Saturday, June 30, 2007

iThink iT's iDiotic

i'MSpoiled generation.

iT's $500
Plus $60 per month
Equals $1220 for the first year
For a phone.

Plan to get one

Get away
From work
As it is!

These fads

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Spin Doctor

Abby the Blog Dog is sometimes a real joker. I received the following from her:

Judy, a professional genealogical researcher, discovered that Hillary Clinton's great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, a fellow lacking in character, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription: "Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. “Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889."

Judy e-mailed Hillary Clinton for comments. Hillary's staff of professional image adjusters cropped Remus's picture, scanned it, enlarged the image, and edited it with image processing software so all that's seen is a head shot.

The accompanying biographical sketch is as follows: "Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.

In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."

Now that's spin!!! I think Abby should have posted this herself.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just Call Me Gramps

Congratulations are in order. I am now a grandfather!

Wow, that's hard to believe. My daughter delivered a beautiful 7 lb. 5 oz., 21 1/2 inch baby girl at 3:03 this afternoon. She's beautiful!

I'm not old enough to be a grandfather!!! My beautiful red-headed daughter should still be 4 years old -- not married and having children of her own. My how life flies by.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For Paris Hilton

The world envies your wealth,
Your popularity,
Your opportunities,
And so,
It revels in your fall.
But, not God.
Unless it was God
Who gave you this opportunity
To redeem yourself.

The world wants to see you
Fail again.
Fool the world.
Use your celebrity for good.
Surrender to God's will for your life.
Only by His strength
Will you succeed.
If you take your eye off of Him
You will fail.
Don't fail.

You have the chance to be
A shining example of God's redemptive power.
Show the world.
Don't fall into the traps that Hollywood lays.
Don't fall for the liberal lies that God is not real.
Don't let the world take away eternity.
Heaven will make this world
Look like a black smudge on your white dress.
Only God can save you.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." __ John 3:16

"'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool'" __Isaiah 1:18

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." __John 14:6

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Love Sales

I enjoy my job most of the time. I manage a small company with multiple locations. We utilize a very lean business model with many of the "overhead" functions being outsourced. Not only am I responsible for general management, I also am the primary sales force for our company. Each week I allocate my time between the various functions that I must perform for our business to operate effectively and continue to grow. I have been fortunate in being able to hire good people who for the most part do not require close supervision. This allows for a tremendous amount of flexibility in my scheduling. Today was fully devoted to business development/sales.

Many companies -- especially small ones -- have difficulty differentiating between the sales function and the marketing function. The best way that I know to look at the difference is that marketing sets the stage, or creates the environment for sales. Sales is the actual transaction which includes the offer, the negotiation, overcoming objections, and closing the deal. A successful sales call is any customer contact in which there is progress made in any of these areas. In other words, if in my first contact with a prospective customer I am able to introduce myself, my company and my product or service and schedule a next contact with that prospect, then I have had a successful sales call. Successful marketing on the other hand is more difficult to measure. Essentially, a marketing campaign is successful if it raises awareness of your product or service to the point that the prospect knows what you are about before you ever walk in their door as a salesperson. Marketing also is the function of providing support material and research for sales. In many ways the two functions are inseparable, but they are two different functions.

Today was a successful sales day. I have to admit that no deals were closed, but out of six calls on prospects, there were three that produced significant movement toward a close. In addition, at lunch I was able to visit briefly with two additional prospects. Now, prospect is another term that needs some definition. To me, a prospect is a qualified potential buyer. Until you know that someone is definitely in the market for what you wish to sell, they are only suspects.

Our business is one in which a sale typically creates a long-term customer relationship. It is not a single transaction. It is establishing a non-contractual agreement to provide an ongoing service. The volume of business that relationship creates is a direct function of the size of business that I am working with. In the three successful calls today, the potential volume is extremely large. One of the prospects would be similar to getting the contract to supply all plastic bags to every Walmart in the Dallas-Ft Worth metroplex. That is a lot of plastic bags. No, I don't sell plastic bags. What we provide is a service.

I love sales call days. One of my greatest joys in business is meeting and visiting with my customers, prospects, and suspects. In fact, the thing that typical salespeople fear the most is the thing that I most enjoy -- the "cold" call. A cold call is showing up at a potential customer's place of business without an appointment, introducing yourself and your product, and attempting to establish a relationship that will ultimately lead to a sale, or will help you to determine whether that individual is truly a potential customer. It is extremely intimidating to new salesmen because of their fear of rejection. Across most industries, it takes approximately 9 customer contacts before a transaction occurs. Most young salesmen never get to contact number 2. They become discouraged if the potential customer doesn't immediately purchase from them. They typically see it as a personal rejection instead of a step in the right direction.

I may decide to post more on this in the future, I don't know. I don't normally go on about what I do for a living in this blog. I guess that I'm still a little pumped up from the success of the day. I hope it didn't bore you too much! Tomorrow will be another sales day. Let's hope I'm still as fired up tomorrow night as I am tonight.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Should You Vote?

