Monday, August 26, 2019

Selected a New Car

Well, I decided. Out early this morning for car shopping.  First planned stop was Precision Honda, Rio Rancho.  Started looking at new, 2019 CR-V.  With the different option packages, I was looking at the EX model.  Just not sure the cost at basically $30k.
Asked the salesman about used cars.  Also told him I was also planning to look at a Subaru Outback.  Alas, the dealer here had both.  I was able to sit in and look at the Outback.  Contemplating the used car, I was this was more in my budget.  There was a low mileage 2019 CR-V (used as a dealer loaner), but was the LT version missing some featured I want.  The low mileage EX models.  Settled on a little more car than I was planning on, but could not pass the deal.
Buying a 2015 Honda CR-V EX-L with 9812 original miles. Always serviced at the dealership. Per-approved for the loan with my bank and paperwork for insurance ready. Finally a late lunch at Chili's Guess I have had a busy and productive day.
Not totally excited about the color, but could not pass up the vehicle with its options, mileage, and price.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

First Day Car Shopping

Spent Sunday looking at and considering a new vehicle. Looking at Crossover/SUV for all-wheel-drive and higher clearance for driving back roads. Drove a 2019 blazer and a 2019 Equinox. Can't see the extra $8000 for the Blazer. Even the Equinox will see me back with about 30K when all is said and done.
Planning to check out Subaru tomorrow. They have low mile used Outbacks (demos?),  Cousin Sue Walker and fraternity brother Dale Trone recommended the Honda CR-V.
Just while my Chevy Impala is in good mechanical condition, has been totaled by insurance for hail damage. The Chevy dealer said the would only offer me $250 for the Impala

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Dinner at Billy's

Home from dinner and beers at Billy's Long Bar with cousin Don Gillmore. I had the open-faced chile cheeseburger with rice and beans.  I an still getting used to eating so many things with chile on, I usually order the green chile on the side, so I can portion the amount of chile. It had been a while since I had it. Had 3 pints of Kilt Lifter to wash down the food. Relaxed on the patio before heading home.
Started looking at perhaps a new vehicle. Something with higher clearance for New Mexico back roads.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Two More Pair of Boots

Yup, 2 more pair of boots! Black, zip-side harness boots and light blue w/ brown/grey lower cowboy boots. 
The harness boots were purchased near Boot Barn at Cottonwood Mall.  Was looking at another pair, but could net get a clerk to help me (boot hooks, Etc).
Light blue uppers boots were bought at the Boot Barn on San Mateo.
Yes, you could say I have a boot fetish.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Story of fascism in euroupe

Watch this PBS program - we are on the path to this led by the GOTP and Trump.  We MUST defeat him in 2020.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

We Didn't Belong

WOW. Guess it was perfect weather for me editing my memoirs chapter about my time in Vietnam. It brought out the good and bad feelings and memories. Almost 50 years since I landed "in-country" my feelings are still there, maybe even stronger.

In Vietnam, I was a Chaplain Assistant with the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. I was trained as a Chaplain Assistant with MOS 71M20. Our job was being a jack-of-all-trades for the Chaplain. We were his driver, acolyte, clerk, jeep mechanic, handyman and bodyguard, among other things.
Being with the 199th LIB, we were on the TOE of Brigade HHC. This should classify us as REMFs – the rear support personnel. The thing is, we spent most of our time out at the Fire Support Bases with the infantry battalions.

Recently I’ve been in contact with another Chaplain Assistant that was with the 199th at the same time. It was surprising to hear how much of our thoughts, feelings and experiences were the same. I began to wonder why.

We got back to Brigade Main Base for 2 nights a week, when our Chaplain was on duty there. During that time we spent a lot of time visiting the wounded at the 2 evac hospitals. We saw very little of our fellow Chaplain Assistants – except during these visits to BMB – and then only those that happened to be in at the same time. We were never at BMB long enough to develop any friendships with the support personnel. We didn’t really “belong” to this group – we were field guys.

