Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Vacation

Christmas was very good this year. I am having a ball with all this computer stuff. Right now, I am listening to a 60 minute article on geeks and living with technology. I am doing lots with my network.  I do seem to be falling behind though.  For example,  I just heard on this sixty minutes program that 3 refrigerators now talk to the internet or have wireless connections.  I saw an add for a digital picture frame that ran wirelessly too.   That should be fun.  I presume that this picture frame talks to picasa.  I think all this talking to things will work well in the end but be durn near useless in the beginning.  I don't need to have my refrigerator set the time on my microwave so much but I sure would have liked to have my computer show me a video on how the put the stop light bulb in my 2004 LaSabre.  I would like to have the car get me the right bulb to replae the old ones too.  Of course, the real answer is an LED bulb that never burns out.  Then I will never have to change it. 


Have a great day.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The First Weekend of December 2007

The weekend has been lots of fun. We stayed in Bay City friday night. Sue had her Saint Mary's Christmas party at the Cigar Bar at the Lumber Barons. She had a great time.
I went through the stores in the mall where I found out all the new things they have out there since the last time I was out. Flat screen tv's that you hang on the wall are hitting their stride. A 17 inch tv is aboutq $250 now. I bet the older type becomes pretty much a thing of the past. We went to dinner at Richard Hauger's this afternoon. That was nice as well. Tonight we have fog. I am glad that I am staying home. That has it for now.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Me, the museum and the Antique Road Show

Saturday, I had the opportunity to help at the Bay County Historical Museum while appraisals were completed on different items people brought in.  It is amazind what people have in their desk draws etc.  I saw a mantle clock that weighed about 160 pounds, many beautiful pictures, a sword from Germany in the Second World War, and so much else.  It was a fun day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Building Bird Houses

I built two of the Petersen Birdhouses in the picture yesterday.  Sue had been asking me to make one for Uncle Richard Hauger.  I have used these birdhouses for several years now.  They are very popular with bluebirds. 

I build one in about two hours.  There are many ways this could get faster but it never seems to happen. 

We went to Sue's mother's for Trick or Treating.  We only had about 25 kids.  That's a slow night.  The costumes were great however. 

Eugene Palmreuter finished taking the sugar beets off the field today.  I am always amazed at the amount of material that has to be moved in that process. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Enya's Music

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I love Enya's music.  She seems to have the spirit that I love so much in Celtic music. 

Landscaping in the Fall

How formal that title sounds when what I will be talking about is how my back hurts after lifting one hundred landscape  blocks and putting some of them into position down underneath the deck on the house. 

You can be sure this was Sue's idea.  What's worse is the it is another good one.  Myself, I probably would have just mowed the grass.   Anyway, she is right about laying landscape blocks being a quick and somewhat fun process. 

It also gives me a chance to use some of the tools I got at different garage sales.  I used the tamper, several shovels and, of course, the laser level.  Looks like it will turn out.

On another note, Ryan McRoy went home yesterday.  This place will be duller without him.  Ryan is my sister  Linda's son.  It was great to spend the time with him. 

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ghosts and Legends Tour in Bay City, Michigan

Had a great tour today in Bay City. I did the Ghosts and Legends tour for 25 people. It was well received and lots of fun to do. We go to Pine Ridge Cemetery.  Since James Birney, the Liberty Party candidate for President in 1840, has children buried there, it is easy to tie his family into the story. 

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday October 26

This looks like a very busy day. I need to take the tractor and wagon to Gary Riness's to get a round bale of hay for the horse and goat.  Bills are due and Sue wants some plants of unknown name to be placed in the berm.  Dave Deland is having a garage sale and I want to see him. 

Uncle John Engels is just back from St. Mary's hospital where they were trying to cure the infection he got as a result of the operation on his kidney and adrenal gland for cancer.  I wish him well. 

Tonight, Clayton and Gloria Burley are celebrating their birthdays at Captain Hooks, the former Blue Dolphin, in Frankenmuth.  Sue and I are going with Sue's mom, John and Nancy Welch.  This is a busy day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

North American Union

I have several different blogs that I try to keep up on now. One is about the proposed North American Union. This is an interesting topic for everyone on the continent. Most are unaware of it however.  I have a good deal of information available on the site.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

My daughter, Katy's' Wedding and the month of September

Katy's wedding was the highlight of the month of September.  It was in Humbolt Park in Chicago on a beautiful saturday.  The birds in the background were singing and playing in the pond beyond the boat house you see in the background of the picture.  It was great.  About 180 people were there. 

