Sunday, December 31, 2023


 QUIET ENDING OF THE YEAR, morning walk.


First time Cannon has ventured across the field for a friendly "hello."

 Neighbor preps to load horses and leave for a day's riding.

Had to watch several times. The sound up for sure.

A read worth the time. 
"The information is out there, you only have to let it in."
Jesse Stone series. All on Prime January 2024.
Bacon, eggs, avocado, pico de gallo.
Breakfasts going into the new year

Healthy and tasty.
Thanks for the visits this year. YMATA will continue and we will see what we see in the weeks and months ahead. 
A good friend from up north says that years ending in "4" have always been good years for him. He is old enough now with wisdom, experiences and insight.
"I do not know!!"
Happy New Year, good health and God Bless.


Sunday, December 24, 2023


 Unbothered. Moisturized. Happy. In My Own Lane. Focused. Flourishing. 



Has been a million years since I saw this gum on the shelves. A staple in my youth. Black Jack has a distinct taste, if memory serves. But I have forgotten the flavor of Beeman's. Will try that. History repeats!

Can you name the movie?

"Hey Ridley, got any Beeman's?"

"Ya, I think I got a stick."

"Loan me some, will ya, I'll pay you back later."

"Fair enough."


Hello from Gracie and a Merry Christmas too. 


Because life happens:    An hour after this photo was taken and shared, Gracie suffered a heart attack and passed in the care of her loving family. 

Gracie was a good girl. God Bless.


Christmas Eve Day in east Texas, 2023


Jalapeno Ranch. Not pushing the brand. 


I have taken to the flavors and heat of Jalapeno Ranch dressing over the past several months. Happened on it at a local pizza joint in Mt. Vernon and have been hooked ever since. 

After a few months searching, the bride came upon this brand this past week and brought me home a surprise. Chicken Cesar salad that night as it should be. An all around dipping sauce, too. 


Something to be said about very good friends!

I admit, there a few folks in my life with whom I would hook up with on this adventure. 


Christmas Day 1950

We always opened presents after dinner on Christmas Eve. Mom insisted that the kitchen be cleaned up and that the dishes washed, dried and put away. My job was drying the dishes from the rack as mom washed. Once the kitchen was in order, into the living room we would go, presents opened. The waiting for that day and moment is as strong this season as it was in the growing up years. 

Although now, the bride and I open one present on Christmas Eve and the remaining ones Christmas morning. A marriage of family histories. 

Presents in those early years were always some kind of model log truck with trailer and logs to load. Building blocks from which I could build worlds.  The toys were heavy duty and would withstand the demands from the sandbox and running loads of logs down the gravel driveway. A quick trek up the back hill would find real stick logs to load and unload. Real sticks were added to the building blocks and my imagination was the only limitation. 

I remember adult friends coming to visit on Christmas Day and I would be most content and lost in the new worlds I was building from those Christmas Eve presents. On one such Christmas Eve, I was given a logging sled on wooden runners. There was a boom and motorized winch. I would load logs by swinging them through the air to the toy trucks and I would skid the loader along the rug from one living room wall to the other. Dad soon learned that motorized toys for his son brought with it the need of extra batteries.  Did not take but one day for a restriction being placed on daily construction limited to one set of batteries. Not even a minor setback on the building of new worlds.

And yes, a BB gun came one year. I shot many a bad guy in the hills behind our house. Then the single shot .22 rifle. Safety and use taught to me by my father. Many a floating log was shot as it floated down the south fork of the Willapa River running past my grandparent's ranch. One box of .22 shells was my quota on those weekend visits so every round was thoughtfully spent. By design. 

Many hours exploring river banks and fields.



Gladness and Silence Amid Chaos and Violence  Another good read from the Burning Platform. 

BabyMetal from VOX DAY

Worth reading and watching. I have watched several times. New to me. They have been around for awhile; established; talented. Can draw a crowd. Have a large following.  Loud and visually entertaining. How refreshing in this day and age.


Presents all delivered. Visits with friends, hugs and the from-the-heart exchanges of good tidings. Smiles and handshakes.

To all who have visited here this past year, a most wonderful Merry Christmas wish to each and every one. God Bless!!




Wednesday, December 20, 2023











Not the "I-BAR" but flight candidates from Ft. Rucker and gals from the airlines' stewardess school met here on the weekends.  Many youthful stories written on those sandy beaches.  