Back to the FSB. We lived with the grunts, rat patrol, snipers, and recon. Our closest friends were 11B, 11E, etc. For some strange reason these guys adopted us. But we never felt we really “belonged” to their group. We lived with them, drank with them, partied with them. We laughed and cried with them. We were invited to their stand down parties. But we could not “belong” because we didn’t share the field/combat experience.

Some of us ended up going out with the troops one way or another. My Chaplain wasn’t happy when he found out I went with the rat patrol when they escorted the infantry for troop insertion. Recon was willing to take me along on a short patrol – but the Chaplain put a stop to that. Others were able to spend more time in the boonies – yet we still didn’t feel that we “belonged”.

We visited the sick and wounded. We set up the Field Cross for memorial services.  We suffered survivor guilt to varying degrees. And mostly we kept it all to ourselves. After all, it was our job to assist the Chaplain helping the troops. Hell, I don’t think our Chaplains had any idea what we were feeling.

I moved on to HHB II Field Force Vietnam Artillery in the fall of 1970. IIFFV was a REMF group, but my roots were in the field. I wore my boonie hat with pride. Ball caps were required at IIFFV unless you came from a field unit. So, while I made some good friends, I still didn’t really “belong”.

When we got back to the “world”, it was difficult for all Vietnam Vets. The country did not accept and understand us. We no longer “belonged” to their social group.

Each of us handled this in our own way. I finished my college degree and used work to suppress the thoughts for over 30 years. Now, with retirement, the war in Iraq and some other catalysts I probably don’t recognize, the feelings have come to the front. And I still don’t feel that I really “belong”.

SP5 Tom “Preach” Winfield
71M20 Vietnam

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Dinner Party on the Sun Porch

 Friends from Hobbs (Peter & Jim) are celebrating Peters 75th birthday. Cousin Don was invited and attended. All I had to do was provide the location. Salad, Garlic Bread, Lasagna, apple cake w/ ice cream was served.

During dinner we were treated to a nice, gentle rain. I heard the Albuquerque got about 0.7 inches of rain!  That's a lot for this area.  The rain cooled off the temperature - enough that I grabbed a sweatshirt. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

In the Army

50 years ago today, I boarded a bus from Kenosha, WI to Milwaukee. That day I raised my hand and offered my life to my country.

The one positive part of the day was when we were advised that that month the Marines were not drafting. 

Later in the day, I was on a plane headed to Fort Campbell and Army Basic Training.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Free Grill

Went out yesterday to get groceries, I nited the neighbor across the street had a gaf grill on the drive, free for the coming.  Back from the store, it was still there and the wife was in the yard.  Talked with her a little.  Dennis then brought it of to me, put it in the back yard.  Now, gonna move it is the shed or sun porch. And need to get a bottle of propane - regulator is with the grill.It will probably kept in the sun porch, more convenient to grill on the patio.

Had thought about picking up a grill, but doubt I would use if much.  Too much hassle  for what little I eat.  But, when (if) have company, it will be nice to have it.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Dinner at The Local Brewhouse

After my appearance at Field Day, I went home and processed thet photos.  Field Day Chairman wanted the photos up on Facebook during Field Day,

Did not feel like fixing some food for dinner, so made the short drive (under a mile) to The Local Brewhouse.  Normally, I prefer to eat out on the pasio.  The problem was if was very windy.  Was going to eat at the enclosed porch, but there was a noizy child or two where a couple families were eating.  Ended up sitting on the bar.

Asked for a pint of Kilt Lifter, but they were out, so had theit Local Brewhouse Amber.  For food, had thei pub burger.  The purger seemed to be larget than the last time, but same price.

Field Day 2019

The weekend of June 22/23 was Field Day - a day for Amateur Radio Operators to show their emergency preparedness.  The High Desert ARC set uo at Enchanted Trails RV Park West end of Albuquerque.  The club set up a phone station, CW station, and GOTA (Get On The Air) station. 

