A problem solved

July 31, 2011

Our Complainer in Chief has been
saying big oil is making too much
money and implying they are evil.
We feel our president must know
nothing of the real cost of doing

A big oil company has a source of over 3 trillion
cubic feet of natural gas about 200 miles off the
shores of Australia. Every day tankers go out to
the site empty and return to port full.
The gas is offloaded to a processing plant before
the finished product is once again loaded on the
tankers. Then it goes to customers.

There had to be a more economical way to do it.
After a few years, involving engineers from France,
Asia, and Australia, they came up with a solution.

Shell Oil will spend over $12 billion for the FLNG,
or Floating Liquid Natural Gas facility. When finished
it will be the largest ship in the world and six times
heavier than an aircraft carrier.

Shell will use the ship at the Prelude gas fields.
When the ship is finished in 2017, it will act as an
onsite processing plant. The finished product will
be loaded on tankers, onsite, then go directly to

Here’s some figures-

600 engineers worked on the facility’s design options

200 km will be the facility’s distance from the nearest

4 soccer fields, laid end to end, would be shorter than
the facility’s deck

Bow to stern the vessel will be about 1,500 meters long
(the distance from the bottom to the top of Chicago’s
Willis Tower)

175 Olympic-sized swimming pools could hold the same
amount of liquid as the facility’s storage tanks

6,700 horsepower will be the power of each of the three
thrusters used to steer the facility

50 million litres of cold water will be drawn from the
ocean every hour to help cool the natural gas

6 of the largest aircraft carriers would displace the
same amount of water as the facility

105 metres is the height of the turret that runs through
the facility, secured to the seabed by mooring lines

-162° Celsius is the temperature at which natural gas
turns into LNG

1/600 is the factor by which a volume of natural gas
shrinks when it is turned into LNG

117% of Hong Kong’s annual energy demand could be met by
the facility’s annual LNG production

25 years is the time the Prelude FLNG facility will stay
at the location to develop gas fields

For more on the project go here.
Comments are always welcome.

Has he failed?

July 30, 2011

This recent three-ring circus some call the debt ceiling
crisis made us recall just how short our memories are. We
haven’t heard too many people mention the debates on the
same issue in 2006. So here is some of Senator Obama’s
speech when then Senator Obama opposed raising the debt
limit under president Bush –

“Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s
debt problem.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s
debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign
that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a
sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance
from foreign countries to finance or Government’s reckless
fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by
$3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is “trillion” with a
“T”. That is money that we have borrowed from the Social
Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan,
borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years,
between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase
the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some
people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year,
the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest.
That is more money to pay interest on our national debt
than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s
Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest
on our debt this year than we will spend on education,
homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits
combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to
spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that
honors the best of America.”

The rest of the speech can be read here.
Yet, in 5 short years we now have a debt ceiling crisis, with a
bad economy, and he’s the Complainer if Chief. Does this mean he has failed as a leader by his own standards.

He mentioned Bush raising the deficit by $3.5 trillion in 5
years, when he has spent more than that already. Do you
really want to do this to us Mr. President?
Comments are always welcome.

What is going on?

July 30, 2011

We have always believed that we all come into this
world naked and screaming. We have never heard of
anyone popping onto the scene with a crown, surfboard,
or beggar’s cup. Put another way, we are all born

If we are at less than 10% unemployment, how can we
have 46% of our citizens living in poverty? And how
can about half of these poor people live in houses
with 2 color TVs, cable, and air-conditioning?

To those who believe we are our brother’s keeper,
we have always been told that the Lord helps those
who help themselves. Most of us have been down and
out at some point in our lives and we believe it is
how you handle the situation that counts.

Some wring their hands and ask “who will help us?”
and starve before they could think of working.
Others tighten their belts, work harder, and
get through it. Entitlements are not a God-given

We believe it is wrong to take money from
those who earn it and give it to those who choose
not to. This does not include those who have health
issues, or special needs that cannot help themselves.

The people who are paying for this nonsense, us, have
different priorities than those in Washington, D.C. In
the years 2004-2008, Americans spent $2.1 billion more
on credit card purchases than they paid. From 2008-
2010 Americans spent $72 billion more paying down their
debt than they spent.

Yes, the citizen’s paid down their debts while the
government debt numbers spin like a second hand on a
Comments are always welcome.

Some events and a ticket

July 29, 2011

Usually this time of year we try to list weekend
car events on Friday’s and even though there are
slim pickings we will list a few today.

Later today, is the Advance Auto Parts cruise-in
from 5-8 pm at their Village Shopping Center
location, 902 W Kimberly Road in Davenport.

