Slowing down

I’ve been writing this blog since October, 2008. That’s over six years. From time-to-time, I need to take off to recharge the batteries, so to speak. I’ve a number of activities in my retirement life. I’m busier now than when I worked for Sprint. As I sense burn-out approaching, I back away.

April is and will be a busy month at Casa Crucis. Every weekend this month is booked plus we’ve some out-of-town friends are coming to KC for a wedding and they’re staying at the Crucis B ‘n B.

If I miss a few days of blogging don’t be alarmed. I’ll be back to my 5-blogs a week schedule in a while.


The real story of Harry Reid’s ‘blow-flex’ accident is out. Reid’s brother, Larry, is the one who beat the crap out of Harry. Harry and Larry. To plagiarize another commentator, I wonder if there aren’t two more Reid brothers named Darryl?

From PJ Media…

Reid Family Values: Prime Suspect in Beatdown of Elderly Senator Arrested for Assault on Cop

The country really is in the best of hands.

by Michael Walsh, April 5, 2015 – 3:08 pm

Senator Harry Reid’s 73-year-old brother has been arrested and charged with driving drunk and hitting a police officer. Larry Reid was arrested for DUI about 12:40 p.m. between Boulder City and Searchlight in Nevada. Mr. Reid was also charged with battery of a police officer, driving across a median, resisting arrest, not wearing a seat belt and possession of a gun while under the influence of alcohol.A trooper saw Larry Reid’s Lexus SUV in the dirt median with the engine still running, Patrol spokesman Trooper Loy Hixson said.

The Nevada Senator’s office released a statement confirming that Larry Reid is the Democrat’s brother, saying only that it is ‘a private matter.’ Details of the arrest were not immediately available since the official complaint had not been filed with the court.


Harry Reid after his ‘bow-flex’ broke.

Larry Reid is now the prime suspect in the beatdown of his brother, according to Power Line’s John Hinderaker:

On Monday I got a phone call from a man named Easton Elliott. We talked briefly on Monday, and have had additional telephone conversations since then. Elliott* is a businessman who lives in the Las Vegas area, and he thinks he knows what really happened to Harry Reid. This is the story as he related it to me:

Elliott spent a portion of last New Year’s Eve at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Henderson, Nevada. His AA group has meetings every hour on New Year’s Eve, along with a pot luck supper. There were approximately 20 people present at the meeting during the events described below.

Some time between 10:00 and 11:30 p.m., a man entered the meeting. His appearance was striking: there was blood on his clothing, beginning around his midsection. His left hand was swollen. He appeared to be somewhat intoxicated and was visibly agitated. He introduced himself as “Larry.”

In a group discussion that was heard by a number of people, Larry said that he had just had a fight with a family member. Larry said he had been at a family get-together, and he didn’t remember much about the fight because he had blacked out. When he came to, he was rolling on the ground, fighting with a family member, and his clothes were bloody. Now, he said, he was frightened that the Secret Service would come after him.

So Hillary assaulted Bubba during the Clinton presidency — something for which, by the way, anybody else would have gone to jail — and now Larry whales the stuffing out of Harry, causing the nation’s leading corruptocrat to abdicate his senate seat and endorse Sen. Snidely Whiplash — excuse me! I mean Chuck Schumer! — to replace him as minority leader.

The country really is in the best of hands.


California stinks! It’s not an opinion. Governor Moonbean Jerry Brown says the state will arrest and fine you if you take too long showers. The libs say they want government out of their bedrooms. I guess it’s fine for government to invade their bathrooms, however.

Attention America: Californians will shower less


Signing far-reaching executive orders seems to have become contagious in American government, at least among Democrats.

Gov. Jerry Brown went on national TV Sunday to explain his newly-announced mandatory water restrictions that will, among other things, require California residents to shower less. And if you’ve ever visited France, you know what that means.

Last week Brown, now in his fourth term as chief executive of the nation’s most populous state, said California has not properly prepared for the kind of long-term drought it appears to face now. Brown, who turns 77 Tuesday, did not blame George W. Bush, but instead global warming.

His wide-ranging 31-point plan, announced during a photo-op in a snow-free mountain field, imposes a 25% water reduction on California cities and towns, empowering water boards to encourage conservation with higher household rates and fines on individuals for liquid disobedience.

It also prohibits new residential construction from using potable water for traditional landscape irrigation, bans watering much public property and curbs water use by campuses, golf courses and cemeteries.

