Ben… A Recovering Idiot (who often relapses) Friend of many (or so he thinks) Foe of one, two or maybe a few (hundred) Grandfather of twelve (and not a bad one in the bunch) Father of six (that he's been notified of) Married for 38 long, arduous and worthwhile years (readers of The Book all agree it’s a miracle) Husband of one (which is fairly unusual for a Mormon) Jack of no trades (and master of none) Inventor (who’s not that successful but keeps the bills paid) Dodged certain death at least 5 (00 times) Broke 27 bones (and wondering which one will fail next) Missing only two fingers (and had just one lobotomy up to this point) Over the hill (and can’t remember if he was ever really on top) Legal owner of Michele and this blog (his favorite?...depends on the day)

The name drawn this week for the $500 is Jim Meldrum. Let me know if you did the due diligence Jim!

If you are eligible, your wallet will be 500 smackers heavier than before we drew your name.

I just heard back from Jim….
Sorry Ben, I’m a day late and $500 shorter now. 😉. I did like your goat head blog though. There has to be a market. It could be called organic goat head salad with a side of tumble weed brownies (leave out tumble and it will be a legal “hit” in WA).


Since Jim wasn’t logged on to the program, for the rest of you, there’s a chance you might still end up with the prize. But if you don’t follow the rules listed at the top of this page, you will be out some leafy greenbacks, just like the 6 or 8 losing pickee’s up to this point.

Speaking of leafy green, let’s talk Tribulus terrestris.

The leafy treat listed above is a beautiful lush plant with small delightful yellow flowers and requires very little care and cultivation once you have it established in your garden. It is prolific enough that you can dine on it morning, noon and night and still have enough left over for the neighbor’s dog,. You know, the one you’ve been wanting to run over if it steps off the curb.

Goat head soup is an unforgettable porridge delight that is easy to make and looks to me like it would be quite healthy to digest. Just add boiling water and stir. Be sure to start drinking the soup before the water quits boiling in order to distract your brain from the sure carnage in your esophageal region that most likely will follow your first swallow.

If you swallow one of the prickly pieces, I’d recommend you grab a broom stick and push it on down. If you don’t, it will stay lodged there for the duration. If you try to cough it up, it’ll hurt worse than the broom stick going down.

You’ll never forget the moment you decided to start chowing down on your first bowl of this delicate but hardy veggie!

And if you’re into flower and plant arrangements, this just might be your baby! Inexpensive, hardy, layer up layer of greenery and once in a while a dash of red if your thumb or forefinger happens upon one of the protective barbs that surround the seed pod.

It is a wonderful plant!

You don’t have to go out every spring and replant,. Baby goat heads pop out more prolifically each year. You don’t have to have a green thumb to raise it. In fact, you could be a paraplegic with all limbs amputated and still raise a bumper crop of the foliage. In fact, I’m paralyzed from the neck up and I have no problem raising whatever quantity IT feels like raising.


I just took this picture this morning.

City folk don’t get to enjoy it’s beautiful greenery. Tribulus terrestris is it’s botanical name and though you may forget the scientific nomenclature, you will never forget the plant once it gets a foothold on your property.

I’m not sure what percentage of the average American knows what goat heads are. Perhaps only rural country folk are in the know.

I knew a lady named Donna a few years back that was a babe in the woods when it came to the green and lush vegetation.

She bought some property I had in Connell that had been vacant for years. One day her husband came in from the back yard all excited. They had been planning on planting a garden of lavender but the heads of goat beat the lavender to the growing season that particular year.

“Honey!” he exclaimed. “You’ll never believe what we’ve got growing in the back yard.” He went on to tell her it was beautiful and lush and had beautiful yellow flowers. “We don’t need lavender to make our yard pretty. We’ve got this!”

They went out and over the next week or two, enjoyed the heck out of their neat little paradise.

