Only a test

August 31, 2010

Some say we have a great educational system today in America,
others say we’re sadly lacking. It appears our schools have
been changing the studies for about 40 years to the point
some who graduate high school today can’t read or write very well.

In this vein, the following is supposed to be the eighth-grade
final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina and reprinted in the Salina Journal. How many can you answer?

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts
of ‘lie,’ ‘play,’ and ‘run’.
5. Define case; illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of
7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein
that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet Long, and 3 ft. Wide. How
many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs, what is it worth at
50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs for tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary
levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have
$104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7percent
per annum.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft long at
$20 per metre?
8… Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of
which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus .
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States .
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln ,
Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800,
1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)
[Do we even know what this is??]
1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography,
etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph,
subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two
exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word:
bi, dis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and
name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd,
cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9.. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane,
fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation
by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)
1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America .
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba ,
Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the
republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9.. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the
sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Suddenly I don’t feel so smart.
Comments are always welcome.

Tale of two

August 29, 2010

I admit to being a little confused by the media coverage
of the two events in Washington, D.C., that I felt had
almost identical goals. One of the events was the “Restoring
Honor” rally and the other the “Reclaim the Dream” rally.

I was left with more questions than answers. Why was it
necessary for the media to mention that the Restoring Honor
rally was attended by mostly white people? Why did the media
mention that this same rally was peopled with ‘tea party’
members and was of a political nature? And why did it seem
to me the smaller rally got more press?

It was mentioned that Reverend Sharpton said “they may have
the mall, but we have the dream”. Well Reverend, I can see
the possibility that Mr. Beck did forget the date because I
didn’t know it was the anniversary of Dr. King’s speech until
I heard it on the news and I don’t plan my life around the day.

This brings another question; If the date was so important to
him, why didn’t Reverend Sharpton get the permit to use the area
before Glenn Beck did? He was surely aware of the significance
of the date where Mr. Beck claims he wasn’t.

If Mr. Beck’s rally was mostly white people that brings more
questions. It is now illegal for white people to gather? And
what was the attendance of Reverend Sharpton’s rally? Were
they also mostly white?

And after all the news coverage I heard nothing about racial
slurs, attacks of any kind, or arrests. Both events seemed
dignified with very few jabs toward the other, but I for one
am getting a little tired of the one-sided journalism.
Comments are always welcome.

Weekend update

August 29, 2010

We have pictures from the River Valley Classics cruise-in at
the fairgrounds. The photos here are of the blue Nash that was
in the movie ‘Public Enemies’, the Model T we couldn’t figure
out as it had Ford script fenders and lights but the cowl didn’t
look right, and the yellow Riviera has to be heard to be believed.

We saw about every type of vehicle represented from antiques to
muscle cars and from hot rods to hot trucks. People were in great
mood and the band was good.

Today the wife, the kids, and myself decided to cruise down to
Galesburg, Illinois, and see what had changed since the last time
we were down there.

It didn’t take long to find out Wal-Mart had moved from Henderson
Street to Seminary Street and after a little shopping we stopped at
a Steak N Shake for cheeseburgers with all the goodies.

The kids and wife tried one of their new shakes and I stuck with
my Coke. There’s just something about a Coke, in a Coke glass full
of ice cubes that seems to make the day go better.

After only slightly displacing our location, I was not lost, we got
back on Henderson and came back the same two-lane blacktop that took us down. It was a good end to a good weekend.
Comments are always welcome.

Some car events

August 28, 2010

If you’re in a cruising mood, or a just want to look at some
neat rides, here’s a few things going on this weekend. We may
even add an unrelated little know fact at the end.

This Saturday, August 28th, the River Valley Classics will hold
a “Rollin in the Oldies” cruise-in at the Mississippi Valley
Fairgrounds beginning at 5 pm. There will be a live band at this
event. I believe the band is the Tailfins and admission is $2 for

Also Saturday, a little further from the house, is the 6th Annual
Jesus Built My Hot Rod Car Show in Janesville, Wisconsin from 9 am
to 4 pm. It will be held at 2416 N. Wright Road in Janesville.

Again on Saturday is the Moonlight Cruise from 4 pm until the
neighbors get mad, at 711 1st Avenue in Silvis, Illinois. I think
it’s behind Frank’s Pizza.

Sunday, August 29th, is the 20th Annual Amboy Depot Days Car,
Truck, & Motorcycle Show from 6 am to 3 pm in Amboy, Illinois.

