Tag Archives: senior citizens

They wore out the Muslims – familiarity bred contempt

Hi readers:

The ‘Us’ government’s searching frantically for a new threat, trying to create a believable illusion of  a new cold war with Russia, then talking increased military tensions with China.  But it ain’t easy.

Sure, Russia still exists.  On paper, anyway, run by a bunch of Mafia-types who know they can’t make any money if they’re all shot to pieces by anyone, including the Us.

And China?  Well, even though Washingtonians are prone to stupidity and self-blindsidedness, most recall the Us hasn’t won a war since 1945.  And the ones it didn’t win most spectacularly were coincidentally in Asia.

Fact is we couldn’t even defeat little bitty pissant North Korea in a shooting war back when our soldiers were still real he-men.  We couldn’t even whip North Vietnam, or fight them down so’s they’d let us leave in a relaxed, organized way.  The Us left Vietnam in an every-man-for-himself devil-take-the-hindmost scramble.  Running and looking over their shoulders the whole time.  Peace with honor, Nixon called it.

So who is going to be scared Washington will be stupid enough to get into a war with China?  Nobody.  Who’s going to believe anyone in Washington is going to get us into a shooting war with the Rooskies?  Nobody.  And they’re scared of everyone in Asia, including North Korea.  Nobody wants to see North Korea kick our asses in another shooting war.

Trouble is, nobody’s scared of the Muslims anymore.  Every time we send the military somewhere new over there they roll over and play dead without racking up a decent death-toll of Us troops.  Sure, they kill a few, and a lot more Us troops raise the ante by killing themselves, but even with that it’s just not enough to get the juices of patriotism flowing anymore.

One thing they mightn’t have considered, though:  Asians can win wars against Asians.  Fighting a good proxy war with China using Japanese troops might work and since no Us troops need be getting shot up, the Us citizenry could probably get behind it.

Even better, getting the South Koreans and Japanese fighting on the same team, invading Manchuria, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nanking and so-on might work.

I can see how the Us citizenry might get behind that if only for the relief from the ennui of yawning Muslim terror snores it would provide.  And we could sell the weaponry to both sides.

The only way we’re likely to ever win a war in Asia now that Japan has its guard up.

Old Jules

 

Sarcophageal cancer risks

I don't understand this gravestone item except the foot in the lower right corner.  I understand the foot, mostly.

King James 1 died of sarcophageal cancer in 1625 ce. I don’t understand this gravestone item except the foot in the lower right corner. I understand the foot, mostly.

Hi Readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I have some loose ends here in need of exploitation, same as everything else we humans touch need exploiting.  These are photos not quite lousy enough in concept to justify tossing them, but not juicy enough to justify a blog entry built around them.

Olathe Community Theater Association - one block east, currently  the eastern extremity of my attempts to walk somewhere.  Easternmost bastion of artsy fartsyism from where I live and breathe.

Sarcophagus of a church:  Olathe Community Theater Association – one block east, currently the eastern extremity of my attempts to walk somewhere. Easternmost bastion of artsy fartsyism from where I live and breathe.

For instance [above], Olathe, KS is full of neighborhood churches gone to meet Jesus leaving behind useful buildings to be converted by sinners into nothing particularly holy.

Back when everyone thought radioactivity was harmful to human beings a person would see a lot of these.  Today you have to visit a ghost-town to find them.  Anachronistic tomfoolery.  How dare they deny science by being scared of a little radioactivity?

Back when everyone thought radioactivity was harmful to human beings a person would see a lot of these. Today you have to visit a ghost-town to find them. Anachronistic tomfoolery. How dare they deny science by being scared of a little radioactivity?

Sarcophagus of Sunflower US Army Ammunition Plant contains lots of smaller sarcophagi above and below:

Sunflower Ammo shot its wad but that's no reason to get careless.  Hope you folks found other jobs.

