Just a few things

December 16, 2017

The Davenport Police Department just got some good news. Two
officers who were suspended after an officer involved shooting
have been cleared and the shooting justified. One officer was
wounded in the incident which happened a block and a half from
our abode.

We hope both officers are coping well and have their hearing
back. As someone who has been present during a few shootings in
confined spaces I know it took a while for my hearing to come
back, in one ear. Being inside a closed building can make many
sidearms sound like cannons.

And I just found out a friend of 50 years is back in a nursing
home. Not sure why he was taken out of assisted living but am
making plans to pay him visit. Back in the day one of my nicknames
was M.D., which I was told stood for motor doctor. As good as
they thought I was my friend could always squeeze just a little
more power out of any engine I assembled. Hang in there Steve.

Finally, our annual debate over our wedding anniversary is
ongoing as I write this. The wife still claims it’s December
20th, yet I got married on the 21st. She claims she didn’t have
a honeymoon and I remember a beautiful 2 week honeymoon on a
tropical island. You’d think after 30 years she’d get it right.

I did get her a thoughtful gift though. While out at a local
farm supply store I bought her a brand new travel mug to
replace the one that broke not long ago. She must have liked it
as it left her speechless!

Enjoy our Saturday, it looks to be a good one here with a high
temperature around 50 degrees. Now I need more coffee so I have
enough caffeine in me to be sociable when we run some errands
later.
Comments are always welcome.

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Lets be careful

November 25, 2017

Cyber Monday is just around the corner and if you plan on
buying online during this crazy day you should be aware of a
few basics to keep yourself, and your money, safe.

First, make sure you have a secure connection and don’t use
public wifi for shopping. Those who want to separate us from
our money will be working overtime Monday. Always check to see
that the site you’re ordering from has a URL that begins with
“https” and not “http”.

You shouldn’t use debit cards to shop online. If hacked using
your debit card gives the criminals direct access to your bank
account. Use a credit card.

Be wary of the scams on social media. Fake offers jump this
time of year so remember to be careful. If you see something
advertised on social media and feel you need to have it, at
least check to ensure the deal is real.

Avoid the pop up ads that may expose you to cross-site
scripting attacks, or malicious sites.

If you use a search engine in your quest for the best deal,
verify the deal by doing a search with the name of the deal in
quotes. If it’s a scam a warning may be issued and that will
show up in the search results.

Delete you Cyber Monday emails that have attachments, this
goes double if the attachment is in the form of a zip file.

There are malicious QR codes out there. These are the codes
you scan with you smartphone camera that may contain coupons,
or marketing materials, but hackers created codes that will
link you to a phishing or malware site.

Finally, if a site asks for too much personal information you
should leave the site. A legitimate business will not ask for
for social security number or anything about your passwords.

We don’t do Cyber Monday so it’s a case of not my circus, not
my monkeys. All we ask is that you be careful while ordering
online. Enjoy our Saturday and will have a snicker later.
Comments are always welcome.


Almost Veteran’s Day thoughts

November 10, 2017


USS Iowa in dry dock.

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day even though we’re having our local
parade today, and Happy Birthday to the Marine Corps today! We
won’t make the parade today as the lady who follows me around
has a goofy work schedule, but we’ll be there in spirit.

So Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served. You are
but a small percentage of the population yet managed to keep
us free. Thank you for your service.

I was asked the other day why I don’t use the VA hospital and
so I informed the questioner that I had in the past as the VA
was doing a study on people with injuries like mine. And I went
most of the 8 years of the study.

But on the rare occasion I need medical attention, we have a
hospital 5 minutes away from our house. I just can’t see the
logic of driving for over an hour to get to the closest VA
hospital.

The truth of the matter is, I don’t like hospitals. People die
in them, and sometimes by medical mistakes. I’ve always
believed that when my time comes a doctor won’t help if God
decides he wants me.

I don’t like visiting someone in the hospital either. I can
last about an hour if I’m lucky before I work my way through
the maze they call corridors to the elevator and out the doors.
But I digress.

Enjoy our the rest of our day and the Marine Corps birthday,
Veteran’s Day tomorrow, see a parade if you can, and thank a
vet.
Comments are always welcome.


An amazing woman

October 16, 2017

You probably haven’t heard of Amanda Marsh but you may if you
see the movie “Only the Brave” when it comes out on October 20.
She is the widow of Eric Marsh who was a wildland fire fighter.
Because of her husbands death she was a consultant on the film
when it referred to her husband.

When younger, she and her family lived in Chino Hills,
California. She moved to Arizona to study creative writing at
Prescott College and spent her nights in a bar. She had a
problem with alcohol when younger, had stopped, and met her
husband in a 12-step program. Eric Marsh talked at one meeting
about his work with the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

They discovered they had mutual interest in music, rock
climbing, and horses so in January of 2010 Eric proposed during
a trip to the San Juan Mountains. The first fire of that season
left Amanda alone and she knew she couldn’t live by his
schedule as work became his mistress.

