Thursday, May 21, 2009


It’s been eight years since 911 and more since Columbine. I hear that the security folks want to check around and make sure we ain’t forgot. I remember how we all rallied and set up procedures, locked the front door to the school house and buzzed everyone in. Recently I was in an urban area in another state where they had assessed the risk differently –their school house front doors were open ALL DAY! And this location was not far from one of our foreign borders, the liberal one to be exact.

Dick Cheney was on the news today testifying to the merits of water boarding, and what not, about how it kept us safe. Because you know every purported threat was deterred. And there is no compromise to terrorism.

Now Dick and Homeland may be correct, but three years ago was the last time I flew. I did not feel any safer then than I did in 1978 when I could smoke in the cabin and no one checked my backpack for the Coleman fuel I was transporting for my hiking stove.

I don’t fly any more. Mostly because I don’t have the patience to ride an hour in the traffic only to wait an hour for the plane –sitting on the runway, then only to wait another hour on the runway upon landing and an hour to get the luggage. All for a two hour flight to a location that I could have driven to in ten. Not to mention all the scenery I would see and the possible stay over night in a motel with a “cement pond”, damn!

The other reason I don’t fly is I can’t seem to get my cowboy boots off and on without missing the flight.

My point is not to take a side on the issue because I like being safe, but it is to recall a conversation many years before, one that occurred in 1977 and feuded by PBR and prediction. Yep, my engineering buddy, that would civil engineering buddy. They called me the construction paper engineering buddy since I was an elementary education major. He stated that Americans would gladly elect the first dictator if that dictator kept them safe.

The first test of this premise that I recall was the seat belt law. Mind you I have never driven a vehicle without wearing a seat belt. It always made since to me, especially when I was riding in Mr. Tenney’s open air jeep. I mean one fast turn and your were rolling out that baby.!

They said that not wearing a seat belt would cause our insurance claims to go up. So we passed this law cuz it made sense. My car insurance rate has not gone down, has yours? Instead the police have this click or ticket program that seems to be a good reason to pull people over and see what else is going on.

As stated before, I really don’t want to take a side on this, but it does sometimes to go too far. I mean it is out of control when you take a boot jack away from an 80 year old man trying to go through security at the airport.! For gawd sakes he knew he would have to take his cowboy boots off. He was just trying to do so with a little ease and comfort.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fishin Dawg

Friday night we were invited to a friend's house on a lake just outside of town. Beautiful setting and a wonderful evening. Their were three dogs there, two black labs and a short legged, barreled belly "little dog". One of the labs was in the water and when the other lab tried to get in the water the "little dog" would run at him and bark. I think he was the life guard, "one dog in the water at a time!"

One of the labs, I'll just call him the black lab, kept running parallel to the shore. He was looking down in the water as he ran. He was running and looking with real intent. Apparently he was fishing. Imagine that! A fishing dog. He would run over to one dock, then turn and run past his dock to the next dock. All the while looking down for fish.

I think his strategy was to spot the fish and run at them. Of course I'm sure the fish could hear him coming and scattered like school letting out. Maybe this dog should spend a weekend on the shore watching the Herons. He might learn to walk the water quietly and wait for the fish to come to him. He might even learn to pick up a feather or piece of cloth and drop it on the water to attract the fish. But then he is just a dog and I am sure it is not his nature to go after what he wants without running for it. Besides, anything a dog picks up with his mouth usually ends up coming out the back end. He was a cool dog all the same and a real hoot to watch!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Derby Day

It is the day of the oldest sporting event, the greatest few minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby!

I love this day! I was up at 7:00 putting ribs on the smoker and reading the Briefing Book on the Courier Journal, one of the remaining fine newspapers in the USofA. I must add a disclaimer. I have never been to the horse races, nor have I bet on a horse race. I have ridden horses before (see Where's Willi at Back in the Day) and I have done chores on an Arabian horse farm. As for wagering I've shot craps with my dad on the living room floor and worked a week of chores paying my debts -saved by my mom and I've done my citizenship duty of pulling the one arm bandit to support the kids in school. But horse racing is in my blood from when I was a kid.

Picture this: An eight year old boy sitting on the front porch playing with betting cards -win, place, and show and pretending to call a horse race. All of this while waiting for his dad to pull into the driveway returning from Oaklawn Racetrack.

So I follow the Triple Crown races on the television because I inherited the sport -so to speak. The Kentucky Derby is the king of them all. I plan my day around it and match my meal to it. So today it is smoked, dry rubbed ribs. I pick out a big classy cigar and fire that baby up before the race. I sit anxiously by waiting for the trumpet call. Then just before the bell I raise a shot glass of whiskey and salute my dear old dad and cheer for my horse.

My picks are: Dunkirk - he is a gray, he's a Todd Pletcher horse. Friesan Fire - won the Arkansas Derby, a Larry Jones from Hopkinsville Kentucky horse. And my long shot is General Quarters -a horse that may be good on mud, a one man show by a former Louisville biology teacher and high school principal. Wished I could retire like that!

What are your picks?

I'll meet you at the sound of the bell, Dad.....


Am I back??? Who knows? This blog thang got to be big combined with work so I blew it off. Now I have discovered this Facebook deal -got in to it so I could see pictures of family and friends. You can link to your blog (gawilli will show me this later). So I gonna give this a go again. No committments, I have too many of those.