Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tax Revenues, Fayetteville and Rogers

They aren’t exactly dancing in the streets, but you could hear the City of Fayetteville breath again.
Fayetteville saw its sales tax revenue increase by 3. 8 percent in October, while its neighbors saw declines of 6-8 percent. “In the city of Fayetteville (sales ) were up a pretty good clip,” said Paul Becker, the city's finance director.

Sam’s Club and the Razorback Cinema openings sure did help. While it's great to see the tax revenue up, the City shouldn't expect that same percentage increase over the months. I’m sure a lot of people came to Sam’s just to check it out when it opened. I'll bet that the next months revenue will be a bit smaller. Just like Rogers did this month.
Rogers took in $ 912, 583 in sales-tax revenue in October, according to Treasurer Jerry Hudlow, 6 percent less than $ 971, 998 in October 2006.

The Pinnacle Hills Promenade opened up in October 2006. It was brand new so everyone went there to check it out. You looked, shopped and ate out. Time has passed and it’s just another shopping center. I wonder how many people like me think it’s a crappy place to shop and prefer the mall in Fayetteville.
I did find it interesting that there are some people who are happy that Roger’s revenue is down. Check out these comments posted here.
Earl Swagger
Or, hell....I could be wrong about all this. It could be that the sales taxes are down because people around Rogers are sick of their high-handed, holier than thou BS and figured out their money goes farther in Washington County. Either way, avoiding Rogers is always a good idea.
durango kid
No cookie-cutter big-box Red Lobster knock-off disguised as a high-caliber establishment and brimming with the folks Boss Womack calls "friend" would ever be a good enough reason to visit Rogers. For one, it's way too close to 6 Flags over Jesus for my comfort. The right reverend's helicopter might crash into the restaurant, you know.
The only reason I even go through the place is b/c Rogers managed to capture land on both sides of the freeway, so I am forced to if I wanna get to Mizzou for my lottery tickets and Sunday booze. Why couldn't they just stay on the east side of 540? I'd much rather claim I was in Bentonville, despite my lukewarm feelings for Wal-Mart.

Yeah, that's it! Don't shop in Rogers because its full of Christians and Republicans. We sure don't want them to be successful. Bankrupt the city, that'll show those Christians and Republicans.
You just wonder why people of the other political party are so mean and nasty? Are their lives so pathetic that they want others to suffer?

Tax Stories here and here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Cats Christmas

The cats got a bunch of toys and treats for Christmas. I swear I'm going to be walking on a whole bunch of plastic balls. I wonder how long it'll be before I break them all. Tigger immediately got the biggest mouse and proceeded to whoomp it. (I don't know the term for the cat using its hind legs to shred up a stuffed toy.)

More cats at Friday Ark. I wonder what they got for Christmas?

Changing the Bus Ride

Man, I am so jealous! I wish I had been able to surf the Internet and work on school work while I was riding the bus.
"I’ve been riding the bus since I was in kindergarten, up to one-and-a-half hours each way," (Ethan) Clement said. "Until this program, I never really thought about it. It was the daily routine.
" But we were wasting time sitting here. This could be an opportunity for everyone. Why waste your time on the bus, looking out on the same road you’ve looked out at every day ?" Like Clement, Zack Wilson, a 10 th-grader, is taking online Advanced Placement biology.

I can so identify with the guys. I hated having to spend 2 hrs a day on the awful bus. I hope that more buses get equipped with the Internet so kids that have to ride long distances don't have to just waste their time.

Benazir Bhutto, Return to Reality

You must admire her determination to bring democracy to Pakistan, but her murder was a horrible action of inevitability. I watched her with fascination wondering when the terrorists would finally get her. This is not some extraordinary event in the Middle East. This is how militant Islamists operate. One suicide bomber eliminates all your opponents.
I wonder if this is going to have any effect on the primaries. Heck, for the past month the Republicans have been comparing who's the best Christian candidate. Is this going to wake them up concerning the challenges, threats and dangers the U.S. faces in regards to radical Islam? What about the possibility of a nuclear Pakistan taken over by Islamofascists? It's time for candidates to drop the frivolity of the past weeks and return to reality.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hillary, If I Win

Some politicians will promise just about anything.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says voters are sure to see one immediate benefit if she is voted president: a drop in oil prices.

Next, she'll start feeding the world with just five loaves of bread and two fishes.

Christian Social Conservatives, Losing the Big Picture

Gov. Mike Huckabee is not the first politician to invoke their faith in American politics and certainly will not be the last. To some, the profession of a politician's faith can be reassuring but there is also a danger. Religion can be a problem when it becomes the sole issue in a political campaign. Huckabee's supporters back him because he's an Evangelical pastor who has come out strongly against gay marriage and abortion. But they are losing sight of the big picture of the Republican Party, all of whose principles are vitally important for this nation. I'm really concerned about Christian conservatives willingness to turn a blind eye to Huckabee's decidedly Democrat liberal stances. David Sander comments
Conversely, the temptation by some in the religious right to simply project personal religious convictions onto all policy matters can have the undesired effect of undermining the very conservatism they claim to advance. Some Christian conservatives argue "What would Jesus do?" a justification for lurching leftward on issues like the environment, immigration and foreign trade.

I think gay marriage and abortion are important issues, but they come in second. I'm more concerned with the War on Terrorism, taxes, immigration, congressional pork, U.S. sovereignty and stopping the Democrat's desire for a nanny nation. I'm voting for true Republican conservatism not a social liberal pastor. I can get that from church.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Jazz Great Oscar Peterson

A truly great jazz pianist has passed away. I discovered Oscar Peterson through Stan Getz. Strange, I have yet to purchase any of his own CD's. All that I got from him is the stuff he's played with other great Jazz musicians, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington.
It doesn't get much better than this. Enjoy!


Wal-Mart Shopper

And you thought you had a long Christmas shopping list.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Parties, Hot & Spicy Pecans

Oh Boy! I'm glad it's almost Christmas. I can't take much more of these parties. I'm getting exhausted. I can't look at any more cookies and cakes. I believe we have had holiday food at work every day this week. Good Lord, I must have gained 5 lbs alone this week. This is one of my favorite Christmas recipes. I bring it to work every year. People just gobble this up, it's quite addictive.

Hot & Spicy Toasted Pecans

2 Cups Pecans
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1½ Tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ Tsp red pepper (cayenne)
¼ Tsp Salt (Kosher)

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast nuts for 20 minutes, stir edges to keep from burning. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix sugar, oil, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt. Remove nuts from oven and immediately add to spice mixture. Mix well and spread in a single layer, let cool.

Casey, A Good Boy

I've been a good boy! Did you got me that big bone? Seriously, I've been a very good boy! I mean, the holes in the yard aren't that big. That doll, well, that was your fault. You shouldn't have left it on the floor. Can I still have it? Because I've been a mostly good boy.

More dogs at Canine Carnival

Christmas Stocking

Heh, Heh! We found the stocking! You shouldn't expect to hide a stocking that has catnip toys in it.

More cats at Friday Ark

Fayetteville's Water & Sewer Hikes

You'd think it would be fairly simple. You pay for what you use. Hey, hold on there! The low-income customers believe they should get a rate break because they are poor and can't afford an "everyone pays for what they use". The big industrial business' think they deserve a rate reduction because the increased costs they'd face could affect jobs at those industries (just a little blackmail). The rest of us in middle are getting a little miffed because we can see the writing on the wall. We are the ones that are going to be subsidizing both of these customers.
I think it's time that big companies start paying for the costs they incur. Small businessmen don't get these breaks why should they? As for the low-income, why force people to pay their bills? Why not make it voluntary? People can round up their bill and that extra money goes to the low income customer.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, Too Dangerous for the Home?

The new energy legislation will effectively ban incandescent light bulbs. The light bulb provision phases out the traditional 100 watt bulbs by gradually increasing efficiency requirements through 2020. However, there is a major flaw in the compact fluorescent bulbs.
Mercury, a toxic metal famously found in thermometers, helps create the increased efficiency of a CFL bulb. If the bulb breaks, the small amount of mercury can contaminate the area.

