Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Step Five

Beautiful sunrise over a mountain near Deming, New Mexico circa 2007

After a hard day of playing pirates with the Grandkids, I settled down on my comfy chair, that really isn’t very comfy. Wish I had one of those Lay-Z-Boys. But I was so exhausted that I sat there anyway and watched some TV. Mrs. Spadoman was watching a PBS show called “The American Experience”. It’s a pretty good series. Usually interesting. This show was about Las Vegas. From the beginning to now.

It touched on the West side of town where only black folks lived in the 1950’s. Because of the Jim Crow laws, Las Vegas was separated like much of the south. Not even the top entertainers like Sammy Davis Jr. or Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald were allowed to stay in hotels where they brought in packed audiences to their shows.

They told a few stories about people who are addicted to gambling. These compulsive gamblers are a hard bunch to understand. They don’t put anything into their bodies like the alcoholic or drug addict, but the addictive behavior is just as hard on them and elicits thoughts of suicide just as the depression from alcohol might do when a person is at the depths of their addiction.

The growth over the years in Las Vegas. The Rat Pack, those naughty guys from Oceans Eleven. Sinatra, Davis Jr. Lawford, Bishop and Dean Martin. They’d do a show and openly drink freely and appear drunk on stage. They cavorted with strange women. They gave the name “Sin City” to Las Vegas. Of course a few law changes were made to make room for the African American in the hotels and casinos. Pressure by the NAACP asked them to allow freedom and stop a color barrier, but it was money that was the great equalizer.

The Rat Pack in the 1950's

In 1996, I was working on a movie set in Minnesota. I was part of the special effects crew for a movie called “Feeling Minnesota”. It had Keanu Reeves and Cameron Diaz. Vince D’Onofrio, Dan Akroyd. A pretty cool cast.

Reeves was to himself, Cameron Diaz, a beauty in every sense of the word, cooked on the catering truck on her day off. Vince was a good guy and Akroyd the consummate professional.

The movie shot around Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN for a number of weeks. I ran cars off a cliff, I staged accidents, I slammed doors, I made water run out of faucets, I made it look windy when it wasn’t. Fun mechanical effects.

When the shooting was complete in Minnesota, the movie set went to Las Vegas for a couple of weeks. There was no one who wanted to drive the props truck back to hollywood after the two week stay in Vegas. Since there were no F/X needed in Vegas, I volunteered to drive Props.

I set out and arrived in Las Vegas a day before I was suppose to arrive. I couldn’t check into the hotel the crew was staying in until the next day, so I stayed at the San Trophe’ across the street from the Hard Rock. I’d get my room at the Hard Rock tomorrow when the rooms reserved for our shooting crew would be ready.

I spent the day fooling around. Nothing to do work wise until tomorrow, so, I ventured in to a couple of clubs I’d been to before and a couple where I had tried like crazy to arrest the one armed bandits only to walk away broke.

We set up the lot on the Stardust Parking lot. My job was to get the props truck there and unlocked and accessible 1/2 hour before call time every day. Get it plugged in and the a/c on. That was an easy chore. I was to be available to run to a store or warehouse if something was needed. Then, at days end, lock up and secure everything until the next day. I didn’t actually have anything to do with props. I just drove the truck and took care of the vehicle.

The Stardust was torn down in 2006 to make way for another Hotel Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

That pretty much meant that I had a lot of time from when I got it set up to when I had to lock it up. I was on two-way radio if I was needed to run and pick something up. I didn’t venture very far away, but I did utilize the Stardust, the Frontier which was next door, and the Riviera across Las Vegas Blvd.

I got to know that Stardust like the back of my hand. I had a good set of dollar poker machines to work and did fairly well at Blackjack. The Frontier was a lower echelon place and had small payouts, but I seemed to hold my own there. The Riviera was a cruel place to me, so I didn’t cross the street much at all.

When the day was over, back home to the Hard Rock. Great hotel. The pool had natural sandy beaches and a swim up bar. The music was great and pumped through the intercom 24/7. That was also the name of where I ate most of my off set meals, Lucky’s 24/7. They had a prime rib sandwich to kill for. Breakfast was great, complete with bloody mary’s or mimosas, or both.

Some gambling on the floor at the Hard Rock and I had a full day. The next morning saw the routine play itself out again. Riding high in April, shot down in May. Win a bunch, lose a bunch. Up and down.

Then, one night at the Hard Rock, this young gal was dealing the blackjack and this guy was playing with cash. Hundred dollar bills, laying down five of them at a time, playing two holes. Others sat in at the table. The shoe had gone wild and everyone was winning.

I jumped in on the action and was betting heavily against her inexperience and the luck of the shoe. One after another she was giving away the house. Where Mr. Bigbucks was betting $500., I was betting $100. But winning all the same. It seemed every time she’d bust. We were sitting on 12 and doubling down on ace eight.

I pulled in over $6000 that round until the pit boss threw her off the table and started dealing himself until the replacement came in and settled things down. This gave me a pocketful to spend at the Stardust on the ponies, the video poker and the blackjack.

I wandered over to the Frontier, next to the Stardust. Not as glamorous and with lower table limits, but I hit a great couple of shoes there and put another couple of grand in my pocket. Now I was flush. I hit the Riviera.

The Riviera didn’t pay too well and I lost a bunch. Back at the Stardust, I held my own for a few days. Since I was working and had to be close by, I didn’t have many places where the two-way radio would work, so if they needed me, I could get right back to the set. When I was done for the day, I was staying at the Hard Rock, so that was my playground. I didn’t venture too far away.

Mrs. Spadoman flew into Las Vegas and rented a car after I had been there a while. Since I was working on the road, she came to spend some time with me. Her lodging was with me. She never gambles. There is no way, as she says it, that she’s gonna give them machines her money.

She spent her days walking up and down the strip. She had a ball doing simple things like people watching or watching the free shows that the big casinos put on. She also was well entertained at the exhibits and features that were on display in each large scale casino. MGM Grand, Luxor, Treasure Island, Caesar’s Palace. Man, the list is endless and there are new ones now popping up like dandelions.

After the Vegas shoot was complete, I packed up the truck and drove to Los Angeles. I went to some seedy storage lot and dropped the truck off to the props manager. She took care of getting it empty and returned to the rental company. I spent a few days in LA, then headed home.

