What the?

July 17, 2018

I’ll forewarn the few Liberals who read this post that this
contains my opinion on sensitive matters which may offend
you. It is not meant to be racist, sexist, or part of a right
wing extremist campaign. If this opinion offends you, please
take a deep breath and find safe space elsewhere.

As some of us know new Medicare cards are being sent out and I
just got mine. Silly me, I assumed it would just be a copy of
the old card sent out because the paper card gets worn out in
billfolds. So I set the old card next to the new and they were
not the same.

The old card had name, Social Security number, what plans one
is eligible for, and when you signed up. The entire card was in
English. The new card no longer has my Social Security number,
that has been replaced with a slightly longer code with letters
and numbers.

And the new card is sub-titled in Spanish! With the new card
Name has been replaced with Name/Nombre and so on. Even the
cover letter from the Department of Health of Human Services is
bi-lingual in English and Spanish.

But the other piece of paper in the envelope really frosted my
tomato. Thinking this second sheet explained a little more about
the changes I was not a happy camper when I read the header
which stated ‘Help in other languages’. Huh?

Yes it appears you can call 1-800-MEDICARE and get help in
Armenian, Chinese, French, German, Haitian Creole, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, and
Vietnamese.

I may be old school, but this bugs me. If you have lived here
long enough to pay in for enough quarters to be eligible shouldn’t
you be speaking English anyway? No wonder there aren’t many cost
of living increases.

On top of being government run, which we know is not cost
effective, our government sees fit to hire interpreters in case
someone calls who doesn’t speak English? I’d keep my old all
English card but the number wouldn’t work anymore.

Enjoy our Tuesday. Now for some coffee and a Snicker’s.

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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
like.

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
type.

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.


Something’s up

July 12, 2018

We’ve been feeding the outside critters who happen into our
yard for a while now and there seems to be an ever-changing cast
of critters over time.

Lately it’s been down to 3 or 4 cats in the lineup and one in
particular caught our attention. A tan-colored female just
showed up one day and had been showing up every morning by the
back porch for a scratch behind her ears and to watch me fill
the food and water bowls.

At some point her belly got bigger and we realized she was
pregnant yet she was still waiting every morning for me to go
out with the food and water. Until about a week ago. Then she
just disappeared like she was never here.

Yesterday as I was filling the food dish I felt a familiar head
butt on my hand and sure enough, she had returned. She is now a
much slimmer looking critter and we think that means we’ll be
getting a visit from smaller versions of the mama before long.

The cat showed up again this morning wanting attention and
some food. We haven’t found where she has her kittens yet but
we’re sure they’re good hands. If you must have feral cats
around it makes things easier when they’re well-behaved.

We do wish people would stop disposing of unwanted animals by
throwing them out like trash so they can become other people’s
problem.

Enjoy our Thursday as that means Friday is only a dream away.
Now I need more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Choices

July 10, 2018

Had a good visit with Dad this morning and talked of many
things. The farm, the fair, the weather, getting older, and the
fact his sister, my Aunt, is going to visit the town nearest the
farm and probably the old farm also. He thought it odd that
after all the years since she left she now wants to return after
70+ years.

Things have changed in the little nearby town, but the land
seldom changes. Near big cities farmland can become housing
developments and in the more rural areas large corporations can
buy up farmland so enormous buildings can be erected to make
their product, but for the most part the land remains able to
produce food to feed the world.

If she really wants to see the old farm, minus the farmhouse
and outbuildings, I hope she gets to. For her to venture from
northwest Montana to southern Iowa and visit the old homestead
at 90 would have to be a trying experience. Yet I have a
feeling she’ll make it and have a huge smile on her face the
entire return trip.

We all have choices to make and there are times when people
take the easy way out. But there are times when the choices are
the hardest and the hardships many that have the biggest effect
on who we are.

Now I need some coffee and a Snicker’s to make it until pizza
time. Enjoy our Tuesday as we will.
Comments are always welcome.


Just a few

July 2, 2018

Lately the weather has been in the news because of the heat and
flooding, along with kids getting stabbed at a birthday party in
Boise, and politicians acting goofier than usual, so we thought
it time for a little distraction and will share some pictures.

