Thursday, August 29, 2013

Assorted thoughts…….. …….None connected


The dog days of summer are ending and its going out in searing heat.  We are in the high 90’s, tripping over triple digits.  Rain has left, monsoon is over and fall’s cool is over there.  Early winter a few say, but right now it is hot summer.  We did not have spring till the last week of May and then after Memorial Day, summer set in.

In a dry climate like I live in there are big temperature swings, sometimes as much a 60 degrees.  Usually the evenings are cool and a delight to sit out side for a spell.  Few bugs in the dry air to bother a person.

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There were times to sit outside, enjoy the sights, listen to the sounds and relax after a hot day in the sun.  Overhead in a clear sky, the stars sparkle, rivaling the fireworks.  The occasional shooting star flashing over head.

Sitting the east side of the house, the horizon is a hill side.  Shielding the moon.  Easily the moon creeps over the hill revealing itself.  In its nude glory, revealing its craters of swiss cheese.  The night of the blue moon it was cloaked in thin clouds, lightly covering its nakedness.  That night it wore clothing of high thin clouds.

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It had the appearance of a refugee from a cheese factory.  Most nights I can sit outside and in the clear dry air, watch the heavens sparkle in all their glory.  The milky way dusting, big dipper and others just hanging on the tapestry of the darkened sky.  There meteor showers most every night, the passing satellite and the airplanes.

High overhead can be heard the throaty roar of the jet engines as it hurtles its cargo homeward.  Is that a plane from St Louis to Denver, maybe that crossing one is from Chicago to LA or Phoenix.  Passengers riding 30-35,000 feet in the air, hurtled along at about 350mph. 

Someday will those journeys to other planets as the writers portray so well in the programs.  A satellite whirls along overhead, miles above the atmosphere, a shooting star crossing its path.

Yes it is in wonderment when I sit out side in the evening cooling off.  These warm summer nights are waning and soon it will be frozen air out on the porch.  The frozen crystals will join the sparkle of the stars.

The awesome beauty of nature, that man tries to recreate and has not only been kind of successful.  With the passing of summer brings the sleep of nature, to be reborn in the next cycle of warmth.  Dormant will the land be, hunkered down for the icy blast of ol’ man winter. 

I shat have a few more nights to sit outside and look skyward and ask self, what is really way out there?




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It’s a Crazy World


Man killing his fellow man, so are there any other headlines?  Then this is an age old story, chasing all the way back to a couple of brothers, Abel and Cain.  Seems we don’t listen to our past very well.


There were the gang killings,  Then the Middle East chemical barrage, the Egyptians embroiling each other. 


When there are mass killings, the media lights flash all over.  Seems they love the gory details of blood being spilt.


WMD, was ballyhooed by the media, now people are being killed by WMD.  So what is the complicit part of the media?  Should the media’s failure to truthful on chemical weapons them guilty of killing others.  The media likes to have guilt by association or non knowing.  So, the media said there were none, does that make them a party to the mass killings? 

Then there is the UN and their inspectors.  Refusing to really get in and inspect certain areas.  Should the UN be charged as being part of these killings?  Failure to do something is just as heinous as doing the dastardly deeds of killing. 

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Then, why do people need to be killed?

Killing someone is the ultimate form of power and control.  To eliminate some one by killing them gives the killer a good bully pulpit of controlling.  So if the USA goes over and kills people, will the country be guilty of murder, manslaughter, genocide, what is the country trying to control over there?


Power and Control

Is what a dictator uses to control his population and killing opponents is but one way the dictator tries to control the population.


What kind of country are we becoming?  It appears we are no longer a loving group of people that cares for others?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday Matinee


One of my passions and hobby is photography, in particular train photography. I go out of my way at times to follow along railroad tracks, hoping to catch a passing train.  This something I am not alone in.  There is a good sized cadre of train photographers around the world.  And like me, they like to get up close and personal with trains.

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Often, this means traveling, walking on private property, usually the railroad right of way.  Shortly after 9/11, trains became a watched target of opportunity by various agencies.   What had once been a no hassle past time became a look over the shoulder.

Some railfans/photographers were hassled by police and security people, including me.  Even a few were arrested and had their cameras confiscated, including phones.  In some parts of the country it became gruesome.  Yet an uproar was made by various raifans and things kind of eased up. 

