Monday mystery

November 30, 2015

Do you know what is in the picture below?


If you work with your hands you probably know, if
you don’t we’ll offer a few clues. It is classified
a hand tool. On the other side of the handle is a
warning that you should wear safety glasses when
using this item.

It was designed to make things safer for the users
hands and to help absorb shock. It comes in several
configurations and is made by most bigger tool


Before this tool was introduced most people used
pliers or vise-grips, and some still do. If you
have one, you probably bought it after you hurt
your hand, used it the next time, then put it in
your toolbox and forgot about it.

For those who have no idea what this tool is we
will give no more clues. You make take a guess if
you wish, or we will post the answer in the comments

Comments are always welcome.

Fast thinking

November 29, 2015

Browsing various sources seeking news that merits
consideration, we came across information on the
Hyperloop. Think of the tubes in the drive-up at
the bank that deliver our business to the teller
and back. But on steroids.

Essentially the system would involve seven foot
diameter tubes elevated on pillars that could move
“cars” full of 28 people and luggage at a speed of
around 800 miles per hour.

These may be solar powered and currently have a
range of around 900 miles. Claim is this could move
people from Los Angeles to San Fransisco in 30

This is in the fundraising phase of operation to
try and raise $100 million. There are also over 100
engineers across the country working on development
in exchange for stock options.

The idea being that Hyperloop would be less
expensive than high-speed rail and better for the
environment. A 5 miles test track is to built in
Quay Valley, California in 2018.

To quote one source: “The concept of the Hyperloop
was popularized by Elton Musk, and not affiliated
with HTT. The project to develop a high speed
intercity transporter using a low pressure tube
train which would reach a top speed of 800 miles
per hour with a yearly capacity of 15 million

HTT is short for Hyperloop Transportation
Technologies. If our discourse isn’t confusing
enough the following video should finish the job,
after a short commercial.

We don’t know if these will ever come to be, but
if they do it would change our landscape as we know
it with elevated tubes beside our highways. It could
get interesting.
Comments are always welcome.

Sunday snicker

November 28, 2015


The preacher rose with a red face. “Someone in this
congregation has spread a rumor that I belong to the
K.K.K. This is a horrible lie and one which a Christian
community cannot tolerate. I am embarrassed and do not
intend to accept this. Now I want the party who did
this to stand and ask forgiveness from God and this
Christian family.”

No one moved.

The preacher continued, ” Do you not have the nerve to
face me and admit this is a falsehood. Remember, you
will be forgiven and in our heart you will feel glory.
Now stand and confess your transgression.”

Again all was quiet.

Slowly a “drop dead” gorgeous blonde with a body that
would not stop rose from the third pew. Her head was
bowed and her voice quivered as she spoke.

“Reverend there has been a terrible misunderstanding.
I never said you were a member of the Klu Klux Klan.
I told a couple of friends you were a wizard under
the sheets”.
Comments are always welcome.

Our visitor

November 27, 2015


As we were leaving for our weekly jaunt to the
grocery store the first thing we saw as we stepped
off the porch was a cardinal. Some say it is an
omen that someone we loved and had died is looking
over us. I usually don’t put much stock in such
things, but I have been thinking of Mom lately.

Be it true or not, I’d like to think she’s looking
down on us and not judging us too harshly. We’re
told Native Americans believe that if a cardinal gets
your attention or crosses your path you may have
some romance in your future. If you are single you
find a relationship, and if married a renewed
romance with your spouse.

The brighter the color on a male cardinal means he
will be the one to prolong his lineage and will
aggressively defend his territory. He can also
carry a tune.

It could be all of these things, or none of these
things, but I just know he sat there and preened
until we turned away, and it seemed to put us in
better mood. That makes it special to us.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can make a
day better.
Comments are always welcome.


November 26, 2015


We went over to Dad’s for Thanksgiving thinking
that perhaps the Thanksgiving Beagle would leave a
big pile of circus peanuts under the table. I even
behaved myself, but when we arrived back home there
were no circus peanuts. I was going to blame the
cats for scaring the beagle off but was in such a
good mood I did not.

After we got home and the wife went to bed, I sat
around and reminisced about past holidays. Some
were spent with family, some in a jail cell, others
on a barstool of whatever beer joint was open, and
those while I was in Navy.

And I thought of those we used to spend the day
with who are no longer here. If we put an empty
plate on the table for all of them we would run out
of plates, but we were blessed to get some time
with them.

I used to spend most Sundays in bar with a few
friends holding what we called “church service”. We
meant no disrespect to the church, we just played
religious country songs on the jukebox and didn’t
cuss during said service. It worked for us.

Age has a way of trimming our sails and I haven’t
had a drink or been arrested for decades and the
chip that used to be on my shoulder is gone. I
learned a long time ago that the only way a person
can change is if they want to. I’m thankful I did.

We’re hoping you had a great Thanksgiving, or at
least a good Thursday if you don’t observe the
Comments are always welcome.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2015


Thanksgiving has been a federal holiday since at
least 1863 when then president Abraham Lincoln
proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a
national day of “Thanksgiving and praise to our
beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.

We are thankful for our family, both old and newly
reunited, that all are healthy and not living in
poverty, and that we have the freedom to say so.

We are thankful for those who’ve left us as they
honored us by letting us into their lives, and for
future family as yet unmet.

And we are thankful that we can share with those
who stop by. We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Comments are always welcome.

Just the facts

November 24, 2015


While over talking with Dad today we laughed at
some experiences we had with people from out of
state. We came to the conclusion that a lot of
folks figure they should bring along something to
do when they visit. So here’s some facts.

Iowa was the 29th state to enter the union on
December 28, 1846, our capital is Des Moines, we
are called the Hawkeye State, our state motto is
“Our liberties we prize and our rights we will
maintain”, and we grow corn.

Iowa is the 3rd most productive agricultural state
following California and Texas in yearly output and
we produce 1/10th of our nation’s food supply. We
are the number one producer of corn and soybeans.
Our farmers sell over $10 billion worth of crops
and livestock annually.

Some famous people born in Iowa include John
Wayne, Johnny Carson, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody,
President Herbert Hoover, Ann Landers, Glenn Miller,
Robert Schuller, Abigal Van Buren, Vice President
Henry Wallace, Andy Williams, Grant Wood, and
Bix Beiderbecke.

Within our state lies the most crooked street in
the world (Snake Alley), the world’s largest
strawberry, the country’s smallest park, the
largest Danish settlement in the U.S., the largest
Amish community west of the Mississippi river, the
largest collection of Grant Wood artwork, and the
largest cereal company (Quaker Oats) in the world.

And Iowa has a little over 3 million residents
who call Iowa home. Not a bad number in a state
that measures 55,869 square miles.

We do see tornadoes, big storms, huge snowfalls,
and floods, but we know to wait. One thing about
our state, if you don’t like the weather now wait
around and it will change.

When I was in boot camp I had a guy ask if I was
from Iowa. When I replied yes he wanted to know if
he I could answer a question that had been bothering
him for ages, so I said ask. He asked me if
chocolate milk really came from brown cows and
white milk from white cows!
Comments are always welcome.


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