Monday, June 22, 2015

Giving up the ghost



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The little house on the prairie is slowly giving its ghosts over to memories. For decades is has stood on the grass lands, a monument to other times.  Here the dreams of the early settler was realized.  Their own home and a piece of land. 

Built in the early 1900’s and looks like added on at a later date.  Roots were established, A school was nearby and Town was not much further.  Roots were put down and a new life was begun.

Farm prices sky rocketed at the end of WWI and farmer scrambled to the banks mortgaging anything and everything to produce more or buy more land.  The bottom fell out of the farm market and there was no money.  The banks wanted the loans paid and there was none to pay the banks.  Then the dirty 30’s rolled in on black clouds of dirt. 

Soon the dream was vanishing, farmers were being evicted by the banks and a few with money were buying up the vanished dreams.  The building were left and soon the residents were cattle, laying the shade and grazing on the grasses. 

Having no use for the house or wanting to spend the money to tear it down the house settles back to the land. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Chasing Ghosts


Out across the prairies are a variety of little communities.  Most have disappeared, returned to the earth, no remains.  A few have some old buildings or markings of some type to indicate there was something there at one time.  The post offices are the hardest to find for so many were located in a home.  For short periods of time a farmer or rancher would have a post office contract.

These places show up as towns and a few did become a town.  For the most part they were a private residence.  Looking on the map they are listed as a town.  Oops, just drove past it or where is it. 

So often I have gone looking for these places, only to find an empty pasture or a plowed field.  Well….. someplace out yonder is where the country post office had been. 

Then there is the farmhouse, drive on by, one of many homes that dot the country side.  Get the map out, hey, whoa, stop, I just drove by it.  See back there, that’s it.  Those buildings are on the corner of the once little country burg.  On closer examination, the building out by the road looks like a store, large windows and separate from the rest of the buildings.  Yep, that was the big city.  Now a farmers house and the old post office store is now a shed or chicken coop. 

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Abarr, was one such place.  I had driven past it many times in my travels.  it is not even a wide spot and it blends in so well with the homes that whizz by on the side of the road.  I made a concentrated effort to find it and I still drove past it.  Oh well, that’s why they invented the U-turn.

On closer examination of the map, I spotted a couple of other little spots like this in the vicinity.  Now on other trips I have other distractions to go looking for and maybe find someone with a bit of information on these little spots.  Then they tend to have similar histories.  It is the characters that occasionally associated with them that garners the interest. 



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mega Trucks

Living on the Ports To Plains Highway, I get to see bunches of monster loads and the trucks and trailers that haul them.  The most common big loads are the components for the Wind Farms.  The windmills on steroids are shipped in by bits and pieces then site assembled.  Each section has its own specialized trailer.

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The biggest, heaviest part is the Narcel, the turbine/generator.  Multiple axels in sections, laced together.  The rear axels on the trailers are steerable.  Going around corners with these oversized loads in interesting.  Traffic gets stopped and in slow motion the trailer is eased as a pilot stands by the rear steering the trailing wheels. 

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Then there are the blades, great big long stretched out loads.  Special loading trailers and brackets to set the blade in.  Again steerable rear trailer wheels. 

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The tower is in sections and unique brackets for hauling.  The towers have the wiring components ion them plus and elevator.  It is quite the engineering project to watch them move and then get erected. 

Specialized equipment that has a short life and limited application.  Like solar, they will probably have a short life.  When the politicians need money, subsidies for projects like this will be cut and giant windmills will dot the landscape.

In the meantime, all the different engineers are getting a good work out for their craft and tradesmen are occupied.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Republican Circus


The political show is underway and the Republicans need more then 3 rings for their show.  With the shortcomings of the Democrats and Obama in particular, the elephant is almost a shoo in.  So the elephants have lined up and are looking for the ring to the oval office.  There will probably be a few more elephants show up in the room.  What’s interesting is the Democrats have only one candidate so far. 

with so many republicans running for president, I’m sure the media will have a filed day.  One thing, the republicans are notorious for shooting themselves in the foot.  Which just give more fodder for the media blasters to put in their cannons.  It should be a good show.


On another note, Senator Rand Paul has been speaking out about the Patriot Act.  A lots of fellow senators have been blasting him for wanting to get rid of the Act.  If you really want to lay something ugly at the foot of George Bush, this Act after the 9-11 attacks would be it. 

The Patriot Act violates the Constitution in so many ways.  Personal rights are dumped.  The Homeland Security Dept. was created because of this piece of legislation and so many little things spun off from it.  The favorite abuser of this act has been the TSA, Transportation Security Administration.  The TSA has been a dismal failure and violated so many personal rights. 

So when I look real close at it, I agree with Senator Paul, get rid of the act, file it in the trash can.

So when I hear republicans in favor of the Act, I wonder if they really are Republicans or is the media distorting the truth. 

This act is but on example of many laws that should be repealed and trashed.  It would be nice if other lawmakers took up the pen to begin repeal of many arcane laws and overreaching laws.