Kate married William Cherne.  Bill's folks come from Milwaukee.  I have not yet had enough time to spend with them.  Bill's dad and I definitely have similiar interests and have had for a long time. 

Tricia, Keith, Fred and Danielle , my other children and their spouses, all contributed to the sucess of this wedding. 


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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sarah's Garage Sale

We helped Sarah and Tom Greene with their garage sale. That meant getting out of bed at 5:30 am. Loading tables in the truck and going to Bolton Street to do the deed. The sale was a great success. Sue was given a tread mill which cost about $1500 new but now has a slipping belt which should be relativly easy to fix with $100 parts and my time.
I enjoyed talking to Tom Greene about the book, Flags of our Fathers, that he lent me. I watched Letters from Iwo Jima last week and had seen the movie, Flags of our Father's a while ago. Both movies are excellant. The book seems to be well written and a credit to the popular historian's craft.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Ghosts and Legends of a Fifty-five Foot Bus

Yesterday, I helped Becky and Gene Solgate move out of the apple business on the corner of Vassar Road and M-46. They had a lot of machinery that they had rented to the Tompkins when they bought the business about three years ago. Everything is move now.
Today, I have a Ghosts and Legends tour in Bay City. This is a step-on tour so it will involve the big buses. That is a problem for the roads at Pine Ridge Cemetery. I may have them park outside. All told, it should be a busy day.
I think I will go over to Dunham's sporting goods to see what they have . I also need to take my book on the Fletcher Native American site back to the Bay City Library.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day 2007

Today was Labor Day. I uploaded the video I took of the Frankenmuth Dam to YouTube. That makes two I have there now. There was over 80 videos about Frankenmuth on the site.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool with Jim and Fran Hayes, John and Nancy Welch and the Sipes. All of us feel that the days at the pool for 2007 are numbered. Of course, it isn't the same now that all the kids but Julie's are grown.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Finding Yourself-use your userid

Well, I just found out how useful a username can be. I tried a google search on mine, user225937, wow, I found a history of my life on the net. So, everybody, if you have been secretly typing your name in that famous search 99.98 pct. of us do but don't mention. Try your user names, They may surprise you.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Ghost and Legends Tour in Bay City

I have a veterans group coming in for a tour today at 1:30.  This is the first step on tour I've done on sunday.  We'll go to Pine Ridge and Elm Lawn Cemetaries.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Daughter, Katy's, bridal shower

My daughter, Kathryn, had her bridal shower on Saturday the 14 of July. I must say we had a great time. There were about fifty people there.  Fritz's had a buffet that everyone was able to take part in.  The shower was set up in the upstairs banquet room.  All the guys were invited too so we got to play different shower games, (new for most of us). 

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bill Moyers and the Iraqi War

Bill Moyers summarizes the run up to the war in Iraq and the mistakes that were commonly tolerated.  Everyone in this country should watch this video.  Unfortunately, few will and mistakes will be made again.
Many, many people knew this information or a version at the beginning of the war.  Many said so on the internet.  International experts made the point that there was danger to our interests in this war.  It became terribly unpopular to express these views and the error of invasion was commited.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Today is Sunday. We went to see Bob and Leigh's house being built on Old State Road just outside of Sand Lake, Michigan.
We rode to all the hunting sites on the Kawasaki Mule that Leigh has. The road is getting better there.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Yesterday, I moved Kris Nearing from Normandy Court in Saginaw to our house. He is going to live here for awhile. Of course, it had to be about 93 degrees but at least there was some air conditioning in the apartment.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's graduation party season again. Yesterday, I went to Ashley Lewis's party. Ashley is the granddaughter of my cousin, Diania Davenport, DD. DD has a house right next to Ashley's mother, Rene, so I assume that she has been lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time with Ashley.
The graduate attended Heritage High School in Saginaw where she was on the cheerleading team and a member of the band. It was great to get a chance to talk with her.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More Proof for Adult and Cord Blood Stem Cells

More Proof for Adult and Cord Blood Stem Cells :

Some of you may know about my interest in stem cells.  It started, of course, with my heart attack and statements by many that stem cells could possibly be able to repair the damage caused by that event. 

Well, being the curious type,  I got interested in the revolution going on in biology and have now carried it farther than my original interest in heart repair.  The whole field of Regenerative Medicine is terribly exciting. 

