Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sorely Disappointed

I was originally going to write about a family Christmas experience from my child hood, but something came up this week end that troubles both of us.

One of our daughters had several friends over last nite for a bit of cheer. Over all it was a pleasant evening with one notable exception.

While listening to the chit chat going on between the young adults the topic of who was doing what on graduation came up. One of their social circle who was not present, has opted for military service. My daughter floored me when she condemned this person for "supporting a bankrupt Bush policy" Could our daughter really be that foolish?

She can.

We knew when we sent her to school in Wisconsin that it was an extremely liberal school and that it would probably influence her thinking. Exposure to differing view points is healthy mental exercise and the only way we can truly establish opinions as our own. As we dug into it, it became apparent that she was parroting what she had been hearing and not really thinking about it.

We had a long discussion about those who serve versus those who set policy. I hope she now understands that those who choose to serve in the military are ultimately serving us and not an administration. By long tradition and law, the military does not make policy but is subject to direction from the civilian authorities we elect. If we do not like the policy, it is our fault as the electorate, not those who have chosen to serve.

However we feel about the Bush administration policy, it is wrong to condemn those who serve. It was despicable when this happened during Viet Nam. I would have hoped we learned better by now. It appears we have not.

They deserve our respect and our gratitude.

Best of the New Year to you all! I will be off until the 30th.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

White Bread

I am back from OZ (Southern California) and as always it seems I learn something new and mostly odd about my family. Growing up in a very middle class neighborhood in Southern California, I always thought we were your fairly typical White, Anglosaxon, Latino, German, French, Danish, Indian family. We were 4 kids, all close in age, living with our married parents going to school with other kids like us. Well, according to the OH we were not typical.(Hey! How was a girl to know?? It seemed normal to me!!) After meeting and getting to know the in-laws I started to feel like my family was big time disfunctional. It took me a while to realize the OH's family would make the Cleavers AND the Andersons look like refugees from a soap opera. After that realization I felt much better.

Any way, good news from California! Dad is DATING!!! woooo hooooo..... Considering he is 78, he Rocks!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Going Home

Tomorrow I will be flying to the left coast to spend a few days with Dad. I do this every few months but I always have some trepidation about it. First, I really HATE crowds and Southern California is wall to wall people. Second and probably the biggest reason is that it is not where I grew up. Instead of finding a comfortable sense of familiarity with it, I find a discordancy when the present does not match up to the memories.

You really can't go home. Why do we keep trying?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Marital Misfortune?

The Star Tribune published an interesting article titled "Marital Misfortune".

It begins by discussing the break up of Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe (I know, I am crushed about that and the break up of Pam and Kid Rock..... *L*). It lays the break up on Reese's career and earnings eclipsing Ryan's. This is cited as a common cause for marital strain. The article launches into a discussion of how the split in house hold earnings can affect the stability of the relationship.

I honestly do not undertand it. The OH is teacher. It is a poorly paying career and it is no surprise that working in engineering/sales my earning have greatly eclipsed the OH's. It has forced us to make some odd choices over the years in regards to our marital roles. Some how we have survived these trials with no major problems. We will be celebrating our 25th anniversary next month and there does not appear to be a divorce on the horizon. If so many marriages fail because of this, why is ours still viable?

Could it be that we both knew this would likely be the case when we married? Is it related to that little "P" on the lab report pushing us into decision making before we had a chance to think? Does it have anything to do with the fact that I have (and express) a tremendous amount of respect for any one that has the dedication and skills to be a good teacher? Would it be different if we were talking $millions$?

I don't have the answer as why it has worked for us. I do know that with the rise of women in the workforce and the slow equalization of earnings, this will become a more common scenario in the coming decades. Will the next generation deal with it better than us?

mmmmmm, Ryan's kind of hot.... I wonder if he likes older women?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Holiday Tamales

Liz's response to one of my comments triggered this story.

One of the great and sad things about this country is we cross so many cultural lines that we are constantly being blended, challenged, and changed by new cultural additions. It is great because I believe it helps us find the strengths that exist across such diversity. It is sad because some neat traditions are lost along the way.

For one family, Holiday Tamales was one of them.