But as Homeland Security and TSA grew, the hassling grew again.  Cameras confiscated, fans jailed and others chased off and told not to take pictures.  Some rail photographers were labeled as a terrorist threat.  A justification for the government bureaucrats to hassle people.

Then that is not to say that some people use the guise of railfan/photographer to check things out for stealing.  Ther other thing is how many photographers use railroad tracks as a back drop for their pictures.  I have seen pictures of a couples having their wedding pictures taken while standing in the middle of the railroad tracks.  And various other poses on the railroad ROW.

No matter though, armed with my cameras, I sally forth to capture pixels.

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The other part of railfanning is taking a train ride.  Sit in the car, few munchies and beverage, watch the scenery pass by, listen to the clatter of the car and wheels, a nice easy ride.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Changes of Time Remaining the Same


It is amazing how many changes there have been of my short span of years.  Yet how many things that do not change.  Man floats into a comfort sphere and likes to stay that way.  Changes are hard to adjust to.  There is a resistance within us to change but adapt we do.

Look at that simple machine called the automobile.  In my younger days I helped restore/fix up old cars.  They were pretty simple.  No starters, had a hand crank…. AKA arm breaker.  No batteries, had a magneto and spark adjuster.  Carburetor was a single throat, not complicated.  There were spark plugs and wires, hooked to a distributor.  Mechanical fuel pump and sometimes one had to prime the carb.  If everything was in good order and a good helper to handle the choke and spark adjustment, a few cranks and the motor would roar to life.  The early horseless carriages were just that, a carriage.  No steering wheel, but a lever to turn the front wheels.

Pretty simple machine, yet when it was introduced, oh was there an up roar about that new fangled contraption.  Change was happening, bobbin and the buggy was the old history, the horseless buggy was the new.   There were many who kept their wagons, buggies and horses and did not join the auto revolution.

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Look at the auto of today.  Starting motors, no hand cranking.  No carbs, now fuel injection.  Distributor is gone, now controlled by a microprocessor or brain.  Like it or not society changes. 

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Technology changes, look at all the gadgets, oh the smart phone.  Yet the people do not change.  For all the change a society undergoes, the behavior of people do not change.  The behavior pattern of people today is percentage wise about the same it was a thousand years ago. 

Man still likes to kill other men.  There are fights and arguments over which ideal is better.  People are still blind to others and how they feel. 

Yet as a society, have we progressed?  What changes have there been on how people deal with other people?  There are still bullies out there, haters and controllers and other distortions.  Ideal society is laid out but becomes a failure when it is practiced.  What goes wrong or are people willing to admit to mistakes.

Now to find me a smart car.  Go forth and solve the problems of driving on the road with other people.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Part II Civil War New State… 51st State Initiative


It has been interesting to follow the dialogue from the proponents of the new state.  They report that there are other places in the country that want to form new states to get out from under the burden of liberal rulers in the big city. 

Apparently there is a good sized group that want out from under the Bloomberg empire of NYC. 

One of the biggest arguments that comes out of these discussions is the various violations of the Constitution.  In particular, the second amendment and the first.  There are those who do not like being told how to live their lives.  Hackles bristle and the apple cart totters.  There are some that love to control others, and how they do is irrelevant.  Ever heard of slavery?

Men controlling other men has been around for centuries in all types of slavery.   There was a thing called indebted servitude.  Many people in England used this to get to the new country America. 

So when the USA was formed a whole new way of life evolved, well for some.  There was slavery into the mid 1800’s.  At that time men were supposed to be free of encumbrances.  Yet look haw many laws have passed since then that encumber the population.  The most visible form of slavery is to the government, it is called taxes.  Look what happens if you do not pay taxes.  The slave master is slowly becoming the government and the Republicans are going right along with the Democrats with this slavery.  Look at all the other laws that penalize you.

So to see others engaged in Civil War is not surprising.  So far no shooting or threats as such.

There is a group in Colorado that has started talking about forming a new state from some counties in Eastern Colorado.  They are dissatisfied with the policies that have been coming out of the state capital.  Many of the new policies from the state house have had a negative impact on the people of rural Colorado, which is where the dissent is. 

The majority of people live along the Front Range of Colorado, about 70% and they tend to control the state legislature.  Like so many in the city they lose contact with their roots and ignore the country folk.  It has created lots friction between the country people and city slickers. 

