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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We Were So Intelligent, It’s A Wonder We Didn’t Die

It funny what comes to your mind when you start writing things down.  When I was pretty little, from the time I can remember until the early part of my second grade year, we lived down the road from my Grandparents farm and the other Grandparents lived across the yard from us.  This was outside Loveland, Colorado: just down the road from Lonetree Resevior. 

Now this was a pretty good deal for a growing boy or two in the case of my brother and me.  We used to eat breakfast at home, then run down and have Grandma Dennee feed us, then it was back to Grandma Johnson’s to eat again (and this was just breakfast, we used to try to hit the trifecta for all three meals).  I wonder now why Mom and Dad said they had such a big feed bill with Cully and I, they only fed us a third of the time! HA!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Trying to Get To The Dreaded 9

Haven't done any writing all week because my j-o-b has interfered with my fun...again!   I worked all week at the international shipments desk and I will be very excited to have the gentleman that normally works there back on Monday.

At one point I found myself yelling at the computer animated voice on the other end of the line.  It was for a very well known small package carrier and I do have to say that their phone system is not very user friendly.  Or ast least to me it wasn't user friendly (surely I am not the problem!)  I have heard a lot of people make fun of them, but until you get the chance to be in it....its not that funny!

"Hello, you have reached the automated filing system for XYZ Delivery.  For shipments inside the US, Canada or Mexico: press 1.  For all other shipments press 4".

Four...??  What happened to 2 and 3?  Oh well, still pretty simple....I pressed 4.

"For shipments going to the Europe, press 1.  For shipments going to the Pacific Rim, press 2.  If you want to speak to an operator, please press 9".

Good deal, a live person.  I pressed 9.

  "Hello, you have reached the automated filing system for XYZ Delivery.  For shipments inside the US, Canada or Mexico: press 1.  For all other shipments press 4".

Heck, I must have pressed the wrong button.  So here I am going back through the whole thing again, because I don't get the option at the first step to talk to a live person.  Still pretty calm, still early in the day and my blood pressure has not yet been raised.  I get to the point of pressing 9 for the live operator and BAM.  The blood pressure starts to raise.

  "Hello, you have reached the automated filing system for XYZ Delivery.  For shipments inside the US, Canada or Mexico: press 1.  For all other shipments press 4".

Ok, I know what button I pushed!   So I yell at the phone, " I want to talk to a live person"  (yeah, I know....doesn't do a lot of good).  So I start back through the whole proccess, carefully checking each of the buttons I needed to push.  Get to the dreaded 9 and BAM....

  "Hello, you have reached the automated filing system for XYZ Delivery.  For shipments inside the US, Canada or Mexico: press 1.  For all other shipments press 4".

AAARRRGGHHH!  (Do people even say that anymore?)  At this point I am yelling at the phone and banging it on the desk.  Back through the whole process to the dreaded 9.  If I get the welcome message again I am going home!   And then......

"This is C, how may I help you?" 

Well I am now in an ugly mood because I have been to the dreaded 9 about 6 times and I wanted to tell her that I needed help putting the phone somewhere.  BUT, the saner side of me says, "she wasn't the one who kept putting you back to the welcome message, don't take it out on her."  Stupid sane side....she was probably sitting there with her buddies saying, "here he comes again, wonder how many times I can put him back to the welcome message before he strokes out?"  

I was so glad the day was finally over, well this was probably only about15-20 minutes.....but it felt like it was longer.  Now I will admit that I have taken some liberties with the drama on this, but the process was still the, same! 

Don't even get me started on the websites.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Its Always Funny When It Happens to Someone Else...Rev 2

I suppose my friends could tell some pretty good stories about me, maybe someday one of the will.  But, since this is my blog.....I get to tell stories about them.  I may or may not change the names to protect the not so innocent.  If you were there with me, you will know whose name is real and not!

This one has some second hand info from another friend (does that make him a second hand friend?  Just asking, I don't know.)  He was the one who actually saw the incident happen and I have already written about him, so I will use his name.

One of the requirements of the course, we took at Lamar, was working your colt on the weekend.  If you weren't going to be there you had to find some one to work it for you.  Typically there were a few of us that didn't go home to much or in this case lived locally, that fell into this duty.  There was a young lady that went home and she asked one of my buddies (we'll call him Rod) to work her horse.  Now, I don't know if there were ulterior motives for him to work her horse or not.  But, he did say he would do it.  Something he would regret for the next day or two or five!

Rod and Guy were both working in seperate round pens, they were side by side, and it was plenty cold.  Cold enough that you could see your breath in the air and I was afraid my weak little mustache was going to freeze off!  Needless to say, it was only Rod and Guy outside!  According to the story Guy tells, the horses were feeling pretty good.  Snorting and pitching around the pens!  At some point Rod got a little fusterated at the colt he was working and started pushing him a little.  Guy said he heard a "thump" and saw Rod get kicked in the " $%^& "!  Yep, you guessed it!  Same place as all those people get hit on America's Funniest Videos.

