Welcome to Collectorholics

Hello Jon Thurmond here, welcome to my store!

Collectorholics is your premium source for Antiques, Collectibles, and all items in between. I work hard to specialize in the hard to find, odd, weird, and just plain waaayyy cool items of the past and the present. Spend a few minutes looking over my various items and categories. Come back often, new items generally added daily.

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Cooking for no profit but a lot of fun!

I love to cook almost anything. My best creative dishes are ones in which I have no recipe, but rather build up to a final product. Generally in our household, I do the bulk of the cooking since my lovely woman works a full time job, and I work here at the house. Since I have always been creative, I choose to do so now in the kitchen. I find it extremely relaxing to root through the refrigerator and create some mouth watering downright taste exploding dish. I do tend to lean towards a bit spicier concoctions IE:red pepper,black pepper, garlic, seasoning salts, cinnamon, and many other. However my wife cannot take too much spice so I do tone it way down. This madness started years ago when my wife worked at the Kansas City Board of Trade in the General Mills Grain Division. Her two bosses at the time were heavily involved in the KC Board of Trade barbecue team which once a year competed in the big Barbecue here in KC around the same time as the KC Royal event. She was invited to the KC Barbecue one year where we went, and partied in the Board of Trade tent. All you could care to eat and drink for one minor price. I was totally hooked on their entries to the contest. I began asking questions, how do they smoked the meats, spice them, how long to cook, in short everything I could think of to learn how to make these wonderful delicacies. I learned how they made their own rubs, and began experimenting with various ingredients. I added some and subtracting some, varying the amounts of each, and after several years I found the combinations that most people who tried them agreed was the best they ever tasted. Over the next few years, I experimented with various techniques for smoking the meats, the types of woods I used, and the speed in which I cooked them. I can finally now say I think the final product is at its peak in flavor, though knowing me I will probably continue to tweak and expirement. I got into cooking many other dishes simply as a way to help out my wife last year because her job had morphed into several other things, and she was working a huge amount of overtime hours to keep pace. I at first took some of her basic recipes and began tweaking and shucking until I found something I liked. Then are started rummaging in the fridge each day, began with some sort of basic meat and sat down creating. Boy did I create! I like using garlic a lot, but not too overpowering. Another favorite is the use of peppers or onions. One of the basic tenets I subscribe to is never over use any spice. A spice or flavoring should be a complement to the meats and vegetables, not an overpowering force. It reminds me of the time when I was still a kid, and my older sister (name omitted to protect her feelings) tried to make a mint cake. She followed the directions until she got to adding the mint flavoring. It read to add 2 tsp of mint, and she thought tsp and tblspn was the same thing. Needless to say the cake did not come out exactly correct. But I stray. I have learned to add gradually the ingredients and keep tasting so as not over do it. Some dishes require a bit more, some a bit less. I also blend unusual things into the dishes if I think the new spice will add a dimension to the flavor of the dish that again complements, not takes over. I also enjoy chopping and cutting, as long as the knife is sharp. I find the whole cooking process enjoyable, and I look forward to creating something new or a variation upon an old recipe almost every day.

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Change can be a constant or a flowing event.

Funny how things change even though they are staying the same. In fact, when I was much younger, many of the situations I found myself in were simple to negotiate and to overcome. Now that I am closing in on my 60s these simple things are becoming more and more difficult. I use to glide through various tasks daily without thinking about them, and now I have to stop and pointedly ask myself can I now do this. Yes some of this is simply old age rearing its ugly head. Another part of this is I have actually gotten smart enough to realize not to blaze into every thing that happens without thinking about the consequences. For example, when I was younger I could like most people bound down the stairs, even skipping some to save myself a bit of time. Now I look at most every stair step and make sue my foot is firmly planted as I step down. When I get up in the mornings, many times I must force myself just to get out of bed, but not before I check myself to and make sure everything is still in place and is still working. I also tend to count every pain, making a mental note of any other pains that have popped up today. I think about every trip away from the house, how far I must walk,and is this really important to go? Although I have some minor health issues, overall I am not in too bad shape considering my age, weight, and general mileage on the old body. It just amazes and amuses me that I look at the entire world through my slow and painful glasses. I am not really complaining, but rather just discussing life in general. I do not complain about my advancing age, simply because at least I am aging, if not the alternative may be a lot worse. I also find it difficult to get off the ground or the floor anymore. Some of this again is age, weight, and general declining muscle mass. I also realize that things I use to like to do are no longer fun for me. I do not really care to go to amusement parks, the rides are generally more painful and less exciting than when I was young. Even though I do once in a while pine for some of the things I no longer do, I find myself making new areas of interest to keep my life exciting, or at the least entertaining. I enjoy movies but feel they have gotten way too expensive...why pay $9 and up to see a movie that I may find lousy or boring? I do not need to see any movie first run, I am just as happy to watch it later when it has been around for a while. I do not much care to go to sporting events, why go it is much more relaxing to sit in my living room in front of a large screen tv only a few steps from the bathroom, or the kitchen and my chair is much much more comfortable than a bench seat, or hard plastic chair in a stadium. Things as they are overall, I am satisfied with how my life is heading, and wish only that everyone else could find peace within their own boundaries, such that I have found.

