Sunday, January 29, 2012

Don't Look Out The Window

Before we get into this post, the title deserves some comment. 'Out of the Window' seems more correct but I've also read you should finish your piece and go back and just remove every 'Of' in the post because it's not correct. Let me know in your comments. We'll expect Paul to be the expert on this.  cm
I started the day by watching a short 30-minute movie about a man who moved to a rural New England community. He was wealthy, unattached and wanted to start a career as a writer. Everything was perfect in his life because he had removed his worries, had no remaining obligations, and by anyone's standards, he "had it made."
He sat down at the keyboard with a cup of coffee, looked out his window at an amazing landscape, cracked his knuckles, put his hands on the keyboard and then it happened, writer's block. He had to pull his hands back to his chest, sat back and stared out the window.
I got to thinking, "This is a really stupid movie for someone to be watching who needs to sit down and write a column."
All was not lost however; the man became involved in his community and got to know a few folks quite well. A few of his new-found friends had some real problems and he helped to resolve them. Unlike real life, it all got wrapped up in a neat package and delivered to the viewer to make them feel giddy about life.
I came upstairs, grabbed a glass of ice tea, sat down to my keyboard and then looked out my window. All I saw was grain bins and a landscape of brown and a sky of icy grey. My mind went to "scan mode," as my kids like to reference that state of my mind when I have about 10 different thought processes going at once.
This is a good example of it. I began wondering about the condition of the grain in those bins, has it changed in the last 10 days, how much lower can the market go, is it low enough yet for me to start selling? If I decide to sell, did I fix that hydraulic leak on the grain vac, and I hope it doesn't get too cold because I think my semi tractor still has No. 2 diesel in it. Oh yeah, the 4630 still has No. 2 in it also and I'll need that tractor to run my vac but I better first put the pto shaft on the new generator I just purchased. And so it goes.
The movie I had been watching reminded me of one of the movies that would get my wife's attention. Marilyn can get hooked pretty easily by movies. I'm not sure what it is that grabs her attention but it happens quickly. She's always been a really busy person who is perpetually "on a mission" but if she walks through a room with a TV playing a movie with, oh, I don't know, the right actor, or music playing, or theme or I don't exactly know what it is, she will stop in her tracks, watch for a moment and like a hungry bass looking at a doll fly, the film reels her in. She isn't just hooked, she swallows the hook.
We're now just past the holidays but she really likes the Hallmark channel especially at night when it gets close to Christmas. I can't seem to get into those kinds of movies because there aren't any cops arresting suspects with blurry faces in them. Yeah, when there are no football games, I'll watch the bad boys get arrested on Cops. I catch a certain amount of guff from the fairer sex here in the house for doing that.
But her films are a bit too predictable for me. I walked in one night near Christmas and found Marilyn watching a Hallmark film about a young doctor who had lost his wife to cancer just a few years prior. He had hired a live-in nanny and the doctor's little girls adored her. She was like a mother to the kids, was a gourmet chef, had rebuilt and painted the doctor's classic car sitting in the garage and she was about 6 foot tall and very attractive and she obviously adored the doctor as well.
I watched for about 30 seconds and said, "Let me guess, the doc hasn't noticed the good looking blond who can cook, sew, mother little girls and clean carburetors."
"Nope, not yet, but don't change the channel I'm going to watch this." Well, I sat down and as I predicted the doctor fell in love with his nanny at the end of the movie. I think it was the six layers of clear coat she put on the finish on the old Ford that finally got to him.
Well now, we're back to real life and must make it up as we go. It's January in Nebraska. Just don't look out the window.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

That Giant Sucking Sound

It's my understanding that if the President got his way with taxes, the additional inflows would run the government 47 hours at our current rate of spending. Yet that is the all he cares to talk about, well that and class warfare.
The Republicans should go along with him on the taxes and then stand with their hands on their hips and say, "Okay, now what?" "What about the other 363 days, can we stop giving out entitlement funds now? Then yelling they should say, "IT'S THE SPENDING, DUH!"
The money he wants to tax at a higher rate has already been taxed over and over. But taxing and taxing again is how casinos make their money. They return 93-95% of every dollar bet but when you run the winnings through again and again, you eventually lose it all.
A federal government that vacuums up all of the capital from the private sector and uses it to buy votes with the use of entitlement and union payouts is not long for this world.
I hope in tonight's State of the Union address he lets us know which country we will fall to so we know which language we should begin learning. How much are those Rosetta Stone Cd's anyway? Do they have Russian?
The great part of having satellite TV is that we won't have to watch our leader put his nose in the air and stare into the distance.
Pawn Stars is on the History Channel tonight. Some good news after all.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Chili Bowl