I guess this is fun quiz day. This is one of the best that I've seen.

I scored A+ -- 100%. They suggested that I go into politics. My wife has told me that for years.

I'm Pretty Conservative

Your Political Profile:

Overall: 90% Conservative, 10% Liberal

Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
I don't know why, but I enjoy these things.

7 and 7 at Life in America

CDO over at Life in America has posted his response to my seven and seven tag from a few days ago. I was impressed with his poetic effort. Y'all go visit him.


I just checked to see what my "blog rating" was.

Online Dating

I am pleased although I don't know what they use to rate it!

Misty Serenity

The early morning mist
Rising over the coolness
Evokes a serenity of place
That contradicts
The activity of the day.
Muffled sounds punctuate
The stillness yet are unable
To displace the peacefulness.
A perfect start to the week.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I find so many ways
To put off what I should do
When it is something
That I really don't want to.

It's amazing how much busy work
One can find about
When there's something big you're dreading.
And I just can't figure out

What makes me put it off
Until I can wait no more.
Although I know if I'll just jump right in
It will be done before

I know it. But I delay.
Is it something in my nature
That makes me do such things?
It's understandable from someone immature

But I'm old enough to know better.
So, I make excuse
For not proceeding with the task
Until it is no use.

And as I go about my job
I wonder what the fuss was about.
Because all I had to do
Was take the garbage out!

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Lighthouse

Shaped by the hand of time,
The Lighthouse stands.
The enduring symbol of the Palo Duro,
The Lighthouse stands.
Through the ravages of wind and rain,
The Lighthouse stands.
In spite of the adoration of man,
The Lighthouse stands.
May we each stand as
The Lighthouse stands.
"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." __ Ephesians 6:13

The Ethanol Impact

I've been saying for some time now that ethanol production in its current form is going to have serious detrimental repercussions on the consumer's food dollar. The following article indicates that the pinch is already showing itself.

Fed Oversight? Inflation Seems To Be Eating Out

Before Federal Reserve policy makers meet to decide what to do with interest rates next week, they should visit a local eatery. They'll find something unappetizing: higher prices and fewer diners. Casual-dining restaurants are getting hit by rising inflation. Corn prices have surged due to demand for corn-based ethanol.

Because corn is a big feedstock, it's trickling into the cost of everything from chicken to cheese. Wholesale butter, cream and milk prices have jumped about 20% in the past three months, according to Raymond James. Cheesecake Factory's stock tumbled 7.1% yesterday after.... (complete article here)


As the impact on food expenditures increases, we will begin to see a secondary impact in the housing market. Many people today have interest only mortgage payments betting on rising real estate prices to create equity. As more disposable income goes to food, fewer dollars will be available for housing. The bubble will burst and mortgage companies will end up with empty houses that are worth less than the loan against them. It won't be pretty. It will make the S&L fiasco of the 80's look like a picnic.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Straw Hat Weather

Sun broiling,
Umbrellas shading,
Everything growing,
Roses blooming.

Iced tea

Heat blistering,
Roasting --
Even me!

Rein Her In!!!

It's about time!!! (From

House Republican wants to restrict Pelosi’s travel

By Jackie Kucinich
June 21, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will not be permitted to use State Department funds to travel to nations that are known to have sponsored terrorism if a Republican amendment to appropriations legislation passes the House on Thursday.

The amendment to the $34 billion State and Foreign Operations bill, offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), prohibits funds to be used to travel to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter released earlier today, King said Pelosi had overstepped her constitutional role as Speaker when she traveled to Syria in April.

“Taking her cue from the Iraq Study Group’s recommendation that the U.S. enter into talks with Syria to forge a new way forward in Iraq, Speaker Pelosi decided to ignore the requests of the President that she refrain from traveling to the terrorist state,” the letter said.

King told The Hill that he believed Pelosi was in violation of the Logan Act, a 1799 law signed by President John Adams that prohibits unauthorized U.S. citizens from interfering with relations between the United States and foreign governments.

“I was one of the members of Congress that was incensed the Speaker had taken it upon herself to conduct foreign policy,” he said. “It was a blatant violation of the Logan Act.”

No one has ever been prosecuted under the 208-year old law, according to the Congressional Research Service.

He said that it was not the visit that caused him to introduce the measure, but Pelosi’s decision, in his perception, to act as a diplomat that made him take action.

“She carried a message from Israel to Syria and that message according to representatives of both Syria and Israel wasn’t consistent with what one of them agreed to … these are the kind of problems you get,” he said.

A spokesman for Pelosi brushed off the amendment as a partisan attack.

“How can anyone take this amendment seriously, especially when it comes on the same day that Bush Administration officials are in North Korea? And why would anyone think it is responsible to restrict the ability of the Speaker of the House to bring the concerns of the American people to foreign leaders? It is part of the Speaker’s job,” said spokesman Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Pelosi. “This amendment is a cheap political stunt that just won’t fly.”


