Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Google Earth

While waiting for the new year to arrive, I've been checking out what's new on Google Earth, and was surprised to see that the ground level camera car made a pass down our little country road in rural Lindale, TX. Our house can be seen in a couple of views, and in one, they even captured my van driving into the driveway. It looks like the photo was taken about three weeks ago, so they get them posted quickly.

They have also been busy taking photos in North Dakota, so I took a trip through the big cities of Stanley and New Town, and even the ghost town of Belden. It was another surprise to discover that my mother's old country grade school building is still standing.

If you don't yet have Google Earth downloaded on your computer, you're missing a wonderful program. The free version has all the features most people would want, so it won't cost you anything.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yearend Rant

America’s reputation for tough individualism is undergoing an evolution that’s becoming terribly worrisome if we are to survive as a nation. We are becoming spineless, soft and whiny to a degree I would never have predicted.

Every time there is a tragedy of some kind, the first thing you see is a perfectly coifed television reporter on the scene asking how the family, friends, or survivors “feel” about what happened. Instead of telling the idiot what he can do with the microphone, they sob and whine about how they are victims, and somebody in government should do something about it so they can find “closure”. Before the days of television, those people would have cried in private, dug in their heels and with the help of close friends, they would have worked around the tragedy.

Recently, a high school football star in a neighboring town was killed in a car accident. The next day the entire school shut down, a team of counselors rushed to the scene, and prayer and candle light vigils became the order of the day. Pictures of students hanging on each other and bawling, graced the front page of the local newspapers. Stacks of flowers, ribbons, cards, and teddy bears, littered the accident site. Yes, the loss of a young life is terribly sad, but really, what did such a display accomplish? All it did was condone and reward displays of weakness.

When I was a senior in high school, a sophomore was killed in a car accident and a freshman was crippled for life. This was in a high school with a total population of less than 150. Call our parents and teachers brutal and uncaring, but not a single class was delayed or cancelled, and only those involved in the funeral received unexcused absences on that day. There was no such thing as a counselor and we all dealt with the tragedy in our own way, as we were expected to do.

Ho Chi Minh said that America was a paper tiger, that we didn’t have the stomach to fight a protracted war, and that we would eventually tire and run. He was right. Vietnam is now a communist country, and over 50,000 of our finest died in vain.

Osama Bin Laden also said that our will is weak and that we can’t stand up to worldwide jihad. The election of Obama as a peace candidate was a sign sent to the world that Bin Laden will also be proven correct.

Americans need a serious helping of spinal stiffening...and that's especially true of our politicians.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Winding Down the Old Year

No matter what I promise myself, it seems as if the holiday season gets more and more demanding every year, or maybe it's just because I'm getting older, and normal activities wear me out faster. That's probably it, since we didn't do anything this year that should have been a big deal.

The last of our company left today and now I'm going to just relax and enjoy the promised good weather until the new year arrives. Nothing like sitting on the patio watching the birds at the feeder and soaking up some sun. If there is any such thing as reincarnation, I'll likely come back as an old hound dog.

I have a couple of cabinet projects I should get back to, and I'm anxious to finish them, but not until I finally shed this cold. Every time I try to rush things, I regret it. I've put them off for a year, so I guess a few more days won't matter.

Seems like only yesterday that I put the Christmas lights up, but I'll try to get them down next week. Once they're down and packed away, it feels like spring is just around the corner. Our Flowering Quince already thinks it is.

I imagine we'll spend a quiet New Year's Eve with the dogs again. Unlike our previous neighborhood, where one guy always emptied his shotgun at midnight, this one is quiet. At least it was last year, and only two new families have moved in, so if it gets rowdy, we'll know who to blame. Come to think of it, one of those families had a move-in party that featured a twenty-minute fireworks display. Might need a double shot of sparkling cider if that happens again.

Speaking of New Year's Eve...If you like old time rock and roll as much as I do, tune in to KAAM radio from 6 until 12:30 on that night. Cruisin' Al Taylor will be playing pre-Beatles R&R for those of us too old to go out and party. Here's the link:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hey ATT!...Where is our DSL?

We've been trying to get DSL in our little development for over a year, and getting information out of ATT management as to when that will happen is impossible. According to the ATT technicians I've talked to, the only thing they have to do is install a piece of equipment in the shack that's located less than a half-mile down the road, but they have no idea when that will happen.