And the little know fact-

“Three dog night” (attributed to Australian Aborigines) came about
because on especially cold nights these nomadic people needed three
dogs (dingos, actually) to keep from freezing.

Comments are always welcome.

Iowa Stolen Valor

August 27, 2010

I was all set to a post on local events as I usually do on
Fridays when two things happened. I noticed nothing could be
found going on today with my resorces and I received an email.

I feel I owe Iowa Congressman Shawn Hamerlinck an apology.
During one of my rants I stated all politicians had lost their
common sense and Senator Hamerlinck has not. I am sorry for
my assumption that he was as clueless as the others who don’t
seem to care what the people want.

After California Appeals Judge Milan D. Smith likened the Stolen
Valor law to lying about your age or weight on a driver’s license, Congressman Hamerlinck readied a bill that would make it a State offense to lie about honors received during military service.
To quote the email-

“If upheld as it currently stands, it becomes acceptable for
individuals to lie about military service and honors of valor
in order to profit in some way,” stated Senator Shawn Hamerlinck
(R-Dixon). “Demeaning the Congressional Medal of Honor, Navy
Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart to the weight recorded on a
driver’s license is appalling.”

Per capita, Iowa has more active duty soldiers currently deployed
than any other state in the nation. “In Iowa, those who volunteer
for service are held at a higher regard than the credit offered by
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California,” Hamerlinck went
on to say. “Knowing that the U.S. Supreme Court process could take
another two years, I have filed a Stolen Valor Act in Iowa and am
confident that it will be embraced by the Legislature and win
approval in the upcoming session.”

We hope so, we certainly hope so. As an American, a Veteran, and
an Iowan I salute you and wish the best with this.
Comments are always welcome.

A video and a rant

August 26, 2010

Before I start today’s mini-rants here is video of the truck on fire in the burnout
contest at the Flying Eyeball Reunion. We’re told the fire
wasn’t as bad as it looks and the truck will cruising again

We’ve heard the economy is getting so bad some bars are
going to stop having ‘happy hour’ and start having ‘slightly
amusing hour’. Recent news reports tell us unemployment is
higher than it has been for over a decade, foreclosures are
at a record high, manufacturers are producing less and stores
are selling less.

Since common sense died debate is still ongoing about the
Mosque near ground zero. Like the guy who runs around town
in womens clothing I feel they have to right to do it but
question their reasoning behind the deed. They have a right
to do it, but compassion and concern for the feelings of
others should cause them not to do it.

I’ve also noticed that we are becoming a nation divided. The
lines were never clearer than they are today. We have the states
against the federal government, the democrats against the
republicans, the blacks against the whites, and those who want
the Mosque against anyone who don’t. Some have forgotten that
a house divided cannot stand.

Then recent news that our credit card debt is the lowest it’s
been in almost a decade. I don’t know how this will factor into
the speech Obama gives, but I have to think this is due to the
poor economy and not people wizing up to the fact that using a
credit card can get expensive.

Locally, the downtown area has been discussed quite a bit. Some
feel it is a den of inequity and others a place to worship. There
are some neat things down there and there is also some crime. If
people wish to look at works of art or listen to live music, they
certainly have the right.

As to seedier part of the equation, it seems to me that hookers
and drug dealers are not downtown but on the border to it. And
there would be no hookers or dealers if someone wasn’t buying
what they are selling. Doesn’t make it right but I’d be more
worried if there wasn’t any around.
Comments are always welcome.

Our future?

August 25, 2010

A recent email from my wife listed answers to the GED test
from 16-year-olds. Some made sense, some were brilliant, and
some suggest a career future in a fast food kitchen. Lets
look at some of the answers as they were in the email.

Brilliant answers-

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour?
A. Keep it in the cow.

Q. What does the word ‘benign’ mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his

Answers that almost made sense-

Q. Name the four seasons.
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A. Premature death.

Q. What is a fibula?
A. A small lie.

Q. What does ‘varicose’ mean?
A. Nearby.

Answers that suggest a fast food future-

Q. What is the most common form of birth control?
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.

Q. Give the meaning of the term ‘Caesarean section’.
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome.

Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor.

Q. Use the word ‘judicious’ in a sentence to show you understand
its meaning.
A. Hands that judicious can be soft as your face.

Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head.

These are supposed to be actual answers to last year’s GED test.
I can’t confirm that but hope someone is pulling our leg. If they
aren’t, and our children are our future, we may be in trouble.
Comments are always welcome.

