Thursday, December 25, 2008

Why the Stable?

What’s up with that?

Go back to the beginning. The beginning of Sin.

The beginning of Atonement.

When Eve first looked at, and tasted the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:3), then shared it with Adam, their “eyes were opened” to the difference between right and wrong. And they immediately became aware that the choice they had just made was wrong. (Genesis 2:17).

Now, it’s interesting to me that Eve demonstrated no surprise that a snake was having a conversation with her. So, in the very Beginning of things, in The Garden, could people and animals talk to each other? Was inter-species communication possible? I can guarantee you from experience that if horses and humans could talk to each other in a common language, it would be a whole lot easier on both species.

And then Eve and Adam got caught.

God came to The Garden, just looking for a pleasant walk with his Creation. What He found was His people hiding from Him.

God gave them every chance to confess. He asked, “Where are you?” As if He didn’t know! He was giving Eve and Adam the opportunity to confess and be forgiven.

And in order to cover their Sin (nakedness), for the first time in history, an animal was killed.

Blood was shed, for the First time in history, to provide something (a covering) for man.

I think we were created to be vegetarians (See Genesis 1:29). Our desire for meat is a Spiritual thing, it seems to me. I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. Please, love me, anyway. And BTW, I’m not a vegetarian.

Adam made a feeble attempt to cover himself by blaming Eve. (Genesis 3:12).

And from that one, first act of defiant disobedience, God’s Created beings were separated from Him.

It was not His choice.

It was our’s.

So it was a woman who first willfully sinned. And among those suffering the punishment, (curses; see Genesis 3:12-19) were the animals that Adam had named in Genesis 2:19-20.

Christ’s first physical appearance was to animals, innocent beings who had not committed the Sin, but had suffered for it.

At His birth, He provided a stable full of animals to keep Him warm. Descendants of those from the Garden.

And when the time was right, His first Resurrection appearance was to a woman. (See Luke 24:1-6)


Absolutely NOTHING is coincidental.

“The LORD is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward YOU, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

This is the Second greatest Day in the Year.

Easter is Number One!!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ruby Tuesday


My good friend Shelby has posted some fun Christmas videos at her blog. Click on the ShelbyShelby link over on the left.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

Featuring The Nightstockers. The 11 pm to 7 am shift at my store.
How about a caption contest?

#1 Sterling:

#2 Michelle, the new girl:

#3 Corey and Cathy:

What are they saying?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Footprints identified:

#1 Paridae parus atricapillus (chickadee)
#2 Lapine (Rabbit)
#3 Homo Sapiens (Janell, to be specific.)
#4 Equine. This one might have been more obvious if I had included the lens cap in the picture so you could see how big and far apart they were.
#5 Feline (Pierre.)

This is Pierre, author of the aforementioned footprints. Sadly, this is his last photo. He died Friday, December 12. We had him (or, more likely, he owned us for about 10 years) His footprints are also on our hearts. May he rest in peace.

Friday, December 12, 2008

f-Stop Friday
in the snow:






Can you name the species?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

Just some pickled beets I made last year.

I used a recipe from my Grandma's cookbook, which was published in the 1930's.

They turned out really yummy.

Do you have a "Grandma" recipe that you use?

Now I have a confession to make; I've been taking you all to work with me. Ralph sent me one of his books Homespun Headlines 2007. I've been taking it with me and visiting with you during my break.

I hope coming to work with me isn't making you tired.

And here is a picture the man himself inspired:

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, December 05, 2008

f-Stop Friday

The FEVR (Pronounced "fever")
FEVR stands for Fremont - Elkhorn Valley Rail.

This is an historic passenger train that travels on it's own line about 15 miles from Fremont to Nickerson, Nebraska and back to Fremont. It used to go all the way to Hooper, but the RR bridge is out and it can't go there anymore. I wish they'd get it fixed.

It's really a wonderful to go for a ride on this old passenger train. It's like time traveling. Someday, I'm going to go and take the ride in a costume from the 1920's era; complete with hat and gloves. I wish ladies' hats and gloves would come back in style. They were so elegant! Much nicer than pierced eyebrows and tattoos.

The FEVR also runs a Dinner Train; with a very nice dining car. I've never ridden the Dinner Train, but I'd like to celebrate something wonderful on it.

Riding on the FEVR reminds me of the time, back in the 1960's when Dad, Mom, Shirley and I (I think?) took a train to Mississippi to see Myrna. I must have been 4 or 5 years old (one of my sisters will, no doubt make corrections to these facts)and it was the first time in my life I ever saw a black person.

My Bucket List includes a train ride across Canada.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hello, friends!

I’ve been away from the Blogosphere for awhile, but I think I might be back in the loop again.
So, anyway… here is the picture I would have posted for Ruby Tuesday, if I could have:

This was taken on a lovely day last July, when the Blogstock 08 folks were at the Silver Hills Vineyard. Did you notice the rose bushes at the end of each row of grapes? Anyway, it was wonderful to walk around amongst the vines. As I recall, it was a bit breezey that day, but very sheltered and quite peaceful in between the rows.

And here are the pictures I didn’t get put up for f-Stop Friday:
A Feline

This is Patchless, one of our cats. (Jerry, I think she must be a Republican, because she catches her own mice :) ).

We named her Patchless, because her mother's name was Patches. Patches was a similarly colored calico who had a big patch of orange tabby on half her face and one of her front legs was also orange tabby. Patchless doesn't have those patches like her mother did, so what could we name her other than Patchless?

We had the outlaws… I mean the In-laws over for Thanksgiving on Thursday. 24 people squeezed into my teeny little house for turkey and all the usual sides. It was nice enough that we were able to go outside and play after we ate ourselves into a stupor.

It’s snowing here today and it’s got me to thinking about Christmas, so I guess I should go find the little fiber-optic tree and get it put in it’s spot in the living room. On the other hand, I need to go bloghopping and see what my pals have been up to.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Simple Pleasures in Life...
Been very busy with work the last couple of weeks and falling behind on everything! What I did manage to do is catch up on downloading pictures from this summer. Given the outside temps, they will just warm you up.

1. Dad & lil Joe throwing rocks in the Fox River
2. Dad & lil Joe doing bus driver Bob from Doodlebops
3. Mom & Joe @ petting zoo
4. Lil Joe on a steam roller (every truck lovin little boy's dream)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

F-Stop Friday


These are two of my "non-virtual" friends: Janene on the left and Dolly on the right. This was taken at the store where I work on Janene's last day there.

She got married and decided she'd rather move to Omaha and live with her groom than stay in Fremont, live alone, and work with us 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Can't figure that one out.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun working with Janene. People were always getting us mixed up, and calling me Janene and calling her Janell. We'd just look at each other and chuckle.

