July 23, 2018 — Leave a comment

My daughter came into the house complaining about spending $1.25 to air up her tires. We talked for a while about the ways service has declined in most businesses. So many things that were called service were just expected. Elevator operators, Doormen, when you bought a new tire it was mounted, balanced and put on the car at no extra cost; that was service!

You needed gas you went to a “service station” and the attendant pumped the gas, cleaned the windshield and back glass, checked the oil, and checked the tire pressure: all that for the $.30 price of the gas. That was service! But, because we were all in a hurry we, instead of waiting our turn got out of the car and pumped our own gas. And, like so many things self-service started slowly but eventually became the norm.

About 10 years ago we took a 3 week dog show and sightseeing trip to the west coast. We showed a couple of our girls at the Great Western Terrier Show at Long Beach California. After three days dog showing; we went north to visit some relatives of Linda and then on to Oregon. I was born in Oregon but, you have to think about this, I had never seen it. So we went to Salem, Or. We spent 3 days there sightseeing and luckily saw the Salem General Hospital where I was born about a month before it was demolished. Also saw what was left of the Oregon Mental Hospital where I was almost born. That’s a story I think I’ve already told.

Part of the sightseeing was driving in the country and finding wineries. A great day and we brought back several bottles of fine wine. When we returned to the motor home I luckily noticed the car was running on fumes. I let Linda out to potty the dogs and I headed to a gas station. Found one just a few blocks away. Pulled up to pumps and got out and proceeded to put gas in the car.

WOW! A young man came running out of the little store yelling and waving his arms! “You can’t do that! Stop!” “What I asked?”  The lad replied, “you can’t pump gas. It’s against the law. ”What I ask?” The lad took the gas nozzle from me and asked, how much and I said fill it up. While he was filling the tank he explained the Oregon gas pumping law and also said that New Jersey has a similar law. Seems these laws were passed to protect jobs. But the young man did not clean my windshield.I read a few years ago that Oregon repealed the gas pump law which leaves New Jersey to stand alone to protect the jobs of the gas pump jockeys.

So today when you go shopping and you are dissatisfied with the service if you go to the front of the store and look around you will find the culprit; Self Service!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man                                  Edited and approved by Linda

Road Alligators

June 27, 2018 — Leave a comment

A couple of weekends ago we went to Louisville to deliver a belated birthday gift to our daughter-in-law and just because she just happened to be there, a visit with our granddaughter, Fenna. We had a great visit and as always we had to start home too soon.

The drive down started off in the rain from our house to about Columbus when it petered out to a drizzle and from Seymour a really wonderful sunny drive to Louisville. During the drive I couldn’t help noticing the road alligators along the road. Road alligators, if you don’t know, are huge pieces of truck tire recaps that have come off. I counted at least 30 between Columbus and Memphis road. They were easy to see because it appeared that the grass had been mowed in the last two weeks. That’s about 2 road alligators being hatched every day. From Memphis road to Louisville the body count slacked off but the 6 lanes are really a great improvement. But, I added about 15 “gators” to the count.

Shortly after we arrived in Louisville it started raining again and quit just before we left for home. It was a fun drive with 3 lanes of interstate to drive on. This ended all too soon at the Memphis Road exit (Henryville). Six lanes of I 65 so nice, an improvement long in coming. But again the body count continued and we soon encountered a parking lot. Seems that a semi got off the road and ran into a steel guard rail and got hooked to it and pulled it loose and bent the rail onto the right lane and forced all traffic onto the left lane. The state police were there trying to figure out how to move it off the road and about a mile further the police had the semi pulled over and appeared to be writing a ticket. The rest of the drive home went off without any hitches. The body count continued and the total came to about 75tire carcasses.

Now if you have never encountered an alligator being hatched coming off a truck tire let me tell you it can be scary. A few years ago we were on our way to a dog show in Michigan and at Ft. Wayne when about a ½ mile ahead I saw an alligator being hatched. It came off the tire in several pieces and they were being scattered along the highway and a fairly good sized piece was coming to a stop in the center of my lane. It appeared that I could straddle it so I centered the motor home on the piece and then kerthud kerthud kerthud I went over the alligator. It sounded like the “gator” was tearing everything on the underneath of the motor home off. I kept looking in the mirror to see if I was leaving any debris on the road. Luckily nothing came off but later, to repair the damage, the insurance company paid about $2000.00.

For a long time I have thought and even talked to folks about, because of the traffic, I-65 and I-70 should be 6 lanes border to border. I read the other day that the State/Feds were going to improve I-65 to 6 lanes for another 30 miles. That is great and needs to be done all the way to Gary. It will take a while but it will be worth the construction delays. However, we have about 30 miles of 6 lanes and we are adding another 30 miles; guess where they are starting the construction. They are starting the new construction at the ending point and working south. I’m sure that make sense to someone but not me. I think it makes more sense to start where you left off then as you get a section completed it can be opened to traffic. Just saying!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda

Pastor Evie’s message Sun. was that we need to witness our experiences with God and Jesus to show the unbelievers that God does exist. Because of her message I am now telling my story of my experience with God.