After all that time in Las Vegas and gambling everyday, I ended up coming home with nothing but my last paycheck that I had earned. I had lost all my previous paychecks and what I had won at the casinos as well. It didn’t stop in Las Vegas either. It was every casino everywhere I went that got a piece of my wallet.

It was the beginning of the end for me. It isn’t with any bravado that I tell you that I am a compulsive gambler and that I go to 12 step GA meetings once per week at least. I’ve been involved with GA for a little over four years. That’s how long I have been in recovery. I didn’t stay away from gambling al,l that time though. I had slips. I’d go three to four months, then try to see if I could go to a casino and gamble for entertainment. You know, spend $25 or $30 dollars and leave. I couldn’t, and every time I tried, I failed myself again and fell deeply into thew pit of despair.

The cover of the Gamblers Anonymous "Combo Book", and the Serenity Prayer.

In January of 2009, I attended a program in Cleveland, Ohio at the Brecksville VA hospital. I wrote about being in Cleveland, but not about the reason I spent time there last Winter. The program is a five week in patient gambling addiction program. I was away from my home and family for this time. It wasn’t like I was out there taking a trip. I was in treatment. I’m not sure what it was about going to treatment for gambling, but I haven’t gone since I returned home. In fact, the last time I went to a casino was October 23rd, 2008. I know this because the check book register had me doing a cash withdrawal on that date.

Step Five says, "Admitted to myself and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." I figured there is no better way than to say it publicly, here in front of you. Write it all out and say it, believe it, then live my life differently and rid myself of compulsion to gamble. Attempt to alleviate this problem One Day at a Time.

I am proud to say I am coming up on my first year of being sober from gambling and I feel great about it. I attend a weekly Gamblers Anonymous meeting here in my hometown. I read the daily affirmations in a couple of books. I pray, to a higher power of my own understanding, and ask that the spirit guides and helpers walk with me every moment of every day and keep me from slipping back into a life of pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.

The movie business was a fun way to make a living, but not for me when I worked in Las Vegas. Now you know a bit more about me.

Peace to all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Truth, to a Point

Put your head in the clouds, it's fun and easy to do!

I told you about my last motorcycle trip, and I mentioned that I went on an errand, a 430 mile errand, for my friend, to pick up a part for his ailing BMW which sat, with him, at his brother’s home in Princeton, IL. I was to meet him in Iowa City, IA. When I arrived there on the morning of September first, I reached into my tank bag and grabbed my cell phone. I didn’t hear it if it rang while I was riding, and wouldn’t answer it if I had. But sure enough, there was a message for me to listen to. I automatically assumed it was the message telling me what time my friend left Princeton and when I could expect him in Iowa City. Instead, it was the sound of a distraught pal telling me the trip was off because of the above mentioned part and his ailing bike.

I immediately called him back and found him between calls to bike shops, desperately trying to find this part locally. By locally in Princeton, IL, I mean Chicago and the region around there. Princeton is about 100 miles from the big shouldered city. I hung up, and waited around as Hal was to call me back after he heard from a dealer more south in the state. Sure enough, the phone rang and he had found the part in Champaign/Urbana, IL. This is a college town area, and I knew it to be in a line from Davenport, IA through Peoria and Bloomington.

I offered to go fetch the part. I’d slide East along I-80 to I-74 and head South in Illinois. I-74 took me all the way to Champaign/Urbana, and I’d use I-57 to head South a couple of miles to get to the dealership. I knew this after I called and asked directions, telling them I’d be coming into town via I-74.

Here's a map of the parts running portion of my trip.

I made the trip, all on the interstate, which, by the way, is not my usual route. I strongly prefer the two lane roads less traveled. But this was a mission. This was a special errand to get this part and bring it to Hal so he could install it and we could resume our trip in the morning.

Interstate riding is, to say the least, a PITA. (Pain In The A**), I hate it. High speeds, traffic, heavy trucks, most traffic doesn’t see you on a motorcycle, strong wind currents, dust and debris thrown off from trucks, rocks, construction zones and my list goes on and on. But I persevered and did it anyway. Hal’s only option was a lumbering 4-wheel drive snow plow truck which would have taken him hours and a small fortune in gas. On the motorcycle and already on the road, it would be best and less expensive for me to do it. I sacrificed myself and my pleasure to take this ride and accept the challenge.

I made the run and got to Hal with the part, safe and sound, by 4:15 p.m. It was 9:45 a.m. when I left Iowa City. I had done the mileage in six and a half hours, averaging 66.15 miles per hour. The speed limit on most of the interstate route was 70, with the occasional slow down for construction or going through a large city which backed it down to 45 and 55 miles per hour respectively.

When I left the BMW dealer in Champaign/Urbana and headed back North on I-57, I found myself hemmed in by a group of five motorcycle riders that “stood” in the left lane and were impeding traffic flow. These five bikers all were wearing “colors”, and those were of the Outlaws. The Outlaws have been known to not only impede traffic, but to actually stop the flow with the proverbial we-own-the-road attitude. There was a time on this earth when the Outlaws, in small groups like this, would torment other drivers, especially motorcycle riders that weren’t on a Harley Davidson. You all know I ride a Triumph Tiger. I big orange Triumph Tiger.

Marlon Brando rode a Triumph in the 1950's movie "The Wild One", which also starred Lee Marvin. Back then, the biker attitude was already getting a start with the AMA calling only one percent of motorcycle riders bad guys. The Outlaws took this one percent and called themselves One Percenters. Read more on the links provided, it's history, real Americana history.

Famous shot of Marlon Brando as Johnny Strabler in "The Wild One" from 1953.

I was running pretty good and ran up behind them. There I stayed, close, but not tail gating close. I was eager to pass them and continue on my journey. I thought for sure I’d only have to go the next two miles to the I-74 interchange and I’d be getting off and headed West, but they also wanted to take this route. From the left lane, they lazidazically used arm signals and changed lanes to take the exit. I followed, a little closer as time and distance went under our tires.

A member of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club showing his "Colors"

I followed them through the cloverleaf and was headed West on I-74. They got into the left lane again and with truck traffic and other auto traffic a little heavy, I found myself stranded behind them, and here I wanted to make time. I found my opening, a space between two semi trucks. I could pass them all, in one fell swoop, on the right and get back to the left lane in front of them before I came up on the rear of the leading 18 wheeler.