The linked article deals with type 1 diabetes but we are at the point where several studies come out each day.  As the old song said

"The Times They are a Changin"


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Family Values from a Liberal View

Patricia sent me this interesting video on family values.  It is worth some thought.  I think it overdoes the negative view of conservative family values and descipline.  Conservatives can nurture their children too.  They also can and do raise wonderful kids frequently.  The video does raise some good ideas.
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Friday, June 15, 2007

Women in the Last 500 Years

I found this video on YouTube.  I really like it, but don't have time to come to broader conclusions about it right now. 

Monday, June 11, 2007

Pumpkin Roll

Vassar's Pumkin Roll has made the big time.

Raising the Roof on Gene Solgate's Pole Barn

So many  things have happened in the last while.  To begin with, yesterday I helped Gene Solgate put the trusses on  his pole barn.  I have thought of building one for several years but have yet to get any experience with the process.  This building is 24 ft by 32 ft so the trusses themselves are not too big.  Four of us had no trouble lifting them by hand.  Once they were up the man on the top nailer would spike them into place with special ring shank barn nails.  Five trussses took about two hours. Then it was on the the purloins.  These are 2x4's laid on edge and secured with long, ringed barn nails thru the purloin and into the truss.  We did a bunch of bracing and the frame was nearly done.  The great news for me is that I had no trouble doing this rather heavy work at all.  Since my heart attack that has always been a concern.. No problem yesterday. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

North Carolina Trip

Sue and I got home from Raleigh/Charlotte yesterday.  I have to say  that I was impressed with the sunny South.  When I was in Charlotte, we visited the downtown area where we were able to ride the free trolleys that the city fathers run there.  New buildings are everywhere. 

I really enjoyed visiting the First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.  They have a service at 12pm on wednesdays with a meal for five dollars afterward.  The church is a great relief in this urban environment, and the minister and people of this church leave you wishing that you never had to go home. 

Charlotte is the birthplace of President James K. Polk.  They have a nice park there with a good movie on his life and times. 

Charlotte has several good museums but I didn't get to them. 

After two days, we drove the one hundred seventy miles to Raleigh.  Carolina drivers seem to practice their love of NASCAR on the road.  Speeds twenty mph over the limit were common as was cutting traffic.  Pretty agressive I think. 

We took a trolley tour of downtown Raleigh too.  This was diesel electric trolley which is new to me.  The tour guide did not drive the trolley.  She stood like we do in Bay City.  The tour was very similiar to ours and was quide good. 

Raleigh was having an art show so we went.  I would have stayed longer but we had other things to do. 

We visited the Mordacai Plantation where we saw the boyhood home of President Andrew Johnson.  The plantation was a four thousand acre farm originally. 

The piano forte was rectangular  and had candle shades that looked like small Roman standards setting on top.  These were to shield the pianists from the excessive heat of the candles.  The heat would melt their makeup.  In those days when small pox was too common, I bet they had a use. 

We left my son, Fred's, at 4:15 am to catch the 6am flight on USAIR to Charlotte.  In Charlotte we changed planes for Detroit.  Sue was at work in Saginaw by noon.  I couldn't help but think of my historical studies where I learned that the stage from Buffalo to Albany took about twelve days. 

It was a great trip,

Nursing Spectrum e-zine!

May 13, 2007

Suicide Risk Assessment: What Providers Need to Know
Linda Gettinger-Dinner, RN, MSN, DHSc, ARNP, CCM

Suicidal behavior is complex, and despite the best available expertise and exemplary care, some individuals who threaten suicide will complete it. There is no current rating scale or algorithm proven to be of predictive value in the clinical assessment of suicide. A thorough assessment of the individual remains the only valid method of determining risk.

Assessments are based on a combination of the background conditions and the current factors in a person’s life and the way in which they are interacting.

Read more!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Joy of Children

Here I am in the sunny south, visiting my son, Fred, and his wife, Danielle, in the sunny, progressive South.  We went to Charlotte, North Carolina so Sue could get training in varicose vein procedures in the office of a friend.  That was very productive for her.  She was surprised at how fast they were able to perfore the procedure. 

I got to enjoy the Charlotte area.  The city has a motorized trolley line that runs all over downtown for free.  It is a great way to see the city.  The center of town has museums and theaters. It has many thirty story buildings and is an impressive and enjoyable city.

I went to the birth place of James K. Polk, the President, just south of Charlotte.  One of the exhibits was a saw type cotton gin.  It had many of the characteristics of a modern combine. 

