It’s official

November 14, 2017

The circus is here is to stay and the politicians are still
running the big top. After seeing an article by Barbara
Rodriguez of the Associated Press (AP) about the internal
investigation of sexual harassment in the Senate Republican
caucus of Iowa, I thought perhaps I was wrong about the drive
by media and perhaps they do hard hitting, fact filled news.

But I was wrong. No offense against the author of the article,
it is well written. But when the first paragraph is “An
investigation into alleged sexual harassment within the Senate
Republican caucus of the Iowa Legislature is complete,
according to a top official within the office, but there will
be no report about it and no information will be shared with
the public.”, I admit to being skeptical.

The senior aide to the Senate Majority Leader said “additional
information cannot be shared because it’s a personnel issue”.
Well, that’s comforting. The article later states that a woman
complained of sexual harassment in 2013, was fired hours later,
and went on to win a lawsuit against the state and a $1.75
million settlement.

So a state with 3.1 million residents pays almost $2 million
to a victim and it’s none of said residents business? I will
admit to being confused. The article has more to say, but this
was what got my goat. It looks like this transparent government
is working well, for the politicians.

If you wish to read the entire article, this one in US News,
go here.

Yeah, the old we’ve got nothing to hide but we can’t tell you
what happened. It’s just the same old bull being shipped on a
different day.

Enjoy our Tuesday, it means we survived Monday the 13th. Now
I need to get more coffee and count my pizzas in the freezer.
Comments are always welcome.

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Armistice Day storm

November 11, 2017

We’ve been told for some time now that climate change is going
to end mankind as we know it. Gloom and doom are predicted. We
seem to forget history along the way, and thus, are doomed to
repeat it. In my lifetime we’ve heard of impending ice ages and
heat waves beyond belief.

None of which came to be. These threats did manage to raise
the cost of certain things while not changing anything. We were
being manipulated then as now. Dad talks about the record
breaking heat wave in the summer of 1937, we’ll talk of another
weather event.

Veteran’s Day used to be called Armistice Day and on November
11th, 1940 a super-storm came through Iowa and other parts of
the country. Global Warming? On that November day in 1940, it
was 58 degrees at 9 am.! Parades were being held in celebration
of the holiday, hunters were in the field, and it looked to be
a picture perfect holiday.

During the local parade the bands wind instruments froze when
the temperature dropped to 33 degrees in about a half hour. The
storm hit the Pacific northwest with near hurricane force winds
and didn’t weaken as it raced east. The storm inhaled moisture
from the Gulf of Mexico and cold air from Canada to become a
super-storm.

The winds that hit that day were called “the winds of hell”
and it is said they reached 70 mph. And then came the blizzard.
Two trains collided, hunters died in the field, boats and
freighters sank on Lake Michigan killing 66 sailors, one million
Thanksgiving turkeys died, and Collegeville, Minnesota
saw 27 inches of snow fall.

The storm tracked from Des Moines to Eau Clair, and the
pressure dropped to around 29 inches of Mercury. When it was
over it was discovered the storm had cut a 1,000 mile wide
path through the middle of our country.

The reason a storm warning wasn’t issued was because the
Midwest headquarters of the government forecaster in Chicago
wasn’t staffed overnight to track the storm. With today’s
advanced technology we hope this couldn’t happen again.

So don’t tell us how climate change is going to cause severe
weather changes and what we have to give up to stop it. Look to
the past for the answers.

Enjoy our Veteran’s Day.
Comments are always welcome.


Sunday service

November 5, 2017

Yes, it’s time for another edition concerning cars. In this
one we’ll take a quick walk down memory lane before going back
to the future. This is one concept we hope makes it to
production.

If you’re old enough to remember commercials from the late
1960s this one might start a stroll down memory lane, “Ford
has a better idea”. Wonder how many Mustangs they sold with
that ad campaign? Well, we don’t know if they had a better
idea in 1968, but we’ve heard of one they have now that
caught our eye.

Ford engine designer, Jim Clarke, has designed an engine that
has a turbocharger for each cylinder. Ever since the fuel
economy standard and the emission laws came out designers have
been looking for a way around them. Ford is already in the
game with their EcoBoost engine with its turbocharger.

If you have an EcoBoost powered vehicle, as we do, you know it
has enough power for a long Interstate cruise and sips gas
while doing. Ours has been reliable in the short time we’ve
had it. The engine also doesn’t suffer from turbo lag.

The new engines are being designed with the intent to get more
and cleaner power out of a smaller engine. These won’t have neck
snapping, tire smoking, super car power but more than enough to
get out of its own way.

Back to Mr. Clarke’s new engine. His concept is called
synergistic induction and turbocharging. That’s 10 dollar words
for an engine with two throttle bodies on each cylinder instead
of just one, and a turbo on every cylinder. The turbos will also
be smaller as there are more of them.

For now this is only a concept, but with a CAFE standard that
will force car-makers to produce vehicles that get over 54 mpg
in the foreseeable future, it’s an option to an electric car.

This isn’t a pipe dream. BMW has 3 and 4 cylinder engines with
multi-turbos, Volkswagen has one with electric turbos, and as
mentioned Ford has the EcoBoost. It will be an honest rival to
the electric with great gas mileage, and we hope they run with
it.
Comments are always welcome.


Wait, what?

November 1, 2017

We survived to see November and I’m still waiting for my White
Privelege card to arrive. We seem to hear the complaint that we
white folks don’t know what’s like to be stopped by the police
for driving while black. I don’t.

That being the case one would assume they don’t know what it’s
like surviving while white. So here is a sample of what we put
up with breathing while white. As an older white male who has
owned several vehicles over the years let’s put dealing with
the DOT while white out there.

