29 November 2010

Random thoughts at 3 AM

   Another middle of the night and I am awake. Been a lot of this lately. I sleep about 4 1/2 to 5 hours and then I am awake. Cannot get back to sleep, then about daylight, when I should be getting up ... I get sleepy. I do not know what caused this drastic change in sleep rhythms. It is disconcerting to say the least. 
   I have not often thought of myself as a member of the clerisy, what with my seemingly constant hebetude. But the more that I am around people these days with their obvious nescience about so many topics, the more I am inclined to believe that I may belong. People tend to amaze me more and more with their thoughts and actions.
   I have spent the last 5-6 days at home with Hilda as she can do little for herself as yet and that has brought on a period of laziness that I must overcome. Coupled with our obvious lack of money ... her unemployment has stopped because the Federal side of the equation has not been extended ... boredom is starting to set in.
   My NFL picks the last few weeks have been abysmal ... I have been tossed from my once glorious perch by point spreads and bad play by good teams. I went 7-9 this week. that drops me to 67-45 or 60% ... I was above 80% at one time. Not thinking and/or planning enough I guess.
   Our weather here has not been to my liking of late ... have to wear a jacket and a long sleeve shirt. I'm a shorts and polo shirt kind of a guy you know.
    I have been actively looking for work, but nothing yet. For every position out there, there are dozens of applicants. And ... most of them are younger than 65.

27 November 2010


 Well, I went on the other day about the things that I was thankful for. Today, I am back to normal, not understanding the world or my fellow humans. Some things really irritate me ... and they shouldn't realistically. I am not well educated, tout de même I am not dumb. Here I sit in the pre-dawn hours, reading and attempting to keep up with happenings locally and in the world at large. I mean ... important, earth-shaking things. LOL ! I mean who doesn't worry that B.H.O., the world's most articulate human and leader (?) of the free world got stitches because of an errant elbow in a basketball game or that 77 year old Willie Nelson got caught with 6 ounces of pot (again) or that Wesley Snipes or Lindsey Lohan may actually get jail time. These are events that shall go down in history ... or not. Sometimes I think that I should give up on the news as it is. But, where was I? Oh yeah, things that irritate me.

Item #1: I cannot, for the life of me, understand why people use YOUR when they mean YOU'RE. I have seen it on all sorts of announcements, both hand printed and computer generated ... "YOUR invited" / "YOUR welcome" ... and no one seems to notice or to care. Well, now I have even seen it in the newspaper ... in our very liberal Arizona Daily (Red) Star. And it was not just lapsus linguae, it appeared once in the news and once on the sports page. These are college educated writers and they have editors. This is not the only language malfunction extant but it is one of the most common. If a redneck hillbilly like me can see the difference, then what is the problem? Are the apostrophe and the E just too much trouble to add? Enough though.

Item #2: Drivers who are distracted or brought to incompetence by their inability to NOT BE ON THE PHONE! I cannot believe that all these conversations are THAT important. People do not talk about important things on their cell phones normally ... they just talk because they have a cell phone and it is a way to keep busy. I saw a car yesterday with three people in it ... all of whom were on their cellphones. Maybe they were talking to each other? Or maybe they didn't like each other? No one under the age of 50 seems to have face-to-face conversations anymore. They text and twitter and whatever that new thing is, all in a code that passes for language these days. OMG,LOL, Gr8, ad nauseam.
    An observation - I have to say that there are very few people that I know or see who have the ability to "Do Nothing". That is a great sorrow to me. Everyone should, at one time or another (I do it regularly) ... just sit/stand/lean and "Do Nothing". I sit on our little porch for a half hour and don't do anything ... it revitalizes the juices and rests our little grey cells (as Hercule Poirot calls them). But folks in this day and time have to stay busy every waking moment, not with anything important, just busy.

Item #3: While we are on the subject of driving / drivers ... my favorite peeve ... are people ignorant of laws and/or common courtesy or just ignorant? They make right hand turns from the left lane and/or left hand turns from the right lane. They cut over three lanes ... a mere 5 car lengths from the intersection. Did they just remember where they were going? Did they just wake up? Or did that person on the phone tell them ... "TURN HERE!"?

