It’s an interesting circus

September 3, 2014

We do live in interesting times here on the east
coast of Iowa. During his talk show, Jim Fisher
mentioned the contract for our city administrator.

what

Then, during the local 6 o’clock news we heard
around 100 people showed up at a zoning meeting
to voice their displeasure at the location of the
proposed new Casino. It sounded like the NIMBY
crowd on steroids.

We hope this project doesn’t go the way of the
proposed college stadium.

Tonight at the Committee of the Whole meeting
should come a vote on new salary contract for our
city administrator. The current one runs out in
January of 2015.

agreement

After looking at the proposal we are left with
more questions than answers. In the proposed
agreement the administrator would receive an
additional $23,699 more than his current salary

The agreement states that the new salary would
still be less than that of the city managers
of Dubuque and Cedar Rapids. So how does a city
managers job differ from a city administrator?

Why the car allowance along with the increase?
Is it true the city will pay all lawyer fees
and damages in the administrators behalf should
the need arise?

The base pay would total $229,656 per year. That
seems like a lot to pay someone who is always
referring to himself as ‘just the hired help’.

We also wondered about the reference to Cedar
Rapids. It is close in size to Davenport with about
20,000 more residents, but if we remember right it
has a different form of government.

Cedar Rapids went to a Council-Manager form of
government where the full-time city manager carries
out administrative operations, prepares the budget,
and hires and fires personnel. The mayor and
council set policy, approve the budget, and set the
tax rate. BUT, while the mayor is the political
leader of the city he cannot veto legislative
actions of the council. Are we comparing apples to
oranges?
Comments are always welcome


A first for everything

September 2, 2014

Over the weekend there was a Sprint Cup race at
the Atlanta Motor Speedway. And while these races
occur on a regular basis we believe this race will
be the one to remember.

Yes, Tony Stewart returned but that’s not it.
Yes, it was the next to last of the race for the
chase but that’s not it. Yes, there were a few
crashes during the race, but that’s not it either.

Video clips of this race have gone viral and we’d
imagine Ray Stevens is working on a song as we
chat. As someone who has watched all forms of motor
sports for more decades than I care to remember,
what happened during this race was a first for me.

Kevin Harvick was leading the race when over the
radio came his words “I almost hit a cat!” Not to
be outdone, later Brad Keselowski radio came alive
when he said “Squirrel sitting over in turns 3 and
4″.

When I could control my laughter, after I
dried the tears from my eyes, I thought this had
to be one the best races on the year. If not the
decade. And no animals were harmed in our reporting
about this race.
Comments are always welcome.


Truth can be stranger than fiction

September 1, 2014

We will preface this story with a phrase that
never fails to give the wife the giggles; this is
based on a true story.

We received an email from a friend about a Boeing
B-17 Flying Fortress dubbed “All American” and it
told quite a story. Said tale has since been proven
wrong but even the real story is hard to believe.

The “All American” was part of a bomber group
based in Algeria that was in a formation of
bombers attacking a German controlled seaport. The
mission went well and the bombers headed back to
base.

Suddenly German Messerschmitts attacked the group
until they reached maximum return range. Then, out
of the blue, two more Messerscmitts dove in for an
attack.

aa

One of the German planes went for the lead bomber
and the other after the “All American”. The fighter
that went after the lead bomber was shot down while
the second attacked the B-17 head-on with guns
blazing then started to turn away.

Before the fighter completed the turn the pilot
was killed or wounded and the Messerschmitt hit the
rear of the bomber. Amazingly no crew members on
“All American” were injured even with the huge
hole in the rear of the fuselage and the loss of
the horizontal stabilizer.

The remainder of the tail, and the vertical and
right stabilizer looked like they could break loose
at any time. The other bombers seeing the crippled
plane made a formation around it and slowed until
they were out of enemy territory. Then the rest of
group went on ahead.

aa1

aa2

The “All American” did land safely although minus
the rear wheel. To read an interview of Ralph
Burbridge who was a bombardier on that fateful
flight, go
here. Mr. Burbridge
passed away in 2013 at the age of 93.
Comments are always welcome.