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Zombies can really be fun!!!

I admit it freely and loudly, I LOVE ZOMBIES! No I do not mean physically love them, I simply love to read, ingest (pardon the pun) and watch everything zombie. My love of the zombie universe stems from my early childhood, where I had the beegeebers scared out of my by a movie called "The Invisible Invaders", which later spawned the TV series "The Invaders".  The TV series did not do any justice to the movie, but was somewhat enjoyable to watch. My interest increased over the years with the classic most everyone has seen or at least heard of "Night of the Living Dead". This movie was one of the fore runners of some of us zombie lovers basic tenets of what a zombie really is made up of. Basically the idea that zombies are the dead coming back or brought back to life, low intelligence, slow moving and jerky movements, hard to kill, and a desire for human flesh are all explored in this classic. The zombie world has expanded into many other facets, some of which I will explore in this writing. One thing can be said, zombies come in most any color, size, feature, or even taste (my license to the absurd). What is a zombie? Most people think of zombies as the creatures I discussed from the classsic movie, however you might make a point to say vampires fall into the realm of zombism. They are dead (in many cases referred to as "the living dead", they drink the blood of human beings (eat their liquids), and are somewhat difficult to kill depending on which story you are reading at the time, IE:stake in the heart, sunlight,holy water (can kill in volume, but only burns in smaller quantities)and maybe even  cutting off the head. Some of these especially cutting off the head will work with the normal everyday zombie, but for arguments sake we will stay with basic zombies at the moment. The zombie can be created by some sort of virus, a bite by the infected, radiation (though I rarely see this as a cause) mystical chants (usually when relating to backward natives and their rituals), ingested materials (such as toxic chemicals) and in some cases laboratory experiments that have gone wrong (or right depending on y0ur point of view I guess). Zombies can live on for various lengths of time if you want to call it living, again depending on the storyline. They can somehow continue to function for months, years or maybe even decades or centuries. I prefer to think of them as slowly rotting away, piece by piece until they have no real pieces left. In the movie "28 days later", the zombies are created from a lab expirement on monkees that is loosed on the world by hippie agitators against the cruelty of the corporations using them in their studies. These zombies are actually technically still alive but diseased with the "Rage" virus (made as a military weapon to destabilize the opposing's sides population. So these particular zombies are still attempting to stay "alive" through their attacks on living beings and their taste for human knoshes. In the end of the movie the zombies are shown to be "dying" off from starvation. The newer series of "Night of the Living Dead" movies which include "Day of the Dead", Dawn of the Dead, Island of the Dead, and others the zombies are faster and in most cases more deadly than in the original movie. This leads to the question, "DO you prefer fast or slow zombies in your movies?". I really do not care as long as they make them at least somewhat believable.

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Murder is much more fun when you get away with it.

