Tuesday, June 30, 2015


The 4th of July is this weekend. I enjoy the 4th of July. It used to be that you could set off fireworks on your own or with friends. Now they want you to go to firework shows. And those are now becoming fewer and farther between. 

My friends and I, when we were kids, would just about wet ourselves waiting for the firework stands to start going up around town. We would save as much money as we could so that we could get some really cool things that went BANG! Or that you could launch into the air. The BIGGER the better. Pop bottle rockets, the bigger the better. Fire crackers, the bigger the better. 

Cherry bombs, M-80s, zingers, black cats, fountains, whistlers, spinners. If it made a loud BANG! or flew, we just had to have them. Even the sparklers could be fun. We would have pop bottle rocket fights and Roman candle wars. We would blow things up like that old model car that had fallen on the floor of your room. Or maybe one of your sister's dolls. Coffee cans and soup cans were fun, also. 

And you know, not once, ever, did we lose a finger or put someone's eye out. We never burned down any homes or torched a field. We were always told, reminded, and re-told what the 4th of July was all about. We all had fun. We would bar-b-q in the back yard, play games, visit with neighbors, and wait for it to get dark.

You could set in your front yard and eat homemade ice-cream, and watch fireworks up and down your street. Some places, like baseball games, had fireworks shows. But, now days, it's against the law to have or set off any type of fireworks in our area. I have even heard that you can't even have or light those little black cones that make a snake of ash on your side walk.

Yep, the 4th of July has gotten pretty tame these days. But what it means and what it stands for will never ever be diminished.

Hope that you all have a safe 4th.


Monday, June 29, 2015


"Without labor nothing nothing prospers."
-- Sophocles, Greek playwright and philosopher

"The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion."
-- G.K. Chesterton, English writer

"The end of wisdom is to dream high enough to lose the dream in the seeking of it."
-- William Faulkner, American novelist

"Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in."
-- Leonardo DaVinci, Artist, scientist, inventor and author

Monday, June 22, 2015


"To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic."
-- Alphonse de Lamartine, French writer and politician

"No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings."
-- William Blake, British painter and poet

"Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."
-- Vince Lombardi, American football player and coach

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
-- Joseph Campbell, American writer and mythologist

Monday, June 15, 2015


"There are two ways to pass a hurdle; leaping over or plowing through. There needs to be a monster truck option."
--Jeph Jacques, creator of online comic strip "Questionable Content "

"When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth."
--George Bernard Shaw, Nobel Laureate in Literature

"Be modest! It is the kind of pride least likely to offend."
--Jules Renard, French writer

Friday, June 12, 2015


Have you ever wondered about who your ancestors are? Have you ever tried to find out? Well, I've been working on mine. I found out, on my Dad's side, that our first Noland came all the way from Ireland and ended up on our shores, in Maryland, in 1686.

From there, we spread out, and moved southwestward. I've had family in wars, and family who worked in government. Family who had large families, and those who lost families. Some may have had slaves, and some who may have been slaves themselves. And maybe some who were on the other side of the law. Store owners, ship makers, innkeepers. . .  the list could go on.

On my mother's side, it goes back to England, then they came here, to Plymouth Rock, by way of the Mayflower. Just like my Dad's side, the list is long, and it is hard and interesting to try to find information on people in my family. I'm sure that they all come from different walks of life. Good and bad and whatever is in between.

It's history. It's my family history. It is also the history of our country. It is the lives, loves, tragedies, riches, and all else that make us who we are. It's what we stand for. Skeletons in the closet? Yes. And I'm looking to see what else the family history has to give.

If you can, look into your own family. See what you can find. I'm sure there are great family stories out there. I plan to write about some of them myself. You will also find some things about your own self as you go along. It's fun, it's very addicting once you get going. And the information that is out there and available to you is beyond mind boggling. Besides, you might even find that you have some famous people in your family.

I'm still looking for mine, but to me? They are all famous in my family.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


I'm sure that you all know that recreational pot is legal here in Colorado. And now we will have what is called "Canna Camp." Have any of you heard about this? This Canna Camp is in Durango. It is on 170 acres and it will cost you $395 dollars per night, per person.

You can only toke up outside. You can play golf, fish, and I'm sure there are other activities. I guess happy time (hour) starts at 4:20 PM. So, I wonder if they have a place where you can purchase your munchies, or do you have to supply your own? Will you be able to purchase extra pot at the front desk? I mean, if I have to pay close to $400 bucks a night, what else do I get for that price?

And what of the animals? Are we going to have stoned chipmunks running amok? Are you going to be attacked by a stoned  bear that thinks you are a taco from Taco Bell? Are the hummingbirds going to see you as a giant sweet sippy-cup? What about a bull elk or a big buck that's high, and looks at you and decides that it's rutting season all over again?

