Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Free Cycle

I think I misspelled it but allow me to introduce you to Freecycle. This is a neat site where people get together electronically to give stuff they no longer want or need to those who do. Freecycle sites are built around particular communities. I belong to the Ontario, Oregon site as do people from the communities around Ontario. If you are interested just Google freecycle and look for your community. The way it works is if you have something you no longer want you sign on to your freecycle site and leave a message describing what you want to give away. On the other hand, if you need something, leave a message explaining your needs. In either case you can have the people who want what you have listed contact you and make arrangements to have it picked up. For instance, several years ago Jean and I made a horrible mistake on a color we picked for a bedroom. We got home and put a little paint on the walls and realized it was not what we wanted at all. To make matters worse we tried mixing in a quart of white to tone it down. Even worse, now we had a princess pink/lavender that we could never use. Being a pack rat I didn't have the heart to throw it away, so I stored it in the shop. Lo and behold, yesterday a lady asked on freecycle for pink paint for her 9 year old daughter's bedroom. I contacted her and we made arrangements for her to pick up the paint. Two families were happy, we got rid of the paint and another family has a happy little girl with a soon to be princess pink bedroom.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

He's Back!!!

Imagine my elation when I discovered that "The Opinionated Old Fart" is back blogging. I had just discovered him at the end of 2006 when he retired from blogging. After reading some of his posts, I decided that I, too, could have a blog. He was my inspiration for blogging. It didn't take me long to realize that I could have a daily blog or I could have a life. I decided that I could write whenever the muse overcame me and have a life when it didn't. You don't get a lot of readers when you blog sporadically, but I found that I didn't have much to rant about. People tend to get tired of reading tirades unless you can do it amusingly. I found that I wasn't very humorous, a severe blow to my ego. I had always thought I was a real card, but I guess that I was shuffled too much. I haven't had much time for writing lately, but I was inspired by the return of "Old Fart" so here I am. He still has the wit that makes his blog so readable. Old Fart, you don't know me, but welcome home.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Small Town Life

We just got home from an open house held for our retiring Mail Carrier. Yes, we only have one letter carrier who delivers mail to all the households in our little town. He was born and raised here, and, except for time in Vietnam and a couple of years as a civilian working for the Air Force, he has lived in Vale. Tim carried the mail here for 31 years and was well liked by all his people. He checked in on the shut-ins each day as he delivered their mail and watched the places of folks who were out of town on vacation.

Tim is a strong supporter of all the community activities, but he is an especially strong supporter of high school athletics. He has been a truly dedicated mail carrier. He has been known to stop and shovel the sidewalk of the elderly so they can get out on those snowy days.

So we went to his open house along with a large number of the people on his mail route. This may sound strange, but that's what we do in our little town, we support our local heroes and Tim is one of them. Thanks Tim McPheeters you served us well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I was buzzing around the blogosphere and ran into this little thing.

click here to learn more

Vale Rodeo

Our little town has a long history of celebrating the Fourth of July in a big way. I talked about the parade in my last post and now I will talk about the rodeo. I'm not exactly sure, but I believe that Vale has had a 4th of July Rodeo for over 90 years. It has something for everybody, a Pro Rodeo for those folks who spend their summer going to rodeos and try to make a living out of it and amateur events for the local cowboys and cowgirls. Fuel prices have put a real crimp in the Pro's plans, especially if they compete in events that require they bring their trained horses. They have big pickups, often diesel, and pull a 4 or 6 horse trailer often with a small living space for them in the front of the trailer. With diesel prices soaring it often takes more money to fill the tank than they have won at the rodeo!
A long standing event of the Vale 4th of July Rodeo is the Suicide Race. Contestants race on horseback from the top of the butte down to the flat ground where the town and rodeo ground sit, across an asphalt highway, across the Malheur River, over the dike protecting the town and into the rodeo arena to finish. Twenty years ago an animal rights group protested the treatment of the horses in the race and demanded they be allowed to monitor the treatment of the horses. The Rodeo Board welcomed the attention, it made the national news and was free advertising. After the finish of the race the monitors declared that there was no mistreatment of the horses, but that some human rights group might monitor the treatment of the riders because of the punishment they took in the 5 minute race! I have taught most of the winners over the past 40 years and I've always thought it strange that they showed no sign of mental illness in the classroom, but anyone who would race down that steep hill (over 1000 vertical feet in less than a mile) MUST be crazy! People love it and they line the course to watch. Oh yes, I almost forgot, the race is started with a dynamite blast from the top of the hill. You see the smoke of the explosion several seconds before you hear the blast. In years past the explosives expert who started the race with a blast would also wake the entire town at 6 AM on the fourth with another blast in his yard. No one complained.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July -- Late

Yesterday was the 4th of July in our little town and it opened 4 days of celebration for all. They hold a rodeo for 4 days over the 4th. It is held at night because it is often very hot during the day. We live almost a mile from the rodeo grounds but we can usually hear the rodeo announcer through our open windows. This year they have a new announcer and we can't hear him, he isn't nearly as loud as the former announcer. Thank you, Lord. We also have a big parade on the Fourth and it always starts in front of our house. This year they reversed the route and it ended in front of our house. I kind of liked it this way, the horses were pooped out, literally! In years past we would have a lot of horse manure in the street. It only takes a day or two for the odor to become quite noxious. The parade was great and several of the floats brought a tear to my eye because they memorialized a friend who died a little over a year ago. She was well loved by the community for her many civic activities. Her husband was the Grand Marshall and I'm sure she was right beside Tom in the horse drawn carriage. So, a belated Fourth and a belated farewell to Rosemary, we all miss you.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


If you have been reading my posts you will know that I am learning to dispatch long haul truckers with their loads. Today was my first being on my own, but I did have moral support from my bosses. Tomorrow I will be working without a net. I will be all alone at my computer. I have only one truck that I will find a load for in the morning. Then I will work on loads after the weekend.

There is never a dull moment in a trucking company...Monday, while we were trying to get a truck out of Moses Lake, Washington with an over size load, things came undone. the boss got a call saying that one of our steadiest drivers was in jail in Texas. It is illegal to carry a gun in a commercial truck even if you have a concealed weapon permit and it seems that when he opened his door the gun was in plain sight and some of the workers at the plant got nervous and called the cops. They came forthwith and placed our driver under arrest and hauled him off to the poky. They placed a 48 hour hold on him and he got out on bail last night. He still has to appear in court for the final adjudication in the matter. Needless to say, we screwed up on the permits we were trying to get.

Pray for me.