The mercury is considered a hazardous material and the EPA has a list of instructions on how to dispose of it. You just can't pick up the pieces and throw them in the trash.
Have everyone else leave the area; don't let anyone walk through the mercury on their way out. Make sure all pets are removed from the area. Open all windows and doors to the outside; shut all doors to other parts of the house.

Boy, doesn't that make you feel safe. It just makes you want to go out and buy them.
Remember to keep the area well ventilated to the outside (i.e., windows open and fans in exterior windows running) for at least 24 hours after your successful cleanup.

Just make sure you don't break one of these in the winter.
If a spill occurs on carpet, curtains, upholstery or other absorbent surfaces, these contaminated items should be thrown away in accordance with the disposal means outlined below. Only cut and remove the affected portion of the contaminated carpet for disposal.

So, how much money are you going to save if you have to replace your carpet. That $5 per month savings suddenly doesn't look all that hot.

I have replace some of the bulbs in my house with the fluorescent bulbs and as soon as they die I will be going back to the old bulbs. They don't light a room as well as the old 100 watt bulbs and they fit in the light fixtures poorly. I'm going to be stocking up on those 100 watt bulbs.

Just a thought. You are forced to buy the bulbs and when they break can you sue the manufacturer for clean up costs? Can your home be declared as a toxic site?


Fayetteville Budget, Done

Well, the city council passed a budget, without all the anticipated layoffs, salary reductions and loss of the lights and concerts. All those boo-hoo stories that were printed in the newspapers instigated by Mayor Coody. Lord, you thought that things were going to collapse at the city because the council didn't pass the tax hike. Of course, many things did get funded but not at the levels they were previously.
The council renewed funding to a host of programs, including a $62,500 commitment to the Fayetteville Boys & Girls Club and $30,000 in Parks Department funds for the annual Lights of the Ozarks event.

I think city needs to concentrate first on keeping the core services such as police and fire protected. While it's nice the city does provide free entertainment and recreational opportunities, I think the city needs to start relying more on individual and corporate sponsorship.
Alderwoman Shirley Lucas stressed that she would like for the city to wean itself from funding Lights of the Ozarks. Council members said finding private donors to help with popular city projects should be a priority, given the lean financial times.

I think the city should have an adopt-an-event day. Maybe at one of the spring Farmer's Market have people pledge to support a particular project.
(Greg)Tabor noted the dog’s food and veterinary bills were covered by a donation from a veterinarian, leaving about $9,000 to cover vehicle costs
People are already doing it. And yes, I'd even sponsor a portable toilet for the concerts. After all, many people have said that I am full of "it".
The concerts require renting sound equipment and portable toilets, she noted. Those costs are difficult to convince donors to support, (Connie) Edmonston said. "Nobody wants to sponsor a porta potty," (Brenda) Thiel laughed. "I wonder why."


Monday, December 17, 2007

Pump It!

More good news (or bad, if you're a Democrat) from Iraq.
Iraqi oil production is above the levels seen before the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Lights of the Ozarks, A Community Opportunity

The other cities in NW Arkansas must be laughing at Fayetteville.
Springdale show at Murphy Park, where there are 20 static displays and 187 decorated trees. The Public Works Department budgets $ 25, 000 for the annual display.
Bentonville, which like Fayetteville boasts a traditional town square, doesn’t have a budget for Christmas lights. Instead, its downtown lights are paid for through private sponsors. Employees in the Bentonville Parks Department hang and dismantle the lights, but they aren’t paid extra to do so.
Main Street Rogers, a branch of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, handles the city’s annual downtown display through donations. The Rogers Street Department provides the labor needed to hang the lights. "There is no large contributor to the lights display," said Marge Wolf, president of Main Street Rogers. "It’s a community effort. As the money comes in, we spend it. There is no strict budget for lights."

Fayetteville is spending $93,884 for the lights and the other cities are paying far less for their displays. Fayetteville needs to follow the example of Rogers and Bentonville. If the Lights of the Ozarks are so important to the business community and the general public, they should be willing to donate some money to it. Actually, I like what Marge Wolf said. As people from the public donate they would own a part of the display and they become part of a community. As they would walk among the lights they would think "I made this happen."
Instead of crying over the city threatening to cut the Lights from the budget, the citizens of Fayetteville need to recognize that this is an opportunity to shine. A tradition needn't die because people can step up and keep it going.


Cutting Food With a Knife

She’s carniverous and armed, a real threat. Good thing she wasn't found to be in the possession of a peanut. Really, they should just start feeding students from bottles.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Responsible Home Ownership

I guess it must happen once in a blue moon. I actually liked an editorial article. It did a really good job in describing the subprime problem and who's responsible for it.
It’s the same problem at the root of every burst bubble: consumersturned-speculators who overestimated their future earnings, underestimated their risks, and got caught in the gap. With the help of too-eager lenders. Lots of us, it seems, figured this was one more sure thing we could take advantage of. And lots of us were wrong.

It was pretty weak at suggestions on what to do about it. Although, there probably isn't much that can be done. The best idea I've heard is for borrowers to work with their lenders. I'm pretty sure lenders are more than willing to modify mortgages. They have a lot to lose too. One thing we don't want is for the government to step in. Once the government starts messing around with things is starts causing more problems.
It's time that people be held responsible for their own bad decisions and not expect the government to bail them out every time they screw up.

The Democrat Fights

When the Democrats won last year I though for sure that America was going to get royally screwed. I thought the Democrats would make life hell for President Bush. Now, I'm really enjoying myself. The Washington Post on the Democrat fights.
In the past few weeks, the House has thrown wave after wave of legislation at the Senate -- on energy, Iraq war policy, the housing and mortgage crisis, and middle-income tax cuts offset largely by tax increases on the wealthy. Most of it has died quietly, a predetermined fate that both sides could foresee before the first vote was cast.
Officially, House Democrats blame Senate Republicans, who have used parliamentary tactics to block even uncontroversial measures. But they are increasingly expressing public frustration with Reid and Senate Democrats for not putting up a better fight.

The fighting we're seeing is between the Democrats. This is just so delicious. You just have to sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

Tigger, Santa Kitty

Do you know how hard it is to get a cat to wear a Santa hat? Of course, what cat wants to be seen wearing the hat. Totally embarrassing! Tigger looks more like the Grinch than he does Santa. I have no doubt he'll get back at me. He's probably contemplating putting a dead mouse in my stocking.

More Merry cats at Friday Ark

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Acambaro Restaurants Want to Keep Cooking

The owners of the Acambaro restaurants want re-open. They have a slight problems though.
"We have enough people, but we can’t [access ] our money," Morales said. "They froze our bank accounts, and my grandfather and I are meeting with an attorney, trying to get the restaurants back open." Temple Black, a spokesman for U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said prosecutors seized more than $ 100, 000 from 15 bank accounts in connection with the raid at Acambaro eateries in Lowell, Bentonville, Springdale and Fayetteville, and at a related Benton County business, Garcia’s Food Distributors Inc.

I can see that being quite a problem, especially since it appears that the Government intends to keep it. I just wonder if it would be worth it to re-open. Are people going to want to visit a restaurant that has exploited their workers while living the high life themselves?

Full Story

Pope Benedict Attacks Global Warming Prophets

Pope Benedict has chided the global warming fanatics. He suggested that the world destruction fears the global warmists are peddling are nothing more than an effort to scare people into given up money, safety, comfort and freedom.
The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.

Hurray for the Pope! He's asking for people to return to the good old rules of the scientific method.
It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances.

The real scientists need to step up. Those that will objectively review the data, try to reproduce it and challenge any theory or data that fails peer review. The scientific community has allowed politicians and con artists to hijack the way the scientific community should work.
The 80-year-old Pope said the world needed to care for the environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants was given a greater priority than that of mankind.