Additionally, the governor warned private property owners of the kinds of broad behavioral changes he expects from his unprecedented order. “The idea of your nice little green grass getting water every day,” Brown vowed sarcastically, “that’s going to be a thing of the past.”

Of course, Democrat Brown’s plan also involves — wait for it! — increased and expedited government spending. Last month the governor signed “emergency legislation” involving $1 billion in projects, including food aid, wildlife tracking and flood prevention, which might not seem an urgent spending concern in a four-year drought.

Not only will Governor Moonbeam not allow you those long showers, he’s going to make you pay for not taking those long showers. I wonder if that means the Hollywood types will be required to fill their pools with non-potable water? No! That could lead to spreading disease! Drain their pools? Somehow I doubt it. The liberal elite are never affected by their own edicts.

I wonder if Governor Moonbeam can add to his coffers by selling indulgences? That is selling waivers to you who were educated in the public school system…waivers like those issued by Obama to selected groups to delay the negative impact of Obamacare.

Home again

I took some free time last week. I did so for a number of reasons, a bit of political burnout, a bit of malaise, and a bit of irritation that some things I wanted to do never seemed to get done.

We did, however, take time to celebrate the success of a close friend, Daryl, a man who went to school with our daughter and is the son of our Pastor. He was inducted into the Pittsburg State University Hall of Fame for baseball on Saturday.

DarylCronkDaryl has been a ball player all his life. A pitcher in high school and later in college. He tried out for the majors but didn’t quite make it but did make plenty of personal friends and contacts, and created more when he was a scout for a MLB team. He received a Master’s degree in Sports Administration, was an assistant coach for Central Missouri State University and is now the head coach for Avila University in Kansas City.

DarylCronk-2Daryl has worked hard for his achievements and on Saturday those achievements were recognized. Congratulations, Daryl!

The Muse has left the building

This coming weekend will be a busy one for us. We’re scurrying around, doing errands, going hither and yon in preparation.

I’m taking a short blogging vacation. If I find something to post without too much verbiage, I will. If not…well, “I’ll be back,” says I in my best Schwarzenegger voice, next Monday.

Sadie is for the family

This week seems to be a desert for topical news items. I’ve been hitting the RINOs in Kansas hard the last week or so and I’ve exhausted the topic. The Missouri races are quiet. Tom Sweich is, as best I remember, the only state-wide race of any consequence.

The old political season isn’t over for another month and the new one won’t start until January. The dems are turning on Obama seeking to distance themselves for 2016 and the only other national news concerns Ebola. The first patient with Ebola found in the US has just died.

Then I came across this little video. My wife and I are Robertson fans…even Uncle Si. The Duck Dynasty show is the only one on national TV that portrays a real family in real circumstances and every show ends with a family dinner and prayer. The libs hate it.

One of the Robertsons who has gained a portion of fame outside the show is Sadie Robertson, daughter of Willie and Korie Robertson. She appeared on Dancing with the Stars and here is the video of that event. 

Chasing Pancho Villa

It’s time for another story from my family lore. This one is about Uncle Bill, William Watson. Uncle Bill was born in Scotland, not far from Edinburgh, in 1894. He and the rest of the family immigrated to the US in 1904 when My father was two years old. Grandpa and a few of my Grandmother’s brothers were already in the US, having arrived some years earlier in response to the gold rush in Colorado.

Grandpa and his Brothers-in-law found a small gold strike near Cripple Creek, CO. The mine produced enough for their families to be brought to the US. Grandpa was the one selected to go back to the UK and escort the families to Colorado. This he did.

When the families arrived in Colorado, the Brothers-in-Law were missing and the gold mine was owned by John D. Rockefeller. According to the land records, the Brothers-in-Law sold the mine to Rockefeller three months after Grandpa left for England and disappeared. Grandpa and the rest of the family always believed the disappearance came first in that transaction.

The families of the Brothers-in-Law moved to Pennsylvania where they had other relatives. Grandpa’s family remained in Colorado for a number of years until they were forced to flee to Illinois.

The family settled near Trinidad, CO, to work in the mines. The family trade was hard-rock mining. My father was too young, at that time, to work in the mines like his older brothers, John and Bill.