I twisted the throttle and dropped down into third gear. The Triumph roared to life and when I looked at the speedo, just a few seconds after attempting the maneuver, I saw it at 107 mph. I twisted it a little harder and got it up to 114 and counted to ten in my head, then I let off and let it coast back down to 80. I looked in the mirror and didn’t see the Outlaw bikers. I resumed my ride and mission along the interstate and found light traffic after a time.

Here’s that POINT I mentioned in the title.

I’m going to write three endings to this story. You decide which one is true. It may be obvious, but I also found which one would be the most adventurous or the most daring. All facts and descriptions above this are true as told. Yes, Virginia, I did break the speed limit law. As my by line suggests, only the truth is spoken here. So, read the three choices and let me know what you think.

1st Ending) An hour later, I had taken off from the interstate and was traveling North on a two lane county road. The desolation of the rural road was wonderful compared to the frantic hell bent for leather pace of the freeway. I was enjoying the ride, but nature called. This might be the only time when I wish I could have pulled onto an exit and used facilities at a convenience store. But here, there were acres and acres of corn, corn standing over ten feet tall as it was September and near the end of the growth cycle, getting ready for harvest.

I pulled off the roadway and onto the shoulder, getting way over into the gravel and a level spot. I took off my gloves and helmet and set them down on the seat. I walked the short twenty yards into the corn and went in three rows deep. Three rows in a full grown corn field will hide you from the road, yet allow you to see the road. A few more rows in and you could get lost if you forget your bearings.

When I was doing my business, one large semi blasted by. The noise was still dopplering out of range when I finished and I heard a rumble. The Outlaws. They had found my path and finally caught up with me. By the time I zippered and returned towards my bike, they were all dismounting around where I was parked.

I came towards them. I raised my hands in the air and said, “Hey, guys. I’m an old man. I was just doing an errand for a friend, just like you’d do for one of your brothers. I was in a hurry, I meant no disrespect.”

One of the bikers, the leader no less, also put his hands in the air and said, “No man, that’s cool. We just saw your bike on the side of the road and thought you had a breakdown or were in trouble. We just wanted to see if we could be of help.”

I said, “No, I just had to take a leak. I told you, I’m an old man.” A smile had shown up on my face and I saw where they were smiling too. The anxiety went away as before this moment, I thought them to possibly be a threat to life and limb, my life and limb.

As I was getting ready to ride, these bikers looked over my steed closely and asked me, “What you got in that thing? It goes like a muthafucka!”

I answered,”It’s a fuel injected 1050 triple. The chain passes out 115 horses at the rear wheel.”

“Cool. I watched you go around us and you were gone in like, three seconds flat!” another said.

I waved and got on the road. The bikers mounted up at the signal of the Outlaw leader, and made a u-turn and headed away from me in the opposite direction. I completed my journey and delivered the part to my friend.

Here's a couple of folks in traditional stereotypical biker garb exhibiting traditional stereotypical biker behavior. Must be in Wisconsin, I can see a "Cheesehead" in the lower right of this photo.

2nd Ending) An hour later, I had taken off from the interstate and was traveling North on a two lane county road. The desolation of the rural road was wonderful compared to the frantic hell bent for leather pace of the freeway. I was enjoying the ride, but nature called. This might be the only time when I wish I could have pulled onto an exit and used facilities at a convenience store. But here, there were acres and acres of corn, corn standing over ten feet tall as it was September and near the end of the growth cycle, getting ready for harvest.

I pulled off the roadway and onto the shoulder, getting way over into the gravel and a level spot. I took off my gloves and helmet and set them down on the seat. I walked the short twenty yards into the corn and went in three rows deep. Three rows in a full grown corn field will hide you from the road, yet allow you to see the road. A few more rows in and you could get lost if you forget your bearings.

When I was doing my business, one large semi blasted by. The noise was still dopplering out of range when I finished and I heard a rumble. The Outlaws. They had found my path and finally caught up with me. By the time I zippered and returned towards my bike, they were all dismounting around where I was parked.

I trotted, no, ran back to my bike, but I was too late. They were upon me with angry scowls on their faces. They looked mean, as was the point of facial hair, a lot of leather and some chain drive jewelry and spikes hanging from them. They were all big boys. I didn‘t let the big guts fool me. I knew that every fat guy wasn’t a weakling with myself being a case in point. Their reputation of Outlaw lawmen, taking their own justice into their own hands, made me feel like this was going to be a big problem and maybe I shouldn’t have passed them on the road.

The ring leader spoke, “You dissed us man. You made us look bad out there in front of the public. Now you gonna pay, bastard.”

He stepped towards me. I grabbed my helmet strap and swung it in one motion. I caught him good, right on the temple. He went down. Another was close enough for me to catch with a size 12 to the groin, and another to the solar plexus. He went down writhing, trying to catch the breath he lost to my leather boot.

A blow glanced by my ear and I turned and ran into that corn. Thinking I could out smart them and make a chase of it, I went in deep. I knew I took the chance of getting my bike hammered into oblivion, but it was worth it to hike to a nearby farm house to save my own hide and sacrifice the iron. I went left, then right, then left and another right, and right and left. I counted rows when I lost site of the daylight that was the open county road. I heard them shuffling trying to keep up. I went for it and blasted through into the open about 30 feet from my bike. I managed to kick over two of the behemoth Harleys before I swung a leg over my steed and turned the key, still in the ignition, at the same time. I left my helmet and gloves at the scene. The Triumph came to life and I slung gravel and fishtailed onto the hard top. In my mirror, I saw the three bikers left standing shaking their fists. The other two were still on the ground. One knocked out, the other holding his groin. I sped away and made tracks in a totally different direction, heading back East for a bit before heading North and my ultimate direction.

They look innocent enough I guess

3rd Ending) I kept riding down the interstate and never saw the Outlaws again. I had fun thinking of the adventure that might have been, maybe in an earlier time and place, as my mind wandered while riding the monotonous route of the errand. I made it safely to Princeton and delivered the part to my friend a few hours later and told him of my adventure.

The famous Slippery Sam Triumph in its natural habitat, the race track

Authors Notes: Easy to find the correct ending. But I did have fun allowing my imagination to wonder how it might have gone down in, say, 1966, on the road ands confronting a pack of Outlaw Bikers. Here's more information about the Outlaws from National Geographic.

I guess my feeling is that it is 2009 and if they are still alive, they must have stopped drinking and drugging a long time ago. I know I did, and if I hadn’t, well, I just wouldn’t still be around today to even remember as my brain would be fried or my liver spent or both.

