Protecting our military

November 30, 2011

Our area just lost two more young men
in Afghanistan, one was only 22 and on
his second tour. Since IEDs were
involved we decided to take a look at
whats being done to protect those who
defend our freedom.

We’re gearheads so we looked at
a few vehicles being used. The war
began with the High Mobility
Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV),
or Humvee. At the beginning of
the recent wars the Humvees had little
armor and casualties were high.

In 2007 we started using Mine Resistant
Ambush Protected (MRAPs). Weighing over 20 tons
loaded and top heavy these vehicles
did present some problems due to the
terrain of the area.

The MRAP would get mired in loose soil
and roll over on grades that didn’t
affect the Humvee. But the crew would
survive a 200 pound bomb blast, and
missile fire from rocket-propelled
grenade launchers.

By late 2008, the Pentagon knew it had
a problem with the MRAP and looked for
a replacement. Enter the M-ATV, or MRAP All-Terrain

The contract was awarded to Oshkosh
Defense in early 2009 and the Pentagon
began a huge airlift campaign to get the
vehicles from the factories in Wisconsin
and Pennsylvania to Charleston, South
Carolina where the Navy Electronics Command
fitted them radios and classified systems.

When finished there the vehicles went to
nearby Charleston Air Force Base and were
crammed into C-17s, larger C-5s, and chartered 747 freighters.

The M-ATVs were so large they only cleared
the cargo doors by inches, and some on
the scene likened it to putting a couch
in a closet. And they left the Air Force
Base at a rate of 30 a day.

Although these vehicles aren’t cheap, we
believe saving the lives of our men and
women protecting us is priceless.
Comments are always welcome.

Since when….

November 30, 2011

When Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated
on March 4, 1801, he walked from the
Conrad and McMunn’s boarding house to
the ceremony.

He then delivered a 1,721 word speech in
Senate chambers and took the oath of office
administered by Chief Justice John Marshall.

He ran against John Adams as a

When Bush II vacationed at his ranch it
cost us taxpayers and estimated $250,000.
This included Air Force One, the cargo
planes to bring the limousines and support
vehicles, security, and staff.

When Obama took a bunch of friends overseas,
and booked most of an expensive hotel,
the cost was estimated at $200 million
a day. This included the passenger jets,
the cargo planes for 6 limos,the
accompanying support vehicles, security,
staff, and meals.

Which begs the question; why does the
president get the royal treatment? Is all
this hoopla really necessary? We believe
the pomp should be reduced until such time
as our country is on better financial
Comments are always welcome.

Trying new things

November 28, 2011

First we’d like to wish our son a
Happy Birthday on the 29th. It seems
like yesterday he was a little tyke
and now he’s got 50 pounds on me.
On to the post:

This may be hard for some to believe,
but we do know some people who could
be considered health nuts. And before
this past Sunday I had never heard of
wheat berries.

I stopped by such a friend’s place for
a little chat Sunday and he mentioned
he had a lot of wheat berries and asked
if we wanted some. What he showed me
looked like plump brown rice and I took

He claimed they were good for break-
fast so we boiled some up. Told to
think of it like hot cereal, I quickly
loaded on the sugar and dug in. I have
to admit I’m now a convert to at least
one product sold in a Health Food

Technically that’s alright because
they aren’t green. I have an aversion
of green food. The way I look at it,
if the government can call pizza a
vegetable, I can admit to liking
wheat berries.

After the wife and I had our wheat
berry breakfast I sat down at the
computer to find out a little about
what we had just consumed.

Wheat berry is basically the entire
wheat kernel, minus the hull. Eastern
Europeans use them to make a Christmas
porridge called kutya, and in France
they are used as a side dish like rice.

The nutrition isn’t bad either.
Comments are always welcome.

November 27, 2011

We admit to occasionally following the
antics of the Occupy Wall Street protest
and others like it throughout our country.