After reading the report in the link below, I'm embarrassed to even think about where the USA ranks against the world in high-speed Internet access today, and where it's going in the future.

We're on our way to becoming a third world country when we lag behind Estonia and the Isle of Man in one category, and behind China in total broadband hookups...behind a country that eats dogs and tills the soil with draft animals!

Friday, December 26, 2008

December 23, 1776

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value."

The new country was in crisis when these words were written by Thomas Paine just before Christmas, 1776. WE had decided to become a union of states, and it wasn't going well. Washington's army had been defeated in battle and the British fleet and Redcoat army seemed invincible, but in the end, we prevailed and the greatest nation on earth was formed from the wealth, sweat, and blood of patriots who knew what was good, and believed in the cause.

Today, it's not an army in red coats that attacks us on the field of battle, it's an army of red thought that invades our entertainment, our schools, our government, our labor organizations, and even our churches. They are using ignorance and the inherent goodness of people to deceitfully secure power and oppress individual freedoms in some trumped-up name of fairness and impartiality.

Once again the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot are being challenged to rise to the cause. Will we have the courage to speak out against the attacks from within? Will we risk unpopularity to expose the truth of what's happening in our country?

A new form of tyranny awaits those who go along to get along.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa and the Democrats

I checked the survivor list this morning and was surprised to find my name on it, so I suppose I better post something before the cobwebs take over this blog. Even though I’m a survivor of my worst cold ever, my disposition is still nasty, so I’m going to take a holiday shot at liberals…in the true spirit of Christmas, of course.

Did you ever notice that the legends of Santa and liberalism are pretty much one and the same?

When we’re young, we believe that Santa spends the entire year at the North Pole with his elves, making toys for kids who believe in him. Then on Christmas Eve, Santa climbs into a toy-filled sleigh, pulled by a small herd of reindeer, and delivers those toys to all of his loyal followers around the world.

Why do we believe the story? Because, everyone tells us it’s true, and when we’re kids, it’s easy to believe that a nice benevolent old man has nothing but our best interests at heart, and nothing better to do than to give us all the things we want. There is no reason to argue with a deal like that.

When we hit about eight, nine, or ten-years-old, we begin to suspect that there is no way old Santa can deliver on his promise of free goodies for everyone, even if he wanted to. We’re not freight transportation experts, but we’re smart enough to recognize that there is no way he can carry billions of toys in his sleigh and deliver them to billions of kids around the world. So, we begin to suspect that something in the story doesn’t ring true, but we continue to extend our faith when Christmas morning arrives and we find gifts under the tree signed by old Santa Claus himself.

Eventually we come to realize that our families pay for the toys that we thought we were getting for free from that jolly old elf. We learn that despite the charming legend, there is no such thing as a free lunch, or a free doll, or a free train set.

Most of us grow up and accept the fact that our parents can no longer give us everything we want, even if they dress up as Santa and tell heartwarming stories about the act of giving. Someone eventually has to pay the bill, and if we demand too many gifts, in time our families won’t be able to provide thing like food, shelter and protection from harm.

Yet some of us grow up learning to disbelieve one fairy tale, but continuing to believe the one that the federal government and many politicians spout. It’s the promise that a government bureaucrat is better qualified to take care of you than you are.

The Democrat candidate for President of the United States is a lot like Santa. He promises more than he can deliver, but he keeps trying to convince us that he will. He says he can do it by taxing the rich and giving to the poor and the middle class. Since the vast majority of us are poor or middle class, it’s easy to accept that concept. Stick it to the rich…it won’t affect me. We quickly learn that the prez can’t deliver everything he promised, but he says he really could if only he had a few more elves…the elves that can be found under the “D” column on the ballot.

Members of Congress are like elves in the toy factory. They do everything they can to deliver whatever we demand. They’ve learned that if we obtain even some of what was promised, the elves get rehired every two or six years. But they've also figured out to never give everything that was promised or you won’t have anything left to promise in the future. Elves are smarter than voters.

I began my voting life as a Democrat. Most Americans do. It’s easy to think like a Democrat. You don’t have to waste time following what the party is doing or understanding what effect their acts are having on society. You only have to spout the mantra, care a lot, and have good intentions. If your party makes dumb decisions, you just blame the Republicans, because, God knows the Republicans are too wimpy to defend themselves.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wedding Photos

Since I'm still feeling too puny to think or write, I'll share a link to some wedding photos that will bring tears to your eyes.