Dolly is still at the store. She is probably the best Manager I have ever worked for. And I've been in the workforce for 40 years now.

Dolly and I miss working with Janene a lot.

So there you have it; my Friends for f-Stop Friday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

54 Things About Me For My 54th Birthday Inspired by Nora
(Most of you probably know all this stuff, but here it is anyway.)

54. I’m a terrible procrastinator, so in order for this to be done by November, I’m starting it in August.

53. Every once in a while, I get the feeling that I’m actually quite retarded, but I’m kept blissfully unaware of this fact because the people around me are good at covering for me.

52. I was amazed and astounded that, when I had to have my mare, Jasmine, put down, I grieved her loss with the very same grief that I felt when my brother died.

51. I don’t like talking on the telephone. I’d rather chat in person, so let’s do lunch some time.

50. I don’t like to eat out any place where I have to unwrap my food.

49. If I try to sleep past 5:30 AM, I start having nightmares.

48. I have four recurring dreams quite regularly. One involves a tornado, one features a firing squad, one involves a house I’ve never seen, but is apparently mine that only has three walls, and the other has me remorselessly committing a heinous crime.

47. I really miss John Denver.

46. I’ve lost 37 pounds since January 7, 2008.

45. I always wait way to long to replace my worn out underwear.

44. I have only owned four horses in my lifetime: they were/are Glory, Jasmine, Bubba and Lucy.

43. It is one of the disappointments of my life that I was born too late to be involved with my dad and grandpa when they owned and trained Thoroughbred race horses.

42. I gave birth to my children using the LaMaze method and no medication. (Does anybody do that anymore?)

41. I breast-fed my babies until they were about a year old. And I used cloth diapers. (Don’t be blaming me for the overflowing landfills!)

40. I am very easily startled.

39. I hate – and I do mean HATE – mice.

38. I own too many cookbooks.

37. When I am away from home overnight, I miss my cat, Webber, more than anything else.

36. I have written two books and am looking for a publisher.

35. I collaborated with a good friend and we self-published a collection of WWII memoirs of veterans back in 1995.

34. I am extremely introverted and easily intimidated.

33. I want to ‘handy’ a pair of oxen. (some of you city slickers might need to look that one up.) This is on my Bucket List.

32. I sing in a Gospel Quartet. I prefer to sing Alto, but sometimes sing Tenor.

31. I play guitar and piano; but (usually) not in public.

30. I love River City Roundup and hope to go on the Northeast Ride for the next ten years.

29. I am medically diagnosed to be in Menopause – or as I like to call it “Mental Pause.” It’s weird. More about that later.

28. I snore.

27. I talk in my sleep.

26. It’s now September and this is as far as I’ve gotten.

25. Every once in a while, someone calls me “sir.” I HATE that. Even more than mice. (And BTW, if you’ve met me, please tell me why anyone would think I am a man?)

24. I LOVE living in Nebraska, but if I had the opportunity, I would like to live in Australia for a few years. I will, however, end my days in Nebraska.

23. I love the Chicago Cubs.

22. I cheer wholeheartedly for the Nebraska Cornhusker Football, Volleyball, and Baseball teams.

21. It makes me sad that I can’t play softball anymore.

20. I hope that there will be another Triple Crown Winner in Thoroughbred horse racing during my lifetime.

19. I love to sew. Quilts are my favorite thing to make.

18. Blogstock and meeting some of my blog buddies was the highlight of my summer of ’08.

17. Is this boring, or what????

16. It’s October, now and I’m running out of me stuff.

15. My favorite Christmas Carol is “Silent Night.” Second favorite is the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo.”

14. I drink way too much coffee.

13. I home-schooled Jack and Emily from 1996-2002. On our very first day of school, we stood outside on a jewel (rare and precious) of a fall day and watched a Monarch butterfly migration.

12. I gave birth to a stillborn son, James Lee, January 1, 1980.

11. Because of #12, I used to dread the Christmas Season, but Jack and Emily taught me how to love it again.

10. It’s November 19th – 6 days after I was supposed to be done with this and I’m still working on it. Told you I was a procrastinator.

9. My favorite type of music is Country & Western.

8. I’m a big fan of Sean Hannity.

7. I am pretty certain of the “new direction” and “change” Barack Obama is going to bring to this country. I hope with all my heart that he proves me wrong.

6. I love going to early church (8:00 AM) and then coming home to make a traditional Sunday Dinner for my family. (Meat, potatoes, vegetable, dessert…)

5. It is by Divine Intervention that I’ve been married the best man on the planet for 32 years.

4. I am deeply offended when I hear the phrase “Oh my God” used as an exclamation. It demonstrates a complete lack of respect for a Name that should only be held in the highest regard. Back in the day of Orthodox Scribes, the name of God was considered too Holy to even write it on paper and now we toss it around like a piece of verbal clutter. I’d like someone to explain to me why the ACLU will defend anyone’s right to use profane language in public or in any broadcasting venue, but object to public displays of Christian faith.

3. My Life Verse is 1 Peter 1:3 “Praised be the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance which can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in Heaven for you who, through faith, are shielded by God’s power.”

2. I love God with all my heart and I am grateful that He has forgiven me and for the Gift of Eternal life He gave me through His son, Jesus Christ.

1. I want all of you to find that Salvation in Him, if you haven’t already.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

I almost saved this fire hydrant for f-stop Friday, but it is such a nice red, I decided it was better for Tuesday.

It's in downtown Fremont.

Friday, November 14, 2008

f-stop Friday


These are all on my place.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New stuff...

Check out my "Shift Work Bowls" over at Nellie's and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ruby Tuesday
Featuring Photos that have red in them:

A bowl of Red hot Chili Soup.
It's very cold and rainy today, with winter driving conditions predicted for later, so it sure looks good to me!

Friday, November 07, 2008

f-Stop Friday
Featuring photos of things that begin with "f"


This is me on Lucy and Sebastian on Bubba.

Seb's grandfather (Gayland Smith) was a jockey who rode thoroughbred racehorses for my grandfather (TW Gatewood). The picture was taken by Seb's Mom in July when their family was visiting here from England.

Sketch away, Scarlet!!

I wanted to add this before I forgot about it:
A Wonderful Moment

A few days ago at the store, a mom and two little girls were drawing attention to themselves. The preschool aged girls were perched in the “driver’s seat” of the kiddie grocery cart and as they were driven up and down the aisles of the grocery store they were singing. When they neared my end of the aisle, I caught snatches of “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Twinkle Little Star,” and the Veggietales’ “Where is my Hairbrush?” song. Mom finished her shopping and settled in to wait her turn at a cashier’s line. The two little girls launched into a near perfect rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

As busy as the store was, everyone – and I do mean EVERYONE - within earshot stopped what they were doing and a respectful hush fell over the area. When they finished with “…O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave” a rousing round of applause broke out.