Now, here is where the story starts to get a little fuzzy.  According to Guy, he immediately leaped over the two fences to check on Rod.  According to Rod, he climbed the first fence and then started laughing so hard he had to stop in between!   Who knows what the truth is?!?  Rod always said it was a good thing he only got kicked once..If the horse had kicked again, he would have gotten kicked in the head (that wouldn't have been near so funny as the first kick) because he could not stand up or move!

Rod wobbled/crawled/was carried to the barn office and laid up the rest of the morning.  When I saw him, slowly coming down the stairs, he was as white as a ghost.  I wanted to feel sorry for him, I really did.  But I couldn't stop smiling...which eventually turned into laughing...laughing loudly......

Poor ol' Rod.....he really failed to see the humor in it!  We "medicated" him most of that day and the next two, but it was probably a week before he felt good enough to come back down to the barn.  Needless to say, the horse and the girl were not his favorite people after that.  I think the girl was just guilt by assocation!  On the bright side there was no permanent damage, he had 3 kids later on in life!  Rod was the one who always seemed to get hurt on our little excursions....might have to write about those later on.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Horse, A Pair of Spurs and A 58 Ford Truck

After the couple of incidents Dennis, Guy and I had with the two mares (Remembering a Friend / She Bucked for Half Mile and Really Honestly....She Never Bucks With Me), the gentleman that owned the ranched decided they would not make a stagecoach team.

On a side note, this guy would buy 100 head of corriente steers and charge people to trail drive them into Cheyenne, for Cheyenne Frontier Days.  He supplied horses, saddles and food for 20 people to be cowboys for a week.  Made about $1000 a man to do this.  He would then sell the steers and bring horses and saddles back to Lamar.  One year he had planned to have a stagecoach and do day rides for people to watch.  That was our year.

Anyway, after he decided that the bay mare would not make a stage team horse (should have sent her to Cheyenne as a bucking horse, might have done pretty good at that!), he had Dennis and I haul her to the sale barn.  He said, "Boys, bring her home if she doesn't bring $700"  So off we went.  Woohoo!  Someone else was buying dinner, what a deal!

It started at the sale barn.  I was driving and turned to sharp for the goose neck trailer we were pulling, peeled the fender off of someone's trailer!  Dang!  But, being the upstanding citizens we were at that time....we told no one!  No one saw it, so it didn't happen!  (kinda like the "if a tree falls in the forest" thing).  We really thought that would be the worst of it.....

Dennis rode the mare through and the scale in the sale ring was jiggleing and shaking.  Due (I would like to think, anyway) to our superior horsemanship skills, so she wanted to keep her feet on the ground.  She only brought $400.  Man, couldn't these people see that the snorting, twitching, bug eyed mess in the sale ring was a fine piece of horse flesh?  Dennis even got brave (stupid?) enough to take the bridle off and ride her in the ring!  There were no takers to go higher than $400.  So, we loaded her into the trailer and headed off to the Hogs Head.....

We "ate" supper for about 2 hours and met some gentlemen that were wanting to make a horse trade!  After much haggling, argueing and "toasting"....we decided on the mare and my spurs for a 58 Ford pickup.  First thing we did was go to their house and drive the truck around, man it was a cherry!  Completely refurbished and ready to roll!  While Dennis and I drove around, the fellas went inside and invited thier wives to come down to the Hogs Head and look at thier new horse.  (probably should have stopped that little item from happening).  After we got back, Dennis pulled me aside and said he thought he could come up with half of the $700 for the mare.  Well, being the semi-intelligent young man that I was...I figured that left me with $350 to raise.  I think we both thought we had enough friends and family that we could pull this off!  We toasted the deal and shook hands!  I really believe the guys were pretty excited about thier new horse.  Heck, I knew Dennis and I were pretty excited about our new truck!   Then the party died, their wives showed up!  Probably decided they needed to stop the two idiots that lived in town from trading with two idiots that had a horse!   Boy, they really kiboshed the deal....we were bummed!

But, beings how the deal had taken 2 hours and a fair amount of alcohol was ingested....we got over it!  We loaded back into our truck and headed back to Lamar (the Lord was with us because neither of had any business behind the wheel.  I apologize for that now!)  Once we had delivered the mare back to her pen, we did what any normal collge kids(well normal for our group, anyway) would do after a night like that.....we headed back to another party at the dorm!  Looking back at this and looking forward to the fact that I will have kids in college in a few years, I DO NOT CONDONE THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR!  It was just two wild cowboys, who didn't have a lick of sense!  And since I will have girls in college I will just say......boys have cooties, girls....just stay away from them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Remembering a Friend / She Bucked for a Half Mile

Just found out today a friend from college died back in 1998.  Got me to thinking about some of the fun we had when we were in college.  Most people go to college, but I doubt they had as much fun as we did back then!

