Quote of the Week

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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Random Thought on the Way to Work

On the way into work this morning, as song from The Cure came on the radio. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was that melancholy sounding one with the mildly depressing tone. 

For whatever reason it reminded me of a time many years ago, back when The Cure was popular. A bunch of us where at Valley Fair, an area amusement park. We were walking around the midway part of the park, playing an occasional game trying to win an overpriced stuffed animal or something. Overall just enjoying a nice summer day. 

As we worked our way through the midway area, we walked past another group of college aged kids. One must have been a big fan of The Cure. Dressed in black and chains, wearing more hairspray and eye liners than the girls in his group. And to top it off he looked both depressed and annoyed at the same time. As if he not only wasn’t having fun, but he was getting pissed at all the people around him enjoying themselves. 

I wonder what ever happened to him? He is in some cubical in the Twins Cities Metro Area still dressed for a punk funeral, or did he ever cheer up? Chances are, he’s another aging hipster and still putting an effort into looking angry and annoyed.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

America is not the greatest nation in the world anymore. And a lot of us are complete idiots who think we're smart.

The above clip from the HBO show The Newsroom shows up quite regularly on my Facebook feed. It is often shared by some of my more Libertarian friends and I enjoy watching it every time. I feel the video hits the nail squarely on the head. America is not the greatest country in the world and it's been going downhill for generations now. Sadly, the proof of this can often be found in the comments when someone posts this video clip.

For example today a friend of mine share this video clip on Facebook. One of his friends commented "This makes a good point, but it's obviously scripted. It's too convenient that the cameras caught all the people's reactions at just the right time. The debate is a fake."

Really? Smart enough to sniff out a fake debate, yet can't comprehend that it's either part of a movie or TV show? The fact that Jeff Daniels is the guy doing the majority of the talking wasn't a clue either?

We've peaked. America is not the greatest nation in the world anymore. And a lot of us are complete idiots who think we're smart.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Small victory in the coffee maker aisle

Now that I'm back to commuting for work, I'm focusing more on my budget. Something that I've been lacking over the last year or so. Just like diet & exercise we all need to work on keeping our finances in line. Just like diet & exercise when we keep on it with our finances we see continuous improvements. And just like diet & exercise who we stuff off a little with out finances, it's easy to lose all our gains and go back into our bad habits.

While I've been doing okay, I now need to get back in tight control of the checkbook. A tank of gas will no longer last me a week. And with the drive, I had to upgrade my ride a little before I wanted to. Now there is a car payment thrown into consideration.

The other weekend I was out doing the weekly shopping and knocking a few items of the Christmas gift list. I found myself in the coffee maker aisle of an area big box home improvement store. My old coffee maker was on its last leg and it was past time to replace it. And a sleek looking stainless steel number had my full attention.

Tons of features and tons of options. Timers, brew strength settings, self cleaning mood, brews a twelve cup pot like grandpa used to do, or a single cup using those little flavored plastic cup thingies. As I was trying to justify the price tag of the coffee maker to myself, I was already accessory shopping for it. They conveniently had a matching stainless steel organizer for the little flavored plastic cup thingies.

As I was replacing and accessorizing half my kitchen in my head, a nagging little item wiggled it's way back into my head. My budget. And my budget had no room in it for a decked out coffee maker. I stood up to my inner child and told it no. The excel spreadsheet I made to get control of my budget clearly pointed out that a $100 coffee maker is not happening.

I reminded myself that I don't need a button to adjust the brew strength, I can just put in more or less coffee. And since I make it the same every time, why would I need that setting for anyway?

I told my inner child that since I rarely drink coffee in any other flavor than coffee, so the why bother with the little flavored plastic thingies and the sleek stainless steel organizer they would require. Sure a custom single serving of coffee flavored to their choice my impress a guest. But if I'm already making the coffee, there is most likely no need for me to do anything to impress them in the first place.

The inner child pouted as I placed the no thrills $15 coffee maker into the cart. But the inner child doesn't add any revenue to boost the budget. And until it finds a way to do it, all it gets is boring coffee flavored coffee from a boring coffee maker.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Purge

It's that time of year. When people reflect on themselves and make plans and promises for self improvement. A majority are caught up in the "it's the end of the year and I've accomplished nothing" mindset. A few are getting a early start on getting the financials together for taxes, and wonder why they are broke. Personally for me, it's a time to start making some changes because I went to put up my Christmas tree.

I keep my fake tree in a box that spends about 11 months out of the year in the back of the guest bedroom closet. It took me about 10 minutes to move plastic totes out of the way to clear a path to the closet. That's when it became clear to me that I need to purge.

While my work areas at the day job and my home office are kept clutter free and streamlined for efficiency, my guest bedroom is quite the opposite. In fact, for a guy who prides himself in keeping things clutter free, my guest bedroom an embarrassing thing I do my best to ignore that takes up the southwest corner of my home.

Even me calling it "the guest bedroom" is a lie. In the thirteen years I've lived in my house, I've yet have had a guest bed down in my guest bedroom. Over the years it has basically become a big ass closet with a closet inside it that I keep a fake Christmas tree in for about 11 months a year. On top of what might be a bed, is a pile of clothes, camping & hunting gear, and who knows what else. The rest of the floor is cover with plastic totes, books, a bunch what can only be labeled as "stuff." Half of the "stuff" I'm not even sure is even mine, let alone what it's for.

Time for a purge. Currently I'm putting all that "stuff" into one of four piles. One pile of stuff to keep and put away properly or use. One pile of stuff to sell off on Craigslist or something. One pile of stuff to just give away to friends & family, or a thrift store if no one else wants it. And one pile to go to the recyclers & dump.

Now that I'm getting into the mood and have momentum on my side, I'm going to keep this purge going. While the home office is in decent shape, it could use a little purging too. Old files, notes, papers and other documents will be scanned & tossed, or maybe just tossed in some cases. The computers could use a digital purging & reorganizing too.