The holiday

August 31, 2014

crank

Happy Labor Day to all! Most know it is a holiday
we celebrate the first Monday in September but did
you know at one time it was celebrated in May? That
changed after the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago
which happened on May 4, 1886.

Then President Grover Cleveland didn’t want the
holiday to fall anywhere near the time of the
massacre so in 1887 it was established that Labor
Day would fall in September.

Labor Day is also considered the end of summer by
many which means parties, barbeques, fireworks,
parades, and a lot more. It also used to ring in
the start of the school year around here.

There is no dress code, unless you have one at
your house, and there is no set schedule to be
followed. It is our day and we should all enjoy it.
Comments are always welcome.


A Sunday message

August 30, 2014

A friend sent the following to the wife, she
sent it to me, and I’ll share it with you. It
doesn’t need a set-up as it is just audio of an
old Christian standard combined with a slide show
about the days of yore.

Comments are always welcome.


The next big threat?

August 30, 2014

 

fight

We felt it time to talk of the problem of violence
in our culture. No, not the problems in Missouri or
the 42 shot and killed in Chicago this month. The
violence we speak of a is a growing fad of
attacks on unarmed people by others wielding
baseball bats.

This is not a laughing matter. If someone bonks
you on the head with a ball bat you’re going to see
stars at best or meet your maker at worst. And
there is no bat control nor bat registration.

One of the most recent attacks happened in
Baldwin, Iowa on August 23rd, 2014. Drinking was
involved and when one young man was told to leave
he went to his car, pulled out his ball bat, and
bonked two people with it.

One man who was hit on the head was bleeding a lot
and disoriented when deputies arrived. Another man
was hit, not bleeding, and refused treatment while
the first man was taken to a hospital for head
injuries.

The man with the bat was charged with willful
injury and assault and is in jail on a $5,000 bond.
This is crazy. We need a three day waiting period
when buying a bat and meticulous registration of
those who buy them to insure this doesn’t become
a trend.

The bat wielding thug cannot be charged with
assault with a dangerous weapon because a ball bat
is not considered a weapon. We have to change this.

How many thugs out there are too stupid to figure out
how to get a firearm, are afraid of firearms, or
won’t because of the cost. Enter the ball bat. And
it’s just that simple.

Did you know that during the 2011 riots in
England baseball bat sales for self-defense
caused a sharp increase of said bats in civilian hands? Or
that TSA bans baseball bats, unless they are less
than two foot long and weigh less than 24 ounces?

There are millions of unregistered ball bats in
the country today made of hard woods, aluminum, or
composites. We need to keep an eye on this trend.
Comments are always welcome.


A longer tale…

August 30, 2014

We wrote a little about Dan Parker yesterday and
now feel we should tell a little more of his story.
Parker was the 2005 ADRL Pro Nitrous World Champion.
His dream was to build race cars and race until
the wreck that took his sight in March of 2012.

He used to spend his weekends like this-

There are tracks across our great country where
every weekend the average Joes, the backyard
mechanics, tinkerers, and professionals run what
they brung.

Parker went to the Salt Flats last year and the
National Federation of the Blind (NFB) became one
of his sponsors. This year he went back. Riding
a three-wheeled motorcycle, that he designed, he
set a new world record in 51-85cc single cylinder
2 stroke cycle car class with an average speed of
62.05 mph.

He also went in the record books as the first
blind person to set a Land Speed Record without
any other human assistance. He did have a very
sophisticated GPS system and electronics that
would turn off the engine if he veered off course.

Mr. Parker is now on the return trip home after
achieving his goals on the salt. If you would like
to know more about his run, please watch this
video.

Congratulations Mr. Parker, and we’re sorry we
called you Don in yesterdays post. We will not make
that mistake again as we follow your career.
Comments are always welcome.


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