Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Manure on Ethanol

Saying for the Day:Making money selling manure is better than losing money selling musk. - Egyptian (on buying and selling)

When we first realized there was an energy crisis some clever scientist came up with ethanol as one solution. It burned cleaner than gasoline and it was renewable. In addition it gave our hard pressed farmers another market. It seemed perfect.
But then the negative people started in on it.
It seems that it takes one and a quarter gallons of fossil fuel to produce one gallon of ethanol. The fuel provides the heat. If you use a petroleum product to heat the mash you have done nothing to end our dependence on foreign oil. If you use coal you have done nothing to cut the CO2 output. If all that wasn’t bad enough we found ourselves in a world wide food crisis and it made no sense to be turning food into fuel.
It looked like the end for ethanol.
But now our good friends in Texas have come up with a solution.
Cow manure to be exact. You can burn it to provide the heat needed to make ethanol. It burns very clean. The residue is a cattle food product and so is the ultimate in recycling. Texas has lots of manure . So does Wisconsin.
In fact what to do with manure has been a problem.
So we cut down our dependence on fossil fuels on the one hand and get rid of big piles of manure on the other. It’s a win win situation.
Further some researchers have now discovered that you can make better quality ethanol out of certain grasses than you can out of corn. So ethanol may yet be one of the future fuels that we need.
We live in such a strange world. Whoever thought that cow manure would be an answer and not a problem. I certainly didn’t when I shoveled it out of the cow barn into that big stinky pile. And we only had two cows. Pony manure was no better, I might add. To think I was shoveling what might be the future of alternative fuels.
It boggles the mind.
It didn’t look like the future. It didn’t smell like the future.
I guess I just didn’t have the imagination needed to look at manure and see the car running.
But somebody in Texas did.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. April is almost over and the kids of Pigeon Falls are looking forward to the end of school. As the days go by it will be harder and harder to teach them. They will dreaming of swiming up at the Lake of The Loons. They will be getting out the baseball stuff and checking bycycles. School will no longer be their prime concern. Oh! They will put up with that last month and couple of weeks but it will be torture. To sit in that class room and look out the window at the real world where summer fun is waiting might be construed as cruel and unusual punishment if they were adults. But , of course, there are the weekends. The two days a week that the adult world paroles them.
Last weekend, already, some kids went swimming in the Lake of the Loons. The ice had hardly melted and there they were swimming. That should have been a parole revoking offense. But instead a couple of fathers joined in. Does one need to bond with one’s child so badly that one is willing to turn blue with cold. When those kids are back in school one of the dads may still be shivering. He might even end up visiting the clinic.
This is the time of year when picnic season begins. One doesn’t mean little family picnics but big overly planned group gathering. Every year there is the Last Lutheran Congregational Picnic, The Liar’s Club Kick Off Picnic, The End of Year School Picnic, The Stewer Family Reunion Picnic, The Methodist Sunday School Picnic, The Knights of Columbus Thank You Picnic, and a half dozen more. There will be pasties galore, ice cream by the tub, all kinds of dishes to pass, and plenty of pop . Most of the picnics will be alcohol free. This is picnic not party time.

Today's Link-Pilot Mom-The Cutting edge of Invention-Don't miss this.
Oxygen was very low this morning six points below the bottom of normal. But the day went fine. We repacked the track I sold on eBay yesterday since the same person bought all three sets. We saved him $12 in postage. Then we worked in the basement. We put three more sets together to sell next week. We also counted the little ceramic houses and will sell them on the local sales thing. Then I visited some blogs but not all my links. Now I need a breathing treatment.
From the archives-Betty sorting in the basement.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Cable Company

Saying for the day: I wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence. There's a knob called "brightness," but that doesn't work. ~Author Unknown