Every once in a while we look around and realized we've lost a little bit of our organization and order. Every once in a while we need to regroup. And when it takes ten minutes to rescue your fake Christmas tree from your clutter, it's time for a purge.

Jealous? Of what, doing something? Anyone can do that.

A few months ago I left my position at a small defense manufacturer to return to working for a medium size medical device manufacturer. Something I probably should have done years ago, but I kept hoping that the ownership of the defense manufacturer would wake up and realize how poorly they were allowing their investment to be ran.

I started wondering if my previous employer was serious when they told me "if you ever want to come back, we'll have a position for you." Long story short, I went back to where I most likely should not have left I the first place. Now I'm happy again, working at a profitable company that has its act together. But I'm still left shaking my head at something that keeps happening of late.

I keep getting messages from former coworkers congratulating me on leaving. They tell me I'm "lucky" and they wish they could "get out" of the company that is creeping closer and closer to shutting down. It's a weird thing. They make it sound like there's a barbed wire topped fence around the place with armed guards keeping them in the prison they are forced to work at.

But there is no fence. There are no guards. They are keeping themselves in the prison of their work and I don't understand why. The overall moral at the company has been lower than any place I've worked for years now. It is an at will employer. No one is bound to the company or a slave to a union with contracts or the threat of losing their pension. They can walk away at any time.

Most people who remain at this company hate their job, have no convenience in the leadership and are smart enough to see the company's health is on life support. They know the company can not compete with its competition; they know the equipment is worn out, obsolete and there are no plans or money for replacing it. They know the banks forced the owners to sell off the only division of the company that has been profitable in the last four or five years to pay down their debt. They know all these things, but do not know how to leave.

The only explanation I have for this is it's just human nature to fear change and to stick with what's familiar to you, "the devil you know" type of logic. It truly bums me out when I see smart, skilled people who should be happy doing what they do for a living, settle for being a prisoner in a self made work house based on fear of the unknown.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Mouthful of Turkey Can Keep the Peace

As in many houses across the country, a good portion of my extended family gathered for a Thanksgiving dinner. This is one of my favorite events of the year. Relatives of all ages gather at my parent's house, my great grand parent's on my Dad's side homestead.

We all gather for the traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings, sides and two choices of homemade pie. We eat, drink, play with the kids,watch football and talk. Just like in many houses across the country.

While at the table, the topic of conversion was how college was going for one of my cousins. She was telling a story about one of the older teachers and how she like his matter of fact, tell it like it his attitude. She smiled as she told us this teacher considers her generation as the dumbest one he's seen come through his classroom.

My cousin is going to a private Catholic college on a hockey scholarship. While not Catholic herself, either the school takes anyone, or at least good hockey players. Being a private school, the teachers (at least the one she talked about) are not as PC as found in the public side.

This was shown right away when one of my Uncles, as retired English Teacher who spent his whole career teaching in Madison, exclaimed "oh my word! What a horrible thing to say. I never would have said anything negative like that in front of a class or to any of my students."

I the chimed in saying, how I kind of agree with my cousin's teacher. We as a whole are way too reliant on technology for one thing. I pointed out how most kids who work par time can't make change without the cash register telling them exactly what to do. Another relative added how most people today can't function without a calculator or spell-check in their daily lives.

Then my uncle sighed and said "ah spell-check. What a Godsend that was! It would drive me batty trying to even read papers turned in before spell-check came along. Each year their grammar and spelling got worse and worse. It took me forever to grade papers before it."

Mmmm..... a  Public School English Teacher praising what a Godsend spell-check is. It was a good thing I had a mouthful of turkey to bite down on at the time; would have severed the tip of my tongue off otherwise.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I am thankful

I am thankful. I am thankful for many, many things. A short list of some of the things I am thankful for are

  • my parents who raised me (and still influence me) with values
  • some teachers, coaches, bosses and other who mentored me and given me a chance to improve myself
  • some teachers, coaches, bosses and other who didn't give me a chance and allowed me not to waste my time with them and to pursue influence from better people
  • my lack of patience for the negative things and people that keeps me from wasting my time with them
  • my ability to see potential in what is sometimes disguised as negative 
  • my wiliness to continually learn
  • family
  • friends
  • freedom
  • knowing that I can achieve what many others find not achievable, simply by trying and working hard with a plan
  • being able to learn from those who don't see things the way I do, by both keeping an open mind and also by seeing their failures
  • my faith in a higher power that has had a direct or indirect influence on all I listed above   

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Observation on Winter Commuting and Social Media

Surprisingly, luck is on my side as it is not my week to drive when the first snowfall of the season hit us this Monday morning. As I enjoyed the rode from the passenger side, I made an observation based on my Facebook fed. You can tell a lot about a persons work ethic by what they post about their commute.
One of my over the top liberal school teacher friends was posting on Facebook something about enjoying a "snow day" and planning on doing nothing but relaxing in her pajamas, drink coffee and watch TV today. She did this a fair amount last winter, then complained in the late spring about something called "make up" days that she was forced unfairly do. Poor thing.
On the far other end of the spectrum a friend posted triumphantly that he was able to drive to work, even though the commute was slow going and took an extra 20 minutes. But he was still as proud as if he climb the K2 solo. I guess we all take pride in something, some take pride in every, single, thing.
Fortunately there are still a large percentage of people who simply get up, brush the snow off their vehicle, and just go to work. Snow happens in the winter around here, act like you've seen it before and carry on.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Voter ID Laws. No argument, but the arguing continues....

Now that it's getting closer to election time, the neverending debate of Voter ID laws are a topic of choice again. To me this is down right embarrassing that this debate continues.

Those who are adamantly opposed to such laws scream it hinders the poor and elderly from being able to vote. They say many people have no photo ID and this makes things too tough for them. And the closer is usually something along the lines of "voter fraud is so small, it really doesn't matter."

