Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hold the 'taters...

Howard Tucker was my bus driver when I attended Millville Grade School. Once a month, on the trip home, he would drive the bus through Kelly's Ranch Market, and every child on the bus could walk into the store and receive a nickel candy bar on Howard.
And on the last day of school before Christmas break, each child on the bus would get a box of candy.

One Christmas, when I was in about the third grade, Howard handed each of us a one pound box of chocolate covered cherries as we boarded the bus after school. I couldn't believe my good fortune. I also realized that I would be arriving at home in about 20 minutes, and imagined a houseful of younger siblings circling the treasure like a pack of hyenas around a fresh kill. I decided the only logical thing to do would be to consume the entire contents before the bus made it to my house. It was several years before I could even look at a chocolate covered cherry again.

I don't know what made me think we were going to run out of sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving dinner today,or who I thought was going to take the last helping, or why I thought it necessary to gorge myself on it. I just hope I'm over my current aversion to it by Christmas.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


We had a preacher when I was younger that had a propensity for extended prayers. He would ask for needed blessings, and then take the opportunity to announce the Wednesday night Men's Fellowship, the upcoming Chili Supper, and a multitude of other events. It was one time I thought we should consider limiting what we should include in our prayers.

I see the ACLU is again trying to ban prayer by the General Assembly in Indianapolis. While I disagree with their line of reasoning, I do understand that some people fear a legislator's personal opinions might affect public policy. That might be a legitimate concern, considering the amount of power we have given to our government.

For the greater good, however, I think we should make daily prayer mandatory in the legislature. I also think we should hire a man like my old preacher to do the honors. If they spent 4 or 5 hours praying every day, they wouldn't have near as much time to pass new laws, spend our money, and raise our taxes.

Just a thought.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


President Bush just signed the paper work raising the limit of the national debt too $9.8 trillion. Now, I don't know about you, but my eyes kind of glaze over when someone starts talking about a trillion of anything. I read a comparison from Brian Bex about the difference between a million, a billion and a trillion a while back that I thought was interesting.

If you have trouble relating to a trillion dollars, consider this: A million seconds amounts to about eleven days. A billion seconds amounts to about 32 years. A trillion seconds amounts to about 317 centuries.

I think it would be beneficial if the government would explain just how much they are spending in terms that a guy like me could understand. Like how many centuries is it going to take to pay off $9.8 trillion. And what is each persons share of the $406 billion in interest we paid on the debt last year. (I'm figuring a family of four's share would be over $5000.00.) Or how about telling us the $200 billion in aid sent in after Katrina amounts to about $400,000.00 for each displaced family.

When you do the math, its not hard to understand why Libertarians aren't too happy about the government having so much control over spending our money. Its really not very good at it.

The autumn of our discontent...

A lot of incumbents, both individuals and political parties, took quite a bashing in this fall’s election. Probably one of the biggest upsets in the state occurred in the Mayor’s race in Indianapolis. Both parties are still in shock over that one. New Castle elected its first Republican Mayor in 56 years. City Councils across the state are going too see a lot of personnel changes come January 1st.

I guess it’s a good thing that 20 some percent of the population decided that changes needed to be made. Some may have felt that taxes needed to be lowered, or that spending needed to be trimmed, or both. Some may have thought switching a Republican for a Democrat, or a Democrat for a Republican would achieve the desired effect.

Sorry folks, it’s not going to happen. Lowering taxes and reducing spending requires downsizing the government. That’s not something Republicans and Democrats do very well. In Indianapolis, Mayor Ballard and his Council will not spend significantly less money than Mayor Peterson and his Council. Taxpayers will continue to pay for the new stadium that is being built, and the old stadium even after it is torn down.

A year from now, the vast majority of taxpayers in New Castle, Muncie and Indianapolis will have seen no difference in the cost of government from the changes made in this election.

Hopefully a few more small government candidates will step forward before the next election, and a few more taxpayers and voters will be ready for a real change.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

5.4 on the Richter scale...

Residents of the Hagerstown area may have felt a slight rumbling Tuesday evening. It was attributed to several of the residents of West Lawn Cemetary rolling over.

A few short years ago, the town elections were, for all practical purposes, decided at the Republican town caucus. In Tuesday's election, a Democrat received the highest vote totals of any council candidate, a Libertarian judge was unapposed in her bid for re-election, and the Libertarian candidate missed winning a council seat by just 10 votes.

Everything needs a good shakin' up now and then.

Monday, November 05, 2007

About an hour...

We're three days into the time change, and I think most of my clocks are re-set. My cell phone and computer took care of themselves, I guess, and I'll get my watch the next time I wear it.

I'm still not sure what to do about the big wall clock that my wife and kids bought me a few years ago. Supposedly, it's linked too some kind of master clock in Colorado, and it is supposed to reset itself to the correct time every night. Sunday morning it spun around three times like someone was performing an exorcism on it, stopped on 10:10, and its been there ever since.

The clock in my wife's delivery van won't be right again until the time changes back next April. I've turned, pushed and pulled every knob on the dash, and finally decided I can just look at my phone if I really need to know what time it is when I'm in that vehicle.

The biggest problem is my internal clock. I'm wide awake at 3:30 in the morning, and fighting to keep my eyes open at 10 o'clock that night.

It's not that I think Daylight Savings Time is the end of the world by any means, but it is at least a mild inconvenience.

One I wish we had avoided.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Struck out....

I've never been on strike. Back before I went into business for myself I left a couple of jobs in order to move to a better job, and I left one job because the the boss and I couldn't come to an agreement. I have been involved in a couple of work stoppages, but that was just because I was tired.

I don't have a problem with people getting together as a group and making demands from another person or group, as long as neither party uses force to settle the issue. I'm sure a great many legitimate and important problems and concerns have been settled using this method over the years.

I suppose just what qualifies as legitimate and important would vary from person to person, and it would certainly be a boring world if we all agreed on everything. I don't mean to downplay the importance of anybody's job, but.....

I read yesterday that the people who write television shows are talking about going on strike. Apparently if this happens the viewing public will be subjected to watching reruns for awhile. Now, I don't watch much television myself. It's been a long time since a new show captured my interest. A little bit of news as long as I can stand it, and an occasional football game as long as John Madden isn't doing the play by play. I haven't watched a baseball game since the last strike. Most of the time when the TV is on it just provides background noise, and Andy and Barney can do that just as well any of the new stuff.

I hope they get their differences worked out before they decide they need to go on strike. I can't see the writers of "Dog the Bounty Hunter" or "Ugly Betty" having a lot to bring to the table that would justify concessions from the other side.