Then one day Donna decided to take a walk barefoot through her beautiful and almost tropical slice of heaven. At approximately the same moment Donna put her foot into the cool and thriving foliage, she began receiving instant messages from that same extremity that there was a bit of a critical problem afoot.

She then used her other foot that was still outside of the jungle to do a hop, skip and a jump back in the house with just enough energy left to scream bloody murder for her husband. It took the rest of the morning to get her calmed down and extricate the green seed pods that had rattlesnake fangs projecting outward, available to snag any flesh within striking distance.


Jack and Donna’s lives and outlook went from 60 to 0 that morning. After quizzing a few neighbors, they soon understood their beautiful Garden of Eden had just become a never-ending bed of eternal tack weeds. These green villains would never be halted without endless effort and vigilance.

When they told me their story, I marveled and even laughed at their initial impression of goat heads. In fact, as they were in the middle of the story, I blurted out “Goat heads!” and beat them to the punch line.

Thinking about their experience, I realized that that is how a lot of things are in life. Initially, we happen on something we think is great, just like goat heads. It can be a myriad of things…alcohol, illicit sex and/or drugs, smoking, gambling and on and on.

The beckoning of seemingly harmless apparitions is as long as a 40 year-old goat head infestation. The mouth-watering prize looks great at first. Attractive, enticing and desirable. Just like the lush green plant. The longer mankind exists, the larger the foliage patch to pick from becomes.

Couple the attraction up with voracious and out-of-control appetites and pretty quick everything has gone wacko. Goat heads don’t quit. Addictions don’t quit. They come back day after day, year after year. Choking out crops and gardens. Stifling lives. Ruining families.

Shoes, animals and tires pick up the sharp-speared seeds and then get deposited wherever their vehicle of choice jettisons them. More than once I have walked from one room into another and ended up screaming and hopping around in barefoot pain from a thorn that someone’s shoe deposited a day or two before. (Truth be known, it was probably my shoe)

Many is the time I have seen the pain and agony goat heads and addictions have caused.

Eradication of both these varmints is much harder to control after the hook is set than avoidance at the initial stages of attraction. I’m of the opinion Satan uses the temptations of this world and makes them look just like the bountiful vegetation of puncture vine unlimited.

Desirable at first. Later on, not so much.

I’ve seen pain, death, suicide, jail time, depression, many types of behavioral dysfunction, relationships destroyed and the continual breakup of families occur from this primal luring by lush and desirable enticements. Admittedly, I’ve dealt with a bit of this tendency myself. Most people have. I’m not drawing from an empty well here.

Those who scoff at this portrayal are probably the same who are looking forward to their next fix with whatever rings their particular goat head bell from hell.

My niece Kennon is going on a 18-month Spanish-speaking LDS mission to Dallas. She gave a farewell talk at church this morning. She did a great job along with another young man going on a two-year stint to Cape Verde which is just off the coast of Africa.

We were invited to a family luncheon at my brothers place which happens to also be the home where I grew up.  My wife fixed up a nice bowl of watermelon, pineapple, raspberries, cantaloupe and honeydew melon for it.

She had to run our daughter Meg to the airport so she could fly back to Phoenix. Michele asked me to take the big fruit assortment to my brothers place for the lunch.

The Vette hadn’t been run for a week or two so I carefully placed the large fruit platter on the passenger floor and idled down the road without so much as spinning a tire. I made 95% of the trip without incident.

However, on the last leg up the hill, there was a circle irrigating the road and adjoining field. This particular circle doesn’t just come close to the road, its end tower spans over the road and drenches everything in sight.

I could see that I was going to have to wait for 30 or 40 minutes before the circle moved out of soaking distance if I was going to keep water spots off the Vette. Since the lunch on the hill had already started, I needed to get going. I calculated if I put the pedal to the metal, I would get through the spray without picking up too many hard water spots and if I kept up the acceleration, the water that did reach the car would immediately be blown off.