I have had a very wonderful and blessed life. My life was not always easy but never more than I could handle.  I worked hard and I think I provided all the needs for my family. I had three wonderful kids not perfect but really good kids. And even though I lost my youngest son at age 26 he left me with an absolutely wonderful Granddaughter who has become quite an entrepreneur. My other two kids are successful and I enjoy bragging about them. I am also very proud of my other granddaughter, Syd, who will soon be off to College to start her place in the world.  I am also very proud of my two step children who are successful in their own right with 4 grandkids who are amazing.

Along the way I have turned over two trucks and had two other car accidents and except for a minor cut knee have been unscathed. What I am about to write is true without embellishment! These two incidents happened about 50 years apart but I am convinced they came from the same person.

I believe that God has spoked to me twice. The first time about 50 years ago I was trying to help unload a rail road tank car of liquid nitrogen fertilizer and the guys trying to do the job had not opened the pressure relief valve on the top of the tank. And because of that when they tried to pump the liquid it created a vacuum and nothing would come out of the hose.  I climbed to the tank top and opened the valve to vent the tank and allow the pump to remove the fertilizer.  The fertilizer was anhydrous ammonia mixed with a sticking agent to be sprayed on wheat to increase the yield.

When I opened the valve instead of air rushing into the tank the liquid fertilize came roaring out and covered my head and upper body with the sticky stuff. The fertilizer is called nitrogen because it is anhydrous ammonia and if you have ever used ammonia to clean you knows it takes your breath. Now, I am about 15 feet above the ground and I can’t breath and I can’t open my eyes because the stuff is burning my face and exposed skin. I know where the water faucet is but it is a way off about 100 feet. At that point my predicament 15 feet to the ground, climb an 8 foot embankment, and then 50-60 feet to the water hydrant. I still to this day don’t know how I got off the tank car but I remember running up the embankment heading towards the shed with the water.

Finally I reach the water faucet and It is a never freeze faucet and I am just about to pass out and I raise the handle to turn on the water. Nothing, if you have ever used a never freeze fountain you know it takes a few seconds to start the water flowing.  I will tell you it seemed like forever and then I heard the voice, “It will be alright” and then the water flowed. I managed to get enough fertilizer off my face and head to breathe. The voice I heard always haunted me after that because not knowing for sure I never told anyone about it until about a year ago when I told Linda.

The second time I heard God’s voice was about 8 years ago. Before I quit smoking I would have coughing spells that would cause me to almost pass out. I had taken our Saturn to have some warranty work done before a trip to see the grandchildren and started home when I started coughing. Things seemed to get real fuzzy and then I heard the voice. “Put on the brake” and then again very strongly “put on the break” At that warning I came out of my stupor and saw that I was about to hit the car in front of me.  I slammed on the brake pedal almost pushing it through the floor board. I stopped just a few inches from the car ahead and then quickly looked to the rear view mirror and watched the man behind with his look of panic as his car stopped just inches from my back end!

After the shakes subsided I broke out in a sweat and I decided that God had spoken to me again and saved my life. For many years I have asked God for a sign to show me what he wants me to do. I don’t expect to see a burning bush, just a simple hint. Maybe it is writing this blog.

I am a firm believer in God. I believe in Jesus and all he taught and died for. I have said publicly that Jesus has been with me every day this last year and a half. I am convinced that without Jesus I would not have survived.

It is strange that we Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God yet constantly fight amongst ourselves and have for centuries. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all set down together and make peace with one another?

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda

One of the greatest benefits of living here on the pond is watching baby ducks and geese grow into adults.  The grounds keepers try very hard to limit the goslings and so far this year I have only seen two clutches totaling 5 babies here at our pond. The ducks, however, so far are flourishing with a few clutches of 10+ ducklings. It is really fun to watch the hens lead the ducklings about the grounds and pond.

Something is different this year. Neither the geese nor the ducks are taking their babies to the water. In past years, especially the ducks seemed to lose almost all their babies either from the turtles in the pond or other land based critters; raccoons, foxes, or coyotes. I have seen 2 goslings on the water and I watched a hen take her 2 ducklings across the pond to the other side safely.

I have watched several of the hens take their brood down to water’s edge and let them play in the shallow water but never more than 6-12 inches from solid land. It seems that they have perhaps learned to avoid the perils of the pond. Can it be that the duck hens remember from past years losing almost all their babies on the pond?

Whatever the reason I am enjoying watching the little fellows grow as momma leads them from one source of food to another. I do have to admit that we do leave some bird feed under the feeders  which brings them close up for observation.

I hope that if you live here on the reservation you can watch the babies grow also!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The crotchety old man


Edited and approved by Linda

American Pickers

May 14, 2018 — Leave a comment

There are so many “reality” shows on TV anymore that they seem to be over produced to the point of ridiculousness. All, it seems are scripted to the point of “really are you shitting me” stupid. There are a couple that even though scripted are enjoyable to watch. Deadliest Catch is at the top of the list With American Pickers right behind; Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz.