Diplomacy is the responsibility of the Executive Branch of government. BTW, check out the name of her spokesman.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Brief Ray of Light

I think sometimes
The followers of the liberal spiel
Do so out of misinformation.
After visiting with someone
Last night of a much more liberal persuasion
I found he had a vivid imagination.

Or, at least that's what it seemed to me
Until I quizzed him at length
On the foundations of his belief.
It only took a few questions to find
That he was clueless as to the facts.
Much to my relief

He was willing to listen as I
Explained the issues to him about
Which he was confused.
After some additional clarification
He realized that he was missing some facts
And it left me somewhat amused.

Wouldn't it be great if it
Was always that easy to refute the
Wrong-headed views of the left?
Instead it seems like beating your head
Against a wall trying to convince them
That their argument is bereft

Of all reason. But that doesn't
Matter to them because they are "right"
Even when they are wrong.
I could go on forever about
The frustration I have with their logic
But it would make this poem too long!

Seven and Seven

Janie at Sounding Forth tagged me. I am to tell seven random things about myself and then tag seven people. I've not been tagged before so I'm game to give it a try. She seemed to hint that I should make this rhyme...

I once dreamed of becoming a star
From singing and playing guitar

I was once a Republican County Chair
Way back when I still had hair

My favorite color is blue
Which is the color of my eyes too

If you'll look closely at my little rhyme, you'll see that there are seven things listed. So, now I have to list seven victims -- I mean individuals to tag.

1) CDO at Life in America -- I'm anxious to see what he'll come up with!
2) Strawberry at Middle Age Ramblings -- She's pretty creative.
3) Ranando at The Ranando Report -- What have you got out there on the west coast?
4) Patrick at Born Again Redneck Yogi -- We need a South African transplants input.
5) Incognito at A Closet Republican in the Arts -- Our actress.
6) Blazing Cat Fur -- for his interesting sense of humor.
7) Neal at The Odom's in Wellington -- I'm just curious what he'll put.

Now, I'd better go let all of these folks know they've been tagged!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Let the Debate Continue

It was a dark and stormy night...

It is a dark and stormy night...

It's still a dark and stormy night...

From out of the dark and stormy night...

No wonder Snoopy could never get past the first line. The wind and rain and lightning are too distracting!

Growing up, the breakfast table was one place we all managed to be at the same time. Dad always had the newspaper and we waited until he was through with a section before we read it. Of course, there was only one section in my mind for many years. The Comics. I always read the Comics to start my day. The newspaper was the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. During the week, the Comics were black and white and then Sunday was color. Charlie Brown was one of my favorites. In reality, I liked them all except the "soap opera" ones like Mary Worth (I think).

As I grew older, I started reading the news sections. Dad challenged me one morning in Jr. High. He started asking "what do you think about...." questions. If I didn't have an opinion (which I didn't) he'd say, "If you don't know what you think, who does?" "If you don't form your own opinion, someone else will form it for you." So, I started reading the news and becoming informed. That way, when he asked me what I thought about something I would at least know what he was talking about.

Reading the newspaper became a habit with me. After I moved away from home and went to college, I subscribed to a newspaper. I became a news junkie. If I didn't get my newspaper "fix" each morning, my whole day was ruined.

Sometime in my 30's I quit reading the newspaper. I became completely disenchanted with all media. I felt that the stories were slanted. I still do. I felt as though I was allowing someone with wrong-headed ideas force feed me the news they wanted me to know so that I would think like they did. I still do.

A few years back I started back to reading the news again and listening to Fox News Channel. I read the news on the Internet. I don't subscribe to a physical paper anymore. I also have learned to read and listen much more critically than before.

Blogging has added a new dimension to the news. It is a way to voice, and by reading other blogs, to read a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints of newsworthy (and not so worthy) events. Many times it can become a truly informative and useful exchange of ideas and information. Many times though, it is merely a platform for ranting about a particular pet peeve. I enjoy the exchange of ideas. I've always loved a good debate.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Piano

There is an old piano
That sits in our house.
It was made around 1903.
It is showing its age
With scratches and scars
And the chips in some of the keys.

It is silent most days
Which brings sadness to me
For none of us here can play.
It was bought for my daughter
Who's married, in school,
And living a few towns away.

I remember when she
Was just learning to play
How she struggled with every note.
And then as she grew
How her hands fairly flew
Making the music to float

Throughout the house.
And I'd listen and listen
And listen some more
Until she grew tired of playing
And had to rest for awhile.
It filled something deep in my core.

Was it pride that caused me
To beg her for more or was
It filling some deeper need?
Was it that I was wishing
That it was me playing
Such beautiful music indeed?

Or was it the music itself
That I craved that drew
Me to beg her to play?
Was it a vicarious
Need that was being filled?
I just can't really say.

Perhaps it was all
Of these things and more
That gave me such a lift.
There is one thing certain;
It must have been God
That granted this beautiful gift.

