Thursday, February 28, 2013

Droughts Have Consequences

Just found out about this today - it's already happened.

Cargill Inc. said Thursday that it will indefinitely idle a Texas beef processing plant that employs about 2,000 people, primarily because of a dwindling cattle supply that is largely a result of drought.
The shutdown in Plainview, Texas, appears to be the first among major U.S. beef processing plants, as the industry's profits have been squeezed due to overcapacity.
"The idea of closing one or more of our major beef processing plants is not a big surprise," said Derrell Peel, a livestock specialist at Oklahoma State University's agricultural extension service. "It's been a matter of who blinks first."
Minnetonka-based Cargill is one of the biggest U.S. beef processors, and Plainview is home to one of the agribusiness giant's five sprawling plants that take in live cattle and ship out boxed beef.
The same economic dynamics that led to Cargill's Plainview closing have sent retail U.S. beef prices soaring the past two years, and no relief is in sight. Peel said retail prices could rise as much as 10 percent this year.
That would be after increases of 6.4 percent in 2011 and 10.2 percent in 2012, according to federal data.
Cattle ranchers can't even begin to rebuild their herds -- a multiyear process -- until the drought subsides. "Right now, [relief] of the drought conditions doesn't look very favorable this year," Peel said.
The Plainview shutdown begins Feb. 1, though Cargill says it will take measures to preserve the plant's "infrastructure" for potential reopening if the U.S. cattle herd rebounds. The plant in north Texas processes 4,500 head of cattle per day.
"While idling a major beef plant is unfortunate because of the resulting layoff of good people ... we were compelled to make a decision that would reduce the strain created on our beef business by the reduced cattle supply," Cargill Beef President John Keating said in a prepared statement.
The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952. "Increased feed costs due to the prolonged drought, combined with herd liquidations by cattle ranchers, are severely and adversely contributing to the challenging business conditions we face as an industry," Keating said.
By idling its Plainview plant, Cargill says it can operate three of its other big beef facilities on a five-day-a-week basis more consistently. Cargill plants in Friona, Texas; Dodge City, Kansas; and Fort Morgan, Colo., will receive cattle that normally would be slaughtered in Plainview.
Cargill doesn't break out results for its myriad meat businesses, though it has noted that its U.S. beef profit margins have been under pressure. Many U.S. beef processors are suffering losses or getting poor returns on the investments, Peel said.
The U.S. cattle herd has been in a long-term decline for years, particularly since about 2007, Peel said. Since then, grain prices have shot up due to structural changes in grain markets, thus precipitously boosting the price of cattle feed.
The 2012 drought, the nation's worst in decades, sent corn to over $8 a bushel. The heart of cattle country experienced its second straight year of very arid conditions, toasting pasture land.
More from the Star Tribune

I've hauled tanks for rendered fat and other liquids down there several times over the years. So, until the beef industry picks up again, Cargill Plainview is right out for us. We do business with the other plants as well, but still. The other plants can take up the slack, and I'm glad Dodge City's plant is one where they plan on expanding production, but transportation costs on that pound of hamburger just went up.

What a mess.

Road Trip I Don't Want To Make

Well, crap.

Sis is coming up from OKC and we're headed to southwest Michigan.

To my Uncle Bill's funeral.

Not sure when it is just yet, but we need to get going if we're gonna get there. He had been failing - was on dialysis for years, had bypass surgery years ago, and some strokes in the past few. He had really failed in the past few weeks.

It had been decided that his last dialysis was the day before yesterday and had been checked into a hospice. He had been lucid enough to communicate his wishes, apparently.

This whole ordeal has been pretty difficult for my aunt. It hasn't been easy on his three children, either.

He is the last of his family - his parents (my grandparents) and siblings (Dad and my Aunt Patsy) have all preceded him.

He was really a cool guy and I'm gonna miss him.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Magic Story

I'd heard this one before, but I just got it in an email again and had to share:

The young businessman was preparing to go on a long business trip, so he thought he'd buy his wife something

to keep her occupied. He went to a sex shop and explained his situation. The man there said, 'Well, I don't

know that I have anything that will keep her occupied for so many weeks, except...the Magic Penis!'
Mmmkay, so I think you'll understand why the rest is under the fold!

Drivng Me Mad

Naming cars has been something of a dicey proposition for automakers. The marketers live in fear of a negative image, and if a car has a crummy name, it's already started out on bad footing that may be hard to overcome. Like Mitsubishi's Pajero, which in some Spanish countries is slang for masturbator. What??? Or perhaps Ford's Probe. Gonna head up the ol' fudge canal with that thing, are ya sport?