Reading the morning newspaper(yes I still like looking at a physical newspaper instead of a computer screen) this morning, I read the article regarding Shon Pernice and his now proven dead wife. Basically the story is that Shon Pernice's wife Renee mysteriously vanished about 3 years ago, with few clues to her whereabouts. For years her friends, family and associates franically tried to find her or at least come up with an exact knowledge of the events. Now finally her husband admits that he "accidentally" killed her, then stuffed her body in a trash bag, and deposited the bag in a local trash bin. He made this confession just before he was to go on trial for murder, and so the judicial system in its infinite wisdom gives him 5 to 15 years imprisonment. Ouch! My wrists are hurting all the way over here. OF course Renee's sentence for being brutally murdered is forever, and the attacker Shon gets at best 15 years. Where is the justice here? This animal commits one of the more heinous crimes against humanity, and cowardly court folds in and gives him what I consider to be a very light sentence. Her parents will never be able to hold their daughter in their arms, nor will she be able to give out love to anyone else. She is dead and this creature that caused her death continues to breathe and exist. I feel that in cases like this the murderer should be if not given the death penalty at least thrown in a deep dark hole and toss out the key. I do not want this slime ball to walk amongst the populace, possibly preying on other victims. Yes I understand the prosecutor's office made this deal to resolve the issue and save taxpayer money and possibly to even find closure for the family. However the chances are her body will never be located, since it is buried in acres of a land fill. Her parents will always live with the knowledge not only that their daughter is dead, but that her body lies rotting surrounded by garbage. That is what I think, what is your opinion?

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Music to tame my inner beast

I am an eclectic type of music lover. My first real record given to me by my parents for my 12th birthday was the song "Happy Together". I played that song over,and over, and over (you get the point) until I think it literally wore out. I was totally hooked on rock and roll at that time. However my first true "experience" with music was in grade school our class would go several times a year to hear classical music from the local orchestra. I truly enjoyed those experiences, and began liking classical music. The underlying theme in most of my early music was a strong, heavy sound. this theme wound thru both my loves, classical such as Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, and in rock and roll with groups such as the Beatles (of course), the Rolling Stones, the Trogs, Kiss and many others. As my music blossomed,I began enjoying heavier and deeper groups in rock n roll, including Pink Floyd, Moody Blues,King Crimson,Lynard Skynrd and others. Some of my favorite early tunes included; Paint it Black (Stones), Behind Blue EYes (Moody Blues), Free Bird (Skynrd), Knights in White Satin (Moody Blues), and Back in the USSR (Beatles). Many of hours I spent laid back with the music pounding in my ears. My various girl friends over the years, were split  some enjoyed and related to my music and some simply endured it. The one constant was I never wavered from my thorough enjoyment of music in general. Yes there are some types of music I do not like as well, some I even detest. Now a days my love for music has not waned, but yes it has again transformed into hard fast screaming rock and roll. My favorite bands today include Three Days Grace, system of a Down, Linkin Park, Seether, Five FInger Death Punch. I still enjoy listening to other types of music such as Evanescence (love that Amy Lee's voice), My Chemical Romance,and others. My favorite two bands at this time, are Three Day's Grace, and Seether both of which I had the blessing of hearing in concert together at the Midland Theater in downtown Kansas City with my family several years ago. One really kick ass concert. That same night I was introduced to a newer group Skillet who also are good. The one thing that stands out about my two favorites bands is how prolific they are. They continue to pound out super great hits, and I really enjoy most of what they produce. I have over the past year or so also began really liking the band Five Finger Death Punch, they have several big hits recently that are over the top. Their rendition of the old song "Bad Company" caught my attention, and since then they have had several songs that move my soul. I think the lead singer has one of the best voices I have ever heard, and I await more great things from them. I could continue to talk hours about the various songs that have touched me, but let me hear from you, maybe you can turn me on to something that I will enjoy even more.

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Craziness runs in my family.

My two dogs are completely and utterly crazy. I have made this statement before, but today they are especially weird. The two dogs when I came into the living room, were both on their backs in a single line with their heads touching and snapping at each other. Sammy is the black mostly labrador, with a heavy splash of boxer, and Jenson (I call him Jimmy) is a an all white body dog with light brown spots. He resembles very closely the old Nipper dog from the RCA advertisements. Now these two mutleys are locked in mortal combat, nose to nose, or at least it looked like mortal combat, when suddenly Sammy lets out this huge sneeze that startles all 3 of us. Jimmy flips backwards, crashing into a lamp table and yes it comes tumbling down. Sammy being the big coward he is sprints the other direction and crashes into the wall. He falls down into a heap, and I am laughing so hard I slip off the couch with a large thud, jarring my glasses off. Jimmy meanwhile recovers from his debacle and comes padding over to me. I am still laughing with tears coming out my eyes, when Sammy gets up and pads over to me. Both dogs one on each side promptly plop down on their hind ends, and cock their collective heads at me. I swear they both looked like they were asking me what the hell was my problem. As I calm down, they both as if attached at the hip saunter over to me and give me one of the sloppiest kisses you would ever see. My two dogs are totally crazy! Or maybe it's me?