“The future’s so bright, I’ve got to wear shades….”

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This came in an email from my Pastor, Chuck Larsen, at Country Bible Church:
(I added the bold italics at the end.)

When Bush was re-elected four years, Katie Couric dressed in black in mourning for the nation. She expressed her massive depression and it took some time to get out of it.

That's one way those who voted for McCain can respond to the events last night. However, there's a biblical example that is much better.

You might remember when David's child through Bathsheba became sick, he wept and fasted and prayed for seven days. His assistants were afraid for him and when the baby died they were afraid to tell him. But he saw their faces and he knew. The bible says in 2 Samuel 12:20, "Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshipped. He then went to his own house." David
asked for food and his servants fed him and asked him how he could respond so.
He explained in so many words that when the issue was still undecided he did all that he could to influence it, but now that it was over he could only trust God and get on with his life. That's what McCain supporters should do; worship God and get on with life.

Daniel 2:21 tells us that God "changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ruby Tuesday from Janell

An image of the red white and blue. This flag flies over the northwest corner of the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. I don't know it's dimensions, but it's huge. It's really a graceful thing to watch on a breezy day.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Get out there and vote FOR McKain / Palin!!!

I really mean it. Cliff and Mr and Mrs LZ;- And all of you local people out there who read this blog but never reveal yourselves (I believe Cliff calls them "blurkers") stop reading right now and get to the polling places. Vote for McKain / Palin.

Really, there is nothing more interesting to read here... so get going...!

Really; it gets totally boring from now on.

I'll leave a light on for you if you have go late in the day...

God bless America!

Monday, November 03, 2008

ON Halloween, we were encouraged to dress up to come to work. I went as Rosie the Riveter, but I discovered that many young people had never heard of her. So I wrote this little essay and handed out copies of it to those who didn't know Rosie.

I also included images of the two paintings that I refer to, but I can't get them to paste into this post. If you want to see the paintings, Google or Yahoo! search "Rosie the Riveter" and "Norman Rockwell."

Rosie the Riveter

20 years before John F. Kennedy delivered his famous lines, Rosie the Riveter lived by the statement: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

“Rosie the Riveter” represents the more than six million women who entered the American work force when American men left to fight in WW II. A Michigan factory worker by the name of Rose Will Monroe was the inspiration for J. Howard Miller’s poster painting in 1942.

Miss Monroe worked as a riveter in the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti. She starred in a promotional film about the home front effort in the US and it is her image that was used in the accompanying poster campaign.

There is another “Rosie” who appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post May 29, 1943 in this painting by Norman Rockwell.

Note that under her foot, is a crumpled copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Mary Doyle Keefe posed for Rockwell for this painting when she was 19 years old. She worked as a telephone operator in Arlington, Vermont.
When American wives, mothers and sisters began to see their men go off to fight in the European and Pacific battle fronts, “Rosie” went to work in American industries, such as munitions factories, shipyards, lumber mills, steel mills, farms and foundries.

During the years of WW II (1941-1945) the real “Rosies” produced 269,429 airplanes; 102,351 tanks; 372,431 artillery pieces; 47 million tons of artillery ammunition; 87, 620 warships; and 44 billion rounds of small arms ammunition.

Rosie had a job to do and she got it done. When the fighting men came home, most of the Rosies vacated their traditionally male dominated jobs and returned to homemaking. Many, however, had proven to themselves and to others that women were more capable of tackling heavy industry jobs than had been previously been believed. She is said to have paved the way for women who wanted to pursue employment outside the home.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Sunday Funny from Janell

I was visiting with Merry T., our County Clerk at church this morning and we were discussing the voting. She said that in our county, she has had over 1,900 early voters so far. The most she's had in the past is 14. (That's fourteen).

Mary Lou asked her, "Where is everyone coming from? Is ACORN bringing them in?"

She said, "No, we haven't seen any ACORNS."

Mary Lou's husband said, "No? But I'll bet you've seen a lot of nuts!"

Merry had to agree with that!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

f-Stop Friday
(One day late - my bad)

A view of the Forest behind my back yard

It's not really a forest, it's actually a windbreak. But windbreak doesn't start with "f", so today, it's a forest. Bubba and I like to ride through here. It's nice and shady. But in deerfly season, it's nearly unbearable. We really get swarmed.

The fallen ones you see got blown down in the early spring when we had a windstorm.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ruby Tuesday by Janell

We haven't been to a football game this year, but we did get to go to see the Volleyball girls play. They're awesome.

This is the floor of The Coliseum where they play their home games.

I had a few shots of the girls, but the light was so low they look terrible, so I'm settling for posting the floor.

Well, come now. You knew a Husker fan participating in the Ruby Tuesday postings would eventually have to do something on the UNL teams didn't you?

And Bo Pellini wasn't available to pose.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Howard Stern Chimes In from Joe
Obviously I am not usually an everyday poster, but there is just so much out there...I may make an exception this week.

I'll admit I used to be a Howard Stern fan. In the early 2000's I stopped listening to him for political talk radio. But you have to listen to this piece he recently did. Its great. I must warn you there is swearing, but you will be surprised at the outcome (maybe not).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Mccain for President"
I found another great article linked from Drudge, written by Charles Krauthammer. I thought I'd share with you all. It sums up nicely my thoughts. Again, I am no huge personal Mccain fan. He bungled the gang of 14, is weak on immigration and is a Global Warming Alarming. He wan't my first choice, but he's our nominee (a republican nominee, not a conservative nominee). I find it hard to believe that we can actually elect this guy. Now I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I can't imagine a Reid, Pelose and Obama run government.
Email it to your friends in swing states if you wish.
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, October 24, 2008; A19
Contrarian that I am, I'm voting for John McCain. I'm not talking about bucking the polls or the media consensus that it's over before it's over. I'm talking about bucking the rush of wet-fingered conservatives leaping to Barack Obama before they're left out in the cold without a single state dinner for the next four years.

I stand athwart the rush of conservative ship-jumpers of every stripe -- neo (Ken Adelman), moderate (Colin Powell), genetic/ironic (Christopher Buckley) and socialist/atheist (Christopher Hitchens) -- yelling "Stop!" I shall have no part of this motley crew. I will go down with the McCain ship. I'd rather lose an election than lose my bearings.

First, I'll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory. The "erratic" temperament issue, for example. As if McCain's risky and unsuccessful but in no way irrational attempt to tactically maneuver his way through the economic tsunami that came crashing down a month ago renders unfit for office a man who demonstrated the most admirable equanimity and courage in the face of unimaginable pressures as a prisoner of war, and who later steadily navigated innumerable challenges and setbacks, not the least of which was the collapse of his campaign just a year ago.

