Empty neighborhood

Kids registered for school at Mt. Ellis on Sunday, then left for the week on Monday mid-morning.
The Seniors, to Senior Survival, the rest of the student body to an Outdoor School, drifting down the Missouri River to follow the path of Lewis and Clark.
They entered a wilderness area that stretches for 48 miles, where the closest thing to civilization is mosquitoes and pit toilets.

Needless to say, it’s pretty empty around campus… even during the Summer months there were students working, where now there are none.

Ray and I are putting the finishing touches on the dorm remodeling project. Two rooms and a hallway still need to be painted before they come back tomorrow evening. Will we make it? Quien sabe?


August 24, 2009 – CASH FOR CODGERS

What a cool piece of humor! Wish I’d have thought of it. I got it from email, and I’ll share it through this venue.

“Democrats, realizing the big success of the President’s “Cash For Clunkers” rebate program, have revamped a major portion of the Obama Nationalization – Health Care Plan.

President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Sen. Reid are expected to make this major announcement at a joint news conference later this week. I have obtained an advanced copy of the proposal which is named….

“CASH FOR CODGERS” and it works like this… Couples wishing to access health care funds in order to pay for the delivery of a child will be required to turn in one old person on the day of delivery. The amount the government grants them will be fixed according to a sliding scale. Older and more prescription dependent codgers will garner the highest amounts.

Special “Bonuses” will be paid for those submitting codgers in targeted groups, such as smokers, alcohol drinkers, persons 10 pounds over their government prescribed weight, – and any member of the Republican Party.

Smaller bonuses will be given for codgers who consume beef, soda, fried foods, potato chips, lattes, whole milk, dairy products, bacon, Brussel sprouts, cheese, or Girl Scout Cookies.

All codgers will be rendered totally useless via a toxic injection, – similar to that given to the engines of the ‘clunker’ trade ins. This will insure that they, like the vehicle ‘clunkers’ are not secretly resold (traded in) or their body parts harvested to keep other codgers in repair and among society.

Judging by this I should be gone soon. I’ll miss you guys…”

On another note…

Thought I’d share Evelyn’s new look with ya’ll. You can never tell what secrets people hide behind their “shades.”

No, I haven’t been beating her up! She was trying to keep Jolie from chasing a rabbit, and she held onto the lease too long.

Just a quick update this morning. After experiencing a severe disc rupture nearly a month ago and losing a good share of the use of my left leg, I am pretty much back to normal. I still have some numbness in two toes, but have regained most of the use of my leg. I walk with a limp, but at least I can walk! Praise God!
I have worked three full days this week and none too soon… the students start returning to school this weekend, and school officially starting on Monday.
The students will be leaving Monday afternoon for a week of outdoor school, which is great, since the dorm is not yet legally ready for occupancy! All the other tradesmen, ie electrical, security, fire, etc., are working panic hours, also.

August 12, 2009 – Petriglyphs and more

On our way out of Hot Springs Co., WY the other day, we took a side trip to the banks of Cottonwood Creek to view the ancient Petriglyphs. The gravel road took us a couple of miles along the opposite bank from Hamilton Dome, then dropped over the edge to a parking area. A short walk from there started the Petriglyphs… more than 280 individual pictures carved into the stone cliffs.

Here are a few of the hundred or so that I photographed..along with my impressions.

The figure on top looks to be a Big Horn Sheep.

Four unusual figures here. There are 3 animals and one person in outline, rather than “blocked-in” figures. The person seems to be holding a slingshot.

This a better view of the creatures with the pincher on the end of his tail.

Is this the devil with pitchfork and horns?

Right after snapping this photo, I looked down at the trail and began to walk. Beside me, partially hidden under a rock was a good-sized rattlesnake! It appeared to be about 1 1/2″ in diameter and two-and-a-half feet long. In my excitement, I called out for Evelyn to come see it. She declined. I was so taken aback by the sight of it that I totally forgot my camera that was hanging around my neck.

It looks to me like the lizard on the far-right was made first, because the solid-bodied figure in the middle overlaps it, which in turn is overlapped by the stick figure coming over across the rock fissure on the left.

No doubt about it. A bunny. They may have had bunny clubs long before “Heff” thought of it.

Another large head. Possibly an alien. Or the original Cat-in-the-Hat!

Some of the artists may have been Jewish. This looks like a Menorah candlestick.

It’s hard to say whether this represents a person or animal. It may be a happy woman, for there appears to be a set of twins under her.

Figure on the right appears to be much older. looks like a large-headed alien. Figure on the left may represent a human/alien breeding program.

Head is to the lower left, with teeth exposed. Very stout legs and tail. Possibly a dino?

August 14, 2009 – Is this guy RIGHT or WHAT?

A classmate sent me this link, which I have copied here with full credits.

Joseph Farah

None dare call it totalitarianism

Posted: August 12, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009

I’m not going to make the case that America under Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress has become a totalitarian police state.

But, I will make the case that Washington is leading us in that direction.

What do you call it when the government asks its supporters to “snitch” on opponents of its policies?

What do you call it when the government wants to monitor broadcasts and establish itself as the guardian of “fairness” on the airwaves?

What do you call it when the government seeks to take over the private and personal health-care decisions of the people – establishing bureaucracies to make life-and-death decisions and banning unapproved transactions between doctors and patients?

What do you call it when the government hires and fires the top executives of major corporations and redirects their corporate policies?

What do you call it when government officials refuse to turn over documents necessary to establishing whether they are constitutionally eligible to hold office?

What do you call it when the government funds political extremist groups that have broken the law in successful efforts to empower leaders?