We had interesting neighbors growing up. Typical of lower middle class California in the 50's and 60's, we had Mormons, Hispanics, Germans, etc. and Mutts** like us. The Garcias lived across the street from us and every year Mrs Garcia and her daughters made Tamales for the neighbors. Besides being GREAT tamales, it opened my eyes to how things can be lost. I had occasion a few years ago to visit with the Garcia daughter I went to school with and after her Mom died the generations long tradition of Holiday Tamales died. It is a shame. I do not think Gaby (the daughter) realized what a treat it was watching the Garcia women turn Tamale making into a fun social event that was also a labor of love.

I doubt I will ever have a tamale as good.

**Mutt and proud of it! *G*

Friday, November 24, 2006


The OH and I spent Thanksgiving day with the "Out-Laws" at the farm yesterday. As usual, it was a great visit. Good food, wonderful weather and engaging conversation.

The high light for me personally was the introduction of a new girl friend by one of the nephews. I like her a LOT, she is 6' 3" (190 cm). Added bonus? She is very bright, funny and obviously nearsighted if she is dating the nephew!

It was the first time socializing with the clan I did not feel so outsized *S*

I know the generations are getting bigger, but WOW!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Counting Our Blessings

I have been a bit distracted the last few days. One of my college roomies had an acute allergic reaction to some shell fish on Friday and ended up in the hospital for a few days. She has never had anything like that happen before.

This is something new for her. I remember splitting fresh caught abalone and lobster with her when we were Juniors. What has me floored is that instead of being thankful that she recieved life saving care in time, she is talking lawsuits. She does not seem to understand that no one can predict her particular food allergies.

Hello! Ang! You are alive! Let it go!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Lining Up At The Trough

Most of you are aware of my ire resulting from the Corporate welfare provided to Carl "Moth Pockets" Pohlad and the Minnesota Twins. Robert "Frayed Cuffs" Ulrich, the impoverished CEO of TARGET (he only made $5 million in 05) has now informed Hennepin County that they must have a free ride on property taxes for their 24 acre Brooklyn Park Campus. Life is hard at TARGET. They are only forecast to make $2,000,000,000.00 this year and I am sure Hennepin County residents are being grossly unfair expecting TARGET to pick up its share of services such as streets, snow removal, sewage, water and other trivial things they would not otherwise use.

I have been a fan of TARGET for years. They have taken a step up on their competitors in how they deal with the communities, their employees, vendors and their customers. This is WAY out character for them and I hope they are not jumping feet first into the "corporate welfare" trough.

This only one year after banning the Salvation Army bell ringers. Are we seeing an attitude change?

Monday, November 13, 2006


As I approach the second anniversary of her passing, Mom has been in my thoughts of late. With all the driving I do, I have a lot of time to think and puzzle thru many things. My relationship with Mom though remains perplexing.

Mom and I had a relationship nothing like what I have with our daughters. I am not saying she was not there when I needed her, it was just that we were never close. She was always "Mom" whether it was my brothers or me. I am not complaining. Mom did teach me to read before I started school and conveyed a love of literature that served me well during my VERY socially awkward High School years. With that exception, she never really related to me in any way that was different from my brothers. She was not distanced from our needs growing up. She vehemently (and wisely) fought the Schools on advance placement. She dealt with most of our school discipline problems and of course was there for the birth of ALL her grandchildren.

As I have come to realize the difference in our relationship as compared to my daughters, I wonder if it was tied to how close we 4 siblings were growing up? How much was that we were a self sustaining dynamic of our own? Was she just totally overwhelmed? Or, how much was tied to her (in hindsight) periodic bouts of depression?

I believe that if Mom had treated me different from the others, our sibling relationship would have been a lot more difficult. I further believe we would not be as close as we are now. I suspect that Moms emotional distance and my sibs closeness more than my physical oddities were a determinant in my education and career choices. I prefer to think she kept her distance out of wisdom. I begrudge nothing and I am grateful for what I was given. I will always wonder about the "why" though.

Rest well Mom, we miss you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I started the local cycling season in April with a goal of cranking out 2000 miles before the snow stuck. Today I made it! I realize that for you really serious cyclists, 2000 miles is modest. For me though, it is the most I have ever put on and I really feel the benefit of it. I will be training thru the winter to run with our oldest daughter next May.

