From the Desk of John Rourke – February 12th, 2015

Government looking at how free speech on politics can be regulated on the Internet. Wonderful.

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Looking at getting Jonathan his first car – likely next summer. Not sure why but he wants a black pickup truck. When I was 17 and looking for my first car I wanted….

1988 Pontiac Fiero V6
1988 Pontiac Fiero V6

The car I actually got…..

1983 Ford Escort POS

Ford Escort POS….a real chick magnet.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ has a SCCY CPX-2 9mm pistol in FDE for only $259.99. Includes two magazines. Good deal.


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I think the United States sending 600 paratroopers to Ukraine to train troops to fight against Russian forces is dangerous. The tension between the US and Russia continues to escalate.

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Russia responds stating that they will help Iran attack Saudi Arabia if US arms Ukraine. Can you say….”escalation”?

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  1. The SCCY CPX-2 is the EDC gun for me. It easily conceals in my back pocket with a long shirt or in a IWB holster. This coming from a relatively chunky guy. I paid $265 for mine. Best part is the no hassle warranty. I recommend this gun to anybody needing a budget carry weapon, or for first time buyers.

  2. Ford Escort POS? Try a 1980 Ford Pinto as your first car. It worked just like “Deep Woods OFF” but for women. It was almost as bad as those “Birth Control” glasses they issued guys in the military back then with the thick black frames.

  3. My first car was a baby crap gold 1970 Ford Gran Torino with a brown vinyl top. Not the cool Starsky and Hutch version either. As far as the “birth control” glasses, I broke mine on purpose in basic so I could wear my civilian ones. Man, kids don’t know how good they have it. 🙂

  4. Rourke your son sounds very sensible re his vehicle choice !!!!Maybe he is role modeling you !! Arlene

    I sent a long response to Brent -if you do not wish to print it I understand-just wondered where it went.

  5. Guess I am that old dinosaur. My first car was a green 1954 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. Back then my generation were driving legal at age 14 with a paper driver’s license. From thence in rapid succession to a 1963 Bel Air, 1965 Buick Wildcat, followed by a new 1970 440 six pack Plymouth Road Runner – beep beep – and I was off. I’ve owned a lot of fine cars and trucks since then including a new Corvette and a black Caddy XLR Roadster. Big engine, faster than the Road Runner, what’s more handled like a dream.

    My physician daughter’s first car was a yellow Audi TT. I went to Dallas supposedly for a business deal, really to shop cars. The best daughter might have accidentally made one B back in kindergarten. Since then she always exceeded expectations in all categories, even told me she was going to be a doctor somewhere around the third grade. I bought the Audi (and it come with a day of fast driving on the track at Texas Motor Speedway) and called home to have mom put the daughter on the plane to LUV – in order to drive, gasp, her new car home. Not thinking much about it, I was leaning on an old beat up Texas pick up truck parked near the exit when she walked out of the terminal. Always glad to see dad, she smiled but I thought it was off a little. Walked up and gave me a hug and asked, ‘if this was it,’ pointing to the old truck. Keep in mind we always had a lot of trucks at our Texas ranch, some really old, some new, and some in between. You should have seen that big little girl smile when I clicked the Audi unlocker and the lights flashed. One of the best things I ever done. That car got her through high school, college, graduate school, and medical school. When it died, I bought her a Toyota FJ and she’ll likely drive it until the wheels fall off. Of course she was an intern then, making barely subsistence wages and working 100 hours a week.

    Living out in the woods on the mountain we own four wheel drive trucks these days – and of course almost a dozen horses and one pathetic thing I call our token democrat – Lucy Lu, a donkey just in case we need a mule.

    I was flying taildraggers before we moved out to the mountain and spent some time at Chandler, Az at such a school there. Wife flew out to join me for a few days on Superstition Mountain to the north. I was looking at a high performance taildragger over in Riverside, CA. Wife bought a backpack with a lot of cash in case that was to be my new ride. While in Phoenix we passed a Bentley dealer with a shiny GT prominently displayed. Wife looked at me, smiled and said, why not?

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane folks.


  6. My first car was a rolls-Royce! Lmfao it was a Chevette! But it was my first, no matter how bad it was, it was my first taste of true freedom, sorry guys i cant think unfondly of that ride, no matter how bad it was… Fyi i was banging when i was on a Bicycle hahaha 😉

  7. Doomsday,

    Chevette – you were king of the road. Just think you could have had a Corsair, Gremlin, or Le Car. Seriously, if your first car was a Rolls it would likely have ruined you. My 1954 Olds was getting long in the tooth by the time I was 14 and sad to say, my juvenile driving habits killed it.

