Quote of the Week

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils."
- Woodrow Wilson

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Only Humans Define Flowers From Weeds

Only humans define flowers from weeds; the saying goes. Or at least something like that. I believe the point of it is that we shouldn't judge by outside appearances.

But that's kind of one sided if you ask me. Besides not looking nice or being useful, weeds steal space, food, and water from nice looking or useful plants.

In a flowerbed or garden, where one has limited space to grow plants, they want the plants they planted to thrive. Not the freeloaders who move in due to try better soil and extra water. Gardeners want to get the most out of their efforts, their investments of time, money and resources.

For me the definitions can be both clear cut and confusing. It's clear cut for my garden. I want the peas, beans, corn, potatoes, etc. that I bought, planted and watered to grow, not whatever else shows up.

Far as flower gardens go, I'm at a loss. I don't have a flower garden, but I have stuff growing in front of my house that previous owners planted and it still comes up. Some looks nice to me and some doesn't. So I pull out what I don't like. Am I promoting weeds or flowers? Are they all flowers and I'm being picky, or am I clueless and their all weeds. I have no idea. I also wouldn't be bothered if nothing come up next year to be honest.

I started this post with the intention to say how I go about weeding in a humorous way.But as I typed this post kind of morphed into a metaphor that could be inspiration to improve your surroundings or some type of general social statement. Take it for what you want.

Friday, August 8, 2014

We really are too uptight

A NoDak friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook. She said there are actually people up in arms about the sign, saying it promotes domestic violence. I find this pretty sad.

I find the people who are outraged sad, not the picture. I find the picture funny and it didn't inspire me to harm any ex. This PC world we live in has people so uptight & scared of offending someone that we can laugh at life anymore.

Now I'm sure there is a FaceBook hashtag campaign started by people who've never been to that store and never had a reason to go there in the first place, announcing that they are now going to boycott it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Things a Ineffective Leader Says

A department manager here is a nice guy, but he is in about two position levels above his skill level. He knows it too by the way he operates his department. Many side stepping responsibilities and delegating decision making to his team members or other department leaders.

In any meeting or event of a situation on the production floor that is out of the ordinary, he is bound to say "somebody needs to make a decision." Especially when it's an issue in the department he is responsible for. The closet he ever comes to making a decision is saying "I fine with whatever you guys think."

While a nice guy, this person should not be in a leadership role. Leaders make choices. Leaders find solutions. Leaders are not afraid to take on the responsibility for their choices. Leaders will take calculated risks.

When the person in charge of a department or company does not lead, but avoids risks and responsibilities that department or company at best does not function to it's full potential. At worst it fails completely.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Prepping Tip From a Guy Who's Not a Prepper: Try Your Bulk Food

I've never thought of myself as a "prepper" type of person. But I've always been one to make sure I have enough basic things on hand to ride out a small emergency. It just makes sense to me to be able to live somewhat comfortable for a period of time without being able to get more supplies. For some reason I always feel the need to said that before I post something on the subject.

Of course one of the most important items to make sure you have a good supply of is food. Keeping your pantry will stocked with canned and dry goods is can be beneficial for all types of short term emergencies. Being unable to leave your home due to severe weather for a period of time (snowed in, flooding, etc), power outages, and other natural disasters may keep you from the supermarket. and even if you can get to the store, you may encounter bare shelves or crowds of other unprepared people.

Keeping a few weeks worth of food on hand could help you service a temporary finical squeeze too. If you encounter a temporary layoff, surprise trip, or an unplanned mechanic bill; skipping a week or two's grocery bill may help make ends meet.

But before you start filling you cupboards with Spam, bags of rice, beans & peas, MRE's, and other long term canned and or  bulk items; I highly recommend trying some of the items you purchase before you buy a lot of it. Especially if you don't normally cook or eat it.

In a time of emergency is not the best time to try to figure out how to cook something new. Also your body may need to adjust to it too. So it may be worth it for you to mix some of these foods into your daily routine.