Tomorrow is the Sycamore Cruise Night held in
downtown Sycamore, Illinois from 4-8 pm.

Sunday is the Turning Back Time Car Show also
in downtown Sycamore, Illinois, from 8 am to
4 pm. For more information about the cruise or
show call Chuck Criswell at 815-899-1184

The NASCAR Brickyard 400 is also held Sunday
in Indianapolis, Indiana, or on a TV near you.

On a different note, the other morning coming
home from work our son was stopped by a nice
policeman who had decided the pick-up had a
faulty exhaust and our son didn’t have insurance.

Being nervous our son handed him an expired
insurance card, quickly realized his mistake,
and tried to hand the policeman a current card.
He was told it was too late, he could explain
it to the judge.

The sad thing is, the exhaust isn’t faulty, nor
is it excessively loud. It isn’t stock by any
means, but we’d bet it would pass the decibel
level test handily. And he had insurance.

We understand that cops have bad days, and the
problem will be taken care of, but we do have a
problem with another part of the process. How
does anyone justify the fact that the ticket
for a faulty exhaust is $20, but after court
costs and fees the total jumps to $87!

If you don’t go to court and just pay the ticket,
you pay $87 for a $20 fine. They need to start
wearing masks.
Comments are always welcome.

Fort Hood, part II?

July 28, 2011

We just heard that an AWOL soldier has been arrested
over a possible plot to attack Fort Hood. Pvt. Nasser
Jason Abdo, who went AWOL from Fort Campbell, Kentucky
on July 4th was nabbed near Fort Hood.

He is being investigated for having child porn on
his government computer, applied for concientious
objector status, and had weapons and explosives in
his possession when arrested.

You may remember Fort Hood is the site of a shooting
attack by another soldier in 2009. There may be a
logical explanation as to why he went AWOL the day
before he was to ship out to Afghanistan. And perhaps
he was going to go pheasant hunting, but this is
getting old.

He is not charged yet and it is an alleged plot. For
more on the story, go here.
Comments are always welcome.

A thank you

July 28, 2011

When we started this blog in January of 2006, we
admitted that it was a work in progress. A plan was
hatched to give the blog 5 years, then see how it
was doing.

This is our 2,000th post, the five years have passed,
and we have decided to continue the blog into the
foreseeable future. Unless I figure out what I want
to be when I grow up of course.

Although it is time-consuming to do right, we have
enjoyed the process and look forward to doing more.
On most posts links aren’t added, not because we don’t
have them, but because most people don’t click on
them anyway.

We also feel that if someone was really interested
in a subject it wouldn’t take them long on a good
search engine to find all the information they want
and not just the information we have.

If someone does have an interest, and can’t find any
answers on their search engines, we are willing to
give it a try if asked.

During this time you readers have left 10,131
comments and we appreciate that. After all, if nobody
commented it would be like talking to ourselves.

We want to thank all who have stopped by, all who
took the time to leave a comment, and those who lent a
hand when asked. This blog would not be here without you.
Comments are always welcome.

This isn’t the first time

July 27, 2011

The debt ceiling rhetoric has gotten out of hand lately.
Obama and others seem to believe that this is the first
time something like this has happened. The problem with
the debt ceiling has been around as long as there has
been a debt ceiling.

If we were to say an event involved an ineffective
government, high home repossessions, and a bad recession,
when would think it happened? 2010? 2011?

Actually it happened 225 years ago in the great standoff
that was known as Shay’s Rebellion in 1786. Yes, the populist
citizen’s revolted against the nonsense during what came
to be called America’s first civil war.

In a real bit of irony, Shay’s rebellion even involved
a leader of the Tea Party! So what have our politicians
learned over those 225 years? It appears nothing.

We believe that debt ceiling has to raised at times.
The reason behind this line of thinking should be
obvious. We don’t know anyone who would expect our
leaders to try to stick to a budget set by our founding

And for this president to threaten us with holding Social
Security is ridiculous. First, it is not an entitlement
but paid for with taxes that are withheld from our pay
checks. For this president to threaten to withhold
pay from the military is also inexcusable.

The solution to the problem is there, just not politically
popular with the election looming in the near future.
Somebody in Washington has to be the parent and bring the
unruly children under control.

Mr. President the hole is deep enough, stop digging! We
do not need nor want another $500 billion stimulus. We
do not need nor do we want amnesty for illegal aliens.
The cupboard is so bare we may have to eat the dog.
Comments are always welcome.

Beautiful places

July 26, 2011

We were all set to do another post about the
nonsense going on in Washington when a talk
with a friend led us in another direction. We
talked about travels when we were younger and
how we were both awestruck by Salton Sea.