Here's to the bride and groom!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Checking in...

My cold still has me by the throat. I don't get colds often, but when I do, I suffer in spades. Dad was the same way and though he was seldom grumpy, when he had a cold, grumpiness was a sure thing. I wish I had inherited all the good things about him instead of things like that.

Anyway, I might be gone for a couple more days as I'm having difficulty even thinking, much less writing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


The weather is still foggy, misty, drizzly, and miserable. Only the temperature has improved, and now I've managed to catch a chest cold.

I had planned on getting so many things done before Christmas, but now I only want to sit around and feel sorry for myself as I cough and wheeze my way through the day.

I went shopping yesterday, and that was another exercise in futility. If the economy is so bad, why are the stores out of so many things? Even the card racks in the Hallmark store had empty spaces. Their comment?..."We didn't expect much business, so we didn't order enough cards."

I also tried buying some American made ammunition for my .223 caliber "2nd Amendment statement", but they were all out and didn't know when they would get more. Their comment?..."Ever since the election, we can't keep up with the demand for guns and ammo. Everything is back-ordered."

Even the grocery shelves at WalMart were out of many of the things I normally buy. Another common gift item at an upscale store, was completely out of stock. Their comment?..."We didn't expect such a big demand, so we didn't order enough."

I wish the media would just shut up and let the market work. They obviously have no idea what's actually going on out here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nothing but a Weather Report

Not much to write about today, and I don't even feel like criticizing politicians.It was one of those days that you’d like to stay in bed and pull the covers over your head. There was a cold drizzle falling when I got up, and it didn’t improve much as the day dragged on. The temperature was right at freezing, so some ice formed on the trees and wires, but the roads were only wet.

By afternoon, it was Seattle-ing…just a tad warmer than when I got up, with a misty look and feel to the air. Not quite raining, but everything stayed wet.

Our weather has been like a yo-yo the entire fall. One day it’s in the 70’s and the next, it’s freezing. By Thursday, it’s supposed to be near 70 again. It’s not unusual to have warm weather just before Christmas, but it is unusual to change so dramatically almost every other day.

The flowers are really confused, as the tulip and hyacinth leaves are already showing, and the mums are also sending out new growth. Boy, are they in for a surprise!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blizzard...Part II

Life on the prairie was a rugged experience and many little things we now take for granted were serious problems…or at least proved to be major discomforts.

The Rural Electric Cooperative had run power lines to most of the farms in 1948, but reliability was a problem. Power outages were common during storms and even though the repair crews got around in a snowmobile-like machine called a Weasel, they seldom ventured out in the midst of severe storms to repair lines. Even if they could find the downed line, it was dangerous to work outside for very long. Fortunately, most houses were not dependent on electricity for heat, but the task of pumping water to a hundred thirsty cows became an exhausting chore when the electricity was out and you had to pump by hand. Lighting was also an issue, since kerosene lamps and gas lantern light was an inefficient, smelly substitute for electric lights.

Our heat came from a coal-fired furnace that could function without electricity, so freezing to death wasn’t a worry. As I recall, my greatest discomfort came from the need to use the outhouse! By the time you dressed to make the 100-foot trek up and over snow banks, and then shoveled the snow away from the outhouse door so it could be opened, it was easy to forget the purpose of your visit!

Not everything about a blizzard was bad, at least for kids. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of crystal clear moonlit nights after the winds stopped, and the fresh snow lay untouched. On those nights, we loved playing outside, despite the intense cold that always followed a blizzard.

One year, a storm left us with a long sledding track behind our one-room school, which was located about a half-mile from our house. During the school day, we’d spend the entire lunch period sliding, and maybe downing a frigid jelly sandwich between runs. After school, we hauled water from melted snow to ice the track and make it faster.

One night when all the cousins got together, we decided to try night sledding on our new track. With hurricane lanterns spaced along the course lighting the way, we played in the snow for hours. The thermometer indicated well below zero, and the dry, cold snow creaked and groaned under our rubber overshoes as we trudged up the hill pulling our sleds behind. The exercise kept our bodies warm, but as we made our way back uphill, we’d stop and hold our hands over the kerosene-burning lamps to warm them. The smell of burning kerosene and singed wool mittens is one of those smells I can’t forget.