Chevy's Camaro originally was touted as a small, vicious Mustang eating animal, but some Ford folks supposedly found a Spanish translation that says it meant a small, shrimp like creature. I think the sales figures of the Camaro have bothered those Ford folks much worse than some tiny seafood. And the Pinto supposedly meant "penis" in the Portuguese slang of Brazil. One must admit it was the fabulous engineering behind it and it's competitor Chevrolet's Vega that earned it's bad rep. I guess at least the Vega was named after an established astronomical artifact.

And some of the General's newer offerings kinda sorta make sense. A Traverse? You, too can traverse the incredible distance from your house to the mall. The Volt? Apropos for an electric car. A Spark? Just the thing to light up the arse end of your slacker teenager. Howza about the Cruze? Same teenager burning up your money on your gas card, Dad.

Ford's fresh offspring? Escape and Edge? Escape from the Edge, dude! Driving a Focus will make you concentrate more - on what I'm not sure. And Fusion. I think they were leaning towards the techie side - like wow, dude, that's like nucular fusion, yannow. I don't think they were wanting to remind one of fusion in foodie circles - "Yes, this car represents the fusion between Nordic and Hunan style cooking - we present General Tso's Lutefisk!" Yeah, probably not.

The manufacturer that has my shaking my head is VW. Some make sense - the venerable Beetle, the Golf, and even the Jetta has a speedy sort of name. But Routan? Sounds like a bad 1960s Japanese monster movie. Routan vs Mothra. Coming to a late nite monster fest on your favorite channel.

I do not relate to the Toureg. I am German (and Irish, too), and the only thing that name signals to me is a mashup of Touring and Keg. Perhaps that is the car that one uses to tour Oktoberfest in Germany and tap all those kegs. The hose washable interior is particularly useful in that regard, and the breathalyzer enclosed in the steering wheel insures that you will not be spending an inordinate amount of time in der klink. Probably not gonna wanna bring little Susy and Bobby along for the trip. All those busty Frauleins might give the kiddos the wrong idea about how Daddy feels about Mommy.

And worst of all is the Tiguan. What in the wide wide world of sports is a Tiguan? I tell you this, I do not see the rugged Sam Elliot, all decked out in cattle drivin' gear and wearing a pair of Colt's finest, step up to the bar and announce "I drive a Tiguan. Anyone object???"

Sorry, don't see that at all. Tiny Iguana is more like it. Something I'd clean from my boot heel in Central America. "Yeah, Tom, you wanna shake out your drawers in the morning for sure. Nuttin' like puttin' on yer tighty whiteys and getting one of them thar Tiguans all excited. They and yer family jewels just don't mix, son." I can hear ol' Sam say that.

So what car names drive you nuts????

Monday, February 25, 2013

F@%^ing Crooks

We keep hearing about the "sequestration" in the news, and of course the press is all over it. It's the Republican's fault - even though Obama agreed to the set up back in 2011 with the Budget Control Act of 2011. And the press breathlessly informs us about how essential services will be cut, people laid off, jobs in jeopardy, in short, it's the end of the world as we know it.

For about 2.4% of a spending cut? Are you freaking kidding me? Every government agency that cries wolf about this ought to have their leadership fired, right now. How many businesses can find five percent to cut easily and without hurting their production, services or whatever? How freaking hard is that? Yannow, maybe, just maybe, a .gov employee on the road might be able to stay at a Comfort Inn rather than at the Hilton or the Hampton Inn? Or perhaps slow that .gov set of wheels down from 15+ over the limit down to the speed limit and save some gas?

There are so many places where waste and profligate spending could be curtailed - what??? Do they need the private sector to come in and give 'em all a dose of salts?

And while we're at it, boy, aren't the Republicans being sooooo brave and all, trying to cut a whopping 2.4%. Whee. What rebels they are. Why, keep that up and we'll slip into bankruptcy twenty minutes later! Yeah! What savings! What terrible personal sacrifices! What is Congress and the White House willing to cut from their expenses? Maybe Pelosi can take personal trips using commercial aircraft these days? Maybe Michelle can keep her butt at home for a couple months before venturing out on her personal time? Perhaps the Congresspeople out there can cut back from three martinis for lunch down to two?

Sorry, just lost my mind for a second.

Sunday, February 24, 2013



I've only seen this commercial three hundred twelve times since the Super Bowl. It's only put a lump in my throat three hundred twelve times.....

Sheesh. Fleetwood Mac with Stevie Nicks' Landslide? A story of loss and redemption? All in just over a minute?

Gah. Now I need a beer.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Great Speech!


Short, sweet, to the point, and spot on. If you cannot relate to what this guy says, there is no hope.