Another side note:

I mention in one of the first two paragraphs that I "hung up" the phone. But it was a cell phone. Now I have a problem with this. You really don’t “hang up” a cell phone, do you. The phrase is outdated. You used to “hang up” the receiver of a land line phone. You physically took the hand set and hung it on a cradle of the one you had at home. I no longer have a land line phone. We each have a cell phone, Mrs. Spadoman and I, and these are considered to be our “home” phones.

So, if you don’t hang them up, what do you say. The phone itself, at least my phone, has the words “call ended” come up on the little bitty screen. I know it says this because one time, I actually used my cheaters to see what it said and it said call ended.

Can anyone come up with, or actually know, what the new vernacular would be, or is, when you “hang up” after a call on the cell phone?

“I folded on him” Closing the phone by folding it in half.

“I slid on her” Sliding the cover of the phone back to shut it off.

“I pressed the red button on him” Pressing the red button ends a call on my Motorola Razr

“I ended the call on her” The call simply ended.

"I pocketed on him" Putting the cell phone back into its case or into a pocket

"I pursed her" Placing the cell phone back into a purse.

It just don’t have the oooomph that “I hung up on the bastard” has, does it?


Thursday, September 24, 2009

How Many Jobs Have You had?

This is a list of places I worked for and received a W-2 or a 1099 for my wages. I also included a few businesses that I ran as a proprietor.

They are not in chronological order because I remembered some after I wrote and numbered the list.

I can remember many bits and pieces about any of these jobs, some more than others. When I say I was a truck driver, I did drive the truck, but I also might have had something to do with the freight I was hauling or equipment that I operated, so many of these truck driving jobs were skilled positions. Thank you for allowing me to toot my own small horn.

I don’t have a favorite because I never minded work, it was employment that I couldn’t stand.

If you have any questions, comments or small world stories, feel free to comment and ask away. I'd be delighted to have a conversation. In actuality, it has occurred to me that in writing articles like this, conversation is exactly what I seek.


1 Jewel Tea Co. (grocery store chain in Chicagoland)
Stock Boy

2 FMC Corp.
Fork Lift operator, warehouse worker

3 Jackson Storage and Van (Allied Van Lines, Moving)
Furniture Mover/Helper

4 US Army
Infantry Platoon Sergeant, Vietnam

5 Jackson Storage and Van, (Again)
Truck Driver, Furniture Mover

6 Park Associates (Mechanical Engineering Firm)
Metal Trades Worker (Pipefitter)

7 Labeled Metal Products (Sheet Metal Products Mfg.)
Truck Driver, Local and Over the Road

8 Neptune Movers
Truck Driver, Furniture Mover

9 State of Minnesota Highway Department
Highway Maintenance Worker

10 Arlington House (Adolescent Boys Group Home)
Youth Counselor

11 Hirte Transfer, (Moving Company)
Truck Driver, Furniture Mover

12 Twin City Picture Frame ( Picture Frame Retailer)
Shop Manager

13 Lasalle Cartage (Freight Delivery)
Truck Driver

14 State of Minnesota (Distribute Gov’t Goods)
Truck Driver/ Property Screener

15 St Croix Camp (Juvenile Corrections Facility)
Correctional Counselor

16 Countryside Piano and Furniture
Piano and furniture refinishing, Delivery

17 Mission Creek Boys Ranch (Group Home)
Program Director

18 Pine County Social Services
Home Health Aid

19 Pine City Schools
Substitute Teacher

20 Therapeutic Foster Services (Group Home)
21 Pine Technical College
Program Coordinator

22 Coast to Coast Hardware
Hardware Clerk

23 Pine City Fuel
Truck Driver, fuel delivery

24 Rypkema Oil
Truck Driver, fuel delivery

25 An Independent Moving co in the Cities (Forget Name)
Truck Driver, furniture mover

26 Laroche Industries (Industrial Ammonia Delivery)
Truck Driver, Field Technician

27 Seagull Outfitters (Boundary Waters Canoe Outfitter)
Canoe Trip Guide

28 Mill City Sourdough Bakery

29 Minnesota Diversified Industries
Warehouse manager, Truck Driver

30 Union 76 Gas Station
Driveway Sales, Oil Changer

31 Crown Oil Co. (E-Z Stop Stores)
Truck Driver

32 Camp Menogyn (YMCA Camp)
Cook, Caretaker

33 Poplar Lake Lodge

34 & 35 Hungry Jack Lodge, (2 times)

36 Tiararado Country Club

37 7th Street Cafe
Diner Cook

38 Roger Bauer Trucking
Truck Driver

39 Waterfront Diner
Diner Cook

40 The Exchange (Bakery and Catering)
Bakery Helper/Cook/Chef

41 Motion Picture Production, (Minneapolis, MN Teamsters Union Hall)
Truck Driver, Equipment Operator, Limo Driver
Beautiful Girls
Feeling Minnesota
HBO TV Movie, Hunt For Justice
Mighty Ducks 3
Grumpier Old Men
Overnight Delivery
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Sugar and Spice
A Simple Plan
Joe Somebody
*With or Without You, TV Commercials

Note: In motion picture production, truck driving is a mixed bag. I have driven the grips, the electricians, the make up people, the wardrobe people, movie stars, extras, props, special effects and driven limousine.

42 In Gods Hands, (Los Angeles)
Only In America, (Los Angeles, HBO)

43 PMFX ( A Special Effects Company)
Truck Driver

44 PMFX again
Mechanical Effects Technician

45 Nike Commercial
Stunt Driver

46 Sturm F/X (A Special Effects Co.)
Truck Driver, snowmaker

47 Parkview Cafe

48 & 49 Temp Agencies ( 2 times)
Truck Driver
Tomato Sorter

50 Midwest Laminates (Cabinet Mfg)
Truck Driver, shop work

51 Jimmy Rogers Trucking
Truck Driver, potatoes

52 Larry Neff Trucking
Truck Driver, Bulk milk from farm

53 Elk Creek Transfer
Truck Driver, livestock

54 Mike Anderson Trucking
Truck Driver, Empty bottles for brewery

55 JJ’s Cleaning (Janitorial Service)

56 Hirte Transfer (Furniture Moving Co.)
Truck Driver

57 Chain link fence company, installer and truck driver

I Owned and Operated the Following Businesses

58 Joe and Roy’s Piano Movers
59 Acme Piano Movers
60 Joe’s Moving Co.
61 Joe Spado Maintenance Service
62 Spadoman Coffee (Coffee Wholesaler)
63 Snowshoe MFG. Co.
64 Westside Workshop (Snowshoe and Craft Workshop)

