this past three day weekend was welcomed. i enjoyed the time off. i havent been able to accrue any leave cuz i wasnt eligible for any. so i had to go to work everyday. we got last friday off for american indian day. we used to have 365 days that were indian days but we slowly gave most up to federal, state and county entities in exchange for nothing. our own took the rest away to show us that they can do that. so now we have one day left that is indian day.
i got a free room from our casino so i took it last thursday since we had the next day off. i think we have some real good rooms at our casino. i have only stayed there a few times but i like it. it was 9 dollar steak night too. so we made reservations for dinner. i hope they keep that promotion going. i have eaten there a number of times. cant beat our steak house either.
my son bought tickets to the k u legends basketball game. i went to that game saturday. it was something to see. alot of former jayhawks came back to play the game. we have alot of them in the pros. i still think that if a few of them had stayed one more year instead of going pro we would have more national championship banners hanging in the rafters. we had some very talented players that were jayhawks. the game was entertaining. lot of good dunks. they showed highlights of each player. a few took the mic and addressed the packed house. they said we had the best fans. coach self said ‘only in kansas’ referring to the full fieldhouse in september. it was an great event. we went down to the tunnel to see the players head into the dressing room. i videotaped them with my cell phone. it was great. i hope they do this game again sometime.
i missed the pow wow we had saturday. i was at the k u game with one of my sons and my daughter. if i have a chance to be with them i will take it. my kids are more important to me than anything. i am not much of a pow wow goer. i will go to them but if i miss i can handle that too.
mary and i turned in our deposit for our trip to peru. it will be in the spring now. the rainy season will start soon, so we will go there after it is over. we have to have it paid in full by the end of january. been saving for the past year or two and we got a per cap before then. we have another per cap before we fly out. i always used to dream of going there. thats all it seemed like, just a dream. i didnt think i would ever see machu picchu. now i am actually going to go. it is at the top of my bucket list. the trip we have planned will take in several ruins besides machu picchu. we will also see market places and a museum. we will spend a night where hot springs are located. i wanted to soak in them. we even have a 10 hour train ride thru the mountains and the valleys. it sounds like a good trip. i can put up with all kinds of b.s. until then. not much can bring me down now.
we have fall dance coming up. that will keep me busy all weekend. i am looking forward to that.
this afternoon i was suppose to show someone where to pick paw paws. i waited for them to show up. after half an hour i thought i might as well head to the timber any way and pick some for us. mary went with me. the dogs followed us. they go everywhere we go when we walk. we both filled a back pack full. the paw paws are still firm yet. we spread them on a screen so they can ripen. when they are ripe they have a sweet smell. they should be ready to eat after a few days. we setting date sunday so i might take some over there too.
you have to have a taste for paw paws. they are kinda rich. it took me awhile to get used to them. our old people always liked them. they used to eat them when we lived up north in the old country. now we can find them here. our timber on the creek has a few good stands of them. or i guess you call them paw paw groves.
when i got home from picking paw paws i thought i would head to the casino. you can always find some skins over there. there were a few out tonight. i talked to the ones i knew. i was playing a machine when someone stopped to talk to me. my luck ran out then. i was in a bonus round and didnt win anything. i thought ‘move on dude’. i dont like someone watching me play, especially if i am losing. i know they aint got nothing to do with it but still. they should make a rule if you standing there watching and someone starts losing, you gotta get the hell out of there. that would work for me.
last night my nephew’s son came by. he was selling popcorn for his boy scout troop. i dont like supporting worthy causes because it takes my gambling money but i couldnt say no to that kid. so i bought some popcorn. the pencil pushers back at corporate probably bank on that.
when i was at the traditional foods conference last week we ate healthy. they had bagels and yogurt for breakfast. and grilled chicken on flat bread for lunch. that kind of eating is good for you but i had to buy a cheeseburger. needed to get some grease back in my diet. i didnt get this big gut eating salad. maybe we need another rule–quit sellling all that fried stuff to indians. i have to lose some pounds though. i dont need to be hauling around extra weight when i head to peru. my goal is to lose a few pounds. that is easy to say. i have been trying. harder to lose when you get older.
i got one more day of work this week. we get off for indian day on friday. the tribe probably will get an extra half a day off before that. well except for the clinic. its necessary to be open for the two or three that come in on their days off. i am looking forward to a 3 day weekend. hell yeah…..
did another wedding this weekend. i did the ceremony for my niece angie. it was held at peoples park. we had a good size crowd. it was inside the shelter house by the main gate because they thought it might rain. it didnt. my sister jackie had puffys cater in a meal. indians gotta eat when they get together.
i took alot of pictures of mostly family. seems when i write a blog sometimes i dont have a picture to post. i havent been taking as many pictures as i would like. i took almost 200 pictures this weekend. a few were dark because of being inside the shelter house. a few were blurred from taking them too quickly. i am not used to my new nikon. it is a good camera so i will get used to it.
