Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thinking like an Immigrant

What makes America so appealing that would encourage an individual to pull up roots, leave their home country, friends, and most of their family?  They are putting so much at risk: their livelihood, their relationships, and ultimately their lives.

Free Enterprise.

For most of the immigrants that I know the best personally, the chances offered by free enterprise are the highest motivation.  Most of us home grown Americans take free enterprise for granted.  There's a whole lot of other places in the world that inhibit opportunity with laws, culture, and corruption.

Just being born in the USA is like winning the lottery of life.  You are born into millions of opportunities for a better life.  Many immigrants arrive looking for employment, but are destined for self employment.  Free enterprise offers the best chance of success towards that goal.

Why do so many immigrants realize so much success in the USA?  Despite so many barriers - not the least of which being the language, they are able to surpass many homegrown Americans toward economic prosperity.  My observation is cliche', but it is because they work harder and smarter.

Work ethic is a requisite.  Nothing moves without being pushed or pulled.  I don't know of a single successful immigrant that is not a hard worker. 

Duty is held in high regards.  Duty of 365 days a year.  Duty doesn't take a holiday off, it doesn't call in sick, it doesn't offer excuses.  It is a complete dedicated effort.  No sandbagging allowed!

So many homegrown Americans are lacking that motivation.  Many are complacent underachievers.  Some are self defeating pessimists and others are malcontents.  A few spoiled children that never grow up and a few are overly ego-tistical.

A had a friend who was a talented bike racer.  He would train very hard for a race only to go out the night before and get drunk?  Some people have such big egos that they sabotage their own efforts so they have a ready excuse for failure.  They never have to look close and serious at themselves because of the obvious reason for failure that they provide.

There is no sandbagging among successful immigrants.  They don't play that way.  They were held back in their homelands.  Remove the reasons of failure that were beyond their control and LOOK OUT!

Although, hard work is essential, we all know that it is not the only ingredient.  You can work very hard on a treadmill without getting anywhere.  Successful immigrants don't confuse action with progress.  They are adept at working smarter.

They see hidden opportunities, they establish a goal, and then they go after it.  They are inherintly risk takers and don't fear failure.  But they do not expect immediate gratification.  They are measured optimistic and certainly not self defeating.

Many of them suffered defeat in their homeland.  Usually the fault was none of their own.  They were working hard and smart, but somebody changed the rules!  That kind of thing can happen in America too, but it is far less common.

Americans hate corruption.  We also hate anything less than fair play.  But we LOVE a figher and a winner!  Just ask General Patton.  A fighter, a winner, a smart, hard worker thrives in the free enterprise of the USA.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Top Three Considerations of Investing

It's that grey area between an asset and a liability where you will find investments.  Investments initially take money out of your pocket like liabilities do, but with the promise of making money in the future.  Some investments become assets very quickly, but others don't pan out.  So how do you compare opportunities and identify good investments?

#1 Value:

What is the actual worth?  It really depends on what somebody is willing to pay for it.  With stocks, the most popular valuation is represented as the price to earnings ratio.  What is the cost versus the potential for earning?  This is the basic consideration of any investment.

How long will it be before the asset pays for itself?  This is often represented as time for payback and you can assume a profit after that time.  Many long term investments are justified this way.

The simplest way of stating value investing is "Buy low and sell high".  Learning to recognize low valuation is key to purchasing good investments.  It's not very easy to gain equity in something that is overpriced.  It typically takes a historical comparison to decide if the price is right.

"Past performance is not indicative of future performance."  This is the typical disclaimer for any financial advice, but what else can you go by?  That statement is often true because of all of the variables involved. 

Market timing is an important variable.  Timing the market is another discouraged practice of investing, but it is common sense to purchase when the time it right.  How can you buy low and sell high without the correct timing?  How do you know if you are buying low without comparing prices of the past?

The more variables that you can study, the less risk will be in your investment.  What you don't know can certainly hurt you, so perform your diligence and do your homework.

#2 Balance:

Supply and demand has a tendency to equal out.  Recognizing an imbalance reveals opportunity. 

A shortage of supply creates an increase of demand.  Demand increased prices.  Conversely, an increasing supply reduces demand and prices.  The earlier that you can recognize an imbalance, the greater your chances of capitalizing.  To be the first to recognize imbalance has created a great deal of speculation.