I'm pretty sure this will shock the environmentalist wackos who consider man to be a disease that needs to be eliminated. The Pope represented the Christian view. The earth and all that is in and on it were given to man to use. God expected man to govern it and use it well. The Pope is asking us to remember that God expects us to be good stewards of what he has given us.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Add Another Place Setting

I got an early Christmas present from one of my bosses. When I came back from Thanksgiving this cook book was on my desk. This was produced by the Junior League of NW Arkansas. It is recipes from the members of the League. Proceeds from the sale of the book goes to support the projects and programs of the League.

The photography of the book is really gorgeous and the colors they use to indicate each food section are colorful and bold. It makes it easy to find a particularly recipe section just looking at the side of the book. The recipes are ones that you would actually fix and eat at your house, nothing ultra fancy or exotic. These are recipes you could find in other cook books but these are the favorites of Junior League members. I found one of my favorite holiday treats, Sweet-and-Spicy Pecans. I bring this in to work every Christmas. Scatter in among all the recipes are favorites of some of NW Arkansas' famous residents. Johnelle Hunt's Glazed Apple Pie, Bernice Jone's Chocolate Cherry Cake, Helen Walton's Potato Casserole, the Tyson Family Southern Fried Chicken to name a few. Here and there are little bits of history, descriptions of our favorite places and pieces of decorating advice.

I highly recommend getting this book. It's for those who would like a good solid cook book and for those interested in the history and personalities of NW Arkansas. Of course the added benefit is the money from the sale of the book will be going right back to NW Arkansas charities.

Cold, Rainy Days

These are the type of days you just want to sit inside and read. Since I now got the books I ordered from Amazon that's possible, if I weren't so dang busy. I'm glad I didn't pay the shipping charges that Amazon had ask for to guarantee Christmas delivery. I wonder if they deliberately tried to blackmail me or was it just covering their butts.

NW Arkansas Restaurants Raided By ICE

I see that my favorite Mexican restaurant has been raided by Immigration.
According to U.S. Attorney Robert C. Balfe, the Immigration Criminal Apprehension Taskforce executed search warrants Monday at Acambaro restaurants in Bentonville, Lowell, Rogers and Springdale.

Not that I'm particularly surprised. We've often wondered how many of the people working there were illegal. It's a bit obvious when you can't speak English.
Immigration officials also arrested four operators of the restaurants: 35-year-old Arturo Reyes Jr., 36-year-old Silvia Reyes, 33-year-old Lucila Huaracha and 33-year-old Armando Reyes.

I wonder how ICE was tipped that they were illegal. The most important question is, are the restaurants going to be closed or open tomorrow?

Apparently there are more serious charges than just being illegal.
Further, they "conducted or attempted to conduct such financial transactions to purchase the real properties ... which involved a specified unlawful activity."
Documents further indicate that the unlawful activity included identity theft, possession and use of counterfeit identity documents, employment eligibility verification fraud and money laundering.

Some of that was using Social Security numbers. I wonder how many people have had their identity stolen are now trying to resolve the damage to their credit. I seriously need to consider using a credit monitoring company. It's a pity that people now have to pay to protect their financial records.
In addition to the financial transactions, "the Acambaro Mexican Restaurant owners and operators are believed to be utilizing the labor of illegal aliens to increase their profit margin in order to maintain their current lavish lifestyles," Cottrell's affidavit states.

Slave labor. I wonder if they feel that it's all worth it now that they are facing jail and losing their businesses.

Full Story

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Good Morning Sunshine

The morning temperatures have been dropping to freezing. Winter is definitely here. Eli and Tigger are soaking up the sunshine. They kind of blend in with the dead leaves and grass. I'm taking this picture just inside the door. Brrr, too cold to step outside.

More cats at Friday Ark

Dale Clark Day

Today was declared Dale Clark Day by Mayor Dan Coody. He was honored for over 30 years of service in the city of Fayetteville. He was the first director the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Division as well as the first director of the Fayetteville Youth Center. People meet at the Boys and Girls Club where a few people reminisced about his work. I imagine he must have quite a few stories to tell. We also sang "Happy Birthday" to him. Yeah, they choose to honor him on his birthday. The halls of the Boys and Girls club had kids running around with Dale Clark t-shirts.

The city also named the park next to the Boys and Girls Club after Dale. I must say this is one of the nicest park signs I seen. The park is mostly the playing fields but it does have a nice walking trail around it.

Animal Cruelty

When is Arkansas going to get it's act together and get some stiffer fines and sentences for animal cruelty? Now, I'm not talking about hunting or farming. Killing and cleaning wild game is a large part of many people's life. I'm talking about the shooting a large dog, skinning it and hanging it upside-down in the yard of a Huntsville teacher. A horrendous act committed with malice and just to terrify another person. I'm glad that the Humane Society
is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of people connected with the dog killing.

Whoever did this is a really, really sick person.


Restaurants Gone From Dickson Street

Another restaurant has left Dickson Street in Fayetteville. Gloria Jean's Coffees and Haagen-Dazs that waere in the Frisco railroad depot are done. They join a number of restaurants, (Frudruckers, Charlies, Smokey Bones) that have not done well enough to stay in Fayetteville. Most have said that they closed down because planned developments weren't being built fast enough to bring in people to the stores. Greg House of Houses Inc., one of the partners in the depot appears to be blaming some one else
House said he is interested in watching The Lofts at Underwood Plaza, which is a nine-story building being constructed next to George's Majestic Lounge. That project, as well as the Legacy Building behind Jose's, will eventually fill up and perhaps a new presidential administration will make a difference in the market as people will be more hopeful once they elect "Hillary or Barack," he said.

Yup, it's all Bush's fault! Dang, how does Bush do it? All those restaurants and businesses that have closed over the years and he did it. I bet a hundred years from now when something goes wrong people will still be blaming Bush.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

"So Whatcha Gonna Do?"

I had an absolutely wonderful time last night at the Veterans Forever Gala presented by the Arkansas Chapter of the Armed Forces Foundation. The Foundation has gotten off to a good start of many more events in which to raise money for military families. The event was well attended. Rep John Boozeman, Sen Dave Bisbee, Mayor Steve Womack and JP Butch Pond were in attendance. All veterans who attended were recognized and honored.

Steve Mankin, father of Aaron Mankin, told his son's story and how people stepped up to help. He said that through the whole process God was asking him "Whatcha Gonna Do?" and now he asks us "What are we going to do"? As I listened to Steve as realized just how much pain and anguish the families of wounded soldiers go through too. This Foundation is very much needed to support the families just as much as the soldiers need medical care.

Our special guest Eric Egland flight was canceled so Stephen Gray stepped up and described what Eric was doing. Twila Paris ended the evening singing several of her songs. Twila is one of my favorite singers so meeting her was one the highlights of the evening for me.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Eli's Bath

There is nothing like taking a bath in front of the fire. Especially when it's cold and raining outside.

More cats at Friday Ark

Global Warming Funnies

Why I laugh at the global warming twits. Over 600+ reasons to laugh and growing.

The Democrat Garden, Nothing Grows But Weeds

I don't think there's a grand conspiracy over at CNN, but there are plenty of people that do have agendas. Those agendas are to make the Democrates look good and the Republicans look bad. With that said, I don't think Anderson Cooper is one of them, but he should have a little more idea of what is going on around him. He's an experienced journalist, the questions being asked should have raised alarms on his BS detector. Come on, CNN had plenty of time to vet these people and their questions. You've got extraordinary odds here, out of the 1,000's of videos submitted and 32 that actually made it onto air, there were at a minimum four involved people who were declared Democrat supporters, actual staffers or activists.

I believe that Democrates should ask Republican candidates questions, but it's another thing to lie about who you support. CNN really screwed this up and I think the Republican candidates need to have more control on the questions and debate format before they agree to debate on CNN again.

M/M has it all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 Christmas Orders

I ordered a bunch of books from Amazon over the weekend. A little Christmas present to myself. I usually go for the free shipping because I really don't care when I get the books and I like saving money. When I finished ordering, Amazon told me that the estimated date of delivery was January 14th. Wow! Do I really want to wait that long? I changed my delivery options and I still couldn't get anything delivered before Christmas unless I shelled out nearly $100. I would be able get the books within the week. Amazon was essentially telling me there was no guarantee of books before Christmas unless I paided for it. I kept the free shipping since I really don't need the books before Christmas. I got an e-mail from Amazon yesterday. They were shipping out one of the books. Hmmm, maybe I'll get the rest of the books before Christmas.