Sunflower Ammo shot its wad but that’s no reason to get careless. Hope you folks found other jobs.

Let’s not forget Dorothy, the Tin Man, et all while we explore the ammo plant sarcophagus. [ http://kensas.kdhe.state.ks.us/certop/ISL_Detail?id=C404600052]

West Side Story said it best:  Nobody wants a fella with a social disease.

West Side Story said it best: Nobody wants a fella with a social disease.

There’s a small problem on the cleanup thing.  They runned spang out of money.  The sarcophagus of a once-useful piece of real estate after all the profiteers ran and hid, disclaimed kinship.

Possibly too much honesty displayed here.

Possibly too much honesty displayed here.

Some things probably shouldn’t be put on a sign.

Don't be drinking cereal malt beverages around here.  Whatever the hell those might be.

Don’t be drinking cereal malt beverages around here. Whatever the hell those might be.

This is the nature park outside Sunflower Ammo Plant.

Kansas Museum for the Deaf - one block north, the extremity of my walking distance northward.  Northernmost bastion of artsyfartsyism from where I live and continue to breathe.

Kansas Museum for the Deaf – one block north, the extremity of my walking distance northward. Northernmost bastion of artsyfartsyism from where I live and continue to breathe.

Back in Olathe, one block north.

I’m feeling much better now.  Glad we had this little talk.

Old Jules

Desoto Surprise

Afterthought:  I just found a website telling a lot more about Dean Weller, the man doing all this, and providing far better photos:

http://www.kansastravel.org/grandpasoldfordgarage.htm

Jeanne's son, Michael and I stopped here for a closer look at the car in the window.

Jeanne’s son, Michael and I stopped here for a closer look at the car in the window.

 

A gas pedal, stick for directional control, another for braking, another for gearshift.  Slow and less slow.

A gas pedal, stick for directional control, another for braking, another for gearshift. Slow and less slow.

Hi Readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I had no idea what was in there when I suggested Michael pull over for a look at that car.  But as we got out and peered through shadowing hands to overcome the reflections an old guy sitting in a truck out front spoke to us:

You can come in for a closer look if you want to.”  He got out and unlocked the door to the building.  The place is jam-packed with cars he’s build or restored.  He’s 88 years old been doing this since he retired in the late 1960s.

see through model a1

Built of iron bar shaped to resemble a Model A body, runs good though breezy.

 

They don't make them like this anymore.  Never did, in fact.

They don’t make them like this anymore. Never did, in fact.

Two stories packed with old cars and trucks.  Woodies, racecars, whatever.

Impossible to examine any one car because they're squeezed in tight to make more room.

Impossible to examine any one car because they’re squeezed in tight to make more room.

No fewer than a couple of dozen.  More than enough to serve an 88 year old man for basic transportation.

He says he's run out of room on both floors so he won't be starting any new projects.

He says he’s run out of room on both floors so he won’t be starting any new projects.

Sometimes if you bet a few minutes of life and say some magic words the Universe will cooperate and shoot a surprise out of nowhere.

Old Jules

We few. We happy few. We band of brothers

arrows

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Predominantly draft era veterans end up at VA hospitals I’ve observed.  And we’ve got all the warts and scars to suggest we were a flawed segment of humanity.  Truth is, watching the mannerisms and behaviors we still are.  Flawed, certainly, many also pathetic as individual personalities.  Needy.  Obnoxious.

But strangely enough, there’s a constant undercurrent of moments cutting through the lies on top of lies and BS revealing something I’m ashamed to admit I suspect is a sort of brotherhood.  A smile and wink in an elevator from a guy in a wheelchair with more problems than me.  Thumbs up signs when someone gets called to see one of the sawbones or other ‘team’ members.

Granted, most of the conversations going on are lies about things that happened when in the military.  But when I brought up the subject of the Afghan/Iraq vets suicides the lies stopped and were replaced by frowning thought.  A momentary pause to try to understand.