It went down just as I planned. I hit 60 in a few seconds and then jumped on the binders as I flew around the bend and arrived in Brent’s parking lot.

This is the hill I was accelerating up although today it was about 80 degrees warmer. In contrast to me racing up the hill, Brent was racing down it.

I crawled up out of the seat that is just inches from the pavement and went to the other door to carry in the beautiful fruit assortment.

I was dismayed to see the colorful and formerly carefully-placed fruit scattered off the bowl and on to the floor mat, under the seat and any other place it could meet up with a chunk of dirt, gravel or germ.

This was the scene…


I was dismayed. My wife’s carefully arranged masterpiece was now my sloppy, sticky and unattractive floor mat.

What was I to do? I thought fast and then ran even faster into the house. I grabbed the quickest thing I could find that would hold some dirty fruit. I think it was some kind of a grease-catching pan for their oven. I ran back out to the car before anyone in the house crowd of family members could ask me what I was doing.

I picked up all the soiled fruit that had been on the floor and threw it on the grease pan. I tried to rearrange the clean fruit into a decent looking display on the tray without much success. The damage had been done and any future manipulation on my part would just make it worse.

I thought about taking the dirty fruit into what we used to call the mud room. I could run the faucet or shower on the fruit and maybe it would wash the debris off while retaining what was left of the fruits attractive texture and appearance.

But after a moment of thought, I realized the fruit was probably beyond redemption. I abandoned the clean-up idea and took the pan into the garage and placed it on the dumpster lid for later disposal.

I went back out to the fruity-smelling Corvette and retrieved the partially-filled fruit tray. Back in the house, I slipped the large tray in between all the other food offerings. People were already taking food helpings so the picked-over looking tray seemed right at home.

After lunch was over, I planned on going back out to the garage and throwing the fruit in the dumpster and returning the pan.

We had a nice lunch. There were probably 40 or 50 family members there. After a couple more hours of conversation, I decided to head home. As I walked out the door, I remembered the soiled garden scraps. I went to the garage but there was no grease pan or accompanying items in sight, especially on the trash can.

I got a little worried but was still hopeful that maybe Brent’s wife Kashann had seen the soiled garbage and tossed it. I found Kashann and asked her if she had noticed any fruit in the garage.

Kashann is one tireless and quick-moving lady. In fact, she drives so fast that after her second or third car wreck, I started calling her Krashann. She can talk on two phones while she’s driving with one leg and still watch a movie on their van TV.

She’s very efficient. She gets the job done. She informed me that she found this wonderful bounty of fruit and couldn’t imagine why anyone would put it in the garage, especially on the dumpster lid.

Without asking anyone if the fruit contained bubonic plague, rat poison or droppings from a Corvette floorboard, she gathered it up, brought it in and emptied it on the fruit trays in the house.

After hearing of her health department violations, I ran into the house and looked at the slices of fruit still left in the trays. The fruit was essentially gone as was any evidence of floorboard impurities.

No one complained about chunks of gravel or layers of sand. There was no notice of disfigured fruit or abnormal coloration.

Some of my sisters pride themselves on their fine gourmet tastes. After this little incident, when they start patting themselves on the back, I’m going to share a little bit of floorboard reality with them.

If I don’t hear of any deaths, sickness or hospital visits by people who attended this event in the next 3 or 4 days, I’ll post this event.

If I do hear of ill effects or ambulance calls, this post will never see the light of day.

We still have no cash winner of the $500 pot. Sign up to be a follower at the top of this page or you might miss out on future posts. In a few hours there will be another drawing. Don’t miss out!

Most of my books I sell are paperback. Yesterday I got an order for a hardcover. I figured since he was spending the extra bucks, I would ask him if he wanted it signed or unblemished.

Here’s the note I got from him…

Signed would be amazing.