I visited the site and operations for several hours, taking photos for the club.  Then when home, posted them on the club's Facebook page.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Lunch at Chili's

Had a busy paperwork morning.  Went to Office Mas for supplies to construct a copy of my memoirs to send to Aunt Audrey.  Did a little editing while printing a copy of my efforts, so far.

Soon, it was past lunch time.  Chili's is about a milr away, so headed there.  Had a weekday lunch special combos -- Caesar salad, double cheeseburger, and fries.  Washed down the food with a 22 oz of amber ale.

I figured that while the salad would lower my INR, the 22 oz of beer should raise it.   zero sum?!

Not surprising, when I got home, I was too tired to do any work, even on the computer.

Presentation to High Desert ARC

At the June meeting of the High Desert ARC, I presented a talk on county hunting.  This was the first time I did a talk since my stroke 14 years ago.  The were a couple rough spots inn  my  speech, but made through.  Got many cudos from the members.

Here's a photo of me with my certificate.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Ham Radio Equipment

This afternoon, I unpacked my ham radio gear.  Guess it was about time as it has been sitting in the garage for the last 3 years!

On the bottom, the lineat power supple and Icom 707 transceiver.  Middle row are two of my antenna tuners.  On the top row were the Ramsey crystal 2 'm transceiver, Kantonics TNC and the antique CW key.

I also have Hustler mast and resonators, a mobile antenna tunor and a keyer.  They had unpacked shortly after I moved to New Mexico.  One of the paddles of the keyer is damaged.  Guess will have to repair of replace it if I want to do some CW.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Introduction to County Hunting

In the United States. there are 3077 jurisdictions (counties, parishes, districts). CQ Magazine offers an award for making 2-way amateur radio contacts with stations in those jurisdictions. The award is the United States All Counties Award (USA CA).
I, (WA9LKD), holds USA-CA #946. At the June meeting 0f the High Desert Amateur Radio Club, I will present a talk on “Introduction to County Hunting”. Topics will include requirements for the award, MARAC (Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club), County Hunting Nets, where to find additional information, and hints on how to start on county hunting.
Warning- county hunting can be addictive.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Taco Cabana - a Bust

Yesterday, decided to check out some of the local "Fast Food". Went to the Taco Cabana at Westside & Unser. Ordered their beef enchilada plate with green chile on the side. I was not excited about the taste. Even with the chile, it was rather bland.

Food was just "warm".  The tortillas were basically cold (though wrapped in foil). Chalk up for experience - food was not tasty and poor presentation

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Memoirs Update

Yesterday I went to Office Max and purchased supplies to print out a working copy of my memoirs.  This will help be understand where I need to write sections (chapters). and make some corrections and additions.

At this time, I think there about 60k words on paper.  Much more still to write.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Jungle Boots

Bought the boots and BDUs some time ago.  For over a year in Vietnam I wore boots like these.  Happy I was able to pick up these boots, in my size, at a local surplus store.  The "Tiger Stripe" camo BDU pants at a good combination.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

New Boots

After breakfast, I headed out for some shopping.  Stopped by Boot Barn, but they did not have the boots I was looking for (desert boots) nor any belts that L likes.  Ended up driving to Kaufmans, being sure they would have them.  Reebock desert boots, sans metal.

A couple days before, I have been to the Surplus City on Central and purchased 2 more pair of BDU pants (red digital camo and desert khaki camo).  While there, also bought a short "day pack). Here, I am wearing my new desert boots with the desert camp pants.

From there, I went to Cavenders Western Store.  Picked up a couple new belets (some of mine are getting too small - needed to buy some size 40 belts).

Monday, March 25, 2019

House Work

Busy weekend. Friday, tore up boxes, no into the recycling bin. Sat & Sun picked up 2 more bookcases. Got one assembled. Framed my horse ride photo and hung a couple other photos. Still, have another bookcase to assemble.