Salton Sea is an inland saline lake in the
Sonoran Desert of extreme southeastern
California, fed by the Alamo, New, and
Whitewater rivers.

The lake sits in the Salton Basin, a remnant
of the prehistoric Lake Cahuilla, and at 376
square miles in size it is the largest in the
state. It lays 228 feet below sea level and is
51 feet deep.

The salt level of Salton Sea is 41-44 TH PPM.
The Pacific Ocean is about 34 TH PPM. It is said
this concentration is increasing by 1% per year.

The Sea was dedicated in 1955, and today over
150,000 visitors enjoy the Sea each year. If
you like boating, water-skiing, fishing, jet-
skiing, hiking, birdwatching, and/or sailboarding,
it’s the place to visit.

If you plan on being in southern California and
like nature, this is a place for you. We don’t
believe you’ll find another spot like it.To
learn what part of the lake is closed, directions,
fees, or current weather, just use the link.
Comments are always welcome.

The Edsel

July 26, 2011

When we went to Dahl Ford to get our broken mirror
replaced, a humongous sign of an Edsel was being
hung on a wall. Since we were wondered what car to
work into our series on how cars got their name
this week, the choice was obvious.

Edsel Bryant Ford, was the only child of Henry
and Clara Jane Bryant Ford, was born on November
6th, 1893 in Detroit.

In 1915 he was named secretary of the Ford Motor
Company and on November 1, 1916 he married Eleanor
Lowtian Clay. She was a niece of Joseph L. Hudson
who owned the largest department store in Detroit.
He was also head of the Hudson Motor Car Co.

They had 4 children: Henry Ford II (1917-1987),
Benson Ford (1919-1978), Josephine Clay Ford (1923-
2005), and William Clay Ford (born 1925)

In December, 1918, Henry Ford unexpectantly
announced he was resigning as president of the
company and named Edsel his successor. This angered
many shareholders, particularly the Dodge brothers
who then sued the company for increased dividends.

He was a president of Ford Motor Company from 1919
until his death in 1943. In 1922 he bought the
Lincoln Motor Company because he wanted to produce
the best automobile available.

A little known fact is that Edsel bought the very
first MG motorcar imported to the United States.

He commissioned an aluminum boat-tailed speedster
custom designed by Ford’s first car designer, E.T.
Gregorie, powered by Ford’s brand-new flathead V-8
in 1932. Some experts say it was the first hot

Edsel bought the Stout Metal Aircraft Co. to
produce the Ford trimotor plane. Then Ford’s
aircraft division pioneered airlines and flew
the U.S. mail. He also introduced his father to
the man who would design a conveyor system for
mass production.

Edsel oversaw the Lincoln Zephyr in 1935 and
the Lincoln Continental in 1939. Others worked
on these cars but Edsel was both supervisor and

Edsel Ford died on May 26, 1943 at the age of 49,
after he contracted undulant fever (brucellosis)
from drinking unpasteurized milk from the Ford

He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetary
in Detroit. After his death, his father resumed
control of the Company.

His children inherited several shares in the
Ford Motor Company, all three of his sons worked
in the family company, and Henry Ford II took
over as president of Ford in 1945.

Edsel Ford was a patron of the arts, president of
the Detroit Arts Commission, and a collector of
African art. He commissioned Diego Rivera to paint
the Detroit Industry mural that hangs within the
Detroit Institute of Arts.

Edsel also helped finance exploratory expeditions
which included the historic flight of Admiral
Richard Byrd over the North Pole in 1926. In the
Antarctic, the Edsel Ford Range (mountains), Ford
Massif, Ford Nunataks, and Ford Peak were named
for Edsel Ford by Admiral Byrd.

Comments are always welcome.

Politician button

July 25, 2011

Well our president was on our TV again. We really
wish the remote had a politician button that would
switch over to a channel that doesn’t cover press

In what little of the speech we listened to Obama
was once again blaming George Bush and claiming he
inherited the debt. We also heard the “shared
sacrifice” rhetoric again. And of course his
reasoning behind us having to “tax the rich”.

We thought Boehner’s rebuttal sounded more presidential
than Obama’s speech. There are hard choices to be
made that have been passed on for years. We feel
our president does not need, nor should he receive,
a blank check.

The deficit has flourished under this president and
he has nobody to blame but himself. He pushed his
Obamacare, too big to fail bailouts, and stimulus
programs. All of which have done nothing to put our
people to work.

If he doesn’t pass a bill he gets, he is to blame.
And while he claims he won’t invoke the 14th
amendment we don’t trust him. We do live in
interesting times.
Comments are always welcome.