What about when hunting season comes along? How would you like to be out hunting around Durango, with a bunch of hunters who are stoned? I wouldn't. 'Course, they might have some fantastic food and great munchies, and never set foot out of camp. Or, maybe some of them would trek to their tree stand and, when they set down, find that they forgot to bring their bow with them.

All of this "fun" will start July 1st.

I personally think that Colorado made a BIG mistake by legalizing recreational marijuana. It is more of the dumbing down of America trend. And, yeah, I smoked it years ago. Plus, I drank like a fish. But I grew out of it a long, long time ago. I have no problem with medical pot. If it helps, then by all means be my guest.  But do we really need a hotel that caters to marijuana users?

I wish that the people of Durango would think more about what this could do to their town other than bring in money and the impact it could have. Then again, maybe it will make them all rich.
Note: Kathi here -- I had to sneak this photo in of Jim from an event at a library conference we went to around 2008 -- tie-die, gray wig, leather wrist band, handband and all. Shhhh! He won't know it's here, probably until comments come in. Hee hee hee!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


The cowboy code was never really written down. But, now and then, a old cowboy would take a boy aside and teach him things. Things to know, things to do. They would pass on a "code" that they had lived by their whole life.

I think that we, as men, in this day and age should maybe take heed. And try and teach young men and boys this "code." I think that women and girls may gain from this also. Maybe we all just need to be reminded now and then.

                        - COWBOY CODE -

 1. Learn all you can and cultivate wisdom.
 2. Speak the truth, and let your word be your bond.
 3. Never betray a trust, or desert a friend.
 4. It's fine to feel fear, but don't let it back you down.
 5. Remember that good never prevails without courage and grit.
 6. Be courteous, polite, and neat.
 7. Be gentle with women, children, and the elderly.
 8. Listen to the elderly, for they can be wise.
 9. Protect and care for those who can't help themselves.
10. Protect the land and care for animals.
11. If something sounds too good to be true, expect that it is.
12. Do the job you're paid to do with honor and pride.
13. Never quit when times are the toughest.
14. Speak straight, speak properly, and don't speak to much.
15. Keep your sense of humor, and don't meddle.
16. Smile, it could open doors for you.
17. When you have done all you can, rest in your faith.
(From: A Look at Life from the Saddle: Stores and Inspirations from a Cowboy, by Armour Patterson)

There are some others. And some are just common sense. It couldn't hurt to put some of these to use today in our lives. Now, if we could just get the young ones to put down their gadgets and listen.

Monday, June 8, 2015


"An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth."
--Bonnie Friedman, author

"We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend."
--Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish novelist and poet

"Laugh and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone."
--Anthony Burgess, English writer and composer

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


We all know that rabbits are quick on their feet. And that they are quick to reproduce. When you have rabbits, they get into just about everything. They also seem to be on the smart side. It once took my Dad a whole year to get rabbits out of his garden.

Their garden was 50-feet by 100-hundred feet. They plowed, they planted, and fenced it off. Soon, the garden had young sprouts shooting up all over the place. Then the young sprouts and some of their veggies were disappearing, and my Dad found evidence of some wascally wabbits had been at the garden. He set some traps around the garden. He managed to catch a few. But the garden was still being raided.

He checked and rechecked the fence. He could not find where they were getting in. Then one day, when he was in the garden doing some hoeing, something ran between his feet. Scared the crap out of him. He started to look around the garden. Almost right in the middle of it he found a rabbit hole. He guessed that when he put up the fence that he fenced some of the rabbits in the garden. He told me that those were some of the best rabbits he had eaten in years.

Now our garden is up and ready to go. Except we came home the other night and found that a -- or some -- rabbits had been digging in our garden. The garden is now fenced off. But, it does not stop there. These brazen little bas***ds now lay in wait for Kathi and I. They will lay in the yard, right next to the sidewalk. You come out of the house, walk towards the garage, and it jumps up, scares the pee out of you, and runs off about 10 yards or so, and stops. And I swear that they turn around and then flip you off.

Some friends of ours are having rabbit problems also. Their rabbit problem is worse then ours. They have gangs of rabbits. And they swear that the rabbits are throwing gang signs back and forth at the dogs. I think that there will be a turf war soon in their backyard. I'm also sure that one of those gang of rabbits, is called. . . The Dead Rabbits, from that movie Gangs of New York. I think the other gang is called The Bunz or something along those lines.

I saw three rabbits just the other day, chasing a German Shepard down our street. They are so brazen that they have picked out a spot in our front yard to lay and sunbathe. Plus they watch our front room window while lounging in the sun, and flip you off if you look out the window. I'm hoping that they will chase the mailman. Then, maybe, if they don't catch him he will file a report. Maybe send in the National Guard or something. I even think that they may have scared off all of the coyotes around here.

These bunnys are planning to take over, I just know it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

JAMES MADISON: Our Fourth President.

James Madison, our fourth president, made this wise observation.

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the rights of the people by the gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations."