Aug 1, 2009

Abilene and Smokey Valley Railroad 4-6-2 steam locomotive

Leaving Abilene, Kansas on the way to Enterprise

Midway between Abilene and Enterprise

Arriving in Enterprise

Jul 31, 2009

Cash for clunkers suspended?

CBS News reports:

In a shocker, the government announced it would suspend the program at midnight because demand was too great.

New York City car dealers are asking, how could the Obama administration mess this up??

Is the whole clunker program in the dumpster?

If they foul up ObamaCare this badly, the entire country will be much worse off than we feared.

More here.

Line in the sand

A bather walks past the "Line in the Sand" sculpture by artist John Hutchinson at the Sculpture by the Sea coastal exhibition at Cottesloe Beach in Perth, Australia.

Texting tow truck driver hits car and crashes into pool

A tow truck driver tow was texting on one cell phone while talking on another when he slammed into a car and crashed into a swimming pool.

Police said the 25-year-old driver admitted he was texting and talking when his flatbed truck hit the car Wednesday morning in Lockport, New York.

The truck then crashed through a fence and sideswiped a house before rolling front-end first into an in-ground swimming pool.

The 68-year-old woman driving the car suffered head injuries and was in good condition. Her 8-year-old niece suffered minor injuries.

The tow truck driver was charged with reckless driving, talking on a cell phone and following too closely.


Texting and driving is a bad combination

Jul 30, 2009

Rose Garden or Beer Garden?

Obama, the bartender-in-chief, is shown hosting the black Harvard professor who acted stupidly according to the Cambridge Police Department and the Cambridge cop who acted stupidly according to Mr. Obama.

Study finds organic foods no healthier

We decided long ago not to spend the extra money required to buy organic foods. We thought non-organic food was just as nutritious.

Another reason we avoid organic food is the fear that a few organic growers occasionally use raw manure in their effort to avoid chemical fertilizer.

A study at the link below shows that our decision was justified on price alone. The study is from the UK but why would it be any different here?

Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

Will proponents of organic foods stop paying extra money based on this study? Probably not. Most will continue buying organic foods along with “twisted” light bulbs that are many times more expensive and are a proven health hazard if not disposed of by experts.


The White House beer summit is today

Sunflowers in Japan

Japanese girls walk through a sunflower field at Chita, a town near Nagoya in Aichi prefecture, central Japan. A total of some 200,000 sunflowers welcomed guests in the summer sunshine as Nagoya area's temperature climbed to more than 90 degrees.

Be careful what you Tweet

A Chicago renter was sued over a Twitter posting.

Amanda Bonnen was sued for allegedly posting on her Twitter account a "tweet" that accuses her management company of being OK with moldy apartments.

According to the suit filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court Bonnen wrote an update that said "Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it's okay."

Because Bonnen's Twitter account is set to "public," everyone following on Twitter can view the defamatory statement, the suit said.

The suit went on to say Horizon Group Management has been greatly injured in its reputation as a landlord in Chicago because of Bonnen's Tweet.

Horizon Group Management seeks an excess of $50,000 in damages.

So, as the title of this posting says, “Be careful what you Tweet.”

Actually, you could be sued for what you say anywhere on the Internet such as in Facebook postings or for postings on any of the other social networking websites as well as blog postings.


Chris Matthews leg says Obama is slipping

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews told his viewers last winter that a speech by Barack Obama sent a tingle up his leg.

Good likeness of Matthews don’t ya’ think?

Jul 29, 2009

Hooligans dunk Smart cars in Dutch canals

A new craze in Holland is leaving Smart car owners smarting.

Dutch pranksters in Amsterdam have dumped dozens of the tiny two-seater cars into the city's waterways.

And now police fear the bizarre trend will spread to the UK and the rest of Europe.

Eco-friendly Smart cars are small enough to be picked up by just a few people and dumped into the Dutch capital's canals.

One Smart sales worker said: "We're not supposed to talk about this because the police don't want the craze to spread but we've had quite a few drowned cars returned to us."

Photo shows a crane pulling a Smart car out of an Amsterdam canal.


White House beer diplomacy

Over the decades, we’ve had ping-pong diplomacy, shuttle diplomacy and cowboy diplomacy. And now we’ve got beer diplomacy.

Barack Obama is going to sit down for a beer on Thursday night at a picnic table outside the Oval Office with the two main players in a racially charged case — Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates and Cambridge, Massachusetts, police Sergeant James Crowley.

This is damage control. Obama is still trying to put out a fire that began when he accused Cambridge police of acting stupidly when a white policeman arrested a black Harvard professor.


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Cliff hanger

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A 1987 Dodge van that got stuck on a rock overhang, near Grand Junction, Colorado, after the driver sent the vehicle off a cliff in an apparent suicide attempt. The 34-year-old male driver survived the incident.

Stimulus jobs lasting less than one week

Politicians are straining to convince people that the government is stimulating the economy.

In Oregon, where lawmakers are spending $176 million to supplement the federal stimulus, Democrats are taking credit for a remarkable feat: creating 3,236 new jobs in the program's first three months.

But those jobs lasted on average only 35 hours -- a little less than one work week!

After that, those workers were effectively back unemployed, according to an Associated Press analysis of state spending and hiring data.

By the state's accounting, a job is a job, whether it lasts three hours, three days, three months, or a lifetime.

In defense of the flawed statistics, Oregon's Senate president said, “sometimes some work for an individual is better than no work at all.”

The spin meter is working overtime declaring that very temporary jobs are part of the stimulus job creation numbers.