I had no idea who this gentleman is, but the complete story is here. Dan Bongino is a former Secret Service agent who ran for the US Senate in Maryland and lost. Too bad he wasn't out here in red country - we'd vote for a guy like this in a heartbeat. I guess he has too much common sense and says what needs to be said.

H/T Doug M. at SondraK

Slow Down


You may notice might makes right - the larger vehicles fare better, particularly the lorries. One could draw the conclusion that cutting off an eighteen wheeler in the states might be a poor idea. Or doing something stupid that puts your tiny car in one's path.

H/T Darin

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Baird Man


This is, of course, from Scent of a Woman, the 1992 film starring Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell. O'Donnell and Pacino play, as Wikpedia puts it:
Charlie Simms is a student at an exclusive New England prep school. Unlike most of his peers, Charlie was not born to a wealthy family. To pay for a flight home for Christmas, Charlie accepts a temporary job over Thanksgiving weekend looking after retired Army Ranger Lieutenant  Colonel Frank Slade, who Charlie discovers to be a cantankerous blind alcoholic.
 "Cantakerous" is putting it mildly. He's an asshole. Half the film is Slade berating Charlie. But, it's fun to watch, in a similar fashion to R. Lee Ermey's portrayal of the DI in Full Metal Jacket. You just can't help but watch the show. He's also a blowhard - but as the movie progresses, we learn that he really has been there and done that, and he does have some endearing traits.

Charlie finds himself in a moral quandary when he and another student witness other students arranging a prank (which finds the headmaster and his "committee bought Jaguar" covered in white paint), and called in and pressured to inform on those students. Of course, all the other kids are rich, and Charlie is not, and the headmaster tries to bribe Charlie with a scholarship to move on to Harvard if he finks.

He then finds himself traveling to New York City with the Lieutenant Colonel for a "breather" - unknown to Slade's family keepers, who would undoubtedly be against it. Fine dining, drinking, a suite at the Waldorf Astoria, a night with a high class hooker, then commit suicide. Charlie ends up talking Slade out of it - and that moment is the climax of the story, as far as I'm concerned.

As the trip progresses, the two gain a measure of respect for each other. Charlie could see Slade's pain and understand the bluster, and Slade could see that Charlie wasn't the weak willed pushover he originally thought the kid was. He learns that Charlie has a stiff spine and a good set of morals. His perceived weakness is just his natural kindness and affability.

But, Charlie's predicament remains unsolved, and he is called before a meeting with the disciplinary committee with the entire school present. Slade unexpectedly shows up in support of Charlie, and cannot hold his opinion in any further after the headmaster excoriates Charlie and lets his wealthy companion witness (with his father, a big donor, beside him) slide. The other "conspirators" were named by the kid, but the headmaster just couldn't do anything to them without corroborating proof. So, he was recommending expulsion for Charlie when Slade erupted, as seen in the video above.

That has to be one of the great scenes from modern movies, period. Some accused Pacino of overacting - he certainly played the part to the hilt. This scene wouldn't have made as much sense if Pacino wasn't so exuberant for the rest of the film - it would have been out of character. And, IMHO, this is probably Chris O'Donnell's best performance in a film. He's been a disappointment ever since.

And this isn't the only notable scene - while in NYC, Slade and Charlie encounter a young woman waiting for her boyfriend, and Slade talks her into dancing the tango. With him. The blind guy.


Great stuff, eh? I wasn't going to post three videos in one article, but sheesh, this is the climax of the movie, and it gets pretty intense. And there is language involved.


But, even though you've just seen three major events from the movie - if you have not seen the whole thing, you need to. There is soooo much more I'm not telling you about, and you do get to see some serious character development as the movie progresses. And Pacino finally won a Best Actor Oscar, after seven previous nominations.

It's certainly a tour de force for Pacino. Highly recommended.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kansas On My Mind

No, not the state - even though we're covered in snow. No, not the KU basketball team, even though I did see them win a squeaker last night over the OSU Cowboys in a double overtime. Nope, been thinking about the rock group.


This is from their second album Masque. I'd say they had the rock ballad pretty well down by this point.

Early in the morning sunlight Soaring on the wings of dawn Here I'll live and die with my wings in the sky 

And I won't come down no more

Higher than a bird I'm flying Crimson skies of ice and fire 

Borne on wings of steel, I have so much to feel 

And I won't come down no more

Sail on, sail on I will rise each day to meet the dawn 

So high, so high I've climbed the mountains of the sky

Without my wings You know, I'd surely die 

I found my freedom flying high I've climbed the mountains of the sky

 Floating on a cloud of amber 

Searching for the rainbow's end Earth so far below me, I'm here alone 

Free, I can't come down no more
Y'all can keep yer rap. Don't need it none hyar.

