Going to be great

April 20, 2017

As the sun went down on another beautiful day in Iowa I hoped
people around the world could view it. So if you didn’t get a
chance to see one where you’re at, we’ll share ours.

Many things happened in our history on this day, April 20th,
which is the 110th day of the year. And that means only 255
more days until 2018. Here are a few of the things that
happened on this date.

In 1826, Major Gordon Long was the first non-Muslim to enter
Timbuktu.

In 1836 the United States Congress passed an act that created
the Wisconsin Territory.

The Civil Rights Act of 1871 became law.

On this date in 1902 Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the
radioactive element radium chloride.

1914 saw 19 men, women, and children killed in the Ludlow
Massacre during a coal miners strike in Colorado.

In 1946 the League of Nations dissolves and gives most of its
power to the United Nations.

And in 1972, Apollo 16 lands on the moon. The mission
commander was John Young.

Adolf Hitler was born on this date in 1889 and Bram Stoker
died on this date in 1912.

If you’re in a mood to party here are some holidays to
celebrate today.

Today is: Lima Bean Respect Day, National Cheddar Fries Day,
National High Five Day, National Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Day, National Pot Smokers Day, and National Look Alike Day to
name a few.

For these reasons, and because I didn’t see my name in the
obituaries, it’s going to be a great day. Enjoy our Thursday.
Comments are always welcome.


Just a thought

April 6, 2017

Today is the 96th day of the year meaning we’ll be adding a
year on forms in just 269 days. Time flies when we’re having fun.
And what a day our Thursday is, did you know…

On this date in 1808, John Jacob Astor incorporated the
American Fur Company and it would allow him to become America’s
first millionaire.

In 1862, on this date the Battle of Shiloh began.

On April 6, 1909, Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reached the
North Pole.

And on this very date in 1917, the United States declared war
on Germany.

Today is a day we celebrate New Beer’s Eve. Never heard of it
you say? It’s the night preceding the day beer became legal
again after Prohibition.

This is the day Merle Haggard was born in 1937 and the day he
died in 2016 at age 79.

There are many more things that happened in our past yet today
is also a day we’re the oldest we’ve ever been. If we woke up
breathing we’re ahead of the game. That’s certainly something
to celebrate. So enjoy our Thursday. We can’t control the
weather but we can learn how to enjoy it.

Now I’m going to watch my talk show on the radio, take a few
pictures, and enjoy the day before I snuggle up with a pizza
later.
Comments are always welcome.


Amazing hoax

February 21, 2017

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On this date in 1948 the town of Manning, Iowa, had a prank
pulled on Main Street that was amazingly stupid. It was
witnessed by 3 people and did result in 5 arrests. Manning was
a town with 1800 residents in Carroll County.

On a quiet Sunday evening the only people on the sidewalk of
Main Street were Ralph Geith and Bud Hargens. The lone car
driving by when the prank went down was driven by Hubert Lamp.

Out of nowhere a man came running down the sidewalk on the
opposite side of the street chased by 2 other men. At a
distance the three witnesses guessed to be 20 feet one the
guys chasing the first fired a shotgun at the runner 3 times.

The “victim” fell to the street and lay still. Right about
then two other males in 1947 Mercury raced out of a nearby
alley and loaded the “victim” into the car and roared away.
The license plates on the Merc were hidden. Of course the
witnesses were shocked.

The very next afternoon, Sheriff Thomas J. Finegan announced
the arrest of 5 high school boys, who were 16 years old, at a
nearby high school. Turns out the kids were just looking to
put some excitement in a dull Sunday afternoon.

On March 11th, 1948, all five pleaded guilty to concealing
license plates, paid a $50 fine, and swore they would never
do it again. We don’t know if Justice of the Peace Hilda Osten
believed them or not.

And that is the amazingly stupid prank that happened on this
date all those years ago. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard of
any copycat pranks so perhaps the boys kept their word. Enjoy
the day as tomorrow we’re halfway to the weekend.
Comments are always welcome.


Sad anniversary

February 2, 2017

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Sometimes stories you’ve heard many times get your interest
again and then you look back only to find you had forgotten
more than was remembered. Such is the case as tomorrow draws
closer.

What’s tomorrow? For those who don’t remember we’ll give you
a clue: Don McLean wrote a song about the incident in 1972
called “American Pie” and since then tomorrow has been known
as the day the music died.

On February 3rd, 1959, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P.
“The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash near Clear
Lake, Ia. The pilot also died.

But the previous night they played the Surf Ballroom in Clear
Lake, Iowa in what they didn’t know was their last
performance. Holly, Valens and Richardson left after the show
and went to Mason City to charter a plane. The plane took off
at 12:55 am and not long after crashed.

Waylon Jennings was in Hollys’ band “the Crickets” and was
scheduled to fly along but gave up his seat to Richardson who
had the flue. Tommy Alsip, also with the Crickets was supposed
to be aboard but lost a coin toss to Richie Valens. Alsip
passed away January 11, 2017.

Of course that’s not all that happened on February 3rd so
we’ll add some other things happened on that date.

In 1855 on February 3rd, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared
the U.S. Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional.

In 1941 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld minimum wages and
maximum hours.

In 1953 the chimpanzee, J. Fred Muggs, became a regular on
NBC’s Today Show.

And in 1971 OPEC madates a total embargo against any company
that rejects a 55% tax rate.

So if you remember the music you may be humming along right
now and if you don’t perhaps you learned something. At any
rate, enjoy the eve of the day the music died. And now I go
in search of the elusive bacon cheeseburger pizza to see if
it can fill a void.
Comments are always welcome.


