Year’s end

December 30, 2011

We wish everyone a Happy New Year! It
seems like only last week when we were
out cursing the snowblower during one
of last winters final snowfalls.

We don’t make New Year’s resolutions
to simplify things. If we make one, we
end up breaking it. Instead of making
these resolutions we won’t keep, we
give thanks.

We are thankful for those who visit this
blog, and hope they enjoy it while they’re
here. We have just passed 301,000 visits and
find that figure astounding. Thank you all.

Although we lost a few close friends
during the year, we are still thankful
for the time we got to spend with them.

We are thankful our families have been
healthy, and all the family gatherings
went off without a glitch.

Even though we consider it a curse, we
are thankful for our green thumb. If
you know me, you know I hate yard work.
We don’t mind nurturing a sick plant back
to health, then the upkeep gets boring.

We are thankful for friends and family
who support us during the hard times,
cheer us up during sad times, and help
us celebrate the good times.

We thank God we live in America and
have the freedoms we do. Even if we
aren’t happy with something, we still
have the freedom to state the fact that
we aren’t happy.

We are also thankful that we have an
election coming up, which ties in with
the freedoms mentioned above.

And we are thankful for the patriots
who volunteer to protect our freedoms
from those who wish to do us harm.
Comments are always welcome.

Restore the sanity

December 30, 2011

Our country has become a place where
everybody under the sun wants something.
Some believe it is all about them and
that rules should be changed to accomadate

Before we continue we’d like to state
that we are not homophobes, racists, or
elitists. We are realists. If you read
more into this post than is written and
it upsets you, so be it.

There is a 7 year old boy, who dresses
like a girl, and wants to join the
Girl Scouts. His mother claims he was
born in the wrong body; others say if he
dresses like a girl and looks like a girl,
he should be considered a girl.

We would say he is not a girl, but a
boy who wears girls clothing. At age
seven he is a bit young to know much
of anything, and his mother should be
cited for child abuse. If he feels the
same at 18, more power to him.

Then we have atheists who seem to get
migranes every time they see a cross
or someone wishes them Merry Christmas.
Since 78% of this country considers themselves
Christian, while only 1.6% consider
themselves atheists, we believe we
have heard enough.

With the numbers so one-sided we
believe that even you, as an atheist,
should be able to figure out that by a
margin of about 39 to 1 you are
outnumbered. If you do not care for what
the majority of Americans are doing, don’t
go around us while we’re doing it.

At some point we have to restore the
Comments are always open.

Kinda sorta rant

December 28, 2011

We want to begin this post with a disclaimer.
Items mentioned may or may not be true as we
couldn’t get confirmation; but we do feel it
is possible some, or all, is true.

Some of us have been hearing of problems
with the $15 million dispatch center for
a while now. As happens sometimes, there
are two sides to the story.

The police who have to use the ‘New World’
system and the union that represent them
hate it and claim it doesn’t work. The Mayor
and management side of the equation claim it
works fine, and our Mayor even claims the
police are untrained in its use.

Which comes down to; this County
Communication System is either the greatest
thing since sliced bread, or the biggest
lemon since the Edsel. And if it’s the
greatest, why is the developer getting sued?

At times like this we ask ourself “who
has more to gain by lying?” An officer on
patrol has enough stress without faulty
equipment, and the union doesn’t usually
doesn’t get involved in trivial matters.

The Mayor and higher-ups on the other
hand, signed off on the project and
promised us voters this would improve our
Police Department and thus, public
safety. But we keep hearing of the
$30,000+ patches needed.

If true that arrests are down 30%, not
because of less crime, but because the
system doesn’t work, we have a problem.
If the electronics go out more often than
a 2nd street hooker, we have a problem.
Public safety should come before saving

Meantime, our city government hired a
contractor to build a road to build a
$1.7 million bicycle bridge to nowhere,
while telling city union workers they
can only afford a 1% one year raise,
while begging the state to take over the
city retirement payments, while trying to
figure out how to give the city
administrator a big raise.

Nothing wrong here.
Comments are always welcome.

Dangerous cupcakes

December 28, 2011

If you listened to the Jim Fisher Show
Tuesday, you may have heard him talking
about the TSA in the train station
harassing a lawyer.

The TSA is patting itself on the back
with a claim that over 40 million
prohibited items have been intercepted
since 2002.

Well, that should make us feel better.
Especially when you hear about how they
consider cupcakes
frightening and thus banned.

And now that the TSA has many of us
avoiding airports, they have decided to
harass us in bus and train stations, on
the highways, and even our kids’ high school prom.

The TSA spends $5 billion on aviation
security, and $110 million on surface
transportation security, per year.

The “viper” teams (Visable Intermodal
Prevention and Response) carried out
more than 9,300 unannounced checkpoints
over the last 12 months.

All this with no threat found, no
explosives found, absolutely no proof
that we are any safer because the Agency
exists, and no regard for our Constitutional
Comments are always welcome.

Is the Electric vehicle old news?

December 26, 2011

We have to wonder what our bailed-out
automakers are thinking. While we can
purchase an electric-powered Volt, it
comes at a hefty price.

Even after the government rebates, the
car costs north of $30,000. What most
don’t know is that each vehicle sold is
subsidized to the tune of over $120,000.

This will go down as more units are
made and sold, but as of November that
figure is close.

For those who haven’t heard, Tata
Motors and Luxemburg MDI have come up
with a solution to the problem. In 2012
the Tata MiniCAT will be produced in

What makes this vehicle different is that
it runs on air! With a range of around 125
miles, and a fill-up costing a few bucks,
they may be on to something. And filling with
enough air would take 2 or 3 minutes.

