out any clutching, shifting etc. Yep, that particular 1968 XKE has been electrified. Sad, but like the wife said, probably the only way to keep it running. Purchasing a Jag of that model also meant having a mechanic on staff full time. Regardless, the Prince and Duchess of Sussex lost a few points driving a 1968 electrified Jaguar. It is just not right. 

--Your home work this week, should you accept the mission is Ebola? A simple read up on 8 of the basics. 

-- Holiday weekend next. Maybe you are going to add a day or two this week or at least get to the going early on Friday. Gonna cost ya more at the pumps, but keep in mind, you are not taking it with you. In 4 weeks the days start getting shorter!!  

Thanks for the visit.

Monday, May 14, 2018


Eight years now as an NRA instructor, sixty plus years plinking with guns, I have been most fortunate to meet some wonderful people. All that I have had the opportunity to teach, have also taught me. Teaching is a two way street, no matter the subject, the teacher or the student. At least this has been my experience. 

This past weekend I was fortunate to be one of the range instructors with a group of women taking an introductory rifle class. All instructors were NRA qualified. This course was billed as an introductory course for experienced shooters. A few hours in the classroom followed up with an afternoon on the range. 

The gals came to us having taken the basic hand gun pistol courses so they brought some shooting experience, basics in handling guns, loading magazines, sight picture and so forth. All range instruction was one on one, under cover of a shooting shed and individual shooting stations. 

This was an all gal event, all students and instructors with the exception of me, the only male. They let this "spousal unit" guest instruct at one of the shooting stations. 

Three and a half hours of shooting went fast and at the end of many rotations with .22 rifles and iron sights, the class was over. Instructors offered the opportunity for any interested student to try shooting 9mm rifles and the infamous black scary AR-15 using 5.56 ammo. All the gals hung around like kids at a candy station. Hands raised when asked "who wants to try shooting ......?"

We started each gal with one round and showing them how to load a magazine as it is different than loading a .22 rifle magazine. Reinforced the idea of holding the butt of the rifle snugly against the shooting shoulder. Then sight picture, breathing and squeezing the trigger. Squeezing the trigger is different than pulling the trigger in the application of a slow smooth continuous pull. The loud bang along with more noticeable recoil did not phase one of the gals. "You ok?" we would ask only in that this was their first time with a larger caliber gun. There is more noise and there is more recoil felt in the shooting process. All were fine and wanted more. 

We had them load 5 rounds and follow taught procedures. Instructors double checked rifle butt snug against the shoulder and a smooth trigger application. The end of these rotations were met with smiles and "wows" of having tackled the old scary black ugly "assault rifle". Gals of all ages from all walks of life walked the walk; shot the shot. 

Any time a teacher's student makes strides in the subject being taught, those moments come with a personal satisfaction that they were able to be a positive influence on the students learning curve. 

This instructor beamed inside. 

The last gal I worked with was everybody's mother and grandmother. She said she was new to shooting guns, having just completed the first basic pistol course last month. While she was shooting the AR-15 she did not smile but came to the task with intent and a noticeable desire to learn and succeed. No fear of the unknown but rather an internal determination that was wide spread that day.. 

Whew she finished she stepped aside and a smile came to her face. The smile that says appreciation of having accomplished a new learning task successfully. She genuinely thanked me for my patience and help. I told her she shot perfectly. As a new rifle student, her shot groups were indicative of all that she had been taught that day. More practice and time will improve all components of her basic rifle shooting. I thanked her for letting me teach her. 


A good read if you are of the mind.


"...home soaked in Amazon products..."

It has finally hit home with me that a brave new world in every corner is here and every new corner that emerges is soaked with gadgetry to "make life better, happier, easier, more comfortable and so forth. How many new doors open now for hacking into living spaces? 

Good for Amazon, new innovations and getting them to market. Technology these days amazes me and so much is evolving so fast. But with most of this, I like being a "watcher." 

The little round vacuum that cleans all by itself and then finds the wall plug in for recharging. I would be the one who puts a book in front of the charging station and then sit back and watch the little vacuum. I guess that is "f-ing" with it and I doubt not that some kind of report would sent back to Amazon in the sky and a check message would soon appear on my cell phone;"check vacuum access port route." This is the little vacuum design that a couple years ago, got into messy dog poo and flung it all over the home. I wonder if they have worked this out yet?

Smart this gadget and smart that gadget would not be a living environment for me. But maybe for the younger folk, this is the way to go for convenience. Won't be too soon where a voice command will bring immediate response to satisfy the needs of the folks living in one of these new smart homes.

Add a self driving car plugging itself in outside, drone delivery of physical things and commuting. Dick Tracy had not a clue.  

I'll watch!! Well, then there is this and gives me great pause.


I happened on this you-tube video by chance. The first cuts of the hot dog buns got my attention and by the end of this first meal idea, I was ready to get the hot dogs out and try this. The cheese. the chili, the toasting, the cutting and the plating. What are you waiting for?


Biting the bullet. 

Yep, made the leap to bionic shoulder man coming in two months. I have put this off too long and the good lord willing, with another 15 years in this body thought I might as well get rid of the ever increasing pain. 

The doctor looked at her records and said it has been three years since I saw you last. "What has changed as your x-rays today look the same as they did three years ago; bone on bone?" Three years have gone by and I thought it had just been a year. A lesson.

I explained it was basically the increased pain and discomfort. I told her that I thought the pain would plateau and that I could live with it. Nope!!