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Memories Of The Past Haunt The Future

Back when I was just 11, my father being an army soldier was transferred to Formosa otherwise known at the time as Taiwan, and now known as the Peoples' Republic of Taiwan. We initially had to find housing off base since none of the housing was available on the base. My parents settled us into a nice house which was surrounded on all sides by a 10 foot solid rock wall. On the top of the wall was embedded large shards of various colored glass which ostensibly was to prevent the locals from climbing over the wall and stealing things. Attached to one corner of the compound was a garage which opened out into the street, and a side door which we would use to access the garage. The yard was not very big, with a single sidewalk that spanned from the front door of the house to the front gate. The gate always was locked except to enter or leave. Inside the yard was an open concrete ditch which ran the entire circumference of the house which was to catch rain water and funnel into the sewers.The pipes down the side of the house were made of ceramic tile as well as the roof tiles. In front of the house was a swingset made of bamboo, which had metal stakes driven into the ground and attached to ropes which helped to stabilize the entire structure. Myself and my siblings constantly played on this set, dreaming up new adventures daily to incorporate the swing into a pirate's ship, spaceship, fort, or just a safe zone for a game of tag. One day while running around playing out some of our fantasies, I ran into one of the metal spikes, and split my lower shin open which gushed what I thought were copious amounts of blood. I was rushed to the base military hospital. I received 9 stitches to sew up the wound, and sent on home. Now this in particular was not a rare event in my life, I was always dinging up my self, usually causing a trip to the hospital and stitches. I have multiple scars from various injuries. The only redeeming factor to this was my brother usually spent a lot of time at the same hospital for various injuries.  It got to the point where the staff not only knew our names, but they kept our charts on hand and expected a visit from the Thurmond brothers at least once or twice a month. Another time while playing tag in our yard, I remember running around the back of the house, and whomever was "it" jumped out at me, I in surprise, spun around, and ran into one of the backside of the house's ceramic downspouts. The result was the pipe shattering into a thousand pieces of which several decided to lodge into the side of my leg, and you guessed it, another trip to the hospital emergency room. Good thing we were military personnel, so the visits and treatments did not cost my parents. It only cost , usually my mother several hours of fretting and frustration. My brother as I said earlier was not exempt from harm either. Once we moved onto the base facilities, our adventures continued, and the trips to the hospital did not recede. We were playing on a stone slide which was part of an adjacent walled playground built for military base personnel. The slide was probably 15 to 20 foot high, and if I remember correctly had a stone stairway up one side, and 3 stone slides one on each other side of the slide. One day while playing some sort of war game, I ran up the stairs to the top of the slide, and smacked into my brother who was attempting to turn around to slide down. He was knocked face first down the slide, rock burning the underneath side of his chin, and yes another trip to the hospital for stitches. Some of the more interesting aspects of the base housing , specifically the playground, was it had several iron swings with I think leather strap seats. It also had a baseball field, and if memory serves me correctly an old army tank situated in the back corner which sat half buried in the dirt and sand. I only vaguely remember playing around the tank, mainly because I was terrified of the interior of the tank. I do not remember any thing much about the tank, other than it was completely stripped out from the inside out. One day we were playing hide and seek, and I got the brilliant idea to hide inside the tank (this was before my fear of it). Bravely I climbed down inside the dark interior, no light inside except the shaft of light streaming in from the opened hatch (no door on hatch). I settled down waiting to see if anyone was going to find me. Within a few minutes I began feeling something crawling on my arms and legs (I was wearing shorts which I did most of the time due to the generally humid conditions in Taiwan).  I thrust my arms out into the shaft of light and to my horror I saw hundreds of tiny red spiders crawling up and down my arms. That was the only time in my life I ever moved at Olympic speed, as I screamed (probably like a girl), I shot out of the top of the tank, and launched myself towards home, running all the way and wildly beating at the spiders  covering me. By the time I reached the house, I think my mother was standing at the door on the outside trying to figure out why I was raising bloody hell. Well after finally calming down, between sobs and shaking, I explained about the spiders. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately I had either squashed, beaten, or knocked all of them off, my mother could not find even one left on me. I am not sure to this day if my mother actually believed me, or not, but I do know it was real, and I still cannot stand the sight of any kind of spider I let my wife take care of the honor of removing or killing them around the house. Give me any old zombie, or horrible monster and I will bravely defend the homestead, but show me a spider and I will back away to a suitable distance, lets say 1 or 2 miles.

