Are the dogs done?

January 31, 2014


Since the wife and I like to cruise our
favorite local haunts an article about
ending greyhound racing in Dubuque
caught my eye.

If we understand correctly the dog tracks
mentioned are owned by casinos and
subsidised by the state.

And since we don’t attend or bet on said
races we don’t pretend to know the
logistics involved.

But a couple of things caught our eye.

Had betting really gone from $186 million
per year in 1986 down to $5.9 million in

Then the Dubuque Racing Association
subsidised one track to the tune of $4.5
million last year.

Iowa lawmakers would have to vote to
approve ending the dog racing mandate if
if an agreement can be reached an agreement.

We realise that people would lose their
jobs if the tracks close and those at the
lower levels would probably remain without
a job.

But dog racing has been on the
decline for a while now.

And animal rights groups have been vocal
in their opposition to the sport.

Proponents claim the racing needs more
promotion, employees would like to stay
employed, while the casinos would like to
cut their losses.

Still, dog racing is something the Dubuque
area has that other areas with casinos do

We don’t have a side in this as our idea
of racing involves wheels and an engine but
believe not all the campers are going to
be happy when the dust settles.
Comments are always welcome.

An amazing story

January 30, 2014

If you haven’t heard of the Middle East
Conflicts Wall Memorial please take a few
minutes and watch the video.

Freedom isn’t free but as long a people
step up to bestow honor as they did in
Marseilles, Illinois its future is secure.

I admit my eyes leaked a little while I
watched this video, but I was also filled
with pride
Comments are always welcome.

Strange thoughts

January 29, 2014


Sometimes I think my brain belongs to
somebody else. It’s like I hear a phrase or
read something that seems uninteresting to
me but my brain runs wild.

Like have you given much thought to
psychoneuroimmunology? Thought not, but
after reading the word my brain kicked into

It is basically mind over matter. If you
don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

According to the Psychoneuroimmunology
Research Society it is the research in a
number of scientific and medical
disciplines including psychology,
neurosciences, immunology, pharmacology,
psychiatry, behavioral medicine, infectious
diseases, endocrinology and rheumatology,
who are interested in the interactions
between the nervous system and the immune
system, and the relationship between
behavior and health.

A simple, very unscientific scenario
might go as follows:

What would happen to some people if
regardless of how good they felt most
people they met remarked how bad they

If something like that happened to you
would you laugh, trot to the nearest mirror
or begin to wonder if you were sick?

There is a lot more to it than that, and
I’m certainly not the sharpest tack in
the box, but it did make me wonder.

I don’t know how that ten-dollar word
popped into my brain but I can say I won’t
miss it when it’s gone.
Comments are always welcome.

Alternative fuel?

January 28, 2014


A newsletter sent us on another quest to
find the truth. Actually it was the content
of said newsletter that got me thinking “if
it sounds too good to be true it isn’t”.

What at first appeared to be a sales pitch
for the gullible turned out to be fact. I
am again amazed at our technological

If I said we could make our own gas,
propane, and natural gas with water and
sunlight would you think I’d lost my mind?

One source even claims we could have our
own power plants to make it!

Admittedly that would be decades away, but
when 80% of our energy used is from some
form of fuel, it has to be a step in the
right direction.

At UC Santa Cruz a team of chemists
have designed a gadget that uses sunlight
and sewage to make hydrogen fuel.

The University of Minnesota is also
working on turning water and sunlight into

This may be ancient history to some, but
it sure is news to us. It would have to be
greener than ethanol and just as renewable.

As soon as it warms up I’m getting out the
garden hose and a bucket.
Comments are always welcome.

A truly amazing person

January 27, 2014

Sometimes we hear a tale that warms our
heart, makes our eyes leak, and restores
our faith in people.

What would you do after doctors tell
you to get your affairs in order, give your
soul to Jesus, and kiss your butt goodbye?

Scream, throw a pity party, pray?


After his ninth heart attack, Scottish
born Andy Mackie stopped taking his meds
and started making plans while his pastor
was arranging his memorial service.

He took the $600 he spent for monthly
medication and bought 300 harmonicas.

He then took the harmonicas, gave them to
school kids, and taught them how to play

He soon became known as the Harmonica Man.

He was always in pain but said he didn’t
think about how he felt when he was with
the kids.

In the ensuing 13 years he handed out
20,000 harmonicas and 5,000 of his handmade
strum sticks.

He lived in a motor home, taught music in
5 school districts, established the Andy
Mackie Music Foundation, and made the
Guinness Book of World Records after he
organized 1,706 harmonica players all
playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.

Mr. Mackie died in November of 2011, but
his amazing story lives on. And rightly so.
Comments are always welcome.

Diversions for a cold day

January 26, 2014

It’s so cold outside that dogs can walk on


The high winds aren’t helping either.
And these things have nothing to do with
this post other than the fact they made me
think of cars.

So let’s start with some gasser video.

One I admit not getting is this video of
low rider cars fighting.

Remember how they really looked?

And some you may not have seen.

We’ll even throw in a movie in case you’re
staying in too.

Instead of a song we present the whole

There are a few diversions just add
your favorite beverage and you are set.
Comments are always welcome.

Some days…

January 25, 2014


are crazier than others. We decided to go
to the indoor car show and since we didn’t
find advance tickets anywhere devised a

The event opened at 10 am and since we had
to buy tickets at the door, we decided to
wait until 10:30 to leave home for the 5
minute cruise.

Thus the line would be shorter along with
our wait in the cold to get in. I’m going
to quit planning.

Arriving promptly at 10:35 we were a little
surprised to see a sign that said “Full
lot” and someone directing traffic back
into the street.

Since we were the third car in a row we
played follow the leader. A city block away
the lead car pulled into a parking lot.

As we pulled in a guy came up to the car
and told us it would cost $5 to park there.
I paid while the wife opined it was
highway robbery.

At about this time we discovered that we
would have to transverse a 4-lane street
on a blind corner with icy spots placed
for our convience.

After walking the 2 blocks back to the
center we found nobody waiting to buy
tickets. At least that part went well.

I did take a camera but the cold did funny
things to the battery and it didn’t want
to work, yet we did get to talk to some
old friends and meet a few new ones.

After we left the show I got to thinking
about food and how good a cheeseburger
would taste. I was drooling all the way to
the A & W!

Their Bacon double cheeseburger with fries
and large frosty root beer really hit the
spot and the wife thought her fish, shrimp,
and chicken combo was good also.

I’m going to have to remember to jump to
plan c when there is a glitch. After all,
I do like cheeseburgers.
Comments are always welcome.