What do you call it when the government turns the Census, designed as a tool to ensure representative government, into a weapon designed to spy on the most personal aspects of the life of citizens?

What do you call it when the government becomes the sole arbiter of whether you can keep some of any of the wealth you accumulated legally?

What do you call it when the government ignores the laws of the land and replaces them with the arbitrary whims of men?

What do you call it when the government picks and chooses winners and losers in the business marketplace?

What do you call it when the government strikes fear into the hearts of the sovereign citizens it is supposed to serve?

What do you call it when the government metes out punishment not just for criminal actions, but for “criminal thoughts”?

What do you call it when honest and open expressions of dissent are characterized as the expressions of “angry mobs”?

What do you call it when government-created joblessness is used to promote policies of government control?

What do you call it when the government exceeds its authority under the Constitution and ignores any limits on its power?

I don’t know about you, but I call those questions harbingers of totalitarianism.

That’s where America is headed – maybe not today, tomorrow or next week, but soon, if this trend continues.

Everything for which America has stood for the last 230 years is under attack – not by angry mobs, not citizen lawlessness, not from threats by external enemies, but from those in charge of government.

A top-down revolution is under way – and far too many in the “watchdog media,” the courts, the opposition party, the churches, the military, the local and state government and the citizenry are just standing around doing nothing, saying nothing.

That’s how it begins. That’s how it always begins.

Americans tend to think “it can’t happen here.” In truth, America’s unique experiment with freedom has been brief. It not only can happen here, it will happen here, unless the American public once again becomes vigilant about protecting liberty, unless it rediscovers the principles upon which this great nation was founded and unless it turns to God as its rightful and only king rather than submit to servitude by earthly masters.

It’s really that simple.

Profound changes are under way. They are on fast-forward. Americans are being seduced into a serfdom and slavery.

The specter of totalitarianism hovers like a dark cloud dressed up in euphemisms that would make Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong proud.

Recognize what is on the horizon. Recognize what is around the corner. Recognize what is surely coming our way.

Pray that America is worthy of escaping, for a time, the fate of every previous empire in the history of the world.

My “take” on it.

People who use the rhetoric… no mater how true it is… will always be branded by the ignorant as dissidents.
I don’t know that we can do much about what is the inevitable course that our country has been taking.
It is the result of having made science our religion, humanism our way of life and declaring there is no God and denying our children the right to talk about the one true God in school.

Like the wise man said so many years ago, “… a little slumbering, a little closing of the eyes.. ” is all it takes. When America wakes up it’ll be too late.

Aug. 7 , 2009 – Dipping into History

Judging by the chain of storms coming into the Bozeman area over the next week and having not much to do because of a “gimpy leg,” e decided to hit the road going south and east. Heading toward Billings, we turned off of I-94 at Laurel.

We were indeed pelted with heavy rains almost all the way to Big Timber. Then again down by Bridger. From Bridger to Deaver there wasn’t much rain but the electrical storm was awesome! At one point we pulled into a turnout and just watched the beauty of it.

We pulled into Deaver, WY just before sundown, and decided that this would be as good a place as any to spend the night. We had supper, then walked around the quaint little town. Six blocks of walking was about all I could handle.

In the morning Jolie and I went out for a potty walk, where I had spotted some strange equipment in a field. As near as I can tell, it is WWII vintage… maybe personnel carriers. One looks like it might be a small tank.

Continuing on the next morning, we arrived at our southernmost destination, Thermopolis, WY. The town is located near the center of Hot Springs County, within an Indian Reservation. The land, ten square miles around the springs, was ripped off from the Indians in 1896 for $60,000 payable in cash, skinny cows, bad bacon, sugar and coffee to be paid out over a six year period. In 1897 one square mile encircling the spring was given to the state of Wyoming. In 1929 it officially became Hot Springs State Park.

It is touted as the world’s largest mineral hot springs, producing just under 2.7 million gallons per day at 128 F. There are several privately run facilities here where an admission is charged, but according to the original treaty, one-fourth of the water must be free for public use. So, there is a very nice bathhouse that is free.

The surrounding park is very well maintained. A showpiece is the Tepee Dome, a fountain that was started in 1903 as a 30’ high pipe with a pile of bricks around it to hold it up. Today it is a beautiful Travitine sculpture.

We are staying just outside of town at the Fountain of Youth, a small park at the site of an accidental hot spring. In 1916, while attempting to drill for oil, the contractor hit hot water instead. The well appears to be an 6” casing that is bubbling hot water a couple of feet into the air. Although this location is across the river from the state park, it is producing more than half as much water per day!

The owner, Ron,, also owns the Fountain of Youth Motel in town. Nearly every night he puts on a one-man concert of cowboy and gospel music. His style and voice reminds me a little of Willie Nelson. Then on Sunday mornings about 9:30 or 10 o’clock he preaches a worship service. I understand that he goes to China for 6 weeks or so every year for evangelism with his son.

We took a little drive into the countryside to do some exploring. A point on the map showed “Hamilton Dome.” That sounded like a mountain to explore, so we turned that-a-way. When we got to Hamilton Dome, though, it wasn’t a peculiar mountain… except that it was a very common ridge, covered with ARCO oil wells!

Not far from there we spotted this abandoned schoolhouse. We discovered later that it was the Padlock Elementary School, named for the nearby Padlock Ranch. It was one of many identical buildings constructed throughout the county to educate the ranch children.

There is a restored school building just like it in Thermopolis at the museum.
I included the interior photo because it shows the kind of plastering that my father was doing when I started going onto the jobs with him in the mid-1950’s… horse hair reinforced gypsum plaster, over wood lath.

This school, although it had electricity, it did not have indoor plumbing… as evidenced from the “his & her’s” behind the school.