#3 Prediction:

Nobody knows the future, but there are indicators that do suggest trends to build on. Building trends are often referred to as "growth". 

A lot of the indicators for future predicting are considered as soft data.  Consumer sentiment, market direction, and trying to understand the direction and magnitude of the current are all speculation indicators. 

If a majority is optimistic and market directions are bullish it is easier to swim with the current.  Crowd study and psychology all play a major part in short terms swings of balance and value.  Human emotion is highly unstable, unpredictable, and risky.

All three rules blend together and are dependent on eachother.  Early recogition of imbalances present opportunites for great deals for investors.  These fundamentals can by applied to any business in a free enterprise.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Shopping Locally - for Sagacity

Financial success is aplenty if you look for it.  From an early age, I have been cognizant of learning from seemingly unlikely sources.  Business philoshophies and strategies have always peaked my interest.  So with my parabolic reciever aimed in that direction,  I have gotten a lot of repeat strong signals leading me to believe there is some truth to the matters.

"First, we find a way to make money, and then we just do that over and over again."  It is a local rancher's recipe for good business.  Seemingly simple, the first part can prove a lot more difficult than it sounds.  Especially in agriculture when it can be like hitting a moving target.

You can be profitable one year, do the same thing and lose money in consecutive years.  The lesson in that realization is to expand the definition by finding something that works more often than not. 

The second part of that strategy is just as challenging.  Controlling all of the variables to ensure a repeat performance can be very difficult if not impossible.  I think the key is in stocking away a surplus to help you make it through times when forces out of your control are against you. 

It might be stated in other more modern words: "Follow the money."  If you have found a profitable business, say in selling beef, don't modify your whole operation to start selling hay.  It sounds like simple common sense, but this mistake is made in all levels.

Remeber when Coke changed their original recipe?  They had an established winner, but thought they could do better with "New Coke".  The resulting fiasco caused a significant loss in market share and a prompt retreat back to what was working.

"First we ask how can we make it better.  Second, is how can we make it cheaper."  This was the simple guiding principle of a NW food manufacturing equipment manufacturer.  I fell in love with it's simplicity, but it is very difficult in application.  Especially in the high tech business they compete in.  Nevertheless, it focusses on two important business goals: quality and cost.

The competitive nature of business requires improvement.  How can you do it or make it better?  Creative thinking and engineering really pays off here.  But do not forget about the second part!

Anything in the world can be improved if money was no object.  In business, money is the objective - so making it better economically is what's important.  Making it better for less than the competition is a fundamental advantage.

"Now you boys always remember this:  It's not how hard you tamp a post, it's how many times."  That old cowboy at my very first paying job was referring to more than building fence.  Henry Ford implementing mass production as we know it comes to mind.  Quality gets so much press, but quantity is just as economically important. 

Many higher profits can be attributed to mass production.  High yields and big numbers can cover up a lot of little problems.  The bigger your production numbers the lower the cost per unit. Don't try to do things in one big effort.  It's the sustained effort that is going to add up.

"The more junk you've got, the more headaches you've got!"  I heard this repeated from the same local rancher many times.  It illustrates the importance of simplicity of design.  The fewer moving parts in your operation, the more robust it becomes. 

Accountants value this as return on assets (ROA).  The more efficient you are with utilization, the easier it is to be profitable.  It's not what you've got that counts as much as what you do with what you've got.  Make the most of what you have before you go out to upgrade your "assets".

"Grease is still cheaper than metal, last time I checked."  I saved this bit of wisdom spoken by another local rancher as my favorite for last.  My whole professional career was based on this premise.

The more sophisticated and better that I became at preventing problems, the greater my worth was realized.  "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."  is another way of saying it.  It's about working pro-actively to attend to small details before they multiply or grow into major events.

Grease is cheaper than metal and so is paint.  Wax is cheaper than paint.  Armor-all is cheaper than vinyl and molded plastic.  Do you feel like you are vainly wasting your time  by waxing paint or armor-alling seats and dashboards?

Why not change a hydraulic hose before it blows?  Waiting for failure is going to still cost the hose plus the oil spewed at $12/ gallon and worse it could cost you a new hydraulic pump if it runs dry long enough!

To summarize all these tidbits: Attend to details so you can fully utilize a few assets to mass produce a better product or service at a competitive price that you can usually make money at.  That's all you need to know to make a living in the intermountain northwest!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Mined Over Matter

There are numerous studies about the reduction of food value in our modern fruits and vegetables.  It seems that the carrot you eat today is not as packed full of our bodys' essentials as it was years ago.