Others I forgot

65 Maywood Herald Newspaper delivery
66 Proviso Sentinel Newspaper delivery
67 Minneapolis Star and Tribune Newspaper delivery
68 Minnesota Historical Society
Tour Guide
69 Fond Du Luth Casino
Kitchen Helper
70 Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Security Guard
71 Evergreen Industries (Christmas Wreath MFG)
Seasonal Truck Driver, 4 years straight

* The Motion picture production work was mostly done through the Minneapolis Local 638 Teamsters Union Hall, with each picture shoot a separate job, but I counted all the motion pictures as one. I actually worked for three other production companies that were not from the Teamsters Union Hall.

These would be Numbers 72, 73 and 74
The Movie was
With or Without You
And TV Commercials for

More Forgetfulness

75 Saint Paul Public Schools School Lunch Program
Truck Driver

76 Eat This! Catering and Craft Service
Cook, Helper

77 Gazda Mayflower Moving Co
Truck Driver

78 Smith Transfer
Dock Worker

79 Korf Rubbish
Truck Driver/Garbage Helper

80 Clearwater Lodge
Building Maintenance Worker

81 Grand Marais Public Schools
Substitue Teacher

If you got this far and actually read this list, I applaud you. Now imagine actually living this.

Peace to all, have a great day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some Good in the World

I received this via e-mail and I liked it so much, I thought I'd share. It is only four minutes long and speaks volumes about humanity. Here is the caption that came with the e-mail:

This video was made in the  Antwerp , Belgium Central (Train) Station on the 23rd of March 2009.
 . . . with no warning to the passengers passing through the station at 08:00 am a recording of Julie Andrews singing 'Do, Re, Mi' begins to play on the public address system.
As the bemused passengers watch in amazement, some 200 dancers begin to appear from the crowd and station entrances.
They created this amazing stunt with just two rehearsals!

Hope it brings a smile to your face. By the way, this post will stand in as an "Only the Good Friday" kind of thing, dontcha think?

Peace to All.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Spadoman's Thoughts Today

Just checking in with a few thoughts. Seems like the creative originality faucet is turned off these days for me. That's okay. No one seems to be really going nuts with stories, and the news these days is stagnant with the health care issue and how the right is protesting, in their own way, the current policies of the Obama administration.

I'm pleased at so many things that Obama has already put into place. I understand how hard it is to press for more change from the eight years of hard line neo con policies from the Bu$hCo presidency. But I feel we need to deescalate and end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible. War is my "important" issue. After that, pick and choose and fix many things wrong with America, like health care, to be sure, but also things like rights for indigenous people and their lands, freedom for Leonard Peltier, normalize relations with Cuba and lift the archaic embargo, start proceedings to investigate war crimes of the holy triumvirates: Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, and stop giving money away to corporations, to name a few.

I don't like to watch and then hyperventilate about what the right is doing, but it is all around and it is hard to miss. As I travel through the blogs in the wee hours, as I usually do, I see the YouTubes, most recently, one posted over at Utah Savage blog, and read the articles about this or that. I come away with the idea that when Dubya was in office and I marched in the streets, I felt the media didn't report my side thoroughly. I felt strongly about my position. I "knew" I was right and the other side was wrong. You know something, I still believe that, but they, the right wing tea party et al, believe they are fighting for their country too. Just watching a snippet of the health care protest march video, filmed by a group sympathetic to the left by the way, the people against a single payer health care bill want to stay with their party, Republicans, and go against this administration. That is exactly what I was wanting when I marched for peace and justice in Washington DC on The Longest Walk, Minneapolis at numerous rallies, Saint Paul at the Veterans For Peace Convention and the RNC and in Ashland, WI, at the Tuesday Peace Vigil.

After watching the above mentioned YouTube, I felt weak and sick about how wrong these opponents are, but then felt relieved when I realized that it is just some people who have a different opinion than I do

People are allowed to disagree with each other. I can't change them and I accept the idea of true freedom for them to protest against what my chosen leaders are doing, just as I did a little more than a year ago. As I was talking at a coffee shop, sitting outside on a beautiful late summer day, in public space, about politics today in America, one angry person decided I didn't have the right to have an opinion different from their own. I reminded them about witnessing the letting of blood in Vietnam first hand. That usually shuts them up, at least as to what they say to me, with the occasional ex military war monger who still has a hard time admitting that the American war in Vietnam was also a lie and we never did kill for anyone's freedom, but for the lining of Wall Street pockets.

I say let them have their opinion. We on the left think they are wrong, just as they thought us wrong for eight years in the recent past. Don't ignore them, but rather stay the course and keep pushing in our direction. Don't dip to their level and lie. Don't hate and want to brutalize them. That's their way. That's not the true peaceful approach. Keep pressure on Obama and the House and Senate to make the changes we want for a peaceful truly free America, with justice for all.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Late Summer Motorcycle Trip Recap

A long stretch of Nebraska State Highway 12.

This latest motorcycle journey will probably be my last “big” trip of this riding season. For those of you who live in warmer climates, and don’t have snow and ice on the roads in Winter, be advised that up here in the Northland, we have a motorcycle riding season and it’s almost over for 2009, unless, of course, global warming is really that and we stay warm and ice free through March of 2010, but I doubt that will be the case.

By “big trip”, I mean having the full package. Clothing changes for any type of weather conditions, camping and cooking gear, maintenance tools and equipment, a stout roll of duct tape, pockets full of money and all the time in the world when I hit the road on my trusty Triumph Tiger. I’ll still ride the motorcycle, when conditions allow, or when I feel like it, and I might even venture hundreds of miles away from home and have an occasional overnight or two, but to leave home and put on thousands of miles like I did three times on the bike this past Summer, uh uh. No mas, for this year.

I say I’ve made three trips, but in actuality, it was two. The trip I started last June when I went to Oregon to meet my friend just ended. I took almost two months off between starting the trip and finishing the trip. Remember last June when Hal had to fly home to attend to his ailing spouse? He came back, finally, to get his motorcycle and finish the trip.

