Saturday, June 27, 2009


This ditty popped into my head about two months ago while changing a diaper. Of course by the time I finished writing and recording it Tessa is walking... go figure! And since I seem to be the only person on the planet who listens to music instead of watching it I set it to some video. Mucho Rembrandty.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Why I Loves Me The Internets

Though you young punks may find it difficult to believe that this geezer who only in the past year has purchased both a cell phone and an MP3 player, I was an early adopter of the internet. Heck, thanks for BigDork I even used Google back when it was Beta (and wasn't cooperating with Communist China or protecting pedophiles).

So after the usual years of "golly gee there's lots of fun time wasting stuff out there" you get to the point where it's just a resource, replacing that old fashioned library.

Case in point: Last night I went down into the basement and the furnace sounded... funny. A bit more exploration and I find that the AC refrigerant line is frozen up with frost all over it. YIKES! Visions of thousands of non-existant dollars leaping out of my bank account spring into my mind. In the olden days of even fifteen years ago you'd have to make some phone calls and wake up repairmen or wait until the library opened and grab a dozen books on air conditioners and spend an hour or so leafing through them to find what you want. No more! In a matter of five minutes I was able to find the name of the frozen line (the refrigerant line... yeah, makes sense but often these things are called something like the Howitzer Return Feed) and how to fix the problem. I also found plans to turn my AC unit into an ice cream factory and/or nuclear refining facility.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

My grocery bills have given me the blues. Part of it is having four kids between the ages of eight and fourteen, any three of which are in a growth spurt at any given time. But the other part is prices at the grocery store and with the rampant printing of money and upcoming Obama-government mandated growing schedules for farmers it's only beginning.

Two examples.

Less than ten years ago I bought myself one of these cheap-o Indonesian-made guitars. $80. The tone isn't perfect nor does the neck melt into your hand but I'm not all that great of a guitarist and I needed an electric to knock around upon. This fit the bill.

Two years ago my son wanted nothing more than a guitar for his birthday. Well, a guitar or a $5000 gadget. I went shopping and found that this particular model was now $100.

Now I see that it's raised up another $20 to $120 American dollars.

2000 to 2007. 25% price increase in six+ years. 2007 to 2009. 20% increase in two years. Graph that out and you'll fill your drawers. That is if you're in the market for a beginner guitar.

Example Two:

Can o' corn at Aldis. Notice that this is not an actual Aldi's can of corn. Photographs of such a rare beast are not released to the internets. I'm using Aldi's here 'cause I'm frugal (or cheap) and it's easy to compare historical prices because they have ONE type of canned corn. Apples to apples.

Ten or twelve years ago this tasty product was twenty-five cents. A mere quarter. It was that was for years and years. Then about four years ago it went up to 33 cents, you know, about the time ethanol came into fashion.

Farmer Bob: "Hey everybody, let's turn our food supply into fuel, not because it's more efficient or creates more energy than we put in but because it makes us feel good. I could plant corn for humans and get $10 a bushel or I could plant feed corn for cows and get $10 a bushel or I could plant corn to turn into gas and get a Bush-Government subsidized $20 a bushel. I'm no dummy. Oh, and since I'm not planting corn for humans the guys who are now want $12 a bushel and since I'm NOT planting green beans those have gone up from 30 cents a can to 40 cents. Less product, same demand, higher prices."

Thanks for the monologue, Farmer Bob.

The bad news is that a can -o- corn is now 49 cents. That's a 100% increase in less than ten years. I won't go into how your favorite milk products (cheese, ice cream, and everybody's favorite lo-fat yogurt) went from $1.69 per bag (this is cheese I'm talking about) to $3.69 in the same few years. Ice cream at least only went from 99 cents to $1.69 in less than ten years. Inflation? It's already here.

Just in case you're wondering, we tried messing with food prices before with FDR and it failed miserably. Back then we had a supreme court with a slight understanding of the U.S. Constitution so they rightly struck down the Agricultural Adjustment Act as unconstitutinal. I doubt our current court will have the moral compass or the spine.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Mere Three Minutes Of Your Life

Or more if you have a slow download connection.