Yee Haw!

It's been snowing here for two days. Heavy, wet snow. Not a ton of wind. We've supposedly received 8 to 10" since this storm fired up.

Out the front door

It's even dropped another inch or two since I took these pics.

Using my door as a snow shovel
 And I know it's snowed more because I just cracked open the door and shoved more snow since this pic was taken.

Through the glass of the front door. The camera decided flash was needed.

Yep, that is my pickup beyond that tree. I'm gonna have to venture out to the grocery store since I'm about out of ice for my tea, dern it. Guess I've got plenty of snow outside if that proves problematic, but I'm also out of some other things and cabin fever is setting in. I had these two days off for three doctor appointments, but one called me Tuesday and cancelled right off, yesterday I didn't feel like fighting the roads to go to Dodge, and today when I called the medical center to cancel their answering machine talked to me because no one was there.

Is this a drought buster? Not really. The NWS says we've gotten about 2.4" of moisture or rain equivalent in the past 48 hours. Not gonna be nearly enough to make up for what we've not gotten in the past four or five years for sure. But maybe this has broken the cycle and we'll start getting moisture again. Time will tell.

And while I am enjoying this, it's only because I'm not out in it. I do not envy the poor bastards that have to fight this, as I have in the past. And while I can look at this as a Currier and Ives moment in time, the beauty of the snow and the placidity it encourages really doesn't cut it for me. I see the sloppy mess we're gonna have to live with for the next week or so as it all melts. I see every vehicle looking like crap because they have to drive around in the dirty slush. I see cattle suffering from the cold and mud plus calves with snotty noses, also worried stockmen. The mud sticks to the animal's legs and freezes there, and has to be damned uncomfortable.

I also see the soil taking a big drink, and in my mind's eye, I can feel the thirsty ground slurp this snow right up. I can see how when the weather warms up, things will start to turn green because there is hope for life.

If it weren't for the benefits that a well watered soil brings, I could easily live without the drama and beauty of snow. Rain works just fine for me.

Update: Before I even published this - I was watching the Duels at Daytona (to set the qualifying order for the Daytona 500 this Sunday) and I lost my DirecTV signal. The dish was full of snow. At the farm I'd just step outside and brush off the dish. Here, where it's mounted to the roof next to the gutters - well lets just say I had to whack it with a broom, and clear out underneath it as the snow would fall off and the roof held in in place still blocking the dish. At least I didn't have to bum a ladder from someone. Another reason I like rain better.

A Slightly Different Slant

A new tactic for spam?
I tend not to drop many remarks, however i did some searching and wound up here "Crossroads". And I actually do have a few questions for you if it's allright. Is it just me or does it seem like a few of the comments appear as if they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting at additional online sites, I would like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Could you list of all of all your social pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?
And similar - no I didn't check to see if they were from the same place. I'm sure they are.
 I almost never comment, however i did some searching and wound up here "Crossroads". And I actually do have 2 questions for you if it's allright. Is it only me or does it look like a few of these comments look as if they are written by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are writing at additional places, I'd like to follow anything new you have to post. Would you make a list of the complete urls of all your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
These words brain dead you keep using? I do not think they mean what you think they mean. Now they are insulting you all while spewing nonsense. I'm sure that's gonna make me click through to their redacted links and spend lots of money so they'll get rich. Yeah, that's the ticket. Me and Morgan Fairchild - my lover.

Didja Like Dinosaurs As A Kid???

Then if you are warped like me you will enjoy this clip - warning for very explicit language!


The pterodactyl - nutting but awesome!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Good Deed

For yesterday, anyhow. Today I watched it snow from the comfort of home.

I was on my way back to the yard in Garden City on K156, and the fact that I just didn't have the intestinal fortitude to carry on had me stopping at the lone rest area west of the big city at the junction of K23 and K156. I do not like stopping there. It is a "natural compost" facility. Which means in the winter on a cold day, a nice breeze blows up yer kiester and freezes the dangly bits. During the summer, flies attack those same bits. Needless to say, it was only the greatest urgency that had me stopping there.

When I stepped out, considerably relieved, a car came driving up next to me while I was preparing to mount my ride. A guy in the passenger seat hollered at me - it was windy. This sort of kinda made me nervous, since this is out in the middle of nowhere. There is traffic, but it's sporadic, and if something hinky happened, it might be possible for no one to see anything unusual for a long period of time.

