Friday, August 24, 2012

Bills…. Grocery and Taxes


Next few months going to be interesting.  Politicians will be spewing deep do do all over and spending money galore.  to  tell us how to spend out money they are spending more money…. For what?

Then there are other things going on the politicians have no control over, the weather.

The drought is going to have a major impact on our lives and the politicos' will think they have the power to change things.  Weather is driven by hot air that is not from our nations capitol.

Living in farm and ranch country the weather is very important as is the markets.  Both are closely watched and the most complaints are about the weather then the politicos' garbage.

Lots of the corn crop around here  is withering and drying up into nothing.  Moisture in the ground for winter wheat crops is minuscule.  this problem stretches across the land, right through the heart of the grain belt.

There are pockets that have moisture and there is irrigation water. These two factors are going to make some farmers very rich.  It will also take a bigger chunk out of our paychecks.

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The price if corn is headed out of the roof and wheat is following and that will pressure other crop prices to climb.  Domestic prices may climb enough to slow down exports.  Then it becomes a world wide problem.

Grocery prices have climbed steadily these past 4-5 years and are now about double over those years.  Things will push the prices into the stratosphere.  One will have to take out a loan just to buy food.

One interesting thing I read was about the requirement of ethanol.  That is being lifted and or allowed to float.  The mandate of ethanol for fuel is being floated.  I find that interesting.  Maybe the bureaucrats have felt the grocery bill in their pocket. 

Now one of the other things we are facing is tax hikes.  A choice… pay more taxes or buy food?  Will it get to that point?  Lots of discretionary spending will change.  Those out of work will even have it rougher.

Some of these problems come from politicians meddling in social lifestyles, social engineering.  Laws that dictate a certain behavior are a type of engineering, quite often is under the guise of safety or health.  They have become known as mandates.  What do they really do….. they take one’s freedoms of choice away.

As more and more laws are passed, more and more freedoms are lost.

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This farmer will soon have enough money to buy some new tractors to add to his collection.  Farming is no longer a tough life.  It has become very lucrative, plus the government sends them a nice check occasionally.  Farmers have been getting a type of welfare for decades called farm subsidy and price supports.

I run into farmers here and there that would like to discontinue lots of the government programs for farmers.  They feel they could make more money in an open market. 

Ranchers have no government support programs unless they raise a crop of some kind, like hay or feed grain.   They roll along and make a good living ranching and the meat market varies very little.  Now that will change for most beef goes to feed lots before they go to the slaughter house. 

Cattle feed prices are going up also as the grain prices go up.  The drought has also pushed the hay market up in the areas where pastures have dried up.

It is a very complex situation but also simple….. prices are going up. 


Have a good weekend.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Calvary outpost….. Ft Wallace


Took a short trip to check out an old steam engine and chase it.  Along the way there were other things to look at and take pictures.

One of the places I wanted to go to was Wallace, Kansas.  Here are the remains of an old military building.  It had been a museum at one time but Kansas changed their tax policies for places such as this.  Losing their money the locals closed it up and today it sits vacant.


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It is given some care but for the most part it appears to sit neglected.  There are stress cracks here and there that probably will become worse over time.  Being made of rock it will wear pretty good.  I just hope Kansas will give some funding to it to keep it from falling apart.  Then it is not alone, I have run into other places that have closed up when the state pulled the funding.

I hate to see the funding pulled yet the local county is not all that poor and something more could be done with it.

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Yet it is so typical, rely o n big brother, in this case the state, and all of a sudden big brother closes the pocket book.  People throw their hands up and …………

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Ft Wallace came into being in the 1860’s to protect the Smoky Hill Trail and the railroad.  In 1868 the railroad stopped building and Ft Wallace became the railhead for a couple of years.  It was a wild and rowdy town.  Railroad workers hanging around, not much to do, gold seekers passing through and the outlaws plundering anything and everything.  Late 1869 the railroad started building west again and Wallace shrunk.  A few years later, most of the Indian problems were over and the Calvary had not much to do. 

On off went the Army to other jobs and the building was left behind.  The town of Wallace prospered until the depression and then dust bowl.  Today it has a few residents and lots of ghosts.  The building was fed and well cared for but today it is abandoned.

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In back the horses await the return of the cavalry to go riding on the prairie looking for Indians and bad men.

Things like this I have no problem supporting with tax money but at what level.  So much tax money is spent on special interests and things like this get lost.  There also needs to be some local help and not reliance on big brother because look what happens when big brother changes his mind.  Maybe there is a lesson in there someplace but do we learn?


Other Notes

My pelvis is pretty well healed up and the tailbone is doing pretty good.  I am still battling the hematoma, but at least I can sit for a spell now.  I am looking at blogging some more and getting around to others also.  Got a bunch more stories from this short trip.  Some neat train pictures and buildings in the small towns.

Have a good week.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Jobs….. Where they Gone to?


Headed down the road the other day and passed some blade trucks and there were some pulling off the road.  So rather then waiting for them, I paused and took some pictures of them.  The trucks they haul these big blades on are amazing.

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Look at the rear wheels on the trailer, they are steerable.  The driver in the cab has a joy stick to turn the rear trailer wheels.  Used to be someone in the pilot car would jump out and steer the wheels.  Long load….. over 90 feet long.

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While that set of blades was turning off the Interstate this set was parked on another highway.  They are from a different factory going to another hot air farm.

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On down the road the first group goes.  On to the farm road and up the hill to the ridge where they will be planted.

There are times this components are shipped by rail.  There are specialized cars for hauling them by rail because of their length and other pieces because of their weight.

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Besides the hot air fans there are other bits and pieces necessary to get things moved around.  These huge transformers are super heavy.  One guy said there were 92 tires on the truck that hauled it.  A whole bunch of weight.

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Then there all the new high power transmission lines necessary to haul it to the big city.

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The fans, they stretch out for miles across the prairie.  First group was about 120, next group about 90 and the new group over 200. 

The prairie is becoming cluttered.  It was bad enough with houses, out buildings, fences then utility lines.  Now it is monster size stuff popping up.


Watching all this involves lots of people, from the manufacture of electrical parts and the mounting structures to the land siteing. 

So why is there such a problem with high unemployment.  This government money was supposed to take care of the problem.  What am I missing?

One thing, most of these things are foreign made or owned by companies based out side of the US.

Mitsubishi, Siemens, Vestas and GE are the big names for manufacturing these things.  They are made overseas or owned by off shore companies.  Side note…. The Obama people are complaining about Romney’s money being off shore.  Guess where our tax money is going.

Electricity generated by these windmills cost about .04cents compared to about .01cents for coal generated electricity.  When the tax credits for the windmills is dropped they will sit on the prairie collecting dust because of the expense.  The government mandate requires that utilities use 10% green energy, IE wind power being alleged green energy.  When the utilities meet their 10% they discontinue wind power.

So I look at the windmills and wonder why the jobs aren’t there?

They government can mess things up but have a hell of a time fixing things because of the politics of reelection and other stuff.

Just wish we would stop going to the government to fix little things.  We pull ourselves out of recessions when left alone and the government stays out of the way and uses sensible regulations that favor no one.

I hope the windmills become an icon of how boneheaded we become when it comes to electing out political leaders.