In a previous posting Honestly...She Never Bucks with Me I mentioned Dennis.  Dennis was the kind of guy that would help you no matter what, so it made you want to help him.  I have a lot of stories about Dennis, and most will never see print (as Johnny Cash said,"You don't tell everything").  The mare Dennis rode in that posting was a big strong bay mare, I think she was about 7 (barely green broke).  We, of course, were young, tough buckaroos....never got bucked off, ect.  After we rode all of those long yearlings, old school...snubbing them to a post, cinching them up and turning them loose.  Those young horses really couldn't buck all that hard, which really gave us huge egos!  By golly, there wasn't a horse that could buck us off after that.  The first day we rode the bay mare, she did great saddling up...we really thought we were only going to be legging her up to turn the two of them into a stagecoach team.  Ha!  If  we only knew!  Headed out into the pasture and struck a long trot.  Man, everything was going great!  Dennis suggested we kick them up into a lope, my filly picked up a lope and was as smooth as glass (Contrary to what Guy might say, he spoke about her lineage - check the link above).  I looked over and Dennis was grabbing leather, Ol' Bay had her head down and looked like she was trying our for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo!  WOW, could she buck!  Dennis never said a word, but he was grabbing at everything that went by trying to pull her head up.  And of course, it was happening to someone else, so I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen!  Well, I loped along beside the NFR qaulifing attempt for about a half a mile before Dennis  got her head up.  Curiously, he used the same language that Guy used a week or two later to describe the mare I was riding, looking back I didn't even know the two mares were related!  I think the only reason she stopped bucking, besides being a little tired, was the fence that we came to!  I really couldn't tell who was breathing harder and I give Dennis all the credit, he never suggested we trade (Like I would fall for that).  After the first episode, Ol' Bay never bucked like that again...she did buck about every other time he rode her, just not like the first time.  Needless to say neither of the mares ever made a stagecoach team.  Hmmm....that might have something to do with the two hon-yocks that were riding them...nah, it was the horses.  We ended up taking them to the sale and that is another story that involves a trade, a 58 Ford truck and a pair of spurs!  Might have to tell that one sometime....

Dennis Weis  1967-1998  A good friend.

Monday, November 15, 2010

On My Hands and Knees, Staring at Puke...

There's an attention getting title!  As life changes around you and I guess we change with it, there are just certain things I never thought I would be doing!  To preface my night/early morning I will say that I used to be a sympathetic puker.  See it, hear it or smell it...I was participating.

Early this morning, 3AM to be exact, we heard that sound that no parent can't help but to spring out of bed and run down the hall.  I, of course, am talking about one of your kids getting sick.  I have often wondered why alarm clock companies don't record that and attach it to an alarm clock?  No one would ever be late again, no parents anway!  I digress, I flipped the lights on in the hall and saw Faith standing there puking....which is some better because she used to try to run to the bathroom, which leads to a trail.  Ugh!  Felicia, immediately starts to gag........dang my cast iron stomach!   So, I'm on my hands and knees staring at the mess I get to clean up.  I say "I" because if Felicia had to clean it up there would be twice a much!   And as I listened to Felicia, from the other room, ask if I need anything (someone else do clean it up would be nice!) I started to wonder how I got from being a sympathetic puker to the clean-up guy?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Funny When It Happens To Someone Else

Got an email from and old friend after my last post, we laughed remembering how that mare was not supposed to buck.  He said anytime someone brings him a horse to ride and says "it never bucks", he thinks about that day.  It got me to thinking about some of the (funny now) wrecks that we had back then.  I specifically remember a horse that we called Ol' Red (even though he was only a 2YRO).

When the horses were brought in for us to start, they were unassigned.  Meaning you didn't know which one you would get.  Our instructors would assign them based on our ability as riders.  I would say horsemanship abilities, but thinking back...we didn't have much of that.  Our best feature was probably that we were young, limber and bounced when we hit the ground.  Anyway, before they were assigned we had to get them out of the stalls to exercise them.  Well Ol' Red was a little on the wild side....he was brought in an open stock trailer and ran down the alley to a stall.  Pretty much untouched.  Guy drew the short straw to exercise him and when he opened the stall, Red reached out with his front foot and removed some buttons from Guys jacket!  Guy shut the stall door, with saucer like eyes and said, "I do believe he is exercised!"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Really, Honestly...She Never Bucks With Me

I am working a youg horse right now and I think back to how I used to do it before age and brains came together.  I don't think much of the way I used to start colts, but at the time it was fun!

When I was in college, a buddy (we'll call him Dennis) and I were hired to put a few rides on some long yearlings and ride a couple of older horses to leg them up.  The owner of the ranch wanted to use the older horses for a stagecoach team.  So we started with the long yearlings.  We did it the old fashioned way, tied them to a snubbing post, blindfolded them, and crawled in the middle.  It was a lot of fun, we were young and made of rubber.  To get bucked off of long yearlings wasn't a big deal.