There is a liberal axis of power along the Denver/Boulder corridor.  Denver has not had a Republican mayor, US representative in decades.  The Democrats have ruled Denver for years and the same is true in Boulder, the home of the University.

The governor of Colorado is the former mayor of Denver and very liberal.

Recently the state legislature passed a bill mandating that all rural electric Co-Op’s but 30% of their electricity from green energy sources, IE’ wine turbines.  The Co-ops wanted input ot the process as did other rural people.  The Democrats locked them out, had a closed door meeting and brought forth the bill.  Afterwards, there were commercials galore, mocking the rural people that hey would have to be green.  That did not set well in the outlying areas.

Another area of contention has been the use of fracing for gas and oil wells.  The liberals have contended that fracing pollutes and that the chemicals are toxic.  So the county of Boulder banned fracing in their county.  A recent government study shows that fracing does not cause ground water contamination.  The liberals ignored this and still deride the oil and gas industry.

Then there is the issue of taxes.  Colorado has a law stating that all tax increases are to go to the voters for approval.  The democrats have been stymied for years with this.  So they now use fees to generate new taxes.  They have added all kinds of fees onto the oil and gas industry plus agriculture.  These fees are difficult to pass on in higher prices yet at the gas pump one can see some of the jumps in prices from added taxes…. oops…. fees.  Recently the US Supreme Court ruled that any revenue the government collects is a tax.  No one has challenged the Colorado fees.

These factors along with other issues have many a person in the rural areas upset and see no hope for relief from the over bearing policies of the Democrats that control the Colorado State House.  Therefore their solution is a divorce from the Colorado Democrats, form a new state.

One thing to consider is lots of the laws that have been passed by the Democrats have been penalties on rural Colorado, which tends to vote Republican. 

Those of you that have read “Atlas Shrugged,” know who John Gault is.  Forming a new state is a type of John Gault, leaving the morass. 

Yet look at all of the benefits one could have by forming a new state.  Yes it would take lots of work, arguing and thought.

Are you thinking about the plethora of things that could happen in a new state.  Oh joys, hand springs a return to sensibilities. 

The constitution is pretty well outlined, make a few additions and then carefully draft laws that would be difficult to change, for there will always be those who do not like things and want to change them.

Write the tax code in such a way it can be understood by all, limit what can be taxed, ear mark taxes for specific projects, put in sunset laws for taxes, and the list goes on.

Sunset law is a crucial piece of the new constitution.  For ordinances  do not need to have a life of eternity, they can be renewed by congress otherwise they expire.  Look how many laws are on the books now that are meaningless.  There are some laws that are good for a year or a few, then they should fade into non existence.  Same with taxes, there were many special; project taxes that ushered forth and the project is over but the tax is still there. 

Then develop a bureaucracy that would be responsive to people it is to serve.  For a small group can control the state departments and manipulate power.  Regulations are written by the different agencies and here is where the abuse of power is great.  Make all regulations reviewable by the legislature before ii is put into effect.

Just pausing and contemplating all the facets one can work with becomes mind boggling.  Hopefully if it happens the people that work on it won’t have big egos and are benign. 

I’ll probably pull this blog out a later date and add some things to it and post a few thoughts I hear from others.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fresh Bread


Living in New Mexico was a unique experience.  The Indian Pueblos, savage Spanish Conquistadores and the foreign white folks. About as diverse as one could find and oh there was a sprinkling of Africans.  Then there were the sub cultures in all the groups.  There were the Penitente’s back in the mountains, the loud boisterous rancher, the slow moving paisian, gang bangers and Indians in all sizes and shapes.

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On the weekend, drive to one of the neighboring Pueblos for fresh baked Indian bread.  The  Indians had been baking in these mud ovens for centuries and ground the grain by hand.  It was as primitive of bread as one could get but oh was it delicious. 

The other thing was the Indians would set up shop in the ditches on roads near their homes and cook fry bread.  Early Sat. morn, driving down the road would be a bread shop.  An Indian with a large cast iron pot over an open fire, sometimes propane burner, small tables for serving and a work table for kneading the dough.  Mix up a small bit of dough, toss it in the boiling lard, turn it after rich brown.  Lift onto a plate and drown it in honey.   The mouth is drooling.  Fresh hot fry bread, dripping of honey, supply your own coffee.

It was an interesting life the Indians developed to get away from the government control.  Make some money of their own, have a bit of independence, extra money.  It was also great for the tourists and the locals would make a day of it.