Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2019

This day is celebrated annually around the world yet is not a public
holiday in any country of the world. It originated as a Christian day
of feast to honor Saint Valentinus and is a cultural, religious
celebration of romance.

Stories include a written account of St. Valentine when the Romans
imprisoned him for performing weddings for soldiers and ministering to
Christians. Soldiers couldn’t marry in the Roman Empire and ministering
to Christians was persecuted. Legend claims that Saint Valentine
restored the sight to the blind daughter of his judge and he wrote her
a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

Today the celebration has come to include cards, candy, flowers, and
jewelry. In 2010 an estimated 15 million e-Valentines were sent as we
are also well into the computer age.

It is said that the verse “Roses are red” can be traced back to
Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”(1590)-

She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew.
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

Before my time so I can’t swear all that is true but Happy Valentine’s
Day! Enjoy our Thursday as we will. Now I need some coffee to get my
strenght up for more shoveling.
Comments are always welcome.


Seen worse

January 31, 2019

Picture from the Iowa Historical Society

Since we are supposed to be over 40 degrees warmer tomorrow and
even warmer for a few days after that I thought one more mention
of winter of 1936 is in order. Some called it the “telephone
wire winter” due to a newspaper article by Jim Pollack that said
Lloyd Keller walked from Clarksville to his job at a college in
Cedar Falls with drifts so tall he touched telephone wires.

For a 36 day stretch that spanned January and February the
average temperature was -2.4 degrees. There was so much snow the
plows couldn’t move it, trains couldn’t push it out-of-the-way
to operate, businesses closed, and ice on the Iowa river near
Rock Falls was 42 inches thick.

About half of all wildlife died, livestock doubled their feed
intake along with drinking more water, farmers couldn’t get
their milk and eggs to market. mail wasn’t delivered, and there
was a coal shortage.

All during the Great Depression. This all happened after a hot
summer in 1936 and before a hot summer in 1937.

We have handled a short cold spell and above average snowfall
this go-round but feel it safe to say we’ve seen worse. And
people will do what has been done in the past and knuckle down
to get it done. Just please don’t pray for warmer weather as God
has a sense of humor and I don’t want a string of 100 degree
summer days coming up.

Enjoy our Thursday and keep warm if you’re still getting bit
by the Polar Vortex. Now I’m having more coffee while I make a
big omelet to keep up my strength.
Comments are always welcome.


December 7, 2018

On this date 77 years ago Pearl Harbor was attacked and after
just 90 minutes 2,386 American servicemen died and 1,139 were
injured. Although few are left that were there that day we
cannot forget them.

While some were sleeping

September 28, 2018

We’re not going to comment on the current workings of our
lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Instead we wish to focus on an
event that took place during another administration. So let’s
see if we can make sense of something that makes no sense to us.

In September of 2013 the worlds largest hog farm and pork
processor in the world, Virginia based Smithfield Foods was
bought by Shuanghui International Holdings. Shuanghui is the
biggest meat processor in China. And the Obama administration
condoned the sale.

At the time concern about a Chinese company controlling a major
U.S. meat supplier was voiced and the administration downplayed
said concerns. If you haven’t heard of Smithfield perhaps you’ve
heard of Farmland, Armour, John Morrell, Kretschmar, Curly’s,
Carando, Cook’s, Margherita, Gwaltney or Healthy Ones.

The above mentioned firms are the brands Smithfield products
are sold as. The meat stays here and is processed here yet the
profits go to the Chinese company. Said foreign company now
controls nearly all the bacon, sausage, and ham sold in our
country and owns 25% of all pigs in America.

So here’s what bothers us. In 2005 the United States Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) was $13 trillion and was six times bigger
than China’s GDP that year. If we fast forward to 2017 our GDP is
only 1.6 times larger than China. At this rate China is expected
to beat our numbers by 2029.

And if we look at purchasing Power Parity (PPP), China is
already ahead of us as of 2015. For the last 140 years America
has had the biggest economy but that may not last much longer.
There is more to the story and we’ll finish it next week. This
is one segment of a growing problem for us and the future of our

We’ll leave it at that and you can draw your own conclusions.
For now, enjoy our Friday as here on the east coast of Iowa it’s
going to get chilly tonight.
Comments are always welcome.