McCain the "erratic" is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.

Nor will I countenance the "dirty campaign" pretense. The double standard here is stunning. Obama ran a scurrilous Spanish-language ad falsely associating McCain with anti-Hispanic slurs. Another ad falsely claimed that McCain supports "cutting Social Security benefits in half." And for months Democrats insisted that McCain sought 100 years of war in Iraq.

McCain's critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What's astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers.

Moreover, the most remarkable of all tactical choices of this election season is the attack that never was. Out of extreme (and unnecessary) conscientiousness, McCain refused to raise the legitimate issue of Obama's most egregious association -- with the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Dirty campaigning, indeed.

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis -- indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?

And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he's been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success.

The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor.

Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.

Friday, October 24, 2008

f-Stop Friday

Fall Foliage...

At the Fremont Lakes...

It sure was a pretty day when I took these. It has been gloomy and raining here all week, so I am appreciating these even more.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama's Weight Problem...

Very interesting Article I found. I dug this up based on reading the Rasmussen poll weightings. They typically weight 39.7% Democrat and 33% Republican. Giving Credit to the Wizbang Blog for this article. In summary, this ain't over til its over! Having a degree in Statistics and Marketing I know how weighting works. But one will never know the truth until we actually vote. Just so we are clear, I am not huge Mccain fan, but he's better than Obama. Regardless of who wins, the country is going left after the election just as it has gone left under Bush (It saddens me to say that). At any rate, a very good read below.
The ABC News/Washington Post released a poll today, which claims that Barack Obama is leading John McCain for President by 9 points. If that is so, just why is Obama so angry and short-tempered these days? A number of possibilities come to mind, but the most likely answer for me is that he knows those numbers are bunk. As Kim Priestap noted, the people running the poll weighted the responses by a 38-28 margin, with 29% listed as independent(question 901). But when they ask whether folks lean more towards the republican or democrat parties, it becomes a 54-38-07 weight (question 904). This is critical to the poll's meaning, because the 52-43 Obama lead (Question 3) was extrapolated from the "net leaned vote"; in other words 54% of the response used was from democrats, versus 38% from republicans, and only 7% from independents.

The ABC/WP poll also did not break down support by party ideology, depriving the curious a simple way to see what folks really though within internal demographics. They also neglected to break down support by any other demographics, something which further degrades any claim to validity in the poll. I used the internal supports from the Gallup and Pew polls to reverse the calculations and found an interesting revision which shows what I consider a clearer picture, but for here I will just say that the ABC News/Washington Post poll shows what kind of problem Barack Obama really faces; the reality does not match the poll projections. Obama has a serious weight problem, and I don't mean his cholesterol levels.

Every opinion poll taken this year has been weighted to show more democrats than republicans. There is some historical justification for that, but only to granting the democrats about 3 more percent of any respondent group. The weighting in polls produced by media sponsors, however, has at times been much heavier in democrat proportions, the ABC/WP poll being an egregious example. There is simply no rational basis for presuming that one party would be overwhelming in its representation. As an example, in 1984 Ronald Reagan absolutely crushed Walter Mondale, yet
the republicans only represented 35% of the voters in that election. There have been minor fluctuations, but for more than three decades, party affiliation has been largely stable and predictable. There is simply no rational basis for claiming that either major party would have more than 39% of voters, or less than 32%.

Barack Obama is certainly capable of winning this election. He has a ton of money, the media is a team of Obama cheerleaders, and the public mood is desperate. But the polls released to the public do not reflect the actual level of Obama's or McCain's support, nor do they show an accurate pattern of support growth over time, or properly relay the time and source of momentum shifts and changes in support. When the polls are reverse-engineered and nominal weighting restored, it becomes clear that Barack Obama is depending on a three-tier plan for the election:

1. Barack Obama must collect at least 90% support from democrats nationwide; or
2. Democrats must make up at least 43% of the voters with present aligned support levels; or
3. Obama must collect at least 55% of independents' support with present aligned support levels.

At this time, there is no evidence that any of the three conditions exist in fact. This is a serious problem for Obama with just the election a little over a month away.

For John McCain, the following conditions may result in victory, using the Obama plan as a template:

1. John McCain must collect at least 92% support from republicans nationwide; or
2. Republicans must make up at least 37% of the voters with present aligned support levels; or
3. McCain must collect at least 55% of independents' support with present aligned support levels.

From the internal support reported by the polls, Barack Obama is presently 6 points below the 90% support level in his party, while John McCain is presently 3 points below the 92% support level in his party. Democrats historically represent 38-39% (4 below what Obama needs) of the voter pool, while republicans represent between 35-36% (1 below what McCain needs) of the voter pool. And depending on the poll, Obama enjoys between 42 and 48 percent support among independents (7 to 13 below his need), while McCain enjoys between 45 and 56 percent support among independents (he may need as much as 10 percent, or he may have what he needs right now).

There are several significant events between now and the election. The debates between Obama and McCain are yet to come, and the fallout from the financial crisis could well affect voter opinion. But right now, Obama has a weight problem, in that the election proportion of democrats in the actual election is not going to nearly match what the media is pretending it will be. While some believe the spin on these polls is meant to dismay McCain supporters and encourage Obama supporters, in the actual case this distortion could well come back and hurt Obama's campaign.

Article can be found at:

Posted by DJ Drummond Published: September 24, 2008 - 2:07 PM

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

and a short story...

One evening at work not long ago, one of the off-duty teens who works at my store came charging in from the parking lot shouting, "Call 9-1-1!" He grabbed the fire extinguisher and raced back out. A parked car was in flames and he emptied the extinguisher on it. It wasn't long before the fire department arrived and finished putting it out.

Thankfully, no one was hurt.

It seems to me that Nick was surely in the right place at the right time. He knew exactly where to find the extinguisher and how to use it. I think he was actually on his way to a movie in the theater next door at the time. And he was willing to help.

He is a good representative of the kids we have working for us. They are a good bunch. They make me think that our future is in good hands.

Note: I tried to post a link to other Ruby Tuesday blogs, but it didn't work. Jim has one on his blog along with a very nice RT photo.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof...

Found this great article online written by Lorne Gunter and published in the National POST. It was published this morning, 10/20/08. No editorial here from me, the article speaks for itself. I'll post a comment on it as far as where I stand. Link is also below.

In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.

Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures -- they're going down, not up.

On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to "a negative PDO" or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs -- El Ninos -- produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones -- La Ninas -- produce below average ones.

