Ranting all over

July 31, 2008

If it’s Thursday, I must be ranting. In Tuesdays QC Times was a quote from Thomas Jefferson- “In the matters of style, swim with the current; in the matters of principle, stand like a rock.” Seems appropriate with elections less than 100 days away.

Do politicians even have principles anymore? We know they are all religous because of the photo-ops at their respective places of worship. It would appear politicians believe whatever their biggest contributors believe. They know the deficit is going way up next year and yet they pass a mortage bailout. They now want to cut down on the number of commercials featuring fattening foods aim at our children. Their reason? To fight childhood obesity.

Then there’s D1. The City Council told them to keep track of what they’re doing, and to report to the City Council or lose funding. Now it seems like a day doesn’ go by without a column in the QC Times on something D1 is attached to. We still don’t understand why, if this group is just a glorified Chamber of Commerce, they need big money from the city. Shouldn’t a Chamber of Commerce, regardless of what it’s called, be self-sustaining?

Centenial Park is going gangbusters on it’s multi-million dollar development. What we’ve seen going up so far hasn’t impressed us. Why is it that a floodwall is a dumb idea, but buildings going in are all on top of berms? The gas pumps are elevated, the skatepark is elevated, it looks like the new pavillion is even elevated. If it’s going to end up under water in a big flood anyway, why elevate it?

And lastly, the shootings. They are coming a little too often to suit us. In one an innocent bystander was hit. Is it time to close the Iowa Mart? We’ve noticed that the trouble in that area has been around the place. Laws need to be tougher, and enforced. The police pick these people up and the Judges let them go.

That’s our rant, comments on these subjects or anything else, are welcome.

A gang, a list, and a worm

July 30, 2008

There’s a few things going on out there that the FBI and the Department of Justice have updated. First is about MS-13 in Nashville. Then an updated Most Wanted list, and finally a nasty piece of malware that’s still out there.

Three members of La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, have pled guilty to racketeering charges. They are all leaders of the MS-13 in the Nashville area. For more info go to
the Department of Justice website.

 For the updated FBIs 10 most wanted fugitives go to the most wanted page.

 There are emails floating around out there that mentions the “FBI and Facebook”. These contain malware, and shouldn’t be opened. The Storm Worm Virus will be downloaded to your computer if you click on a link.
You shouldn’t open any emails from anyone you don’t know, or click on any links. For more on the story, go to the page.

The FBI also issured a press release on the virus, to see it go to the press release.
 Comments are always welcome.

Car stuff

July 30, 2008

We’ve got a few car things we’d like to put out there. This first is about Speed Week. If you’re a bonified gearhead you know what we’re talking about. For everyone else, Speed Week is held at the Bonneville Salt Flats every year. Gearheads bring cars and bikes they’ve built in their garages to see how fast they’ll go in a straight line on a 5 and 7 mile course. This event has has been run for 59 years by the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association). Speed week is scheduled for August 18-24 this year. For pictures of some hot cars, and more on the story, go to the site.

One guy in the print story said that Bonneville gets in your blood. Being a drag strip rat I can believe it. After all, if these guys break 200mph they get a hat. If they break an existing record, they get a certificate. Bonneville isn’t about prizes, it’s about walking the walk.

Now some local events. Friday, August 1, is the cruise-in to the Dick-N-Sons complex in Blue Grass. Nice little free gathering that offers door prizes.

Saturday,August 2, there are a few things going on. During the day is the Autos on the Avenue Car Show in Clinton, Ia. Then, from 4-10 pm, is the Cruise Night downtown Freeport, Ill. Also there’s a cruise-in to the Isle of Capri with an Outdoor movie from 6-11:30 pm. The Isle of Capri is in Bettendorf, Ia.

Sunday, August 3, is the Tipton Lions Car Show & Swap meet. Starts at 8 am at the Cedar County Fairgrounds, Tipton, Ia.

August 9 is the Camanche Days car Show held at the highschool in Camanche, Ia.

August 15, 16, & 17, is the Flying Eyeball Reunion at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, and Cordova Dragway. Friday, the 15th, is the Wizzard Gallery Art Exhibit, and the opening racket. Saturday the 16, is the open car show. Sunday the 17, everything moves to Cordova for the Run-What-You-Brung drags. Legendary custom builder Bo Huff, and David Perry are confirmed special guests of this event.

Saturday, August 16, is the next Northpark Mall Cruise Night. As some of us know this one starts at 6 pm, and runs until a tornado, or gearheads get tired of visiting.

There’s some upcoming events. Additions, corrections, or comments on this or any other subject are welcome.