I tend to point out that their arguments have no merits at all. You need an ID to get a job, a loan, a checking or savings account, buy ammo, tobacco or alcohol (when your age is in question), to even get a library card.

State ID's are free, so it by no means an inconvenience to the poor. Who by the way if are really poor, need an ID to get food stamps. The only inconvenience is someone has to take a few hours of time to get an ID. Since the normal election cycle is 2 years, the average person has about 730 days to get this taken care of.

That means the elderly shut in or poor person who has no car has 730 days to arrange a ride and or time off of work to go the DMV for their free state issued ID. As I often said, people today put more thought and effort into voting for the next American Idol or who the draft for their fantasy football team than who they send to the state & federal capitals to represent them.

Usually after I state my case like I just did above, the usually rebuttal is something along the lines of "if everyone needs an ID, those who are dishonest know how to get them. So it doesn't really make any difference."

Those who are going to break the laws are going to break them anyway, so why bother? Is that the final line of defense for those who don't want Voter ID laws?

Interesting reason to oppose something. Since there is apparently nothing we can do to stop the rulebreakers, maybe we just shouldn't have rules to begin with? Would make things simple and save us a ton of money. No need for government to make new laws, police to enforce them, judges & courts to make sure they are being enforced properly, or jails to imprison the convicted. Sounds pretty silly doesn't it? Just about as bad as the arguments against Voter ID laws.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thank You Technology for Taking Us Backwards, or Do We Just Don't Like Talking to Eachother?

The way man communicates hasn't really changed much since the dawn of civilization. Pretty much the two predominant ways are vocally or by written text. About the only thing that has changed is there are more methods to rely the communications.

The original and still the best way, is talking to someone face to face. Then came along the idea and practice of writing things down. People typically prefer to talk face to face, especially in business where important meetings are still held face to face even with all of the modern technologies. Beside showing sincerity and commitment by making the effort to meet; it allow helps eliminate miscommunications since tone and body language can easily be seen.

This first improvement is still the most significant of all time. It allows people to communicate over distance and time. It also allows documentation, which is a big plus for sharing and retaining information.

Not much has really changed with how we communicate today, besides the technologies used to do it. We still talk and write things down. We meet each other face to face and send written letters much the same ways since antiquity. Just our modes of transportation and mail delivery have improved. But there has been improvements in specific methods of delivering the message.

I think the biggest leap forward came with the invention of the telegraph in 1832. Now for the first time people can converse over long distances almost instantly. Instead of traveling or sending a message by mail, taking days maybe weeks to reach the destination; a person can write a short note, send it electronically to a far off place where someone reads the short note in text.

From the dawn of man to 1832, not a whole lot happened. But from 1832 to 2014 an incredible amount has. The telegraph, telephone, wireless radio communication, television, fax machines, cordless phones, the internet, email, cellular phones, communication satellites, web sharing, voice over internet, video conferencing, and I'm sure several other technical wonders I am forgetting.

Now in 2014 almost everyone I know has a tiny smartphone that fits in the palm of there hand. With it, the can talk to almost anyone in the world, the can send and receive photos and videos, and they can access the limitless information on the internet.

And how do most people use this almost magically technical wonder to communicate the most? With a short text message. Basically the same way we used the telegraph starting in the 1830's. Full of abbreviations, acronyms and bad sentence structure to shorten up the message. Which has been destroying our language by the way. Thank you, Technology for taking us backwards over 180 years! May b mor cause ppl can't type real wrds now.

Or do we just don't like talking to eachother? I guess that could be it too.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

My Yard Sign Observations of the 2014 Election Cycle

Now that we are ramping up the BS for this election cycle, the yard signs are spreading through the neighborhood lawns faster than dandelions do in the spring. I personally find them annoying on many levels. Some day I will do my stunt I mentioned a few years ago here.

Today I made a drive through some scenic areas along the St. Croix River Valley and two things regarding the political yard sign I noticed. The first is something that may confirm my ideas of how people with similar political views tend to live in a particular town or neighborhood.

A town or area that is more industrial or business oriented, requiring skilled or semi-skilled labor tends to be more conservative. And a town or area that is more service industry oriented with craft stores, hotels, restaurants and other service businesses catering more  to tourist and entertainment seekers are usually more liberal.

On my drive today the towns that have well developed industrial parks and office centers seemed to have more yard signs for the Republican candidates and the towns that had more craft stores, speciality shops, and touristy restaurants predominantly had signs for Democratic candidates displayed.

That was not meant to be a knock or put down on anyone, just an observation that, when I think about it makes sense to me. People who have industrialist or production type careers tend to have conservative views and people who have more of a service or artistic career tend to be more liberal.

The other thing I ended up paying attention to on my little trip today was how many signs were in a person's front lawn. If a saw a yard that had one sign, maybe two. It projected the message of "the person who lives here likes this particular candidate." Especially if the campaign sign was for a local or county office.

The houses that had every single candidate from local to federal campaigns lined up all from one political party, it shouted an entirely different message to me. It screamed "the person who lives here is a proud member of a political party. This person refuses to think for themselves and will vote down the party line accordingly per the script provided to them by the party, a union, or lobbyist group. This person blames all problems on the other party for their wrongful views and agenda, and that party's refusal to compromise by agreeing on everything my favorite party proposes."

That was meant to be a knock or put down on everyone who always votes along party lines. Your refusal to think on yourself, research the candidates and for the ones best for the job, regardless of political party is why we have career politicians and we our democratic republic now more resembles an oligarchy.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Spewing pollution sometimes is all in one's persective

I do my best not to argue, especially with strangers, even more especially with strangers on the internet. But for some reason I remembered this morning, as I mowed my yard for the last time a time, I felt obligated to do just that.

Years ago, about this time a friend and I where having a discussion under her Facebook status about getting ready for winter. One of her friends comments about her "asshole of an old man neighbor who was running his outboard boat motor in his garage, spewing pollution into the air." She went on and on for a long paragraph about how this old guy didn't care about the environment.