Ever think about….

September 19, 2018

Had a hard time falling asleep last night when something got
into my head and wouldn’t let go. The thought was that the
steering wheel has to be one of the most significant inventions
of the 19th century.

If you think about it gauges are now digital, some shifters
are just knobs on the console, and dimmer switches aren’t in the
floor anymore. But after all these years we still have steering
wheels. A lot has changed but we still steer with the wheel.

Locking steering columns have been around since the 1930s,
Ford came out with the safety steering wheel with spokes that
flexed in 1956, and collapsible steering columns were required
by law in 1968.

Almost everything about our vehicles has changed over the years
except the steering wheel. Brakes are now ABS, we drive by wire,
shift with a knob, we start them with a button instead of a key,
and no longer have vent windows for climate control.
Yet our steering wheels are still front and center.

I think we need a National Steering Wheel Day to celebrate one
of the few things on our vehicles that hasn’t changed since its
invention. We’ll leave that decision up to the lawmakers and
perhaps it will keep them busy with something important.

So enjoy our Wednesday and enjoy it as we will. Now I need some
coffee and about a pound of bacon.
Comments are always welcome.


September 11, 2018

Today is the anniversary of the attack that united our nation
in outrage at the attackers and the need to help those affected.
We hope that during your busy day you could set aside the time
to observe a moment of silence.

We remember where we were when the news broke, in my case I was
hanging quarter panels on a 54′ Chevy when the coverage started.
Everyone gathered around the TV in the shop and not a lot of
work got done.

A lot of work did get done around here and the yard is looking
much better than when we got home. I also started on my office
and if you’ve ever been in it you know it needs de-cluttering.
I keep mementos from car shows, car manufactures, various other
products I like, and more.

So much got done that I treated us to a fresh hot pizza from
a pizza joint. This always causes a problem as either we’re
getting older or the pizzas are getting bigger. We used to have
a lot less leftovers. Fine with us though as saved pizza is as
good as fresh.

Today I will go visit Dad for the first time since we got home
and see how he’s doing. I’ve heard some rumors but don’t put much
faith in them until I check things out myself. We picked up
some goodies for him on the trip, have pictures he can have, and
I will bring the doughnuts.

So enjoy our Tuesday as we will munching on cold pizza. Now I
need some hot coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

The old way

July 16, 2018

Do you ever wonder what things were like during earlier times.
As someone who believes they were born too late and should have
been born in the 1800s I do sometimes wonder what it would be

I have mentioned the book ‘Manual of Social and business
Forms’ by Thomas E. Hill and published in 1875 before and
thought, let’s take another look.

Social etiquette and manners are covered in the book and after
another look it sounds like things were crazier then. Some of
rules make sense while others don’t, but here are some that
caught our attention.

Under small talk- No topic of absorbing interest may be
admitted in polite conversation. It might lead to a discussion.

Marriage- Anyone with bright red hair and florid complexion
should marry someone with jet-black hair. The very corpulent
should may the thin and spare, and the body, wiry, cold-
blooded should marry the round-featured, warmhearted, emotional

Street etiquette- When crossing the pavement, a lady should
raise her dress with the right hand, a little about the ankle.
To raise the dress with both hands is vulgar and can only be
excused when mud is very deep.

Conduct to avoid at the ball- No gentleman should enter the
ladies’ dressing room at a ball.

Bowing- A gentleman should not bow from a window to a lady on
the street though he may bow slightly from the street upon being
recognized by a lady in a window. Such recognition should,
however, generally be avoided, as gossip is likely to attach
undue importance to it when seen by others.

Lord love a duck! And that’s just some of rules listed under
etiquette. Today I catch myself saying, ‘excuse my French’ a
lot. Back then I’d probably be hung for the slip ups.

Enjoy our Monday as it looks to be the beginning of another
great week. Now for more coffee and a Snicker’s.
Comments are always welcome.