Plus, as I just discovered tonight with some store brand chili, it may taste like crap and not be something you'd want a stockpile of.

Monday, March 24, 2014

One Positive Thing About The Westboro Church

So the guy (I can't and won't call him a pastor) who lead the Westboro Baptist Church died. The only reason we know of him is because his church shows up at funerals for the fallen troops and famous people to protest against gays. They're not having a funeral for him. Weird.......

That to me is pretty sad. No I don't really care if they have a funeral for the guy. It just show (as if we needed more evidence) of how pathetic these people who claim to be a Christian church are.

When I think of a Christian church being active for the greater good in the name of God, I think of things like food shelves, soup kitchens and orphanages. I think of potlucks, bingo, spaghetti suppers to raise money for a local family that lost their home to a fire or for building a hospital on the other side of the word.

But with the Westboro crowd, there thing is protesting funerals with provocative signs showing how much they hate gay people. Doesn't seem to be the best choice of causes for a church, but that's their thing. It's pretty sad that they untied, organized, and put a ton of effort and resources into trying to anger people.

The saddest, most pathetic aspect of them, to me anyway, is that they do it in such of a cowardly way. If they are so outraged about gays, then they should take there protests to the source of their outrage. Instead for protesting funerals of dead soldiers, why don't they line up at every gay pride parade, or at concerts, movie premieres or sporting events of gay artists, performers and athletes?

The answer is obvious and simple. Most people have enough respect for the fallen and the family not to escalate the situation at a funeral, but the Westboro protesters would get the shit kicked out of them if they pick another venue. And in my opinion, rightfully so.

But there is one positive thing about The Westboro Church:
They're a collection of hateful people who are not influencing other churches from the inside. If we are stuck with a bunch of delusional haters, they might as well be kept together.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Giving Heirloom Seeds a Try

With signs of spring starting to poke through the holds of this long winter, I have started to get ready for gardening. Over the last couple of years I have really gotten into gardening. It is really a fun hobby that can be beneficial to me for several reasons.

A big reason is I can grow more healthy organic foods where I have complete control of what fertilizers, pesticides, etc. are used. I will know exactly what and when something is placed on my food while I grow it.

Also, I have been making an effort to become more self-reliant. I like the idea of being able to produce my own food and not be dependent on other sources. For me it is mostly for the novelty of it, but it could be very beneficial to be able to produce garden foods in case of the unlikely long term disaster situation. But most importantly for me, it is a fun relaxing hobby that will produce healthy food in a reality inexpensive manner.

This year I am going to try something different. I ordered some heirloom seeds to plant this year’s garden with. The difference between heirloom seeds and the more common hybrid seeds more commonly found is that the plants will produce seeds that you can harvest and replant next year. By planting seeds from plants grown in your garden, over time you will develop a plant that will be more resistant to your local area.

The fruits & vegetables included in the Safe Harvest Seed Bank I'm planting this year

Today I purchased a Safe Harvest Seed Bank™ seed kit from LPC Survival, an online retailer. Here is the product description from their website:
The Safe Harvest Seed Bank™ contains the highest quality heirloom vegetable seeds available. The seeds are 100% Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), open-pollinated, and placed in specially sealed packets which provide for long-term storage.
The Safe Harvest Seed Bank™ is yours for one LOW price and supplies a LARGE balance of seeds from the most recent harvest.
It is also packaged for long term storage (5+ years) but priced so you can start planting this year! The affordability and great quality of this Seed Vault make it your best choice for both planting and storage!

While LPC Survival sells “prepper” and “off the grid” type products.  A lot of their products are not just for the “Doomsday Prepper” type people. Anyone who is interested in trying to live a more environmentally and fiscally responsible lifestyle can find many useful products from places like this.