Uncle John was the oldest and was able to get a scholarship to the Colorado School of Engineering. Uncle bill tried to do the same, anything to escape being a miner. He, unfortunately, lacked the scholarship of Uncle John. Consequently, he chose to escape the mines by joining the Colorado Militia. In 1911, at age 17, he became a cavalry trooper in the Militia.

Colorado had two different militia categories due to the Dick Act of 1903. A year or so later, Uncle Bill’s Militia unit was merged into Colorado’s National Guard. Uncle Bill had been a part-time Militiaman and attending a local Pueblo college on the side while gaining some blacksmithing skills working for the mines.

After being a National Guardsman a few months, the Army nationalized a few of the western Guard units to expand Cavalry coverage of the US border. The Mexican Civil War was building and cross-border raids were becoming a problem. Uncle Bill’s Guard unit was one of those nationalized for a six-month tour guarding the border around El Paso, TX.

Members of the 11th Cavalry, Circa 1913.

Uncle Bill liked being in the Cavalry and transferred to the 11th Cavalry. When the Ludlow Massacre occurred, the 11th was sent to Trinidad to ‘pacify’ the area. There was open warfare in some more remote locations between the miners and the Colorado Militia. When the 11th went to Trinidad, Uncle Bill, assigned to be a farrier, stayed in El Paso. There was the concern that Uncle Bill might not be ‘neutral’ if he went with the 11th to Colorado.

The cross-border excursions from Mexico grew. In 1916, the 11th Cavalry, along with Uncle Bill, was sent into Mexico after Pancho Villa. That trip soured Uncle Bill on his future in the Cavalry. A number of the 11th’s officers had been trained in the German Kavallerie Schule (Cavalry School) during the period after the Spanish-American War of 1898. The Germans did not treat their enlisted troopers well. The officer graduates retained that training when they returned to the US.

It was not uncommon for a German officer to slap or strike an enlisted trooper with the flat of his sabre. A saber-strike, although with the flat of the blade, often caused cuts and other small injuries. US trained Cavalry officers did not strike troopers. They told their NCOs to ‘instruct’ Trooper Smith as necessary. The NCO would then lead the offending Trooper behind the barracks and ‘reason’ with him.

A fight with an NCO was acceptable. In those situations the Trooper could fight back. But, when struck by an Officer, the Trooper could not. That difference caused problems when the 11th was sent into Mexico.

The techniques taught in the US and German Cavalry Schools differed. The US School taught officers to lead with their troops, live with their Troops, and fight with their Troops. The German School did not. They taught their officers to be aloof from their units, to lead from the rear, to ‘manage’ the fight by issuing orders from a vantage point. To the Troopers, this appeared to be cowardice. The opinion of the Troopers were that the German trained officers cared little for their men, that they were brutal and many Troopers said they would shoot any of those officers during a fight if that officer appeared in front of them.

Uncle Bill rejoined the 11th, after their time in Colorado, in New Mexico, and in 1916, under the command of General John Pershing, went into Mexico. For nearly a year, the 11th and other US Army units chased Villa around the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The effort failed to catch Villa and strained relations with Mexico.

Uncle Bill spent World War I with various Cavalry units patrolling the US/Mexican border. He was in high demand for his skills as a farrier and by the end of World War I was promoted to Sergeant. He left the Army in 1920 and entered College at Champaign, IL at the school that would later become the University of Illinois. I don’t know if Uncle Bill actually acquire a degree…I don’t remember if he or Dad ever said. Uncle Bill was hired by the State of Illinois as a highway engineer during the 1920s and would eventually become the state’s Chief Highway Engineer. He died in 1965 in the Veteran’s Hospital near Jefferson Barracks, MO.


My wife reminded me this morning that it’s time to comply with a family tradition—the First Robin Party! The tradition is, when the first robin of the year is seen, we have pizza. My wife  saw two robins in our neighbor’s yard this morning. Pizza for supper.

This family tradition started when my daughter was small. A friend of hers said her mother made a cake for their First Robin party. After a bit of consultation, my wife and daughter decided to substitute pizza for the cake.

Works for me.

Families follow and create traditions all the time for various reasons. Following those traditions help build family cohesiveness and solidarity.

When I was in college, the guy across the hall from my dorm room was an orphan. I can’t remember his name after all these years. We, in the dorm, called him Baby Huey after a cartoon character. He stood well over six feet and weighed accordingly. He had a twin sister and they were raised together in the same orphanage. She lived in another dorm across the street.

