Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autographed Photo La-z-boy DWI Chair, Motorized Chair :eBay Motors (item 280416805135 end time Nov-03-09 19:17:54 PST)

Autographed Photo La-z-boy DWI Chair, Motorized Chair :eBay Motors (item 280416805135 end time Nov-03-09 19:17:54 PST)

If you can't afford to bid on the motorized DWI La-Z Boy chair on eBay (bid is at $37,300. , you can bid on a photo of the chair for $405.

The L'il Punkins With The Big Pumpkins

Fall Back Tonight -or- The Times They Are a Changing

Musings of an Uninspired Blogger

Yes, it is snowing again this morning. Those in southern climes can gloat. We must have had ten or more days it snowed in October this year. No "Indian summer" for us. Frazzled Minnesotans continue to shake trees to get those leaves down so we can rake before we are buried in white stuff. Global warming would prevent an accumulation of snow. The ground would stay warm. We could cope with a little snow as long as it didn't burying the fall crop of leaves.

Well intentioned dental groups are offering a buy-back of excessive Halloween candy. They pay 1$ / # for their young patients candy. Then the groups donates the candy to charity. One of the recipients (of the candy) is the food shelf. Go figure. Give the candy to the kids who can't afford dental care.

Don't drive drunk. We all assume this means don't drive a car drunk or an airplane either. Minnesota, where nothing is legal, there is a case of an man who tried to drive his Lazy-Boy recliner home from a bar while inebriated. He got fined, arrested and the chair was confiscated. The police are selling the motorized Lazy-Boy on eBay. Who knew you couldn't drive tipsy in a recliner?

WHile Bernie Madoff had the nations attention, Minnesota had two supposed entrepreniers scamming investors. Two who defrauded millions and billions while living the high life.
The trial of Tom Petters started this week. His lawyers admit his business was running a Ponzi scheme, but blame it on his employees. He was too busy doing charitable work to notice. The second guy, Denny Hecker, is having his holding auctioned to pay debtors. His lawyer wants half a million a month allowance for his client's living expenses. Nice try.
If they are found guilty I hope they are sentenced to serve in the main stream prisons. No cushy white collar jail please. Don't even house them with the sex offenders. Last week our governor was livid when he discovered that a state prison for sex offenders had purchased fifteen 50"flatscreen TVs for inmates use. He had the sets removed and installed in veterans homes or other worthy places. Hopefully they can get these guys to see the big picture another way. We have to try to reform them since we can't give them the "chair" in Minnesota.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We Are Doomed

It is Halloween week and I can get by with a little ghoulish blogging, can't I?
We are doomed. We have lost manufacturing jobs, status as #1 autobuilders for the world, and India and other emerging countries are doing cut-rate surgery with Drs. trained at our universities.

More bad news. Walmart is selling caskets online. Discount caskets that you can pay off over 12 months. The ultimate "lay away" plan. If that weren't bad enough, you can put the casket on your gift registry. REALLY. Casket as a gift is really a novel idea. Leave it to Walmart to sell everything from diapers to caskets. Wonder where those caskets are manufactured.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Playing Nice While Hooping It Up At the White House

The Democrat party has been the champion of political correctness. Feminists are not all Democrats but the more socially conservative Republican platforms of recent years have not been wildly appealing to the most left leaning women. I don't mean to offend anyone, but that is how I perceive things.
Imagine my amusement when President Obama was accused of not playing fair. He has a history of a 100% approval rating voting for liberal causes when he was a senator. Last week he was called to task for not inviting congresswomen to play basketball at the White House. They portended that not inviting women limited their ability to network with the boys. His reply, "That's bunk". He says he only invited an existing "team" who wanted to play at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
I was proud of him.
If Washington's political women have "Hoop dreams" they can always hula hoop with Michelle on the White House lawn. You have to play nice, girls.
Oh, oh, I probably P.O. 'd someone for calling them girls.
Nancy probably reacted to the president's answer with a frown. On second thought, I doubt it. Can't frown. Can't smile. Can't move that face.
Keep up the good work inspiring girls and women to exercise, Michelle. Pelosi and the gang may not like what you are doing, but I think Phyllis Schafly would have.
Is that really the White House back lawn in the picture?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flyover Land or Land-O-Nod