    I’ve lived the American Dream. I was fortunate enough to work in the West Texas oil patch while in high school. Been a roustabout, a worm, roughneck … Labored seven long and hard days a week, week after week in the summers – from mouse hole to tear down. Chose my parents wisely I did. They had a tremendous work ethic. I remember dad telling me one time, do it right or don’t do it at all, your choice. If you don’t do it, I’ll kick your … (I was being a typical lazy teenager at the time and richly deserved his ire). I loved my parents and they loved me. Gave me a great education in the ways of the world and what’s more, they had the good sense to have me born down Midland/Odessa way where the land reeked of spilled oil.

    Doomsday, I never doubted that I led a privileged life. Started work for dad in grade school and was almost continually employed in some capacity or another until age 50. After retirement went back to work exactly in dad’s footsteps, retired again, and then again. I humbly and sincerely want to apologize to you personally if you thought I was boasting because if you did, then I might as well had been. God has richly blessed my family and me, but those blessings weren’t free of obligation. Most came at high personal or financial risk. I believe He expects more of those thusly favored. I hope you’ll never know the sadnesses I’ve faced, the tragedy, the horror, and yet life goes on, and hopefully I’ve even managed to do some good from time to time.


  8. Hold the phone bro……. I never thought you were boosting! Pan i have nothing but GREAT respect and admiration for you, i read your many post with fondness, you came from a very hard but yet rich life, worked verry hard to have what you have, i have a great deal of respect for you sir, in fact i Admire you, i too came from a farm, we had no running water in our house until i was 13, when i came home from school i worked in the garden until dark before i was allowed to do my home work, we often walked the railroad tracks looking for coal in the winters, we were very poor, no cable, phone company woudnt run the lines that far to reach us… Im very proud of were i come from and how i was raised, as i know you are as well! It has effected every aspect of my life, and i know my problems are minute in the grand scheme of life, its given me the drive and ambition to be who i am today, i said a “rolls-Royce” because thats what it was to me, it could have been ANYTHING, and id been dam proud to be fortunate enough to have it, i guess i was just saying be happy we got tge peace of crap that we all did get, lol, i was reminiscing about how happy i was to get that car, at that time in my life i never thought i would….

  9. Reminiscing – me too Doomsday, me too. Thank you ever so much for your response. I feel better but as soon as I read you comment, I realized how mine could have been considered. Will try to watch my mouth, er pen, er keyboard closer.

    I’ve commented several times that I was raised in the Depression and like the country song, all we had was love. My parents never escaped those formative times and were frugal to the extreme. As a lad, I would see others, typically second or third generation in my little ranching community who had inherited wealth and almost all looked down their noses at us in our worn out jeans and scruffy boots. My parents tried to inculcate in me the value of honest sweaty work while at the same time the value of education. We waisted very little but never scrimped on books. They littered our house and when I had my own family, I made sure that books littered my house as well. What a passport to unimagined lands books are and I made sure my kiddos were reading at an early age.

    With maturity, I realized mom and dad likely had accumulated more money, land, or other tangible wealth than many of those who looked down on us. With that came an awareness that many who are snobs were literally given, either through inheritance or by wild chance, their wealth – most the former. Their parents, that WWII generation never had those views. I remember one old rancher whose kiddos were the worst would come to the feed store looking like us and then he would visit with my dad and his friends at the Rexall drug store/coffee shop. Later I learned he flew Mustangs and was a highly decorated pilot. Bowlegged with worn out chaps and spurs that likely his father owned, you could never tell, except that one cold day he wore an old well worn leather jacket into the store, a jacket with with all of those patches. Now that I can appreciate him, he is gone and how I wish he and I could share a cup of joe and have an adult conversation.

    Doomsday, I went to high school with a fellow whose father actually had a Rolls Royce. Most everyone else had worn out cars and pickup trucks. That lad managed to become an investment banker but he had a lot of help. The Rolls was not an advantage and likely a huge hinderance for him along life’s ways. You see my community had generational ranchers and a few squatted on oil and gas rich land. Heck, it turned out that we did as well but it was up to the wife and I to spud in a bit and find out and I was in my 50s and well set in my ways when we did. Else it would have totally ruined us as well. As things were it was hard to keep sudden wealth from ruining the kiddos but fortunately they were older as well and my son had already bucked a few hay bales.