The prices of a hamburger and fries alone, in today's markets, is a tipping point. No wonder so many of our favorite places to eat are heading towards "remember when."


From The Feral Irishman. Telephone pole transformer/connections sounds like a muscle car starting. Cannot stop watching.

And this just in. 

ID's Required to Shop.

Will you comply?



A trip to Dallas last weekend to visit with family and eat homemade Mexican food. The art of street tacos at their best. Great conversations, story telling, me laughing so hard I had to put my head down to recover. I followed that my spilling a class of water over the table. But boy oh boy did I/we have a great time.  

The wife drove and found us an alternate route to the brother-in-law's home via Royal Lane. Got us off the 635 ring road early, minimized the hectic traffic experience and "quieter"  drive. She had time to tell me some of her growing up years in Dallas as we passed landmarks along the route. 

New construction and building along 635 will never be done. Temporary exits are defined by a maze of cement barrier walls dumping traffic at a stop light. I think the growing city will continue forever. Industrial power transmission lines surrounded by construction cranes easily offer up opening titles and panoramas of the next dystopian movie. 

Yet within minutes inside the 635 circle, quiet neighborhoods of new built homes nestled next to remaining 1960's one-level family homes built on sprawling, tree-covered lots, further define Dallas. High walls and fences in some areas are just that.  Small malls pop up along the way. They are everyday lifelines for those neighborhoods. 

The Dallas Metroplex population ( Dallas - Ft. Worth - Arlington) is just shy of 8 million people. 


Appreciate the visit this week.

Sunday, December 3, 2023



Of all of the grand moments in this video, the one that grabs my heart is the moment of appreciation of watching a grandchild turning out to be pure gold. 

Those were the days. Not smart enough to have put this in the barn. And yes the car in the video above spools up the wheels of grand old memories.

Came across THIS SONG (ADIOS) recently and did not realize I was listening too Linda Ronstadt.  Take the time to listen. The girl can crawl into a song, tell a story and take us with her.

I have forgotten the many years ago I listened to her when she was with the Stone Poneys in the mid 1960's. (Different Drum - Stone Ponies Evergreen Vol.2) I can still see this album cover always sitting on the record cabinet, close to the turn table.  



For years, I have wanted to learn 3-d printing. I experimented with it somewhat in 2006/2007. Just recently I was lent a Makerbot Mini printer to play and learn from. 

It has been setting idle for awhile. Nine year-old model but hardware and software all new to me. New vocabulary to learn. Learning to think inside this technology also new. I am fortunate to have help from a young man in NH.

There are many videos that have been helpful. And there are videos of no help at all. So, firmware updated - check. Printer attached and recognized - check. Basic commands learned to get a first print - check. My expectations were that all of this was not going to go easily and that I would have hurdle after hurdle to get over. Check check!

Printer heads cooling down on the third pass (slice). Have learned that someone else has tried to work on the printer heads and put parts back on backwards. Current printer head clogged. This weekend's project. 

I have learned in all of these years not to try to fix things that need fixing without first learning the best approach. Thinking I know what I do not know has almost always resulted in complete failure and caused more damage to a part or piece.

I plan to use the most non-invasive approach to cleaning the blockage on the printer head. Teaching videos have been most helpful. Will know later today.

Failure is most always a part of learning anything new. Stay tuned!



Folks in the health care industry, with whom I have visited regarding my recent (4 months ago) Saddle Block Pulmonary Embolism have all, with out exception, looked at me with facial expressions of "you are lucky to be alive"!

My recent visit with my PCP this past week was no exception. He had the same look while reading all of the doctors reports while I was in the hospital. 

Apparently, the doctors had discussions of what procedures to follow in my treatment. Invasive removal of the embolism or let the body heal using blood thinners. My recovery period while in the hospital was positive and the doctors decided to not use invasive measures. There had been neither a heart attack nor any heart damage.

The exact cause of the embolism was not completely clear to them. An "anomaly". I was, however, overweight, sedentary and dehydrated. All of which contributed to the event.

Suffice it to say, all of this has gotten my attention. My wife, with tears in her eyes, crying and holding me tight a month ago was also a wake-up call. She had been holding all of this in for three months. "I almost lost you." A most powerful moment in this man's life. The woman loves me. Me!

Today, down 25 pounds. Best diet plan ever. Walking and working the next 13 pounds to lose. I have been given a second chance.



December 2023. The month will go fast and most of us will get lost in the holiday season to some degree or another. Some outdoor decorations are up, lights - a few - and fresh cookies currently take up a good portion of the kitchen table; none of which either one of will even tease ourselves with. Delivery of cookies start tomorrow to folks who are important in our lives and who have welcomed us with open arms, friendships and from the heart warmth. They have impacted our move here and confirmed often that we are where we are suppose to be at this time of our lives.

Gifts to be mailed will be gone this week. We do not do Christmas cards anymore but every year, think we should be doing. 

The winter weather for the next week forecasts temperatures in the mid-sixties during days flooded with sunshine. Mornings are brisk and the days are conducive to getting outside.

Thanks for the visit this week. Squeeze this month for all the goodness you can. Giving and receiving.  Avoid crowds and, if you cannot, up your senses of those around you. 


Sunday, November 26, 2023


Early Thanksgiving morning in east Texas, 2023. It was as quiet and peaceful as the photo below depicts but for a lone rooster in the distance.

If Butterball sold 37 pound turkeys, my wife would opt for that turkey. She has a thing about always buying the biggest turkey available, even for just the two of us.  But this year, she made the decision on a 15-pounder and come to find out, that whole turkey fit inside the turkey pan. A first!

 Yes, there was a whole turkey inside.

Thanksgiving was also an excuse for her to set a proper table, china, silver, cloth napkins and crystal. Even if it was only for three. Years of family history alive and well. Most thankful for family and all the new very close friends in our lives.



Friday after was to be a road trip along Interstate 30 into Dallas. Was to be an after holiday visit with brother-in-law. We thought leftovers with more time to visit outside the busy day of large family gathering on Thanksgiving day. Then a phone call from brother-in-law mid afternoon explaining the power had gone out, then later back on. The oven was off and displaying a "fatal error" message. 

One of the worst things that can happen to the chief cook of a Turkey day meal. A brief while later, a reset button was found, pushed and all was back to order. But their meal was delayed to later afternoon. 

Having been the chief cooks a few times for large family gatherings, my wife and I realized they did not need another day added following their large family gathering on Thanksgiving. We called, opted out for a rain check giving them back a relaxing Friday free from more family coming for a visit and feeding. 

My wife and I also realized that driving into Dallas on Black Friday was probably a poor decision on our part. Traffic on a normal day in Dallas ........ yeah.



One of the many first lessons learned in the Army helicopter flight program in 1966 was recognizing the onset of Ground Resonance and what to do about it.

The term "light on the skids" refers to getting the helicopter settled in a well controlled vertical liftoff from the ground up to a hover. In that interim, the helicopter becomes lightly setting on the skids as it lifts off the ground. 

If the helicopter is left in that "light on the skids" condition, one skid can briefly bounce off the ground and cause a transfer of forces through the helicopter structure and flight controls. It will then bounce off the other skid sending another set of increasing vibration forces through the helicopter. The helicopter, if left in that condition, can start to go into ground resonance with each "bounce" sending larger disruptive flight inputs into the helicopter systems.  In a very short period of time, well--- the two videos below best describe the outcome. 

The cure in learning to fly for the new helicopter pilot is to recognize when ground resonance is starting to occur and to either set all the weight of the helicopter back on the ground (land) or pull the helicopter into the air (fly). Immediately.

The two videos below were set into motion by the Army to show what happens if the helicopter is left alone in that condition. Increasing oscillations occur to the point of complete out of balance failure.

Figure below from Google

Ground resonance - Wikipedia

Video One

Video Two



Just sailing. Sights, sounds and new technology at work. I think the center hull has a lifting foil in use. To design and build a boat like this; to to see it perform in these kinds of wind and ocean conditions! And add a video like this...Has to be a rush and an enormous feeling of accomplishment!



I should have quit this weeks post while I was ahead. But I cannot.  I apologize.

Maybe all we really need is an idea, be dedicated to it and and then act on that idea. 


The 2023 Thanksgiving holiday is in the books. 

I cannot shake "hinky" feelings during times of our lives, worrying if another holiday season will "occur normally" across our nation. Head and gut feelings at odds. Winky-eyed! Everything seemingly disconnecting. Elephants filling the room(s). Way too quiet/distractions inside all the noise.

Soon, the new year day have come and gone, winter will be in full blossom and 2024 will be in the starting gates. The racetrack ahead.....well, if I was a jockey, I might want to walk the course instead of full steam ahead. I will be most interested in finishing the race intact.

I, too, will be milling around in the paddock, looking at horizons and over my shoulder. reading people, economy and lands for change. What am I forgetting; not seeing; not planning for?

Pot of beef rib soup was on before daybreak this morning. It is cold, windy and damp outside. Brothy beef soup for dinner plus the house will smell very homey all day. A good afternoon for a movie.

Thanks for the visit. You know I appreciate it.


Sunday, November 19, 2023


 ....... departed Mt. Vernon in Texas and headed due north on highway 37. The roads are straight as an arrow but for a few bends. Through Hagansport, Bogota, Clarksville, Negley, Idabel, Broken Bow and Beaver's Bend. Finished the trip north along 259 through Hochatown with a few miles of eateries, craft breweries, wine shops and gift stores. A destination in and of itself. There are many older cabin rentals available along the way that draw folks from the bigger cities for peace/quiet, the beauty of the rolling hills and a get-away from the hustle - bustle of busy days. 

Our destination that day was Beaver's Bend, an Oklahoma state park. 

The road north out of Mt. Vernon had no traffic to speak of. We commented that here we are in the northern Piney Woods with roads seemingly just to ourselves. Further on, the land turned flat with large open fields, sparse trees and working homes along the highway.

Hazy morning with no traffic on north Texas highway into Clarksville.

We turned off the highway to take a quick tour through town. 

The town square well represented many of the smaller towns we have traveled through. An old-west-looking walk way of sistered stores and shopping fronts. Brick roads in good repair but matching the times of those bygone days.

My wife ogles the court house neatly maintained and tucked away on one of the corners of the old town. She says, "the last train to Clarksville" which opened the door for us trying to remember the words of the song.  "Clarksville" in the song  exists only in the song. But it easily could have been this one when local boys were being drafted into the Army and then sent off to war.

We soon crossed the Red River into southern Oklahoma and the Choctaw Nation. A coffee break and stretching our legs was in order. 

I crossed paths with an older local man at the coffee "bar." We said good morning to each other. He set his coffee cup down and said "brother, can you watch this for me, any kind of running water changes my life immediately." Off to the restroom he went and I guarded his coffee as I was learning the newer technology of getting one's own cup with all of the new coffee machines. No more glass pots freshly brewing or just getting old, sitting in the coffee makers.

Find cup, fill cup with creams that squirt from nozzles, colored sweetener buttons also squirts a foggy mixture of one's choice. Only straws available for stirring, I thought. Taste testing so that the wife too would enjoy the late morning coffee as we would soon hit the road again. 

The older gentleman returned, apologizing for how long it took him. "Takes longer now, I gotta go when I have to go, the medicine helps but it just takes more time." I laughed because he was me. Any running water seems to flip switches in side this 78 year-old frame that are out of my control. It just is. Listen closely to old folks talking and you will hear similar stories. The fellow had me laughing out loud and it felt grand.

He headed to the pay counter as I was finishing up the final taste test and searching for a lid that fit. Standing behind him at the pay counter, he looked back and asked what I was getting and I replied just a cup of coffee for the road. He told the gal behind the counter to put it on his bill. A most kind gesture from a stranger in Oklahoma. And anyone paying attention would realize this kindness offered is best answered with similar, from the heart, kindness. I put my hand on his shoulder and said thank you and what a kind gesture. "My pleasure brother."  Softly spoken. I teased that I wondered if I could get a rib eye with an order of fries, too. He yelled to the kitchen, "put on a rib eye and fries." He called my bluff and again had me laughing out loud. 

I doubt that I would ever encounter moments like this in the Pacific Northwest or in the New England states. The Texan and Oklahoman human grains of openness and kindness to strangers runs deep and are infectious.  So, in the car and off we go.

Crossing the Red River heading for Broken Bow and Beaver's Bend should have been on my bucket list. And the town of Idabel just for the saying out loud of Idabel. No matter how hard I try, Idabel does not roll of my tongue like it does the locals.