It's New Year's Eve and the visions of sugarplums have quit dancing and are sitting on a chair and rubbing their little plum feet. Replacing them in my head are the memories of past New Year's Days. Here on this farm New Years Day has traditionally been a day of football. Years ago, I was the last of seven children still at home so Mom and I would take our Christmas decorations down, sometimes we'd accidentally tip the long-needled ponderosa pine tree over on Dad's bald head while he sat in his old rocker, then we'd finally throw the tree out the door, and put a big pot of chili on the stove. We'd sprinkle the soup with cheese and oyster crackers and then crunch down some of Mom's homemade dill pickles.
We'd spend the day watching the Sugar, Cotton, Rose and then the Orange Bowl. Nebraska would sometimes play in one of those. I recall well the battles with Alabama and the likes and once we even had to play Oklahoma for the second time in the same season in the Orange Bowl. The bowl games really defined my New Year's Day. The buildup to the bowl games was always a month long parade of emotions reported from both football camps and Mom and Dad's house became a huge game watching party for the family.
There were just three main channels and Dad had all of the times and games memorized. The Rose Bowl was just finishing up when the Orange Bowl began from Florida. It was an easy pattern that was followed year after year. There was not a plethora of bowls to confuse us unlike what we have now. There have always been some lesser bowls like the Liberty and the Sun and the Bluebonnet but nothing like today's BCS offerings.
Currently, every town with a corporate sponsor and an empty stadium can host a bowl game. Case in point is Charlotte, N.C., hosted the "Belk Bowl," featuring Louisville and North Carolina State. Not knowing what a "Belk" is and whether I might want to someday eat one or possible have an operation to have mine removed, I watched part of the game. No, I still don't know what a "Belk" is, but I've for sure decided to keep mine.
Dallas hosted the "TicketCity Bowl." I understand that one because I got a ticket there once. The "Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl" in San Francisco was a catchy title and Kraft does sell food products, so maybe that's what that means. In St. Petersburg, Fla., the locals hosted the "Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl" which I'm guessing is some kind of corned beef product for St. Patty's Day.
By the time this goes to print Nebraska will have played in the "Capital One Bowl" in Orlando on Jan. 2. There will be no college football games on our "pot 'o' chili day," Jan. 1, because the day was reserved for NFL games. Well you're thinking that by Jan. 2 Nebraska must be one of the last games. The short answer would be "No." There were nine bowl games after that including the "BBVA Compass Bowl" and the long awaited " Bowl." By the way, if your husband was watching the latter, it probably wasn't because he follows Northern Illinois with a passion, it's because he follows GoDaddy.Com commercials with a passion.
This is beginning to look like some kind of new entitlement program they're trying to implement. Everyone is equal and gets a bowl game whether they deserve it or not. It appears to be a way to keep the lesser teams "needy" by keeping them practicing in December for an extra game instead of letting their athletes study and the coaching staffs hit the road recruiting and thereby improving their chances of getting to a bowl game the following year that happens to have just one name.
In the future they should consider combining some bowls to fix problems. If the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl would team up with the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, the Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, they'd have their answer to hunger. How about combining the BBVA Compass, Belk, and Meineke Car Care Bowl into one called, "I Actually Have No Idea Who the Sponsor Is Bowl."
We may have taken our eye off of the goal of a diversion for students on their way to obtain a higher education, yes, a preparation for life and raising the collective bar for society has turned into who will put the most money into the coffers of the NCAA and the universities.
We need to get back to the basics. For me it begins with "Take one tablespoon of chili powder" ...

Monday, January 09, 2012

I Was Quoted...

In this article on the website of the Kansas City Star.  They failed to mention the words  I said when my teeth were clenched.