These groups that are backed by
several communist organizations, and
condoned by our president, Pelosi,
and others. The groups of the
uninformed who honestly believe
that those backing the movement
actually care about them.

The most recent point we’ve heard
they’re trying to make is a $10
minimum wage for those who work for
the companies who receive government

We don’t believe in a minimum wage
and we’ll explain why. First, some
jobs just aren’t trying enough to
justify a big wage. Most just need
someone who doesn’t get bored doing
repetitive work.

Then there are some people who just
aren’t worth the minimum wage. We
don’t say this to degrade them, only
to make a point.

This is what we call the Monkey
theory. If you can teach a monkey to
do it but not a human, hire the

There is no shame in doing such a
job, but when the bleeding hearts
want to raise their wages, it costs
us all.

The companies do not absorb the extra
cost, we consumers do. And that is
why we feel a big increase in the
minimum wage is basically another
tax on the middle class.
Comments are always welcome.

Consider this

November 26, 2011

There appears to be two very different
mindsets when it comes to what is ailing
our country. Put simply, there are people
who believe in capitalism and those who

It seems almost like recently it has
turned into the government against big
business. So we will try to explain it
to those who believe big business is evil.

Big business would not be in business if
we didn’t buy their products. Once again
we will use big oil as an example.

Most big oil corporations are publicly
traded companies. Big oil is a good long
term investment and more people than you
might think own stock with the purpose
of using the proceeds to fund their

Government on the other hand, is not a
good business partner, doesn’t sell a
product, cannot balance a budget, and
refuses to cut spending, while giving
themselves raises without regard to
the economy.

Now, just recently, the oil companies
wanted a new refinery and a pipeline
from Canada. Between the two it would
have meant 200,000 new jobs, billions
into the economy, and millions in taxes.

The government decided not to let the
oil companies have either and patted
themselves on the back as they believed
they had “won” the battle. Big oil
wouldn’t have the refinery or the pipe-
line and thus would stop drilling.

But government forgot that big oil is
a for profit entity that does get things
done. And their solution was simplicity
at it’s best.

Big oil would use railroads to bring
in the diesel fuel the refinery would
have produced and also to move the
crude they were producing out.

Some were worried about a spill on
the pipeline and how terrible that
would be. But consider this; if the
government would stop acting like a
spoiled child we would not have to
import a drop of oil, the cost to us
would drop, they would still get their
taxes, and a lot more people would
be working.

And if there is a spill, remember
that oil is a natural resource. It
comes out of the ground, not a test
Comments are always welcome.


November 25, 2011

We just found out that today is
the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Although it is a
mouthful, we felt it a worthy cause.

The Department of Justice just
release the news today or we would
have mentioned this earlier.

The day is to remind us of all the
women who are victims of domestic
and dating violence, sexual assault
and stalking, here and around the

It is also to make us aware of need
to rid us of all forms of violence
against women, their children, and
their families.

There is help for those who need it,
and calls can be made to National
Domestic Violence Hotline at
1-800-799-SAFE or the National Sexual
Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
Comments are always welcome.

We did it…

November 24, 2011

We survived another holiday. We are
blessed in that my Dad and both of
my wife’s parents are still living.
On days like Thanksgiving though, it
can be a bit of a curse.

We start out at Dad’s and have a
little bit of everything then run out
to the in-laws to eat again a few
hours later.

By the time we make it back home I
swear off eating for week, only to
be in our fridge a few hours later.
Of course by the time I’m ready to
call it a day the pie is calling to me.

In the morning the wife will be mad
at me because even though I’ve
probably consumed 4,000 calories I
won’t gain weight. I’m told it’s
my metabolism.

The in-laws live in Eldridge, and
I’ve been told I have a real problem
doing 55 mph on the highway. In my
defense, there are some nice two-lane
blacktops out there that just beg you
to push it.

I actually did keep it at 55 for a
while, until the speed limit went
from 45 to 35. Happy Black Friday.
Comments are always welcome.