Broken Bow was busy. Traffic of working folk. Again, a normal bigger smaller town of this area. Beaver's Bend State Park was just up the road. 

The back roads were bending up hill, downhill and tunneled by late-waning autumn leaves. They were narrow, no room for a good photo or two. Besides, we both enjoying the brief beauty of the short loop drive. Many cabins for rent and one guy, alone, fly fishing in the river. 

This was a great photo opportunity, but absolutely no way to get on the bridge for photography. From the car had to be good enough. Pictures like this are found in outdoors magazines. But, in Beaver's Bend, there is a guy who stands in waders with the river above his knees, lost in a real-world of fly fishing.

Back to 259 to finish our trip.  The highway drives straight through Hochatown. Both sides of the highway run with off-road gravel driveways, lined with any and all kinds of shopping. Craft breweries, wine tasting, doodad gift shops and restaurants for any wanting. Two-way traffic was challenging for me and made it difficult to look at the sights. My co-pilot called out areas to turn off for our inspection. 

An hour touring was just fine and we did come home with some locally made chip dips and two new BBQ sauces. The one we opened when we got home (on the left) will become our go-to sauce, so good it's worth another trip north if need be.

From Mountain Man Meat 

War Pigs is a veterans-owned company and Mountain Man Meat carries their brand.

We arrive back home an hour before sunset, as planned. We had FUN.



My bet is you will watch this short video of an eagle catching fish, twice

Another Thanksgiving this week. I have doubted the coming of holiday seasons now for a few years. However, it appears that 2023 turkey bird and "fixins" are in order. 

Have a happy Thanksgiving day. Tell someone you love them this week and when you hug, hug!! No fake standoffish hugging.

Days in our lives for which we are grateful. 

Thank you for the visit.


Sunday, November 12, 2023



"My good friend,

It has been 57 years and I want you to know that you are not forgotten in this little corner of the world. Never have been, never will be. You played a most important part in my life, good friendship with a zest for living every moment to its fullest. 

We started the Army's Helicopter flight school together in class 66-15 Ft. Wolters Texas and then volunteered to hold over a month upon completion of that stage of our training because the Ft. Rucker slots were full. We fully enjoyed that month doing odd jobs at Ft. Wolters and then reported to class 66-17 where we finished flight school and both received our Warrant Officer Bars, Wings and orders to go to Vietnam. By the order of the President of The United States, we were officially declared Officers and Gentleman.

I fondly remember you and me doing one of the team "solo" cross country flights at Ft. Wolters and during my flying portion of our route, you needed to relieve yourself and decided to unbuckle your safety harness. Then turned to stand on the skid,  outside of the flying helicopter and while hanging on to the inside of the door frame, did just that.

I knew better that to try to dissuade as that had yet to ever work; once you made up your mind, there was no turning back. Those few seconds, holding the helicopter in straight and level flight took forever.  Then back inside, sitting down, reattaching the safety belt and turning to me with that grin of "mission accomplished". 

..I think one of my most favorite moments happened on one of our weekend trips to Panama City during our training at Ft. Rucker. . We were released Saturday morning at 09:00 and instead of hitting the mess hall for something to eat, we decided to get in the Corvette and head south to Panama City. Shortly after we got on the back roads, we decided to stop at a gas station to pick up a quart of cold milk and a package of Oreo Cookies. Our breakfast for the road trip. 

A few moments later, sharing the quart of milk back and forth, we drove into a  Sheriff's road block where he had everyone pulled over for "inspection." We were in a dry county. The (Jackie Gleason) sheriff had everyone stopped ahead of us and out of their cars. He walked up to us, seeing us drinking from a milk carton with a package of opened Oreo cookies in our laps. We told him we where flight candidates at Ft. Rucker headed for a weekend in Panama City. He asked what we were drinking and we said milk.

He took the milk carton, smelled the milk, returned it to me and sent us on our way. We were the only car, a bright red 1963 Corvette, that got to pull out of the inspection line up. God how we laughed, sun in faces, wind in our hair and a 5th of unopened whiskey tucked under your seat.

Then every day learning to fly Huey helicopters, you in the jump seat while I flew and then vice versa. Flight instructor in the left seat. Close formations flying, quick touch down landings followed by immediate take offs, life fire gun ship runs and other tactical flight maneuvers.