But my Spidey Sense was on overdrive for no reason - it was a guy riding with his significant other and apparently their two kids in back. He asked me if going west was the right way to get to Wichita.

The sun was setting, and I said: "No, you are headed west into the setting sun. Wichita is east of here, a long ways."

It turned out they were from Perryton, TX and had no maps, nor did they have a phone with any sort of map on it, either. The young man informed me that "She just made me give up an iPhone 4!" Apparently, their budget couldn't handle it. He didn't seem to me to be up to handling much - she was driving, and making all the decisions. I know I was passing judgement, but oh well. So, they had no idea what I was talking about as far as highways and towns went, so off to the truck I went to get my Trucker's Atlas.

She did have some written instructions from her best girlfriend on how to get to Wichita, which involved getting to TX 23 and going north into Kansas until she got to Greensburg, where she was to turn right. One problem with that - K23 never goes through Greensburg.

The way they shoulda gone
Meade is where they needed to turn right. Greensburg is about two miles east of the US 183/ US 54(also US 400) junction. Some distance to the east. No wonder the kids were lost.

Where they actually went
Hey, the BFF said 23 - she stuck with it.

The young woman's father had broken his leg and was in one of the hospitals in Wichita - probably one of the many complexes Wesley runs. The name sounded right to the both of them. I drew them a map on a notebook they had and tried to keep it simple.

I dunno. I cannot imagine heading out into unfamiliar territory without a freaking map. I don't care if I've got cell and data service out the wahoo, I want my map. I find myself shaking my head that they headed out with two little ones so irresponsibly. Wow. Like I said, the guy didn't impress me much.

I gave them some rudimentary info on where the hospital was, but honestly, I figure they were gonna have to be talked in when they got there over their phones. I'm not sure my map made much of an impression - I don't think their map reading skills were quite up to par. Maybe if you can't read a map, you really don't need to have one with you.

But, wow. I wished them luck, they drove back to the east, and I pointed the Binder westward, and said some prayers for 'em.

Breakin' Out The Ol' Laser Eyes

Warning for language content!


Mike Stefanik is a very successful, long time old school racer who has won a ton of races and championships. He had worked his way to the front of the feature race for the Whelen Modified Tour - the opener of the final night of racing at the UNOH Battle of The Beach event at Daytona, showcasing three different classes of racers under the auspices of NASCAR.

And, as in every other class's feature race, he got punted at the end. In any other venue other than NASCAR, Steve Park would have been put at the end of the line for aggressive driving.

But this was expected. This set of races was for prestige and money only. The track itself is temporary - using part of the backstretch and infield up against Lake Charles. A flattened paperclip shape with wide corners and no banking made this a rather unique short track. The eyes of the world were on these races, since they are now part of the opening events at the Daytona 500, and all the NASCAR movers and shakers are there watching.

So, for a couple of up and coming young guns like C.E. Falk and Kyle Larson (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing development driver and K&N Pro Series East Champion), this was a big deal. Both East and West K&N division drivers were invited.

And what a race it was between those two at the end of their feature. Falk had the lead, Larson wanted it. Larson got Falk on the inside, Falk put a slide job on Larson and got it back. Several times. But as the race drew to a close, it was clear that Falk either was taking a line away from Larson, or Larson's car had faded. Kyle couldn't keep his nose under Falk in those wide corners.

So, Kyle came burning in and used C.E. as a bumper, trying to knock him out of the way. He failed the first time, but he burned in again even harder and spun Falk out, going on to the win, to a chorus of boos. Twitter was apparently 80/20% in condemning Larson.Of course it was the topic du jour on the SiriusXM NASCAR channel. Most thought the action was wrong, but one thing was agreed upon. (Video here)

That last night would be more of the same, and all because of NASCAR's policy.

Seems Big Bill France didn't think people who had spent hours under the hot sun watching races, and go home thinking they had seen who had won, only to find out in the paper the next day that they had not. Some administrative decision taking away a win would drive people away from the sport. So, NASCAR might fine people, take points away, or whatever, but they will not take away a win.

You can see just what Mike Stefanik thinks about that kind of thinking. Good thing Big Bill is six feet under - that gaze would cut him in two.

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's A Time Honored Monument

This strip embodies what I detest about Family Circus - just in case you were wondering. Yeah, yeah, it's a beloved for generations cute look at suburban white bread life with kids. Sure.