His original goal was to ride here and visit in Minnesota and Wisconsin, then head down to the Chicago area and see family and a special friend. Hal’s daughter Suzie passed away a year ago last July. They did the hospice right at home in their living room. Suzie is a breast cancer victim. Literally on her death bed, Suzie told her dad to go back East, a proposition he doesn’t like to entertain, and visit old friends and family.

My pal Hal and his 1992 R100GS BMW, loaded for the road.

Hal wanted to honor his daughter’s request and headed out on this trip. I had other plans for riding and wanted to get to Alaska, but I instead offered to meet my old friend and ride with him. So, when the first leg of his trip got cut short with his wife’s illness, I just waited and when he returned to finish the trip, I joined him again.

Hal got here and his motorcycle and riding gear was in my garage. He packed up and left here and proceeded to complete his journey. When all his visiting was through, I rode down and was to meet him in Iowa City, Iowa. There is a motorcycle shop, a BMW cycle dealer there, and Hal was going to meet me there and get a new rear tire installed. When I arrived at Gina’s BMW, Hal wasn’t there. I received a call on the cell phone and found out his bike was having problems.

I had spent my first night on the road alone in a small Mom and Pop place in Independence, Iowa called the Rush Park Motel. It was a nicely groomed place with a lot of flower beds. I remember distinctly that the crows were noisy and obnoxious early in the morning, and that was a very good sign for me this day. I try to find these places where a body can park right next to the door. I hate hauling the bike bags up and down stairs and through public hallways. These kinds of places are getting harder and harder to find. Like a service station used to have a repair bay, but now have gone to convenience stores, the hospitality business is all corporate, and has gone to the big box model. The small places along the highways and byways are losing ground. My second day on the road, I ended up doing much more riding than anticipated. Let me explain.

A pleasant flowery very clean Mom and Pop motel in Independence, IA.

It seems that in his attempt at pinpointing a drivability problem, he was inspecting the bike’s components and found a huge nest, probably from a mouse or some type of rodent, and some wires were chewed and frayed. He needed a part. He had called Gina’s and they didn’t have the part in stock. He did find it at a dealer in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois. I was on the road, so I offered to go get the part and bring it to him at his brother’s place in Princeton, IL. If I didn’t go get the part, Hal would have to wait days to get the part shipped. I know I could do it in about 6-8 hours.

Turned out to be 430 miles or so to go from Iowa City, IA to Champaign/Urbana, pick up the part and take it to Princeton, IL. I left at 9:30 a.m. And was in Princeton by 4:00 p.m. The part was installed and bike test ridden and deemed worthy of road tripping by 6:00 p.m. Here's a map of my route

Princeton is the home of Hal’s brother. He is quite a bit younger than Hal or I. His spread is a nice place, with trees and a big yard. In the yard, he had a large tent set up for the occasional summer sleep out with his children. Hal and I unpacked our sleeping gear and used the tent as our quarters for the night. Worked great. We didn’t have to dismantle and pack up dew moisture laden camping gear in the morning, and that morning we left and headed West was a wet one. Fog so thick you could cut it with the proverbial knife.

A foggy wet morning leaving Princeton, IL.

We were on the road the next morning, amidst all the dew and fog, after coffee and breakfast of course, and proceeded to the far western reaches of Iowa before stopping at a City Park campground in a small town called Mapleton. The sign I thought very humorous as it said “overnight camping only”. I mean, what other type of camping is there?

Sign at the Mapleton, IA City Park. You can only camp overnight??!! Makes no sense to me.

The next day took us to Valentine, Nebraska. In Valentine, we split up. Hal was determined to head home via the most direct route and finish his trip. I saw no need for me to race with him farther away from my home just to have to turn around and race back so I could get home and resume my duties as “the guy who gets the kids off to school and is there when they return off the bus.” (I need to come up with a word for the person that does this, help me here).

All in all, I logged 1977 miles and was away for six days. I had a great time riding when I was alone or with Hal. I usually don’t ride freeways, but I did a lot of freeway driving to go get the part in Champaign, for the simple reason that time was of the essence and freeway driving was the most expeditious.

My bike did fall over. I wasn’t on it when it did. It was overnight at that small town city park in Mapleton, IA. The grass was soft and sometime during the night, the kickstand sunk into the dirt and the bike fell over. I busted off a turn signal lens and the tip of my clutch lever. I used duct tape for the lens and put a little on the end of the broken clutch lever so I wouldn’t cut my hand on the sharp edge. There was enough of the lever to grasp and shift, so the bike was still functional. I ordered the replacement parts when I got home and they will be picked up Friday.

I didn’t much care for the city park in Iowa, but the City Park in Valentine, NE was a very nice place. We were planning on getting to Chadron, NE by the end of the second day and make plans for a foray into Wyoming or Colorado, depending on our whim and the weather. We were both just tired and at 4:00 p.m., called it quits. The parking lot we chose to discuss riding plans was that of the Valentine Visitor Center. We went inside and asked about camping and the attendant told us how to get to the city park.

A nice place to camp at the Valentine, NE City Park.

In many of my past travels, I passed through Valentine. There is a beautiful wildlife refuge there and it is the home for migration routes of the sandhill cranes. Valentine boasts to be the Northern edge of the beautiful Nebraska Sand Hills. Whoever thinks that Nebraska is just corn hasn’t been there. State Highway 12 in the Northeast is a beautiful winding hilly road, the Sand Hills are gorgeous and when teeming with the migrating Sandhill cranes, it is an awesome site to see.

Stock photo of Sandhill crane migration.

We had an early day of it. We set up camp and rode to town for dinner. The next morning, after a leisurely coffee and packing session, we returned to the same restaurant and had breakfast. I headed North for home and Hal went West. That will probably be the last time I see him for some time. As we spend time together, we always talk about trips we’d like to take in the future. This time was no different.

My Triumph Tiger, loaded and ready to go.

Next year, we are talking about me riding or getting out to the Oregon Outback, a wide open expanse of land in the Southeast of the state, and riding the roads there with a base camp to work out of. Another possibility is to ride the Magruder Trail and Lolo Motorway and make a big loop. Camping all the way. Whatever happens will be okay. Both of these trails are on the Idaho/Montana border area in the Bitterroot Mountains and the Clearwater National Forest.