I picked up your book off Rodney Nelsons desk at work (Hanford) and could not put it
down. He farms up in your neck of the woods and is LDS. You may know him and his
clan.  God bless (and protect) you and your family.
– Timothy Hidalgo. (more…)


Trump neglected to use correct liberal-approved labels this last week in referring to neo-nazis, white supremacists, etc. in condemning Charlottesville happenings.

By the way, I walked the streets of Charlottesville several times when my son Derek was going to law school there. It’s a beautiful Virginia town oozing with history from the days of Thomas Jefferson.

Back to Trump. The media went crazy when Trump didn’t use labels and names for the people on the far right doing the damage. I mean they went absolutely berserk and even when Trump listed the culprits, they continued to castigate and pile on him. I’m not sure who is after Trump more, the media or the Dems.

In my 62+ years on planet earth, I’ve never seen the degree of rage and political fury from news organizations that is present today. Instead of being impartial news outlets, they are political activists who are hell-bent on piling on the Don.

The president has his problems but I am far more comfortable with his patriotism, his American loyalty and desire to help American businesses, and calling it like he sees it (and like I see it) than I was the last guy.

The last guy had a hard even putting his hand on his heart when the Star Spangled Banner played. If I remember right, his wife said something akin to the first time she was proud to be an American was when her husband ran his political campaign. Give me a break.

So Trump’s getting piled on for skipping the labeling. He corrected it a day or two later. I doubt that will make any difference to the news guys.

The thing that bothers me is this. If I’m not mistaken, Obama went through 8 years of his presidency without ever calling radical Muslims out by name. He just couldn’t do it. If he ever did do it, it was at the last of his second term. I’m too busy to fact-check right now. Radical Islam has been far more active, hateful, destructive and violent than the far-right.

Did the news guys ever bring it up, let alone blow it up? I don’t remember them batting an eye. Completely different in today’s climate.

I haven’t seen skin-heads broadcasting the beheading of hostages. Radical Islam has been terrorizing and raising hell with nary a blink from O.

And then again, I wonder how I would feel if Bush-led foreigners started bombing and shooting up my native country. It’s a mess. A good share of America’s troubles have shown up because we can’t keep our noses out of foreign entanglements.

I’m sure I sound like I’m attacking both sides. Could be. But if you want some interesting reading, check out Pat Tillman and his life. He was a great patriot and fully supported our governments actions. He gave up millions of dollars just so he could support our country. But by the time it was over, he was against what we were doing in the middle East. Not only that but he ended up being killed by US forces. It stinks.

And then the inquiry the government conducted. Bottom line, it was a joke.

Anyway, the American news machine is not going to be happy until Trump is gone. They have abandoned their purpose and job and are doing little but attacking the president. What a mess.


Now for something positive. I got the following note and picture yesterday. Made my day.


We gave my Grandpa your book to get his mind off the stress of my grandma being in the hospital the past 3 weeks. You can see that he’s halfway through and can’t put it down!

It’s fun to watch him giggle and then laugh so hard he can’t even explain what story he’s laughing at. He is also pleasantly surprised at how many of the characters he knows 🙂 Your book has brought lots of smiles and laughs to the Crowther household!


Perhaps you haven’t sniffed out the fact that I’m generally a die-hard conservative. There have been several times over the years in my Fb discussions with liberal friends, they flash-jump to point out that “fake news” items from the right are wrong because Snopes says so.

I’ve responded that it sometimes seems to me like the Snopes angle seems to be coming from left field, in fact, way over by the fence. They dog-paddle back with the response that Snopes is totally non-partisan, unbiased and completely truthful. I’ve just never been inclined to buy and bite their hook, line and sinker.

Imagine my surprise when I happened upon a Forbes article that tossed Snopes credibility to the dogs. Permit me to share a couple of paragraphs from that article followed by the link.