Even though I knew better, this woman's comments struck a nerve with me. So I politely commented that all he was doing was winterizing his outboard, And that what he was doing help ensure that the motor will run properly in the future. And in the long run this would cause less pollution.

I should have stopped there, but of course I went on to say that while it may appear he's wasting gas and polluting the air no reason, is it any worse than someone running an outboard motor in a lake? Since they are serving no purpose other than personal enjoyment by going fishing, pleasure cruising or maybe water skiing; they are not accomplishing anything productive or required for daily life. In reality, maybe the guy enjoyed sitting in his garage watching the motor run, is that really anymore environmentally unfriendly than motoring around a lake simply for enjoying the view?

Of course I was called an asshole for pointing this out, but I couldn't help it. Too often we see something and scream about how wrong it is for whatever reason, but fail to realize how similar that act is to things we deem acceptable environmentally, socially, politically, etc,

Friday, October 3, 2014

What if we were attacked in order to help us

Now that the US military is bombing ISIS locations across the Middle East, I can't help but wonder: What if we were attacked in order to help us? How would that set with Americains?

What if the drug gangs got so bold and out of hand that Canada launched airstrikes on part of Chicago or Detroit in an effort to stop violence and restore peace? Or some ultra religious militarized group (insert the faith and location of your choosing here) began attacking others around them in the United States. How would we react if UN or NATO drones started taking out their training camps located within the United States?

I can't help but think that us continuingly being the "world's police force" is just simply adding fuel to the hate the USA fire. I honestly feel if we need to interfere with the affairs of other countries, it should be done in one of two ways. Either we need to declare war and invade the country. This, of course can't be done if the trouble makers we are after are not the leaders of that country. In fact, it rarely works out well when the trouble makers are the leaders of that country. Occupying foreign lands just isn't a good idea, unless a country truly wants to keep that land forever.

The other option is to stop this BS of calling it an international coalition of action, or something catchy like that. We need to call it what it really is: being a hired gun for a country that can't take care of it's own problems. Then the blame of the problem will fall on where it belongs; the people causing the problems in the first place and the people who can't stop it on their own.

What happens now is a problem gets out of hand, an international response that is made up mainly of the US military responds, and anger from around the world is directed to the problem and the United States.

What I feel it should be done is how it has been done in the past. When a country can't handle it's own internal problems, they hire the services of another country's military. In other words, when things get out of control, they brought in mercenaries. That way the displeasure would be directed to where it belongs, to the government that is responsible for the problems in the first place.

Seems like a strange idea today, but a few hundred years ago countries like Switzerland did quite a bit of business in the mercenary industry. Maybe instead of World Cop, NATO and the US could be World Hired Gun. Maybe after we fires off a cruise missile at terrorist training camp, we fire off an invoice to the host country's defence department for services rendered. Sounds weird, but maybe it would help get our defence budget paid for.

Or I suppose there is the third option. Let someone else be world cop. I'd be fine with that too.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shouldn't brag, but I'm going to

I just did something over my lunch break that I don't think many are capable of doing anymore. I know I shouldn't brag, but I'm going to.

My lunch started out pretty normal. I ate two peanut butter sandwiches at my desk. I know, exciting right? Then I made a quick trip to the Post Office and the corner hardware store. So what's the big deal you may ask? I left my phone on my desk. On purpose.

I just plugged it into the charger when I took my first bite of sandwich and since it wasn't done charging when it was time to run some errands, I left it behind.

That's right, I went a good 20 minutes without the ability to send or receive phone call, email or text message. No why to see Twitter or Facebook updates. What was I thinking?!

I was thinking "do I really need to adjust my schedule based on the battery of some device?" I decided no I did not. I had no need to call anyone and I was not expecting a call. Besides, does anyone actually call people anymore? Sometimes it seems no one does. I could also go 20 minutes without returning an email. And to be honest, if I never looked at Facebook or Twitter again it may be a good thing.

We have become so chained down by, ironically, wireless devices we can almost not function without technology that either didn't exist or was a luxury item just a few years ago. Kind makes you wonder how much hope is left for the modern man?

Good Neighbors are Great

As fall is in full swing, it becomes a very busy time for me. As the days get shorter and the air cooler, I am reminded of all the things I need to do around the house and property before another long winter sets in. On top of that, it's also time for hunting and football.

The biggest chore facing me before winter is to get the firewood I have cut taken care of before the snow flies. I need to get it split, hauled in and stacked. I've been chipping away at it, splitting by hand and piling it up in the woods. But this last weekend my neighbor helped me with his time and use of his hydraulic splitter and ATV. With the extra set of hand and his power equipment, we got more done on a Sunday than I have done by myself over the last few weeks.

In return, I'm going to help him build a new shed next weekend. This is typically how we spend many weekends. He helps me with a project, and I help him with one in return. It works out great having a neighbor that you get along with and is willing to help.

Besides work projects, we also keep an eye on each other's property when we are gone. It is reassuring to know that your house is looked on to when you're on the road for an extended time by someone you know can can trust.

I am very fortunate to have great neighbors and kind of find it sad to think that this is not as common as it as before. I find it weird that as the world has grown smaller, we tend to know our neighbors less and less. I'm not saying we should be best friends with all our neighbors and know them like family, but we should at least know who they are.

Knowing your neighbors is something that is lost in today's world. And I think that is a problem with society when you don't even know the name of the people who live around you.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Not sure if waiting is the hardest part, but it's annoying

While sitting in a customer's lobby, I noticed they had 5 clocks on the wall. Each one set to the time zone that one of their facilities was in. There was a range of 3 minutes difference in the times and one clock was about a half inch higher than the rest. It was all I could do to sit there and not fix them.

Guess it's the Engineer in me, or some sort of OCD thing. Whatever you want to call it, I just sat there, staring at the clocks, getting more annoyed by the minute. The exact minute apparently varied depending on the time zone.