Have A Merry Christmas

I hope the stores are paying attention to what people are asking. When I am checking out, please tell me "Merry Christmas"!
As the holiday season begins, 67% of American adults like stores to use the phrase "Merry Christmas" in their seasonal advertising rather than "Happy Holidays".

No more of the politically-correct substitutes. It dilutes the significance of the Christmas season. We still want to hold true to the traditions and reason for Christmas. Hopefully next year the retailers have finally gotten it and we don't have to fight the war for Christmas.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Arkansas, Houston Nutt Resigns

So, the soap opera has come to an end. Those that really hated Nutt are celebrating that they got rid of him. I never did think Nutt did all that bad of a job. He didn't do everything perfectly, but these past 10 years have been rather good for the Razorbacks. Considering all that has happened this past year, it's probably for the best. He has the 3.65 million dollars to console himself and another coaching job in the wings. So, who's going to replace him?

Stop Shopping, the Economy's Bad!

It looks like most people totally ignored the doom and gloom peddlers in the MSM. Heck, even in the midst of all these people shopping the MSM is still saying that everything is bad and people are just stupidly ignoring it.
The nation's shoppers set aside worries about higher gas prices and a slumping housing market and proved their resilience over the Thanksgiving weekend, giving what the nation's merchants wished for - a strong start to the holiday shopping season.

Dang it people, you weren't supposed to be out shopping. You were suppose to be home, huddled around the TV being all miserable.
ShopperTrak reported late Sunday that sales on Friday and Saturday combined rose 7.2 percent to $16.4 billion from the same two-day period a year ago. Total sales on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, rose to $10.3 billion, up 8.3 percent from the same day a year ago. Martin had expected increases no greater than 5 percent.
Meanwhile, Internet research firm comScore Inc. reported a 22 percent gain in online sales on the day after Thanksgiving compared with the same day a year ago and estimated online sales would exceed $700 million online Monday, the official kickoff to the online shopping season.

All this spending is making the Democrats look bad. They've been telling us how miserable we are and that we need to make a change. They're saying that President Bush's economics have really suck these past 8 years and they'll correct it. Apparently, shoppers disagreed by going out and spending as if they wouldn't mind another 8 years of Bush economics.

Veterans Forever Gala, Free Tickets

This promises to be a really fun event. Twila Paris is one of my favorite singers. In my grubby little hands I have some free tickets for anyone who wants to attend. There is a limit of 2 per person. I only have 8 tickets so
Email me quick.

Bumped to top: I still have tickets!
UPDATE: The Tickets are all gone! See you at the GALA!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Centerton Mayor's Double Life

Wow! Don LaRose or Ken Williams.
"It's absolutely incredible," (Steve) Womack said. "There are no words to describe how bizarre this is."

You hear about stories like this and you wonder how a person can just drop a whole life. Boy, I'd really like to know what's going on in his head.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kieragan's Run

What a Blast! I had soooo much fun! Saturday I went to Springfield for a NADAC dog agility event. This was the first time that Casey has been to an agility show. I was going mostly to acquaint Casey with the whole atmosphere, lots of dogs and people. I needed to get him use to it, and to know how distracted he would be by all the smells and activities. I entered him in only one event, the tunnels. I was so pleased on how well he did. He didn't go crazy with all the other dogs and people and he quickly relaxed. When it came time for the tunnel run, I was able to led out and he kept his attention on me. He wasn't distracted. Thank God! He worked with me during the course and got hung up only on one part that was the most difficult. I knew he would have trouble at that spot. Oh boy, but is Casey fast! Amazingly Casey came in 3rd place! I was so excited, the very first time he's run and he gets 3rd!
I was fortunate in that a number of people from Fayetteville also went, including my trainer, Mari. She was a big help. She commented on other people's runs, what were the problems and what was good. I learned quite a bit. She help me walk through the tunnel run, planning my strategy. I was not able to get pictures of Casey's run, everyone was running the course. I did get Mari with her dog Kieragan.

Harold G Hutcheson, Rest In Peace

They buried another World War II veteran yesterday. Harold Hutchenson was laid to rest at the West Fork cemetery. He was a preacher, author, and newspaper publisher/reporter. Based on what I read and what was said he must of been a wonderful person to know. I know he was proud that he was a writer. The first day that I met him he handed me a booklet "We Call It Home" that had some compilations of his work. Unfortunately, I met Hutch only recently at the Fayetteville Veterans Home. Hutch was not doing well and most of the time I spent with him was helping him out with various stuff. We mostly spoke of minor things and he made it known that he didn't like growing old. He told me many times not to grow old. Hmmm, I can't avoid that but I hope to be as active as he was as he grew old. At the end of my visit I would always get a kiss on the hand and a hug. He must have been quite a gentleman.
Harold G. Hutcheson, 92 of West Fork, Arkansas, died Friday, November 16, 2007 at Fayetteville Veteran’s Home.

He was born September 5, l915, six miles south of West Fork, on Winn’s Creek, a son of Virgil T. and Zada Southern Hutcheson. He had been a member of the West Fork Presbyterian Church since September 3, 1972, serving as an elder for several years and before retiring had been a pastor of the West Fork church for almost l6 years. The Hutcheson family moved from the Winn’s Creek community to West Fork in l928 and the deceased graduated from West Fork High School with the class of l933. Later in l934 the family moved to Towanda, Kansas. The deceased enlisted in the Kansas National Guard in l940 and was mobilized into federal service in December of that same year. He served with Companies”I” and “M”, l37th Infantry, 35th Division, in the States in combat in the European Theater of Operations during World War II and was discharged in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, 11 October l945. He was a member of the 35th Division Association, the America Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled Veterans of America. Before retiring in l978, Mr. Hutcheson spent 33 years publishing daily and weekly newspapers in Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. He was co-founder and publisher of the Washington County Observer. In preparation for full time Christian service after retirement, he attended Manhattan (Kansas) Christian College in l978 and l979 before returning to Arkansas in l979. He completed the bachelor degree in Biblical Studies with the graduating class of August l981. He was preceded in death by Leone T.( Hughes) Hutcheson, his wife and by Dorothy (Gardner ) Hutcheson, his wife, a brother LeRoy “Arky” Hutcheson and a sister, Christine Yaryan. He is survived by: One daughter: Susanna K. Hutcheson of Wichita, Kansas One step-daughter: Cathy Keck of Fayetteville, AR Two Step sons: Roy G. Smith of West Fork, AR John Hughes and wife Margo of Arley, AL One Sister: Gretchen Wright of Gravois Mills, MO One Nephew: Sammy Hutcheson of Overland Park, KS Several step grandchildren.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fayetteville Budget Cuts, Telecom Board

The Fayetteville city council did not pass a recommended property tax increase of .9 mills. The painful process of making cuts to the budget is beginning. On November 13th, Mayor Coody issued a memo that had a proposed list of budget reductions. These are only the Mayor's proposed cuts. The city council will be meeting several times to decide which of these they may agree to cut or come up with some themselves.
Now, I understand many people will not happy to see some favorite activity or division get eliminated or reduced. I, however, don't think that derogatory remarks need to be made, especially by sitting board members. From NWA News
Board member Jon Zimmer, like Drake, did not like the idea of the city losing its cable administrator.
" So far as I’m concerned, this is by far the most misguided proposal I can imagine, " he said. " How much money is being spent right now putting up Christmas lights ? The whole Square, for the last two weeks, has been occupied by monstrous machines and highly paid, I’m sure, rednecks, climbing up and down to put up all these lights. I think the cable channel is infinitely more important."

Mayor Coody and the city council need to make a statement that such comments are not to be made. If some one is unhappy about a cut they can say so without insulting people, especially those who have no input in the process. If an activity or division is that important it is far better to expend energy in finding funds for it instead of putting down people. I truly hope that Jon Zimmer fully intends to apologize for his insult.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Scratching Table

I've recently made a pause table to add to agility equipment in the back yard. The paint on the table top is mixed with sand to give Casey traction when he jumps on it. Bows discovered that she can get a good scritch going if she rolls around on it. It also has the added benefit of not getting dirty as one would if they rolled in the dirt.