She got busy and worked their horses and grew her business
while he fought fires. They had settled into a routine
until June, 2013, when she received the call that her
husbands crew was missing.

When news did come she wanted a beer and cigarette but didn’t
act on it. She remained sober a day at a time and later sold
their place with the five-horse stable and got her own place,
started the Eric Marsh Foundation for Wildland Firefighters,
consulted on the film, and some criticized her of being in it
for the money as her business prospered.

We believe she is an amazing lady who is surviving and keeping
her husbands memory alive through the foundation. We find it
hard to believe that some people would try to shame her for
that.

Enjoy our Monday, it’s the first day of the rest of our lives.
Comments are always welcome.


Two things from Iowa

October 10, 2017

First, if you live in the 6th ward here in Davenport please
take the time to vote today. As you should know, if you live in
the 6th ward, 5 people are running and only 2 can be on the
ballot for the general election.

The other is about and article in the Chicago Tribune from
July 6, 1963. The headline grabbed my attention and I had to
read it. Said headline stated “Iowa Ends 47 Yr. Drouth on
Liqour-by-the-Drink”.

The article is above and can be enlarged by clicking on it,
but what caught my eye was the spelling of drought. I don’t
think I’ve ever seen it spelled that way before, but have heard
it pronounced in that manner.

So I did an online search and one source assured me it was just
another way to spell drought. That made sense in a way but
didn’t really fit. So after more searching the Urban Dictionary
proclaimed it was a Scottish word that meant thirsty. The
latter seemed a better fit.

Since I was only 12 years old when article came out I knew
very little about Iowa Liquor laws or how people got around
them. After reading said article I believe it must have been
a big deal for someone to fly to our Capital just to get the
first liquor license.

It also gave me a chuckle when I came to the part that
mentioned the drink price included a 10% occupational tax. The
tax is probably the only reason our state government allowed
it as the tax would bring in revenue.

I did find it a little hard to believe that our stae didn’t
allow booze to be sold by the drink for 47 years but as the
saying goes, live and learn. One can almost hear the opposition
wailing about how the citizens of Iowa were going to all be
passed out in the gutters because of this.

If memory serves me correctly the drunkest times were in the
mid 1800s when more alcohol was consumed per capita than before
or since.

Now I need more coffee and I spied some leftover pizza that
needs a friend. Enjoy our Tuesday.
Comments are always welcome.


Sad anniversary

September 11, 2017

Hard to believe another year has passed and 9-11 is here
again. The anniversary of the day the towers fell and Americans
rose. We cannot forget the lunacy of the terrorists behind the
attack who thought the event would bring the country to its
knees.

I remember September 11th, 2001. I arrived at a friends
muffler shop that day to hang quarter panels and rocker panels
on his 54′ Chevy and during a break went into the office but
entered the Twilight Zone.

We stood in silence watching the attack unfold on a small TV
and stared in disbelief. Some were ready to fight, others to
enlist, and a few sad. It was a day none of us will ever
forget.

2,977 people lost their lives including 31 Muslims who were
not terrorists. Please take a moment today to remember.
Comments are always welcome.


Three problems

August 27, 2017

While the rain has put a damper on outdoor activities on the
east coast of Iowa news of all sorts has been filtering through
our daily lives. The storms in Texas, the nut job with the bowl
haircut firing a few missiles, and the Navy not being to
navigate friendly waters come to mind.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Texas, we can only
imagine the grief caused. We know the fact that help is on the
way is of little consequence to those hardest hit but there is
not much more to be said at this point.

North Korea fired off three missiles yesterday and a thinking
man has to wonder where the threat is. The first missile failed,
the second blew up shortly after being launched, and the third
missile failed. This means only one of two things.

Either they are dumber than bricks for trying the same thing
over and over, are they are intentionally firing off the duds
so others get complacent. I don’t like either of those options.

As I perused the Navy Times a story caught my eye and had me
staring at the monitor in disbelief. The headline was ‘Maybe
today’s Navy is just not very good at driving ships’. Huh?
Isn’t a Navy supposed to involve ships?

As I read the article I was concerned as the statement came
from a retired Navy Captain. First off, you don’t drive a ship.
A helmsman pilots the ship. Surface Warfare Officers don’t even
know the terminology? According to the retired captain ‘the
current generation of officers rising into command level
billets lacks the skills, training, education and experience
needed to operate effectively and safely at sea’.

This begs the question, who on the ship does have the skill to
operate the ship safely? 17 dead sailors this summer because
the ability to operate a ship in open seas is unknown to those
doing so? I’m glad my hitch occurred when we knew how to do it
safely and bring all hands back to port.

It may just be time to bring God back to the public. Enjoy
our Sunday, I’ll still be shaking my head tomorrow.
Comments are always welcome.