Modern ag practices have shouldered much of the blame.  The trend has been bigger and bigger and quanity over quality.  Yield is the primary concern and minute compromises of quality are ignored.  If the customer can not see the difference then it is not a significant difference?

Ever increasing yields by means of genetic manipulation, high rates of synthetic fertilizers, and high rates of herbicides and pesticides are all commonplace.  But the often overlooked result of those practices can be the root cause of substance depletion in our food supply - the resulting depletion of soil organic matter (SOM).

SOM has been mined out of our soils for decades.  That practice has necessitated replacing those nutrients with high levels of fertilizer to maintain economical yields.  The trend for big ag and everything getting larger and more expensive creates the demand for evolving crops with higher yields.

Yield is king!  To make margins profitable in the modern ag economy, you must continually improve yield.  There is zero tolerance for imperfections that would compromise yields.  High rates of herbicides and pesticides to the rescue!

All of those practices destroy the biology at work in the soil.  Improving the soil has not been a concern of big ag.  Could that be the reason for the decline in nutrition of our food supply?

I have been taking steps and making decisions to improve the soil on my farm for five years now.  I started out with an average SOM of less than one percent.  This is typical for my area of farm ground that is continuously tilled.  Ironically, our farms was certified organic for six years and that contributed to the destruction of organic matter.  Organic farmers have few options for controlling pesky weeds, so they often resort to additional tillage.

Pulling iron through your top soil kills the micro organisms at work trying to reproduce and increase your SOM.  It's analogous to raking scars on your skin.  The health of your skin and body would seriously be compromised from that continual practice.

For five years I have been instituting conservation ideas and the SOM appears to be responding to those efforts.  This laboratory data that I am basing this assumption on was the source of some controversy last year.

My field man has a lot of years of experience in this valley.  He has not witnessed such improvements in SOM and immediately concluded that the laboratory erred.  I suspect that I am his first "no-till" client.  I base this assumption on looking at farmers' fields whenever I have to drive somewhere (without running off the road!).  This areas farmers are prominently traditionalist, so it wasn't a surprise when he told me that he has not seen much change from one percent in SOM.  "The ground here is not capable of that much improvement."

He went on to educate me of the massive amounts of dump truck loads of importing material that it would mathematically require just to raise a single acre by a single percentage point.  I didn't offer any argument to the contrary because you cannot be too sure about these things initially.  Time will ultimately tell the truth, but a related university study came to mind that illustrates the great mass that life can accumulate out of "nothing-ness".

This particular agricultural university study was to identify the source of the mass required to grow a massive tree.  Measures were regularly recorded of the contained soil, the water added, and the mass of any added fertilizer.  They concluded that the mass supplied to grow the massive tree came out of the air!  The masses recorded from the soil, water, and fertilizer were negligible.

This leads me to believe that the magic in nature can create tons or living matter from the air that we breathe.  Providing of course that we do our part to keep conditions favorable for life.  So that has been my fundamental guiding principle: provide favorable conditions to support life in the soil.

Food, shelter, and clothing?  Life in the soil is not all that different.  It needs food, water, and sunlight.  What it doesn't need is harmful disturbances: tilling, poisons, or pH imbalances.  It's taken a lot of patience and tolerance for less than perfection to improve conditions for the soil life.  The explosion of earth worm populations are a good indicator.

My most recent laboratory tests, along with other observations, lead me to believe that I am on the right track.  My SOM has improved from less than one percent to average about three percent.  Another macro-indicator, the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) has also improved from single digits to average in the middle teens.  These improved numbers along with field observations of the soil composition and our increasing yields with lower additional fertilizer inputs all point to improving conditions for the matter that really matters on our farm.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The 3 R's and 3 D's of Decision making

To determine your Risk to Reward Ratio requires an adherence to Data Driven Decisions.  Good decisions are made when they are based on data instead of emotion and the potential risk to reward ratio is weighed in the favor of reward.  But it takes time to perform this type of analysis. 

Born leaders are of the personality type who pride themselves on making snap decisions.  They are notoriously bad score keepers, so in their minds they are always winning.  I have always been at odds with the dominant director types.  Unfortunately, their personality traits drive them to rise into management positions.