   I think that I will leave the news, as it is, alone and make some breakfast. Have a good weekend. Oh, by the way ... my sports update: U of A lost to the #1 team in the nation in football and won in basketball, but they have a real test in roundball today ... Kansas. My three NFL picks for Turkey Day didn't turn out so well I was 1-2. But one game I gave 3 1/2 points and my team only won by 3. I lost by a half point ... that sucks. Oh well! But,again, have a great weekend.

25 November 2010


 On this Thanksgiving day 2010, Hilda and I are very thankful to be so much in love with each other. It took us many decades of our lives, a few disagreements, and many other relationships before we met.We are also very thankful for our friends around the nation and world (Hi, Barry !), our internet friends and especially grateful to have the friends that we have in the American Legion  family. Although we don't always see eye to eye with them, we are grateful for their friendship and their love. We are also grateful for the family members with whom we are close and ... to our estranged family members and ex-friends ... we love you, forgive you (and ask for your forgiveness) and hope that one day we all shall be close once again. The holiday season from Thanksgiving, through Christmas and Hanukkah reminds us all of the joy of family and friends and the week after Christmas a new year begins. May the upcoming year bring you all much happiness, success and as old friendships continue ... may you be rewarded with new, lasting friendships.
  W. Antonio Rigney and Hilda J. Reiser-Rigney

24 November 2010

23 November

  Well, today started out pretty well ... I worked for Perry at ValuPlus and made $65 (could have made $80, with another $80 tomorrow ... which is now off, I needed that $80/$120 a lot) but when I talked to Hilda on the phone, I found out that she had a bad fall and her arm was killing her. I came home, took her to Urgent Care (sort of an Emergency Room) which we could ill afford and found that she had broken her Proximal Humerous ... in English, that is the upper bone in her right arm. Now, we have to get follow ups from an orthopedist (read as ... more $$$) and for the time being (3 months?) she will be in a sling, taking pain meds, icing her arm and she will need me to do certain things (getting her clothes on and off, bathing her, et al) until she is able to do for herself. She is miserable, but I hope that her happiness returns soon. I love her so much and hate to see her in pain.
   Our U of A Wildcats won again tonight. In 5 games this season, we have scored 414 points and given up 273 points. The per game average is 82.5 for us and 54.5 for our opponents ... we have averaged scoring 28 more points per game than our opponents. Now ... I do not expect this to continue, however there seems to be a light at the end of our tunnel. GO CATS !! As the head honcho on the TV show ... The A-Team (great name A-Team, A as in Arizona) used to say ... "I love it when a plan comes together". We play again on Thursday and we play Kansas on Saturday. Rough road, but that's the kind of road we travel.

   My NFL picks need to be in by tomorrow ... Turkey Day games on Thursday you know. But my Thursday picks are:

New England      -6.5        At Detroit     The Patriots and give the points
New Orleans       -3.5        At Dallas        Drew and the Saints, but the Plowboys could surprise 
Cincinnati            +9          At NY Jets     The Bengals and the points, I'm hoping they keep it close

  Hilda wishes her niece Cassie a happy Birthday today, we really love her and miss her. She is very intelligent and very pretty, a deadly combination. But her mom Gerrie (Hilda's youngest sister) is a pretty lady, so Cassie comes by it honestly.

    We both hope that all of you have a great Thanksgiving, we were going to work that day at the Legion serving dinner, but that is off. We'll miss donating our time, but there shall be other opportunities. So long for now.

21 November 2010

20/21 November

Yesterday, Saturday, was Family Festival Day at Randolph/Reid Park here in town. It is a 131 acre park a few miles from our house. Hilda and I went to the zoo (we hadn't been in a while) and walked through the park to see what was going on. There was a group(s) of children doing Mexican dances, etc., food booths, and some Heroes and Villains from a store here in the area. We then went to the Legion to play shuffleboard and watch football and then home to watch movies.
Some Star Wars Characters

A Storm Trooper

Ms Hilda and a Giraffe

Llama (pronounced Yama in Spanish)

I've always loved this waterwheel at the Zoo

A spoonbill inside the aviary

A Mexican dancing couple

Two lovely little Senoritas in their homemade regalia

A small Mariachi chases a small senorita

19 November 2010

NFL Picks for 21/22 Nov

My NFL picks have been going south over the last week or so. I am hoping they improve this week. I won on Da' Bears last night ... that puts me at 48-33 (59%). So ... here goes:

Oakland         +7.5         Pittsburgh        I'll take the Steelers and give the 

