Monday, September 30, 2013

There IS a Difference

Coming from a construction background, there is one thing that really aggravates me. That is the way folks use the terms track hoe and back hoe interchangeably.
Trackhoes have, well they have tracks and the hoe is in front. Backhoes have tires and the hoe is in back, hence BACK hoe. They usually have a bucket in the front.

 This is a track hoe...note the tracks. And the big freakin' bucket and arm or dipper in front. On a trackhoe the house rotates or spins to place the bucket where it is needed or to move the load where it is needed.

This is a backhoe... note the tires and the hoe in BACK. Notice the difference? On a backhoe the arm pivots from side to side to move the load or get the bucket where it is needed. Call me picky but...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Walk In the Past

Today my step-father took me on a short driving tour of a Civil War battle field/site here in Kansas City called the Battle of Westport. We looked at several monuments and bronze placards that told the story of this fight. It is a really interesting site but needs to be developed a little further. For instance on of the markers, complete with a period correct Napolean cannon is on the grounds of the Kansas City Water Department. We walked on the grounds wear my state bretheren, on both sides shed their blood. It was a very thought provoking trip. After the battlefield we went to a nearby cemetery that has a section dedicated to the Confederate soldiers of many states that gave their lives in this battle. Here are some of the very interesting head stones I looked at today.

 The three pictures above are the Confederate memorial to all the soldiers that died at the Battle of Westport. It is topped by the stone rebel. The whole thing is over 20 feet tall.

 Yes, General Joe Shelby is buried here too. With his family around him.

 Somebody has a long memory. And a little bit of a grudge too.

 One of our honorable state leaders.

 This is the back side of Waldo Johnsons monument. It's a massive piece.

 These flags adorn the markers of all the soldiers graves. We found a few tombstones the someone had tried to chip away the Confederate flag. Truly sad.

These gents rode with my, lets see, my great, great possibly three times great uncle. The design at top center of the stones is also found on the top center of Quantrills tombstone in Higginsville. I'm going to try and find out what it means.

All in all it was a very moving day for me. Walking the grounds where people of my ilk fought and died and then looking at the graves of many of them brought many thoughts to my mind.

More info here and here. This a very good site with a ton of pictures.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Family Ties

Here's how my family rolls, I have historical cousins that rode with...Quantrill. Yep, THAT William Quantrill, one of the original bad boys of terrorism, murder and mayhem back in the 60's. The 1860's that is.
Here's the Wiki on him.

Here's one of his tombstones, this one in the Confederate Cemetery in Higginsville Missouri. This grave contains recovered stolen bones!

His group was responsible for the sacking of Lawrence Kansas and other towns and farms. He copied the tactics of the Native Americans and introduced guerilla warfare to the Civil War or rather the War of Northern Aggression. Two of his disciples are rather well know, Frank and Jesse James.

Here is another write up about this particular devil.

I don't agree with all of Bill's actions but we can learn from his tactics.
 After 5 years of warfare on the Missouri/Kansas border before the actual start of the War, Kansas and Missourians were well versed the fine art of death.
For more information on the interstate warfare that went on during 1854 to 1865 period find a copy of Jay Monaghan's book " Civil War on the Western Border 1854 to 1865". Read this book and see how many names you recognize, men that cut their military teeth on the Missouri/Kansas border war.

Here are some links to the Confederate Cemetery and Memorial in Missouri.

Here is a nice article..
Indecently this is the only state park in Missouri where it is legal to fly the Confederate Flag officially and that only came around a few years ago.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Another Life

Today I write this from my new house and write as a single man with no marital obligations. Bright and early this morning I made an appearance in divorce court. Very quick, entirely too quick for the dissolution of a 30 year union, 15 minutes, a couple of signatures and its over. Well, now that it is over I start my new life. I'm living in a city I said I would never live in, using services I said I would never use and putting prepping and such on the back burner due to lack of space. I'm trying to fit 25 gallons of crap into a 5 gallon bucket here.
   I will work on organizing this chaotic mess, get my finances in order, let my heart heal a little and decide whether I can trust a woman again. So onward and forward. Oh yeah, today I picked up an application for a new job at a hardware store. So maybe there will be changes on that front too!