It’s there to be recognized.  And it can also be found in the mention of the guys on ‘the 10th floor’.  The guys who are ‘still in Vietnam’.  Everyone knows about those guys and they only get mentioned in muted tones, phrases expressing horror and awe.

We few.  We happy few.  We band of brothers who aren’t on the 10th floor.

Old Jules

 

Jesse Winchester – The courage to do what’s right

Hi readers:

Probably most of you don’t remember Jesse Winchester.  He was a somewhat obscure singer and guitar picker who had the courage, savvy and ethical commitment to go to Canada when he got called to be drafted instead of serving in a war he knew was wrong.

The Learn to Love It album was the best he ever did and it came at a time when neanderthals were waving flags and banners saying, America – Love it or Leave it!

Jesse never whined about the consequences of his patriotism.

He’s dead from cancer of the goozle today.

Thank you for your service, Jesse.

Jack

Mysterious Kansas Parrot Fetish Revisited

 

The feet definitely look more like robin feet than parrot feet.  But the hooked beak is more parrot-like in my expert opinion.

The feet definitely look more like robin feet than parrot feet. But the hooked beak is more parrot-like in my expert opinion.

Hi readers.

The mysterious Kansas parrot fetish post left most of you on the edges of your chairs most likely in hopes I’d follow it up with clarifications, and maybe more music explaining just what the hell that parrot is doing to get itself venerated by Kansans.

I believe the purplish design on the right side of the thing is a stylized version of the parrot-head.  A sort of modern-Kansas equivalent of an ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus.  But what the hell do I know?

I believe the purplish design on the right side of the thing is a stylized version of the parrot-head. A sort of modern-Kansas equivalent of an ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus. But what the hell do I know?

I’ve seen a lot of these in a wide range of contexts since I posted the ‘mysterious Kansas Parrot fetish’ post.  I wish I could report to you with confidence it isn’t just a robin walkin’ walkin’ walkin’ to Missouri, but I can’t.

I think there’s still a strong case to be made that it’s a cryptic protest about the absurdly higher gasoline prices on the Kansas City, KS, side of the state line than on the Kansas City, MO, side of the boundary.

Fact is the whole thing was a lot nearer the public consciousness in verbal terms during the late 1940s and early 1950s than it is today.  Nowadays it’s just out there as flags and whatnot.

I wash my hands of the whole matter.

Old Jules

 

 

Curry steamed ginger blueberry okra pepper asparagus on rice

This rice/veggie steamer might be the single electrical appliance I've used more than any other my entire lifetime.  Originally cost me $1.00 still in the never-been-open-box at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Kerrville, Texas.  Several years of heavy use for that buck.

This rice/veggie steamer might be the single electrical appliance I’ve used more than any other my entire lifetime. Originally cost me $1.00 still in the never-been-open-box at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, Kerrville, Texas. Several years of heavy use for that buck.

Hi readers.

I like to get a few calories with my meals, so I used half-jar of strawberry preserves from Dollar Tree [$1.00] as chutney.  Spices added were celery seed, black pepper, lime powder, onion powder, in addition to the various chopped poblanos Anaheim green bell peppers and fresh cilantroso on in the taste explosion.

Curry steamed ginger blueberry okra pepper asparagus on rice: If it’s looks you’re after you could toss a sprig of parsley across it, I suppose, or add a slice of orange, maybe.

It went down smooth and easy, didn’t attempt to come back up.  All’s well that ends well.  And the ticker won’t be sneaking around finding excuses to blink or belch from the sodium.  Prepared with no sodium added, this is a no sodium meal.  On the other hand, if you want it to be a 2 gram sodium meal add two grams of salt.

Old Jules

The mysterious Kansas parrot fetish

Reminds me a bit of a 1950s song, "Poor Little Robin," "Walkin' walkin' walkin to Missouri."  But this ain't a robin.