Dr. Hackbart also pointed out that periods of solar inactivity known as "solar minimums" magnify cold spells on his continent. So, given that August was the first month since 1913 in which no sunspot activity was recorded -- none -- and during which solar winds were at a 50-year low, he was not surprised that Brazilians were suffering (for them) a brutal cold snap. "This is no coincidence," he said as he scoffed at the notion that manmade carbon emissions had more impact than the sun and oceans on global climate.

Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures.

Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather -- even harvest totals and censuses --confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe.
But in order to prove the climate scaremongers' claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented -- a result of human, not natural factors -- the MWP had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann's "hockey stick," in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies.

Dr. Loehle's work helps end this deception.
Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, "It's practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling," as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an "almost exact correlation" between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost "no correlation at all with CO2."

An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, "Man-made global warming is junk science," explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year "equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration ... This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number."

Other international scientists have called the manmade warming theory a "hoax," a "fraud" and simply "not credible."

While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month.

For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA's eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, "variations in global temperatures since 1978 ... cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide."

Moreover, while the chart below was not produced by Douglass and Christy, it was produced using their data and it clearly shows that in the past four years -- the period corresponding to reduced solar activity -- all of the rise in global temperatures since 1979 has disappeared.
It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there just isn't any global warming.

Friday, October 17, 2008

f-Stop Friday

A FACE in the grass:

Here is some more of him:

And here are some of his half siblings:

Pretty cute, huh?

Note to some of my new friends: I share this blog with my friend Joe in Chicago. He is the one who got the new Hummer - I'm only wishing it was me! If you look at the bottom of the post, you can tell who wrote it. It says "Posted by Joe" or "Posted by Janell".

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

A couple of headless hats.

This one came with my truck from the dealer. I kind of like the falme effect it has going.

This one came from Peck Manufacturing in Herman, Nebraska. It's where my husband works. They make grain augurs and sell them through several implement dealers in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota and Illinois.

(Sorry, Paul. I know you'd rather see them on heads. If you and your first wife were here, I would have put you under these hats. They'd have looked much better.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

For your viewing pleasure...
We begin a new series....

f-Stop Fridays

Posting pictures of things that begin with the letter "f."

Feel free to post a link to your own f-Stop Friday picture in the comments.

Keep it clean, please.

Here is my offering for the First f-Stop Friday:

The Fontanelle Town Hall

This is a sweet old building in the little village of Fontanelle. This town hall was used as a polling place and town board meetings up until the 1960's. Now I think it's on the Nat'l Register of Historic Places, but isn't used for anything.

I drive past this village every day on my way to work. I think the population is around 100. There are two businesses in this town that I know of: an ag fertilizer distributer and an apple orchard. Best apples on the continent.

Fontanelle is also the home of Camp Fontanelle. How many of you remember going to Methodist Church Youth Camp there?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm so proud

My friend, Mark Lyon, is now a national celebrity.

Mark signed up to participate in "The Exteme Mustang Makeover." This was a competition where 100 horse trainers were each given a wild Mustang and 100 days to train it.

Mark won it hands down.

The link is to a video of his winning performance. You might be surprised to see that his saddle comes loose and he actually falls off during this performance, but watch the horse. When a saddle comes loose and slips to the side or under the belly, most horses will run off bucking and kicking until the saddle comes completely off - usually in several pieces, but Mark's horse stops and turns to Mark "awaiting further instruction," so to speak. This is a significant display of the trust this horse has in his trainer.

And oh, yeah - he also walks through fire for him.

The four year old horse's name is Christian - because he truly is born again.

Congratulations, Mark!

(The video is about 3 minutes)

Here is more info if you're interested:

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

Eat your heart out, Andy Warhol.

I feel thirsty all of a sudden for some reason....
Tuesday Special...

I am actually making two posts in one day..
1. I forgot to add the picture of my new Hummer! What do you think?

2. Please see the link below, its a must see regarding our current financial crisis!
3. Please see the Global Warming Post Below!
Confessions of a sinner...
I am sick and tired of hearing all this garbage about being Carbon Neutral. I am sick of hearing people talk about their own guilt they have for doing everyday things. I consider myself an average American, I get up everyday and go to work, have a wife, a son and a home with two cars and I keep my thermostat set to 70 degrees in the summer and 72 in the winter. But according to some of the Global Warming people out there, I am an evil polluter. I can't own an SUV anymore and keep my house nice and cool in the summer and "expect the world to stand for it". Since I am a sinner and apparently will be crossing the Global Warming River Styx when I kick the bucket, I thought I'd at least come clean and confess my sins to all of you. Here we go...

Bless me Al Gore (and LaDawn.. he he), for I have sinned. This is my first confession. "My Sins against the religion of Global Warming."
  1. I own two cars - Both are SUV's! Heather has a RX 350 and I recently traded my fuel efficient Audi A4 for a beautiful Red Hummer H3. I get a whopping 14 MPG (but I love the damn truck and so does little Joe.) I would never have bought a hummer had it not been for Leah Herrera. I rented one when I stayed at their house in May, ironically I liked it so much I bought it.
  2. I workout everyday - Working out is considered un-necessary by the Global Warming high priests. I burn electricity when I use a treadmill or a bike. I expend lots of my own energy which requires me to consume more to replenish my body which ultimately results in higher food consumption and more pollution and waste.
  3. I dry clean my work clothes
  4. We use a dryer for the rest of our laundry (not knocking those who enjoy hang drying, just those who do it for environmental reasons)
  5. Little Joe takes a bath every night - We fill the tub completely!
  6. I never unplug any appliances at night
  7. My wife works out
  8. I travel a lot - I am on a plane atleast once a month
  9. When traveling, I don't adhere to the plea to save the environment. I use my towels once and throw them on the floor to get replaced!
  10. Every light bulb in my house, with the exception of 2 are incandescent
  11. I only turn off my computer when I am on vacation. In other words, my computer is kept on for about 49 weeks per year.
  12. I drink bottled juices and waters - I try not to buy bottle water, only because its a waste not because of the environment. But I love Propel, Diet Pepsi Maxx and Fuze.
  13. I cut down 2 trees in my back yard this summer to make way for a fence. If that's not bad enough, the fence itself is a 6' privacy made of PVC!
  14. I breathe - Yes, every breath I takes emits harmful CO2 Pollutants into the planet. The occasional toot doesn't help the planet either.
  15. I barbeque about 3x per week
  16. I don't own an personal electricity meter to show much energy I or my appliances consume
  17. I love a good cigar!
  18. I am a Republican