The clocks were not the main reason for my annoyance. I was mostly bothered at the fact that I was still sitting in the lobby waiting for my contact.

One of my dad's sayings is "my two biggest pet peeves is making people wait for me because I'm running late, and waiting for people who are running late." They may not be my biggest pet peeves, but they are up there on the list for sure. I like to be on time and I do not like to wait longer than I should.

I think it is very important to be on time. Especially in your professional life. Being late can speak volumes to a customer, vendor, employer and employee. Being late can make you appear unorganized, inept, and unqualified. Being late can make you appear not caring or even conceded. Being late can only give a bad impression, or at the very least be found annoying and unprofessional.

Especially if you are late for an appointment that you set the time for. This may seem trivial, and many times it very well may be. Life does happen and we can't always make our time. Being a few minutes late to the weekly budget meeting because you were on the phone with a customer is one thing, being 10 minutes late for a initial meeting with a potential new customer is quite another.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The U.S. Constitution, Void Where Prohibited

While I rarely waste my time debating strangers online about anything, but especially religion and politics; I make a point to steer completely clear from people who say things like "that can't happen, it's against the Constitution."

You hear that a lot from people who argue for more gun control when pro gun people express their concerns about confiscation, or having to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. They say stuff along the lines of "they can't confiscate your guns for no reason, it would be against the Constitution" or "the military can't be used against the US citizens, it's against the Constitution."

I always get a chuckle out of people saying they others don't need a Constitutional right or it should be infringed upon, because they will be protected by another Constitutional right instead.

Of course you see the "you have nothing to worry about, it's a against the Constitution for a host of other debates besides the 2nd Amendment. It like people think the Constitution is some magical, supernatural object. They act like if a tyrannical government or rouge military force attempted to violate it, their faces would melt like the Nazis in Raiders or the Lost Ark.

But that's not the case. As great as it is, the Constitution is just paper and words. Words that can easily be ignored or rebuked by any power that has the capabilities to back up their actions by convincing words, or brute force.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Okay to Protect Myself From Bear, From Humans Not So Much

Fall is in the air and I find myself spending more and more time in the woods and on the trails. I've been cutting firewood, scouting deer hunting spots and doing a little bird hunting. All of this with a sidearm on my hip. Not so much for protection against two legged adversaries, but for the four legged kind. Mainly black bear and gray wolves.

A run in with a black bear was the tipping point for me to get a concealed carry license in the first place. While Wisconsin is an open carry state, I liked the idea of concealing my handgun when I walk the dog, simply to avoid a glare & snide remark from some of my hippie neighbors. Helps us coexist to keep them in the dark.

But most around here are very warm to the idea of having a "woods gun" with you. Even those who frown upon someone carrying when not in the woods; which I find very odd. It's okay to protect yourself from wild animals, but not from another human who is deliberately putting your life in danger?

The animal is most likely following it's instincts to protect itself from you, do to you either surprising it, or getting too close to it's young. The human is trying to, or is threatening to harm you for more selfish and sinister reasons. Despite this some people I personally know are fine with me carrying a handgun in the woods in case I have a run in with a black bear, yet don't approve of me wanting to carry elsewhere to protect myself from a criminal.

How come there isn't the response of "you don't need to carry a gun when you go hiking, if you run into a bear call a game warden" from these people in my life?

I think it comes down to that people can justify one protecting themselves from wild animals easier because, well, we're dealing with wild animals. We hold ourselves collectively higher and don't want to believe that many out there do not hold value of life as highly as the rest of us. That some out there are truly as or more dangerous than a wild animal, and that's hard to accept.

It's hard to accept the fact that no matter how nice we have things and how well we overall treat our fellow man; the world is a dangerous place. A dangerous place with dangerous humans. It has always been that way and it will always be that way in the future, no matter how hard we deny it.

Does that mean I think everyone should carry a gun? Hell no! For starters there are plenty of people who should be near a gun, let alone own and or carry one. But the general public shouldn't look down upon those who responsibly do.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

I wish we had more politicians like the one who isn't running for reelection.

My district's Representative for State Assembly is not running for reelection and I couldn't be happier.

No, I don't despise him because he's with the wrong political party, or I think he is doing a good job. In fact, I think he's been doing a good job.

I'm happy because of why he's not running for a 3rd term. He says it's time for him to go back to private life and let some one else represent.

I wish all politicians would do that. Run for election, serve, leave office after a term or two. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

La Tee Da About the Latte Salute

So here we go again, another controversy that everyone who takes their politics seriously are talking about. The President steps out of Marine One and gives a half assed salute with a cup of coffee in his hand. Almost before Obama makes it across the tarmac, the far right is going nuts on how disrespectful he is.

Following the modern debate protocol, since the people on the far left didn't have a good response, they went with the "oh yeah, well your guy did it too" reply.

So here we all are. Arguing who's the worse President based on how they salute members of our Armed Forces. I guess there isn't anything more pressing in the world do discuss.

My view is really why are they saluting in the first place. The President is the Commander and Chief, but he's still a civilian and not required to salute back.

From what I've read online, Reagan may have been the first President to start saluting back the Servicemen. Not sure on that and I'm too lazy to research it for this blog post that nobody will read. If that's true then I guess the Presidents that followed Reagan felt that they were pretty much obligated to do so.

While I'm not outraged by this little incident, I did not like seeing the nonchalant approach of President Obama's salute. I say either do it right or don't do it at all, because something in between is disrespectful. With that said, I don't see how it's newsworthy. Being he's been in office for about 6 years now, I'm guessing he's saluted thousands of times now. If this is his worst job, he's still has a good average going for him.

As I type this, looking at the two pictures, I can't help but think how much they sum up my views of the two Presidents. Obama appears to be self absorbed and not really caring about whats going on. And Bush is, well.....  I guess he's trying.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Very interesting. But irrelevant!