Reminds me a bit of a 1950s song, “Poor Little Robin,” “Walkin’ walkin’ walkin to Missouri.” But this ain’t a robin.

Hi readers.  I dunno.  The Kansas State Bird is the Western Meadowlark.  Don’t even bother suggesting that’s what it’s all about.

But all over Kansas City and the surrounding area a person will see that damned cartoon character parrot.  Bumperstickers, flags in yards, even on gravestones.

Occasionally a person will see the word, “Jayhawk” associated with the damned parrot.  A jayhawk isn’t, I believe, an actual bird, so much as a Civil War pejorative used by people with long memories referring to the Kansas-version of the Missouri ‘bushwhackers’.  Irregulars, citizen soldiers using the excuse of war and hatred to rape loot and plunder anyone who disagreed with them.

I don’t think this is a jayhawk.  I think it’s a hell-of-a-lot more likely it’s a damned robin walking to Missouri, and the people displaying it aren’t happy with gasoline being so much cheaper just across the State boundary.

But what the hell do I know?

Old Jules

Post-Pyramidial and Post-Mass-Grave grave concerns

21st Century cemeteries mostly require stones to be flat with the ground and uniform in size to allow only a name and birth/death dates.  However, this sign outside Andrews, Texas offers a potential solution for communities everywhere.  A single stone the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall telling everything the people in the cemetery believed would be a huge benefit.

21st Century cemeteries mostly require stones to be flat with the ground and uniform in size to allow only a name and birth/death dates. However, this sign outside Andrews, Texas offers a potential solution for communities everywhere. A single stone the size of the Vietnam Memorial Wall telling everything the people in the cemetery believed would be a huge benefit.

Hi readers:

The grave markers depicted here are located in the Olathe, Kansas, Desoto, Kansas and Lawrence, Kansas [Oak Hill] cemeteries.  Lawrence is probably best remembered for the Quantrill raid and massacre of the men and boys of the town slaughtered by Quantrill’s Irregulars during the Civil War.  The town was burned to the ground and most of those killed are buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in a mass grave.

Hand signs and finger signs decorate the surface of a lot of gravestones around here.  Pointing upward, sideways, down fingers, etc.  I'm guessing some might be secret society signs of one sort or another.  However, Jeanne tells me this one is a 'deaf person' sign.

Hand signs and finger signs decorate the surface of a lot of gravestones around here. Pointing upward, sideways, down fingers, etc. I’m guessing some might be secret society signs of one sort or another. However, Jeanne tells me this one is a ‘deaf person’ sign.

cable grave

This stone and the one below have been selected by geographers to serve a dual-purpose. Initially they both merely marked the location of buried telephone cables, as noted on the orange tape. But later circumstance conspired to make them useful as markers for human burial locations as well.

Phone cable memorial marker

Limestone or marble markers are probably inexpensive, but they are prone to become unreadable in a century, century-and-a-half. The stone dissolves in acid rain, accumulates lichens and moss, and break more easily than granite, steel, or wood of most types. This is unworthy of concern unless the people placing the stone intend the grave to be identifiable over a period longer than a few decades.

bookout

A person who went through life being called by the name, King David Bookout, probably won’t object to large granite stone sitting above him a few centuries afterward. Nothing any stranger says while looking at the stone generations later is likely to be original. It all got said while he was alive.

sitar or oud teachout

Patricia Ann evidently played the oud or sitar during her life and someone considered it enough a part of her to be noted on the stone. The name Teachout would be less intriguing if the grave were located further from that of King David Bookout. A Bookout buried 50-100 feet from a Teachout seems more coincidence than needed in death.

Finding a purpose in death isn't necessarily easier than finding a worthy one in life.  Vernon Robert Phillips elected to use his to advertise Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

Finding a purpose in death isn’t necessarily easier than finding a worthy one in life. Vernon Robert Phillips elected to use his to advertise Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

This touching marker manages to convey the anguish of the surviving family.  Probably it's actually what graveyards and gravestones are all about, or at least something valid they are about.