Not a day went by that you were not painting life in bright colors that were so fresh and new to me. To this day Arnie, to this day!!

I love ya brother; forever."

To the other brothers of Army Flight Class of 66-15 and 66-17 it was an honor to to serve with you.

To the 2nd of The 20th ARA, 1at Air Cavalry Division (1967) and the 7/17 Cavalry (1969) it was an honor to serve with you.

God Bless all this Veteran's Day, 2023.



Photos taken and compiled in 1967 serving with The 2nd of The 20th, ARA, 1st Air Cav. We flew out of An Khe, Bong Son, The An Lao Valley and Phan Thiet. Lyrics and music by Joe Galloway "God's Own Lunatics" from "The Shadow of The Blade" 





'Tis the season in New Hampshire

Thanks for the visit this week.

Sunday, October 29, 2023


Reported on FB earlier this week...:"large black cow on north bound 312 walking on the highway right around County Road 4620. Be careful."
Example: black cow.

It is to be expected on the narrow back roads of east Texas. Large farm equipment moving to and from. A large animal that has finally escaped the fences and roaming free. Quite often stopping to sample green grass along the road side. Maybe a gate was not quite closed and the cow took advantage of that. We may never know. 

Word spreads fast when an animal is out. Neighbors calling neighbors and within minutes someone will know whose cow it is and that the owner knows. Cow freedoms do not last long in east Texas. 

We found a large horse snacking on my wife's front gate flowers a month ago. Roaming and snacking. Neighbors have horses and a call confirmed that a horse with reins was missing. Minutes later, the horse was being walked back home.

Local deer families are tame enough to stop by often for good eats, too.

Armadillos are not welcome.  Neither are wild pigs.  



A Time of Lawlessness

Found on Western Rifles Shooters Association 

I had set aside some articles to share on this blog this week, but decided on just the one above. A tough read.  But to me, does not sound unreasonable given the times we are living in.

From The Burning Platform   " might get what you are after,"

I see quite a few articles like the ones above as I drill through the net.  The only site I visit that does not go down these rabbit holes is the daily timewaster. I enjoy the photography and variety.

I am not finding any good news anywhere anymore. 



I liken these past weeks to running in compound low. Slow, steady with plenty of time to pass over uneven terrain and moving ahead at my own pace. Time to take in the sights while the lanes around me whiz by. Even time to stop and consider the paths ahead. No desire to change back in 4WH or 2WH. If I had a better analogy, I would use it.

Freezing weather coming to east Texas this coming weekend. I figured I had plenty of time to ready the home, cat house and shop for the coming winter season. But change has always had a mind of its own and maybe this wake up call will push me enough to take care of some pre-winter business.

Body weight down nearly 30 pounds now. Dieting is not a diet now but becoming a way of living. Feeling better a wonderful motivator along with surviving a very serious PE.

The last thing the heart doctor said to me a few months ago was "pay attention to your body." Simply put meaning the body will tell you how it feels and what it needs/wants. Who knew? I just have to be paying closer attention.
Drinking "beaucoup" water now, nearly 100 ml a day. Adding a little powdered zero sugar hydrate to each glassful. Not that difficult to establish the habit.  No more morning lows of feeling tired with little energy. Peeing more but it is the price ya pay. 
A nurse recently took the time to share her diet habits and water intake to me because it had to become a new way of living for her. Small meals with small snacks in between. Eat nothing white, no sugar, lots of fresh raw veggies and fruits. Life saving!!



Together and a member of the family for 20 years. Two hundred and twenty three thousand miles. Good miles. Good memories: towing Harley Davidson motorcycles, golden retriever dogs, hauling wood, trips to the dump and a thousand road trips to anywhere we wanted to go, anytime. 

Dodge built a damn good truck in 2003 and the Hemi engine was as strong at 223K miles as the day we drove off the show oom floor. Same for the running gear. Fresh oil every 3000 miles/ updates and repairs always as needed. 

A dependable vehicle is an absolute must.


Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner. Black Friday and New Year's Eve....stay away from crowds. Store food, mindsets and keep knees bent.



A fire to take the chill out of the house and a cat that knows how to relax. Practicing for winter.
Appreciate the visit this week.
I crawl into this song every time I hear her sing it. Always volume up. I want to dance to the feeling.