Try Monument to Mediocrity instead. I think it fits far, far better

Twelve Years Ago Today

We lost Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

Things have changed a bunch since he was killed at the Daytona 500. Tracks have SAFER barriers that help absorb a large amount of impact force - which helps avoid the basilar skull fracture that killed him. The cars have gotten a lot less lethal as well - for both the crowd and the drivers. Tethers hold hoods, wheel assemblies, trunk lids and so on so when a major crash occurs, the parts stay together and not fly into the crowd. The cars themselves are capable of absorbing some pretty hard hits without transferring that energy to the drivers' bodies. They've been aerodynamically tweaked to try to keep them from flying into the air when they get sideways or backwards.

There are those who disagree with all this - the drivers should be wearing football helmets and piloting cars straight from the showroom floor with the glass knocked out and a maybe a roll cage tacked on inside as a minor concession. That would make it a sport for manly men again.

I dunno - if I'm going into a gunfight, I'm not wearing a t-shirt with a target on it to show what a stud I really am. I'll be wearing whatever ballistic clothing I can get and using cover, etc. to save my ass. I'm all in on the staying alive thing.

I don't see why racers should have to die for our entertainment to be entertaining.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Good Thing

From Gwinnett Daily Post
Now those are some hot doughnuts.

Gwinnett authorities said a Lawrenceville man boosted a Krispy Kreme truck from a Dacula gas station last week, making off with untold quantities of glazed goodness and leading a sheriff's deputy on a high-speed chase across the county.
Police said a Krispy Kreme delivery man was dropping off his wares at an Exxon gas station in Dacula at about 10:45 p.m. Thursday. That's when James Freddy Major, 45-year-old alleged doughnut fiend, showed up and fled in the box truck."(The driver) stated that the male had approached him before he entered the store to start his delivery" and that Major appeared under the influence, according to a Gwinnett County police report.

Within about five minutes, a sheriff's office K9 unit (and later a few police officers) had located the truck headed toward Interstate 85 on Ga. Highway 316. They tried to pull Major over, but he wasn't having it.

"The vehicle then sped up on the interstate and failed to yield to our visual and audibles signals to pull over," one responding officer wrote. "The suspect vehicle then exited the interstate on the Beaver Ruin Road exit and made a left turn, while running the red light on the top of the exit."

Major reportedly ran a few more red lights and forced at least one vehicle off the road, going as fast as 70 mph before fleeing onto Burns Road. Driving erratically and leaving the roadway several times, the Krispy Kreme truck eventually made it to Ferrite Loop, a dead-end cul-de-sac near Cruse Road in Lawrenceville.

Major hit a mailbox before trying to flee on foot."The suspect ... was apprehended by K9 dog bite and officers on scene placed the suspect under arrest," the incident report said.
Good thing Major wasn't dealing with the LAPD. He'd for sure be a Krispy Kritter by now, and reports would include a shot up UPS delivery truck and an ambulance, because of the obvious similarities to the Krispy Kreme truck.. Stolen doughnuts is serious bidness.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Crummy Time of the Year


This particular stretch of time finds me in a funk every year. My mother passed away on January 30, 2001. Her birthday was on Valentine's Day - February 14th.

I miss my mama.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Just An Idle Thought

All of us Second Amendment types really wonder what would happen if "they" came for our guns - how many would resist and shoot back, what would happen, how the police and military would handle it, and on and on and on.

I gotta tell ya though, the thought occurs to me if one guy can make the LAPD go completely chicken with their heads cut off, trying to kill innocent citizens without following due process, and just being general failures at their jobs because they have lost their heads, what would it be like if thousands of bitter religion clinging gun bigots across the nation started doing the exact same thing?

I must note that I do NOT condone anything Christopher Dorner Jordan has done. Going after the daughter of the person he felt wronged him is reprehensible. He is on a vendetta for revenge, not trying to defend his rights. Big difference.

Indications Are

That Jeffy will ever be smart enough to realize he's freezing his hiney off. That elevator never leaves the ground floor, I'm afraid.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Take A Break

"Walky Talky Hawky" from Foghorn Leghorn Quotes on Vimeo.

And remember this is kind of entertainment is what warped us all irretrievably so many years ago - all that gratuitous violence and all. Not like the healthy purple dinosaur and his ilk.


Warner Brothers had the best cartoons, end of story. Even as a small child, I could see that the Hanna Barbera (Tom and Jerry) were far more cheaply done. And I never cared much for the Mouse stuff. The Warner characters were all subversive, warped and derned funny. And no one, no one ever can match Mel Blanc.

This boy doesn't pay attention.

Just Shoot Me Now

Put me out of my misery. For Gawd's sake... For The Children©.

Friday, February 08, 2013

A Picture

Is worth a thousand words. Ramirez proves, to me anyhow, that he is an editorial cartooning genius.

Dunno 'Bout This

But it made me larf right out loud anyhow.

Firing a General...