Saturday treated myself to a brat and 2 pints of beer at the Blue Grasshopped. Tried Isotope's Slammin Amber - very smooth beer.

Left knee and leg did not act up over the weekend.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Heading Home

After a light breakfast at the hotel, I finished packing the car.  Headed North from Tucson on highway 77.  Was planning to stopping by in Globe, but before I knew it, I was through the edge of town.

I had driven North from Globe and to the Salt River Canyon.  Just befire the canyon, I noticed abandonded buidinf - sign say Seneca.  Did a drive-through the area, down to the lake.  Took some photos.

Back on the highway, stopped along the road shooting photos of the canyon.  Will add some of these photos to the website page from a previous through the canyon.

Stopped in Slow Low to use the restroom and pick up maps & information.  I went up to St. Johns, gassed up and got some snacks before heading East via the road through Ramah.  Caught in rushhour getting home - about 5pm.  Was exhausted.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Air, Space, & Missiles

Time to check out some newer technology.  Headed out to the Pima Air & Space Museum.  Spent the extra money to ride the tram.  Was sure my legs and knee would not want to do all the walking.  Interesting tour - lots of aircraft.

Back at the room, I decided there was time to see if I could do a tour of a missile silo.  Googled for information - it's about 30 minutes South of Tuscon.  Plenty of time.  Had wanted to tour one of these sites - there's one in South Dakota, though a different missile.

Back at the room, started processing photos.  Went again to Brother John's for dinner - Monday special was a burger, fries and a pint of local been.  Packed up the room for departure in the morning.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Movies & Cacti

Seems that a Sunday would be a good day to check out Old Tuscon - a worked movie studio.  To get there, had to drive through the Tuscon Mountain Park.  Stopped at a parking area to take some photos.  Lot's of Saguaro and other cacti on the hills.

 Best know (by me) for the TV program "High Chaparral".  I am understanding that John Wayne starred on a lot of movies at the set.  Stopped in at the hotel/theater and picked up a soda and large pretzel.  Walked around and shot photos. 

Was happy to see that the is not charge for the train ride.  Bib the qhole loop and took some photos.  After more walking around, wanted to check out the High Chaparrel set.  Used the train back to the entrance/exit (a station in that area).   After 3 hours, I was ready to depart. 

Since I was in that part of town, went to the West section of Saguaro National Park.  Drove the gravel park road, shooting photos. 

Decided to eat dinner again at Brother John's.  Problem was their computers were down and had to get served at the bar.  Service at the bar was terrible. The bar tenders were both staying at the far end of the bar, basically ignored at my end of the bar.  Same amber beer. Tried the pulled pork sandwich.  Was not warm, not hot (temperature-wise).  Disappointed, early into bed.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

On to Tuscon

Packed up the Tombstone room and headed toward Tuscon.  Took the scenic route.  Ran across the old ghost town of Fairbank.  Took time to shoot a few photos.

Found Saguaro National Park East section.  Drove the scenic loop road.  Stopped along the road and turn-offs to take photos.  Very overcast day - not the greatest for taking photos, but the temperature is comfortable.  In the Visitor's Center, did some shopping.

On into Tuscon and find my lodging.  Used rewards points to sta at the Quality Inn, Downtown.  Room was not ready yet for me.  Headed out for a late lunch at Brother John's.  Good pint of local amber ale, burger, and side salad.

Settled into my room and started processing photos from the day.

Tombstone Tourist

Was out of the room about 8 AM.  Drove down to the town of Bigbee.  Old Bisbee is an interesting little town in the mountains, just North of the border with Mexico.  Stores where not open, yet.

From there, back to Tombstone to check out the cemetary at Boot Hill.  Amazing the number of graves marked "Unknown".  A few have lots of information, and some had interesting sayings. 

On back on Allen Street.  Did the self-guided tour of the Bird Cage Theater...Then lunch time.  At at the Longhorn on Allen St.  Had their chicken tenders with slaw, fries, and coffee.  Too much food, left most of the fries.

