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.

Antigonish or indigestion?

January 24, 2014


Lately I’ve been feeling like part of the
poem “Antigonish”. It was written in 1899
by Hughes Means and goes as follows:

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today,
I wish, I wish he’d go away…

When I came home last night at three,
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…

Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn’t there,
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away…

It is said the poem was inspired by tales
of a ghost roaming the stairs of a haunted
house in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

But now when I nod off, I see ghosts. The
scenes are all from years ago, but the
“ghosts” are the same age as when they
died, and I am my actual age now.

We sit at the kitchen table eating
doughnuts and drinking beer while talking
about things that were relevent then.

Subjects like Kennedy getting shot, if we
could actually make it to the moon, or if
we were going to have another war.

The sequence doesn’t change only the dead
people at the table with me. One night it
is all loved ones while the next night I’m
surrounded by friends.

And this causes me wonder if it is an omen
to get me to change my ways or to get my
affairs in order? I don’t feel sick.

If I were younger in the dreams my belief
would be that I’m missing those who leave
their grave to visit.

Not one to roll over on a challenge I’ve
decided to double up on my exercise
routine and try to figure something close
to healthy for my diet.

Perhaps 90% lean hamburger for my double
cheeseburgers and fries? At least I have
something to ponder on these cold winter
Comments are always welcome.

Murphy’s Law in action

January 23, 2014

Sometimes things happen that cannot be
explained. One such incident just occurred
at the 2014 Grand National Roaster Show.


One of the contenders fired up his ride
to approach the viewing area so his car
could be judged when his throttle stuck.


He ran over judging chairman Vic
Cunnyngham and continued until he hit one
of the front doors.

Mr. Cunnyngham was airlifted from the
Pomona, California Fairplex to a local
hospital and is recovering from non
life-threatening injuries.

The Grand National Roadster Show is the
longest running Indoor car show in the
world celebrating its 65th year this time

To see all the contenders for the coveted
America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy,
go here.

So the next time you’re on the road
cruising and you get a hitch in your giddy-
up, just remember that it can happen to
any of us.

We wish Mr. Cunnyngham a speed recovery,
the car owner has good insurance, and that
you enjoyed the telling of this tale if
you haven’t heard it.
Comments are always welcome.

Various thoughts

January 22, 2014

Now that the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale
auction is history, here is an update.

The auction pulled in more than $113
million, sold 1,399 cars, had around
300,000 attendees, and sold 14 vehicles
for various charities.

Celebrities included Rusty Wallace, Jeff
Gordon, Rick Hendrick, Gene Simmons,
Shannon Tweed, Don Prudhomme, Ton McEwen,
Reggie Jackson, and Linda Vaughn to name
a few.

The charity cars raised just north of
$4.4 million, which all went to the


A 1967 Corvette L88 coupe got the high
dollar spot selling for $3.85 million
which made it the most expensive Corvette
ever sold at an auction.

A 1969 Corvette race car brought $2.86

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
coupe went for $2.09 million.

A 1998 Ferrari F300 hammered down at a
mere $1.87 million.

And rounding out the top five was a 1963
Shelby Cooper Monaco King Cobra at $1.65

If you had a favorite and didn’t see what
it sold for you can go here and find

We’re trying to find tickets for the Rod
and Custom show this weekend but aren’t
having a lot of luck.

It is so much easier to have the tickets
in hand and walk in instead of having to
stand in the lines to buy tickets there.

And finally we’d like to wish Jim Fisher
a speedy recovery. We miss watching his
smiling face on the radio. Get well soon.
Comments are always welcome.