The Horse Feeder (repost)

I went to the doctor down in Fort Worth yesterday and when I got in the waiting room I sat down beside another senior citizen. We talked for a few minutes about the big storm that was due to hit during the night. After talking that over for a few minutes we were sitting quietly with our own thoughts. I was mainly thinking of the chores I should get done before the bad weather hit. Then, all of a sudden, he says, “We’re from up in Denton and we’ve got some horses on our place up there or, to be correct, I should say that my wife has some horses on our place up there. The problem is she’s afraid of storms and especially scared to death of being hit by lightning. So, when the big storms like this one come, I have to get out there and feed the horses. Among our family and friends I’m known as the “Sacrificial Horse Feeder.”

Dave Thomas
April 23, 2008

Reposted 3/23/23

Bouncing Around

I was digging through a box of stuff this morning and found my old dog tags. Thinking about it, that first sentence could have another meaning. Since I  haven’t worn the tags since 1961, I should definitely be classified as an old dog.


Banking officials are supposed to be experts in financial matters. Their Board of Directors reward their brilliance by bestowing huge bonuses upon them. If their bank fails, don’t you think they should give back the bonuses?


Putin and the head Chinese guy are supposed to be good buddies.  If the Chinese guy is really a buddy, he will council Putin that he should get out of Ukraine because it’s making him look like an ass.


The white supremacists think their defecations are not odorous (their shit doesn’t stink) because they have white skin. What confuses me is that these white guys spend millions every summer vacationing at the beach so they can get a good tan.


It’s been more than two years, and the traitorous scumbag who wants to destroy our democracy and our way of life is not in prison. What gives?


If you want to be happy and enjoy your old age, make sure that when your kids are young you give them lots of hugs and kisses and love and respect.

Dave Thomas


Company for Breakfast

Pat and I had gotten up just a few minutes before and were just sitting down at the

kitchen table with a cup of coffee. We heard a noise outside and Pat got up and opened

the curtains. There was a donkey with his lips almost against the window. He must have

been as startled as we because he cut loose with Hee-Haw, Hee-Haw and it was loud

enough to shake the house! We recognized the donkey as the pet of the Noble family

that lived several houses up the hill from us.

We had been visited by the donkey a couple of times before. We had a Shetland pony

for the kids that we kept in a corral next to our back fence. In the previous visits the

donkey had come down the back fence- line but for some reason this time he had come

down the street. I had my jeans on and was wearing flip-flops or thongs or shower shoes

or whatever you call them. I went out to the shed and got a lead rope and came back

and snapped it onto the halter the donkey was wearing. I headed for the street to take

him home and he was well-mannered and led on a slack rein, walking beside my


We got to the street and started up the hill but it was tough going for me. The asphalt

streets in our development had been sealed a couple of days before and then a fine

layer of sand had been spread on them. The footing wasnt that good and I kept

scooping up sand with my flip-flops. I was relieved when we got up the hill to the

Nobles house. However, about this time, the donkey must have realized he was almost

home and he snorted and whirled around and started running back down the hill. I dug

in my heels and yelled Whoaas I held onto the end of the lead rope. It was a wasted

effort! That donkey was going downhill as fast as he could go and I was out on the end of

that rope with my heels dug in and looking like a water skier on a slalom course. Our

wild ride finally got us to the bottom of the hill and as we got to our house, I could see

Pat in her pajamas and housecoat out in the front yard pointing at us and laughing like a

crazy woman. The donkey stopped and I looked back up the hill and here comes Noble,

laughing. He was kind enough to say that he had seen the donkey escape but had to get

dressed before he could come out. As you have read, I got no respect at all. It may have

been caused by the donkey but I made a complete ass of myself.

Dave Thomas

7/13/2014 (Repost on 3/11/21)

Take This Job and Love It

“Take This Job and Shove  It”  wailed  Johnny Paycheck.  I’ve never understood  that attitude. I’ve had many  jobs and have enjoyed them all. I’m talking about jobs as            defined by the job description and am not including the surrounding company atmosphere. Like most everyone, I have reported to people I didn’t like or respect. Like most blue-collar guys, I started with the basics. I swept floors, cleaned toilets, dug ditches, scooped out the cow barn after the milking was done, washed and greased cars, and did a lot of real manual labor. Time passed and I gained knowledge and experience and moved on up.  After the Navy, I started  as a  Test Technician, then Assistant- Assembly Foreman,  Assembly Foreman, Test Foreman,  Production  Supervisor,  Manufacturing Manager, Assistant Plant Manager, and Vice President.

It’s up to you to control your life. Don’t dismiss your job as being boring or meaningless. And don’t perform it as a robot or automaton. Be thankful for the job you have today. It’s feeding your kids and putting a roof over their heads. Equally important is the idea that you go home at night knowing that you have given it your best shot.

Don’t forget the importance of learning. You should learn as much as possible about the job you have, plus you should be preparing for your next job. Learning is an individual thing. In 1961, I was working for an electronics manufacturer as a Test Technician. We tested digital voltmeters, DC amplifiers, x-y recorders, and monitor oscilloscopes as they came off the production line. The technology was in flux as vacuum tubes were being replaced by semiconductors. I was working five ten hour days plus eight hours on Saturdays. Additionally, my commute time amounted to an hour to an hour and a half a day. I took a night course on transistor theory and integrated circuits at City College. It was a good class and has served me well over the years, but I hated being away from home at night. I had a wife, 3 kids, a home, and a yard and thought they all deserved more  attention than I was giving them. By 1962, I was an assistant foreman in the Assembly Department, and was getting involved in estimating and product costing. I found a correspondence course called “Accounting for Managers,” and went to work on it.  I got up at 4:45 each morning and studied until 6:00 am and then got ready to go to work. It took me over two years to complete the course, but it served me well for the rest of my working life.

About the time I was turning 60, the company I was working for was sold. The new owners were bringing in their own people, so I was let go. I was a little bit anxious about the future as I knew that most companies would be looking for young guys as managers, and I might have trouble finding a position. I was also reluctant to get acquainted with a new company’s rules and software system. I sent out some resumes, and one of the first responses I received was from a temp agency that had a spot for an Estimating Manager. I liked estimating and was good at it. I’ve got to admit that I thought of estimating as a “side” job because, as a supervisor or Manufacturing Manager, I was used to being in the middle of the action. Every department has the potential for problems every day. Machines break down, vendors don’t ship, parts don’t arrive, the power goes off, and employees have problems. I sometimes had as many as 130 electronic assemblers and machine shop people working for me and that makes for plenty of HR problems.

The agency’s initial pitch about the estimating job sounded pretty good, so I interviewed with them and the company they were representing, and took the job. It turned out to be a great experience. Not being in the line of fire, I was able to enjoy the estimating job completely. Not being the “go to” guy in the production arena, I didn’t have to respond to the hourly emergencies or get involved in the drama or hassles of production. What a difference! I loved it!

There are a couple of thoughts for your consideration:  Face each day with enthusiasm and with your head on straight. Be aware that after evaluating hundreds of people from entry-level assemblers to electronic engineers, I (or someone like me) can walk in the door of your work place and know from your body language just what kind of person you are. Take this job and love it. Your contribution and attitude will be noticed.

Dave Thomas