                                                                         points, but this could be an upset
Houston         +7            Jets                     Houston comes back, 

                                                                         I'll take the points
Baltimore      -7             Carolina            Ravens, the Panthers are horrible 

Washington  +6           Tennessee        Titans in a close one
Lions                +6           Dallas                 I can't believe that I'm taking the  

                                                                         Plowboys, my money says so, 
                                                                          but my heart pulls against them
Packers            -2.5        Vikings             
Vikes, Bret comes back again
Buffalo            +5.5        Bengals             Buffalo in an upset,  

                                                                         I'll take the points 
Cleveland       +2.5        Jaguars            Jaguars will more than cover
Arizona           +7            Chiefs               
Kansas City, our Cardinals will 
                                                                         lose in a close one,
Seattle             +10.5      Saints               Saints, but that's a lot of points
Falcons            -3            St Louis           Atlanta
Tampa Bay     +3           49er's               Tampa Bay covers
Colts                 +3.5       Patriots            Colts, I believe that the Pats are 

                                                                        the best team going right now, 
                                                                        but Peyton keeps it close
Giants              +2.5       Eagles               Giants will defend Vick better 

                                                                        others have, Eli comes through
Broncos           +9          San Diego        San Diego, but I think that 

                                                                        they'll have trouble covering

Random things @ 0300 Hrs

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." - Thomas Jefferson

"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." - Richard Bach 

"Time is the flesh and blood of death; death is not a skull, a skeleton, but a clock face, a sun hurtling through a sea of thin gas. A part of you has died since you began to read this sentence ... the more absolute death seems, the more authentic life becomes." - John Fowles (The Aristos)

Some of the 'odder' cars at the Vietnam Veteran's Car Show on the 13th ... my 65th B-Day (and my brother Mickey's 63rd)
An 'Uncle Sam' Bucket

That's a grenade on the Air Cleaner. A 'military' off road experience

This one is called "Anger Management"

My 2nd oldest G-son Devin Thomas Rigney and me 
taken at Hilda's and my apartment in Tucson. 
He is certainly growing up.

My brother Mickey and his wife Patricia at the Bellagio in Vegas over Veteran's Day. 
They lived in Vegas for years until his retirement and their move to Ft Worth.
Contrary to what they say, that IS NOT me in the background! 

17 November 2010

Valdez's trip to Mozambique

My very best friend in the world, what today's youngsters would call a BFF, Dr. Stanley S. "Valdez" McGowen recently took a hunting trip to Mozambique. Now, ... you must realize that he is blind and has been for about 20 years. He was in the Army in Vietnam, did stunt work with me in Arizona in the 70's, flew helicopters, etc., until the plane crash that cost him his sight. He went back to college (more properly to University) ... got his Masters and his PhD, taught in college, wrote 3 books, and continued to live as a true Texan should. He is the only blind man that I have ever heard of that has killed the Cape Buffalo in the wild (among other animals). Now he adds some more trophies to his collection and is now the first blind man to kill an African elephant in the wild. The elephant was an added bonus to his trip. His commentary is included as follows:

     " I went to Mozambique with Richard Sanchez, a professional videographer I met at the Dallas Safari Club convention. Richard filmed the safari for a TV producer, who should air the hunt on an outdoor show next season. We flew from Dallas - Fort Worth to Atlanta, overnighted at J-berg, RSA, and then flew to Mozambique. We hunted in the northern part along the Lugenda River. My main goal was a leopard, but did not bag one.  Weather was hot, 88-96F and the cats were lethargic -- plus the bushpigs and warthogs were dropping their litters and the cats could scoop up a quick snack quite easily and would not get on bait.  The first day I dropped a 350 lb. bushpig boar -- a nice trophy. During the next ten days I shot several animals for bait, including one sable that the lions had been after, he was scratched up and blind in one eye -- he had also broken off one horn, either defending himself from lions or other sable bulls.  I brought down a 41" Sable Antelope bull, a really nice trophy and a Niassa Wildebeest -- native only to the Niassa area in Mozambique and a small part of the Selous in Tanzania.  The tenth day we received a permit for a Problem Animal Control elephant, which, with several other animals had been raiding a "plantation" of bananas and sugar cane about 30 miles from our camp.  The local villagers had called for help as they could not run out the big animals with flaming torches and banging on pans. We made our stalk at night, not the easy way you see on TV, where the hunter stalks near the elephant and shoots him in the brain. We had to make our stalk through thick brush, uneven terrain full of elephant holes and banana trees they had pushed over.  The winds were swirling and we were never sure if the big animals would wind us and stampede in our direction!  We made our way downwind and to within 25 yards of one bull and the PH decided to shoot him; there were two others VERY near us as well, and we were not really sure where the other 5-6 elephants were.  Again, we were concerned about a stampede when we shot our selected bull.  We had taken the laser off my .300 Winchester Magnum and put it on the PH's .458 Winchester Magnum for more firepower. When I turned on the laser the elephant saw it and flared his ears a bit, indicating that he was not pleased and might charge the light. One PH quickly directed me on target and I placed a shot through the elephant's heart. The second PH immediately broke the elephant's shoulder with his .500 Jefffery's and I placed a second raking shot through his lungs.  The bull ran about 75 yards and piled up.  The second PH followed him up and put in an insurance hot.  Pretty exciting!!
Dr McGowen is 3rd from left