I am wondering what I should set for a cycling goal next year?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mad As Hell!

Earlier this year, one of the richest men in Minnesota, Carl Pohlad, recieved a nice little gift from the State, a bill authorizing and funding a new downtown stadium for the Minnesota Twins. Did the Twins need a new stadium? Probably. Baseball belongs outdoors on grass, not on turf in a dome.

But, was it right to; Subsidize a sports franchise? Fund it with taxpayers money? Take away the taxpayers voice in funding it?

The first two are arguable. Take away our voice in funding it though? That answer is a resounding NO! Our own revolution was at least partially rationalized on "No Taxation Without Representation". I can not find fault with my particular legislators, they opposed it. I can find fault with the man who ran for Goveror on a platform of fiscal responsibility and then signed this piece corporate welfare. I think this issue may be the one that costs him the election

Tim Pawlenty is certainly not getting my vote

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Do It!

I was originally going to rant about my vote on Tuesday and how mad I still am about the Minnesota Twins Stadium deal.

I changed my mind.

This is the most emotional I have been about an election ever. It is not over specific issues but a disturbing trend that has been appearing among our elected officials that is slowly whittling away our "rights" and our "voice". Everything from the Patriot Act to the Twins stadium bill are harbingers of an increasingly arrogant government.

Most Americans have an election coming up on Tuesday.

What do politicians covet and fear? YOUR VOTE. However you feel about candidates or issues, GET OUT AND VOTE!! It is the one act we can commit that makes them understand their limits.

I will rant about the Twins Stadium on Monday.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Twick or Tweet

Our daughters are now well into their 20's and very pleasant and engaging young ladies. There are certain times of the year though when the OH and I really miss our "little girls". Halloween is near the top of the list.

Memories of Halloweens past *S*

Monday, October 30, 2006

Passing of a Legend?

I was reading in the paper this morning that Pink Lawn Flamingos are soon to be passing from this mortal plane forever. Union Products of Leominster Mass. made their last Flamingo in June.

It is sad to watch such an icon of American Kitsch melt down.

What is next? Fuzzy dice?

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I am trying to make it a regular habit to post every Monday and Thursday. This last week I have not been doing very well. In the last 10 days I have been in 4 states (one twice), driven 2000 miles and spent a total 3 nites in my own bed (with the OH of course!). It has not been all work of course. I had some evenings with friends and the opportunity to visit with our daughters. I do miss waking up snuggled up to a nice warm body (no Leesa, that is NOT an invitation!)

The last few years I have been spoiled by my relative lack of road time. For now at least it is back. It gets old quickly, but it pays the bills very nicely.

I will be home Saturday

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Don't Need No Stinkin' Ethics"

This mornings Star Tribune reported that United Health CEO William "Billy boy" McGuire has resigned amidst the options "back dating" scandals that are plaguing United Health and many large American corporations. It only reinforces my contention that despite public obeisance to the Stockholders, most American corporations are run by top management, for the benefit of top management.

What drives these men to collect bonuses far beyond what they could ever spend? I think it is ego. It is their way of keeping score. Of course they are all surprised when some one notices and questions it. Enron, Tycho, and now United Health. How do we solve the on going ethical problem in American business?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Vanity, Thy Name is.............

It seems of late I have noticed more and deeper wrinkles (OK, OK...for a couple of years !@#$ it!)

This week I have had occasion to wear more makeup, more often than is my normal wont. It really seems silly to slather on the make up just to end up with your wrinkles showing even more prominently. Why do we do it? Darned if I know. It sure seems a lot of effort and money for negative gain.

I have to give the cosmetics companies bonus points. They have had us doing this for over 100 years and we still haven't figured it out!

I have decided I am using this dog as my role model.


Monday, October 09, 2006

The Last Gasp

I always get a bit maudlin this time of year. You can feel the promise of winters chill in the morning air. With it though comes natures last gasp with a spectacular color show before the gray and white of winters blanket puts the land to sleep.

On the first, the OH and I went for a bike ride along the Cannon River and enjoyed the vibrant colors. Sadly they are gone now and snow is in the forecast for later this week. The memory though, lingers on.

*these pics are the Sugar Maples that border our back yard

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Me and My BIG Mouth

I put my foot in it this weekend.