We’ll see what happens. Nothing like passing time on a cold snowy winter evening looking at maps of places I’d like to ride to. One of the things about riding dirt and gravel trails is that my current motorcycle is not made to handle perfectly on such terrain. While passing through Gina’s BMW, we talked with some folks there and I test rode a BMW 650 GS dual sport bike. A bike made for such excursions as the Magruder or Lolo. Maybe there will be a new horse in the stable.

A new BMW 650 GS for the trails? Maybe.

Hal called me last night and reported that he is safely home and his sojourn complete. It was good to hear from him and I recalled the excitement we had before the trip last June, and how it’s over and how time flies and all that stuff. I told him that I had a conversation with a local guy who rides and we planned a short two day trip South of River Falls in a week or so to check out the beautiful colors of Fall as the leaves cast golden light. In the meantime, I’ll continue to ride as weather and time permit and save the memories of a 14,000 summer for the cold blasts of the winter wind, and to share with the crows in my life.


Monday, September 14, 2009

I've returned, So In the Meantime.....

Just returning from my latest motorcycle trip Sunday. A 2000 mile or so affair, actually 1977 miles, that took me through Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota. I'm not yet up to speed with pictures and stories about this trip, so I'm posting about how I spent time on the road in earlier years. I'll get my things in order and get back here, but until then, this will have to suffice as I am still extremely busy these days. "These Days" happen to be perfect eighty degree weather around my place. I'll recap all of it in time, I do have some stories to tell for sure! In the meantime, here's something you might like:

I had been wandering all over the western states, those west of the Mississippi River, every chance I got during the 1990’s. I had a job, but I had a lot of time off. I worked out of the Teamster Union hall, a seniority list, and when my name came up, I worked. The jobs lasted from one week to four months, depending on the filming schedule, and I was at my leisure between calls.

Working on a motion picture production crew was that way, sporadic. Those in Hollyweird work all the time though. I worked out there one year, 1997. I was visiting and I got a hold of a guy I worked with in Minneapolis a year or two before. He was in the position of transportation coordinator and did the hiring for the transportation department on films. When I called him, he happen to need a driver for a week or so to finish a project. He asked me if I wanted to work and I accepted.

I would travel out to New Mexico a lot, especially in the Winter or the fringe Fall and Spring times when the weather up North was cold. I found a haven in New Mexico way back in 1991 while just being on the road. I wanted to see Santa Fe, so I headed that way, then went even further South and explored. I found places to my liking and even rented a place for a while in Silver City. The town of Deming has also been my destination and Truth Or Consequences caught my attention by the name of the place itself.

I used to have a jeep to drive around in the mountains. This was fun!

Truth Or Consequences, or T or C, as it’s called, sits on the Rio Grande River close to Elephant Butte Lake, an Army Corp of Engineers dam affair. Three small hamlets make up the area. T or C is in the center with Elephant Butte North and Williamsburg South, all kind of one after the other with borders touching. Elephant Butte being the town right up close to the lake. When drought conditions hit the area, the level of the lake dropped dramatically.

With the lake level down, boaters had a hard time finding enough water to have the recreation opportunities they had enjoyed in the past. Low water meant rocks were uncovered or just below the surface. The boats would lose lower units and experience breeches in their hulls. It became dangerous to boat there and downright expensive as well.

A shot of Elephant Butte Lake showing how the water level has dropped from drought conditions.

The area emptied out and left campgrounds, RV parks, off season storage lots, restaurants, motels, lodges and the general economy of Elephant Butte in disarray. For Elephant Butte, this happened years ago, long before the current economic crunch. Nearby T or C had more stability, but did rely on Elephant Butte and the influx or tourists to the area. When I happened on to T or C, prices were down. There were two local diners in town that catered to the oldsters who chose that place to retire or the snowbirds from up north that came to escape the Winter. They would have early morning breakfast specials and advertise them on their windows.

2 eggs
Bacon, Ham or Sausage
Hash Browns

6 a.m. To 9 a.m., Monday thru Friday

I saw them get to $1.99 one season.

T or C used to be called Hot Springs, New Mexico up until 1950 or so. Ralph Edwards, Originator and host of a radio show by the name of Truth Or Consequences, had such wide appeal, he offered a contest to change the name of the town from Hot Springs to T or C. The town voted and the resolution to change the name passed. Here’s the story from the T or C chamber of commerce.

The therapeutic mineral water flows under the town. People who had land above these natural hot springs tapped into them and made small pools for tourists and the health conscious to use for bathing. The minerals in the water are said to be healing. Here is an article that tells about one of the resort spas and the mineral/chemical make up of the water at T or C. It’s called Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs and Spa.

My 1984 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser station wagon. I used this vehicle a lot to travel to New Mexico. She sits here near the Mimbres Valley, East of Silver City, NM.

My first visit to T or C was to Hay-Yo-Kay. You’d go in, purchase an hour of time, rent a towel if needed, and went into a privately enclosed room and soaked in a large pool. The water circulated naturally, bubbling up from the ground. It drained through a stand pipe and kept a constant water level. This spa has other services like massage.

A couple of other places offer hot spring pools. One is coupled with a motel. You can rent a room and use the mineral springs at your leisure 24/7. Some have kitchenettes. We rented one of these for a week one year. I had hauled my motorcycle down there and did some winter riding in the desert. Sweet!

Yours truly, relaxing in front of a store/workshop I rented in Silver City.

I also have spent a lot of time in Silver City, NM. Just over the Black Range from T or C. I had a storefront I rented there with a small sleeping area and toilet facilities. Rent was cheap back then. In the early 2000's, the town got on the map as an Artist Community, and prices shot up through the roof!

One of the roads I discovered is a trail used in centuries past called Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. Roughly translated, this was the Royal Road of the interior land. It was also called Jornada del muerto, or single days journey of the dead man. It is a one hundred mile long stretch with no water. Read about this trail Here and Here.

The Rio Grande River was too difficult to follow, especially for livestock and wooden carts. Huge canyons led from eastern and western mountains, creating gigantic ridges to climb and descend, one after another. This overland route was basically level and straight, but dangerous because there was little to no water.

Parts of this trail are a local road. I loved riding on this road and stopping to see things along the way. Old abandoned ranches and side roads that went to the East as far as the government would allow. The White Sands Missile Base is East of the Rio Grande. The public is not allowed to enter this property for obvious and not so obvious reasons.

Other places of note in the area is the City of Rocks State Park, Faywood Hot Springs and the town of Hatch.