Here we take a number and sit until our number is called, and
to be fair, everybody does this. My problem with the DOT begins
when I get to the counter. The lines move fairly quickly until my
turn comes up. I hand a fist full of paperwork over to the
clerk only to be told the seller forget to sign line 14 and did
not put sale price on the correct line so it would have to
initialed by said seller then sale price added on the correct
line and signed on line 14.

So I leave to find the previous owner who makes the correction
and return to the DOT only to be told, by the same clerk, that
since the title is out of state it has to signed in front of a
Notary and get their seal on it. So I hook up with the previous
owner, find a Notary, and get the seal before returning to the
DOT confident that this time I will walk out with a new title
in my name and new license plates.

Oh no. I was informed, by the very same clerk, that now the
title had too many signatures on it and I would have to get
hold of the original owner so he could get a duplicate title
that we could sign, once, in front of a Notary before I could
legally get the car in my name. And that was only one time!

So I would gladly trade that for being pulled over for driving
while black anytime. Enjoy our Wednesday, after all it’s the
middle of the week already. Now I need more coffee and a
candy bar to wind down.
Comments are always welcome.


October 17, 2017

Since the morning chores are done this looked like a good time
to get a post done. The feral kittens are letting me get a
little closer, the birds are fed, and I’ve had just enough
coffee to be semi-coherant.

The California fires have been in the news lately, not because
it was bigger than others, but because of the casualties and
property losses. And it amazes me that people are looking for
the cause of said fires instead of answers on how to avoid the
next one.

Wildland fires have been around since we’ve had wildlands and
there are even controlled burns at times to cut back on excess
vegetation. But what would be wrong with putting in fire breaks
before the fires start? Environmentalists won’t like this idea,
but if cutting down some trees now could stop fires later,
why not?

You may remember when lumber companies cleared land to make
lumber to build our houses before all the protests and new laws
to save the three toed frog or whatever. With millions of acres
of wildland there are places this could be done without ruining
the natural beauty of our wildlands.

And other natural firebreaks have been removed by either a
government agency or our need to live closer to nature. We no
longer see much bare land around the forests as fear of erosion
fueled some to fill the bald patches with plants while builders
are more than happy to erect homes on the edge of said forests
for those who like to wake up to the natural beauty there.

Somewhere common sense has to prevail in this matter. Those
who say putting in fire stops harms the planet evidently don’t
consider what the smoke from all the fires does to air quality.
If people just stayed calm and drank more coffee we could
figure out a solution that most could agree with.

Enjoy our Tuesday.
Comments are always welcome.


No news for me

September 5, 2017

We do live in interesting times. And it seems odd to us that
at a time when we have over 1.1 million acres of forests on
fire out west, southern Texas recovering from a hurricane,
daily shootings in Chicago that rival war zone statistics, and
a law makers who can’t make any laws, the headlines we see are
how the first lady wore a heavenly dress paired with shoes made
by the devil to religious services yesterday.

Nothing about how understaffed and overworked the wildfire
firefighters are, no solutions to end the carnage in Chicago,
and no legislator saying ‘let’s do what’s right for America’.
There is something wrong with that picture.

The National Interagency Fire Center lists 78 large incidents
across 7 states as of yesterday. These can be anything from
fires to hurricane relief and the incidents are listed on the
map below. Click on the map to enlarge it.

Chicago has had 2,587 people shot so far this year that
resulted in 480 deaths. That breaks down to one person getting
shot every 2 minutes 18 seconds and one person shot and killed
every 12 hours 21 minutes.

Here on the east coast of Iowa we lost the sun at around 3 pm
yesterday and the sky turned yellow. Later, when the moon was
able to be seen, it looked almost blood red. We were told it
was because of the smoke from the wildfires out west while the
temperature outside dropped around 15 degrees.

Until such time as the media takes its responsibility seriously
I will no longer watch any news programs. I see it as a waste
of time and think instead of being uninformed, listening to the
media would leave me misinformed.

Enjoy our first tuesday of fall. Now I need to get another
gallon of coffee in me to get ready for sunrise and todays
chores.
Comments are always welcome.


Doctors, the government, and Chuck Norris

August 14, 2017

I’ve always been leary of doctors, bankers, and lawyers for
a multitude of reasons. Now our government is on the list thanks
to Chuck Norris. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Norris since I saw him
in “Way of the Dragon”.

I’ve always felt bankers expect you to jump through hoops to
get a loan you know you can handle, lawyers want a ton of money
regardless of whether they win or lose your case, and some
doctors are more like dictators. Government is on the list as
I learn more. For the purpose of this post we’ll concentrate on
the medical profession and Chuck Norris.

Bear with me and it may just make sense. As someone who has
had many x-rays, MRIs, Cat scans and other tests done over the
years I have questions those in the medical profession don’t
like to hear. How many of us, in the beginning of the MRI
process have been told a dye may have to put in our bodies so
the MRI will highlight whatever bodily part they want to see?

I always ask if these things are harmful and am told no. Turns
out that’s not entirely true. And Chuck Norris’s wife had one
done, with the dye, had a serious reaction, and almost died!
Turns out the dye contains Gadolinium. It is a rare earth metal
and like other rare earth metals has fluorescent properties.

Still with me? Now I don’t know about you, but I do want any
heavy metals running trough my bloodstream for any reason. This
junk can end up in my brain? I have enough trouble thinking
without that happening.

If other countries question the use of this chemical why did
the FDA allow it to be used without serious study? To read his
article, and get a lot more information on the subject, go
here.

Enjoy our Monday even though it’s raining here on the east
coast of Iowa. We do need the rain.
Comments are always welcome.