This creates a deeply unsettling environment in which when one tries to fact check the fact checker, the answer is the equivalent of “its secret.” Moreover, David’s responses regarding the hiring of strongly partisan fact checkers and his lack of response on screening and assessment protocols present a deeply troubling picture of a secretive black box that acts as ultimate arbitrator of truth, yet reveals little of its inner workings. This is precisely the same approach used by Facebook…

…From the outside, Silicon Valley looks like a gleaming tower of technological perfection. Yet, once the curtain is pulled back, we see that behind that shimmering façade is a warehouse of good old fashioned humans, subject to all the same biases and fallibility, but with their results now laundered through the sheen of computerized infallibility. Even my colleagues who work in the journalism community and by their nature skeptical, had assumed that Snopes must have rigorous screening procedures, constant inter- and intra-rater evaluations and ongoing assessments and a total transparency mandate. Yet, the truth is that we simply have no visibility into the organization’s inner workings and its founder declined to shed further light into its operations for this article.

Forbes Snopes story

I feel a little bit like I did November 9. Sometimes it just doesn’t go down like the lefties promise it will.

When I try to look at the world from their vantage point, I end up still hungry after all the courses in their full-meal deal. As hard as it is, I try to love my bleeding heart friends even though I don’t always like the direction they swing from.

So unless clarification comes to light that Forbes has come clean and is forthcoming about their sources and political leanings, I’ll continue (in secular matters) to chart my course by inspiration combined with the Idiot I trust the most.


Often I feel like giving up on this blog. I’m in the Blog Desert by myself, throwing out boomerangs that usually come back empty. I need water and grub once in a while. It would be nice to hear some comments, even if negative or rebuttalish. Likes and shares are always appreciated. Especially on good posts if there are such animals in my kingdom.

Last week I heard positive verbal props from a couple of people I would never have guessed would give them. Made my day! I delight in feedback so if you ever have the urge, don’t restrain yourself. Heaven knows I don’t.

This blog would love to be a two-way street. Likes, followers, shares and comments are always appreciated.

I’m amazed at the the number of views and followers that have continued to escalate. Of course, the $500 carrot is helping.

If not for my stats info, I would have given up on this time-gobbling sucker months ago. 811 views last week compared to 5 the first week when I started in February. There must be a good post at least once in a while. Thanks to all who have been appreciative and responsive readers!

If you think I’m blowing smoke on what keeps me blogging, check me out on Snopes. They’re supposed to have all the facts.


Read the reviews.  Paperback or Hard Cover.

Kindle Book One      Kindle Book Two

The more you like, talk back and share, the more I’ll bare.



Facebook picture of Pat Irribarren and wife?

Back in the eighties when I began my tire business in Basin City, one of the more colorful and fun people to deal with was a local character named Pat Irribarren. I think Pat is originally from Spain and has a most interesting accent. Unless I listened closely and asked probing questions, I would often get his communications upside down.

If he said he needed tires on his truck, I thought his duck was on fire.

If he needed baling twine, I was absolutely sure he was requesting Mailing Wine.

After each misunderstanding, we would have an interesting conversation before I finally caught his drift. I’m sure he was quite frustrated with my poor listening skills.

Pat was always trying to talk me down on my price. I often felt like I was at a reverse auction where the price went down instead of up.

Pat was a wheeler and a dealer. He always seemed to have crazy deals going on in various locations and angles.

One day while several of us were eating lunch at the cafe in Mesa, Pat walked in and we talked for a bit. As he walked out the door, my friend Scot said “There goes the Iberian Tycoon.”

They didn’t have to sweep under our table that day. We cleaned it up from rolling on the floor laughing. It was memorable. We weren’t laughing at Pat. We were enjoying Scot’s never-ending wit.

A friend and neighbor of Pat’s was the patriarch of the Mesa Bailie family.  His name was Ray Bailie. Both Pat and Ray were interesting guys. Both loved to chisel me down on my prices.

After Ray had walked into the tire shop a few times, I quickly learned (after a few costly educational sessions) to jack the normal price of the tire up fifty or seventy-five bucks in my head before I opened my mouth to quote.