I love the pure adventure of the crab catchers because there is no way I would have ever tried to do what they do even when I was young and fearless. Those guys make big bucks for 60to90 days’ work on the boat but they earn every penny of it: working on a deck that is bucking like a wild horse, with wind and water blowing in your face and down your neck, rogue waves trying to wash you off the boat, and cold like you cannot imagine. And if this is not enough to turn you off then 24 to 36 hours of it with only brief food and pee breaks. The catch must be caught. Temper flair and it seems the deck hands have never heard of the boss rules. Rule # 1; the boss (captain) is always right and Rule # 2; if the boss (Captain) is wrong see rule # 1!

So back to the pickers, I have always enjoyed looking at old things. I bought my first antiques when I was 12 at a household auction on W. Jefferson St. here in Franklin and I still have them; a pressed glass cracker jar and about a dozen sterling silver spoons.  John Friederorf was the auctioneer and he held up a hand full of black nasty looking spoons and asked for a bid. I think I bought them for a dollar or two. After I got them in my hands I worked the tarnish off the back of one or two spoons and they were both Sterling. Later I found that they were all Sterling worth a lot more than I gave for them. I still have them and I’m sure they still need to be polished.

I have always been intrigued by old things. I wanted to know what they did and how they worked. During my younger years I went to lots of farm and house hold auctions and accumulated lots of old tools and things no longer used. Kept these for a longtime but when we moved here to the reservation they went to the sale place. We still have some old things around the house, myself included, and I hope the kids will someday learn to appreciate them and maybe find a place for them.

Back to Mike and Frank, I am amazed at the finds they discover on their program and wonder how they set them up with the recording crew and make it look like they just drive up and “hello” we are here.  Their producers and film crew make each episode look so natural and unscripted and I guess that’s why I watch so much of the show, even reruns. I just read an article on F/B that said that a lot of work goes into each episode, even planting some of the thing they appear to find. But, anyway, I continue to watch just to see things I’ve never seen before or at least not for a long time.

To end this rambling I will tell a personal story about a real antique I was involved with. My Colorado son-in-law is an engineer and has lots of wonderful tools that he uses to make things around the house. I think it was the last time I was there that he asked me about monkey wrenches. I, to the best of my ability explained what they looked like and what they were used for. The pre-runner of the crescent wrench we use today. What I call my Kentucky socket set.

Sometime after we returned home I began wondering if I had really explained to Rich, son-in-law, the proper description of a monkey wrench.  I finally convinced the boss we needed to go to the antique mall at Edinburg to find a small monkey wrench to send to Rich. So, off we went and after about an hour I found a very well preserved and functioning small monkey wrench, only $7.00 and about 2 pounds, a real bargain. The next day I took the wrench to the UPS store with a note to Rich explaining why I was sending the gift. I had UPS pack the wrench and note to insure proper handling of the wrench, $20.00 I think.

About a week later we get a call from daughter Lisa with a question about the package Rich had received from me.  The package came all sealed up with tape and a note that seemed to describe something that was supposed to be inside. The monkey wrench was MIA and after calling UPS they put out an APB to track the route the wrench took but to no avail. To this date the monkey wrench is still missing, mainly because no one at UPS knew what a monkey wrench looked like so it has never been found. I can only imagine that somewhere  this old thing is lying around with people having  no idea what it is but only that it makes a real good door stop.


Thanks for listening

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda.

The following is a post from F/B by a cousin. It tells of the heeling of listening. Sorry about the long post but this is the shortened version: I’ve had a tough time leaving our kids for a week to come to FL for many reasons. I know in my heart they are in great hands with both Grandmas! Feeling selfish even though it’s not a vacation for Joe and I but a time to work while thankfully getting to visit family we don’t see nearly enough. On our 6:30a.m flight this morning I was reminded to not sweat the small stuff. The lady who sat next to me was a mess bc flying makes her a nervous wreck. She proceeds to tell me she’s only flying for one reason and one reason only. Her Dad is in Hospice and has only been given a week to live. She had no idea he was so sick prior to two days ago. That was about the end of our conversation until I notice her sobbing as I look over and see her scrolling through pictures of her Dad, a well decorated Veteran. We talked the rest of the hour and 40 min flight. She’s a strong very successful woman who was raised by a single hairdresser Mom. Her story of forgiving her Dad for things in the past and just wanting to give him the best in his final days was heart wrenching. The possible legal fight she had facing her when she landed in FL to give him just that seemed to be her biggest struggle and she had no idea where to begin. He hadn’t been alert enough to even talk but a wonderful nurse held the phone to his ear so her and her family could talk to him. She was told by the nurse the next day he was alert enough to be able talk and was asking for his family and all he wanted was them to take him home. She thanked me for listening to her and calming her nerves on the flight and apologized for the double Bloody Mary at 6:30a.m she needed to take the edge off. No judgement here. As we parted ways I told her to take care and I hoped all worked out the best possible way and that I’d be praying for her and her family. I pray that when she arrived he was alert enough to know he was surrounded by his loving family. Sometimes it’s not about having the right words to say but just about lending an ear.

Thank you Brooke for allowing me to share; We all need to remember that sometimes just providing a shoulder and an ear is the best medicine.

Thanks for listening

Richard Isley

Crotchety Old Man