As you are aware, we have taken on physical fitness as an essential component to our lives. We have been encouraging our daughters along these lines and the youngest has responded. Until recently, the oldest just kept gaining weight.

She joined Weight Watchers and has some success but nowhere near what her needs are. She has taken her younger sisters example and has set a goal of running the Mad City Marathon next May. She asked me to join her.

Stupidly, I agreed........

I am 53 years old.....I am NUTS

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Idiot Cycle

The OH and I had a discouraging dinner conversation the other night with some individuals espousing the problems of Global Warming. I do not disagree with the position, but what was annoying was that these people were quoting "sound bites" as though they were a complete picture of the problem, its causes, possible solutions and ramifications. The OH typically has a lower tolerance for this crud than I do but managed to keep me from committing a social faux pas by calling these idiots, "ignorant sluts"*

Sadly, I think we see more of this than would be ideal for a healthy society. People who form rock hard opinions on topics based on inadequate data. It seems to be especially prevalent among Hollyweird types**

Is epistemology dead?

*Dan Ackroyd from SNL
** OK, you all knew I had to take a shot at Tom Cruise! *L*

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Biker Chick

OK,,,confessions time here. In my misspent youth I had a passion for motorcycles. I bought my first used 80cc yamaha when I was 14 and proceeded from there. I rode Moto-X and "Hare and Hound". My social life ran around motorcycles which of course really helped my mainstreaming in High School (not!). By my senior year I realized I could not keep such an expensive hobby, work, eat and go to college. The choice was motorcycles or eating....eating edged them out. I sold my dirt bike (Maico 250) and bought a used Yamaha 350 that I used for transportation during my college years. (I loved 2 strokes!) The last motorcycle I owned was an 82 Suzuki 850 that I sold the day the rabbit died. I let my motorcycle license lapse and have not looked back on what I considered a closed part of my life.

In the interim, my older brothers have all hit their mid life crisises and bought motorcycles. Between the three of them, they own a Honda Valkyrie, HD Sporster, HD Superglide, HD Fatboy, BMW and a minibike. They seemed to feel something was missing in my life so on the 8th of this month when my sibs were coming in for "Da Kids" Ironman, one of them showed up riding thismy first response was "nice bike, but aren't your other bikes jealous?" the rejoinder? "Nope, its your birthday present from blank1, blank2 and me. We thought you needed a motorcycle again and this is a 'girly bike' after all". The OH was in on it and started laughing. I promptly ended that with a "shut up, or guess who will be riding bitch?"

At least now I understand why the OH was trying to get the excess junk out of the garage.

It is a nice bike. It is along the lines of what I would have bought for myself. It has 15K miles on it and needs some minor work. I hope I can get my required class and my license updated before the snow flies.

Everyone needs big brothers *S*

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bad News

Gas prices in my area have fallen over $.80 per gallon in the last 3 weeks. Good news, right? I don't think so....

As long as we are dependent on fossil fuels for our energy needs we will be riding the roller coaster of gasoline/diesel price swings. The price swings occur in both long and short term cycles and the result is we spend a lot of time dealing with the dislocations from swings BOTH ways.

What is most worrisome to me? With the easing of pump prices, our elected village idiots in Washington will not feel the urgency to create a coherent and forward looking National Energy Policy that could free us from dependence on fossil fuels.

So, a low pump price is bad news.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I will admit that I am a sucker for a good human interest story. I am especially vulnerable to those tales involving an indomitable will. Must be from watching "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" as a kid. *S*

The first year that I volunteered at the Cheesehead Ironman I learned the story of Frank Farrar. I was working one of the bike aid stations when I suddenly hear everyone cheering for one of the riders near the back of the pack. I asked one of my coworkers what all the racket was about and he told me "That was Frank". I obviously looked blank so he informed me that Frank was in his 70's and was by far the oldest Ironman participant. As always, there was a LOT more to the story.

At that time, 2004, Frank Farrar was 74. He is also the former Governor of South Dakota and a successful attorney. In 1992 he was informed he had terminal cancer and had maybe 6 months to live. His reaction? He started training even harder and now in 2006 he is still doing triathalons. Despite advancing age and bad knees he continues to participate. He has failed to complete the last 3 Ironmans in the alloted time of 17 hours but he never leaves the course until he is finished. I was there at 12:02 the other nite when the now 77 year old Frank once more failed to make the cut off. The cheering from a crowd of tired volunteers was INCREDIBLE. I hope I am half that tough.