I was offended by the recent NWA debacle. While east coast and left coasters have referred to middle America as "flyover land", it was doubly disrespectful for our (formerly) own airline to not even bother to stop in Minneapolis. Flyover land indeed.
Concensus quickly grew that the pilot & co-pilot had fallen asleep. The aircraft was manned by the autopilot and the hum of engines on a mid-range flight could have lulled them to sleep. They deny this.
The piloting team claim they were distracted in a discussion over company policy. They lost situational awareness. That company policy discussion probably did not cover using laptops while on duty. That is verboten. Using their laptops is the second excuse we heard. What are we to believe? Two experienced pilots with 30,000 hrs of flight time were playing games, or reading the blogs or in a deep work related discussion?
The pilots are suspended and will probably be fired and have their licenses revoked.
The flying public will still be scarred. We cheered when Capt. Sully Sullenberger landed that plane on the Hudson river last year. People felt better when they saw gray hair on their plane's pilot. Now that confidence is eroding. The NWA pilots were in their 50's and should have known better than to get distracted or nap.

After a critical incident, management focuses on preventing a reoccurance. Maybe they can take some of my suggestions. Here they are:

Give the pilots plenty of caffeinated beverages but no key to the washroom. Try falling asleep with a full bladder.
Install a display like the one KLM uses on transatlantic flights. A simulated radar display tracks the plane on its route. If NWA had this, someone would have noticed in the cabin when it headed over Wisconsin.

Have new policy offering triple frequent flyer miles on miles when they "overfly".

Offer reduced fairs on childrens flying with a parent. Get more kids on those planes. Anyone who has traveled on a road trip with youngsters knows that they constantly ask, "Are we there yet?" Tired parents would ask the flight attendant who would notice if the plane wasn't descending or circling the airport when it should.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gone to Pot

I got an email attachment recently with a list of things to prevent the H1N1 flu. One of the recommendations was to use the Neti pot. Do you know what that it? It is a device for nasal irrigation. People who are trying to clear up infections or decrease virus or bacteria counts use them. The package on the above picture says to use it for daily nasal hygiene.
It looks like self-inflicted water boarding.
Some people swear by the Neti Pot. I have a phobia about drowning and will chose to suffer the flu or get the immunization if it is ever available. No pouring water up my nose for me. I have had two near drowning experiences in my life and cringe at the idea of this treatment. Even if I could tolerate it, I would put using it in the same category as being obsessed with colon cleansing. Noses are supposed to have mucus and colons.. well, you know.
Former VP Dick Cheney is writing his memoirs. Maybe he could defend his involvment with water boarding by claiming it was a public health measure.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hopping Down the Funny Trail

One of the morning "news" shows just had a guest touting kangaroo meat. The catch line (not exact quote, but close); everytime a prius owner drives to the market to buy meat it cancels out the savings in emissions.... was a grabber. Not that I have a Prius. Not that I am that worried, but what ???
His point? Ruminants produce methane gas. I don't think he blamed cows specifically but we knew what he meant. Maybe he learned the "Oprah lesson". Don't disparage beef on national TV. Remember her lawsuit in Texas a decade ago? She did a show about unsafe beef and it didn't go down well with beefraisers. Apparently it is safer to blame ruminants.

Gas. We blame the cows for producing methane clouds. Surprisingly the food police haven't come after people who burp in public---yet. One must tred lightly here. Wouldn't we need a Gas Czar and who would want that job? Would it be a gas tax or a fine?

In Minnesota we are serious about protecting the pork industry. We grow pigs like Texas grows steers. When we found pigs with H1N1 they blamed people for passing it to the pigs.

If you buy that ruminants are causing global warming and oinkers and birds carry flu we might want to do what the guy on Good Morning America suggests and eat kangaroo meat. It is probably another import and eating food grown closer to home is fashionable.
Does that mean we would have to build kangaroo feedlots in Kansas or have roos grazing on the range?
What would you call the guys on horses who round them up?
How high would the fences have to be?
Would they put up signs like the deer crossing signs that warn motorists?
Wouldn't those slaughterhouses be interesting with all that hopping and kicking. A kangaroo can take you out with its' tail.
Wouldn't truckdrivers get hazard pay for transporting a live load of kangaroos?