Direct link to: Safe Harvest Seed Bank™

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sheila Jackson Lee Thinks the Constitution is 400 Years Old

Sheila Jackson Lee Thinks the Constitution is 400 Years Old

Follow the above link, if you dare. Why do we continue to send MORONS like this to Washington D.C.?!

I'm started to re-think backing the 12 total years in Washington D.C. approach for term limits. I'm beginning to lean towards thinking one term in any office is enough.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Maybe Sometimes Justice is Best Served by Not Serving it.

Roseville woman, 23, admits Wisconsin bank robbery

I read the above new article this morning it it really got me thinking. Maybe sometimes justice is best served by not serving it. I know I always stress people need to be accountable for their actions, but hear me out. The woman who admittedly robbed some banks has dual citizenship in the United States and Saudi Arabia and has been deemed a flight risk. I say, let her fly.

Nobody was harmed in the robberies that would justify vindication. She will most likely never be able to repay what money that was recovered. So why lock her up for a few years when she'll just bug out and never comeback? The taxpayers will spend far more money on her prison time than what we will spend on the FDIC insurance for the stolen money.

So let her hop on the next Saudi bond flight and then revoke her passport. Problem solves itself with no hassles.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

This is an Awesome Winter!

I know many people have had enough. Even those who love winter are starting to scream uncle to this one. But it really has been an awesome one. The tons of snow have been much needed to get the water tables back up. Hopefully we have a nice gradual melt this spring.

I am still enjoying this winter. It’s been many years since we've had one like this and I hope this type of winter is cycling back for a while, like it was in my early years. Back when the snowbanks were higher than the cars for most of the winter. When it was almost as common to see a snowmobile going down the road as a car since the weather wouldn’t allow the Townships couldn't keep the roads bare.

I may be in the minority on hoping we have a few more winters “like we used to.” I’m not sure it’s because we've gotten so used to the milder winters of late and have gotten lazier and weaker because of it. Or maybe the majority just never like them anyway.

Photos from the last snowfall. 

Here are some photos I took a few weeks ago when I was shoveling snow. I heard the road grader that's used to plow the road coming and thought it would make a nice picture, since I timed it about right. Then since I had the phone out, I took a few more pictures, since is was such a nice winter day.

Good timing on my part as I was nearly done shoveling when the plow went by!

It's a nice size snow bank when the mail boxes start to disappear.

End of the drive looking back. My driveway is short enough so I rarely need to take out the snow thrower.
My roof is insulated enough to avoid ice dams, but any more snow and I'll still need to get out the roof rake. 
Snow piling up on the stumps left from the 2011 wind storm.
The wood pile. Next spring I'm building a shed for it instead of covering it with cheap tarps.

With the cold weather, I have already burned through what I did last year & had to haul in more inside from the pile. With moisture seeping through the tarps, I needed to set up a drying station in a hallway. Lesson learned and I will be better prepared next year. It won't matter if it's a mild or hard winter, year three with the woodstove will go much better. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shots Fired! ....never mind

Well this just falls under the category of "I didn't think this all the way through." Tonight I received a couple of emails from the area technical school I am taking some classes from. The first one comes through with the subject line: News: Shots Fired.
Screen shot of my gmail inbox

Yeah. That got my interest. The email was about a training video the school is working on for what to do if there is an armed intruder. This was followed a few minute by another with the same body, but the new and improved  subject line of New: Video Coming Next Week.

I just shook my head and said to myself  don't people think that "News Shots Fired" would not be an idea subject line for a email coming from a school? I mean I am far from the sharpest tool in the shed and I know better than that.

About five minutes after the second email, a third arrived with the all caps FALSE ALARM! as the subject. My guess is somebody just might have got a phone call regarding the original email.

The email sent form the school tonight.
It really saddens me that there are even training videos like this and active shooter drills taking place in schools these days. When I was in High School, it was pretty common to see a shotgun in a student vehicle during the fall. I remember going directly from football practice to a quick evening duck hunt and my Remington 1100 would be in my car all school day.

But times have changed.