Weekend wrap-up

April 30, 2011

Torquefest was all we expected, and more. After going
to our car club breakfast the wife and I cruised off to
Maquoketa to see what was shaking.

When we arrived there were motorcycles trying out the
dirt track and later the cars raising a little dust was
non-stop. The swap meet was huge, and there were plenty
of vendors for everything from a haircut, to food, to
magazines.

Next time I’ll have to remember the camera. We’ll put
something together for monday, but in the meantime,
here is a joke the wife emailed me. If you consider it
not to be politically correct, are offended, or think it
is racist, feel free to blame her for sending it to me.

Having arrived at the Gates of Heaven, Barrack Obama
meets a man With a beard. ‘Are you Mohammed?’ he asks.

‘No my son, I am St. Peter; Mohammed is higher up. Peter
then points to a Ladder that rises into the clouds.

Delighted that Mohammed should be higher than St. Peter,
Obama Climbs the ladder in great strides, climbs up
through the clouds and comes into a room where he meets
another bearded man. He asks again, ‘Are you Mohammed?’

‘Why no he answers, I am Moses; Mohammed is higher still.’

Exhausted, but with a heart full of joy he climbs the ladder
yet Again, he discovers a larger room where he meets an
angelic looking man With a beard. Full of hope, he asks again,
‘Are you Mohammed?

‘No, I am Jesus, the Christ…you will find Mohammed higher up. ‘

Mohammed higher than Jesus! Man, oh man! Obama can hardly contain
his delight and climbs and climbs ever higher. Once again, he
reaches an even larger room where he meets this truly magnificent
looking man with a silver white beard and once again repeats his
question: “Are you Mohammed?” He gasps as he is by now, totally
out of breath from all his climbing.

‘No, my son…. I am Almighty God, the Alpha and the Omega, but
you look exhausted. Would you like a cup of coffee?”

Obama says, “Yes please”! As God looks behind him, he claps his
Hands and yells out: “Hey Mohammed – two coffees!
Keep your trust in God…your president is an idiot…
Comments are always welcome.


Looking back

April 30, 2011

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. On Easter
Sunday Dad had a little family get together at his
place that featured his famous baked beans.

Since I am the oldest of his 4 kids, and recently had
a birthday, talk got around to how it felt to be 60. Of
course I replied it didn’t feel any different than 59 did
but I never thought I’d live that long.

I was being honest because of health issues and the
lifestyle I used to lead. This was followed by Dad
adding that he sure didn’t think he’d live to see his
80s due to a childhood illness.

Then my younger brother, a mere 57, chimed in with
the fact that he was surprised he had made it that
age. We actually had a good laugh over it to the
utter confusion of my sister and other brother.

They are just young enough not to remember what
healthcare used to be like before all the innovations
we take for granted today. I don’t even know if they
have heard of a quarantine or an iron lung.

People complain about our health care today, and
yet we’re living longer and getting more done while
doing it. We just don’t see a down side to that.

We have a busy day today but may post later with
some pictures from Torquefest. And whatever you
do, keep the shiny side up.
Comments are always welcome.


More upcoming events

April 29, 2011

Last friday we posted that car events would start picking
up soon. It seems soon got here earlier than we expected.
We’ll mention some of the events here.

Today and tomorrow is Torquefest held at the Jackson
County Fairgrounds, 1212 E Quarry St., in Maquoketa, Iowa.
It runs from noon to midnight today and 9 am to 10 pm
tomorrow.

At last count there were over 360 cars pre-registered for
this event that is held rain or shine. Both nights there
will be a showing of “American Graffiti” at the 61 Drive-In,
plenty of bands, a swap meet, an indoor car show, and more
vendors than last year both inside and out.

We’ll be cruising up saturday morning and hope the ride
doesn’t float away in the parking lot. After last year’s
rain it almost did. Spectators get in for $5.

Then Sunday, May 1st, is the 9th Annual Blessing of the
Cars at the Zion Lutheran Church, 1216 W 8th St.,
Davenport. This event runs from 1-4 pm.

Friday, May 6th is the first cruise-in of the year at
Dick N Sons, 235 N Oak Lane, Blue Grass, Iowa. The event
starts around 6 pm and is free. We don’t know how late it
goes because we can’t stay out late on a weekday.

Saturday, May 7th is the Classic Car & Cruisin’ Day, held
behind West High School, 3305 W Locust St., Davenport. The
cost is $6 per car, registration is 8:30-10 am and the
event runs from 10 am to 2 pm.

That’s some of the events in the near future that we know
of. There are probably a lot more but we can only post the
ones we hear about.
Comments are always welcome.


Bull shipping

April 27, 2011

We did the post on electric cars as a lead-in to
this post but ended up confused again after all
the press conferences this morning. We could care
less where our president was born or if Trump feels
he is the one who caused it to be shown.

While these press conferences were going on we
lost eight soldiers and a contractor in Afghanistan.
That should have precluded any trivial non-news
conference.

Obama proclaimed he was working on “problems” and
couldn’t be bothered about his birth certificate,
while Trump patted himself on the back and declared
that gas would go up to $6 or $7 a gallon. And
those who volunteered to defend our country died.

If something isn’t done about the current rate of
gas prices, let alone a rise in prices, our
economy will not grow. For this we blame Obama
because he can reverse the upward price trend
quickly and easily.