This feral cat has been hanging around and I call him Popeye
because he just has the look. Something in those eyes just
shout “We Own the Seas”.

And we found out this one is good at tracking ants. He’ll keep
busy staying on the trail of a single ant so we call him the
bounty hunter.

I really wanted a picture of a soaring eagle in the clouds but
had to settle for this turkey buzzard as the eagles weren’t out
and about. We can just pretend he’s an eagle.

The sunset last night was as good as we’ve seen in a long time
so we ran with it. Yes, there are power lines in the way but it
was colorful.

Finally, with the 4th of July right around the corner, some
fireworks as seen from our backyard set off by neighbors. We’ll
try to some better ones tomorrow.

Enjoy our Monday and stay cool. Here on the east coast of Iowa
we’re getting a short break from the heat but it will be back.
After all, it is summer. Now I need some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Did you ever wonder…

June 26, 2018

why whiskey and the military just seem to go together. Well,
according to Military Times whiskey has been a favorite of those
who wear the uniform as long as people have been wearing said
uniform.

Not all whiskey is bourbon yet if it’s made in America it is
considered bourbon. When the Revolutionary War started rum was
not an option as it was favored by the English so whiskey filled
the void. In November of 1775 our Congress authorized a whiskey
ration for the Continental Army.

Some even say heroic acts on the battlefield would be rewarded
with an even bigger ration of the whiskey! We can’t forget the
Whiskey Rebellion in 1794 almost threatened another revolution.

But too much of a good thing can be too much. By the early
1800s the ration was increased which caused Meriwether Lewis to
complain of incessant drunkenness in his company during the Lewis
& Clark expedition.

On September 14, 1803 wrote the following in his journal: Set
out at 11 oClock (sic) was prevented from setting out earlier
(sic) in consequence of two of my men getting drunk and
absenting themselves. I finally found them and had them brought
on board, so drunk they were unable to help themselves.

During the 8,000 mile expedition by boat and horseback, from
St. Louis to Oregon and back most of the company was drunk and
Lewis was shot in the leg during a drunken hunt.

During the Civil War medics used whiskey to calm the nerves of
the soldiers, which was also consumed freely during breaks in
the fighting. President Lincoln even developed an appreciation
for the drink. When asked about General Grant’s constant
inebriation Lincoln said: if I could find out what brand of
whiskey Grant drank I would send a barrel of it to all the other
commanders.

Jack Daniel’s started the “By the Barrel” bottling program
in 1997,and in 2016 one of the master distillers told Business
Insider that the U.S. Military is the largest purchaser since
the program began.

I no longer drink but when I did considered it patriotic to
have a shot of whiskey now and then. Enjoy our Tuesday as we’re
that much closer to hump day. Now I need coffee and a Snicker’s
so I don’t get grumpy.
Comments are always welcome.


Grinning fool

June 24, 2018

I was cruising the information highway yesterday when I came
across this picture and it started a trip down memory lane that
has me grinning yet today. Couldn’t find who took the picture
but we’re thankful they did.

This was a normal occurrence most days during our early years,
and several years after. When friends would get together and
help other friends get their ride back on the road. With little
knowledge, even fewer tools, and about enough money to buy some
cheeseburgers and Cokes we’d tackle these jobs.

Before OSHA, neighbors getting offended by kids having fun, and
high gas prices, this was our entertainment. No steel toed boots
or safety glasses, no gloves to keep our hands clean, and very
little thought of how safe our makeshift cranes were, we’d
manage to get the job done.

When we progressed to having garages to work out of it was
still, at times, a challenge. We’d spend more time moving stuff
out of the way than working on the cars. But we got the job done
most times with varying degrees of success. Through it all we
gained good friends while we learned from our mistakes.

And though the owners of the vehicles changed, the friends and
lessons learned stuck with us and the memories remain. It was
just too bad we were so busy working on the cars we didn’t have
time to run the country or things would be a lot different
today.

Some of these kids I bonded with in my gasoline fueled youth
are retired, others are in nursing homes, a few have died. But
the fire we lit way back then still burns in the hearts of those
of us around to remember. I might just keep grinning all week
and let people wonder what I’m up to.

Enjoy our Sunday as the work week is just a dream away. Now for
some more coffee and a race or two on TV.
Comments are always welcome.