Dr McGowen with his Sable Antelope bull

His Niassa Wildebeest

With one of his warthogs

Congratulations to my good friend Valdez on his latest foray into Africa. He is one of the most remarkable people that I have the pleasure, or have ever had the pleasure, to know, if not the MOST remarkable. He is an inspiration to me daily.

14 November 2010


Well, the 91st Annual Veteran's Day Parade has come and gone ... will post pictures on my BLOG tomorrow. We have been resting up, it was a lot of work. Next year, we'll have 10 months to plan it and set it up. This year we only got notified the end of July that the City of Tucson would be unable to assist us as in past years. A lot of people have jumping through hoops, ... especially Joe Roberts the SAL Commander at Post 7 ... in order that this year's parade come come to fruition.
    Today ... I'd like to wish my brother Mickey in Ft Worth a happy birthday ... he and I are two year twins (he was born on my 2nd birthday). So, he is 63 today and I am 65. Today is the day in 1982 when the Vietnam Memorial was dedicated. It is also the birthday of King Edward III of England in 1312, Robert Louis Stevenson (1850), TV producer/director Garry Marshall (1934), Actor Joe Mantegna (1947 ... same year as Mickey), and television talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel (1967).
    Isn't the internet something !!! I received birthday greetings this AM (electronically generated of course) from ESPN, CVS and Walgreen's Pharmacies, two Conservative E-magazines, Famous Sam's (a local Sports bar franchise), Applebee's and Classmates.com. Birthday SPAM ... how interesting.
   Hilda and I will be off to the Nam-Jam car show this morning and we shall play shuffleboard with our friends at the Legion this afternoon. We need to sign up today as volunteers for the Post 36 Thanksgiving Day feed. I'll probably serve and she will probably waitress. We enjoy doing that on Thanksgiving day each year. We don't have money to help others, but we do have time. So, our collective time (and our hearts) is what we give to helping others ... it is the least that we can do.
   The NFL treated me badly last week ... I became 40-26. I won Thursday Night so I am 41-26. This week I am getting on onto the limb again with my picks.
Cincinnati           +7            Indianapolis         I never go against Peyton
Houston              +1.5        Jacksonville
Tennessee           -1.5         Miami    
Minnesota           -1            Chicago     very uneasy about this one
Detroit                 +2.5       Buffalo   
NY Jets                 -3           Cleveland    
Carolina               +7          Tampa Bay            
Kansas City         -1           Denver        
St. Louis              +6          San Francisco            
 Seattle                 +3          Arizona            
Dallas                   +13.5     NY Giants     Too many points, but Giants should win
New England     +4.5      Pittsburgh            
Monday Night                
Philadelphia         -3                 Washington     42.5  Bet the Over

The Parade beginning, Legion Riders and VFW Riders ... Rolling Thunder

A poster I made for display, Tucson's 31 KIA's from Iraq/Afghanistan

Krischel Augustine, who performed the National Anthem in Dine' (Navajo) ... check her out on You Tube !!

01 November 2010

Monday Morning Quarterback

Yesterday was the worst day in the NFL for me this year. I went 6-6, one I lost because of the point spread. I picked the Chiefs and they were favored by 7 but won by less. that puts me at 34 and 18 (65%) for the last four weeks.Hopefully, Peyton will help me out tonight.