carbon neutral since 1975

Year: 2013 (page 2 of 3)

Question: Why Do We Like Jackie Chan?

Answer: Because he does not make it look easy!

Grandma’s Cookies? Not in Our School!

First, it is not a surprise to readers of this web log that I enjoy poking fun at the political correctness that results in things like the elimination of the word Christmas. As I was attending our local back to school open house, I observed the sign-up sheets for parental help at the following holiday parties: Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Holiday.  It needs no comment.

There are four holiday parties.

There are four holiday parties.

Second, more than I enjoy poking fun at political correctness, I enjoy cookies, and there is a tradition that parents will bring cookies to the open house.  I noted this, and C reminded me that parents were asked to bring store packaged cookies only.  That is to say, leave Grandma’s cookies at home.   Today, I learned that the same rule applies to the several holiday parties; bring your store-bought treats, but leave your home-baked goods at home.  It seems someone is afraid that not everyone’s kitchen is as clean as his or the school’s or your local grocer’s.

But lo! A few parents brought homemade cookies anyway!  This got me to working on an idea.  Martin Luther King Jr., in Letter from Birmingham Jail, defends the Biblical idea that “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”  I would not elevate the fight for homemade cookies to the level of the fight for civil rights.  The fight for Christmas may someday approach it.  I am compelled, however, to note that the perpetual fight for liberty is at the core of all three, and that one cannot dismiss the cookie rules as the harmless regulation of a misguided do-gooder.  With apologies to Dr. King, a thoughtful man might conclude that “one has a moral responsibility to scoff at stupid rules and wantonly disobey asinine suggestions…with a smile.”

Lost and Found

“They” say that the best way to find a lost item is to buy a new one.  I lost a lens cover last weekend.  I looked everywhere and couldn’t find it, so I stopped at my local big box and bought a new one — $7.  In my mind, I predicted that when I got home I would find the old one, and what is more, I would not find it till after I had opened the package of the new one.  After I got home I forgot about my prediction and then delayed opening the new package in hopes of finding the old one yet.  Finally I opened it.  I placed the new cover on the lens, and then picked up a mini tripod to place in the side pocket of my bag, and guess where I found the old lens cover.  That’s right, in the side pocket.  Within thirty seconds of opening the package, I found the old cover.  Spooky…

I Want to Be a Patriarch Someday

Today, Grandpa H gave K an introductory lesson on a one hundred year old lathe. Is it possible that I could do something like this with my great-grandchildren someday?

Grandpa H gives K his first lathe lesson.

Grandpa and K get started on a ball peen hammer.

Barbecue Two Ways

Last week, I had the pleasure of working near Kansas City, so naturally there was a sampling of some excellent barbecue, including Oklahoma Joe’s, recommended by CM and Olathens everywhere.  The following Sunday, we had the pleasure of tasting the Waukau Chicken Barbecue.  At Waukau, they dig a trench in the ground about 60 feet long and fill it with charcoal and then poultry.  I think it draws half the county.  The draw for me, however, is not the barbecue but the whole experience, because this is a slice of America that everyone should experience at least once per year.

Oklahoma Joe's line stretches out the door for lunch.

Oklahoma Joe’s line stretches out the door for lunch.

M enjoys a drumstick of Waukau Chicken.

M enjoys a drumstick of Waukau Chicken.

Everyone shows up for the Waukau Chicken Barbecue.

Everyone shows up for the Waukau Chicken Barbecue.

Airliners are Cool Too

Flying the airlines can be routine, but only if you let it.


The Sun sets over Illinois.

Clouds look best from above.

Clouds look best from above.

What Is a Potshot?

Your word for today is potshot because I just found out that a potshot is a shot taken not for sport, but to put game in the pot.  Can you say, “Hmm?”


[pot-shot] noun, verb, pot·shot or pot·shot·ted, pot·shot·ting.


1. a shot fired at game merely for food, with little regard to skill or the rules of sport.
2. a shot at an animal or person within easy range, as from ambush.
3. a casual or aimless shot.

1858, “shot taken at animal simply to kill for food,” in other words, to get it in the pot, not for sporting or marksmanship.

Ingenuitive Quotation of the Day

T says, “C is really ingenuitive.”




[uh-roh-muh-ther-uh-pee]  noun

1. the use of fragrances to affect or alter a person’s mood or behavior.
2. AvGas, oil, a warm engine.

Fishing with Friends

I believe 2013 is the first year during which my boys have caught more than one white bass during the white bass run.  We heard they were running, so we made tracks to the old farm on the river.  G prophesied that we were not going to catch any fish because we had never caught any fish there before.  Sadly, he was right.  He did not catch any.  On the other hand, B and K made a haul, and N joined them along with several other friends.  We had a blast!

K and N show off the evening's catch.

K and N show off the evening’s catch.

K and N squeeze in one last cast to end the day.

K and N squeeze in one last cast to end the day.

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