When former top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Stanley McChrystal, got called into the Oval Office by Barack Obama, he knew things weren't going to go well when the President accused him of not supporting Obama in his political role as President.
"It's not my job to support you as a politician, Mr. President, it's my job to support you as Commander-in-Chief," McChrystal replied.
Not satisfied with only accepting McChrystal's resignation, the President made a cheap parting shot.
"I bet when I die you'll be happy to piss on my grave."
The General saluted: "Mr. President, I always told myself that after leaving the Army I'd never stand in line again."

Ed Schriber
Col. USMC (Ret.)
"Semper Fi” 

H/T Nuckle Kim

Blast From The Past


Ahhh, 1977. The year I graduated from high school. This video really took me back. I really don't recall Oakley Ralph wearing a cowboy hat much. Had his son as a classmate at St. Mary of the Plains College but never got to know him very well, because he didn't live on campus. I competed in a speech contest put on by the Optimist Club with Nancy Jo Trauer's daughter. As I recall, she won the thing - mostly because she gave a far better speech than I!

And at the Longbranch Saloon you can get a soda, but what you really really want is a sarsaparilla. Good for what ails ya. The sales barn hasn't changed much, compared to many of the other shots. The mall shown was nearly brand spankin' new back then, and that area has been built up considerably. The "new" Civic Center mentioned was actually built in 1954 - heh. Downtown looks a lot different as well - some streets have been closed off and parking put in, plus an old mill across the tracks from Front Street has been demolished and is now parking for the Dodge dealer. Most of the downtown streets are still brick, but the theater is kaput these days. Cattle are still fed from "feed trucks" just like the one dumping feed into the concrete bunk in the film.

Oh, and the video cuts to a Black History moment about Harvard's "new" Afro-American Studies at about the 5:15 mark. Interesting for sure, but I am puzzled why they were lumped together.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Let's Get Kinky


Bet it's been a while since y'all heard this one. Or even if you've ever heard it before! Duke Tumatoe and the late Sam Kinison - all on the fly on the Bob and Tom Show. If your feet ain't a tappin' along, there is something wrong with ya.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Pure Genius

There is no off position on Dolly's genius switch.

With apologies to David Letterman

Sunday, February 03, 2013

God Made a Farmer


Out of all the commercials aired during the Super Bowl (can I say that Commish Goodell, or are ya gonna sue me?), this one presented by Ram Trucks pretty much won the popularity contest in this neck of the woods - had we any trees. Perhaps I should say out on the wide open prairie. Using an old bit by Paul Harvey was just pure genius for tugging at the ol' heart strings.

It sure made us all feel pretty proud of ourselves.

Jeffro's Picture Roundup

This is some guy's junkyard north of Mission, SD. Nothing unusual except for the car on top of the old stock trailer close to the road.

It's an old Mustang II notchback. It has been up there since I can remember. How and why are the questions we have - how did he get it up there and why? What in the world?

For Grey Havens - the old steam engine nut. This is an old Baldwin 2-6-2 oil fired locomotive on display at the Boot Hill replica in Dodge City, KS. She was built for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in 01/1903, and is no longer in running condition. I think the boilers are completely shot, which was apparently something Baldwins were known for. Planned obsolescence, yannow. She was donated to the museum in 1954, and several years ago was moved to this location during an extensive remodel of the grounds. I've spent some time playing and climbing around on her, but that was a long, long time ago!

This is what you will see a few miles west of Dodge on US 50 eastbound - the silhouette cowboys welcoming you to the Cowboy Capital. A similar sculpture is by the airport on the east side of Dodge on Business US 50. Welcome! We've got the Boot Hill Museum, complete with shootouts, dancing girls in the saloon, a pretty nice casino, and lots of other odds and ends. I have said before that this area literally drips with history and Dodge is a tourist destination during the summer. Oh, yeah, by the way, there is a rodeo during the summer. The five day Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, sanctioned by the PRCA. Yep, it's a big deal.

Purebred Longhorns. These are located kitty corner from the grain elevator at Howell, KS due west of Dodge and east of Cimarron, KS on US 50. Sorry 'bout the image quality - I was hoping they'd be far closer to the fence. Longhorns are liable to be about any color combo - not uniform at all. They all share a lanky, bony structure that can survive on grazing in dry country, and manage to survive long drives. It wasn't until the plains were settled that more domesticated cattle breeds infiltrated the beef supply - more meat on their bones, etc.