Top speed is only around 60 mph, but this
alternative vehicle will sell for around

The Tata MiniCAT uses two carbon
fiber tanks which are charged to 4,350
psi. Weight is kept down by using a tube
chassis and fiberglass body panels.

It will feature a microprocessor and
won’t use a key. Instead, it will
recognize your user card, in your
pocket, before you reach the vehicle.

And since the exhaust temperature is
between 0 and 15 below zero, it will
also help air-condition the car in the
summer with no loss of power.

We don’t want to say this vehicle is
without expense though. Every 30,000-
50,000 miles you have to change the
1 quart of vegetable oil in the

Granted, Tata had some help from an
ex-Formula One engineer in Luxemburg,
but where’s ours?
Comments are always welcome.

Another Christmas past

December 26, 2011

We survived another Christmas and
family is still talking to us. At
least dad was when we called earlier.

The pictures are of a small sculpture
called Flathead Flyer by Speed Freaks. I had been tossing around the idea of getting one
but could never follow through.

Now that it is actually setting on
the entertainment center I decided that
I really like it. And somebody over in
England has entirely too much time on
their hands.

Our small Christmas celebration went off
without a hitch, then the presents were
exchanged while laundry was getting done.

We hope that if you celebrate, yours
went as smoothly as ours. If you don’t
celebrate we hope you enjoyed the fine
weather anyway.

Remember that garbage and recycle pickup
will be a day late this week.
Comments are always welcome.

Christmas repost

December 24, 2011

We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year. We posted this poem on
Christmas Eve 2006, found it got popular this
time of year, and are reposting it now.

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone,
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owned their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

Soon ’round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of soldiers like this one laying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
my life is my God, my country, my Corps.”

With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the night’s chill.

The true story of the poem is that while a Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th &I, Washington, DC, under Camandant P.X. Kelly and the Battalionn Commander D.J. Myers (in 1986), I wrote this poem to hang on the door of the Gym in the BEQ. When Colonel Myers came upon it, he read it and immediately had copies sent to each department at the Barracks and promptly dismissed the entire Battalion early for Christmas leave. The poem was placed that day in the Marine Corps Gazette, distributed worldwide and later submitted to Leatherneck Magazine.
Comments are always welcome.

Cards, drags, and shows

December 22, 2011

This post is a few Christmas cards
and some upcoming events. The events
start in January and run through May,
but it never hurts to plan ahead.

January 1, 2012, is the 11th Annual
at Cordova Dragway
Park in Cordova, Illinois. Gates
will open at 10 am and racing will
start at 11 am.

January 15-22, 2012, is the Barrett-Jackson
in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Coverage on the Speed channel will
start on January 17th.

January 20-22, 2012, is the 29th Annual
Rod & Custom Auto, Motorcycle & Products
at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 4th
Avenue, Rock Island, Illinois.

February 25 & 26, 2012, is the 42nd
Annual Rod & Custom Car Show
at the
Berndes Center in Monticello, Iowa.

On May 4-5, 2012, is the Torque Fest
at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in
Maquoketa, Iowa.

Almost forgot, here’s a video that might make you shudder, but nobody was hurt in the accident.
Comments are always welcome.


December 22, 2011

A friend sent us the following, and we don’t know
the author. We liked it and thought it fitting.

‘Twas the night before Christmas and in the garage,
There wasn’t a trace of a Ford or a Dodge.
The presents were wrapped and the lights were all lit,
So I figured I’d mess with the NOVA for a bit. …

I popped the release and I lifted the hood,
When a deep voice behind me said “looks pretty good.”
Well, as you can imagine, I turned mighty quick,
And there, by the workbench, stood good ol Saint Nick!

We stood there a bit, not too sure what to say,
Then he said “don’t suppose that you’d trade for my sleigh?
I said “no way, Santa” and started to grin,
“But if you’ve got the time we could go for a spin!”

His round little mouth, all tied up like a bow,
Turned into a smile and he said “hey! Let’s go!!”
So as not to disturb all the neighbors’ retreat,
We pushed the NOVA quietly into the street,

Then, taking our places to drift down the hill,
I turned on the key and I let the clutch spill.
The sound that erupted took him by surprise,
But he liked it a lot, by the look in his eyes.

With Mickey Thompsons a’ cryin’ and Flowmasters aglow,
We headed on out where the hot rodders go.
And Santa’s grin widened, approaching his ears,
With every shift up as I went through the gears.

Then he yelled “can’t recall when I’ve felt so alive!”
So I backed off the gas and said “you wanna drive?”
Ol Santa was stunned when I gave him the keys,
When he walked past the headlights he shook at the knees!

Then the small block exploded with Flowmaster sound!
Santa let out the clutch and the tires shook the ground!
Power shift into second, again into third!

I sat there just watching, at loss for a word,
Then I heard him exclaim as we blasted from sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, it’s a hell of a night!!!”

A gentle rant

December 22, 2011

We have a lot to get done Thursday to
put the finishing touches on the
Christmas get together. Since it’s
so close to Christmas, we’ll make this
a gentle rant.

We’ve heard the president will be airing
commercials during the Christmas holidays
to get him re-elected. We are not a big
fan of being blasted with politics from
the media during our observance of

We don’t care if someones 94-year-old
Grandma, who used to vote Republican, is
going to vote for Obama. He can’t run on
his record so he’s going to try to
baffle us with BS.

Any ads we see or calls we receive are
noted and we do not vote for whomever
infringes on our celebration. There is
still plenty of time after Christmas to
campaign and drive us nuts with your
ego-laced ads.

We don’t consider politicians nearly as
important as they themselves do. All we
feel they are good for is messing up our
budget every time they pass another bill
to help their budget.

And remember, Christmas means it’s less
than a month to the first indoor car show
of the New Year.
Comments are always welcome.