Today, we plan to take the trolley tour of Releigh where:

Riders will see Raleigh’s 200-year history from an old point of view on the Raleigh Trolley. The Historic Raleigh Trolley Tour is a one-hour excursion with stops throughout downtown including the State Capitol, Glenwood South, Joel Lane House, and City Market. The Trolley departs from Mordecai Historic Park on the hour, but can be boarded at any stop along the tour. Bring the whole family for a truly unique experience.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Spring has Sprung-The Mower is....

Hi All,

Well, today I sold the Case 222 lawn mower.  It had been in the family about thirty-five years.  Much of the time, it cut two lawns or about five acres per week from the middle of April to September.  It really did well. The guy down the road bought it .  He plans to rebuild it, so it may well run again. 

At any rate, I am on the John Deere 425 all the time now.  I really like it. It has twice the power of the Case.. about twenty horsepower.  The power shows too. 

Well have a good day,



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Turkey Hunting in the Michigan's Thumb

I got up at 4 am this morning.  I did the same thing on monday.  I had to meet my friend, Dave Deland, for a trip into the deep, dark woods of Michigan's Thumb to wait for that strange and elusive bird, the turkey.  I have seen many, many of these birds and more than a few of their relatives, the domestic turkey.  I must say that the domestic variety while great on the table is no match for its wild cousin, a bird that can fly almost straight up, can sneak through a bunch of cats and be hit straight in the body by a 12 gauge and walk out of it.  Today, I got my first turkey.  As you can see, that is not trivial.  Now, I gotta watch from the sidelines.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Heather Deland Kangas Dancing on Good Morning America

Heather Deland Kangas is a dancing star on Good Morning America.  Heather Kangas is doing a great job in  this video.  She really makes it look like it would be fun to be six or seven and live in this house up near North Pole, Alaska. 

Heather and her sisters have long shown talent in dancing and gymnastics.  It's great to see she passing this on to another generation.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Turkey Hunting is here at Last

Turkey hunting is new to me.  I went for the first time last year.  I learned about calling turkeys, what jakes are, how to look in the sand for the tell-tail spirs of a tom and  how to wait silentlyly as a twenty pound bird walks within twenty feet of you without even noticing.  I also learned about the kick of a 3 1/2 inch 12Gauge shell in one of the new turkey guns.  In this case, it was an 835 Mossburg that I was lucky enough to be able to borrow.  Well, as I said, the excitement starts again tomorrow. 

Look out Tom.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Long Talks with My Son

Fred on youTube

I learn so much from my children.  Saturday mornings are reserved for long talks on the phone to them.  Fred and I often talk about his adventures selling his book Welsh's Synthesizer Cookbook ,  He has learned a great deal about marketing on the internet, site visits and how to function in the world of internet commerce.  Good job Fred. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Image from AOL Pictures

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Wreak of Old Jimmy

This is my poor 1986 GMC Truck after the wreck on Caine and Brown Road on 3-21-07.  A young lady ran the stop sign coming from the south on Caine and went through the intersection at highway speeds.  I hit the brakes during the approximately 2-4 seconds I had to react since the corner is obscured except for about the last 200 feet. 

My seat belt earned its existance in this wreak.  I wasn't hurt and neither was the young lady. 

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Major Automotive Wreak

For those of you who haven't heard, I had the second major wreak of my life last Wednesday.  All is well with me but my beloved 1986 GMC truck is beyond repair.  This is all the result of a young lady running the stop sign on Caine and Brown roads just two miles west of my house.  A trailer house blocked vision at that intersection on the southwest corner.  The whole thing took place in about two seconds. 
I was able to replace the truck with a 1990 GMC extended cab that I bought at the Rotary auction in Vassar last Saturday.  Luckily, no one was hurt.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

NASA Space Museum, Houston

The Space Museum felt more like a piece of history today.  It put events that took place in my lifetime in a historical perspective.  They are no longer events taking place just beyound the horizon, part of today's experience.  Now they are a part of man's grand story.  The HP calculator from the seventies looks so quaint now but it was cutting edge when I used to stand in front of it, drolling, when the last men had just come home from the moon.  The laptop that did calculations for missions from within the space vehicles  couldn't be given to a ten year old today,  But the Saturn V rocket still impressed...  It lays on its side on transport wheels.  Longer than a football field at three hundred and fifty feet, it looks hugh.  Even on its side , it is taller than a two story house.  On the top is a very small space for the three men who rode it to the moon.  It says so much about the courage of those men and about human spirit. 

Texas A&M

Well, here I sit at the computer in daughter, Patricia's, office at Texas A&M.  What a unique feeling.  I get to have some of the fun of college without any of the stress.  College Station where Texas A&M is located is about sixty two miles from Patricia's house so he had about an hour commute to get here through the wooded expanse of the East Texas  country site.  I saw all kinds of rolling pastures filled with park like lots with trees not quite covered with foliage.  The top layer of vegetation was rather brown but the ground level was green. 