This was the root cause motivation for my desire for an early exit from corporate America.  Financial Independence (FI) was the only long term solution to the problem of constantly being down-graded to work under the direct supervision of an imbecile.

It's not that I didn't have good bosses.  I worked for quite a few  outstanding leaders.  I benefitted greatly from them.  But I began to recognize the pattern that good leadership was not enduring.  Peter Lynch coined the phenomenon with his famous quote, "Invest in a business that can be run by an idiot, because some day it will!"

It was enjoyable and fulfilling to work with good leaders.  You spent most of your time doing something worthwhile.  You were given tasks aligned with your strengths.  There was cohesion among the team.  With purpose, you are highly motivated and committed to do your very best.  That was why it was so disheartening to have a new leader take things south.

"We don't have time to do the job twice."  All too often, snap decisions were not planned out well enough.  We'd have to re-address the same problem, duplicating effort and time. 

So much of life comes down to good decision making.  Recognizing there is a choice to make is the first step.  Identify the alternatives, and use sound methods to choose the most beneficial direction.

Data Driven Decisions are the best.  Removing the emotional aspect, the gut feel, and not shooting from the hip is the best reaction.  That will ensure you are not influenced by bias and prejudice.

After slowing things down so you can gather data, you have to examine the data.  You have to weigh your data and give it magnitude so a clear winner can be declared.  As a final test, it's best to employ risk management by pitting the potential rewards against the risks.

Sometimes what seems like a good decision is rebuked when you realize the risk heavily outweighs the reward.  If there are additional steps you can take to mitigate those risks then you can get closer to the balance that requires further consideration.

"What you do not know, can hurt you!"  Try not to be biased in the beginning.  You have to have some optimism, but don't let that stop you from searching out all the risk involved.  Overcoming risk takes the right level of commitment.  Don't avoid risk, identify it, evaluate it and ultimately weigh it against the potential rewards.

"We are going to fail, but we are going to fail better!"  There are going to be things that slip through the cracks.  Things will go unexpectedly and you'll find your rewards out of reach when the risks have become real.  Failure is such an ugly word!  Ultimately though, it is only a temporary state.  Nearly every problem can be overcome given enough investment.  Failure can just be a bump in the road.  It is almost always a mere learning experience.  "Well Shit!  That didn't work!?"

There's some great comedy rooted in identifiable suffering!  We have all suffered defeat and when we recognize that in others, it can evoke laughter.  Watching an effort and struggle result in disgraceful defeat, the best implied intentions gone awry, can be quite funny.  If others are laughing at your humiliation, you should start laughing too.  Then, get back to work!

Take a new approach and try again.  Fail, learn, and try again - repeat.  Winners are only good failures!  They don't give up easily!  Of course, you can only keep trying if your failures don't sink you, so that is the importance of the Risk to Reward Ratio.

Monday, March 6, 2017

A Tough Act to Follow

In every workplace, in every work group, there occasionally exists a prototypical employee.  They are born leaders by example.  Their efforts and history earn respect from all of their peers.  They become tough acts to follow.

Rich Cilantro was my first tought act to follow.  He had a great rapport with all the workers all the way up through management.  He was able to fix problems quickly and efficiently.  He made equipment operators' jobs easy and performed his task with a flair that left everybody in a great mood.

Suffice it to say, when I was the new guy on that job, my immediate expectations were unachievable.  There was one person in particular who was especially critical of my early failures.  She expected me to walk on water the same way that Rich did, and would accept nothing less.  Even as my experience grew and I gained respect from her peers, she was still holding out.

The catalyst that won her over was extreme.  She saw something noble in my efforts to help a co-worker who nearly lost her life getting tangled up in a machine.  From that moment forward, she became one of my strongest supporters.  We became friends, allies, and teammates.  I pity the fool who tried to fill my shoes after that!

My next workplace had a hero named Larry.  On top of all the qualities that Rich had, Larry had a very long tenure - 19 years!  He had gained mastery of his position and kept everything running as smooth as a Swiss watch.  Luckily, I was not to immediately follow his act, that was Tony.  Tony turned out to be the polar opposite of Larry.

Tony could not endeavor to meet the expectations that Larry established and nor would he even try.  His purpose was purely self-serving.  He didn't make any effort that would not benefit himself in short order. 