More cats at Friday Ark

Gene Long, Candidate for District 89, Arkansas

At the Washington County Republican Committee meeting, Gene Long introduced himself as a candidate for the seat currently held by Representative House. Gene and his wife Cheryl own their own insurance business. Gene has served in the Navy 6 years, 3 years in the Reserve. Gene said it was the right time in his life to run for the office. He is able to leave his business at times now,several of his children work with him, and he wanted to serve his state. He remarked that he knew how to campaign since several of his family members in Louisiana have been elected to offices.
Gene spoke mostly on the budget. He commented on how fast the current legislature got rid of the budget surplus. He noted that the state is not going to see that big of a surplus again and wouldn't be surprised that it might start running a deficient. He said that leadership was needed to plan for the future and as a business owner he knew how to balance a budget.
Gene was very well spoken, he answered questions without hesitation and he seemed very knowledgeable about how he was going to run his campaign. A lot of people talked with him after the meeting and I believe that many are going to be willing to help him get elected.

Casey at White Rock

Is it my imagination or has the time change made the whole day shorter? I don't seem to have time any more to get on the computer. I did make time this past weekend to go to White Rock to see the fall foliage before it faded out. It was simply beautiful!

More dogs at Friday Ark

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas, Heave-ho the Ho,Ho,Ho

The PC madness continues to run amok. From Australia
THERE'LL be no ho, ho, ho this Christmas. Aspiring Santas have been told not to use the term "ho" because it could be seen as derogatory to women.

Quick, go to the garden centers and get rid of those hoes! Think of all those women we've been offending!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Titillating News

What a laugh I had this morning! I wonder if the print version had the same error. You must admit the headline really grabs your attention.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fruitcake Alert

Calling all Fruitcakes. Oh jeez, not you, Ron Paul. I've notice that there was no restrictions on how old the cake can be. Maybe have a special award for the oldest cake. Drag out that cake you've stored in the freezer!

Eli, Interrupting Work

"I want up there! Pick me up!" I don't really want to because I'm trying to get some work done and he just wants to be hugged and petted.

More cats at Friday Ark

Iraq, Bad News, For Democrats

They are at it again. In the face of obvious success in Iraq, the Democrats absolutely insist that America must lose the war on terrorism.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives will try again to end U.S. combat in Iraq when it debates legislation this week tying new war funds to troop withdrawals, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.
As they have done in the past, House Democrats will try to attach conditions requiring the Pentagon to immediately begin withdrawing some of the 169,000 troops in Iraq, with the goal of completing the withdrawal by December 2008.

In the meantime, Michael Yon continues to report wonderful news from Iraq.
Thanks and Praise: I photographed men and women, both Christians and Muslims, placing a cross atop the St. John’s Church in Baghdad. They had taken the cross from storage and a man washed it before carrying it up to the dome.

A cross lifted up for hope, love and peace for the Iraqi people.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Arkansas Politicians as Bad Farmers

A couple of Arkansas legislators have been lining their pockets at the expense of taxpayers.
When the bill that would extend farm subsidies for five years goes to the Senate floor this week, eight senators will have special reason to pay close attention: They or their relatives collected about $3 million in federal payments from 1995 to 2005, according to government records compiled by a non-partisan environmental group. Records show Lincoln and her family members collected $715,000 from 1995-2005, the most recent year complete data are available. She said she personally received less than $10,000 a year, and the subsidies ended in 2005 when her land was sold. Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., says the system works well. He and his family's farming interests received almost $2.4 million in federal payments from 1995-2005, records show. His net worth in 2005 was $1.7 million to $6.6 million, according to his financial disclosure statement. "He has firsthand experience of how this really benefits farmers," said his spokeswoman, Angela Guyadeen

Yeah, I imagine he does and I getting firsthand experience paying multi-millionaire politicians to be lousy farmers.

Pat Robertson's Endorsing Rudy Giuliani

Christmas may have come a little early for Guiliani. Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy Giuliani for President. That's one endorsement I didn’t expect Rudy Giuliani to get.
Robertson on Wednesday said Giuliani is the best candidate to handle the War on Terror. He said Giuliani understands the need for a conservative judiciary, and that he is a "true fiscal conservative" who is tough on crime. "The overriding issue before the American people, is the defense of our population against the bloodlust of Islamic terrorists," Robertson told the National Press Club audience. "Our world faces deadly peril...and we need a leader with a bold vision who is not afraid to tackle the challenges ahead."

The question will be whether other Christians follow Robertson’s lead. I've been really concerned that many Christians will go for a third party candidate that would just concentrate on abortion and gay marriage. I'm glad to see some one like Robertson step out and remind Christians that there are other issues to be concerned about. Keeping us safe here at home trumps gay marriage and abortion. It'll be interesting to see if Robertson’s endorsement at least loosens the reins on Christian voters to examine all issues and make decisions based upon a broader range of concerns. I’m not a fan of Robertson and have often had a world-class "cringe" at his statements. Today, I applaud his stand in supporting Giuliani.

Ron Paul Enthusiasts Win

Although I'm not sure they'd be please to what contest they won. According to a WIRED comparison, they have wrenched the title of being the Nuttiest from Apple Fanatics.
Congratulations People!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hollywood Writers

I wonder if the Hollywood's writer strike is going to affect people all that much this time around. I certainly am not watching TV all that much anymore. I spend most of my time on the computer rather than watching TV. I haven't seen it much in the news which may mean that people are all that concern about it. If my TV went out I could care less, but if I lose my Internet connection, Horrors!

Biofuels, Starving People

It's official, biofuels are causing starvation and called by Jean Ziegler, the UN's special rapporteur, as "a crime against humanity".
Even the International Monetary Fund, always ready to immolate the poor on the altar of business, now warns that using food to produce biofuels "might further strain already tight supplies of arable land and water all over the world, thereby pushing food prices up even further". This week, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation will announce the lowest global food reserves in 25 years, threatening what it calls "a very serious crisis". Even when the price of food was low, 850 million people went hungry because they could not afford to buy it. With every increment in the price of flour or grain, several million more are pushed below the breadline.

When are people ever going to learn? Those environmental wackos do more harm than good when they try to meddle. For us here in the U.S., the ethanol disaster is only hurting us a little bit with higher energy and food costs. In third world countries, people just starve to death. But, hey, these liberals shouldn't be judged because of the damaged they did. After all "it’s the thought that counts”.

Fayetteville, Budget Cuts

At the Parks and Recreation meeting last night, Connie Edmonston, P&R Director discussed the memo she sent to the Mayor and City Council. Parks and Recreation have to reduce their budget about $160,000. Most of the recommendations were the discontinuance of some activities we enjoy, Lights of the Ozarks, Gulley Park Concerts, July 4th Fireworks and Movies in the Parks. While the suggestion is to discontinue these, hopefully City Council can reduce the scope of these events instead of entirely eliminating them. There could also be a reduction of hours at the Wilson Park Pool and Yvonne Richardson Center. One idea that is very workable is not to mow some of the smaller parks as frequently. This could eliminate some part-time summer workers.
At the Council Meeting where the proposed tax increase was voted down, one Alderman made the comment that we may need to stop being so generous with taxpayer's money. I heartily agree with that idea. The Boys and Girl's Club receives $250,000 from the city while the Council on Aging receives $50,000. I see no reason why these organizations get city money when they can work a little bit harder to get more donations. I'd really like a good portion of the budget reduction come from these 2 items. If people really value these organizations they'll step up with some donations.
One thing is for sure, a lot of people aren't going to be happy. I think this slimming down is good for the city. It's time that people stop planning a city budget as if it was going to get a raise every year. The city has gotten use to spending more and more money every year. It's time to stop thinking that every year the city is going to get more money to spend.