Birds of a Feather

CDO has a good post on his "Life in America" site that is a great analogy for the Illegal Immigration issue. Check it out.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Desert

I am dry.
Lost in the desert
Of my imagination
I trudge toward the shimmering
Thoughts that dance before me
Only to find bare sand.

The well.
The never-dry fount
That pours forth upon request
Has been erased
From the map.
It is gone.

I had but to begin
The journey and the spring
Welling deep inside
Poured forth the clear
Pure words,

But not today.
Today the sand stretches
As far as I can see
In every direction.
Tantalizing with

Yet I trudge on;
Putting one foot
In front of the other
Until the page
Is no longer

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Racing to the Edge...

It seems to me that a large percentage of the populace doesn't use their head. They are easily swayed by television commercials or by what some celebrity says. They don't spend a lot of time looking into issues or thinking things through. They just jump on the current bandwagon of someone like Al Gore and never look back.

The older I get
The less tolerance I have
For people who just won't think.
You know the kind I'm talking about
They're always agreeing with what you say
With a ready smile and a wink!

It's like they live
With their head in the clouds
And never come down to earth.
They just float along
With the current fad
And praise it for all they're worth.

They never stop
And wonder what
All of the fuss is about.
And if you press them
About what they think
They'll just sit there and pout.

Because that's the problem;
They just haven't thought
About what they're saying so loud.
But they keep on talking
For all that they're worth,
Strutting around so proud.

They just follow the leader
Wherever he goes
Even when it is wrong.
It's like the pied piper
Just marching away
Leading his merry throng.

I like to call them
Lemmings because
They travel around in a crowd.
They rant and rave
And stir up the dust
Just carrying on so loud.

There's just no stopping
This jolly bunch as they
Force their way in a wedge
They follow their leader
Right up to a cliff
And then right over the edge!

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." __ Proverbs 9:10

Friday, June 15, 2007


I usually find it easy
To comment on someone's work
But I know sometimes in doing so
I come off like a jerk.

It isn't my intention
To be so critical
It's just that my mind
Is highly analytical.

When I read what has been written
And I find I can't agree
The thoughts go into overdrive
And manners sometimes flee.

It's not meant to be belittling
Or to cause a fight
But when I can't agree with you
It's because I know I'm right!

The China Closet

Two very important stories today -- one out of the UK and one out of the Washington Post. Read them fully.

America prepares for 'cyber war' with China

By Alex Spillius in Washington
Last Updated: 2:42am BST 15/06/2007

China is striving to overtake the United States as the dominant power in cyberspace, according to a senior American general, in what is emerging as a new theatre of conflict between nation states and a growing priority for the...(follow link for full story)


Inside the Ring

By Bill Gertz
June 15, 2007

China arming terrorists

New intelligence reveals China is covertly supplying large quantities of small arms and weapons to insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban militia in Afghanistan, through Iran.

U.S. government appeals to China to check some...(follow link for full story)


Are you nervous yet?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Plumb Squirrely

I absolutely loved this article today -- printed in its entirety.

Squirrel goes on rampage, injures 3

Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:00AM EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) - An aggressive squirrel attacked and injured three people in a German town before a 72-year-old pensioner dispatched the rampaging animal with his crutch.
The squirrel first ran into a house in the southern town of Passau, leapt from behind on a 70-year-old woman, and sank its teeth into her hand, a local police spokesman said Thursday.
With the squirrel still hanging from her hand, the woman ran onto the street in panic, where she managed to shake it off.
The animal then entered a building site and jumped on a construction worker, injuring him on the hand and arm, before he managed to fight it off with a measuring pole.
"After that, the squirrel went into the 72-year-old man's garden and massively attacked him on the arms, hand and thigh," the spokesman said. "Then he killed it with his crutch."
The spokesman said experts thought the attack may have been linked to the mating season or because the squirrel was ill.


When I read this, I'll be all you "Rednecks" know exactly what came to mind. Ray Stevens. So, below are the words to his song.


The Mississippi Squirrel Revival

Well, when I was a kid I'd take a trip every summer down the Mississippi
To visit my granny in her antebellum world
I'd run barefooted all day long climbin' trees free as a song
And one day I happened to catch myself a squirrel
Well, I stuffed him down in an old shoe box, punched a couple of holes in the top
And when Sunday came I snuck him into Church
I was sittin' way back in the very last pew showin' him to my good buddy Hugh
When that squirrel got loose and went totally berserk
Well, what happened next is hard to tell
Some thought it was heaven others thought it was hell
But the fact that something was among us was plain to see
As the choir sang "I Surrender All" the squirrel ran up Harv Newlan's coveralls
Harv leaped to his feet and said, "Somethin's got a hold on me", Yeow!

The day the squirrel went berserk
In the First Self-Righteous Church
In the sleepy little town of Pascagoula
It was a fight for survival that broke out in revival
They were jumpin' pews and shoutin' Hallelujah!