when i was in carolina last week i had to buy gas for the rental i was driving. i paid $3.25 a gallon. why are we paying more than 20 cents a gallon higher. good thing we are sovereign. i wonder about gas prices when i travel. i see oil derricks that are pumping all over this country. where does this oil go? the reason given about why we have to pay so much for gas is that we are dependant on foreign oil. this gas is being pumped here in america. we arent paying a cent to people that despise us. so why isnt gas a little cheaper. good thing i filled the rental up at the cheap price. the car rental was going to charge me at $9.85 a gallon to fill up the car. big business can legally rob us. if a poor man robs us, he can do 20 years.
i was gone for a week. i thought maybe while i was gone that every problem we had would be worked out. we have so many that say they are working for ‘our people’. figured when i made it home that everything here would be all nice. it didnt happen. how does that john lennon lyric go ‘people say i am a dreamer, but i am not the only one’. gotta be others that hope for a better future.
i got home late last night from a traditional foods conference i went to in south carolina. i have been gone all week. i know that it was work but it is the closest i came to having a vacation this year. i go to work everyday. i never miss. i couldnt. i was one of those “contract workers’. so i really enjoyed having a week off from the rountine. i worked hard this year.
i enjoyed hearing what the other tribes are doing to prevent diabetes. the rates of diabetes in indian communities is alarming. it is double the national average and will continue to go up unless something is done. the majority of indians know someone close to them that has diabetes. i have family members that have it. members of other indian communities accept that eventually they will get diabetes. they dont think in terms of maybe i will have it. it is so prevalent in their lives.
i applaud what the other tribes are accomplishing. it is encouraging to see the hard work they are doing to help improve the health of their people. some work with hundreds of kids to see they are eating right and exercising. health problems will cost indian people alot of time and money in the future. it already does now. we will reach a point where we wonder if we are doing enough. what we do in terms of prevention could save us millions later.
i have to give a presentation on my program. after hearing what others were doing i hated to get up. a coupla of the other presenters ran overtime so i had to give mine during a working lunch. that was no distraction. everyone paid attention and listened to what i had to say. i had a power point presentation with a hundred pictures. i thought i covered alot of ground. later many of the others came up to me and told me they liked what i did. that meant alot. i had to deal with alot of bureaucracy in my job that prevented me from doing more. i mentioned this as a barrier and others agreed. so many tribal programs across the country are shackled by some rule that says no you cant do that. some are in business to stop people not help them.
we were taken on a tour of the facilities of the host tribe-the catawbas. they are the only recognized tribe in south carolina. one lunch hour i walked to the river. it was about a mile and a half walk on a scenic trail through the woods. one evening we played their social version of stick ball. the men played the women. thing is men had to use sticks while women were allowed to use their hands. they picked the ball up and threw it like a baseball. most of the men hadnt played the game before so they werent used to the sticks. i wasnt used to playing with two sticks. and i couldnt control the way i threw the ball. we played for two hours until it started to get dark. at any rate the women won 5-2. they didnt let us forget that for the rest of the conference. it was fun. the catawbas also cooked us a meal and put on a dance performance for us another evening.
i felt good that on the way up i wasnt randomly searched before i got on the plane. i didnt have that luck on the way back. i was told to step out of line and they swabbed my hands and ran that thru a machine. they didnt find what they were looking for so i was allowed to board. and there is no such thing as profiling. it is pure coincidence it happens to me so often.
my sleep patterns were off because carolina is in a different time zone. i went to bed late every night. i got up early every day. i had bags under my eyes from putting in long days. i looked like willie nelson. when i got home last night i couldnt sleep so i told mary lets go to the casino. they didnt have one where i was. i got to the casino and resort and i had to wonder ‘where did all these indians come from’. then i remembered it was per cap day. i forgot about that. so i went up to several indians i knew and thanked them for the per cap we had. it was a cute joke until some told me the same thing.
i dont have to go into work today. my boss called me and asked about the hours i put in on this conference. both travel days were 11 and 12 hour days. the first two days of the conference were also over 10 hour days. it was required that we attend the evening functions. so i put in some long hours. i even had to nap on the plane. it was after i finished a book i bought. i can usually finish a book on the flight there and on the flight back. i was tired from all that. so i will just relax today.
this is a picture of an indian at the tourist trap i stopped at last weekend. it was part of the dudes interpretation of evolution. it showed a soldier shooting this indian in the back. this indian was shooting a dog that was after a cat who was after a bird. the bird was after a worm that was eating a leaf. thus evolution. it is always interesting to see how other people view indians in the bigger scheme of things.
i wondered how people would always wake up early. i didnt get that. now i have been waking up early. last weekend when i could have slept in everyday, i was up at six. today i got up at 4:30. that is getting ridiculous. i am getting by on less sleep. though i do get tired now and then. even take an occasional nap.