Again, sorry for the crummy image quality. This was pretty low light, which my phone camera does not like at all. Anyhow, meet Yeager, who is obviously a German Shepherd. He and I got along right off. He could poke his nose in my chest with all fours on the ground - he is that huge. I've always liked large dogs - I like rasslin' with em and having them physically able to rassle right back. His head and nose were as long as my arm. He resides on a farm north of Norfolk, NE. His master says he is normally friendly, but there have been times Yeager didn't recognize him in a different vehicle and that he was NOT so friendly - until he got an eye and a whiff. I was A-OK, though, and gave him most of the attention he thought he deserved. Very cool hound that I was glad to meet.

Remember me grousing about how crummy the roads were and how I hate to drive on snow and ice? It wasn't real bad, but I'm still not wild about driving on this stuff - especially empty. No weight on my drive axles means not a lot of traction. And, my drive tires are getting kinda thin, but not thin enough to replace just yet. So, that means the rear of the tractor squirms around on the various ruts and such instead of staying planted, which I infinitely prefer.

And here is one reason I hate driving on this crap - it isn't always going to be a mistake I make that ruins the day or gets me hurt or killed. Too fast? Probably - for sure too fast for the driver's ability to keep it straight and on the road. It was windy - like 40mph windy, but it was out of the north and this guy was headed due north. It was not a sidewind that twisted him up. I was running about 40 or 45 and even on gradual rises I lost some traction and had to back out, so him fighting the wind probably had him hurting worse in that regard. At any rate, "four wheelers" out in the ditches is a common sight as well, and I just don't like being out there when they've lost it and slide until they stop. Which may be right in my path.

The further south I got, the better it was, and the snow on my hood finally blew off. I finally got back and felt like I'd been driving about twice as many hours as I had, and in fact, I felt pretty punky the next morning and had to call in. Dammit.

So, this wraps up another edition of Jeffro's Picture Roundup. Hope ya enjoy!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Cool Stuff!

Yeah, I did go there.

I was watching the History Channel today - Modern Marvels was on. In a segment about ice, they mentioned Pykrete:

Pykrete is a composite material made of approximately 14 percent sawdust or some other form of wood pulp (such as paper) and 86 percent ice by weight. Its use was proposed during World War II by Geoffrey Pyke to the British Royal Navy as a candidate material for making a huge, unsinkable aircraft carrier. Pykrete has some interesting properties, notably its relatively slow melting rate (because of low thermal conductivity), and its vastly improved strength and toughness over ice; it is closer in form to concrete
Pykrete is slightly more difficult to form than concrete, as it expands during the freezing process. However, it can be repaired and maintained using seawater. The mixture can be moulded into any shape and frozen, and it will be extremely tough and durable, as long as it is kept at or below freezing.

Yes, the various Canadian, British and American militaries were considering using it to make a sort of crude self propelled aircraft platform not unlike an aircraft carrier to help fill the gaps from submarine losses during WWII. But, with the advent of long range bombers, radar and sonar keeping the Wolfpack at bay, the need was less pressing, and the idea dropped.

Still interesting, though.

RIP Mr. Mayor

Picture from Fox News
Ed Koch passed away at age 88 this morning at 2 am.

He hadn't been in the greatest of health for a while, and I talked about him on September 5 of last year.

Just to reiterate what I said then - he may have been a Democrat, but I really learned to respect him when he was on a morning talk show on the USA network back in the mid nineties. His chutzpah, practical solutions and willingness to sacrifice public opinion for results really made an impression. I doubt the man ever consulted a poll before deciding what to do - an ability few politicians master. He was about as foreign to me as another US citizen could be. He was definitely Jewish - rarely seen out here on the prairie and unfamiliar to me, and he may have even been gay:
Koch was a champion of gay rights, taking on the Roman Catholic Church and scores of political leaders. A lifelong bachelor, Koch offered a typically blunt response to questions about his own sexuality: “My answer to questions on this subject is simply, `F— off.’ There have to be some private matters left.”
I don't care if he was gay or was not. What I do care about is his attitude expressed. It was his business; end of story, no agenda here. I admire that.

The mayor dismissed his critics as “wackos,” waged verbal war with developer Donald Trump (“piggy”) and mayoral successor Rudolph Giuliani (“nasty man”), lambasted the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and once reduced the head of the City Council to tears. 
“I’m not the type to get ulcers,” he wrote in “Mayor,” his autobiography. “I give them.”

It would be easy to dismiss someone with an attitude like that, but the Mayor was successful and essentially, he backed up what he said with results. Very hard to argue with that, as far as I'm concerned.

Yannow those lists of historical people you'd like to all have gathered together for dinner and discussions? Ed Koch would have to be on my list. He'd liven that party up fer sure.

So, I bid you adieu, Mr. Mayor. You "done good."