I think I'll stick to beef and pork. I may even drive to the store for my purchase.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Three Who Contracted Swine Flu May Have Been Killed

Three pigs. Three pigs who didn't live in brick houses and may now have been been sent to the slaughterhouse. These three pigs may have contracted "swine flu" from the teenage 4Hrs who got sick at our state fair inn August. The pigs got the swine flu from the kids. They deduced this from results of swabbing pig snouts at the fair. No pigs complained of symptoms at the time. None went to the fair nurse. There may have been a few wet noses but no one noticed pigs sneezing or coughing. We were reassured that there was no danger visiting the animal exhibits at the fair.

Note when this news was released---yesterday. It is important not to scare people away from attending the state fair or eating pork. Don't those tests come back sooner than that ? The kids tests came back faster. These same people are still reassuring us that it is safe to eat pork. Not to worry and I don't. The flu virus doesn't migrate to the muscle / meat. We cook pork thoroughly. The virus stays in the pigs' lungs. This may not be reassuring to the Chinese who might have cooked some of those lungs in their "hot pots". Ask my son Andy and nephew Peter who were probably served lung while on China visits.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What Does That Birth Certificate Say? -or- Salsa Dancing With the Stars

They are called the "birthers" and they ardently believe that the president is not qualified to have been elected president because he was born in Kenya. Other GOP voices disavow this , claiming there are other things to worry about like how are we ever going to pay back the gazillions we are spending.

While I did accept as fact that Barach was born in Hawaii in the past, I am now having second thoughts. New evidence has been shown that raises questions. Did you see the video of him dancing with the "hot" Latina singer at the White House concert?
He may be a Mexican. Since many Mexicans sneak across the border to give birth in the USA he might even have a valid birth certificate.
Being Hispanic would explain a lot. It makes more sense than his being a closet Black Muslim. It would explain why his wife and girls don't wear burqas and why he drinks beer in the Rose Garden. (Muslims don't drink alcohol.) It would explain why he has visited many other nations but not China. China has been known to quarantine Mexicans to stop the spread of Swine Flu.

Hispanics are rapidly approaching majority status. They may have voted him in. They probably like the Salsa dancing. Barach Obama may be in good standing with the Hispanic population after the dance but some aren't so sure how Michelle felt. Was that a cold shoulder? At least he didn't pat Thalia on the backside like Bill (the ex- president ) might have done.

What Does That Birth Certificate Say?

Monday, October 12, 2009


I heard on the radio this am that it is Chris Wallaces' birthday. He is 62. One is eligible for early retirement from SS at 62. It would be hard to retire when you dad, Mike Wallace, is still gainfully employed. Bet Chris keeps doing the Fox programs. I always thought of him as the kid. Sure dates me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

from the St. Paul Pioneer Press this am: This is our clinic

Stillwater / Sharing of health decisions advocated
Clinic gets grant to expand program
By Jeremy Olson