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Boeing A late Christmas Grinch – Lays a bomb on Wichita!

News is out that Boeing is pulling out of Wichita, Kansas manufacturing plant, dumping approximately 1100 full time workers like yesterday's garbage. This comes after Boeing promised that if they got the US Government approval for building flying tankers, they would add up to 7,500 NEW jobs to the state of Kansas. What has happened to honesty and loyalty in the United States? Companies will do everything in their powers to have their employees show loyalty to them, then when the buck shows up, they cut them down and walk away. Boeing's contract should be re-evaluated and possibly even pulled after this slap in the face of Kansas workers. Why should the government honor any agreement with Boeing that was contingent on adding jobs to Kansas? The worse part of this lie is that not only 1100 hard working individuals are being cast out into a poor job market, but the numbers actually swing to 8600 when you add in the loss of the additional promised positions. This is highly unfair to Kansas, and should be looked into very carefully to judge some sort of punishment. Companies whether large or small should be accountable for their promises, and not allowed to just lie their way into contracts, only to play the politician and not keep their promises. Granted the jobs will be added to several other plants, maybe even more jobs than lost in Wichita, but Kansas is still the loser in the end. Shame on Boeing, may the bird of paradise crap all over their profits and may all their corporate brass be uncerimoniously dumped like the unfortunate workers in Wichita.

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Football Failures Are Chief

A day after the huge loss to the Oakland Faders, I am still trying to understand what to think of the Kansas City Chiefs season of dismay! I am not an Oakland Fader fan by any means but my hat goes off to the better team that won. After five quarters of up and down hard battling football fun the Chiefs finally succumbed to the opposition. Sure the Chiefs had chances to win the game several times during regulation play and could not get it done. Can we blame the kicker for the two blocked field goals? Not really, it was not his kicking skills, or lack there of, but rather poor blocking by the front line. Should we blame only the offensive line? the defensive line? Special teams? No, but rather a combination of all aspects of the team that failed to win this game. Had the Chiefs won, the following week, they could have played to win the AFC west division title, and if they beat the Denver Donkeys won it all! But unfortunately this is all a moot point,  because they lost. My feelings are that the Kansas City Chiefs did not deserve to win the division and represent the west in the playoffs. Their play this year has ranged from extremely poor play to way above their talents play. They are using their second head coach this year, and simply were not prepared to play in the NFL during the preseason. Their talents were better utilized by the interim head coach Romeo Crennel, and my kudos go out for his efforts the past two weeks. I hope they continue to show the better side of the team in next weeks last game of the year against the Denver Donkeys and beat the living daylights out of them! I am quite aware that if they beat Denver, it will hurt their draft position a bit this next season, but quite honestly, I simply do not like the pompous Donkeys and their partial owner John (horseface) Elway. I want them to suffer, and go slinking home with their donkey tails tucked between their legs. This said, the season is basically over for the Chiefs, now is the time to assess the individual talents, especially the rookies, and prepare for next season , where hopefully their injuries will be a great deal less common and severe, and their wins more plentiful!

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Let life be and simply enjoy it.