It Feels Like Autumn

Autumn has come to NW Arkansas. Last night I gathered up all the peppers and green tomatoes left in the garden. Tonight I'll be putting towels over the rosemary on the porch and I've brought the fern inside the house. Saturday, I hiked around White Rock. The trees' colors had started to peak. It should be really great this weekend. I really like going to White Rock. Not only is the view magnificent, the hike around the rim is easy. The drive out to White Rock can be a bit of an adventure. In order to get to White Rock you have to drive on dirt roads, which can be steep and narrow. My favorite road is the one out of Combs. I'm going to try to get out there again this weekend.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Dreaded Collar

I had no choice. Eli's allergy was irritating him so much that he was licking himself raw in a couple of places. It is a bit funny watching him try to maneuver around in it.

More cats at Friday Ark

The Pumpkin Tax

The Iowa Department of Revenue officials attempt to tax pumpkins got squashed.
The statement didn't say why the department changed its policy, but the controversy apparently spooked Gov. Chet Culver. He issued his own statement after administrators went public with their reversal. "It has come to my attention that a policy change made in December of 2006 - before I took office - is resulting in this ridiculous pumpkin tax," Culver said. "I have directed the Department of Revenue to do the common-sense thing and suspend collection of this tax and offer refunds to consumers or retailers who have been affected."
Hey, that'll teach them to mess with our holiday fruits and vegetables.

Hillary Clinton Whines

Oh you poor, poor thing! I feel so sorry for you Hillary. All those mean men ganging up on you!
Hillary Clinton’s top advisers charge that the presidential candidate was unfairly targeted by moderator Tim Russert during Tuesday night’s Democratic debate in Philadelphia. Russert asked Clinton a number of tough questions during the MSNBC-sponsored debate, including one on Social Security and another on the release of documents from the Bill Clinton administration, as she sought to fend off attacks from her Democratic rivals.

There, there little girl. Don't cry! Maybe you should reconsider running for President. Espcially if those men are going to play nasty. Maybe you should just go back home to your husband and little girl. You can go back and learn how cook, do some cleaning, redecorate the house and maybe get involved in some charity work. Hillary, honey, you should go back home and take care of your husband because, honey, he's been running around with a lot of women. You might consider staying home and making him happy. You might want to check his supplies of cigars. I think he might be using way too many of them. Just forget about all stuff about running for President. Because from all the complaining and whining you're doing about that last debate, I don't think your strong enough to take on the men.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Flap About Flour

I know I should really treat this seriously, but I would be really embarrassed about reporting plain baking flour as a suspicious substance.
In the end, it was plain white baking flour, leftover trail markers placed by a local group of runners. "We have determined that these were clues left by organizers of a race to help runners know they were following the correct trail," said Dick O'Connell, U.S. Marshal for western Arkansas. "In what's called a 'hash run,' runners follow markers of things like flour or shaving cream to navigate."

Maybe I'm a bit naive but I really don't think terrorists are going to hit Fayetteville. Instead of hauling out all the emergency personnel I would have gone up and figured out for myself what it was. Yeah, people are telling the officers they did a good thing by calling out hazmet, but I know that a lot of people are snickering behind their backs.
No criminal charges are likely because there was no malice or mischief involved, Gabbard said. "We did suggest that future routes avoid federal properties, and they've said that authorities will get a heads-up next time they're setting up a course," he said.

I might also suggest that people get a grip and don't over-react.

Take That Tax Man!

It's amazing to what lengths the government will go to get taxes from people.
A new department policy this year has made Halloween jack-o'-lanterns subject to the state sales tax, and many Iowa pumpkin growers are feeling tricked.

Guess they’ll next be taxing popcorn and cranberry garlands at Christmas. Then there's those gingerbread houses and sugar cookie decorations. What about that imaginary jolly man’s milk and cookies that are left out on the mantle? And the apples left on the porch for his reindeer?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fayetteville, No Increased Property Tax

The Fayetteville City Council voted no on raising the property taxes. At the Ward 4 meeting last night we discussed the tax. Shirley Lucus and Lioneld Jordan said that most of the calls they've received were against it. A quick show of hands also indicated that most of us weren't in favor of it either. Lioneld said that they haven't even seen the budget yet and that there might be things they could eliminate. He mentioned $10,000 for a city council retreat. Yeah, that really needs to go. Also mentioned was that Fayetteville was going through an adjustment right now and the sales tax from Sam's Club and the Malco Theater could make up the difference next year. If they raised the tax and the sales taxes went up the city wouldn't reduce the property tax. The city would get use to the increased tax money and continue to spend at that level. If the city council makes some adjustments to the budget and watches it carefully next year I think they can get people to approve a tax increase if it's needed. They are just going to have to work to keep people informed on what's happening to it.

Forest Hills Development on Wedington Drive

A new development is going in on Wedington Drive. I guess the place to build developments is on Wedington. The developers presented their project at the Ward 4 meeting last night. This development will have retail stores on Wedington itself with condominiums, townhomes and single family homes south of the retail stores. Wal-Mart is planning to put in a Neighborhood Market as the major store in the development. I've been hoping for a Neighborhood Market, so that'll be really nice. Of course, most of the concerns about the development is about the traffic, or the flow of traffic in and around the development. Wedington is going to be really, really congested.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Diaper Donors

If there is any way to get money from people, politicians are going to find it. With all due respect to Senator McCain, it is darn near impossible to stop improper campaign contributions. People are going exploit any loophole they find effectively and enthusiastically.
Although campaign finance laws set a limit of $2,300 per donor per campaign, they do not explicitly bar donors based on age. And young donors abound in the fundraising reports filed by presidential contenders this year.

I'm waiting for these families to start using their pets as donors. Heck, if they get caught the politicians just return the money.

Under the Weather

I've been a bit swamped at work this week. There's a lot I trying to catch up with. I've been dragging some of my work home. So, instead of blogging I've been working on quality improvement reports. Tigger wasn't feeling all that well Tuesday. He didn't eat at all that day and just slept. He's usually trying to get outside or getting me to give him a treat. Anyway, he's better now, just a 24 hr bug. Wednesday morning he jump on the bed trying to get me up to get him his breakfast.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Fires

I've gotten a e-mail from my uncle who lives in San Diego.
We are quite safe at 20 to 30 miles from any of the fire fronts and most of that is urbanized area with lots of fire hydrants along the streets. I don’t feel any potential threat at all. Our worst problem is that some of the power lines that feed the city are down and they say we are to cut back on use to prevent overloading the remaining lines.
I’m sure that the media is in the usual hyper mode of broadcasting, looking for any small bit of sensationalism to expand into headlines. But no, not all of San Diego is in flames. This is not to minimize the size of the fire and the horror for those who are living trough it. The fire of ’03 was said to be the biggest to ever hit the state and 200 homes were lost. So far, on Tuesday morning, they say that this fire has claimed 1000 homes. The 100,000 acres of fire is big, but it is less than 4% of the area of the county, and much of it is hillside brush land. Consider that some of the homes lost were on “Twisted Ranch Road”. Some people chose to live out in the ‘boonies’ hidden back in the hills. The evacuation of 300,000 people is a huge effort, although I’m not certain that all who were directed to go, have really done so. The evacuation areas comprise about 4 times the size of the actual fire areas. The concerted effort of evacuation is somewhat an over reaction to the failures during the ’03 fire where they ignored the danger in its early stages. But some of the people who stayed behind in ’03 to try and save their homes were the ones who died. 16 died in the ’03 fire, 1 has died this year.
We are safe and secure with our worst issue is the smoke in the air that they say is unhealthy for too much exercise so we rest for a few days.

I've lived in L.A. for 8 years and there were always a fire danger. One year one of the fires was close to where I lived. I watched the fire from my balcony. I've hiked those hills and canyons many times. They are very steep and covered with trees, bushes, and grass. It was almost always really dry. Even the hills I hiked by the coast were dry. When you get those Santa Ana winds whipping through those canyons it's darn near impossible to stop any fires.
Definitely need to pray for the protection for those fighting the fires and those supporting them and that those darn Santa Ana winds would subside.