Patricia is meeting with her prof. right not so that explains my free time on her computer.  We are going to take a tour of the campus later.  That gives me lots of wonderful things to do.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Castle Museum Tonight, I got a chance to go with Sue and friends, Susie and Ben Wood, to the Castle Museum in Saginaw.  I had never been in the display area before.  The Museum was hosting a meeting of Saginaw Afterhours that Susie normally attends. 

I met Sue at PMI and drove to the Castle Museum on Federal Street in Saginaw.  The Museum is very nice.

They have a new exhibit on logging in what is now the museum annex.  The Annex is located where the old Jacobson's building was.  I plan to go back to see that. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Religion and Moral Values

Richard Dawkins gives some excellant illustrations of the change in moral values over the decades. While I think he overstates his belief that moral values do not come from religion, he could make his point better if he stated that religion does not help in rapid change from one moral position to another. Organized religion supported slavery for example and was seldom on the side of women't rights. Organized religion does support long recognized moral tenets however. It does teach that it is wrong to kill, to lie, to steal. These values are ancient but must still be taught to every generation.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Live Journal Blogging

Live Journal, also know as LJ, is another version of a blogging site that I am trying.  I have a blog there called 'Living Day to Day'  .  Really, I use this site to try to find out what can be done there.  Voice blog entries can be made to the site from an add in called 'gizmo'.  Live Journal makes links by interest group in different ways from the norm.  I like my templet on that site, but I have a hugh amount to learn about what can be done there. 

I don't understand the difference between Live Search and Google.  I think that is the same as the difference between Live Journal and  At any rate,  blogging is active and provides an outlet for all the research that I do on the net. 

Have a great day.


Science and the fun it engenders


Science can be loads of fun.  My articles on medical transformation where fingers are regrown and hearts are repaired shows that.  Click on the link above to see my latest surprises.

Thursday, February 15, 2007



Chronic Heart Disease

I write several other blogs on different topics.  Heart disease is one issue that is of great personal interest since I had a heart attack on february 7, 2003.  It seems strange that four years have passed since that event, but it has. 

Heart disease is a very interesting topic.  It kills over half of all women.  Of course, the number is very high for men.  It is also a disease that is almost completely caused by choices and could be greatly reduced by knowledge and putting that knowledge to work.  (the last part is the tough one).. At any rate, you can follow some of the developments in the field at the link above. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

New Exhibit at the New York Museum of Natural History


The video introduces an exhibit of the ancestry of man.  Projections of our future are also made.  The role of DNA in describing our past is covered.

Living in a Winter Wonderland

I'm up early this morning.  Sue is going to Tawas for a clinic and I am the driver.  The snow is blowing and I have yet to get outside.  It always seems worse than it is.  Today will be no exception.  The wind chill is about 15 below.  I am thinking about someplace south. 

It's only a month 'til Houston.  Then I'll warm up.

Have a great day.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

The Polar Bear Expedition

Ah, the wonders of winter. We have hit five below zero here today. That is without the wind chill. I will feel very grateful when the warm weather returns.
Today was a museum day for me. We had a very interesting young person in who was working on a presentation on the Polar Bear Expedition to Russia during the revolution. We had quite a bit to give her.
The Polar Bear expidition took place at the end of WWI. You may remember that the Russian Revolution took place at that time. The US was on the side of the white forces and the reds won. In the end everyone did well but it took 70 years to find that out.
The Military Museum in Frankenmuth is probably the best source of information on the many Michigan men who served in Russia at that time.

Friday, February 2, 2007

We had a great weekend

We had a great weekend last week. We went to Chicago to meet Bills parents and spent a day with Kate

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It is bright and cold today. It reminds me of how much I like being in by the heater when the temp is about 8 above. The good news is that on March 10 I will be in Texas. Winter will probable end that day for me. I might get a snowstorm after that but not much more.
I am beginning to read the Count of Monte Cristo for the classics book club in Frankenmuth. I found the book online and have a copy in Word now. That will make it possible to make notes and insert links. It should be fun.

Norwich, Connecticut like Salem, Mass.