I really have problem with people who try to impose their own morals or ideas upon everyone around them. I have always felt that the supreme being did not put me on this earth to pass judgements on my fellow humans. Case in point are the self professed "good" people who piously condemn anyone who does not or cannot conform to their own ideas of perfection. These are those high brow nose in the air types who cannot see past their own noses when it comes to anyone different from them. More to the point are the Bible toting thugs who cannot see it fit to accept the gay life style. Now personally I will admit that I do not understand the gay lifestyle situation, but if that is what they feel then let them be. It is not my business what a gay man or woman does with their own lives, as long they are not hurting me or my loved ones or anyone else. They simply want to enjoy life the best way they can, and fit into the world around them. I was first introduced to the gay life style when I was in my early twenties. I met a young man who went by the moniker "Pumpkin". I did not understand at the time that he was gay, just a bit odder than most of the people around me. Mostly what I saw that was different, was he wore glitter on his face in small bits.  I never really got to know him, not because of his "difference" but simply because we did not run with the same group of friends, and at that time of my life I found it very hard to get to know very many other people. I was somewhat shy so I really had to be around someone a long time before I could take them into my confidence. The years passed, and I ran into a fair amount of homophobes who constantly put down anyone who was not straight. I confess I too laughed at gay jokes, and probably just to be with the crowd I was with. But I began to notice the gays (at least the ones I knew to be gay) were some of the nicest gentlest people I had ever met. At this time I was somewhat of a night owl, staying up most nights until 3 or 4 am, and I began calling into a radio station to chat with the on duty announcer. We became fair friends, sharing ideas and bantering about just about anything under the sun. Over time he opened up to me more and more, and I soon realized that he was into the gay lifestyle. My reality came into focus one night when he began talking about a gay church group he was a member of, and waited to see how I would react. It simply did not bother me at all. He knew I was straight, but also found that I accepted him on his terms, not mine. More years passed, I found my true love, my angel, my wife and settled down as a married man. I worked as a restaurant manager in several chains, and had a fair amount of gay people working with me. I never found any reason to treat them any different from the straight people. Frankly I did not really even think along those terms, people were simply people good or bad, not gay or straight. I began making trips around the United States going from one toy show to another, and the second trip I made to the Kane County Toy Show in Chicago's suburb, I joined many other toy dealers in what was called "room trading". Basically we would arrive at the location of the toy show several days early in one particular hotel, and for several days before the show we would all open our room doors displaying our toys and buy and sell them to each other, and any customer who might show up. At this particular show, I was selling with another dealer in our room one afternoon, and this gentleman came into our room and struck up a conversation with me. His name was Stephen (name changed to avoid problems), and I really was enjoying rapping with him about toys, dolls, and whatever. Just as he began to leave he turned back to me, wrapped his arms around me and gave me a hug. I had picked up the vibe from him that he was gay, but was completely taken by surprise. I stood there probably with the stupidest surprised look imaginable not knowing what to do. Stephen stepped back, seeing my expression said with a broad grin " Don't worry Jon I know you are straight, I just like you." Then left the room and that was it. I thought about it for a short while, then decided it was not a big deal. The next time I was in Chicago, I brought my best bud Jack (name also changed) along for his first trip to ChicagoToy Show and we roomed together and set up our displays for sale. In walks Stephen and his significant other Michael. Stephen walks up to me and gives me a big hug exclaiming" Jon my old friend, I haven't seen you for months!" Then after some chatting he and Michael exit our room. My friend Jack sitting across from me in the room is very quiet and obviously pondering an important issue. Finally he looks at me and halting asks me " Uh , Jon I didn't realize you swung that way!?" It took me several seconds to realize what he was talking about, and laughing out loud, I simply explained that Stephen was Stephen and that was the way he was. Jack and I went back to the Chicago show many times and it never again bothered him that Stephen hugged me, in fact eventually he was also getting hugs, and it never bothered him either. These nostalgic stories brings me back to my earlier statements. We here in Kansas City are real near that total fruitcake clan of morons living around the Topeka area, who rail against absolutely everybody and everything, spewig their venomous hate filled rants regarding gays, and every other subject they can to get their day in the sun. Personally I could care less what they think, but it does bother me greatly that they have attempted with some success trying to disrupt the funerals  of our fallen military men. I also have umbrage against them regarding their hateful statements regarding recent tragedies around the US and the world calling them punishments from God and that they are glad that innocent people have been killed through tornadoes , earthquakes and floods. It is sad that these type of people walk the earth trying to spread a particular type of hatred, insidious and horrible in itself. However I must point out I am not here on Earth to judge them, hopefully that judgement will come in the end, and all will be rectified. One other time, I ran into an old acquaintance from junior high school whom had gone into ministry as a life choice. In talking with him, he asked if I remembered an another mutual friend Darrel. I said yes I did remember him, and he began admonishing Darrel because he had found out Darrel was gay. I honestly never actually thought about it until then, but it really did not matter one bit to me he was still a good human being. I was somewhat taken aback however that this self professed man of god did not have more compassion towards his fellow man simply because of his choices in lifestyle. I can say now that I hope he could and did change his attitude a great deal when he might be administering to his own flock. My own daughter has declared openly she is gay, and quite honestly she never tried to hide it or deny that she was gay. This is not earth shaking nor is my world going to fall into tiny pieces because of her lifestyle. I do not agree with her belief, but I will stand by her and defend her right to be whomever or whatever she wants to be. Hopefully she fully understands this, and that I will not shut her out, nor will I shut out anyone she becomes involved with. Like most other fathers, I would have been happier if she had married in the conventional way and had a family, but she feels that she will be happier with non traditional values. So be it, I just wish her the best in life and in happiness. In closing let me simply say, let them rant, believe what you want and in whom you want, just do it on your own time, and get the HELL out of my face! Please go bother someone out there that gives a hoot about your form of insanity, I am not interested.  