This touching marker manages to convey the anguish of the surviving family. Probably it’s actually what graveyards and gravestones are all about, or at least something valid they are about.

Here's an example of what happens to limestone when it's utilized as burial marking material.  Fortunately there's nothing on the stone to suggest anything was worth remembering about Wheeler Green anyway.

Here’s an example of what happens to limestone when it’s utilized as burial marking material. Fortunately there’s nothing on the stone to suggest anything was worth remembering about Wheeler Green anyway.

Another emotional demonstration of whatever causes human beings to want grave markers and graves as a piece of their lives.

Another emotional demonstration of whatever causes human beings to want grave markers and graves as a piece of their lives.

Sharon Snow Fogarty is evidently still alive, but she knows how she wants to be remembered: "She never met an animal she didn't like."

Sharon Snow Fogarty is evidently still alive, but she knows how she wants to be remembered: “She never met an animal she didn’t like.”

The elaborate grave-marker phenomenon spans cultural boundaries.

The elaborate grave-marker phenomenon spans cultural boundaries.

If those people killed in the Quantrill raid had survived they might have accomplished great things.  Some might have been able to be part of the Wounded Knee incident.  As the song says, “Only the good die young.”

Old Jules

Weston, MO and Leavenworth, KS

Gertude Derks Consort of the late Bartholomew Bless - Born March 5, 1824 - Died February 23, 1892 - Requested in peace

Gertude Derks Consort of the late Bartholomew Bless – Born March 5, 1824 – Died February 23, 1892 – Requested in peace

it's cut onto the side of a stone for someone else.  Bart Bless Sr. is nowhere to be found in the vicinity.  However, the son and daughter-in-law, or perhaps grandson, is buried 20-30 feet away.

it’s cut onto the side of a stone for someone else. Bart Bless Sr. is nowhere to be found in the vicinity. However, the son and daughter-in-law, or perhaps grandson, is buried 20-30 feet away.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

Jeanne’s got spring break from her daytime job this week, and my electronic brain I use for a heart these days is defragmenting.  So Jeanne’s taking this occasion to show me around some KS/MO sightseeing Mecca places.  Likely as not there’ll be all manner of highbrow cultural stuff, but yesterday it was Weston, MO [all of it that didn't burn down in 1859, or has been built since the town burned down], and Leavenworth, KS.

That tombstone at the top was in the Weston graveyard and said so much about Weston, humanity, the history of the human race, ethics, morals, compassion, and other matters we could have stopped and I’d have used it as a launchpad for this blog entry, waxed poetic and philosophical until I was sated.

But we didn’t stop there.  We went to the overlook in Weston State Park and looked, me breathlessly, at the mighty Missouri River flowing below.  Read the initials carved inside various hearts carved on trees back when the world was young.  Looked at old barns and whatnot.

Then drove across the river to Leavenworth.  Visited the only old timey Army Surplus Store in Christiandom carrying on the tradition of old odors of mildew, ’98 Mauser bolt action rifles, coal scuttle helmets, and clever posters about huns and loose lips sinking ships.

Afterward we drove to the VA Hospital, discovered a 600 acre ghost town of memories of US military veteran aches, pains, and infirmities.  Heck of an interesting place.

By which time I was worn down to a small frazzle.  We didn’t visit the National Cemetery.

But today after she worked half-day on her usually  night job she took me to see the Westport battleground.  Biggest Civil War battlefield west of the Mississippi River.   Covered with houses and large other sorts of buildings built between Appomattox doings and now.

Just driving around that 53 square mile battlefield looking at all the houses wore me down to a small frazzle.

Luckily, tomorrow I’m going in bright and early for another eccocardiogram, chest xrays, blood lab work and something else I can’t remember right now.  At the OTHER VA Medical Center nearby somewhat.  The one that didn’t lose the Spanish American War.

Old Jules