At the World Series of Dog Shows

Justin, a Lhasa apso dog, pauses during the Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows in Houston, Texas

Cash for clunkers: last minute rules change

Just before the "cash-for-clunkers" program the government changed the mileage figures on about 100 older vehicles. The new figures will alter which vehicles would be eligible for up to $4,500 in sales inducements.

About half the 100 suddenly did not qualify because their combined mileage rating was revised upward; others unexpectedly got in.


Israel to hold anti-Obama rally

For the first time in years there will be a large-scale rally against United States policies toward Israel. The protest will be held in downtown Jerusalem.

Not surprising since the United States now has the first anti-Semitic leaning president since Jimmy Carter.


Jul 28, 2009

Voter reaction to Obama's “stupidly” accusation

Mutton bustin’ the hard way

Mutton buster Justin Uribe competes during the California Rodeo in Salinas.

Next time he’ll try to ride on top like the sport was intended.

No Happy Meal for McDonalds robbers

Denver Channel 4 reports:

No Happy Meal for McDonalds robbers in Colorado.

Colorado Springs police say a McDonalds worker foiled an armed robbery in the drive-through lane just by closing the window.

Authorities say two men ordered a drink in the drive-through at about 3 a.m. Monday, and when they pulled up to the window, two other men walked up, pulled a gun and demanded money.

When the employee closed the window, the men all left.

No one has been arrested.


World’s most crowded swimming pool?

A heat wave has hit many parts of China with temperatures reaching a sweltering 40 degrees (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

This has caused many Chinese to grab their speedo’s and head for swimming pools and even the polluted Yangtze river for relief.


China blocks ABC's Newser blog

ABC reports that their Newser blog is blocked again today by the Chinese Government. ABC reports:

The World Newser appears to be blocked in China today.

Try to access it and a message pops up saying: “Oops. This link appears to be broken.” Why? The Chinese government rarely, if ever, offers an explanation.

Upon further investigation, it turns out other ABC News blogs are blocked today too -- including Jake Tapper’s Political Punch and George Stephanopoulos’ Bottom Line.

Political Punch by Jake Tapper is generally a good, well written, fair and balanced blog. However, Bottom Line by George Stephanopoulos is about as irrelevant as it’s writer and the first word in the name of the blog is all you need to know about its contents and worth.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The action of the Chinese Government in this matter is viewed by many as blatant censorship. On the other hand, blocking the ultra-liberal ABC News may simply demonstrate good taste by the Chinese.

Have the Chinese figured out this censorship thing all by themselves or did they buy a “Censorship for Dummies” book from


Jul 27, 2009

The Facebook lying down photo game

The photos shown here are people doing the Facebook lying down game. More Facebook lying down game photos are at the first link below.

The last time I looked there were more than 9,000 photos of people doing the Facebook lying down game.

More information from the originator of the “game” is at the second link.

The rules are simple. Just take a photo of yourself or a friend lying flat, face down. You have to be as if you are standing up with arms by your side. Select as public a space as possible for the photo and then post it with the others in the Facebook gallery.

Link here and here.

Obama continues to drop in tracking polls

Results of the latest Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll shows the difference between those who strongly approve of his performance and those who strongly disapprove is at an all-time low of -11 as shown in the Rasmussen graph below:

The Strongly Disapprove number has gone up by five percentage points in that many days. It was 35% last Wednesday morning and now it 40%.

The numbers appear to be in near “free-fall” mode - assisted by the “cops acting stupidly” accusation. An apology would have helped but, as the old Dutchman used to say: “regrets do not an apology make.”


Starting the work week right ...

...just one more peek in the mirror then it’s off to work.

Master Pieces

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A magnifying glass shows individual paintings forming a puzzle mosaic of the Mona Lisa at the International Tokyo Toy Show.

Jul 26, 2009

Unkept promises of stimulus hurting ObamaCare

A report at the link below outlines the main ObamaCare stumbling block - unkept promises of the $787 stimulus bill.

If Barack Obama fails to enact national health care, it will be because he sowed the seeds of his own demise last Feb. 17 -- the day the president, surrounded by Democratic leaders, signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.

Obama and congressional Democrats made promises and took actions that are now coming back to haunt them and could hurt their quest of remaking the nation's health care system.

Now the Democrats have another trillion-dollar bill - ObamaCare - that they want to pass before anyone has a chance to read it.

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who has emerged as a leader of the opposition in the health care fight, said:

"It's becoming clear that they misunderstood the economy, and now Americans are wondering whether they misunderstand health care."

"People are less trusting now."

Now, to judge by the polls, a lot of people view things differently.


A diver stands on his hands as he attempts to help set the world record for most divers submerged at Gilboa Quarry, in Giboa, Ohio. The current mark was set in Feb. 2006 off the shores of the Indian Ocean nation of the Maldives when 979 divers submerged at once.

Fooled me. I thought he was preparing for an underwater seashell-painting contest.

Bodies go unclaimed in LA as families can’t pay funeral costs

The poor economy is taking a toll even on the dead, with an increasing number of bodies in Los Angeles County going unclaimed by families who cannot afford to bury or cremate their loved ones.

At the county coroner's office -- which handles homicides and other suspicious deaths -- 36% more cremations were done at taxpayers' expense in the last fiscal year over the previous year, from 525 to 712.

"It's a pretty dramatic increase," said Lt. David Smith, a coroner's investigator. "The families just tell us flat-out they don't have the money to do a funeral."


CBO deals another blow to ObamaCare

For the second time this month, Congressional Budget Office analysts have dealt a blow to Democrat's health reform efforts, this time by saying a plan touted by the White House as crucial to paying for the bill would actually save almost no money over 10 years.


Blind faith in ObamaCare