Even the wildlife appeared to celebrate the end of a storm by leaving the protection of brush and trees to play in the snow. Occasionally, light from a full moon and the billowing curtains of Northern Lights, lighted the prairie nearly as bright as mid-day. On those rare nights you would often see a dozen or more white-tailed jackrabbits playing tag on the frozen lake, slipping and sliding on the ice like a bunch of kids. For some reason, they seemed to lose their fear of humans at night, and we could get within a few yards of them before they ran from us.

Snow-blocked roads may have prevented our going into town for entertainment, but we did our best to compensate by spending time with neighbors and relatives. Families often got together during the evening to play cards and visit. Sometimes we took the tractor or a horse-drawn hay wagon when visiting more distant neighbors, but we could easily walk to my grandparent’s and uncle’s houses, despite deep snowdrifts across the road.

I especially enjoyed visiting my uncle’s farm because my cousins were there to play with, and they owned a hand-cranked ice cream maker! While the adults were visiting and playing bridge or whist, we kids would take turns cranking out delicious ice cream made with sweet cream fresh from the separator. It didn’t make any difference that it was below zero outside…we loved homemade ice cream! The kids had the job of keeping the outside tub of the machine filled with snow, and cranking the handle until the ice cream was done. Then the metal container had to sit in a snow bank for at least a half-hour to firm the ice cream. That was the hardest part…waiting for the ice cream to cure.

Blizzards still howl across the northern prairies, but life is infinitely easier, thanks to modern technology. Emergency generators, four-wheel drive trucks, snowmobiles, cell phones, better roads and efficient snowplows mitigate some of the danger, yet every year we hear of someone freezing to death in a storm. Nature has no mercy on fools and the unprepared. Even here in Texas, when winter weather arrives, I don’t travel unless I have a heavy coat, a cap and gloves in the car. Old habits die hard.

I wouldn’t trade the experience of growing up in that frigid country for anything. I still love the state, but now that I have a choice, I’ll take the more moderate winters of East Texas, thank you!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I’m sort of a weather fanatic and every day I check what the weather conditions are in other parts of the country, especially in places where I’ve lived. Today, my old home state of North Dakota is experiencing blizzard conditions which are expected to last into Sunday, and then the temperatures are predicted to plunge to 30 below zero by Monday night.

Seeing that reminded me of something I wrote quite some time ago. It seems to be an appropriate time to share it with you.

Blizzard! A rare occurrence in most of Texas, but those of us reared on the northern plains knew intimately what it meant. Adults feared the forecast of winter storms just as residents of tornado alley fear the sound of sirens in the spring. Tornadoes inflict severe damage to small areas in a short amount of time, but a blizzard can cut large areas off from the rest of the world for days and sometimes weeks. Farm animals can perish by the thousands if a blizzard is especially intense or long lasting, so the expected combination of snow and high winds was taken very seriously.

When radio stations sounded a blizzard warning and the first gray clouds began to build in the northwest, the weather became the sole object of attention for those of us living in rural areas. Animals were quickly watered, fed and herded into shelters. A supply of coal or firewood was hauled into the house, as was drinking water and lantern fuel. Farmers and ranchers worried if the electricity would stay on, and if the animals would survive, and if the family would stay healthy during the unpredictable period we might be snowed in. While there was usually some warning of impending storms, it was often difficult to predict when it would end, and once the snow fell, wind became the concern.

As a child, I always looked forward to the time when the merciless northwest winds would pile snow into drifts huge enough to dig tunnels into, and to create miniature white mountains to slide down on homemade skis, or riding an old grain shovel. Being at the mercy of nature was an exciting situation for us children, but we failed to appreciate the gravity of the situation. We trusted our parents to take care of us no matter what Mother Nature threw our way.

One winter in the late forties, we were snowed in for three or four weeks, with snow and high winds nearly every day. The temperatures remained well below zero and no one dared attempt a trip to town. Roads were blocked with snowdrifts so there was no way to make the trip with a car or truck. Rural families are usually prepared with stockpiled food, but as days passed, supplies dwindled and my family made the difficult decision to attempt a trip to town.

Dad and my uncle cobbled together a box shaped platform on the rear hitch of a farm tractor, and with a neighbor they made the twenty-four mile round trip to town for food and mail. This was long before climate-controlled tractor cabs, so they rigged a tarp around the driver to provide some protection from the stinging wind-driven snow while the two other men clung to the side of the tractor, holding onto the muffler to keep their hands warm. Though the muffler would glow red hot in the heat of August, it became little more than a hand warmer at 40 below zero.