All the other workers were quick to catch on and would not do much to further his selfish goals.  The machines that he was responsible for performed very poorly, the operators didn't care, and for a long two years it was a dreadful work environment.  He'd finally made things bad enough that the union would stop covering him and worked with management to expel him.  I was hired shortly after that.

What a mess that I inherited!  The machines and operators were all down trodden and looking for hope.  A few of the managers who were only told highlights of my resume had hoped that I was Larry "re-incarnate"!   One of them introduced me to a group as the "next" Larry.

Being the new guy, looking for direction, and trying to make quick friends - I accepted the idea.  I vowed to do things the way Larry did.  Little did I know all that entailed!

It was like a campaign promise.  I was sold to the spirit of Larry's contribution, but not the letter of the law!  Whenever I started to do something a little different than Larry, I was quickly set straight.  In almost every circumstance, I would humbly listen and learn Larry's way.  Until one day it became preposterous.

"Paper towels are used around here to clean lenses -lenses for cameras.  Cameras are electrical, so that is an electrical expense."

"Okay?"  I responded to the manager's directive.

"I want you to go to supply, charge paper towels to the electrical department, and I want you to keep those dispensers full."

"I don't think paper towels can be classified as electrical?"

"That is the way Larry did it.  Didn't you agree to do things the way Larry did?"

"Yes.  But this seems to be ridiculous.  Or at least it seems that way to me, but I can check with my boss?"

"I am your boss and I am telling you to maintain those paper towels!"

"No.  I won't do it.  Not without checking with my boss."

"What?  Did you say 'No'?  That is insubordination!"

"Maybe so?  I will go and discuss this with my boss right now."

My boss was more than a little perturbed to discover that his department was financing paper towels.

"and furthermore, what is your pay grade?"

I wasn't familiar with the union's stratification of laborers, but I knew where he was going.

"You are a twelve.  We don't pay grade twelve to change paper towels!"

My campaign among the managers and operators took a step sideways.  They were not sure if I was more like Larry or (heaven forbid) just another Tony.  Un-deterred, I proceeded to to my best and follow the ways of Larry, for the most part.

A few months later, I would get the opportunity to meet Larry.  He had kept in touch with friends at the plant and agreed to spend a day with me to help me with some idiosyncrasies.  He was greeted with many smiles and hand shakes.  I knew that I was in special presence.  I absorbed everthing he shared with me like a sponge.

I was not there long enough to ever achieve Larry status.  Nevertheless, I made quite a significant impact during my short time there.  A new opportunity more aligned with my long term goals had come up and the next "Tough Act to Follow" was waiting there for me.

Terry was a living legend.  The more that I got to know him, the more I learned to admire him.  He was not only the prototypical technical employee, he was a great role model.  In the short five years that I worked with him, I learned so much.  Not just the tangible technical items of which he was an authority,  but many intangibles like work ethic, honor, and character.

Unfortunately, there were managers at that place that were disheveled by the respect bestowed upon Terry.  Amongst working men, there are two modes of respect: respect from title and the greater respect that is earned and proven.  Those managers wanted greater respect for their titles.  When Terry would inform them of follies in their directives, they percieved it as a threat to their status.

Depsite that caustic environment, Terry always kept his chin up and his nose to the grindstone.  He personified the indomitable spirit.  Everything he did was to the best of his ability.  His ability was substantial!  And above all of that, no matter what the situation, he was always kind.  He left a very tough act to follow!

Lucky for me, I ended up leaving before he did!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Respect the Sheriff's Property!

"Run!"

Rich didn't have to say anything; we were already running behind him.  I thought that I did pretty well keeping up with our school's best tail back.  Rich was one of those natural born athletes who excelled at everything athletic.  Running was just another thing that he was better at than everybody else and he took it for granted.  Our poor buddy Mick was struggling and falling farther and farther behind.

The two of them knew they could count on me for a successful pheasant hunt.  Mick drove his family's K5 Blazer and brought Rich on short notice.  I'd already been on a hunt that morning with our Brittany "Basco".

My dad's friend had found Basco in an isolated area.  He was a well developed and well trained hunting machine!  He'd put an ad in the local paper's lost and found, but nobody claimed the dog, so he offered him to my dad.  He was like winning the bird hunter's lottery!  We had bird dogs before and after Basco, but he was by far the best ever.  He added a whole other level to the fun of bird hunting.

Basco and I had just finished the early hunt and I rewarded him with some innards from the harvest.  Nevertheless, we were ready to go again when my buddies showed up.