Any teacher or computer technician should read this article about the possible forty year sentence a substitute teacher is in danger of.  A computer in her classroom went crazy.  Porn started popping up everywhere.  She couldn't get the program to stop and she did think that all she had to do was pull the plug..With forty years of her live at stake, she could smash the monitor.  In better places, this could be laughed at.  In Norwich, Connecticut, she is facing forty years.  Read the article.  It shows what stupidity can follow from not knowing how a computer works or doesn't work these days.  The school and the legal system get the dunce caps.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My First Video Entry

Hello Everybody,

I took another first step this morning.  I got out my Sony Cybershot, put it on a tripod and too the first video that I have uploaded to the Net.  It was so easy.  I was amazed. 

I have been on youTube for months now but had never even looked into uploading a video.  Today was the day.  Turns out that this is just like uploading a regular picture.  You click the upload button in youTube.  It takes you to a screen where you click a browse button.  Then you find your video file on your computer, card reader, whatever, Select it.  Watch while the file uploads.  In a few minutes, you are online.  Very simple.  Videos on Bay City history will be sure to follow.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My Weekend

What a busy weekend it was.  Friday night started out with the monthly trip to the Midland Moose.  That is the one night of the month that I am sure to be out to 2:30 AM.  I always think it won't be that late but...

Clayton and Gloria went with us.  We all had a great time.  I sang 'When I'm Sixty-four' by the Beetles.  Sue wanted one of her favorites  'Honey'.  She also likes 'Have I told you lately that I love you'.  Finally, I did 'Blowin in the the Wind'  by the Kingston Trio. 

The roads were good and the company was too.

Katy and Bill came out on Saturday.  We went to the Birch Run Mall to get Bill some new shoes.  The sales were on.  All of us did well.  I convinced Sue that I needed new socks.  She got a suit jacket. 

Carl Lee had a party on saturday night,  I talked to Rick Curtis about Kim Fisher and that era.  It's been long enough that I have forgotten some things.

On Sunday, Merle Colosky Hansen came over to Sue's Mother's house. It was so nice to see her after all this time.  I was surprised to see a similiarity between Katy and Merle's build and the way they carried themselves.  Merle has been through alot with the death of her Mother from pancreatic cancer.  

Finally, it was the traditional sunday night trip to 'Trackside' for burgers. 

It was a great weekend.



Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Beginning of Human Life

"ESC research is morally and ethically problematic. Egg and sperm unite to form at least one unique human being. To disassemble this early human, even if it does not yet possess arms and legs or the ability to think, is to harm the most vulnerable among us: This is a moral wrong."

It amazes me how easy it is to jump to the conclusion that human life begins with the union of sperm and egg.  Most writers would say "a unique, human life begins with the union of sperm and egg".  You know better don't you?  That's why you say "AT LEAST ONE human life.  You must know that identical twins begin their seperate lives after several days when the group of cells the fertilized egg has become by that time splits.  Have you thought about what this fact does to the idea of a unique human soul beginning its life on earth at the moment of fertilization of the egg with the sperm?  Do two souls enter at that time?  Does the one soul that enters split with the twinning act?  Or does unique, human life begin at some other point of development?

You probably have heard of some other problems with the idea of the spirit entering the body at fertilization.  The idea that the fertilized egg is a unique, little human person with a soul and all the rights of any human being on earth leads to some difficulties.  People who hold that belief should be absolutely opposed to the process of Invetro Fertilization.  Many, many fertilized eggs are produced for every baby born.  Many fertilized eggs are destroyed every year.  How can people, who believe that fertilized eggs are human beings in every sense allow the Invetro Fertilization process to take place?

You probably also know that more than half of all fertilized eggs die early in the development process.  That leads to the interesting idea that more than half of the souls we would meet in heaven would be from those babies that never developed.

People, who believe that the fertilized egg is a unique human soul, should be very afraid of birth contol pills.  a quick check of the internet will show that there is a possible danger of killing the fertilized egg by introducing birth contol substances into the mother's body.  Why do people who are so opposed to destruction of the human embryo for embryonic stem cell research say nothing about the evil affects of birth control pills.

The Jewish faith, held by many in the United States, believes that a unique human life begins with the first breath.  They base that on the idea in the Bible that God took up dust from the Earth to create a body.  When God blew into that body, life began. 

The Muslim faith, also held by many in the United States, believes that human life begins at a later point in pregnancy. 

Jumping to the conclusion that unique human life begins with fertilization leads to many problems.  Surely, american society's agreement with that position should not be assumed.  Inconsistancies on the part of those who do believe in the creation of a unique human being at the point of fertilization should be explained and supported by appropriate action.