What should I do for penance? Are these all bad things or do many of you do the same?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Here’s how I see what caused this mess and why I don’t support it the bailout
....Guys, I could spend days formatting and properly explaining what happened, there are some gaps in my analysis, but I believe I captured the essence of what's going to affect all of us. Here are the facts and causes as I see it.
  1. The repealing of the Glass-Steagall Act
    What is it: A law passed by Congress in 1933 that prohibited commercial banks from collaborating with full-service brokerage firms or participating in investment banking activities"
    What did it do: It protected bank depositors from the additional risks associated with security transactions. The act was repealed in 1999 and the distinction between commercial banks and brokerage firms has blurred
    Why is this important: If the trading of mortgage backed securities was limited to brokerage firms, it would not affect commercial banks as significantly
  2. Community Re-Investment Act of 1977
    Requires banks to lend in Low-Income neighborhoods where they take deposits
  3. Affordable Housing Goals Set by Fannie and Freddie Mac - banks began to feel pressured to loan more and more money in low income neighborhoods and to people whom they would not otherwise lend money to. Not doing so meant tougher regulation and shakedowns from various government entities including but not limited to the senate banking committee
  4. Political Correctness - Loosening of credit and increasing homeownership was the thing to do. If you didn’t loan a certain percent in certain neighborhoods you would get shaken down by local (I hate to say it) community organizers and be labeled as racist on the local news.
  5. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - sometime in the 90’s, they began purchasing more and more high risk mortgages, the more they bought the more they were at risk of failure due to massive defaults. (it only takes about an incremental 2% of all homeowners to begin defaulting to cause a crisis like this)
  6. Democrats - I can't begin to write all this down, but Chris Dodd and Barney Frank have thier hands all over this

How this all ties together

  • Every Mortgage purchased by Fannie and Freddie increased a bank’s liquidity. The bank’s credit limit would be tied in a mortgage, therefore not allowing it to make other loans (car’s, HELOC’s, etc)
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would bundle individual mortgages they purchased into securities (Bonds and funds). Fannie and Freddie were not required to disclose the "mix" of mortgages in these securities. For example: Security X had 100 mortgages and 50% of them were high risk sub-prime.
  • Fannie and Freddie would guarantee the securities against default and sell them to investors (commercial banks and brokerage firms). These now combined banks/brokerage firms are the same entities making bad loans. (Under Glass-Steagall they had to be separate)
  • Fannie and Freddie also bought mortgages from banks and other lenders and hold them in their own portfolios. This market for mortgages (i.e. mortgage backed securities) allowed the lenders to make more loans by freeing up obligations / credit (fancy word used for it in the news is "increase liquidity")
  • Remember the rules of banks, they are required by law to maintain a certain level of liquidity. I.e. if you have a $100 in deposits, you can only lend X% of that. Well, if you sold the loan, buy it back in the form of a security and hold it in your brokerage firm (which you happen to own) then you are free to make more loans against that $100 (more bad loans by the way). But they all end u in the same place.


  • Big Mess. Some say caused by lack of regulation others say caused by too much regulation. I am on the too much regulation camp. Free markets dictate that many of the bad loans made would not have been made if not for affordable housing goals!
  • Personal Experience: I've had 4 mortgages in my life: 1997, 2003, 2006 and 2007 (4 different houses). I remember my first mortgage (don't we all) at 25. I was well qualified for my 72K condo in westlake OH. But remember having to provide all by a blood sample to get the mortgage, this was before I signed any loan papers. Fast forward to 2007 and I was simply asked if I am willing to document my income!

So what does the bailout do

  • Here is where it gets ironic, the 700 Billion Dollars congress will authorize the treasury to spend will be used to buy back all these bad mortgages sitting with banks and mortgage companies and brokerage firms (Market creation)As the gov’t buys them, they will free up the banks liquidity to make more loans and lines of credit. Which is what got us into this mess to begin with
  • Why I don’t support it:
    They say "credit will tighten" or "dry up". Who cares! This is absolutely true. But guess who it dries up for… it dries up for people who are not freaking qualified to begin with. Those with good credit can still get loans, the rate may go higher and it may be more difficult. The word difficult I use losely. This means it may take more than 15 mins to get a loan, heaven forbid it may take a day or two and an actual loan officer (live person) may have to review the application and you may actually have to document and prove your income.
  • There are free market solutions out there, I'll get into those on a separate post
  • Context: 700 Billion is enough cash to give every US citizen from 0 to 100 years old, rich poor, whatever (as long as you have a SSN) approximately $2,300. (I’ll hit that in a separate post)

I am sure many of you are glued to tv's watching this, but this is what I see. I will post on the solutions later. The bailout is a bad thing and a stupid thing, the GOP was smart not to back it and Mccain should grow a pair and withdraw support and leave OBAMA to push it. If it were so important the Dems can pass it without a single GOP vote. But they won't do that, they want to hang around the GOP's neck if it fails and take credit in the unlikely event that it actually works!

If Obama, the Lord Messiah and most merciful one (as Rush likes to call him) is such a uniter all he has to do is rally his own party and pass it and save the country. But the little political weasel man child won't do it because he knows it won't work!

Hopefully this is helpful

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

From Janell

Ruby Tuesday

Here's a view of my barn.

I love my barn.

Bubba and Lucy love my barn.

Do you like my barn?

I do take requests. Is there something you would like to see for Ruby Tuesday?

If you like good photos, stop by my family blog (The Gatewoods, link at left) and see what my brother-in-law has been posting.

He posts as "Shirley." Don't ask.

Okay, the reason he posts as Shirley is because he's married to my sister Shirley and uses her blogger id.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey, Everyone!


Janell’s back!

“Here, let me turn around…

and this is my front…”

River City Roundup is wrapped up for another year. Rumor has it that it might be the last. About 85 riders and six wagons started out at Nottleman’s Flea Market; a campground on the Omaha Indian Reservation, north of Macy, NE. My friend Sharon and I rode some trails on Saturday afternoon.

And then… it rained all night Saturday night and most of Sunday morning.

When the sky finally cleared in the late afternoon, some small groups went out for another 2-3 hour ride on the Reservation. Most of the place looks like a Karl Bodmer painting – maybe more about that in some other post.

Monday, (after another night of rain) we followed our usual routine for moving camp: We saddle our horses, find a good tree or fencepost to tie them to and then get in line and caravan all the trailors to the next night’s camp. They haul the riders back to the horses and we spend the rest of the day riding to the next stop – in this case, we rode to Blackbird Creek Ranch between Decatur and Lyons. (Just a few miles east of Jefferson School and about a half mile from the old Blackbird Creek Church, for those of you who know where that is.) It continued to rain on us most of the morning and since we ride mostly on minimum maintenance roads, some of the wagons had a little trouble.