Juarez fund raiser

July 29, 2008

Dale Gilmour posted a comment on our Bix weekend post, and we thought we’d repeat it here-

The total money raised, and presented to the Bob Juarez family last Saturday night at the Northpark cruise-in was $2,260. I will be giving a complete report, including a breakdown of each of the sources at the next Council meeting. As fate would have it, a volunteer fireman won the 50/50 drawing, and immediately donated all of his winnings ($500.) to the Juarez family. He made the statement and then just turned and walked away. When the announcer (Dave Palmer) asked him his name, he just kept walking. He chose to remain anonymous, so I will honor his request. Not bad for three hours work.

We really wanted to attend this cruise, but promised to volunteer for the Bix Fest months ago. We have heard from several friends it was a great show with a lot of cars. Dave Palmer from 3D Sound was there to DJ the event with all the good golden oldies. We’d like to thank Dale Gilmour, and all the members of the River Valley Classics Car Club. They prove that car people are among the nicest people around. The club puts on a very classy cruise while making it look effortless. We know otherwise.

Comments on this, or anything else are welcome.

Racist, or realist?

July 28, 2008

We decided to look into a couple of things to see how bad they
really are. Here’s a statistic for you, Iowa leads the nation for imprisioning blacks. Iowa does it at a rate claimed to be 13.6 times that of whites.
Blacks make up 2.3 percent of Iowa’s population, but 25 percent of our prison population. These are easy to check facts.
Go here.

Govenor Culver recommends spending over $9 million for education,
offender re-entry, community-based correctional programs, substance
abuse and mental health programs. Of course this doesn’t go far enough
to please some. Some people state racism in our police departments as a problem.
Some say whites get better plea bargains than black. Some are even
quoted that imprisioning nonviolent offenders is criminalizing bad
behavior. Give us strength. Pachino Hill comes to mind. We don’t mean
to sound racist; but if it sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck,
it’s probably a duck!

Here’s the deal; if you commit a crime, get arrested, and go before a
judge, does skin color really matter? We think it does, but like so
often happens, we don’t go with the flow. We believe the blacks are
getting special treatment and lighter sentences or probation than the
white offenders. We also believe that if less probation was given our
prisons would overflow, and the numbers would be a lot worse.

That’s our take on it, comments on this or just about anything else are welcome.

Bix weekend

July 26, 2008

Yesterday, we worked a full day getting a house ready for Monday, and volunteered for about 6 hours down at the Bix. This morning we had a meeting, then worked in the yard, and again just got back from the Bix. The first time we went to work the Bix today, we drove. The second time I decided to walk. It was only a few miles each way. While I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis, I did find that I could walk down and back faster than I could drive today.

Tomorrow we will again go down to work the Bix. After this is over we can get back to normal, or at least as close to it as this family gets. We did learn the choice of the baseball stadium wasn’t a popular pick. People complained about having to walk up the long flight of stairs, they complained they couldn’t bring their chairs or coolers inside, and they complained that they couldn’t smoke inside the stadium.

Today there were around 8 old cars on display outside the stadium brought by the Quad Cities Antique Ford Club. Shuttle buses were running people from one venue to the next, and the weather was just about perfect. Several members of the Ford Club were going to the Northpark Cruise-in tonight, but I couldn’t make it. Our son borrowed my car and went and I’m sure he’ll fill me in on what went on.

After we sleep for a day or two, we’ll get back to our regular routine. That’s the nickel tour of the Bix at the stadium. Comments on just about anything are welcome.

A death and a raffle

July 25, 2008

We’ve just recieved word that Randy Pausch died today at age 47. We did an earlier post on this after we read his book. He was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in September of 2006. He died at his home in Chesapeake, Va., where they recently moved to be closer to his wifes family. He had become an author on his thoughts about dying called “The Last Lecture”. If you’ve read this book, we think you were touched by this man. He also did guest appearances on TV and had become an internet sensation. He co-founded Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, a masters program that brings artists and engineers together. Although we’ve never met Mr. Pausch, we feel like we know him because of his lecture and books. Our condolences to the family and all who will miss him.

On a different note, the 50/50 drawing at the Northpark Cruise-in, sponsored by the River Valley Classics Car Club is a benefit raffle going to the firefighter who was injured earlier this year. Usually with these, they draw a ticket number and that person wins half of the take, and the other half goes to the club or whomever they choose. We think it’s a great gesture on the clubs part and wish them the best. We’re sorry we forgot the firefighter’s name, but we’re short on time. We’re going to start our Bix weekend with a lot of volunteering. Comments on these or any subject are always welcome.

Environmental bonus rant

July 24, 2008

We listened to Glenn Beck early tonight, and once again he got us thinking. A couple of things were mentioned that sounded almost like a conspiracy theory, so we checked them out. This is what we found.

Scientist have developed a CO2 scrubber that can remove 1 ton of carbon dioxide per day from our atmosphere, and yet environmentalists are against it. Why? Because it allows us to continue to use the dreaded fossil fuels. The average American, you and me, put about 18 tons of CO2 into the air per year.

