General Commentary (May be military related) email: Kudzuacres1@juno.com

Thursday, July 10, 2003
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off too work we go. Time to take two months of superb writing to my government client (think editor) and spend the day having a marvelous time explaining it and defending some particularly nice prose. For the federal government contractors who may read this, my theory is the statement of work should say what the government wants. I know that is radical, but what can I say.

My Mother-in-law is with us for a couple of days. She is looking at independent living facilities hoping to find one she likes and move off the farm where she has lived the past 56 years. She grew up in the city, but now is having a really hard time with the idea of people living on the other side of the wall. Of course, when she is in Florida for the winter, she lives in a condo with people on the other side of the wall and loves it.

I hope everyone enjoys their day as much as I know I will enjoy mine.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003
This has been a rough couple of days. I have prepared about 80 pages of government contractese and my brain has turned to mush. If you think this is boring stuff, try reading a government contract document. I walk out to the my shop and see the Mini sitting there and the nice wood I collected from the farm and it looks so much more inviting than this. My Mini is like these but pure yellow. Unfortunately, it is as drivable as one of the pictures.

I seem to have reached my limit on setting up the blog page since I seem to have introduced errant buttons that appear when anyone other than me accesses the page. I guess I will have to get Cletus to come by again since I cannot seem to grasp what Nate McCord is trying to tell me as far as fixing it.

I have been reading some of the answers to Acidman's quiz and am surprised by the answers about how fast people have driven or ridden. Most of those I have read have been below or just above 100 MPH. Seems really low to me. My old 1962 Mercedes 220SEb Coupe would do 140 after I upgraded the engine and the 1000 cc Mini I previously owned would do 100 with some judicious drafting or a good long hill to get it up on the power curve. The first ever warning ticket (1967) I received was for 85 in a 70 and I once got a warning for 69 in a 55 although I was doing between 95 and 100 at the time. Ah, VASCAR! That is a story worthy of the BBQ Emporium. The only real ticket I ever got was for 80 in a 75 and I wasn't guilty. I guess it was just my time.

I wonder if people slowed down after the advent of the 55 speed limit abomination or if I drove exceptionally fast. I served three Army tours in Germany and thought nothing of driving 100 or more although my wife was not too happy going over 75. On my last tour, I bought a used BMW 320. Once on the way home from a winter camping trip, my son asked how fast the car would go. I ran out of open highway at about 125 MPH and the car was still accellerating. As soon as we walked into the house, my brilliant son asked his Mom if she knew how fast the BMW would go. The camping trip was a Boy Scout "frostbite" exercise, but the bedroom was colder that night. The BMW got sold the next month.

By the way, you have experienced excitement until you have driven a VW Microbus 100 MPH. That takes a warmed over Porsche 914 motor, an insane driver and several miles of open Autobahn.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
I went over to the farm on Saturday to do some cleaning out and to try to get my old Mercedes Coupe ready to move. I backed it into the barn in July 1987 and it has sat there since. I removed the tires and stored them in an old grain bin along with various bady parts and pieces of upholstery. It is not a pretty sight. I started off by trying to free up the brake rotors which had brake pads rusted to them. I finally settled on the "bigger hammer" method as being the most effective and in an hour or so had the fronts free and turning. The backs were more fun since the working space was limited. I moved a board to get a better angle and disturbed a small rattler that I decided could have plenty of time to relocate.

My late Father-in-law was an avid woodworker after retiring from farming and left a sizable stack of nice wood when he died. It was all conveniently stored in an old hog parlor last used in the 70s. The hog parlor has a black shingle roof and tarpaper wall covering. On Saturday, it was about 110 degrees inside and 90 outside. I loaded a load of 12 foot boards that completely filled the bed of my pickup. I also lost about a gallon of water through sweat. The whole time I was loading it, I was thinking how much fun the unloading would be.

After loading the lumber, I went back to the car and the rattler had moved on assuming, I guess, that the quality of the neighborhood was really going down. After an hour or so, I got the rear rotors free and am now ready to remount the wheels and attempt to load it on car trailer and haul it to Huntsville. My plan is to build it into a quick, fast car. I am looking at installing a late model overhead cam V8 and at least a 5 speed manual. My plans assume I will live another hundred years.

Funny thing, the house repairs of last week don't seem bad at all after a day in the heat and sun doing what my Dad always called "real work".

Sunday, July 06, 2003
A couple of days ago, I mentioned some friends who have had a series of problems each of which was enough to wear a person down. The latest is the death of a son-in-law in Memohis. They are back from Memphis and we had lunch with them today. The Memphis police have looked at the evidence and determined that he feel from a fence he was trying to climb and died from blunt instrument trauma to the back of his head when he hit the concrete. Of course, there is no explanation why a man who was on his way to an insurance office to deliver some documents would be climbing a fence, but then he was half Mexican and half Navaho and that type of person just climbs fences on general principle. It is so much easier to climb over a fence on your way to the insurance office than to walk on the sidewalk. There will not be any futher investigation. A minimum wage man died from a blow to his head, his wallet and all the papers he had are gone but there is nothing suspicious. It happens everyday.

It is times like this that I start to agree with
Michael Bowen and other from the left of where I stand. Of course, when I was growing up as a hillbilly/redneck from a rural mountain area, we got the same response from any lawmen that we ran across. The folks I grew up around beat and killed each other regularly, but as long as they didn't hurt their "betters" all was well with the world. The fact is, society simply doesn't value each person equally. That may make sense economically, but it doesn't legally. If a person is killed by a blow to the head and it doesn't make sense that they were climbing a fence and fell, then someone needs to look further.

The young man who died left a widow and a six year old daughter. The Navaho took up a collection to fly the widow, daughter and his body to New Mexico for burial.