Stillwater Medical Group has received a grant to expand its shared decision-making program, in which patients are trained to work with their doctors in selecting the best medical or surgical options.
The funding from the Boston-based Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making allows the group's clinics to train male patients with enlarged prostates — a condition that isn't life-threatening and can be treated in multiple ways. The group has already used this approach on patients with breast and prostate cancers.
"They're typically conditions that have several different treatment options with the same long-term survival," said Joyce Kramer, an oncology nurse who provides the breast cancer training to patients. Selecting a treatment "becomes a matter of personal preference. What are your values? What's most important to you? What kind of side effects can you live with?"
The training typically involves a question-and-answer session with a nurse, and a DVD that reviews a patient's condition and treatment options. Kramer said the program has been meaningful for her breast cancer patients, who often see her right after being diagnosed but before they see a specialist to set a treatment plan.
"It's tough to go to the doctor and find out you have cancer," she said, "and then they start shooting all those decisions at you."
Stillwater Medical Group was one of the first small clinic groups to test shared decision-making,
which has been shown in research studies to improve patient satisfaction and confidence and reduce spending on unnecessary or questionable procedures. In the case of an enlarged prostate, for example, a man's treatment options vary from surgery to doing nothing.
In the case of breast cancer, women may have a tumor surgically removed from one breast or they may have both breasts removed entirely to eliminate any possible recurrence.
The potential cost savings of shared decision-making has caught the attention of lawmakers, who have proposed incentives in federal health reform bills so that more clinics will offer it. Critics question whether the approach is a veiled form of rationing and whether information provided to patients is complete and will remain updated.
In a news release issued Friday, the Boston foundation listed the Stillwater group as one of 10 grant recipients. Dr. Michael Barry, the foundation president, credited these recipients for "changing the face of health care by inviting patients to play an active role."
Kramer said the grant is a significant step forward for the Stillwater group. Previously, specialists ordered the training for cancer patients. Now the option will be available to the group's primary care doctors when they diagnose a patient with an enlarged prostate — which typically occurs in middle-aged and older men and can cause disruptions or pain during urination.
While insurance companies support shared decision-making, they typically don't pay for the training visits between patients and nurses. The financial justification for Kramer's training has instead come through the increasing number of patients who stay with the Stillwater group for their cancer care — instead of going to other cancer centers.
"The goal is ... to have an informed patient that can make a decision," she said. "Then they're invested because they were part of that decision."
Eventually, the Stillwater doctors plan to offer training in shared decision-making to patients with diabetes and low back pain.

Snow Daze

View from our deck this morning was light snow cover. We haven't finished with our fall chores. This snow better melt. I raked a little yesterday but most of leaves haven't fallen. With the freeze last night three ash trees in the front have dropped green leaves. The leaves freeze and when the morning sun hits them there is a shower of leaves. I am debating whether or not to rake.

Our arborist / tree guys came yesterday to take down the storm damaged tree in the corner of backyard. The tree split at the fork and one big branch was leaning across the neighbor's yard. It was a dangerous tree to remove because it sits up near the neighbors fences. I prayed and held my breath when they felded the trunk. I looked like it would hit the garage. They gauged it accurately and it landed in the yard. That is an occupation not for sissies like me. Wouldn't want to climb trees and cut them down.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pride Cometh Before the Winter

There was hyped interest in last night's Vikings vs. Packers game. We have their recycled ex quarterback after he got refired and re-employed. Packer fans run the gamut from continuing to like Favre but disappointed he plays for the purple and gold to burning their #4 Favre jerseys.
Favre, who turns 40 today, still can toss that ball. He looked awesome and the Vikings looked reinvigorated.
We are wary fans in this state. We have had our hopes dashed too often. Those my age remember those 70's years when they went to the super bowl four times and lost four times.
After last nights' triumph it still might be wise for Vikes fans to show a little humility. Chances are Favre's replacedment, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, will still be playing for Green Bay in two or three years. Chances are Brett the Viking won't. We have yet to see if he will still be awesome by winter which seems to be arriving early.
Snow if predicted this week. Snow. We went from cool summer to above average September temps and skipped right over fall. Most of the leaves are still green. Could we really get buried in snow and have the leaves fall on top of that? It seems impossible but so did getting Brett Favre as our quarterback. Prepare to be surprised.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Life in a Bubble

Woo Hoo! This weekend was the last scheduled Minnesota Twins baseball game in the dome. A lot of planning went into a program commemorating Twins memories the last 27 years in the building. It was supposed to be the swan song. Then the team won the last three games and tied the Detroit Tigers for division champ. There will be at least a one more game Tuesday in the dome with the Tigers. If they win, there will be playoff games. What a nice finish.

The Metrodome (A.K.A Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome) was dissed by many from its opening. We like our baseball in the open air. When our kids were younger we occasionally attended an outdoor game at the old Met. It was great when the sun was shining, but not so great when it was a rain out.
When the dome was built it was more common to name a building or stadium in someone's honor: hence Humphreydome. Now it is about getting corporate sponsorship. Pillsbury is headquartered here and I believe we could have gone for "the Pillsbury Doughboy".