Here we go again

January 19, 2017

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We can’t grasp why inaugurations are so difficult for so many
and can now see where younger generations get an attitude. As
we’ve said many times, we don’t believe these antics and ideas
to be anything new.

Some Democrats boycotted Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in
1864 because the southern states states wouldn’t recognize his
victory. And, like Trump, Lincoln received death threats. We
don’t know how Trumps security will be, but history tells us
death threats to Lincoln forced General Winfield Scott to
put 635 troops along the parade route and Capital grounds.

General Scott also used 2,000 volunteers, put the cavalry on
side streets, sharpshooters on top of taller buildings, and
had detectives mingle with crowds. All for the safety of the
man who would be president.

Lest you think that having our country’s lawmakers act like
spoiled children is something novel, we fast forward to the
time of another president.

John F. Kennedy said “Let us not seek the Democratic answer
or the Republican answer, but the right answer. Let us not
seek to fix the blame of the past. Let us accept our own
responsibility for the future.”

Lawmakers don’t have to attend an inauguration by law. And
we’re sure the protesters will be out in force, but the man
hasn’t even been sworn in yet. Wouldn’t civilized people wait
until something is done they don’t agree with before starting
to protest?

It’s no wonder kids of today need safe spaces when they see
this kind of action going on every day. And the lawmakers
should stick to doing what they were elected to do instead of
wasting everyone’s time.

That said, have a great Inauguration day tomorrow. I’m going
in search of the elusive bacon cheeseburger pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


Amazing lady you haven’t heard of

January 12, 2017

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On this date in 1912, Kate Shelley died of Bright’s disease.
She was 49. Born Catherine Shelley in Loughan Moneygall,
County Offaly, Ireland on September 25, 1865, her family
emigrated to the U.S. when she was a year a half old and the
family settled in Moingona, Iowa.

Does the name sound familiar? She wasn’t an actress or a
politician, but she was a famous heroine and the first woman
in America to have a bridge named after her. Railroad
historians and those who follow the history of Iowa should
know her name.

In the afternoon of July 6,1881, a severe thunderstorm caused
Honey Creek to flash flood andt washed out the timbers that
supported the trestles of the railroad bridge over said creek.
The weather prompted railroad officials to send out a pusher
locomotive from Moingona to check track conditions.

When the locomotive, with a crew of 4 crossed the bridge, it
plunged into Honey Creek around 11 p.m. Kate Shelley heard
the crash and knew an eastbound passenger train was due to
cross the very same bridge into Moingona at Midnight. She ran
to the bridge and found surviving crew members, told them she’d
get help, and with the damaged Honey Creek bridge useless
began to cross the Des Moines River bridge to summon help.

Her trek started with a lantern for light yet when it failed
she dropped to the tracks and crawled on her hands and knees
until she crossed the bridge. Once she crossed the bridges
she ran the final half-mile to the Moingona depot to alert
railroad employees and get help for the injured.

She then led a rescue party back to the scene while the depot
made arrangements to stop the east bound train in Ogden, Iowa.
Three of the four in locomotive were saved along with all 200
aboard the train stopped in Ogden.

As happens with history on the internet, some sites have
different birth dates than others and the story varies
slightly. You can be the judge. Enjoy the rest of our
Thursday.
Comments are always welcome.


Did you know?

January 11, 2017

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Since I’ve been thinking of cars and trucks a lot lately it’s
time to share a little timeline of firsts in the automotive
industry. This is not meant to be a list of all firsts, just
the ones we found interesting.

The telescope shock absorber was designed in 1901 by C.L.
Horock. While lever action shocks were used into the late 40s
by some manufacturers, a version of the telescope shock is
still in use today.

Those of us in the hobby know most older car bodies had a
wooden frame covered with sheet metal. So when was the first
all steel body made? Believe it or not, the first all steel
body on a production car was the 1914 Dodge.

Care to venture a guess as to the first American car that had
four-wheel hydraulic brakes? The answer is the 1922 Duesenburg
made in Indianapolis, Indiana.

1926 saw the first power steering system on the Pierce-Arrow.

The 30s saw two firsts that caught our eye. Hard to believe,
but the first flashing turn signal was introduced in 1935 and
was done by a Delaware company. The system used a thermal
interrupter switch to make the bulbs flash off and on. Then in
1939 the Nash Motor Company added air conditioning to its cars.

In 1940 the Jeep was designed and Oldsmobile debuted the first
fully automatic transmission.

A major development in the 1950s was cruise control. Standard
on most vehicles today it was designed by Ralph Teeter, who
was blind.

In the 1960s more attention was paid to safety. That decade
was the beginning of pcv valves, catalytic converters, and
emission standards. The electronic fuel injection system was
also developed in the 60s.

The 70s saw airbags become standard equipment and fuel prices
escalate due to the gas shortage and upcoming ice age.

In the 80s the anti-lock braking sytem (ABS) was made
available on the Lincoln.

And the 90s? 1992 saw the passage of the Energy Policy Act of
1992 that encouraged automakers to produce alternative-fuels
vehicles. We’re still using Ethanol today. And in 1997
Cadillac became the first car maker to offer automatic
stability control increasing safety in those emergency
handling situations that occur while surfing the internet on
your smart phone while driving.

That is our unscientific, totally random, look at some of
the automotive firsts. Make of it what you will, I’m going to
hunt something to eat. Enjoy Wednesday, we’re halfway to the
weekend.
Comments are always welcome.