He had no idea what the price of the tire was or if it was on sale. All he wanted was to dicker and insist on getting several lower and lower quotes. He wouldn’t be happy or buy until I had dropped the price a minimum of at least three times.

He was happy on those initial occasions. I was not.

But I’m a quick learner. Two or three years after he started this practice, I started figuring out that if I quoted him a tire that was on sale at $110 and quoted him the sale price, I would end up selling it to him for $70. My cost to buy the tire was $80. Four tires mounted for Ray meant a net loss of $40 for me. And he usually got me to throw the spin balance in for nothing.

But if I started out quoting the sale price as $160 and then let Ray jew me down until I agreed to sell at $110, it worked. He was happy. I was happy.

So today’s drawing landed on Pat Irribarren. Pat, if you follow my blog and share it’s posts, you are $500 richer. Wait, let me play you and Ray’s game. You are now $400 richer. Wait, I mean $300 richer. That’s my last offer.

Let me know!

I did a little checking and I think Pat missed the boat too. He’s my Fb friend but not a blog follower/sharer.

I wish we could hurry up and get this giveaway completed.


So far a few of my Facebook friends have been picked but none were eligible.

Al Yenney, Christine Jenks, Austin Fox, Cameron Yount, Nichole Davidson and if I’m not mistaken Pat Irribarren missed the boat. These are great people but each came up 25 twenty-dollar coins short.

Last night I had a dream. (I’m not kidding about this part. I really did have this dream)

I had a dream. I dreamt I was Martin Luther King’s kid brother. I was not at the Washington Monument but I was standing at the Washington Driver’s License Department in Kennewick in a long line.

Granted, it was a little convoluted and cockamamie but it was still my dream.

Oh, Yes! I had a dream. It was a dream that one day each one of my Facebook friends will also be one of my blog followers. Which meant that in my dream there were no losers in my blog drawing. It also meant each one of my friends had already signed up as a RecoveringIdiot Blog Follower. Everyone was a winner! Yes, folks and Facebook Friends, they were each legitimate winners!

(Unless they died before I got around to drawing their name in the weekly contest. You see, if I draw once a week, the numbers are that some people, even though they are eligible, will be 231 years old before their number gets drawn.)

That is, unless I jettison a couple of my Facebook friends who, when it comes right down to it, are not really that great of a friend. By doing this little shuck and jive, some of my true friends reap the distinct advantage of being only 230 years old before they win the cash.

Back to my dream.

Yes! I had a dream that someday each of my blog followers will share each post that comes forth from these eight fingertips and two useless stubs. That from sea to shining sea the miracle of this blog will roll forth without ever having a reboot or getting that dreaded blue screen.

Let me take it one step further by switching into the present tense. I have a dream that someday I will have enough dough from one of my crazy inventions that I can pony up $500 for my blog giveaway every day! Yes, no longer will I have to get the money from PayDay Loans or my wife’s purse like I am right now.

And even better yet, I dream that I will soon be bringing in enough cash that I can give away ten times the $500 to each of my Facebook friends when their name is drawn.

And last but not least, every day that I draw a name, there will be no question as to whether this Dude Follower or that Dude-ette Sharer is eligible. I won’t even check. Because I know I can trust that they all will have followed my simple instructions and therefore get to keep the cash, unlike in today’s world where few have made themselves eligible.

And if I do happen to check, I dream they will all be followers and sharers and therefore each will enjoy the fruits of the fruit basket. Not one black sheep will be left out of the fold and come up empty-handed.

The bottom line of my dream is…

Sign up and share my blog posts. Don’t live with regret the rest of your life!

That’s all I can remember of my dream.


I promise I’ll try to keep the posts entertaining and the cash flowing.

Stay tuned, there might be other giveaways down the road!

It just depends how often my wife sets her purse on the kitchen table and then leaves to use the restroom. That, my friends, is the chief criteria concerning my cash giveaways.