Viking fans braved frigid late fall / early winter weather outdoors. Team owners wanted a weather-proof arena. They built the dome. They built it for about 50 million $$$$$. That sounded like a lot of money at the time, but is a fraction of what is spent now on new stadiums. It was also leased by three teams. Of courses that didn't pay all the cost. We did what we usually do. We taxed someone else to pay for what we wanted. Sound like a familiar scenario?

The dome opened spring of 1982. Our kids attended some of the earlier games with their cousins who moved to Florida that summer. They saw rookie Kirby Puckett play. Kent Hrbek was a young first baser. They are still among the most popular players we have seen in Minnesota.

When the Twins brought the World Series to our door in 1987 everyone here was a Twins fan. Such excitement. Such memories. Our oldest was an avid Twins fan. He was a freshman away from home for the first time but his friend Jeff slept on the sidewalk inline for tickets to the playoffs and series. What a friend. They went together.

The desire for outdoor baseball will be fulfilled next spring when the Twins play in their new downtown stadium. For now we stay focused on winning again in that old ugly metrodome---the building we love to hate. The eulogies are like those at a funeral for an aunt no one liked. You only say the good things.

Go Twins.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Minnesota Sports-o-rama But No Obama

The Presidents' Olympic bid didn't turn out like he wanted. Chicagoans are long faced but Brazialians are ecstatic. Brazil is enjoying a thriving economy while the USA is putting everything on the charge card. I don't feel bad about letting them have the games. Haven't host cities spent billions to get ready for the Olympics? Who has that in their budget in this country.

Local TV sportscasters are drooling about this weekend in local sports. They don't seem to be sad because of the lost Olympics. Supposedly if Chicago had gotten the nod, the soccer games would have been played here. Bit of a stretch, isn't it? Chicago is 450 miles away.

Here is what is going on in the metro in sports this weekend:
The U of MN Golden Gophers are playing the Wisconsin Badgers in our new "Bank" stadium.
We are still celebrating the new on campus TCF gorgeous stadium. Football returned to the Big Ten U campus after 28 years. Wisconsin is our arch rival.
The MN Wild hockey team begin the season. We have avid hockey fans and a great downtown arena in St. Paul.
The Twins are playing their last game. They won yesterday and the #1 Detroit Tigers lost leaving the Twins one game out from division championship. They could do this. This is the last year they are playing at the Metrodome and it would be a grand way to leave. They have won two World Series in that stadium and a third would be a great closer. It could happen.

Playing a World Series might make up for the new corporate name. Since the Vikings are the last tennants in the dome, they were allowed to sell naming rights for several million dollars. It is now called "Mall of America Field @ Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome". It is miles from the Mall of America which incidentally is built on the site of our old baseball stadium. Locally the Mall of America goes by the acronym MOA so we can call it the MOA @ HHH.

We won't have to call it MOA @ HHH for long. The Vikings Corp. announced they aren't renewing their contract and threaten to leave town if they don't get their new stadium. They feel left out. The Gophers and Twins each got new venues and the Vikes didn't. They have wanted a bigger, better stadium than this old '81 model for years. The team usually self-destructs at the end of the season and there is no mood in Minnesota to give it to them. We are in deep doodoo financially in this state and don't have an extra $800,000,000.00.
This year management must feel frisky with Brett Favre at the helm. While everyone else is rooting for him to continue to do well, I have mixed feelings. I think I will cheer him on Monday night when the Vikings play Green Bay. That old rivalry will be heightened now that we have their boy wonder in purple. After that I don't care if the Vikings lose the last few games. That Gopher football team gives us a nice alternative.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Twins

Not toddler twins, twin towers this time. Picture is the Petronas Twin Towers in Kaula Lampur in Malaysia. My nephew Peter is traveling on business and staying there. When news of the earthquakes in that part of the world hit, I consulted a map. Reassuring word from him today that they didn't feel any shock waves where he is. My sister will breath easier when he is home again. Keep him in your prayers for safe travel and a safe stay.