People tend to use very interesting, yet meaningless facts to boost an argument or statement. My favorite is "don't eat margarine, the margarine molecule is one atom different from plastic."

While, that's a cool piece of trivia, so what? Using the logic that margarine is bad for you simply because it's close on a molecular level to a plastic*; then since water is only one atom different from poisonous hydrogen peroxide, we shouldn't drink water either.

Now I'm not writing this in the defense of margarine, personally I prefer butter. But I don't base my preferences on interesting yet completely irrelevant trivia.

In case you were wondering why I prefer butter. Mainly because it tastes better, but also because it tastes better.

*there are thousands of different types of plastic, all with different molecules

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pre Pre-Game Post Show

Even though I'm a die hard Packers fan, I don't actually get to watch too many of the early games. there's just too much to do this time of year for me. With the changing seasons I'm in a mad dash to get all the projects I started in the spring, but put off due to the warm weather of summer. So for the 1st few weeks I'm typically listening to the games on the radio while I'm working on something in the garage or backyard.

Today I had the radio tuned into the local channel that covers the Packers a good hour before kickoff and I couldn't help but think what a huge industry the NFL really is. Besides the teams and league itself that generate millions of dollars each week in revenue, there is the a huge industry that covers the game.

As I listened to the radio pregame show, I thought that show employees many people. There's commentators and analysts who babble the same stuff before every game. Also there is a production staff, audio and broadcasting techs, researchers & statisticians, reporters, writers, etc.

And this is repeated on every city that has a pro team with multiple radio and television outlets. There is also the national broadcast and cable networks, satellite radio shows, blogs podcasts & other websites all focused on the NFL. Who knows how many people make their living or at least a good part of it off of the NFL, or any other pro or college sport for that matter.

It's kind of amazing when you think about it. Extremely amazing when you consider there is hours and hours of coverage both before and after the actual game when there really isn't hours and hours worth of stuff to discuss.

Seriously, why is there a three hours of pre and post game coverage? Besides current team events like whos injured or in jail, there really hasn't been an original statement, remark or topic discussed in decades. The subject never changes. They want the home team to win and to win they have to play better than the other team. Do we really need to talk about that longer than they'll actually play the game? Apparently so. Probably thousands of jobs depend on it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Starting Tomorrow, Starting Tomorrow....Starting Now.

Not trying to brag, but I am a fairly productive person. For the most part I keep up an active and busy schedule. For the most part.

While usually productive, at the core I am one of the laziest people around. With a slight lapse in motivation I can come to a crashing halt on the couch watching episode after episode of some series on Netflix, video after related video on YouTube, or just a plain old fashion nap while. I need to put a lot of effort to keep moving, or I'll set down and it's then usually all over.

On top of that, I have a great deal of procrastination wrapped around my core of laziness. Often I say at the end of a day "starting tomorrow..."

Starting tomorrow I'm getting up a half hour earlier. Starting tomorrow I'm going to spend one hour a day cleaning the house. Starting tomorrow I'm only going to watch one hour of TV. Starting tomorrow I'm going to work on this project for at least two hours a day. Sound familiar? If not, you may not be a natural procrastinator like me. 

Like so many problems and or habits we all have. The hardest step is to start addressing them and breaking the cycle of repeating them. So lately I've been making a conscious effort to better myself. What's helped me is a couple of little tricks. 

One is setting smaller, achievable "to do" list that help me stay on track. I still make and maintain a large list. I just break it down into a series of smaller ones and tackle them in smaller pieces.

Another thing is I no longer tell myself "starting tomorrow." When I tell myself "starting tomorrow" I can telling my self a lie. I am giving myself time to come up with an excuse to push it back another day. Let's face the truth, a lot of the things we tell ourselves we are doing starting tomorrow are things we don't want to do today and we want another 24 hours to put it off. 

Starting now, I am going to post something on this blog every day for at least the next 30 days. 
This is something I've seriously been neglecting and need to put more focus on. Even though this blog doesn't have many followers and it is not going to do much, I find it very therapeutic the type out posts for it. This gives me a chance to be a little creative, let off steam by getting my thoughts out on certain events & issues, and it helps me build or maintain my momentum to be productive.

Maintaining my momentum is the biggest reason. Taking a break from my tasks at hand by writing a blog post may not be super productive, but it's better than spending what was meant to be a few minutes on YouTube that turns into hours of wasted time.

So here begins my personal 30 day challenge. To write & post something here at least once a day until October 20th, 2014. Should be interesting for me to see how this little challenge impacts me.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Say "I'm Sorry"

This morning I read this outstanding post on Seth Godin's blog, "Two elements of an apology." If you don't follow his blog, you may want to check it out, it's one of my favorites.

The post reminded me of how bad we've gotten at saying "I'm sorry" when we screw things up. Most apologies today are without meaning, or even worse. All too often they are the "non-apology apology" that used to be the domain of children, but most politicians and others are fluent in it today.

The "non-apology apology" was first brought to my attention by a local talk radio show. It was an eye opening experience when I first heard it defined and I realized how rampant it is. You hear it all the time with phrases like "I'm sorry my actions offended you." In other words, "I'm not actually sorry for what I did, I'm sorry you're upset" or more specifically, "I'm sorry I got caught." Being able to deliver the "non-apology apology" in a convincing way is a requirement for the career politician.

What I like most about Seth's blog post is that the apology is not only meant to make the person or group you are apologizing to feel better, it is to express that you are taking responsibility for your actions or failures that are causing you to apologies in the first place. That's something we all should work on, not only genuinely owning up to our mistakes, but expressing a plan to not repeat our error.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Facebook is Making Us Stupid: Pretty Wolf Edition

This is a perfect example of way I am starting to really hate Facebook. It is truly making us stupid. People no longer think for themselves or even research what is presented to them. Take the above image for example.