Last on the agenda for the day was picking up my copy of the souvenir coppy of the Tombstone Epitaph.  Back in the room, spend the rest of the day professing photos.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Moving Day

After breakfast at the ranch, I finished packing bag for moving into town (Tombstone} for two nights.  It has been may years since that I was so sad to leave the location.  The people at the Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch really make you comfortable, like that family.

Heading to retreive the car, stopped on the street and visited with a guest from New Zealand.  He and his wife are visitng the area during a 10 day trip to US.  Found out his heritage is also Danish!  Nice chat.  Gave hime a copy of my calendar.

When I got into town, it was too early to check into my motel.  Went to the noon reenactment of the "Gunfight at the OK Corral".  From there, heaaded down the street to Big Nose Kate's for lunch.  Met ham radio friend Terry Zipes and his wife.  Had a bacon sheeseburger, fries, and a 22 oz mug ot Kilt
Lifter.   Then checked into my motel.  Settled into the room and processed photos.

A Recovery Day

Yesterday evening, I set up for a Utility Vehicle ride of the ranch are and an afernoon 1 hour group trail ride.  When I got up, (remember, I did not sleep well), I stopped by the desk and asked then to cancel my plans for doing the afternoon trail ride.  I was just too tired.

The ranch owner took me an hour-long tour of the area.  It was a wild ride (I had been warned during playing poker last night).

Most of the afternoon, I rested and napped in the room.  Did process the photos from my morning ride.  Eventually, found myself on a stool in the saloon for a couple pints of beer and an order of cheese curds.  Entertainment in the saloon was a guitar picker and singer. Early to bed this evening. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


After breakfast, it was time for my first ever horseback ride.  The wrangler and her helpers got me settled into the saddle on "Doc".  Here's the money shot of Doc and me.

After about 1/2 hour, I was ready to call it enough for a first ride.  Went to the room to post the photo.  In the afternoon, I again rode Doc - this time for a hour-long riding lesson.

After the lesson, I was feeling a little more comfortable riding.  Learned more of the way to guide the horse, getting him to go where I wanted him to go.

After a shower and changing into my evening wear, I settled into a stool on the bar in the saloon.  Was a little hungry.  Had some bar-food washed down with pints of Kilt Lifter.  Later, we moved into the card room to learn how to play Texas Hold-um.

Tired. I headed to my room about 10pm.  Had an order of deep-fried cheese curds and some fries as food.  Foir pints of beet, and a couple hours of practice poker..  Unfortunately, I was so wired, I had problems getting to sleep.  It was an awesome day.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Chiricahua National Monument

Was a foggy morning when I stuck my head out of the room and walked over the breakfast room.  By the time I was back at the room, the fog had lifted.  Loaded back into the car and headed to Chiricahua National Monument,

Wanted to look what is left of Fort Bowie.  Drove the dirt road, but not ready to walk the dirt trail 200 ft to see the site.  On to Chiricahua.

Checked into the Visitor's Center.  Picked up information, a book, and misc "stuff".  Drove the road to it's end, stopping for photos..  Was a cold, windy morning up at the end of the road.

Had time, so headed towards Bisbee, AZ.  Unfortunately, it was pouring rain when I got there, so just drove through town and headed to Tombstone.  Late lunch at Doc Holiday's Saloon in Tombstone ("dined" on Tombstone pizza). Washed down my meal with 2 pints of 8's and Ace's local craft beer.

Took a couple photos of Allen St. in Tombstone and headed to check into the Tombstone Monument Guest Ranch.  Settled into my "Grand Hotel" room.  There was problems with my heat in the room which was eventually sorted out. 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

On the Road Again

My planned trip to Death Valley starting late January had to be cancelled because of the "Orange One's" dumb government shutdown.   I planned a different Winter trip - Destinations Tombstone & Tuscon, AZ.

