Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Day In Life


Sunday morning was magnificent.  It was one of those mornings in a blue moon.  Temp was in the low 40’s, the house was comfortable and life was still.  Breeze was somewhere, clatter was distant, sky was azure blue speckled with lacy wisps few and far.  Life could of not been any better at that moment.

Dogs fed, coffee made, steaming mug in hand I sit down.  Looking out the window was clarity to the ridges beyond.  Calmness traveled throughout, lightly broken by the occasional passing truck on the highway.  It was Sunday morning, I tarried a bit longer.  Sipping on the coffee, gazing into the great outdoors.  Listening to the chirp of birds passing by.

My soul rested, pores absorbing the moment.  There was not the city buzz droning in the ears.  This is why I left the hectic harried cacophony of the metropolis. 

DSCN3152 (800x594)

Country life carries a pace that that is easy to follow.  There are no great big golf course lawn, well groomed grounds.  Nature passes by the steps, leaving its mark on the walkway.  Deer were bedded down next door last night, tracks of the coyotes dot the gravel.

Sunday morning was a day that will be cherished and sought after for they are few and far between.  God blessed me that morning with His peace. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Part of Life…… Accept it


As I sit here typing this post the snow is ending.  A blanket of white covers the ground.  Well welcomed moisture.  There are many who don’t like snow, they curse it and plain ol get mad.  It is one of those gifts from God to nourish the ground.  Being a Christian I accept that and thank God for His gift to me.  God also gave me gifts to deal with this bit of adversity, it just takes a while to understand that. 

Then there are lots of things that happen life that are even more unsettling.  Death causes so much grief but it happens.  God did not make us to be eternal.  He gave us but a few moments on earth.  So when that period ends I will go off to another phase in God’s creation.

Even the devil is a part of God’s earth.  The devil go hither and yon tempting mankind with all sorts of things.  Many succumb to these temptations.  People steal, brutalize and kill other people sometimes in massive numbers.  It has been happening for centuries.  It also presents one of the toughest questions for the God fearing person, “How does killing fit in God’s scheme?”

I can only speculate, for it is one of the mysteries of life but it happens.  God gives me tools to help deal with these tragedies and  expects to go on with life.  He also expects me to forgive the perpetrators.  That is another tough one for many, to forgive the hate of others that result in death to the people of God’s creation.

Yet it is a Biblical command to forgive others.  But to forget is another aspect, for that seldom happens. 

So when I hear about the acts of terrorism, I fully expect it.  It is just when, where and how bad will it be.  I pray for the victims and hope they will have the comfort of God’s grace.  For God gives peace like a river and his peace surpasses all understanding.  Like grace, one has but to accept it.

Mass killings are not unusual in history.  Ever since man picked up the club, others have been killed for the purpose of control and hate.   Gang warfare kills more people in one day then the bombing in Boston.  Look how many were killed by cars in a  day.  We are very adept at killing ourselves in various manners.

One of the things that bothers me is how history is taught in schools, or lack of being taught.  The mass killing of conflict are glossed over by the books of history, for the most part.  Children can not deal with that type of violence, is the excuse.

The romans killed millions of people as they conquered the world.  Then there is the lions and the  Christians.  Roman soldiers pillaged villages, killing the men and raping the women.  It is a story that still goes on in parts of the world.

Knowing how brutal man can be, prepares me for the inevitable.  It also helps to keep me alert to things around me.  I have seen some pretty nasty and ugly things during my tenure on this planet but life goes on.  Am I cold and indifferent, not really but I am realistic and pragmatic.

Why do some remain calm and others go off the end into collapse?



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Buildings of Ghosts


For years, many years, I have been journeying to various events.  I used to to travel in a hurry with a single mined focus, get there and back.  Today when I make these trips, I put some time in the schedule to meander and look at things as I go and pause when I see things of interest.  Many a town I would buzz by on the all american raceway, the interstate.  Today I venture on the back roads and have a look at times past.

Here there are bits and pieces of dreams.  Most have become neglected and are falling to decay.  When the interstate highway system lots of the little towns were by passed.  The highway people also rerouted many roadways to bypass towns.  In the hurry to get to there, many things have been lost.

DSCN3645 (800x609)

Seldom does travel go at a leisurely pace any more.  It is hurry up and get there.  The frantic pace of life is sometimes scary.  I believe it is called instant gratification. 

Now day I seek out some of these small towns and pause for a bit.  Take a few pictures, wander some of the streets and take in the ambiance of small town ame4rica.

DSCN3698 (800x578)

Time brings changes, it is inevitable.  People change, move or pass on.  Buildings crumble after abandonment or find other uses.  Sometimes they just were not built all that well.  I take their picture for someday they may fade into the times of forgotten days.