They left for town at first light, and I can still recall the sight of that old Farmall tractor slowly disappearing into the swirling snow. At 5 mph, we knew the trip would take at least five hours of travel, plus the time they needed to buy and load groceries in town, and daylight was in short supply in the dead of winter. As the time neared when they should be getting home, we all waited anxiously for the sound of the tractor above the howling winds. They didn’t return until nearly dark, but they brought enough food for us to hold out until the roads were cleared many days later.

The longest blizzard I can recall was really a six-week series of intense storms, with only a few hours, or maybe a day, between storms. Between two of the storms, we were surprised to see an airplane circle the farm, wag its wings, and then land on our frozen lake. The pilot was a man who was dating my Dad’s sister, so he had a chance to visit her and also to make points with the rest of the family.

His arrival was especially exciting to us kids as we watched the little ski-equipped Piper Cub circle to check the snow conditions and then bounce to a landing on the snow-drift covered lake. Before the prop had even stopped spinning, we had covered the distance from the house to where the airplane rested near the frozen, rocky shoreline. The gaudy-yellow airplane was a most welcome contrast to the blinding whiteness of freshly drifted snow, and the opportunity to see an “outsider” after weeks of enduring nature’s fury, was in itself exciting.

A Piper Cub is a small two-passenger airplane, so the quantity of supplies he carried was somewhat limited, but thankfully it included our mail. Life, Saturday Evening Post, Field & Stream, Sports Afield, Farm Journal, Dakota Farmer, Ladies Home Journal, and six week’s worth of the daily newspaper were our escape from cabin fever until the weather improved and the roads were cleared of snow.

Tomorrow, I’ll write a bit more about what winter was like when I was a kid.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Multiculturalism my ass!

A question about multiculturalism was asked on a writer’s website I frequent. The person wanted to know if there was a market for multicultural-specific stories. She liked writing about multi-race characters and under-represented ethnic groups. Fine...write about them, but don’t make it an issue by pointing it out! Let your story stand on the plot, not a sympathetic agenda.

Nothing irritates me more than people who insist on packaging our citizens into neat little categories with the intent of creating more groups to feel sorry for, or to use differences to further their agenda. It makes me want to grab them by the throat and inform them that we are all Americans, not hyphenated objects in need of sympathy, understanding, or special treatment.

Whenever I’m asked on a form to identify my race, I refuse to answer. I even refused to answer that question in the last census. The census takers didn’t like that one bit. They sent a couple of threatening letters and called on the phone, trying to get me to answer. I only told them where I lived and that I was an American citizen. They finally backed off.

The Constitution provides for counting citizens, but it doesn’t require the government to gather data that should not even be considered when laws are applied. Justice is wearing a blindfold for a reason and we’d all be better off if we did likewise when dealing with our fellow Americans. We will never resolve our racial, ethnic, cultural, or sexual issues as long as the professional scab-pickers insist on trying to split us into camps.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tar and Feathers?

Governors selling senate appointments. Financial executives and corporate CEO’s scamming stockholders and the public. Unions demanding pay for not working. Election officials fixing elections. Congressmen taking bribes. Politicians of all stripes involved in scandal after scandal. What in hell is happening to our country?

I’m convinced that we might as well forget about letting the law deal with this scum. They are seldom prosecuted, even more seldom convicted, and if convicted, they get a slap on the hand or a few weeks in a federal resort prison.

Maybe the time has come to resurrect the punishment of tar, feathers and a rail for these miscreants. Make it a new prime-time reality show. Let everyone watch them toppled from their towers of public trust and humiliated before the entire world.

God, I must be getting soft…instead of hot tar, make that Super Glue. Just as hard to get off, but without the burns.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

This Will Test Your Gag Reflex

With the collection of corrupt politicians, unions and businessmen making the news this week, I’m too disgusted to even comment. Then I read this speech given by a Dutch citizen in New York. It should strike fear in the hearts of everyone.

There is another thread on this website about the movie he refers to in the speech.

While you’re at it, check out this website:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Let there be lights!

Finally got all the Christmas lights up, so I’ll post a photo of my efforts before the thunderstorms hit tonight.