Day one on the trip got me to Lordsburg, NM.  On the was, I stopped by Chloride, NM.  Met Donald Edmonds (I have read his book about growing up on a farm in Wisconsin).  Gave his daughter 5 copies of my 2019 calendar as a donation to the museum and store.  Picked up 2 more books about the area,, one also authored my Edmonds.

Stopped by the General Store and Cafe in Hillsboro.  Dropped off 2 of my calendars - the inside of the store in a page of my calendar.  Shot some photos in the real ghost town of Lake Village.  It was raining when I arrived in Lordsburg and checked into my room.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Late Lunch @ BJ's

Getting ready for my cowboy trip to Arizona (including staying at a dude ranch - planning to learn to ride a horse). Picked up a duffle bag and OTC socks. Took a break from packing with a lunch - ham & cheese sandwich, fries, and a pint of Irish Red Ale at the local BJ's brewhouse. Just about ready to start packing the car. Dinner with Cousin Don tomorrow afternoon, then on the road Sunday morning.
Decisions, Decisions - which boots to pack...

Friday, January 18, 2019

New (2017) blog photo

Relaxing with a brew and burger in Ely, NV  -- June 24,  2017

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hiking Boots

I have been preparing from my planned trip to Death Valley and other destinations for a Winter trip.

Over the last few weeks, I had a doctor appointment to discuss problems with my left knee.  X-Rays confirmed the problem  .we (Doctor and I) decided on a series of 3 injections of a gel into my knee.  Even with the first injection, my knee improved.

Looking forward to being able to walk better, I stopped by Boot Barn for a new pair of good hiking boots (photo).  They are water-resistant boots with a good walking tread.  Like many of my boots, where the foot length was 12, I have a wide foot - so end up with a pair of size 13 boots.

Now, I am hoping that I can make the trip, but things look less likely.  The government partial shutdown (including the National Parks) will cause me to cancel my trip.  A majority of the US Population wants the government back up.  Unfortunately, the leader of the Senate fuses to allow a vote.

Snowy Winter

This is the snowiest Winter since I have moved to New Mexico!  The week around New Years, we were hit with 3 storms.  The New Day storm was the strongest, dropping about 5" of snow at my area.  Since the road crews here are not equipped to handle this amount of snow, the city and the area was into a standstill.

Major streets are plowed.  Feader and residential streets were not plowed.

There was still some snow on the ground almost 2 weeks later when another short gave us a dusting, (photo here).  Each storm left the scene of a Winter Wonderland here in Rio Rancho.

Of course, the mountains in the area have received ample snow for snow sports.  There was a big problem here in the Sandias, the road to the ski slope was closed, so the opening was delayed until the facility could recruit and get workers to the slope!  Yes, ski season opening was delayed by heavy snow!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Geezerz Luncheons on Hold

It's been over a month since out last "Old Geezerz" brew house luncheons.  I have been missing the gatherings and having a pint or two of crafts beers.  Cousin Don and I continues meeting about every other Saturday for food, brews, and conversation.

I hade to get out (between out snow storms) to have a sandiwch and a pint of craft been fro lunch,  I decided on the Blue Grasshopper in Rio Rancho.   The streets forming the back way from my house will start reconstruction Monday the 14th.  Add that to major work on Southern, it's going to be difficult to get to that part of town until road construction are completed.

Since I had just recently had a frozen pizza for lunch, I tried their beer brat with chips (photo). Washed it down with the Scotia Scotch Ale.

Looking forward to the weekly brew house luncheons.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New's Year Day Storm

The snow started a bit after midnight New's Year Eve.  The wind kicked up for the day.  Traffic was to a stand-still on the Interstates --- 25 and 40.  At least New Mexico from Socorro to the Colorado border was shut down.

The mountains got up two 2 ft of snow.  Here in my backyard in Rio Rancho, I measured about 5 inches of snow.

While there has been forcast for more snow today, there has not been any more accumilation.  Lot's of cancellations and late started today.  I had a doctor's appointment for 9:15 which needs to be resceduled because of snow delay until 10am start.