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Yes Virginia there are miracles IE: KC Chiefs beat Packers!!

Just sitting here, basking in the glow of a rare Kansas City Chief's victory. I must profess that I like 99.9% of the football world did not think the Chiefs could, would, or even might pull a win over the up to then unbeaten Green Bay Packers. After watching the entire game, and like most, not believing my own eyes, I had to relive the game several times thru various sports shows and newscasts. Once I recovered, I began to assess what had happened and how it did so. First of all, the week began with the joyous news that Todd the Horrible Haley was finally axed for his incompetence. Yes the Chiefs did incur horrendous injury losses with the 3 major contributors being lost for the entire season all curiously from knee injuries. Yes this hurt the Chiefs chances to match up to stronger teams, but to start the season getting stomped into the mud by 3 different teams, was just plain ugly. Most teams even bad teams do not get totally dominated and look so just plain inept game after game. Another sign of the bad times ahead was the lazy manner in which Haley handled the team during the shortened preseason. ALL of the other teams had the same short preseason, but the majority of them did not come out of the gates backwards like the KC Chiefs.  They came into games unmotivated, unprepared, and basically flat as a pancake, and were steamrolled over by the opposing teams. In the first 3 games they acted like they could not compete at the high school level , and much more the professional level. They played downright UGLY, and had no one to blame but their head coach's very poor decisions not only before the season but during games. In at least 2 of the first 3 games his poor judgement cost yards, and he badly mismanaged the game clock. Not just UGLY but UBER UGLY!! Then came a stretch of games where the Chiefs actually looked competitive, and they won 4 games in a row! Looked like their lethargic start was over and they were back in control. But not so fast, once again  spiraled down losing game after game. Finally Monday of last week, after playing arguably their worst game of the season against the New York Jets, Scott Pioli got off his fat derriere and with Clark Hunts approval fired the brainless wonder child Haley. Immediately they promoted Romeo Crennel to the head coach position, I personally viewed as a fantastic choice, and the team as a whole seemed to breathe a sigh of collective relief.  I even hope that the Chief's head office pulls their heads out of their rears and seriously consider Crennel as the permanent head coach. Once Romeo Crennel had become a bit more accustom to his new position he quickly promotes Kyle Orton to the main quarterback role, and Rick Stanzi (the previous 3rd string) as his backup. I do not have anything against Tyler Palko, but his play in place of the injured Matt Cassel was uninspiring, badly handled, and he made way too many extremely bad game decisions. Old Haley stubbornly stuck  with him, and the Chiefs continued to spiral downward. Once the game started it quickly had a different feel from earlier games. The Chiefs came out to play, and play they did. They took the kickoff right down the field , but had to settle for a field goal. Then the defense took over and manhandled the Packers at virtually every turn. The Chiefs secondary covered the Packer receivers like fur on a dog, and continually harassed pretty boy Rogers, and they did it with mostly with just a four man front. By halftime, the sense of a huge upset had begun permeating  the entire stadium, with the Packers slinking  into their locker room down 6-0. The Packers were still in the game, needing only one touchdown to go ahead in the game. The much needed touchdown came in the third quarter and the Packers finally had their lead for the first time in the game. But unfortunately for the Packers it was short lived as the Chiefs immediately marched down the field and connected on another field goal after being stymied from a touchdown to take a two point lead which the Chiefs never relinquished again in the game. One more field goal made the score 12 -7, and then the Chiefs finally dealt the death blow with a touchdown making the score 19-7.  The Packers came back with a touchdown of their own, but were unable to click again and the Kansas City Chiefs came away with an unbelievable win over the Packers, ending the Packers hopes of an unbeaten season, and making new Chiefs fans throughout the entire area, for at least for another week. Now hopefully the Chiefs can build on this win, and come back next week and beat Oakland, and beat the Denver Donkeys (sorry I meant the Broncos...old habits are hard to break). This might give Romeo Crennel a running chance of being the next true head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. All is good in Mudville right now, and for at least 6 days we here in Kansas City can truly say " Yes there is a Santa Claus!"      