The worst part, was that I'd already spoiled my preferred hunting spot.  I wasn't sure where else to go to ensure my buddies' success?  We just pointlessly piled into the K5 and headed down the road.  I was in the back seat with Basco making efforts to keep him calmed down since he had a tendency to get too excited in the early going, especially when the long guns came out!

We drove past a few neighbor's places and they'd ask me a few times, "How 'bout this?"  I would look out and explain the nuances, part distracted from the dog and side conversation.  We drove past a couple of likely places and ended up farther out than I usually roamed.

We eventually came upon the Sheriff's property.  I'd never consider it on my own, but boys can be emboldened by company?  The lay of the land was perfect for sustaining pheasants.  There was excellent cover at the bottom of the fields and I was sure we'd find something there.

But it was still the Sheriff's property.  "So what?  We're not going to hurt nothing?"  All four of us sat there in the idling K5 looking out the windows, pondering the decision.

We were at a pretty good vantage point.  There wasn't a single vehicle in the drive way.  No movement or signs of life around the farm house.  The big fields leading down to the drainage with the tall cover was perfect game bird habitat!

Without giving it any more thought, we decided to go.  Basco was so excited about hunting someplace new.  We left the Blazer, crossed the barbed wire  and stealthily made our was across fields.  We were all the way in the middle of the large property when Basco hit the first sense.  I could tell from his body language that we were golden.  We formed trio formation with me taking middle behind Basco working hard.  It wasn't much farther before he went full-on point.  I pointed to the dog in case my buddies were not as attuned as I was and they tensed.

Two roosters and a hen flushed at the same time in three different directions.  Rich was a little quicker on the draw, but I think Mick hit the same bird he did.  We passed on the hen, as the law requires, and the other rooster was out of range quick.  I headed for the spot that I saw the rooster go down as Mick and Rich reloaded.  That was when we heard a tractor engine start.

"Bummer dudes.  The Sheriff must be home?"  It was only a tractor, so we didn't get in a hurry about leaving.  I found the dead rooster where he hit and picked him up and placed him in my carrier vest.  The very next thing we knew, there was a pick-up truck rat patrolling  across the field toward us! 

"Run!" Rich shouted as he sprinted away.

We high-tailed it out of the field, leaving poor Mick behind.  He was probably going to get caught?  But to our surprise, the pick-up turned around half way up the field.  Maybe the corrugates were too rough?

We soon enough realized that it didn't do us any good to run fast and leave Mick behind.  He had the keys!  Nor would we leave him to face the wrath of the Sheriff alone.  Rich and I waited for seemingly long minutes.  In the mean time, the Sheriff was driving the road around the property to meet us at the Blazer the same time as out-of-breath Mick.

The Sheriff casually gets out of his pick-up, "I've caught you boys red-handed!"  I looked at my hands and closed them in the futile attempt to hide the blood on them.  Rich was the best versed in trouble with the law, and the first one to speak up, "What do you mean?  We weren't doing nothing?"

That must have been absurd to the Sheriff.  We were standing there with two smoking guns, rooster feathers poking out of my vest, blood on my hands, one guy out of breath, and a bird dog as happy as a lark!

"C'mon boys!  I know what you were doing.  I watched you the whole time.  Trespassing.  Hunting without permission.  I've caught you red-handed!  Do you know who I am?"

"Yes sir."  We all nodded.

"Well then.  What were you thinkin'?"

"We're just looking for some fun.  We'd of stopped to ask permission, but we thought nobody was home.  We weren't going to damage nothing."  I tried my best to talk.

"Well, you boys are lucky that I know who you are.  And I know your dads.  I'm going to leave it to you to explain to your dads what's happened here."

"Yes sir.  Thank you sir.  We're real sorry sir."

And he drove off and let us go. 

Basco was so wound up from all the excitement that no sooner than we were on our way, he puked all over Mick's back seat!

"Whoah!"  The stench of the previous hunt's innards overcame us.  Mick skidded to a stop and we piled out, leaving the doors open behind us.  Basco jumped out too.  He felt better and was ready to hunt again!

"That is bad!"

"Hey, he's your dog; you gotta clean that out!"

So I held my breath and did my best to clean it up.  We still had to drive the rest of the way with all the windows down.

On the way home, Rich couldn't resist but to jab at Mick, "Dude, you have got to cut the video-gaming and work on your cardio!"