i just have to make it thru this friday. then i am off all next week for a conference. i am heading to south carolina. thing is they dont have a casino. what kind of indians. i will be gone all week. it will be a chance to see what the other tribes are doing. i can catch up visiting with them. i dont see them but once a year. we have conference calls almost every month. i have to give a half an hour presentation. i did a power point with 100 pictures. i took all of them myself but maybe a handful. i think my presentation will be alright. i never have trouble communicating my ideas. speaking in front of a crowd is no big deal. i know my program and what our people grew and gathered.
it is a new season for porcupines. they should be moving around again until next spring. hopefully i can buy more hair. last year i only got to buy around 7 ounces or so. i had a number of people that asked if i would buy their porky hair. i said yeah. then i never heard from them again. i know the supply houses arent paying them more because they have to double their money. i think that one trapper that used to sell me porky hair is getting older. i havent bought any from him in a coupla years. hopefully i can buy more hair this year. i am stock piling hair for the day when i just make roaches.
i dont really follow national politics but the new jobs thing caught my attention. they are talking about spending a gazillion billion dollars to help with unemployment. it would make more sense to just write the unemployed a check with the money. but it will end up that the bureacracy will eat up alot of it and the rich companies will get the rest. democrats and republicans cant fix the problems that democrats and republicans created. the common man that had nothing to do with it will have to pay for it. then the rich will profit off it.
i had three days off so i decided to head for the hills. the rockies that is. i wanted to soak in hot springs before winter sets in. i dont care to risk driving thru the mountains when there is a possibility of snow or ice.
i went on a tour of a gold mine when i got there. i past it before but didnt make the time to go see it. this time i knew i would be a real tourist. they advertised that you can pan for gold after the tour.
that was enough motivation for me. they gave us a lesson on how to do it. then they gave us a bag of dirt to sift thru. i patiently panned for over an hour. finally i seen a glint of color. so i kept at it. i ended up with 4 flakes of gold. mary had about 3 flakes of gold. seems all the tourists had some color. it made me think they planted the flakes in each bag to make the touristos happy. i was. i just wanted the experience of saying i panned for gold. i even bought a gold mining pan as a souvenir.
i went to soak in the hot springs after the gold mine tour. the resort was full. so i had to go into the cave to soak. i passed on that before because clothing is optional. i didnt feel like soaking around naked pot bellied tourists. on the other hand i have gone into sweats naked with my bros behind the walls. i wanted to soak so i went into the caves. they had 3 pools. i went to the hottest one. it was 110 degrees. i also checked out the 105 degree one. i passed on the one that was 100. it was very relaxing.
i headed into the hills after that to try my luck in the casinos. i wasnt doing too good til i got on the buffalo machine. i hit $165. that put me up so i left. gotta know when to quit while ahead. i got a room in the little town that had the hot springs. it was a nice room.
next day we went to the big flea market north of denver. it is on 80 acres, i thought i was in another country. we were just a few that spoke english. it took us 6 hours to walk thru the place. i ended up spending all my casino winnings. i got my walking in finally. at altitude also. i havent had a cigar in almost two weeks. trying to get my lungs in shape for peru.
i came home on the two lane highways. i got tired of the idiot drivers on the interstates. no one pulls directly in front of you on the back roads. seems like everyone has all day to get there. i like to see the tourist traps in back woods america. i stopped at one called the garden of eden. it is a monument in stone a guy put up. he made all these sculptures of his interpretation of the bible. he even built a mausoleum for his first wife. he got buried in there too. they showed his mummified body.
when i got home i went to sleep. even though i had 3 days off i woke up early every day. i was up at six. i wanted to sleep in but couldnt. so i just made the most of my weekend. now back to the grind…..
labor day weekend. so i have three days off. i certainly can use the time. got so many things to do, where does one start? will just take things as they come.
i havent had a cigar in over a week. it is hard to quit. i can go so long. then i go to a ceremony and i smoke the pipe. then it tastes so good that i start smoking again. i dont blame that. its me. i gave up a number of vices so i feel like i gotta have one or two left. so i smoke cheap cigars and gamble. hopefully i am off cigars. aint least they are easier to walk away from than cigarettes.
i got home late the other night. i was talking to this other guy about the old days on the rez. he is a few years older than me. he experienced a few things that were before my time. so we just talked about what it was like here on the rez before they called it the rez. not many left that lived here back then.
whenever i want to feel young i just go to a casino or a buffet. then i am surrounded by older people. makes me wonder where they hung out before we had casinos or buffets. same thing with movie matinees.
i have been asked to make a roach for my nephew. i dont get around to making them the way i should. i just pick and choose when i want to. i guess my nephew is at the age where he wants to dance. so i figure i will do it. sometimes when parents make their kids dance you can see that. they just act like they are bored when they dance. i remember an old man that danced years ago. he always had a smile on his face when he danced. like he was really enjoying himself.
i hope this day passes by fast. i cant wait for 3 days off….`