Well, Harv hit the aisles dancin' and screamin'
Some thought he had religion others thought he had a demon
And Harv thought he had a weed eater loose in his Fruit-Of-The-Looms
He fell to his knees to plead and beg and the squirrel ran out of his britches leg
Unobserved to the other side of the room
All the way down to the amen pew where sat Sister Bertha better-than-you
Who'd been watchin' all the commotion with sadistic glee
But you should've seen the look in her eyes
When that squirrel jumped her garters and crossed her thighs
She jumped to her feet and said "Lord have mercy on me"
As the squirrel made laps inside her dress
She began to cry and then to confess to sins that would make a sailor blush with shame
She told of gossip and church dissension but the thing that got the most attention
Was when she talked about her love life and then she started naming names

The day the squirrel went berserk
In the First Self-Righteous Church
In that sleepy little town of Pascagoula
It was a fight for survival that broke out in revival
They were jumpin' pews and shoutin' Hallelujah!

Well seven deacons and the pastor got saved,
Twenty-five thousand dollars was raised and fifty volunteered
For missions in the Congo on the spot
Even without an invitation there were at least five hundred rededications
And we all got baptized whether we needed it or not
Now you've heard the bible story I guess
How he parted the waters for Moses to pass
Oh the miracles God has wrought in this old world
But the one I'll remember 'til my dyin' day
Is how he put that Church back on the narrow way
With a half crazed Mississippi squirrel

The day the squirrel went berserk
In the First Self-Righteous Church
In the sleepy little town of Pascagoula
It was a fight for survival that broke out in revival
They was jumpin' pews and shoutin' Hallelujah!

Written by: C.W. Kalb, Jr. and Carlene kalb
Published by: Ray Stevens Music
1707 Grand Avenue
Nashville, TN 37212

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Sometimes we just get tired
Of trudging down our rut.
We want to jump right out
And take a shortcut.

But we've become so comfortable
With all the things we know
That changing what we're doing
Causes winds of fear to blow.

And so we keep on trudging
Down this ditch without an end
Just heading for the light we see
Way up around the bend.

We must be making progress
For the light is growing large.
In fact it's coming faster
So we think it's time to charge!

But then we start to stumble
'Cause the way seems mighty rough.
Now we're crawling on our hands and knees,
The going is so tough.

You think it can't get any worse
And then it starts to rain.
So, you focus on the blazing light
And realize, it's a train...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Energy vs. Food

This is a glimpse of the future...

China blocks food for biofuel

By George Reynolds

12/06/2007 - Chinese biofuel producers should only use non-food crops, the government said yesterday, following fears of shortages and further price rises that could occur as demand for greener energy increases.Biofuels are seen as a potential alternative to fossil fuels, because they can be manufactured from sustainable crops including corn, wheat, sugar, cassava, sweet sorghum, and oilseeds.The moratorium will ease manufacturing concerns about competing for ingredients being used to make ethanol and biodiesel. Corn is currently accounts for 90 per cent of the inputs in Chinese ethanol manufacture, and has sharply risen in price over the past few years due to subsidies and high crude oil prices.Moreover, last year's 43 per cent rise in the price of pork, China's principal meat, due to increasing feed costs, has pushed officials to act."Food-based ethanol fuel will not be the direction for China," said Xu Dingming, an official of the National Energy Leading Group, at a energy seminar held this week, according to the Xinhua News Agency.Biofuel manufacturers will now need to source non-food crops, such as cassava and sweet sorghum used ....(follow the link for complete article)


Ethanol and biodiesel will have a dramatic impact on food prices in this country over the next few years. I have posted some of my thoughts on this in the past. Fuel independence may create food dependence if we continue to focus those efforts on biofuels. Are we as a country willing to become dependent on South America for our grains? That may not be an issue if Brazil continues with its efforts to produce ethanol. We are heading for a global food crisis. U.S. citizens will pay a higher percentage of their disposable income for food than ever in the history of this country. What will the impact be on countries that suffer from chronic food shortages today?

There have been numerous issues to criticize the current administration and Congress over. I think the subsidies to encourage biofuels may be the biggest one. The money spent subsidizing ethanol would be better spent on nuclear, wind, or solar power generation. Biofuel money should be restricted to garbage and human waste. Subsidizing the use of crops for biofuels is an error in judgment that will have huge impact on our food supplies in a very short time. That impact is in fact already occurring although there is a significant lag before it will be felt in the consumer marketplace. The sad thing is, it will not lower gasoline prices and may contribute to their rise due to legislating blends both at the Federal and State levels. This, at the same time that it is raising food prices.

The first impact that will be felt is in the cost of proteins. This includes all meats and beans. The impact to grain-based foods will be more slowly realized. This seems backward at first glance. However, due to the small impact of "in-the-field" prices for grains on the cost of a finished loaf of bread, the impact will be minimal in spite of significant grain price increases. However, the cost of feeding livestock has increased tremendously based on the speculative impact of corn conversion to ethanol. There has also been secondary impact on the price of feed fat which is a rendered energy source similar to lard that is a component of many animal feeds -- such as pet foods. This is because of the utilization of tallow for biodiesel production. Just get ready. The price of your hamburger is about to double. It will only take about 6 -9 months for the initial impact to begin to filter through the production cycle.