    Thanks again for your note. I feel much better this morning.


  10. Im really sorry you felt that way pan, please know it was never a dig at you, to be honest im still a little confused, lol, as i said it was just me thinking kindly of the old Chevette, and a little of my twisted humor, it sounds like you worked very hard in your life, it makes me very happy you found your oil, as a man who knows what farm life is like i know you deserve it, i myself am only 38 years old, i often enjoy talking to older gentlemen such as yourself because it seems that I can find no one of my age group who has had the upbringing that I can relate to, i remember a lot of nights getting up to tend to the horses, whether it be a break in the fence, birth, injury, ect, then going to school, coming home, and back to work past dark on many occasions before homework/dinner/bath. I drew the water from the well with a cut off milk jug, then my mom would heat it up on our coal stove, theny step father took a bath, followed by my mom, then me, it was not easy but it was better than taking baths in the cold creeks i remember at a earlier age, i often got in trouble from my step dad for dropping the soap, there was no getting it back, although that was before i was 7 years old, i still remember how cold that creek was! I grew up in a way that very few of my age group could even phantom… But am glad i did, it made me strong, in high stress situations i seem to excel, never been afraid of working seven days a week, and dont cry about being tired, i dint find oil, but i never make less than 40 a hr, and have couple rental proprties paid for now, buying third this year i hope, so im doing ok. As i said before, its always nice reading your post, and have enjoyed talking with you, please dont feel bad, i never took it that way, and my comments were never ment as a jab to you sir.

  11. Sensitive I am then. It is hard to escape one’s childhood even decades later. I can’t imagine walking the rails looking for that stray piece of coal that blew off the tender and we never had to burn cow chips but life on the prairie had its moments. Creeks were few and far between but most places ever so small usually had what was called a wash house just off of the bunk house. The wash house had a large oval tin tub and windmill water was heated in buckets. The order for my family was dad, mom, and me and by then the water was gray and cool. Fencing and windmills I do know and dad always said too much fence work would run off a good hand. Funny how that never applied to family.

    Sounds like you have it all figured out, a rental here and there and suddenly the world isn’t quite so hard, especially as we age. Before I built the big house on the mesa, the only place left standing were a few old wooden barns and a 900 sq foot two and half room house (it did have indoor plumbing). For me it held memories but the wife pronounced it cold in the winter, hot in the summer and then full of bugs. I put in a modern wood burning stove and had to cut through a wall for the exhaust. Found old newspapers for insulation. Different times, harder times, but memories seem to skip the worst and thankfully dwell on the best.

    By way of beating that dead horse even deader (suppose that is a word), your Rolls remark following my relating the wife’s suggestion regarding the Bentley GT made me realize how my response could have and probable did sound to most and from there it was a quick flashback to when I was that kid in a white sports coat and beat up ranch pick up truck watching hopelessly as a rich classmate showed up at the prom with his father’s Rolls. My old Oldsmobile was a Rolls to me as well as it too represented freedom. Anything was better than an old flathead Ford that had carried too heavy loads too far. I suppose it was the springs sticking through the seat that gave it character.


  12. I miss walking those rails pan, some of the best times of my life, i know the things i say sound awful to most, but as im sure you feel the same, they were the best days of my life i think, strange how when i was younger i coudnt wait to get away, and how i lived life in every way possie to never have to do any of that again, giving my kids every advantage i never had, and making sure my wife or kids never wanted for anything! Now i seem to want nothing more than that old farm, and that simple way of life, i guess im going full circle in life, sure is strange how it all works out, but i look forward to having a few cows, pigs, chickens, maybe a couple of goats, about 4 acre’s of vegetables, and some good hunting grounds, 40 or fifty acers backed up to some protected land with a stream in the rolling mountings is about all i think about these last few years, i figure i need two more paid off rentals and then to pay of my “land” before i think about making the move, im a good general contractor and have a great reputation here, people wait for me for a good long while without hesitating, id rather not have to build it again some where else… So maybe by 50 ill be enjoying what i like to call true freedom, lets just hope it doesnt all go to hell before then! By the way, every mans first car is a rolls-Royce 😉 just as every mans home is is castle.

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