A majestic image of a wolf and the profound quote of:
“Our wolf management is becoming so unscientific and unregulated, it’s putting Wisconsin wolves at risk of being returned to a threatened status.” Attorney Jodi Habush-Sinykin of Midwest Environmental Advocates. 
Did you notice who said it? Not a wildlife biologist, noted wolf habitat expert, or WDNR insider blowing the whistle; but a lawyer for a environmental advocacy group. Think there just might be a little bias? Somebody who does not work in the actual field with the wolves; but files lawsuits for an advocacy group who gets it's funding and support from well meaning people who base their decisions to support them on emotions. Those emotions are played upon by images like the one above. A majestic image of a wolf and a profound quote.

In the above image there is no mention to how or why wolf management is becoming unscientific. No mention of exactly why the Wisconsin wolves are at a risk of returning to a threatened status. No numbers or data supporting anything. Just a majestic image of a wolf and a profound quote. A profound quote from a lawyer at that.

We used to use facts to back up our arguments, values, discussions, etc. But now days we just build our opinion up on pictures shared on Facebook that we already agree with emotionally. We don't have time for facts, unless of course they are cherry picked and taken out of context.  

Here's a link to the Facebook page that has the above image.

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Mixed Feelings on NFL Player Punishments

With Adrian Peterson making and (unfortunately) staying in the headlines, I've been thinking about my mixed emotions on the subject of penalizing professional athletes for off the field actions. Peterson, of course, is just the latest pro athlete to be in the spotlight of for their actions (or accusations) in their personal lives.

If the charges he has been indicted on are true, I hope he gets the book thrown at him by the criminal court system. But I'm not so sure about being punished by the NFL. Don't get me wrong, if he is found guilty, I won't lose sleep if he's banned from the NFL. I just don't think being punished at work for something done in a person's private life is justified.

It's not applied elsewhere. Know anyone who was fired because they got an OWI, beat someone up, was caught shoplifting? Should an employer be allowed to fine someone or reduce their pay if they commit a crime outside of the workplace?

Some may argue that professional athletes are role models for children, and they need to be held to a higher standard. Fine. Aren't parents more of an influence on a child than a pro athelete? It should be fair to say that all parents are role models to their children. So with that logic, if I'm an employer, I should be able to fire, suspend or reduce the salary of any parent who commits anything I deem inappropriate in their private life. Yeah, that wouldn't fly.

The problem is, being a pro athlete is not a typical job. They have a celebrity status and their very names represent the teams, league and sponsors, lots of sponsors. Both sponsors for the league, team sponsors, advertisers on TV, at stadiums, etc. They sell jerseys, hats, shirts, jackets & shoes. They make sponsor a lot of money and when they screw up, they can cost them a lot of money.

This is where it starts to make sense to me. Companies that advertise with a team and the league or have athelete indorse their products can be greatly affected by off the field actions of pro athletes. The league and teams can then be financially affected when they lose advertisers and sponsors. So if I did something in my private life that caused the company I work for to lose money, I guess it does make sense for me to be punished at work too.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our Problem is Not the President, It's Us.

I saw this Facebook meme a few days ago and had to share it. I also felt compelled to make a post about it here.

For my lifetime anyway, it seems all blame for the problems of our country fall squarely on the President. While I have not been a fan or really impressed by any President since I've been of voting age, I can blame everything on them. Lots of things yes, but not everything.

I'm also very sure things for this country won't improve in two years regardless of who we elect as our next President.

For starters, the type of people who could fix things are rarely the type of person who will or feasible can run for elected office.

The type of people who run for office are typically, but not always; politically well connected, well off financially, are pros at saying what people want to hear, and are completely narcissistic and run for office primary for the power of the office. I say typically, I'm sure the people in office you like and continually vote for are completely different.

While the President is the lightning rod for our political angst, not much that he does can be done without Congress. You know, that branch of our Federal government that maintains about a 20% approval rating. The stat that 80% of the people don't approve of Congress amazes me for several reasons.

First off, this very low rating isn't a recent spike. Congress has pretty much maintains a below 50% approval rating. People who we picked to go to Washington, DC as a whole do not meet our approval.

Not only do we send duds to DC, we keep sending the same ones back!
Per Congressional Research Service Report RL32648:
"The average years of service for Members of the 110th Congress, as of January
3, 2007, when the Congress convened was 10.0 years for the House and 12.82 years
for the Senate. This is a record for the Senate. House Members who took their seats
at the beginning of the 102nd Congress (1991-1993) represent the high point of
Representatives’ average tenure (10.4 years)."
We are sending the same people back to DC for an average period of time that is longer than the average person holds a job. The same people that only 20% of us think is doing a good job.

Why do we do this? Simple, we refuse to accept the fact that we vote for career politicians who only say what we want to hear so they can hold on to their seats of power. Like I said above, I'm sure the people in office you like and continually vote for are completely different. And that's the problem. We refuse to admit we vote for people who should not voted for.

We, the American People fit the often said definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We complain about career politicians like Boehner, Feinsten, Hatch, McCain, Pelosi, and Reid yet we are the same fools who keep sending them back.

Why do we do this? Two reason I can think of. We vote along party lines regardless of the person representing the party, and the "I hate Congress but love my Congressman" syndrome we all seem to have. "He's been serving my District for 15 terms, he know Washington" is a common excuse to keep sending some one back. Yep, he know Washington, mainly how to keep himself there while having a 20% approval rating.

Let's think about that. Would you go to a Doctor that had a 20% approval rating? Would you buy a house from a Relator that had a 20% approval rating? Would you eat at a restaurant that had a 20% approval rating? Would you send your kids to a daycare that had a 20% approval rating?

But you're okay sending your Senators and Representative back to a Congress that has a 20% approval rating. A Congress that is pivotal in running our Country.

We could easily fix this in two election cycles. But of course it would involve some work and changes on our end. We would actually have to research the candidates and not vote based on name recognition, celebrity endorsement or party line. Yes, we will actually have to put some thought into it. We will actually have to vote at primary elections too.