DSCN3715 (800x600)

Then there is the little stream that meanders through the sand hills of the high prairie.  It gurgles and tumbles across the semi arid plains making a small oasis.

Cars whiz by on the highway, pausing not, going from there to there.  Life has a pace that does not always mesh with nature.  I was once told, pause and smell the roses.  Well not many roses grow around here, to cold and dry.  There are other things to pause and ponder.  A hundred plus years ago, these little towns were settled by pioneers, many emigrants from Europe.  Here they could live the dream, a piece of land they could call their won. 

Homes were built and shops erected.  Government policies changed, dreams crashed and were abandoned. 

DSCN3725 (800x596)

What had been a thriving going village, now sits neglected and decaying.  Dreams float over the grasses.  Ghosts sit on the front entry.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Alien Worker


Here so much about illegal immigration any more, makes me wonder if there is a solution.  Personally I doubt it, for there are so many benefits to both sides.  It does make good political hay for whomever the speaker is.

One of the things people say is the alien worker works for less and does jobs the local worker don’t want.  That is blowhard verbiage by whomever.

Look at what an employee at the local mart makes.  Pat starts around 10 bucks an hour up to 15 bucks.  Keep it simple, yes I will.  $10.00 for the employee and $8.00 for the illegal. 

At 8 bucks the illegal makes more money then the employee.  Taxes are withheld, roughly 25% with a take home of $7.50/hr.  So the alien is making $.50/hr. more.  They pay no taxes on income under the table.  Second the employer gains also.  The employer does not have to match unemployment taxes or Social Security payment.  Those combined ad an additional $2.00 the employer has to pay out.

Not even going to address health insurance.

So for the employer, there is big money to be made by using illegal aliens.  They pay less for labor and have less company expenses, in that there government paperwork is reduced.  A profit of $4.00/hr. per employee is nice revenue.  On 10 people it would net out at an extra $40.00/hr., $320.00/day, $2240.00/week.

Just the economics of hiring illegals becomes very appealing.  Also the company with illegals can also do work for less, beating out the competition. 

Now if I could work and not pay taxes, I could live pretty good.  I would take some of those menial jobs the illegals take.  Oh I would still pay the consumption taxes, gas, excise, sales, etc.  The illegals also pay that on what they buy in the states.

Talking with a friend and asked her if she would like a raise of about $250.00 a month.  Her eyes lit up and she said the extra income would be nice.  I said if taxes were cut, you would get a small raise of about that amount.  Her face went blank then a big question mark popped on.  She did not grab the connection between the tax cut and a pay raise.

So when I listen to the debate on immigration I roll around the economics of the debate and how taxes plays such a role.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the IRS was repealed.  Then we all could work like aliens and make money to keep.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Warm summer…. Not a hot one


Wouldn’t that be wishful thinking, summer without any hot days.  Last week was so nice, I was outside just puttering around, trying to clean up the garden beds.  It was in the low 70’s and upper 60’s.  Great weather to be in.  Very little breeze, clear blue skies and late afternoon white fluffs popping up.  Wore a light shirt, worked around the house picking up and cleaning out the winter leftovers.  Tumble weeds gather in the corners and catch on fences. 

Thought to my self, wouldn’t it be nice if the summer was like this.  No days of 90 degrees, light breezes, scattered clouds.  Oh that would be so nice but I know the heat of summer is on the way.  So I try to do some of the heavy work in the cool of spring.  I no like sweating, watching my water drip off my brow.

Reality strikes back though, back into the forties it went.  High humidity and bitter winds.

IMGP7039 (800x517) 

Did get in a country jaunt before the cold showed up.  It was cooler n a slight wind but nice.  The little critters are out and the mom’s are parading in the pasture.

Been making short videos of windmills running and adding some music.  Been coming out interesting.  Just takes so long to download to youtube.  I have a beginning collection of windmill pictures, in particular the old wooden tower windmills.   Not many of them left that operate.  Used a tripod to take the videos. there was enough wind, it was still shaky.  Next time in the wind I will probably hand hold.  I shake less then then the tripod.

The oil boom is reaching into our area.  There are wells here and there, not many but one is a lots for here. 

IMGP7047 (800x520)

Now if there would be some nice spring rains.  Things are so dry.  The pastures are pretty barren and not much wheat is peeking out of the ground.  Gonna be higher prices at the food store.  The drought along with the goofed up political mess we have, gonna make the next few years very expensive.  It will be a struggle for many to make it.

Now how to get the climate to really change to my liking.