City of Rocks is a unique field of rocks, big rocks, 25 to 50 feet tall and maybe 30 to 40 feet around at the base. These jut up from the ground. The land around the rocks is flat. We camped there once and promised to bring the Grand kids there some time in our lives.

A view from the inside of the Gila Cliff Dwellings North of Silver City, NM

Faywood Hot Springs is also unique in that it is just there, in the middle of a flat expanse of high desert. The vision of the owner was to have this space age looking spa resort. Towers were built to hold the mineral water that flowed from the ground. Pools and changing houses had been built, but no further construction. The place is for sale now. I’d buy it in a heartbeat if I had the coin. Check this place out

Hatch, NM, sits along Interstate 25 about 40 miles North of Las Cruces, NM It is a farming community with the major crop being New Mexican green chile peppers. I love these things. Chile rellenos and Chile verde are my favorites. The Annual Chile Festival is over Labor day weekend every year. The whole reason I wrote this post is because I want to go to the festival but cannot make the trip this year. I have been there in the past and would love to return one of these years.

The same time the chile festival was going on in Hatch, up in the mountains, the Black Range, to the west, is Hillsboro. The small town of Hillsboro used to host an apple festival the same weekend. So when you eat the chiles and spend time in the heat of the desert, you could wander up to Hillsboro at 5200 feet and cool off while eating dessert made with Gala apples. Too bad this event has ended. Read why Here.

Anyway, a little travelogue. Last time I spent time in New Mexico was Winter of 2006-2007. In 2007-2008 I was on The Longest Walk and although I did get to New Mexico, I didn’t go to any of my favorite haunts, sit in any of the luscious hot springs, smoke cigars and drink good coffee. We’ll see what this year might offer. I’d like to get down there and spend a little time. In years past, I’d get down there for a week and maybe make two or even three trips over the course of the Winter. Later, I’d spend months there in an RV or renting a cottage. I’d be satisfied with a week or so this year. I’ll put it on the wish list.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This Time For Sure

Okay, I'm out of here. See you in a week or so.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day 2009

I know I just wrote and told you I would be away, but I didn't leave yet and won't until Labor Day is behind us. I don't really want to rant about it, but the proclamation of labor Day and all it means these days has me depressed somewhat. In the past, when I was in the labor force as a Teamster, Labor day seemed to mean something. Maybe it's because I'm not working for wages any longer that I don't see the honor in being a working person. But maybe it's the way corporate America has taken the life away from so many, as those high on the food chain of American life use the backs of labor to make their millions.

There is a Labor Day sale at every major chain drive big box store. They are all open for business, with regular hours, and the workers are to be there and not home celebrating their position as labor in our great nation with some relaxing family time and the ceremonious Summers end BBQ. Travel for those that do have the day off and the long weekend see restaurants, motels, lodges, gas stations and gift shops open and staffed to get their money. Maybe those industries seeing the last vestiges of Tourist Season and the raking of profit dwindling after September 7th this year.

In the past, I remember thanking my dad on this day. I remember when I was a dad and my kids relaxing around the house. It was a day we specifically set aside to rest from our labor, our jobs. Stores were closed. Businesses were shut down for the long weekend. We actually took time out from it all on Labor day.

I promise you, I will honor labor. I will mention the working class in my prayers. I'll see the banks are closed, but the ATM's remain open. The Post Office is shut for the day, but you can still use the drop box. The bakeries won't be making and delivering fresh bread to the grocery. The buses will be on holiday schedule, that is, reduced number of runs on a usual Monday. I'll try my best not to shop. I'll take care of all my expected needs for tomorrow, today. Even that pains me somewhat as it is Sunday. I was taught it is the day of rest. Monday, Labor Day, was suppose to be a bonus.

At any rate, none of us would have what we have in any way shape or form without labor. All Labor. And in this day and age that means the part time clerks at numerous stores and shops open through the designated day to honor those same workers. If you do have to use the services of someone that must work today, say this, "Thanks for being here today." They might appreciate it. If you eat out, give an extra couple of percent or more as a tip. Try to get things done today so the folks at the shops can have an easy day tomorrow.

Remember the working class. Use your own definition of who that might be. I know it must vary as to when labor cuts off and management begins. Look at the fast food industry. Get hired as a manager and you have to work all the hours of every shift from time to time to cover the shifts of those that quit and call in, and that means weekends and holidays like Labor Day. In my book, the fast food manager is still labor, with a different moniker, a ploy, no doubt, dreamed up by those who will actually have the day off and profit from the fruits of that labor.

Today's meaning of Labor Day.

If you are working for wages today, I hope your day goes smoothly. I thank you for serving our nations industry and the people with your tax dollars, even if you don't have a say as to where your tax payments go, I still thank you for the portion that serves us with police and fire departments and such.

I will be leaving in a couple of days, headed west again. Stories to come upon my return, hopefully with pictures.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Only the Good Friday 09/04/2009

I tell you folks, I have been very busy. I just want to put this out there and mention what's going on in my life these days. First of all, since I got back from visiting with the Larrys in Hot Springs, I've been working almost everyday at my daughter's place. I am doing some projects over there and it has filled in most of my time.

Then, Wednesday morning, my friend from California, Hal, showed up. I just rode with him about 50 miles down the Mississippi River. He's on his way down to the Chicago area to visit a very good friend and see some of his family. When he gets ready to leave and head back to california, maybe around next Wednesday, I'll be meeting him in Iowa and travel West with him at least to Colorado and maybe farther, depending on my money situation. So, I'll be away again from the blogs and the computer for at least a week or so.

On top of all that, my sister is paying us a visit. She arrived yesterday afternoon. We'll be busy with family gatherings while she's here. She will stay until Sunday. So you see, I have ben running around like crazy, and it's all Good. Time moving by and the cooler weather of Fall quickly approaching. I love the cooler weather. That's not to say we won't have any more warm spells, but I'm sure the 90 degree muggy humid days are behind us. I especially like riding the motorcycle in the cooler weather. The mountains of Colorado will be fantastic this time of year.

In any event, I appreciate all of you who have visited my site. Forgive me if I haven't been around much, but I'll be back and catch up soon enough. It might be a long Winter. Who knows? It's Good though, to have friends, to have a plan and be doing something you like to do.

Take care and be well, all of you. And I pray and send the wish for peace to all.