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The real vintage hess trucks.

The gradual development of the fire department during the 19th century was clearly seen in toys designed on the same lines as the trucks and vehicles used by the early volunteer fire fighting companies. Similar to the full-size versions, the first miniatures were rather rough. Fallow's made a toy fire truck pumper of stenciled tinplate that was nothing more than two barrels joined at right angles -- highly basic and rough. Early fire fighting toys by Brown and Ives were equally primitive. However, in the 1880s more refined forged iron fire-fighting trucks and equipment were relased. Ives manufactured a matching set of 5 forged iron fire vehicles -- pumper, hose carriage, hook and ladder truck, fire patrol, and chief's wagon. Other major producers of fire-fighting toys were Carpenter, Hubley, and Pratt & Letchworth. Horse-drawn fire-fighting toys continued to be manufactured well after 1900, although by then most communities had converted to collectible automotive vehicles. The most diversified types of antique toy fire trucks come from a line of cast iron toys vehicles. Thousands of types of manufacturers existed, yet these were the last cast iron playthings to appear on the market. The manufacture of the forged iron fire wagons ultimately ceased in the early 1900s. Also widespread were such highly specialized vehicles as antique fire engines and police cars, trolleys, motorcycles, racing cars, and even collectible sprinkler trucks from the city streets. The pumper was advertised as Fire Engine in a Hubley catalogue of 1922, when full-size pumpers were drawn by motor vehicles instead of horses. Hubley and other toy manufacturers also manufactured toys that combined a classic 19th-century-style fire truck pumper or other piece of fire-fighting tools with a truck body, an amalgam that resembled vehicles actually used by fire fighters of those day. Till date these are considered to be highly prized vinatage collectibles. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the fire patrol wagon transported members of the company and equipment like buckets to the scene of a fire. At other times, when no crisis threatened, it transported fire-fighters on rounds, enforcing fire laws in their district. Few of the More Famous Manufacturers of Collectible Fire Trucks and Toys Dent Hardware Co. -- Henry H. Dent formed the Company in 1895, and made his first cast iron toys in 1898. The firm first made horse-drawn fire wagons (fire trucks to you and me), then followed them up with many versions of other vehicles. During the 1900s, Dent's die-cast toys slowly replaced those of forged iron.. } Hubley Company -- Established by John Hubley in about 1894, the Hubley Company made forged iron toys. Its earliest products were trains and trolleys powered by live steam, electricity, or spring mechanisms, but they later also added horse-drawn fire trucks and wagons in the 1920s. By 1940 Hubley had transformed into the world's biggest maker of cast-iron toys. Hubley gradually changed to die-cast toys made of a zinc alloy owing to increasing freight charges and international competition. Kenton Lock Manufacturing Co. -- Kenton Lock Manufacturing Co. was established in the early 1800's and in 1894 became the Kenton Hardware and began producing cast-iron toys. Horse-drawn vehicles, fire engines, nodding toys, and comic strip characters were some of the best known toys of the company. "Kentontoys" was a trade name that the company sometimes used. At VintageToyTrucks.org, find out all about} vintage tonka trucks, vintage tonka toy trucks, and vintage hess trucks.

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