The potential impact of significantly higher food prices could quickly spread to the housing market. Families will have less disposable income. Foreclosures may become as common as they were in the 80's at the height of the S&L crisis. Prices will plummet. The housing bubble will burst. The impact will then ripple through the financial sectors potentially causing bank failures.

OK. I guess that's a bit of a gloom-and-doom view, but it is also realistic. Cheap and abundant food has been a significant component of the economic success of this country. Current alternative energy policies are threatening our future food supply. Congress and the President need to think again about how we achieve energy independence.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Success Through Perseverance

It has been said that success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal or dream. I love that definition because it says so much in few words. So, because I love it for its brevity, I'm going to expand it (that doesn't make much sense).

Progressive realization. Success takes time. It comes in incremental steps with each step bringing one closer to the prize. It doesn't happen all at once. It is realized little by little.

Worthwhile. What you are striving to accomplish must be good, wholesome. You can be the best thief in the world and yet not be successful because what you are good at is not worthwhile. It must be something that contributes positively to the world. It must be of value to society in general.

Goal or dream. Goals are intermediate steps in achieving a dream. A goal is a point on the journey. The dream is the end of the journey.

We are successful each time we achieve even the tiniest goal that takes us one step closer to our dream. Many people measure success in money. If your dream is to be a millionaire, each dollar gained in true Net Worth is success because it is one step closer to achieving your dream. As long as you are making progress you are successful -- even if you never reach your dream.

Most people give up at some point along the way. If they don't reach that huge dream that they have set for themselves in a short period of time, they give up. They quit. They see themselves as a failure. I see this in salesmen on a frequent basis. They set lofty sales goals for themselves. If they fail to meet them, they give up. They start looking for another job. Only when they give up do they fail.

Perseverance is the key. Success is the result of perseverance. It happens incrementally. It takes time.

"Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you're bound to wake up somebody!" __ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, June 10, 2007

In the Name of Religion

In the name of religion
A child is taught to kill.
In the name of religion
A priest seduces a child.
In the name of religion
Millions are tortured and killed.
In the name of religion
Many thieves grow rich.
In the name of religion
People are enslaved.
In the name of religion
Wars are waged.
In the name of religion
Evil reigns.

Religion is man's way
Of seeking God.
Religion is man's way
Of exercising power.
Religion has been called
The palliative of the poor.
Religion has been called
The elixir of the ignorant.
Religion is created by men
For the control of men.
Religion will fail
In its purpose
Because it is of men.

There is one true God
And He seeks us.
He sent His Son
To die for us.
He wants us to know Him
As He knows us.
Not through some priest
Or saint, or pope,
Or statue, or prophet.
But through His Son,
By His Spirit,
In a personal
With Him.

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" __ John 14:6

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Computer Frustrations

Just when I think I've got this computer figured out, something happens that throws me. I tried adding a 2-line piece of HTML code from a site that I thought was trustworthy, and in the process managed to mess up my Blog title color. No matter what I did, it kept changing back to black -- which couldn't be seen against the photograph in the Header background. I finally edited the photo by adding text for my Blog Title and then having blogger put it in front rather than placing the title text in front. At least you can read the title now. It still isn't right. There has to be an extra piece of code somewhere in there that I can't find.

Then, I went to a site that I had visited before -- a University hosted site that should have been OK -- and it started streaming music to my computer. I didn't mind -- in fact I enjoyed the music. What got me was that the music continued to stream when I moved away from the site. It continued when I closed my Internet browser. It continued until I rebooted my computer. I don't know if it's a sign of my ineptitude, or someone else's!

It amazes me what people can do with software these days. I remember learning to program with punch cards fed into a reader to an IBM 360 (tells you a little of how old I am). I had hands on some of the earliest PC's while in college. An average PC today will do more than the mainframe that I first started learning on. Yet, we are only at the earliest stages of the evolution of computing. What will be next? Probably an organic based chemical computer with a neural network -- wait, that's been done hasn't it?

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." __ Psalm 139:14

Friday, June 8, 2007

To Fred Thompson

To Senator Thompson,
It’s time for your run.
We need a big change
And we think you’re the one.

The people are calling
For someone to lead;
Another politician
Is not what we need.

We want someone to stand up
For things that are right;
A candidate willing
To put up a fight.

The people are saying
Make borders secure;
Don’t keep dishing
The same old manure.

The war in Iraq
Is something to win;
Not something to cut
And run from again.

Marriage is made for
One woman, one man;
Same sex union
Is something to ban.

Abortion is murder
And that’s a cold fact.
It’s time to outlaw it
Through some legal act.

Social Security is shaky
And needs overhaul
We don’t want our grand kids
Left holding that ball.

