Just wondering

September 11, 2014

Ever have the lyrics to a song stuck in head and
it doesn’t go away? After the last post I had two
lines of a 40 year old song that just kept repeating
in my head.

It was a country song about a loveless marriage
but the two lines that stayed with me were
“there’s nothing cold as ashes
after the fire is gone”.

And it started the thought process that although
Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn didn’t know it when
they recorded the hit in 1971, those two lines
were eerily appropriate to the aftermath of the
September 11th attacks.

Just had a feeling that the ashes were cold before
the fires were put out. People saw their lives fall
apart in those towers, in the Pentagon and in that
field. People lost their soul-mates, parents,friends
and children.

These people would never again see their loved
ones, friends and mentors, nor would their finances
be as secure. Families were left to heal the
wounds of loss and as a nation we were shocked.

A loveless marriage would be one thing, but to see
a normal day turn into a nightmare from hell for so
many would be, and is, on another level of pain
altogether.

A wordsmith could relate the feeling a lot better
but we think you get the gist of it. And if you
don’t remember the song here’s the video.

Comments are always welcome.


Remember?

September 9, 2014

Sometimes we come across something we liked years
ago but had forgotten. When this happens the flood
gates open and the raging waters of memory speed
by.

A lot of songs have been written about war both
for and against and the Vietnam War was no
exception to that rule. It did seem to have a lot
of anti-war songs that were popular with some.

Dave Dudley was known as the father of the truck
driving song. He earned the title in 1963 with the
release of “Six Days on the Road”. But the song
that brought the memories was one less known.

He wrote one song that spoke not of trucks, but of
war. The song was from his “There’s a Star-Spangled
Banner Waving Somewhere” album in 1966.

We lost far too many in that war and some that
came home will never be the same. If you listen to
the song, enjoy, but even if you don’t we ask that
you please take just a moment to remember all who
gave the ultimate sacrifice. Freedom isn’t free.
Comments are always welcome.


Amazing people

September 6, 2014

We have another installment in our amazing people
series and this time we have two people we wish to
salute.

The first is a young lady named Rebecca. She was
visiting Boston and while jogging made the news.
She even tried to make light of her deed during
her interview, but she definitely saved some lives.

So watch this short video to see why we added her
to list of amazing people who inspire us.

Our second amazing person is named Chris. A young
man with an infectious smile and a can do attitude.
He also has a great sense of humor. What he doesn’t
have is arms or legs. But that doesn’t stop him
from working on a farm.

As a bonus we’ll throw in the uplifting speech
given by Professor Randy Pausch. You may remember
he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and this
speech was made toward the end of his battle with
the disease.

Some say the young lady mentioned first is a hero,
and we won’t argue that fact, but believe all who
are mentioned in this tale are heroes. Sometimes
inspiration gives the wings of flight to our hopes
and make us strive to do better.
Comments are always welcome.


The circus and a tablet

September 4, 2014

Yesterday we admitted being confused over the then
upcoming vote on a salary agreement for our city
administrator. It would seem we were not alone.

circus

Comes the news our city council had questions too.
A In a story in the QC Times, it appears that
the only member of council who knew of the
proposal was absent.

It also came to light that the agreement we used
in yesterday’s post, which we got from the city’s
own website, had the wrong expiration date on the
current contract.

Now we wonder why our mayor would hire a private
attorney, without informing the council, to draw
up a new contract? We also were wondering why our
mayor wasn’t at the meeting.

We don’t know why it is considered a curse to live
in interesting times, especially when said times
have circus music.

On another note, two years ago this month I let
the wife talk me into buying a tablet so I could
read e-books while dodging certain chores. At first
I called it the demon tablet from hell.

100_1687

Packaging stated it could be used by all ages 4
and above. My thinking that this would make it easy
for me to master. I would watch the wife use the
touchscreen on hers and she made it look so easy.

After a few false starts, and coming to the
realization that the icons weren’t actually buttons
one had to push, I felt comfortable using the
device.

And now I have downloaded 830 books, and read 332
of them. At some point, good Lord willing and the
creek don’t rise, I’ll get to all of them.
Comments are always welcome.


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


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.


I’m not sorry

August 28, 2014

Have you noticed we are living in an apologetic
society? Every time we turn around somebody is
apologizing to someone else because of their faith,
political party, or skin color.

I’m with Merle Haggard on this one, I am a white
boy. I was born that way, can’t pass for anything
else, and wouldn’t want to if I could. It’s all I
know.

Nope, I’m proud of the fact. Some may call that
racist and in our country it is their right to do
so. But simply saying so doesn’t make it so.

Why is it, in this wonderful land we live in, it
is ok to have brown pride, black history month,
and the talk of our need for cultural diversity,
but it is not ok to be white?

So call me redneck, cracker, or whatever because
I won’t mind. I am a redneck who likes crackers.
Common sense needs to enter our society again and
stick around this time.

Instead of using the race card try using a deck
that is based in reality. Just because we are
white does not mean we hate those different than
ourselves. Don’t let other people tell you how you
think.

So I will repeat, I’m proud to be a white boy and
will not apologize for that fact, my religious
beliefs, or my God given rights. If that offends
you feel free to call me a racist.
Comments are always welcome.


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