Once more we see that the amazing thing is not how well the elephant flies, but that it flies at all.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Temperature....Hi 62 F, Low 55 F
Wind....East 10-20 MPH

Despite tough weather, the time speaks for itself.

"Da Kid" Finished!!!!!!!!

I am humbled and awed

**this is not "Da Kids" picture, but it captures the flavour

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"Da Kid" ....Final Countdown

Almost 3 years after first talking about it. Almost 1 year after signing up for it. "Da Kid" is on her final few days before taking on the "Ironman" challenge. On Sunday she will;

swim 2.4 miles,
cycle 112 miles and
run 26.2 miles.

Forecast is for cool with a 50% chance of showers. Is she ready for it? She does not think so, but I believe she is. She is tough and smart. Combine those with her training and she should do fine.

If you have not figured it out by now, we are incredibly proud of her for taking on this challenge.

The OH and I have volunteered to work several of the aid stations so she will have a cheering section as she goes. Additionally, a couple of her uncles are making a surprise visit from out of state to help cheer her on.

I expect her time to be somewhere between 12:20:00 and 14:00:00 with a median time of 13:00:00. It will be a long day for her. Her day will start at 5:00 AM with sign in and body numbers and end somewhere around 8:00 PM with her crossing the line.

She is a great person and worthy of your cheers. *S*

I will be back late Monday with the results.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Minnesota State Fair

The OH and I went to the State Fair last weekend to see the nephews last FFA competition. They did well overall with 2 seconds and a best in class. Like last year, it was entertaining to watch the OH relive the farm years with the in-laws. Although it is a amusing for a city kid like me, there is something sad about a "at heart" farmer kicking around the edges of it, knowing they will never plow a field, sweat a crop or tend a sick cow. Change is usually good, but something is always left behind.

The Minnesota State Fair has changed a great deal to match the times. Once the Fairs dominant theme, Agriculture is only a shadow of its former self in the Fairs doings. Gone is Machinery Hill. Modestly attended are the animal competitions. Hardly attended are the "odd" shows for commercial fowl, goats, sheep etc..

The state fairs core business seems to have become eating. I am dumbfounded at the number of severely obese people that seem to be eating their way from one end of the fair to the other. The aromas are sooooooo enticing with Pronto Pups, mini-donuts, Sweet Marthas Cookies, Batter Fried Potatoes, Onion Rings, Pork Chops on a stick, fried Snickers bars, and so many others I could not begin to list them. I am hoping that what we saw at the fair on Saturday is not reflective of our population in general. If it is, we are not heading for a health crisis, it has arrived.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sailing to Summers End

I had a break today so I thought I would take the opportunity to catch up on some blogging.

The weather here has changed and you can begin to feel the season turning. The days are shorter, the nites just a bit cooler and if you look, tinges of red and scarlet are showing in the trees. We were having dinner at the home of friends in somewhat rural Wisconsin this week*. Despite the absolutely perfect day, I kept hearing Gordon Lightfoots "Christian Island" in my head all evening, a sure sign that we are looking for Fall soon.

Enjoy *S*

I'm sailin' down the summer wind,
I got whiskers on my chin,
and I like the mood I'm in,
as I while away the time of day,
in the lee of Christian Island.

Tall and strong, she dips and reels,
I call her Silver Heels,
and she tells me how she feels.
She's a good old boat and she'll stay afloat,
through the toughest gail and keep smilin',
but for one more day she would like to stay,
in the lee of Christian Island.

I'm sailin' down the summer day,
where fish and seagulls play,
I put my troubles all away.
And when the gail comes up I'll fill me cup,
with the whiskey of the highlands.
She's a good old ship and she'll make the trip,
from the lee of Christian Island.

Tall and strong she slips along,
I sing for her a song,
and she leans into the wind.
She's a good old boat and she'll stay afloat,
through the toughest gail and keep smilin',
and when the summer ends we will rest again,
In the lee of Christian Island.