This morning as I rode my bike to work (riding my bike to work four or five days a month plus keeping up with five kids is the only exercise I get) I noticed that they had stopped working on the expension of the art museum. Oh wait, there's four guys in hardhats standing on the corner. Around the corner along Main Street are two more groups of hardhat guys holding signs. On strike. Don't they know we're in a bloomin' recession?!?! That there are tons of people out of work (so they tell us) that are just itching to get a construction job? Seems like a pretty risky time to go on strike.

And then the thought occured to me that perhaps this is the unions flexing a bit of muscle since they have the full backing of the Obama administration, just testing to see how scared businesses are of earning any unwanted attention from Washington.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Still Afloat on Oceansize

If they sound this good live imagine how amazing they are in the studio! Well, actually it's pretty close, just a bit cleaner.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bend Over... Again


First the taxpayer gets bilked out of TWENTY BILLION DOLLARS to give to GM to keep them out of bankruptcy. All that money went to the pay back the unions because now GM is going into bankruptcy with possibly even ANOTHER twenty billion taxpayer dollars going to GM very soon.

Under Obama control GM is going to sell off various brands. The profitable ones. Leaving the ones who don't make a profit for the United STATES taxpayer to continue to subsidize. And just who is buying one of these money-making brands? China. Payback time!

Ya gotta wonder how Ford managed to not need any taxpayer dollars if things were so bad for everyone.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Catching Up

Pity the poor neglected blog.

In the month since I've last posted...

Tessa has taken a couple of steps. Tentatively. She's growing and eating and crawling and getting a will of her own. She may not be one just yet but dag nabbit, she wants a spoon to hold when she eats and maybe take a stab or two at getting some mashed taters into her mouth! It's hard to believe that she turns one in just two weeks!

I wrote and recorded a quick song, "The Boy Who Liked Zombies" and have had an amazing THREE LISTENS on MP3.COM (one each from my wife and kids). It's good to be the king. Up next is a quick ditty about Tessa done in the Rembrandts style (acoustic guitar and two vocals) called "Don't Fall Off the Bed". I'll make millions for sure!

School is almost out so it's time to plan some kind of summer vacation. Spain? South America? Indiana?

The garden is in. Once again almost nothing I tried to start from seed has taken. I think basil is the only one and even then the batch I tried in March fizzled but the seeds I started a month ago are going strong. Well, I also used seeds for turnips and fancy lettuce plus the usual beans. Okay, so a FEW things have taken off but not tomatos or peppers. I sowed the fancy lettuce seeds in a clean cat box filled with pottig soil and a few drainage holes custom drilled. YUM!

I bought a nine pack of peppers so we'll soon be buried. In fact two of the plants already have wee little flower buds. I'm trying a lot of container gardening this year so I've got three of 'em in big pots and four more in the ground. Four tomato plants... or is it five? I told myself I'd not plant so many this year but they are difficult to resist. Lyndi brought home a plant from 4-H but I didn't know which kind it was. I bought an heirloom and a big producer. And then had to buy a Mr. Stripey just for fun. And then Brooke wanted cherry tomatos. So I guess that makes five.
As for the beans, I'm trying my hand at pole beans as well as the usual bush beans. But for some reason about half of my bush beans didn't come up. Sure, the seeds are two or three years old but still... Lowes was out of green beans so I brought home some wax beans. Turns our the Mrs. isn't fond of wax beans. Scott's fortunately had some bush beans so they've gone in. If it all comes up we'll be swimming in beans! Yeah!

Also new this year is an attempt at cucumbers, butternut squash, stevia, rosemary, and chives. Oh, I put some peas in two long window boxes with a wire trellis behind them. They're flowering all over the place and bearing thin pods that will hopefully soon fill with peas.

The carrots have not fared so well. I'll try again closer to the fall.

In the bad news department our aged cat of umpteen years has disappeared. Then we had a garage fill of kittens! Well, three kittens and a mom cat and a dad cat who come around now and then. And then they were gone. Did the mother cat chase away our aged cat or did he just crawl off somewhere to die? I smell another song coming on!

More in a month...