It didn’t rain Tuesday night – hallelujah! Wednesday morning, we trailored the horses and the camp to Tekamah, where we saddled up and rode out to Summit Lake. We had dinner and then rode back through some nice scenery. Our camp was at the Hoot Gibson Rodeo Grounds.

We spent the next morning riding horseback into Herman and then loaded up and moved to the Washington County Fairgrounds in Arlington. Personally, I used the afternoon for catching up on some sleep. We had a DJ and dancing after supper and all the obligatory “thank-yous” and some fun awards were handed out – one to the first rider to get bucked off, one for the one came from farthest away (this year that was Arizona), etc. and so on.

Friday, we loaded up and trailored into Two Rivers State Park, where we rode the trails for the morning. After dinner, we moved everything downtown to Freedom Park by the airport in Omaha.

Friday night, we have a “Trails End Party” for all the riders who participated. In addition to my ride; the Northeast Nebraska trail, we met with the Iowa riders and the West Riders. Most of the rest of them went to the Rodeo and Larry the Cable Guy concert. I did a little shopping in the vendor hall and browsed around in the exhibit hall where they were having the Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Show. Then I headed back to Freedom Park and hit the sack.

Saturday morning, we all rode in the Parade and then headed home.

So that’s where I’ve been all week. I see that I missed some emails and such and will spend some time getting caught up with that.

Now, it’s back to work!

I’ll be blog-hopping tomorrow.

The post below is from my partner, Joe, who also happened to be gone all last week. I wonder how many times our “automated email responses” would have talked to each other if I had remembered to set that up….?
Joe says...
The fundamentals really are sound!
Hello Everyone....

I'm Back and I hated being gone. Lots to catch upon, including about 7 weeks in the UK. I am pretty sick of it over there. I must say, the rabbit casserole in Basingstoke is absolutely delicious. Definitely a redeeming factor, on the other hand I am so over London.

Well, where do we start? Hmmm... Election, Environment, European Travel, "Cushy Job" stories. I think it best I not ignore the 800lb gorilla in the room. Before I post on the "Crisis" and our bailout, I want to talk about the fundamentals of the economy.

Senator Mccain is getting hammered by saying the fundamentals are sound. Despite my support for him, he has not the level of comfort defend this statement. But guess what, its true! He has either morons (not likely) or wimps (most likely) advising him. There are so many ways to prove this, despite Poll after poll that say everyone feels the economy is bad. I feel like its bad to, but its not.

Let me show one way to prove it. I was quite surprised when I wanted to see the 3Q and 2Q EPS for the 30 companies that make up the DOW. Either I googled it wrong, or it is not published. I am sure it is, but didn't want to pay for it. So I compiled it myself. First a definitions:
EPS is Earnings Per Share - Its basically the number of shares of stock a company issues divided by the number of pennies (literally) they earn (Revenue) in a given quarter/year. This number can be positive or negative. Typically ranges from .01 to about $4.
M = Million
B = Billion
Shares - Shares of Stock
Q - Fiscal Quarter of a year

Example: - Exxon has 5 Billion Shares outstanding (5.2) and to make $0.01 EPS it must ear $50M . Their 3Q EPS Estimate is 2.46 or $123B

Now, based on my experience each $0.01 EPS equates to about $40M in revenue for a fortune 500 company, I am sure its higher, but humor me. Here is what the data says:

1. If you add up the 3Q EPS for all the DOW companies combined you get 1.459T in 3Q this year alone!

2. The Average Earnings per company on the DOW is about 48.6B

3. The Average EPS is $1.22

4. Only one loser in the bunch, and that's GM. They are losing money because of Cafe Standards (save that for a different post)

5. These companies live and die by this ratio, they try not to let them fluctuate outside a projected range. Even positive earnings surprises can be bad.

So, what are you thinking? I sound snobby again, in denial perhaps. Well, the DOW is the DOW for a reason. I've listed below, hopefully image comes through, all the companies in the DOW their stock symbol and 3Q EPS Estimates. What does this have to do with fundamentals? Tell me if you don't know someone working for a company in the dow or it doesn't affect your industry or you are not a customer (even loyal perhaps) of a company on this list? That tells me the fundamentals of the US economy are pretty sound.

Before anyone starts, I am also enfuriated with the greedy bastards who are causing this bailout. I want to see people in cuffs more than anyone. So I am not defending those actions, my point is, aside from a corrupt few, we are still in good shape!

My wife didn't really understand how this happened and isn't into finance (not being condascending here) so I put together an explanation for her. I'll share with you all shortly. Its great to be back!!!!!

P.S. Sorry if I didn't spell check. :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

This lady wanders about in the the pastures that surround my house. She is a Red Angus and has been hanging around with a Longhorn Bull. She has a baby now.

Kind of pretty, in a Bovine sort of way, don't you think?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

From Janell

(This is kind of a rerun, but I like this story.)

September 14th is an important American anniversary.

Baltimore, MD

On the morning of September 3, 1814, a young lawyer from Georgetown, PA and his friend, Colonel Skinner found themselves sailing seaward towards an enemy ship which held Prisoners of War. In the lawyer’s briefcase were a number of letters he hoped to use to retain the release of one of those prisoners, Dr. William Beanes, who had been arrested and taken captive in the previous weeks. The British army intended to try and hang the doctor for treason. The trial and execution would have to wait, however, until after they had successfully invaded Baltimore by land and Ft. McHenry by sea. The letters the lawyer was bearing were from enemy Prisoners of War who had been injured in the fighting and subsequently treated by Upper Marlboro’s beloved physician. Their letters testified to the humane treatment they had received at his hands and expressed their hopes that he would be released. It took the two men until September 10th to locate the ship on which Dr. Beanes was being held and the rest of the day to negotiate his release with the British officers. It was near sunset by the time the British agreed to let Dr. Beanes go. The three men were not allowed to leave, however, because it was feared they had seen and heard too much regarding the impending attacks on Baltimore and Ft. McHenry. They were placed on the sailboat, under guard and forced to wait out the attack and watch the battle that would surely spell doom not only for Baltimore and Ft. McHenry, but endangered the new United States as well.

The bombardment began on the morning of September 13 and would continue for 25 hours. Approximately 1500 bombshells weighing 220 pounds each were lit and launched toward the city. However, some of the fuses were too short and the shells would explode in mid air long before they reached the target. In addition to the bombshells, the British fired their newest weapons; Congreve rockets, which traced arcs of red flame across the sky. The attack was halted at sunset, but began again around 1 AM on September 14.

The three friends waited anxiously, watching the flames and the explosions. A few hours later, the ships in the sea around them fell silent. Our lawyer, Colonel Skinner and Dr. Beanes waited anxiously for the sun to rise so they could determine why the firing had stopped. From their vantage point they would have a clear view of Ft. McHenry and would be able to see whose flag was flying over it.