Some of us have been telling him the answer for
some time. As is his way, instead of following the
advice, he mocks the messenger. The answer my
friend isn’t written in the wind but lies with
“drill baby drill”.

Lift the moratorium on offshore drilling, allow
more drilling and lift the government restrictions
on the oil industry. DO NOT stop the subsidies
to oil companies to obtain your goal of sky-high gas
prices. It will not get us into electric cars.

There is an upside to this debacle however. If
Obama continues to ignore the rising gas prices
he will not get back in the White House in 2012.

We do feel that he will lift the moratorium at
some point between now and the election. He will
not do it for the right reasons but only because
he will believe it will give him another four years
as our poser in chief. Do not be fooled by this
bull he will be shipping.
Comments are always welcome.


Electric future

April 26, 2011

We’ve all heard the talk about electric vehicles
being the cars of our future. But what most don’t
know is that electric vehicles predate both gas
and diesel powered vehicles.

Right here in Iowa, William Morrison built the
first successful electric car in the country. In
1899, Thomas Edison built an electric vehicle
that used nickel-alkaline batteries.

In 1895 America’s first automobile race took
place sponsored by the Chicago Times-Herald. Of
the six cars entered, two were electric. In 1897
New York City had its first electric taxi fleet.
And in 1899 a Belgian electric race car set a
land-speed record of 68 mph.

Around the turn of the 20th century 40% of all
American automobiles were steam-powered, 38% were
electric, and only 22% were gas-powered. Even
though basic electric cars cost $1,000 in 1900
(around $26,000 today) America was known for it’s
acceptance of electric cars and 33,842 electric
cars were registered.

At that time batteries were not rechargeable and
battery exchanges were established to meet the
needs at a per mile charge. The invention of
rechargeable battery couldn’t save electric cars
though.

Henry Ford with his mass production brought the
cost of his cars down to $440 in 1915 or the
equivalent of $9,500 today. That year electric
cars were selling for $1,750 or $40,000 in today’s
dollars.

When one looks at all the innovations involving
the gas-powered cars one has to wonder why electrics
are still more expensive and use batteries. After
all, these vehicles have had 112+ years to work
on improving the basic design.
Comments are always welcome.


Some thoughts

April 25, 2011

We don’t know if you’ve heard of Henry Chiang or not, but
we believe you will. He gave a short news conference in
July of last year and when he was done investors were
begging him to take their money.

It appears Mr. Chiang has been working to perfect solar
cells for years and at this meeting he claimed he has.
His claim is that now solar panels can power entire
cities, even with no sunlight!

He hasn’t revealed any details as to how these
panels will work with just an hour’s worth of sunlight.
There is also talk of a new battery that can store the
electricity from the panels for when it is needed.

Some, including our president, believe that windmills
are the power source of the future. The problem with
that train of thought is that energy produced by wind
cost 4 to 10 times as much as energy produced by coal
or natural gas.

We’ve also noticed that not much has been said about a
carbon tax since Obama said he was running. Obama was
pushing hard for a carbon tax earlier and we have to
wonder why everyone is so quiet about it now.

Locally, most people seem to be talking about the cost
of the flood. Many appear to believe that although the
flood isn’t the worst we’ve ever seen that it may be
the most expensive. We’ll have to wait and see.
Comments are always welcome.


Monday thoughts

April 24, 2011

At times like these we like to see how the
politicians try to put the blame on someone
else. We feel this is due to an inept president
and legislators who never met a lobbyist they
didn’t like.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that when our
government doesn’t like us doing something they
figure a way to tax it or ban it.

This may be called a luxury tax, an excise tax,
a sin tax; but politicians do like to create
taxes. Or it could make us fat, pollute our air,
or affect our kids in some unexplainable way, so
the government sees fit to ban it instead.

Another thing that shouldn’t surprise anyone is
the fact that the only thing politicians like
more than creating taxes is spending money. After
all, they didn’t earn it, they can’t lose their job
for over-spending, and it makes their campaign
supporters happy when they get money back.

When times get tough we citizens tighten our
belts, buy generic, and live within our means.
Our government just ups the debt ceiling and
spends more.

The Center For Fiscal Accountability lists some of
highest taxed items, some of which you may be
familiar with. We’ll list a few here and have a
link at the end to the website if you want to see
them all.

The most taxed item in our country is cigarettes.
The average retail price is $4.97 per pack. The
estimated tax on these is 86.71%, or $4.31. This
means the product cost less than 70 cents before
taxes.

At number two is distilled spirits. The average
cost for a 750ml bottle is $13.10. It is taxed at
79.60%. In other words, $10.43 of the cost of the
bottle is taxes.

Car rentals come in third highest taxed. At an
average of $52.71 per rental and taxed at 60.60%.
This equals $31.94 in taxes.

Beer comes in fourth highest taxed. At an
average cost of $4.05 a six-pack and a 56.20% tax
rate. This figures out to $2.28 in taxes for
every $4 six-pack.

The fifth highest taxed is domestic airfare. This
averages $231 per trip with a 55% tax. This means
that $127.05 of that is taxes.

The list goes on to include home phones, gasoline,
hotel stays, cell phones, cable, firearms, meals
at restaurants, and soda. To see all the figures go
here.

Our president has said he will looking into price
gouging with gas prices. But if taxes eat up 51.20% of
the cost of our gasoline, don’t we already know who’s
gouging us?
Comments are always welcome.


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