Trim out the pork
From each spending bill
Then cut our taxes
And give us a thrill.

Health care is also
In need of redress
So start with correcting
The insurance mess.

We want to see courts
Which are led by good men
Who will rule with discernment
And wisdom again.

We’re tired of the partisan
Political game.
We want to see statesmen
Not those who inflame.

It is a high calling
To lead this great land;
It takes a great man
Who’s willing to stand

And be honest with us
About his belief.
But such a great man
Would be a relief.

We love this country
And know that it’s great.
We’re looking to you, Fred
For a win in oh-eight.


Thanks to the folks at Fred Thompson News for the Link!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

A Light Breeze

We have had two straight days of wind. Yesterday, the wind gusts were measured as high as 53 mph. It is the type of weather we normally see in March, not June.

This evening is calm and beautiful with a temperature of about 70. It is almost perfectly still. I love evenings like this because of the peacefulness.

Wind is normal for the plains. This time of year it is usually a gentle breeze unless it is part of a thunderstorm. The breeze keeps the humidity low and acts as natural air conditioning. Days that would be uncomfortably warm if calm, are bearable or even pleasant with a slight breeze.

I grew up with the wind. It is a constant restless stirring. It is soothing unless it is blowing at uncomfortable speeds like it was the last couple of days. The gentle breeze is restful, yet a high wind is sapping. It wears away at a person. It creates tension. Some claim that it generates negative ions in the atmosphere that make people irritable and irrational. I don't know.

Yesterday the wind was accompanied with temperatures in the 90's. It was a hot wind. The kind that sucks the life out of things. It certainly withered some of my young plants. Fortunately I was able to get enough water on them to hopefully revive them.

The hot wind is a good comparison to an angry person. Their blistering tirade can be withering, sapping. We seem to hear a lot of that from the extreme left lately. The current wisdom is that Conservatives need to respond in kind in order to combat the vitriol of the left. It is thought that only by using the same tactics will we be heard. I don't agree with that philosophy.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." __ Proverbs 15:1

"A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel." __Proverbs 15:18

Paris Hilton, Fashion Queen

Paris is setting a new kind of trend
With her stylish ankle bracelet.
I wonder when will the series begin
For this wannabe starlet?

What should have been an important lesson
Is lost now that she is out.
The rest of us should learn
That justice is in the pout!

Forcast is Smog over L.A.

The smog will certainly thicken (heh, heh)!

LA residents told to cut showers as drought deepens

Wed Jun 6, 2007 5:20PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles residents were urged on Wednesday to take shorter showers, reduce lawn sprinklers and stop throwing trash in toilets in a bid to cut water usage by 10 percent in the driest year on record.
With downtown Los Angeles seeing a record low of 4 inches
of rain since July 2006 -- less than a quarter of normal -- and with a hot, dry summer ahead, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the city needed "to change course and conserve water to steer clear of this perfect storm."
It is the driest year since rainfall records began 130 years ago....(complete article here)


This is only going to become more and more common -- not because of global warming (a natural phenomenon) -- but because of the population pressure on arid regions. We as a country might want to consider some form of national planning and zoning (I know, that's very anti-capitalistic) to control 1) urban sprawl into prime agricultural areas, 2) environmental pressures -- we already see this on where concentrated livestock facilities can locate and it should be an important consideration in locating many industries, and 3) pressure on water supplies. We could avert a lot of future headaches and heartaches for our children with a little planning now. Sadly, we can't let our government lead such an effort. They are notoriously short-sighted -- just look at Social Security and the potential disaster our children and grand children face with that!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Twenty-six hours in a day
Would help me an awful lot.
The way it is now
The things I want done are not.

I run out of time in the twenty-four hours
Allotted to me every day.
The things that I want to do never fit in
For the have-to-do things in the way!

I spend some time each day
Prioritizing tasks to get done.
But after the tasks are laid out at hand
There's no time left for fun.

If only I had a couple more hours
To be scheduled as time that is free
I could accomplish the things that I must
And still have time just for me.

But I guess if I'm honest about my wish
It would only be fair to say
I probably couldn't keep my eyes open
For those other two hours in a day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Trees and Terrorism

I've been working to completely re-do my lawn this spring. During the tilling process, I came across lots of tree roots. Normally that wouldn't be especially out of the ordinary, except that the trees on our place are all fairly young and some of the roots were at great distances from the trees to which they belonged. The worst culprits were the honey locusts. It got me to thinking about terrorism.

Ok, why terrorism? Because the honey locust tree is the perfect illustration of terrorism. I will attempt to explain.

The part of the tree that is above ground is what we see. It is the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The trunk is al Qaeda and the branches are the various groups aligned with them. The leaves are the specific terror cells associated with each group. They are all tied together -- part of the same organism.