Opinion post

August 24, 2010

Now that I have a few minutes an update is in order. Once
again you are warned that this post is considered an opinion
piece. It may or may not align with your opinion but it is

Lately it seems that things are getting weirder than a good
Twilight Zone episode. It seems some roles have been reversed
and one wonders if that is a good thing.

We have men of the cloth spouting politics and politicians
getting involved with religious matters. We have the federal
government taking state governments to court and vice versa.
And we have citizens nationwide who are trying to figure out
just what is actually happening.

There’s an old saying that goes something like ‘if it ain’t
broke don’t fix it’. Some are now asking questions; Is anything
actually broke? If it is broke can it be fixed? And if it can’t
be fixed do we have enough paint to paint it?

First I don’t think that even if our governing body is broken
that it is beyond repair. I believe the same about our court
system. I have also noticed an ‘us versus them’ mentality among
we citizens that could be tweaked a little.

I will admit to being a little anxious about the fact that those
in Washington are all on vacation while the Bush tax cuts are
inching closer to expiring, the moratorium on oil drilling in the
Gulf is still going on, all the infighting raging between the
different levels of our government continues, and the deficit
continues to explode.

We all know Common Sense has died, but when was No Sense elected
to take his place?
Comments are always welcome.

Show pix

August 22, 2010

As you can see from the pictures there were newer cars, older
cars, and the mail came through. Personally I think they’re taking the
overnight delivery a bit far, but to each their own.

We didn’t get pictures of the pin-up contest or the roller derby girls because my son and I both can’t fit in the doghouse. We would have got pictures of the rockabilly bands but they were jumping around so much we figured they’d come out blurry. Same with the dancers, we couldn’t figure out if they were having an epileptic fit or trying to pull up their pants.

So enjoy the 57 pictures from the 2010 Flying Eyeball Reunion.
Comments are always welcome.

Recap and a joke

August 21, 2010

I made it over to the Flying Eyeball Reunion today and should
have pictures up sometime tomorrow. I didn’t have anything in
the show but our son has his truck entered. We met some old
friends, made some new ones, and he even got a solid lead on
some parts he needs for the truck.

There was a lot going on with the panel jams, the motorcycle
stunt riders, the roller girls, the vendors, the pin-up girl
contest, the bands, and the burnout contest. We managed to
see most of it and most of it went well.

There was a small problem with the burnout contest when one
participant blew a tranny line which caused an under the hood
fire. We were told nobody was hurt and the truck was loaded on
a trailer to smoke the tires another day. We didn’t stick around
for the wedding because I had enough excitement for one day.

There’s the recap now for the joke-

“One day, while a woodcutter was cutting a branch of a tree above
a river, his axe fell into the river. When he cried out, the Lord
appeared and asked, “Why are you crying?”

The woodcutter replied that his axe has fallen into water, and he
needed the axe to make his living. The Lord went down into the
water and reappeared with a golden axe. “Is this your axe?” the
Lord asked.

The woodcutter replied, “No.”

The Lord again went down and came up with a silver Axe. “Is this
your axe?” the Lord asked.

Again, the woodcutter replied, “No.”

The Lord went down again and came up with an iron Axe. “Is this
your axe?” the Lord asked.

The woodcutter replied, “Yes.”

The Lord was pleased with the man’s honesty and gave him all three
axes to keep, and the woodcutter went home happy.

Some time later the woodcutter was walking with his wife along the
riverbank, and his wife fell into the river. When he cried out, the
Lord again appeared and asked him, “Why are you crying?”

“Oh Lord, my wife has fallen into the water!”

The Lord went down into the water and came up with ANGELINA JOLIE .
“Is this your wife?” the Lord asked..

“Yes,” cried the woodcutter.

The Lord was furious. “You lied! That is an untruth!”

The woodcutter replied, “Oh, forgive me, my Lord. It is a misunder-
standing. You see, if I had said ‘no’ to Jolie, You would have come
up with CAMERON DIAZ . Then if I said ‘no’ to her, you would have
come up with my wife . Had I then said ‘yes,’ you would have given
me all three. Lord, I am a poor man, and am not able to take care of
all three wives, so THAT’S why I said yes to ANGELINA JOLIE .”

The moral of this story is: Whenever a man lies, it is for a good and
honorable reason, and for the benefit of others.

That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it!
Comments are always welcome.