Bill Clinton, Force Poor People to Contribute

President Clinton, in a speech this weekend, bemoaned the fact that people with little money in their pockets aren't giving enough of it away.
More people without deep pockets need to give to charity, former President Bill Clinton said Monday to a group of people who donated the most money in the nation last year. "I think it's important for us to keep trying to find ways to get more people involved in this kind of work in an intelligent way," Clinton said in an address to the Slate 60 conference held at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Yeah, he really wants us to donate to his own charitable foundation. I wonder how much money he pays himself for running that foundation. Yup, us little people with less money really need to feel like our donations also could make a difference in the pockets of people like Clinton who run these foundations. Give us a break! We know that our money mostly ends up paying for administrative costs rather than any one that actually needs it.
Not only are we suppose to put on money in Clinton's pocket but he wants to turn schools into child labor camps. Yeah, force those kids to work on government and private projects.
Clinton suggested that middle school students be required to participate in community service projects and that each American high school form its own non-governmental organization and pick its own project, whether its in the neighborhood or across the globe.

I really think it's the parents job to teach their kids about giving and volunteering their gifts and talents for the benefit of others. The government has no business forcing kids to work on local community projects. Giving or volunteering needs to been done freely without coercion.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Harry Reid/Rush Limbaugh Smear Letter

Ok, I admit it. I've been watching Rush's letter on E-Bay for the past hour. Like everyone else I've been entranced by how high the bidding has gone. Rush's comments about how serious bidders work makes me think he's done some E-Bay shopping too.
The bidding is over! Amazing! I never thought that the bidding would go so high. This auction was an absolutely brilliant idea. Rush has taken on the Senate's abuse of power and has turn it to a positive. Harry Reid and the other 40 Senators have been thoroughly embarrassed. Heh! Reid even tried to horn in at the last hour. He still hasn't the decency to apologize to Rush!
I don't expect our own Senator Blanche Lincoln to match the bid but the least she could do is to make a donation to the The Marine Corp - Law Enforcement Foundation. I've made my donation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Eli, Treed!

Um, could some one get me down?

More cats at Friday Ark

The Expanded S-CHIP, Dead

Thank God, the attempt by the Democrat Party to override the President's veto died. Hopefully this sends the message to the Democrat Party that we don't want socialized national health care. Yeah, Nancy Pelosi let the cat out of the bag on the Democrat's true intent. She argued today that we should follow every other industrialized nation in providing government coverage for all children, thus revealing the real agenda behind this S-CHIP expansion.

The Republicans are actually planning to do something about saving the children’s health care program. They are introducing an alternative to the Democrat's S-CHIP. It will be based on the on proposed by the Heritage Foundation. It calls for the re-authorization of the S-CHIP for uninsured children in families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Second, it calls for child health care tax credit for families with incomes between 200 percent and 300 percent of the FPL. Lastly, adopt a "federalism" health care initiative, helping the states find more efficient ways of using existing federal and state funds to increase insurance coverage.

Hopefully the Democrats won't bring any more national health care legislation at least until the Presidential election is over. I hope the Republicans get their act together so we don't have to face Clinton in the White House again.

TB Infected Illegal

I think this may be part of the the terrorists plot. Just keep sending illegals across the border infected with a highly contagious, drug resistant disease. You can kill hundreds or thousands of Americans.
I believe I know where this guy could be hiding. He could be in one of these safe houses designed for illegals crossing the border.
Inside the small solar-powered structure migrants can find water, some food and a touch screen. Drawing upon traveler graffiti, pictograms, and the Mexican tradition of ex-voto painting, migrants are invited to use the interface and share something about themselves and their journey with the homeowner and anyone who's interested. Migrants can either draw, write messages, or make a pictogram from ready-made graphical icons.

The only thing that's missing is the vending machine for the fake drivers license, social security cards and birth certificates.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Up Again!

Somehow I didn't receive the brand new, up and running notice from these guys.

OneUps, Playing the Music of Games

One of our local bands is getting some national coverage.
On the first night of this year’s Penny Arcade Show in Seattle, scores of gamers gathered to hear the OneUps. Not many in the audience had ever heard of the seven-piece video-game cover band from Fayetteville, Ark.

Yeah, I didn't know there was such a music genre. The things you learn.
It was a particularly sweet moment for OneUps founder Mustin, who also plays bass and keyboards. He had been working a long time to get the band — and video game music — the respect he thought it deserved. But until that night, their gigs hadn’t really drawn much of a crowd.

Congratulations guys, hope you have a long run of success. Here's a sample of their music, playing at Scarpino's.

Finding the Right Shoes

I have been on a quest to find some shoes. As I'm growing older my feet are getting flatter and it's getting hard to find shoes that fit. It's also very hard to find a really nice looking professional shoe that isn't a high heel. I managed to find some Merrells that fit the bill, except they were a little tight. I took them to the College Shoe Repair and got them stretched to fit. Duane was really nice taking them back a couple of times until I was satisfied. Then, he didn't charge me for them. Thanks Duane!

President Bush, Rogers, Arkansas

I was fortunate enough to be one of the people invited to hear President Bush at the John Q. Hammons Center. He started by announcing 49 months of consecutive job growth. He spoke about putting policies in place to help small business and that running up taxes was the worse thing to do for small businesses. Congress, he said, was planning to add a $205 billion increase to the budget and in order to pay for it they would have to raise taxes. He complained that Congress has yet to send him an appropriation bill to sign. He said that there was going to be a "Fiscal Showdown" in Washington.
The rest of the time President Bush took questions from the audience. He defended his veto of the S-CHIP saying it "sounds like nationalized medicine". He said the program should provide for the poor children that the current S-CHIP isn't providing for instead of expanding free health care to the upper middle class. He believes that people should be offer a private insurance they can afford.

One question came from a dairy farmer who complained about the cost of corn and about the enforcement of illegal immigration laws. President Bush said that he agreed with people that we should enforce our immigration laws and protect the border. He sounded very angry that the comprehensive "amnesty" bill was defeated. It sounded like he was very sympathetic to the farmer because he wanted to cut costs by hiring the cheap illegals to work his farm. One of the last questions came from our very own Mayor Dan Coody. Yes! He was there! Well, you expect him to be invited but you don't actually believe that he'd show up. Anyway, he ask a question about his favorite subject, economic sustainability. President Bush said that we needed to grow our economy and still have a sound environmental policy. He said we needed to focus on new technology to help. He said we can't be a good steward of the environment if we're broke.
President Bush does really well at this type of venue. While I don't always agree with him, I did enjoy hearing him speak.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Catherine Forsythe, Prayers

My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris Muir and his family. I am so sorry that Catherine has lost her battle with cancer. May God extended an over abundance of mercy and grace to your family as you go through this difficult time.

Nobel Peace Prize, The True Winners

Oh, well said! Bravo! I couldn't have come up with a better list of people better deserving of the Noble Peace Prize instead of Al Gore. I can't think of anyone less deserving of the Prize than that man.
These men and women put their own lives and livelihoods at risk by working to rid the world of violence and oppression. Let us hope they survive the coming year so that the Nobel Prize Committee might consider them for the 2008 award.

Here! Here!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Fall Weather is Here

At last, the Autumn temperatures are here. No more warm and muggy afternoons. Eli loves to sleep the afternoon away on the front porch. That way he can take a little snooze and still watch out for that cat across the street.

Tigger joins Eli on the front porch taking the other chair. He's a little more distracted by the traffic in the street.

More cats at Friday Ark

Fayetteville, Taxes Slam

So, we have the city of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville School District and Washington County all considering increasing the property tax millage. I just wonder what these politicians are thinking? Do they really think people are going to want to pay a triple slam in property tax increases. People aren't going to be particularly happy with more taxes especially after just receiving an assessment change from the County Assessor. Mayor Coody may be complaining now about the current reduction in sales tax revenues, just wait until people start paying these taxes. The sales tax revenues could dip even lower.