In Illinois, at that time, they were both wards of the state until they reached age 21. In practice, once they graduated high school, they were on their own. These two managed to acquire rull-ride scholarships so they could remain together. While still living at the orphanage, they decided they were a family and decided to create a family tradition…their common birthday party.

They both had full-ride scholarships, but the scholarships didn’t cover a lot of expenses. As wards of the state, they were allowed to live in the college-owned dorms at 25% of the standard rate. The two of them still had to cover the remaining 75%, plus the usual expenses for clothes, laundry, and personal items that aren’t free.

That meant they had to work. They opened a common bank account, both deposited their paychecks and they both created a budget and shared the costs. It was preparation for life for they knew in a few years they would be separated. It was the time of the draft. He knew he would have to enter the military on graduation…or skip off to Canada, an unrealistic choice.

One common expense both agreed upon was their birthday party. They called it their Family Day. Both were well known and liked. If I remember correctly after all these years, they decided to have a large party for their 20th birthday because it was likely to be the last one before graduation and the military for him.

They had been saving for some time. They hired a hall from one of the local churches, ordered a large cake and sent invitations to a hundred close friends including the Chancellor of the University, in whose office she interned, and the Deans of both their colleges. She was working towards a degree in government and history, he in accounting.

I was invited but didn’t go. My mother was terminal with cancer and I had obligations at home the weekend of their party. I did see photos in the college paper the following week and stories from those who were able to attend.

The Chancellor and both Deans attended the party. The invitees filled the hall. People talked about the party for months. The two of them, sole members of their family, affirmed a tradition to last their lifetime.

They graduated that year and I lost track of them. Baby Huey, as expected, entered the Army. His sister became a staffer for a local Congressman. I’ve often wondered what happened to them.

Traditions are important. I expect Baby Huey and his sister still celebrate their common birthday together. It was a tradition they created when all they had was each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if their family has grown in the last fifty years, and still celebrate Family Day, a foundation tradition  created by a pair of orphans.


Christmas is over, the holiday, that is. My family celebrated ours with our son-in-law’s parents, our son-in-law, our daughter and the grandkids. It was typical of many family gatherings, probably the majority of households across the country—arrive, greet one another, open presents for kids, watch the paper fly, eat, talk, eat dessert, and finally waddle home.

However, every year, a memory haunts me. Years ago, a couple of decades at least, we were on our way to somewhere for Christmas. We passed a restaurant, one with an empty parking lot except for one car. An old man was looking at the CLOSED sign on the door. All over town, restaurants were closed for the holiday. So were grocery stores. The only businesses open were a few pharmacies and gas stations.

My wife, daughter and I watched him try the door and when it wouldn’t open, walk slowly back to his car. He was alone and had no where to go.

An internet friend found himself in a similar situation. He was a recent widower in his 70s. His wife had died this last year of a long illness, complications of diabetes, I believe.

CHRISTMAS-DINNERHe was a good cook. He had planned on cooking himself a nice Christmas dinner. He started preparing dinner on Monday, leaving the centerpiece, a pork-loin roast, for the last item. On Christmas Eve, all was ready, all he had to do was heat a few items, some rolls on Christmas morning and he was ready: dinner by himself, watch some TV, read, exchange a few emails…a nice Christmas. Alone.

On Christmas Eve, he met a neighbor in similar circumstances. The neighbor was distraught. A son was supposed to come and pick his parent up for Christmas. I don’t know if the neighbor was a man or a woman. The son had called. He was still coming but he was broke. No money to take his parent out for Christmas dinner. The neighbor was on Social Security and also had no money for an unexpected dinner.

My friend gave them his—his dinner he had spent days preparing.

Come Christmas morning, my friend went out looking for dinner. No restaurant was open. No grocery stores were open. He had cleaned out his larder preparing for a dinner he had given away and now had nothing for himself.

If he lived closer, I would have brought him home. Unfortunately, he lives across the country with no close relatives.

At last, he found a few food items on the shelves of a pharmacy. Instead of roast pork loin, he had a TV dinner.

I know people want to be with family on Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years and other holidays. People complain when they have to work, begrudging the time spent away from home and family.

When our next major holiday arrives, let’s remember those who no longer have families to join. Let’s remember the elderly who have outlived their spouse and sometimes their children. Let’s remember the divorced or separated, divided by events from family. Let’s remember those who are alone on the holidays, and lonely.

Who knows, it could be, in a few years…or decades, that lonely person may be you.