I don’t know why the camera takes such fuzzy pictures. It used to take outstanding pictures, but something is amiss with either the camera or the operator…probably the operator.

I also got the bird feeders up today. I’ve seen quite a few Goldfinches around this week, so maybe we’ll attract some of them to the thistle feeder. They seem to be the only birds that like thistle seeds.

The other feeder has a mixture of sunflower seeds, cracked corn and millet, so there should be several bird species feeding from it.

There aren’t nearly as many Cardinals here as there were in Denton, so I don’t know if we’ll attract as many to our feeders. At the old house, we’d have as many as a dozen male Cardinals feeding at one time. There are loads of Titmice and Chickadees in the woods around us, so we should have a bunch of them hanging around. The Chickadees are my favorites, but they usually grab a single sunflower seed and fly off to eat it, so I can’t watch them as much as I’d like.

It will be interesting to see if we attract different birds in this part of the state.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fence is Up, and Christmas Lights are Going Up

The winds moderated today, so I managed to get most of the Christmas lights least the ones that require climbing a ladder. After a few dozen trips up and down the ladder, I'm totally worn out. I used to get all the lights up in one day, but this time it's going to take two. Getting old isn't fun, but I guess it beats the alternative.

They finished building the back fence today and it looks nice. Now I wish the neighbor would finish enclosing his back yard. Three of us have built fences on three sides of his house, so all he has to build is about 60'.

I know his old Yellow Lab, "Scooby-doo", would love having a big yard to roam in.
The poor dog is tied on a long cable all day long while the family is gone, and sometimes he's out there until late into the night. I feel sorry for the old guy. About a month ago, his leg became wrapped up in the cable and I had to go over there and untangle him. He couldn't move at all, and when I got him loose, he was limping really bad. I was worried that his circulation had been cut off for quite a while and that he might have seriously damaged his leg, but after a few days, he recovered.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Why Can't Those Idiots Run a Car Company Efficiently?

Last night, I was assembling an artificial Christmas tree we recently purchased. As I was doing so, it reminded me of why the auto manufacturers are having a difficult time making money these days.

The photo shows the safety warning tags I removed from the tree and the associated wiring for the pre-installed lights. These are not all the tags that were attached; they are only the ones that would be visible when the tree is standing. Nearly as many more are tied out of sight inside the wire bundle. Each end of the wiring had five tags attached near the plug and receptacle.

If it takes this many tags to warn me about possible tree hazards, the number of government mandated features and standards on a car must be monumental. Just off the top of my head, I can think of enough to stagger the imagination: CAFÉ numbers, emissions numbers; bumper height, rollover standards, front, rear, and side crash protection, air bags, head and stoplight light intensity standards, seat belts, headrests, door locks, power window switches, shift lockout, anti-skid brake system, rollover prevention system, brake light location, inside trunk release, and even hood ornaments.

This does not include all the demands placed on the manufacturing facilities. OSHA and the EPA control things like stair heights, ventilation, painting facilities, parts and material storage, use of solvents and adhesives, clothing and safety equipment, and even how everything is labeled and how the records are maintained.

I just touched on the things required by the federal government, and you can add state and local demands to the mess, as well as the idiotic union work rules. It’s a damn miracle that cars don’t cost twice what they do, and it really ticks me off to watch those politicians bloviate about the stupidity of the auto industry CEOs.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Windy Wednesday

We had another one of those rare early winter days today. It hit 77F this afternoon, but the strong south wind was annoying. We've had four straight days of strong winds, so I still don't have our Christmas lights up. I have no interest in climbing a ladder with 35mph gusts trying to blow me over.

This will be the last year for our outdoor lighting with the big C9 bulbs. Clear replacement bulbs are becoming nearly impossible to find, so we're buying a few strings of LED lights when they go on sale after the holidays.

We had a fence building crew out yesterday. They're installing a wooden fence across the back of the lot, and up one side. The kids in back of us will be mad without a way to cross our lot to visit their friends across the street, but They can complain to their dad. I offered to install a gate if he paid for it, but he didn't seem inclined to do so, so they can walk around.

Next Saturday is the Lindale holiday parade, but rain is forecast and I already put the top up on my Valiant, so I won't be participating this time. Hope the rain holds off until the afternoon since there is a Special Olympics wheelchair event scheduled right after the parade. They're bringing in over 100 wheelchair-bound kids, so it's a pretty big event.