Most importantly, we need to pick the candidate we feel is the best. Not who the union endorses, or paper endorses, or who has the most yard signs in your neighborhood, or the political party Grandpa was active in.

Sadly this is something that vast majority of us can not and will not do; and our  20% Congressional approval rating proves it.

Is Islam really a violent religion, or is it simply the dominant religion of a violent part of the world?

With the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks fast approaching, there is the annual talk about possible upcoming attacks on that date. Which I always think is a bunch of hype over nothing. I think terror attacks would work best when the victims are not expecting it, so attacking on an anniversary date doesn't seem like the best time. But since I'm not a terrorist planner, what do I know.

Anyway, right now there is a bunch of talk about ISIS launching an attack on US soil. And with it, comes the what's become to be expected comments about how Islam is a violent religion.

I woke up this morning with a thought. Well, more of a rhetorical question. Is Islam really a violent religion, or is it simply the dominant religion of a violent part of the world?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bed Making

I've never been much of a bed maker. I get up and kind of throw the sheets back somewhat in place. Just never seen a need for a nice looking bed. Like the comedian Jim Gaffigan said "it's like tieing your shoes after you took them off."

But for the last week or so, I make my bed right away in the morning. Kind of a motivation thing. Right away I complete a simple task and I see immediate results and I start the day with a small victory.

Weird as it is, it seems to be working for me. One quick small accomplishment gets my day going.

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.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Forced to Escalate This Beyond Conventional Weapons

Living in the woods has many advantages. One of the biggest for me is pretty much living with the wildlife. Deer, turkeys, bear, coyotes, and other critters of the forest often roam through my yard. It is always fun to watch them from my living room window.

Living in the wood has many disadvantages too. One of the biggest for me is pretty much living with the wildlife. Deer & bears destroy my birdfeeders. Bears, coyotes and other critters get into the garbage. And of course the mice.

Turns out mice find living in my little house more comfortable than living under a log. And that is a problem for me. A problem that starts a small war every fall when the mice decide to migrate from the logs to my house. Even though my house is pretty well sealed up to prevent a rodent invasion, a few always find a way in when the temperature drops in the fall.

I don't like this annual war on rodents too much. Even though I have no problems hunting game animals for food, I'm not into killing animals for just killing. But I am not into letting rodents chew my drywall and crap on my kitchen counter either. So, like voting, I pick the option I dislike less.

My preferred method in defending the sanitary conditions of my kitchen surfaces is the tried & true mouse trap. A little peanut butter on the pan for bait, and the little buggers it a last snack before the wack of a quick death. Little fuss, little muss.

The annual war's fighting pretty much ended a few months ago. But at least one remains or a final wave came in from the winter's chill. And this one is crafty. Either a mouse ninja or Rodent Army Special Operations Specialist.

For the last few days, the trap pans have been cleaned of peanut butter and this morning, a horrific discovery. Droppings in my silverware tray. That's it, gloves are off. With that, I am forced to escalate this beyond conventional weapons. Time to drop the chemical weapon option. That's right, the rat poison is out.

I don't care to use poison. The mice die a slower death that with the trap. Plus with the trap, you can recover and dispose of the fresh kill. Using poison sometimes results in discovering your foe's casualties by the smell. No, I don't care to use poison. But finding mouse turds on my butter knives call for action.

I found this funny, so I guess it makes me a racist

With the latest Justin Bieber being a complete douchebag incident, there has been a bunch of memes floating around the interwebs. The one shown here I found funny enough to share. 

I have to admit I'm not 100% sure on the joke. I'm assuming "as long as you love me" is one of his songs. They don't play much Bieber on the classic rock, hard rock and country stations I typically listen to while driving in my truck.

Any rate, I shared it in Facebook. Many of my friends thought it was funny, one sent me a PM calling me a racist. I was taken back a bit by that statement. Granted this meme is crude at best with a reference to prison rape. But racist? 

Now even though I have no children as Facebook friends, I still keep my Facebook page PG rated. The meme is not the type of thing I post, but I thought it was pretty funny and I couldn't resist. 

I asked my friend to explain why I am racist for sharing the meme. My friend told me it was racist because the guy in the other mugshot was black and it was racist to imply a big meaning looking black guy would rape a little white guy. It should have been a picture of a big mean looking white guy instead.

I guess I never thought about it that way. I just saw it as a big mean looking guy. I would found it funny that the big mean looking guy was black. I would have found it just as funny if the big mean looking guy was white, or hispanic, or native American, or asian, or any other ethnic group you can think off.   

But according to my friend, that would be racist. I guess to prevent myself from being racist, I need to make sure anything I share on Facebook is segregated by race. Sorry, but I really don't think I was the one who is being racist in the discussion I had with my friend.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brace Yourselves, the Winter Olympics Are Coming

Kyodo News, AP Sarah Hendrickson of the United States soars in the air during the second event at the women's World Cup ski jumping on Saturday in Zao, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.

Brace yourselves, the Winter Olympics are coming, and I can't wait. I absolutely love the Winter Olympics and I will watch all the events I can. Which is kind of odd since I can't sit through five minutes of the Summer Olympics. Maybe because I grew up in Northern Wisconsin playing hockey, or it's my Norwegian heritage. Most likely it's because I just hate running. At any rate, the Winter Games is where it's at for me.

While watching the NFL playoff games last week, they ran a commercial promoting how this year Women's Ski Jumping will make it's debut as an Olympic Event. That announcement shocked me. Not because I think women can't handle the sport of ski jumping. I just assumed it always was an Olympic Event.

Old picture from the web
There have (as long as I can remember) Women's divisions for Downhill, Super G, Bobsled, Luge and all the other death defying events that I think have their origins to a drunken dare between two Scandinavians. 

Especially Skeleton. There is no way that sport started off sober! You know there was a few Swedes and Norwegians at the ice track bragging how fast they were, then some Finnlander went down head first to prove a point.