Al Gore Chasing the Medal, Inconvenient Untruths

Well, it appears that Al Gore is probably going to get the Nobel Peace Prize. The Prize Committee continues it's new tradition of selecting people who have done more to bring misery to the people of the world.
I wonder what Al's speech is going to be like. "Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen, for this Award which I so richly deserve. The film "An Inconvenient Truth" will hopefully kill more poor than either Jimmy Carter or Yasser Arafat have. I am please at the news that already food shortages have hit places like Mexico, France, England and even the U.S. I am especially please with the shortage of food grains, countries will be sending less food to poverty stricken people in Africa and Asia. Who knows how many millions more people will starve to death. I am not at all worried about that stupid English Judge who caught on to my lies. I'll still be able to infiltrate the system and spread my lies to the little children."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Yawn! Another Debate

O God! Another debate! The big news, Fred Thompson debuts. Most people were hoping that Chris Matthews would act like an ass. Some one must have told him to act civil. Too bad he didn't, it would have liven up the debate. I scrolled through some sites live blogging. I like that better than actually watching it. Live Blogging comments here and here

Monday, October 08, 2007

One Billion Bulbs

One Billion Bulbs Instapundit Readers Bulbs Change Statistics

I was reminded by Glenn's boasting that I needed to add a few more bulbs. One thing I have discovered about these bulbs is that they take about 30 secs to brighten to their fullest. If you have a room that you need instant bright light don't put change to one of these lights. I tried to put one in my bathroom and found I was fumbling around in dim light.

S-CHIP And America's New Poor

You know, I thought that I was doing fairly well financially until I read the financial status of the Frosts. We were introduced to the Frost family by way of the Democrat's Saturday morning radio address. The Frost's son, Graeme, was pulling on the heartstrings of us heartless Republicans for not supporting the expanded S-CHIP. He and his sister were severely injured in a car accident and were financial supported from S-CHIP.
Well, the story could have ended there except a Freeper started investigating the Frost family. icwhatudo found that the Fosters weren't as financially distress as the Democrats presented them. Which led "icwhatudo" to question
One has to wonder that if time and money can be found to remodel a home, send kids to exclusive private schools, purchase commercial property and run your own business... maybe money can be found for other things...maybe Dad should drop his woodworking hobby and get a real job that offers health insurance rather than making people like me (also with 4 kids in a 600sf smaller house and tuition $16,000 less per kid and no commercial property ownership) pay for it in my taxes.

I am definitely less well off than the Frosts. They are sure living a lot higher on the hog than me, yet the Democrat Party expects me to pay for their health care costs. It is absolutely absurd to expand the S-CHIP to cover families in the upper middle class. The Frosts lack of insurance is not because of the lack of opportunity or resources but because the Frosts refuse to pay for it. They prefer some one else do it, while they enjoy life's luxuries.
This is the biggest problem with the S-CHIP. The new bill will cover more than 9 million kids at a cost of $60 billion. It will be paid for with a 61-cent hike in the tobacco tax. That tax will hit the poor hardest, they are the ones that can't afford the new tax. Since they can't afford it they will have to quit smoking, if they can. So, the expected revenue to cover the expanded S-CHIP program doesn't materialize. The program goes into the red and where do you think Congress is going to look for that money?
In addition, those it helps aren't poor. Under the new bill, families earning $83,000 a year could be eligible. If this bill were targeted at just the poor, President Bush and the Republicans wouldn't oppose it. But it isn't. It's a new, massively expanded middle-class entitlement that I am going to have to pay for.

Governor Beebe's Arkansas Global Warming Lie

John Anderson at The Citizen's Journal picked up a little untruth uttered by Governor Beebe on his weekly radio address. Beebe was spewing the global warming swill and John points out this quote
This was Arkansas’s hottest summer on record, and the evidence that our Earth is warming cannot be ignored.

John goes out to the National Weather Service and discovers
The Weather Service Reports that 2007 was the 12th hottest summer on record since 1880 and August was the hottest August since 1954 but not in terms of average temps, in contrast July was the coolest July since 2004.

Why would Governor Beebe state such an obvious error? Did he deliberately lie to scare people to agreeing to the proposals that his commission are going to come up with. They are undoubtedly going to make you give up something or cost you money (taxes). He could be just repeating information some one fed to him, in which case that person needs to be fired because he/she is totally incompetent. Of course, they could be relying on NASA for their data, but NASA has been having problems with Hansen's Y2K bug. Or else they could have been using those temperature reading devices that have been improperly located or badly constructed.
In any case, Governor Beebe is just vomiting up the global warming crap without any regard to the truth. It's amazing how blatantly they just make up with this alarmist claptrap and expect people to believe it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Catnip High

I added more dried catnip to the scratching box. Tigger loves catnip! He had a really good time rolling all over the box, in between a couple of really good sniffs.

More cats at Friday Ark

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Saga of Red Oak Park Continues

Solving the erosion problem at Red Oak Park has been put on hold again. The Fayetteville City Council wants to hear more possible solutions to the erosion beside eliminating some trees. Dale Evans of the Game and Fish Commission has modified his solution to the erosion. It saves additional trees but a fair number will still come down. Carole Jone, Park Planner, said that of the proposed trees to be removed, 47% are already compromised and consider unsavable. The idea of having a retention pond at the south end was brought up but there isn't enough room for one and the erosion problem still needs to be addressed.
Aubrey brought up the idea of having the residents of all the neighborhoods put in a rain garden so that there would be little water draining into the park. It's a nice idea, but you can't force people to put in a rain garden. You have to get them to volunteer. That isn't going to be easy. It's hard enough to get people to mow their lawns. I can't imagine the problem of trying to maintain a rain garden. Another problem is the high number of rentals in the neighborhoods. The owners are not going to put in something that requires maintenance. The actually number of residents volunteering to put in a rain garden is going to be too few to solve the problem. However, it is worth it to help those residents who are interested in a rain garden. Any little bit helps.

Woodstock Community, Approved

Last night the Fayetteville City Council approved the Woodstock Community off of Wedington Ave. I would image construction will start fairly soon. Yuck! Hank Broyles did make some changes to accommodate neighborhood concerns. Building heights were changed on those directly facing Wedington and 46th street. Actually only half of the building heights were change, but it was the ones facing houses across the street that were reduced. There are a number of changes for 46th street. There are going to be 2 speed tables installed (really smart idea) and an extended sidewalk on one side. I really appreciate the changes Hank has made. I'm still going to save money to move. I still think I'm going to have a hard time living next a commercial, high density community. By the time I've saved enough money I'll know for sure.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fayetteville, Raising Taxes

Fayetteville is considering raising taxes, again. The City Council met Saturday to discuss the budget. What the NWA News reported on Sunday really ticked me off. More specifically what Mayor Coody is reported to have said ticked me off.
Allen said people see the city is "trying to clean up the sewer debacle, " and just passed 1 cent sales tax for transportation projects, so many think city officials simply can’t manage money.
Coody took offense to Allen’s use of the word debacle when speaking about the $ 186 million Wastewater System Improvement Project, which was originally scheduled to cost $ 120 million and be finished in September 2005. Coody described being more than $ 70 million over budget and three years behind schedule as the project’s " only hiccup."

Mayor Coody may consider the excessive costs of the project as "only hiccup"; however, Fayetteville citizens consider the $70 million over budget as another bite out of their wallets. Then then was this utterly ridiculous statement,
Of course, residents also have a certain level of culpability, Coody said. " If they would just shop in Fayetteville we would’t have to have these discussions, " he said.

Good Lord! Was there a ordinance passed that said Fayetteville residents could only shop in Fayetteville? We have less spending money in our pockets. Our budgets are being hammered with increased gas and food costs. I received my letter from the Assessor and I know that I am going to be hit with higher property taxes in the next couple of years. In addition, the city is discussing how high to raise the water and sewer rates. I am not going to have a whole lot less money to spend.
It was expected as shopping opportunities opened up in other cities those residents would shop in their city rather than drive to Fayetteville. The Mayor and the City Council knew this, they've discussed it. While they knew they were going to lose some revenue to other cities they were anticipating to generate some revenue from the new Sam's Club and Malco Theater. I think it is utterly ridiculous to expect Fayetteville residents to pick up the deficient left by people shopping elsewhere, particularly with less money available to spend.