The part of the tree that is below the ground is the real problem. It continues to feed the tree even if some of the branches are cut off. If we succeed in felling the tree in Afghanistan and Iraq, because of its nature (just like a honey locust), it will spring up elsewhere from the roots, or from the stump. This will continue to happen as long as there is life left in the roots.

The roots draw sustenance from a huge area. They reach into the Islamic countries of the Middle East. They reach into the banking havens of Europe, Latin America, and various islands. They reach into the drug trade (opium, heroin). They tap resources that we don't even know about yet. At any point along the course of the roots, a new tree can spring up. (On a honey locust it is commonly called a "sucker.")

If the tree is allowed to seed, the seeds drift on the wind to points long distances from the original tree. This would be terror cells planted throughout the globe such as the ones recently captured in the U.S. and England.

So, how do we destroy terrorism? We attack it everywhere it raises its head in order to cause it to use up its resources. But at the same time, we must attack it at the roots. For the groups associated with al Qaeda, we must "root out" the Islamofascist brainwashing that is occurring throughout the Muslim world. I personally do not believe this will ever be accomplished as long as Islam exists.

Terrorism in the world is like sin. We see it all around us. We see it in our own lives. We fight it daily. The problem is, that it is deeply rooted in this world and in our human nature. It entered the human race in the very beginning with the first human and has been part of this world ever since. The only way to overcome it is to transcend our humanity -- to overcome the world.

"Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."
__ 1 John 5:5

Monday, June 4, 2007

Out of the Woodwork

It's coming together...

Key Bush backers rally to Fred Thompson

By: Mike Allen

Jun 4, 2007 02:22 PM EST

George P. Bush, a nephew of President Bush, has contributed to the prospective presidential campaign of Fred Thompson and signed an e-mail asking friends and associates to do the same, The Politico has learned.
"In a field of candidates without a clear favorite among our fellow Republicans, my sincere hope is that you consider joining us in this effort....(
read complete article here)


The tide is turning
And the people yearning
For our man Fred
To shake his head
And accept the run
Which won't be fun
But is his fate
In oh-eight!


Perhaps the real question should be: Is bad poetry better than none?


Let's try again...

The people are grumbling
That we need a leader
To come to the head of the pack.
They're sick of hearing
The same double-dealing
From the candidates out on the track.
It's time for Fred Thompson
To make it official
By announcing his bid for the race.
Based on the level
Of what he's against
He'll surely start in first place.


Oh, well. You get the picture...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Deeper Truth

Each day I try to spend some time
Perusing other blogs.
Some of them have views like mine;
Some run on different cogs.

Some seem to have lost their way,
Not knowing where to turn
Because they lack a moral base
For which their soul does yearn.

And so they lash in fitful spurts
At things they see and read
Not understanding what it takes
To fill their deepest need.

If they would only look beyond
The knowledge in their mind
They might see what causes strife
Among the human kind.

There is a deeper truth that dwells
Beyond this universe.
It's summed up in a single thought
Embodied in this verse:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." __John 3:16

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Spring Works

Spring is when most of the big ranches gather their cattle off of the range and work them. It's called "Spring Works" for all you non-agricultural types. The pictures below were taken several years back by a friend of mine who was helping out on one of the big outfits. I hope you enjoy!
Sorting the cattle (separating cows from calves).

Heeling (catching a calf by the back legs).

Easing him out (has one caught and separating him from the rest).

Draggin' (pulling the calf that was caught to where it can be "worked").

Flanking the calf (positioning him for doctoring).

Turning them out.

Taking them home.

Roping and dragging
Aren't common these days.
The ranchers have all
Gone to more modern ways.
They gather the cattle
On four-wheelers now
Instead of the way
Their grandfathers knew how.
They say that it's progress
And that it is smart.
But I think the old ways
Were a work of art.

Friday, June 1, 2007

One Step Closer

We've been waiting for this...

Thompson Forms Presidential Committee

Jun 1 02:26 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican Fred Thompson took the first formal step toward a widely expected bid for the presidency, establishing a preliminary campaign committee on Friday.
The "testing the waters" committee allows Thompson—a former Tennessee senator and actor best known for his film and television roles, including as a prosecutor on NBC's "Law & Order"—to raise money, hire staff and gauge support without officially committing to a White House bid and without having to publicly disclose donations or expenditures.
The "Friends of Fred Thompson" committee was incorporated in papers filed with the state in Nashville, Tenn....(view complete article here)


Senator Thompson
It's about time!
We're happy that in accordance with LAW
You're getting the campaign in ORDER.
We like what we've heard about your position
Concerning our sovereign border.

Keep speaking plainly
We like that just fine!
Don't get caught in political speak
But tell right out what your platforms are
On the various issues at hand
Such as abortion, immigration and war.

We're tired of the way
This country has been run!
It's time for you to step forward
And lead with all of your skills.
Perhaps you can bring to an end
All of the pork barrel deals.

Please don't fall
Into political speak!
Let us know what your true values are
The people will think that it's great!
A refreshing campaign that's not stuck in the mud
Will get you elected in oh-eight!