My suspicion is that supporters what to have it both ways.  They want birth control but want to be able to ban research on embryos.  They want invetro fertilization but don't want to admit that many fertilized eggs with ultimately be destroyed because of the procedure.   They don't want to talk about all the people who don't agree with their thoughts on the beginning of human life.  Finally, they don't want to study modern biology to find out how gradual and involved our developement is.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Iraq and the Middle East

We are in trouble in Iraq.  We got in trouble by some very bad management decisions. A relatively small group of very smart men made these decisions.  The lesson to learn is that it is possible for a small group of people to take over the policy of the U.S. government if they know what positions to hold and how to get them.  Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Douglas Feith, Stephen Hadley, Elliott Abrams, David Wurmser, Andrew Natsios, Dan Bartlett, and George Tenet held positions both inside and out of the government that enabled them to play major roles in taking America to war. 

How did they do it?  Why did the checks and balances not work? Could it be done again? Is it still being done?

It looks like they did it by gaining control of the office of the Presidency with the election of George W. Bush.  Understanding Bush's election would be key to understanding their power. 

Why did checks and balances not work? Congress simply laid down before the executive and let the executive office have its way.  Congressmen say that they were told Iraq had WMD and that we must invade.  Most of the world was saying that view could not be proved.  Congress demanded no proof.  Congress got an answer wrong that most readers of Internet publications and newspapers got right.  Congress was to check an Executive branch mistake.  It failed.  Congressmen are very bright people.  There are 435 Representatives in the House (called Congressmen or Congresswomen) and 100 Senators in the Senate.  They have staffs of a few dozen people and deal with requests from hundreds of thousands of constituents.  They are under the guiding had of their party bureaucracy.  The party head is the President. How many ways could the Executive Branch make life difficult for a congressman? Wouldn't it just be better to be quiet.  Congress is often quiet. 

Could a small group gain control of the Presidency?  I don't see why not.  Nothing has been changed since the election.  Can anyone tell me how such a small group of people with such long associations gained the power they have had?  Did anyone understand what they might be doing?  People, who read Project for New American Century publications and see PNAC events, could tell you what this group wouldbeabout. 

Finally, I believethis use of power is still being done and will continue to be practiced.  It has a certain genius.  Citizens and the opposing party must gain the sophistication to spot cabals this one.

Watch the movie at the first link below. Seymour Hersh, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, explains what is going on in Iraq.  His presentation starts about thirty minutes into the film.

Monday, January 15, 2007

My Son's Automotive Laptop Project

My children often amaze me.  They are so full of surprises.  Fred was giving me one of these moments when I took the picture at the top of this article.  I believe his idea was to be able to play CD's in his laptop computer while running down the road in his Ford Taurus.  If you know this background, you can understand several things that appear in this picture. 

For example, in the bottom of the picter is a little blue box.  That box is an electrical converter.  It takes twelve volt electricity and converts it to the 110 that is used by the power cord on the laptop.

The next item is the way the laptop just sits on a shelf in the front of the dash of the Taurus.  There is a shelf there... Fred made all the parts for this shelf.  He designed them himself and cut and bent them.  This was the point where I knew that Frederick could design and make a machine on his own if he wanted to.  This was far from the level of skill I had seen when he was working on the wiring under the dash of his car when he was sixteen.  You know the difference.  This design had order.  It had an elegance about it.  The wiring job went everywhere.  Very, very different. 

Fred was ready to mount intrumentation in any car and I learned more about some of his talents.  It was a good night.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Seymour Hersh: "We've Been Taken Over by a Cult"

Pulitzer prize winning writer, Seymour Hersh, talks about the cult that is controlling the Iraq War.  He talks about eight or nine men who have managed to gain control of the government. 

I believe the possibility of this being done has demonstrated a serious weakness in our system.  I also believe that this weakness has led us to a point where great errors are being made and not corrected.  Please click the link below.  Listen to Seymour Hersh.  See what you think.

Neo-Cons Still in Control?

This video scares the c out of me.  The Bush government might just get us into a war with Iran.  There are similiarities.  Watch the video.  What's your opinion.

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Richard Perle wouldn't invade Iraq???

Perle goes as far as to say that, if he had his time over, he would not advocate an invasion of Iraq: "I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.' … I don't say that because I no longer believe that Saddam had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction, or that he was not in contact with terrorists. I believe those two premises were both correct. Could we have managed that threat by means other than a direct military intervention? Well, maybe we could have."