*my new profile pic is from that dinner

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On Da Road

My life just hit the crazy good level. I will be on the road for the next 2 weeks. I hope to be back on line after the 11th with a report on "Da Kids" results in the Cheesehead Ironman

Safe Travels!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Steinbeck Country

I had occassion to read "Of Mice and Men" again over the weekend. The story of George and Lennie is truly gut wrenching and in my opinion, Steinbecks finest. Reading Steinbeck always puts me in mind of the dusty Salinas Valley town where I was born and spent my early years.

I remember the dry summer heat. I remember Dad carrying me thru the county fair. I remember the cool water, the smell of chlorine and the rubber swim caps all females were expected to wear at the plunge. I remember Dad taking us to the movie theater to see a 3 Stooges movie because the theater was "refrigerated". I remember falling out of the walnut tree in the back yard where we had a "fort". I remember Dad building a BBQ pit and the smell of the scrub oak he used to fire it. The house seemed huge, but after seeing it in later years, I know it was not more than 1200 sq ft. We left there on my 5th birthday and today as I turn 53, the fragments of memory from that time are still powerful.

I wonder what snippets of their childhood my daughters will remember when they are my age?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Riding the Root

As you may have picked up from my previous posts, Minnesota has a growing abundance of great "Rails to Trails" paths. All of these trails follow old Rail Road right of ways. One very scenic trail follows the Root River in southern Minnesota. It is a pretty ride and if one chooses, it can be a rather long one. The full trail length currently stretches from Houston to Harmony with the eventual goal of taking it all the way to La Crescent MN on the Mississippi across from La Crosse Wisconsin.

On Saturday, August 5, the OH and I rode from Houston to Lanesboro. We had a nice lunch in the very touristy and quaint Lanesboro down town. We then rode back to Houston. It was a round trip of 62 miles and including lunch we finished it in a leisurely 5.5 hours. The Root River Trail begs for a leisurely ride to enjoy the views. If you ever have the chance to ride it, do not be in a hurry, it is a ride to savor

There is one bit of humour we noted on several occasions we have ridden this trail. 80% of the riders we see on this trail start in Lanesboros, get as far as Whalan (4.6 miles) where there is a really GOOD pie shop *L* It seems the pie does them in

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Crazy Busy

Seems this work runs its high and lows. Last week I hit an emotional work low. This week? A high. Work that was beginning to make me despair is suddenly bearing fruit.

Net result? I am behind on my blogging. I hope to be back at it this weekend. I still have to write about last weekend *S*

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Separating Politics and Pulpits

Rev Greg Boyd of Woodland Hills Church in Maplewood Minnesota has been getting a lot of press this week. It seems he lost 20% of his membership when he took a stand against church involvement in Politics. The story can be found here. I find it interesting that a number of the members who did not leave, were relieved.

His points regarding church and state are enlightening and refreshing. I have been frustrated the last few elections with the Republican party which seems to have been hijacked by the Religious Right. Maybe there is hope for them.

Give this guy points for being intellectually honest and having the courage of his convictions.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Newton was Right, f=m(a)

I watched an easily avoided wreck** develop and happen yesterday.

A relatively new Ford Pick-up passed me on the right and slid into the gap between the car in front of me and me. It then proceeded to allow less than 1 car length to the Accord in front of it. Meantime, the pick up driver is using his cell phone. We come to a slow down at an interchange and Accord slows down, the Ford did not. Result? One wiped out Accord and a mildly dinged Ford Pick-up.

A rare occurence? I don't know, but with all the driving I do, I regularly see a lot of similarly agressive/inattentive driving. I am surprised that more wrecks like this do not happen.

Driving has become increasingly aggressive over the last few decades and our freeways at times resemble a NASCAR race more than a commute. Adding to the problem are distractions associated with Cell Phones, hot coffee, etc.. What is the solution? More agressive enforcement of driving laws? Ban cell phones in cars? Require driver training every time a license is renewed?

What are your thoughts?

** if its avoidable its no "accident" its a wreck

Friday, July 28, 2006

There are Days..............

This has been one of those weeks. Any one that has worked in Sales (not to be confused with peddlers) is aware, there are days when no matter what you do, and how well you do it, it just does not happen the way it should. This week had one of those and it has kept me emotionally and intellecutally engaged. Also, maybe just a bit depressed.