We talked the procedure and she told me more than I really wanted to know. I get it and I manned up and told her to set a date and "let's do this." A six month to a year recovery period. I do not even want to talk about this. Lose a minimum of 20 pounds and have a good day. 

I have a had a knee replaced, the wife two plus two shoulder operations. We have managed just fine. The doctors and staff who help and work on us, walk on water. They take our care to heart. 

Besides, the wife and I do a great job of taking care of each other in times like this. We also have good family and friend support. 

Hmmmmmm. "Hey can you come over and stack two cords of wood because I am recovering from surgery?" No, would never ask that, but it does put a smile on my face. 

How am I going to blog one handed? We will see. Can you live two months without "The After." Don't answer that!!


Thanks for checking in this week. Leave the electronics in your pockets when out and about. Enjoy the good weather. Get some plants in the ground and treat yourself(s) to a positive this week. 

Happy happy.

Monday, May 7, 2018


A dozen half-pints of home made/canned zucchini relish earlier this week. Two gallons of mead on the cook; honey-orange and honey-blueberry. So it is a start to new seasons. The leftover drippings from the relish was tested on lunch hot dogs and was simply scrumptious. 

We used this recipe without the curry powder and a little more sugar. I did find that this is a basic recipe with some variations. We like the relish on the sweeter side. Taste test it while it is on the simmer. 



Mid-afternoon, mid-week. A warm wind blowing all day and the wife said it felt like the warm, home woodstove outside. 

It has been half a year since I have felt this warm throughout. No chill teasing on the cusp of being comfortably warm. The wind did not drill an icy hole through layers of clothes. Instead, it bathed like a hot tub or long hot shower does and then kept on giving afterwards. 

We spent several hours sitting outside, in the direct sun for awhile and then in the shade. Good time for easy conversations about the times of our lives. These moments are given from time to time and I think this is what we try to purchase on a vacation. But this was better as it was right outside our home. It cost no more than the effort to go outside. Because it has been so long, it was better than good. This day will play for awhile erasing some of what I have written of winter these past months. 



Gas prices up here in New England. A fill up is noticeably more than a year ago, but not $7.31/ imperial gallon (.8 of U.S. Gallon) A carbon tax come home to roost in Vancouver, BC.

Folks who commute and motor commerce at $7.31/ imperial gallon and prices projected to increase this summer. 

Gas prices like these are good lessons for us down south. 


DINNER IDEA  Give this a try. 

This is billed as a one pan healthy sausage and veggies dinner. Do not let the healthy part scare you away. 

We followed the recipe and only changed the oregano to a dry Italian spice we have in the cupboards. We also used frozen string beans as the "fresh" ones at the store had gone bad. We will add a little more sausage next time.

Use your hands to turn/roll the end mixture so that everything is well coated. We did add one more turn of regular olive oil before it went into the oven.

This quick meal idea is guest worthy and for kids just home from school. Supplement with warm rolls or pasta, butter and Parmesan for more mileage.



We were hit with a micro bust from a passing storm front just before 10 PM Friday night. Intense rain hit against the west side of the house along with a thirty-second screaming wind. Then quiet as a mouse. I have never heard the wind scream before, but it did Friday night. 

I told the wife to get her flashlight while I battery powered up the two Ryobi lantern lights. One slight flicker and the power dropped off. Our local provider called this a power disturbance and wanted us secure in the facts that extra crews were in our area to help. We were reassured that this was just a power disturbance and not something more. But old folk call this a power outage. 

It has been awhile since we have had a "power disturbance." The home was black as black. But for a gentle breeze, the quiet was to behold. We opened the front door and sure enough, the Mink Hills were also black and not a light flickered. Come to find out Saturday morning that a micro burst cut a swath west to east knocking out one of the main feeder lines to our town. No McDonald's, no gas stations, no Dunkin Donuts and no market. Our little town had 1100 folks with out power experiencing a power disruption. 

This lasted 16 hours and in that time, we were able to practice some living w/o power. Generator was hooked up. The portable solar panel generator was also put in place yesterday morning to top off its batteries and to charge up all of the Ryobi batteries. 

The water pump was up and running and both the fridge and freezer operated normally. The price of our little gas generator has paid for itself many times over in convenience and in no loss of food in either appliance. No worries for all needs of running water, toilet flushing, showers and general everyday water usage. 

But it is an inconvenience like this that can cost those without generators a lot of heartache and money in spoiled foods had this lasted several days. Water shortage becomes a problem when the power first fails. Whether it be for drinking, flushing, washing or cooking. Toilets become an early issue and those problems multiply quickly. 

I think many folks may not realize the seriousness of times like this when a major daily convenience is lost, regardless of the reason.

Worrying about these kids of situations and acting on being ready is paramount. More so in these times we live in.  

Photo at left is the top of a rotten tree knocked off by the micro burst. These are often called "widow makers". 



Yep, I laughed. The fellow laughing so hard that he had to bend down on knees would have been me. I have no control when my funny bone is struck just right. Ya just gotta keep a sense of humor. 


This ranks right up there with puppies.


I leave you with this quick current story. In keeping with last words here each week revolving around staying away from crowds, keep your heads up and out of electronics, I see more stories like this world wide. What to do?

Travel together and have each others back. If you are alone or with your children, keep alert and pick movement and places that make you/yours a harder target and/or that gives you perspective from a distance. 

Live life and do what you want to do, just add a higher state of awareness in the process. 

Thanks again for the visit and make this a good week. Keep your cell phone in your pocket from points A to points B.