When the sun finally broke the horizon, the three rejoiced to see that the Stars and Stripes still flew. Having lost 22 vessels, the British were retreating. It was then that our lawyer, Francis Scott Key, took up his pen and wrote:

“Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare
The bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

I believe it still does. Do you?

Additional info: The flag which flew over Ft. McHenry was commissioned by its commander, Major George Armistead in 1813. He wanted a flag “so big the British would have no trouble seeing it from a distance.” A local flagmaker, Mary Young Pickersgill and her 13 year old daughter Caroline made the flag using 400 yards of fabric. The finished banner measured 30 by 42 feet. Each of the 15 stars measured two feet from point to point. It cost $405.90.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ruby Tuesday
Has it been a week already?!?

Roses in the floral department of the store where I work.
Aren't they pretty?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

"Red sky at morning, Sailor, take warning.
Red sky at night, Sailor's delight."

This one was in the morning. I don't remember what the weather was like the day I took this shot, but it's raining today.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Poem for Sunday
From Janell

2 Chronicles 36:11 – Ezra 3:13

Way back in the day around 600 B.C.
Israel began the Babylonian Captivity
They’d been forewarned, make no mistake,
There was only so much that God would take
They’d failed to give the land a rest
Each seven years, as God said was best.
But of all the things that they’d done wrong
The lowest was breaking Number One;
They’d worshipped the gods of other nations
And that was the worst abomination.

So God finally said, “Well. Okay. Fine.
If you like their laws better than mine,
You just go on and be taken away
By the heathen Chaldeans this very day.”

It was in 597, to be exact
When Nebuchadnezzar launched his attack
‘Twas many an Israelite died by his sword
And he stole precious things from the House of the Lord.
He destroyed, by fire, the Jerusalem Wall
And heartlessly watched the great Temple fall.

So for seventy years, the story went on
While the Israelites live in Babylon.
Then Cyrus of Persia sent out a Decree,
“All of you Jews better listen to me.”
He said, “God gave me all the kingdoms of earth
And THIS job He gave me has priority First:
To rebuild Jerusalem’s Temple for Him
So get ready to go back to Jerusalem again.”

Cyrus returned the Precious things
Nebuchadnezzar had stolen in the previous reign.
So Israelite Leaders, families and priests
Set out with the greatest down to the least.
The Levites, Gibeonites and Solomon’s slaves,
Singers, Servants, and Gatekeepers set out one day;

They left the cities of Babylon
To rebuild the City of Jerusalem.

In the year five hundred and thirty five
In Jerusalem, the people finally arrived,
“The first thing we should do, so that we don’t falter,
Is re-establish the Burnt Offering Altar.”
Zerubbabel did just that and then
The twice daily offerings began again.

They collected supplies for the next two years
And masons and carpenters began to appear
At last (they’d feared, the day might never come)
The Foundation was laid, the work had begun.

It had been fifty years since Solomon’s Temple stood
They were careful to make this work extra good.
When the foundation was laid, the builders called out,
“Let’s celebrate this! Let’s sing and let’s shout!”

So the Israelites gathered all around
The Temple with cymbals and they made a joyous sound
They gave thanks to the Lord that this would not sever
“His lovingkindness upon Israel forever.”

But some of the Old Folks began to say;
“It’s not as grand as in Solomon’s Day!”

So the shouts of joy and cries of shame

From far away both sounded the same.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ruby Tuesday
(And a few observations)

This is the sign over the door at the store where I work. I think it was nice of them to make it red so that I could use it for Ruby Tuesday, don't you?

Personality Types and Belt Loading Styles

I’ve taken a few personality type tests in my day, but I’ve noticed that maybe all that diagnosing could be done if a psychoanalyst stood at my cash register and observed the manner in which people load their groceries onto my conveyer belt.

Note: None of these styles is gender specific. Instead of using the cumbersome politically correct he/she, I used he in some parts and she in others.

The Angry Tosser: This person is angry about something – maybe got into a fight with the spouse before leaving home or stressed out from work or possibly the high price of groceries. Whatever it is, she takes it out on the groceries. She drags her cart into the lane rather than pushing it from behind, positions herself between the cart and the belt and then grabs items out of the cart and literally throws them onto the belt, so that they land with an angry thud. Some of these people bend over the cart and throw things backwards over their heads, giving extra punctuation to the sound of them hitting the belt – especially the frozen things. When finished unloading the groceries onto the belt, she stomps over to the cash register (leaving the cart behind for someone else to move) and glares at the cashier. She watches the screen behind the cashier with frown lines growing deeper with every beep of the scanner. When the total is announced, she lets a little puff of disgust escape her lips and starts digging in her purse for a debit card. She rips the card through the card scanner and punches in the PIN as if stabbing the life out of a pesky rodent.
And – what a surprise – neither the Angry Tosser nor the cashier feel any better for all this venting.

The Liner-Upper: This person likes the belt to be moving constantly. They place their groceries on the belt one at a time, in single file. You can imagine what this looks like when we have single-serve yogurts on sale at 20 for $10.00.

The Stacker: This is a person who has too much time on their hands. They can be found in line behind an elderly person who takes too long to write the check or needs help with scanning their debit card. While I (the cashier) am helping the first customer figure out how to scan the debit (or EBT) card the Stacker is arranging his groceries in tall stacks, sometimes in alphabetical order on the belt. He is determined to use only half of the length of the four foot belt, so he somehow manages to get $200 worth of groceries compacted into piles three feet high. The first stack contains apples, apricots and bananas. Next, they load a pile of cheese, cookies and crackers. The Stacker doesn’t usually create a problem until he reaches the soft drink category of his groceries. He likes to stack his three 24 packs of pop or beer in order: i.e. three cubes of Pepsi followed by three cubes of Budweiser followed by three cases of bottled water. At this point, the stacks of 24-packs begin to tower over my head, and become increasingly unstable with every movement of the belt. The stacks generally come crashing down before they get to me, thank goodness, or I might have to demand hazardous duty pay when faced with The Stacker. Sometimes I wish the Stacker would take lessons from the Liner-Upper.

The Plop & Finish: This person is in too big of a hurry to bother picking up a cart or basket on their way into the store, so she has to carry everything in her arms. She approaches the grocery belt loaded down with several boxes of mac & cheese, a bag of potatoes, a few pounds of hamburger and a couple bottles of condiments. She plops this collection on the belt – and then abandons it to get “a couple things I almost forgot.” By the time she gets back with another overflowing armload of stuff, the first collection is scanned and bagged and there are usually two or three people lined up waiting….and waiting…and waiting for her to finish her shopping.

So there you have it. Which one are you?