I love Dilbert. Alice of the "Fist of Death" is my hero. I am not sure if its the irreverence, the fact the characters are engineers or what, but it is a great strip. Like all good humour, it has a strong foundation in truth.

When I was management in a Fortune 100 company, reading the Dilbert strip helped keep things in perspective and me laughing. It still makes me laugh.

Scott Adams is a genius!

Our daughters are home and life is good.....have a great weekend

Monday, July 24, 2006

"Da Kid" V, Road to Iron Man

1.2 mile swim
56 mile bike ride
13 mile run

We just returned from "Da Kid's" second run at the Racine half Iron Man.

Unlike last years 100+ heat, this year was very pleasant with temperatures in the mid 80's and winds a very moderate 5 MPH. "Da Kid" put in an outstanding effort and reduced her time by more than an hour. Part of that was weather, part of that was equipment. I think most of it though was her hard work in training and it shows.

I hate to brag up our daughters, but I really am impressed.

Next stop, Wisconsin Iron Man in September

2.4 mile swim
112 mile bike
26 mile run


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Some Times.......

Some times we forget.

The Mid East seems determined to wallow in a nihlistic quagmire. More jobs are going overseas. Famine, tribalism and pogroms are the order of the day in the Horn of Africa. The Chinese seem determined to assert their world power. Global warming appears to be a larger issue than even the doomsayers thought. Our political leadership continues a decades long tradition of foolishness. It seems we are at the "End of Days"

Adding to my own miasma are issues that have come to light this week that bode future difficulty for the sibs and me.

At times we forget important things

The "End of Days" has been expected for a couple of thousand years now. Despite our leadership, we seem to keep muddling along. Jobs have gone overseas before, and come back. More people live on this planet at a higher standard of living than ever before in history. Global Warming has been here before and is fixable. The Chinese, like the Russians and the Romans will find that World Powers come and go.

On my own issues. If I was born 20 years earlier, neither my sibs or I would have lived to our current age. We are around to deal with these pending problems. My family is well and by the standards of any Age. I live in a golden one.

Some times we get so wrapped up in problems, we miss the blessings.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The "N" Word

It seems we have developed a political phobia in this nation for words begining with the 14th letter of the alphabet, "N". It appears that the most politically incorrect words begin with N. I am not trying to raise the specter of Mark Furman or the OJ Simpson trial. I am not even talking about the word "nigger". *gasp*

Nope, I am talking much dirtier, N-U-C-L-E-A-R.

Last night I listened to one of our elected village idiots talk about how we are going to end our dependence on foreign oil by making ethanol. Apparently no one has shown him the math, explained the reality of hydrocarbon supply streams or the impact of the Global economy on all this.

I agree that Ethanol is ONE component of a larger energy policy to reduce world wide use of fossil fuels. It is not however the total solution. The reality is that we are using fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas) at a rate that is non sustainable.

So, we need to start using that nasty "N" word again and begin discussing nuclear.

We wrote our congressman and senator last week (the other is a lame duck). I will be interested in what they have to say. I suspect that all of them will be waiting for some one else to take the lead.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bastille Day?

Who the heck celebrates Bastille Day? (besides the French) and who cares? (besides the French)

Well, apparently all the Wisconsin German types. I ended up in downtown Milwaukee last nite and stumbled into a very large, organized street party for Bastille Day. Considering the current "cool" view most Americans have of France I was surprised.

After a careful review of the street activities, (Fun run, calypso bands, beer tents etc) it made a lot more sense. It is like Cinco de Mayo, most Americans have vague notion, if any of what it is but do find it a good reason to party.

Soooooooo, PARTY ON!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stalin and Hitler were Pikers

Hitler was responsible for the death of 6 million Jews and who knows how many others. Stalin was responsible for killing at least 20 million Soviet Citizens.

Both of them were small time.

An article in todays Star Tribune, references the expected world wide death toll in this century from tobacco related diseases. 1 BILLION. This number of course includes those pesky ones associated with Cancer and Heart Disease that Tobacco claims are not related to smoking. This is expected to be a 10 fold increase over the 100 Million that died in the 20th century.

So, however you look at it, as horrible as Hitler and Stalin were, numbers wise, they are small potatoes compared to Tobacco.

I still wonder how those "people" sleep at night