According to physicist Klaus Lackner, the leader of the research team at Columbia University, said using these scrubbers will keep any atmospheric rise in CO2 to a minimum. It would also allow us to continue to use relitively cheap fossil fuels without harming the environment. We see no problem there.

Groups such as Greenpeace are opposed to all such technology because they say it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Say what? Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis claims that this is more evidence that enviromentalists aren’t concerned with solving problems. He claims if anyone solves a problem and it doesn’t involve sacrifice, the enviromentalists aren’t happy about it, even if it solves the problem.
Go here to read the article.

What we don’t get with the global warming crowd is that they blame it on CO2, caused by mankind. Their idea of solving the problem is to seed our oceans with iron ore or lime! This is supposed to remove the unwanted CO2 from our atmosphere. We’re not chemists, but we’d venture a guess that either of those options would pollute the oceans and kill sealife. So, is it really about the environment, or is it an almost manic dislike of fossil fuels?

While this is going on Congress won’t let our oil companies drill INSIDE our borders. They’re arguing about how it would be harmful to caribou, bears, and all wildlife; while Russia is buying oil rights all over the world. A deal between Russia and Iran is in the works, and they are also trying to take over the Artic Circle, which supposedly has 20% of the worlds remaining oil and natural gas.

We’ll leave you to form your own opinion on this; but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. These people don’t want solutions, they want to control. We see nothing wrong with using these scrubbers to clean the extra CO2 out of our atmosphere, while using fossil fuels, while working on the technology to finally replace them. That doesn’t look to be in the cards.

We are getting more than a little tired of being told that we have to pay more to use less when people like Al Gore uses tons more fossil fuel than we do. Members of Congress and the House leave their Suburbans running while they’re in session so they don’t have to get into a hot vehicle. Some have 2 or 3 more SUVs that carry their support team of secret service and others. I don’t want to give up my gas guzzler. When the people who are telling us to change our ways practice what they preach, perhaps we’ll listen. Put your secret service people in a Prius, and get a stretch electric vehicle for yourself. Fly commercial instead of private jet, plaster your Mcmansion with solar panels, and use geo-thermal technology to heat it. Then maybe you could tell us to cut back and pay more.

That’s a bonus rant and our take on it. Comments on this or any other subject are welcome.

Late Thursday rant

July 24, 2008

We’ve been so busy we forgot it’s Thursday. So here’s a little rant. We don’t pretend to know all about City Council meetings, but what we saw of Wednesday’s made us wonder what was on the Mayor’s mind. Seem to us he forgot more of what was supposed to get done than he remembered. Maybe he had an off day.

Al Gore is ranting again on the TV, and to us at least, he appears to be hitting the happy sauce, or smoking the wacky tobbacee. His doomsday mentality didn’t get us to do anything but change the channel. He’s not going to back off, the technology isn’t here yet, and we doubt we’re going to die if we don’t listen to this particular nut bar. You are certainly welcome to your opinion on this.

St. Ambrose has been mentioned by commenters on this blog recently. We think, the collage is like other non-tax paying organizations in our town, in that they are getting way too land happy. It has been at its current location for many years; but how much more of the surrounding neighborhoods are going to be turned into parking lots?

Figures aren’t out yet on the flood damage, but we’d be willing to bet it’ll be a healthy tab. We haven’t heard much on plans for Credit Island either, or the non-zoo. While the replacement is being pushed as a ‘destination’, we’ll wait and see. We are also waiting to see how the zoo site can be converted to handicap accessable. We’re not saying it can’t be done, but we don’t think it can be done cheaply. And just because it’s a new thing, we have our doubts it will be better than the zoo it will replace.

Comments on these or any other subject are welcome.

Nickel update

July 23, 2008

This afternoon 18 members of the local chapter of the Guardian Angels, and two members of the Chicago chapter were at the City Council meeting to accept a proclamation from the city. It basically thanked our group for all the good we’ve done over the last 18 months. The regional director of the Guardian Angels from Chicago later told everyone that it took 14 years for the first chapter to achieve this, and 10 years for his chapter. He also said the local chapter is doing very well and is in the running for chapter of the year.

Mischief and myself would have hung around for a patrol, but I’m on the injured list at the moment. Nothing real serious just a bum leg that didn’t happen while on patrol. We are also in the middle of some storm repairs since the calls came in. We chatted with Dale Gilmour for a few minutes which reminded me that the River Valley Classics are hosting a cruise-in Saturday from 6 pm until at least 9 pm. Since we’re also working the Bix Fest Friday night it makes for some long days. There’s a lot going on this weekend, we hope everybody makes it out to enjoy something that’s happening.

Alderman Ambrose offer me a handshake from behind the podium and we shoke hands. He attended some of the early training sessions with the Guardian Angels and remembered me. He also wished to thank all the Guardian Angels but most of us know he supports us.

That’s our nickel update, comments on just about anything are welcome.