That is an amazing quote for a person who has to rank in the top ten in bearing responsibility for the war.  Thousands were against it in the first place.  Most of the world did not believe that Iraq had WMD.  Other alternatives including taking enough time to find out if government policy was right were available.  Now Perle says maybe we could have...  The moral is that the United States has been very badly managed in this war.  The lesson is that a small group of people seem to have the ability to take over the policy of this government and bolt the nation into an ill considered war that is wasting our resourses and the lives of our young people.  Great job Mr. Perle
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Scan Eagle joins the ranks



A robotic airplane called ScanEagle has done more than 1,000 hours of intelligence and reconnaissance work for the Marines in Iraq, its developers said.

It travels above insurgent positions and sends real-time video images to Marines on the ground. The unmanned device can relay facial expressions on enemy soldiers, and can transmit in such detail that it shows steam rising from their coffee.

This detailed resolution could do some interesting civilian work.  I could imagine these planes being assigned to track endangered animals for example.  Communication lines in remote areas could be checked.  Small packages could be delivered by air drop with minimal cost.  The bottom line is that UAV's will come home from the war someday to do jobs we haven't thought of yet.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

UAV's and UGV's

Lockheed Martin has succeeded in making a controller that can handle UAV's or UGV's in combination.  That allows one soldier to be much more productive.  It also allows him/her to have their own private army.  Exercises have been run using this idea but I haven't heard the results of the effort.  It would be terribly interesting to see. 

Planes that can stay on station for days and small ground vehicles that can swarm together, augment each other's function and have no regard for their own existance will be a very interesting addition to war.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Fixing Everything

I have fixed more stuff in the last two days.  My big item was the front, passenger wheel bearing on the Lesabre.  Of course, everything changes now.  That is a product of having too long a memory.  The last time I changed a wheel bearing, we were wearing our sideburns long and cars went fourteen miles to the gallon. 

Now, with front wheel drive, things are different.  I think the job might almost be easier to do.  You don't have to pack grease in the bearings anymore, and who can forget to fun of dropping the small parts of the bearings in the dirt.  Now, you have one big assembly. 

The old job cost about ten bucks. The new one is four hundred and sixty.  Hummm.

Have a great day

Friday, January 5, 2007

Carl Sagan's Death was Ten Years Ago

Sagan died Dec. 20, 1996, at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle following a two-year battle with a bone marrow disease.

Carl Sagan was the great science educator of the last third of the twentieth century.  He explained scientific knowledge with clarity and with a lack of apology to those supporting non-scientific positions. 

We all miss him,

Picture from wingles's AOL Pictures Public Gallery

Picture from wingles's AOL Pictures Public Gallery. 

This picture is tagged 'Michigan'.  It was in AOL's public Galleries.  It speaks to me of the times in the early fall when I am out in the woods trying to see a deer and not caring too much if I do. 

Sue's Painting

I am really proud of the picture Sue painted.  You can take a look at it above.  She had seen a similiar picture in Chicago when we were there with Katy.  This is her trial.  I am always amazed by all the things she can do. 

Christmas Gifts

Today, I'm putting my Christmas gifts together.  Daughter Katy gave me a stool which you can see in the picture.  It was very easy to assemble.  I usually like doing this assembly work.  It gives me a reason to have the tools I/ve got and to gain some competence with them. 

Of course, I always follow an organized plan.. Well, most of the time I do.  First, I unpack everything, placing all the parts in separate locations ON A TABLE/BENCH.  I hate to work on the floor.  I check for all the parts.  Then, I go over directions.  Finally, I begin.  Like most things these days, the planning takes two times as long as the assembly.

Anyway, I've tried the chair and love it. 

<a href="" rel="tag">Stool</a>

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Taking down the decorations

Christmas is officially over. I have all the decorations down. I did this over a period of several days. Having them gone has me thinking of the changes I might make next year. Decorations need to be changed from time to time. LED Christmas lights are supposed to last hundred of hours. I might try some of those. I also like the new sculptured decorations. I'll see what the new year brings.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

New Year's Eve

Two thousand-seven has arrived.  I spent New Year's Eve at sister Linda's house.  We watched Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.  The special effects were great but the movie is lacking.  I still can't say what the story was about.  This movie is way down my list. 

Sue can't take movies like this one at all.  She sees fantasy movies as silly generally.  This one isn't even good at that.  I have to add that sister has a big screen TV.  It is hard not to like that.  I watched the Lions football game earlier in the day.  Even I can understand what is going on when the cameraman points it out on a screen that is four feet tall and some expert is explaining exactly what is going on.  I really enjoyed it.

Happy New Year to All,

I figure that about as much will happen in this year as used to happen in ten so it should be an exciting time until New Year comes again.