I have a confession to make this morning.
It may shock you.
You may say “ Dr. John how could you?”
I know I’m not supposed to but-
I Like my cable company.
Please don’t think less of me.
I know we are supposed to hate the cable company.
I know they are supposed to be the villains.
I know that cable companies get thousands of complaints every year.
I know comedians make jokes about them.
I know all of that.
Every day Dish Network tells me that in well crafted commercials.
They show me the crooks that run the cable company planning to trick me.
They don’t want me to know how few HDTV channels they have.
The guys in the commercials are real slime.
Dish Network is willing to save me. They have lots of HDTV channels. They start at a low price.
I know they told me.
I must have seen those commercials a hundred times.
But I still like my cable company.
1.I am not watching a TV set with HDTV. So I could care less how many of those channels it has.
2, I’m getting a good picture and lots of choices.
3. There is no long term commitment. I could quit tomorrow. Dish wanted me to sign up for a year to get the good rates.
4. They provide my telephone and my internet. The entire cost is what I paid for internet and phone alone with AT&T.
5. When I have a problem ,which has been only once, a local person helps me out. With AT&T I ended up talking to a guy in India who didn’t have the slightest idea why my internet was gone.
So I like them.
I’m sorry ! I just can’t help myself.
I almost wish they would be rude or provide bad service then I could join with the thousands Dish says complain every year.
But they aren’t and I can’t.
I just like my cable company.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Pigeon Falls is as quiet as it ever gets. The dragon hasn’t been back for almost a week, the white rabbit hasn’t been seen in ages, and even Nancy’s poltergeist has slowed down . Now it floats a cup or two but nothing big. People are going about their day to day lives working in the mine, the mill, on the farm, or exploiting tourists. They have put up a big new billboard that you can see from the incoming train and the road. It says “ Stop in Pigeon Falls where Dragons visit”. It hides the old “ State Football Champions” sign. In Pigeon Falls dragons rate higher than football. Besides last year the New Potatoes lost almost every game. One wonders if Petrovich has a driblet for that.
Nancy says that conversations in the coffee shop are also back to normal. People are talking about Bonnie McGregor’s coming twins and the possibility that Mrs. Petrovich is having twins as well. They are talking about the possibility that the last mine might shut down. They are talking about whose husband was so drunk he never made it home last night and ended up sleeping in somebody’s cow barn. You know the usual small town gossip. Nancy says it is not gossip it is information exchange.
Petrovich still hasn’t posted his latest driblet to his website. He says he wants it to be as good a translation as he can make. Besides he has been busy working on his room at the museum.
The Tommy Club is planning to go looking for the cave with the eggs again next weekend. Tommy UK says he has some ideas that might narrow the search area.

Today's Link-Short and Sweet Like Me-Her first day at work or scroll down and read about Eureka.
It was a good day. Breathing was a little rough. Bety went to Bible Study. My new Scientific American came so I spent part of the day reading and catching up on what's happening in the world of science. I played a computer game. I visited some blogs. I fixed the St. Mark's website. If you hit the button for last Sunday's bell choir you got the senior choir instead. Now I need a breathing treatment.
Picture from the Train Show on Sunday-

Monday, April 28, 2008

Last of the hundred

Saying for the Day:Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you

The last of the one hundred facts about me.
76. I made too many mistakes to count in my first parish.
77. I lasted three years.
78. God and Dr. Matson got me a call to Crystal Falls.
79. I intended to stay there four or five years.
80. I stayed as Pastor thirty five. My long range planning was never good.
81. United was like heaven. It had history without the anchor. “ We never did it that way” didn’t apply because of the merger. We were old and new at the same time.
82. I set about making the church handicapped accessible.
83. We ramped the main entrance and got rid of the steps.
84. We added a new wing to the church that allowed one to get into the fellowship hall without going up and down the stairs.
85. The new wing had an office for me and the secretary. The poor secretary had to put up with me.
86. When Peter was ten I died. An old ear infection, never really cleared went to the brain. My heart stopped.
87. They restarted it. Father Gondeck anointed me and I was rushed to Green Bay.
88. On Christmas Eve I was operated on. ( The ear not the brain)
89. The pills I took after surgery to prevent seizures left me in more of a fog than usual.
90. The doctor said that fifty per cent of the people who had what I had got seizures the other fifty per cent didn’t.
91. I quit taking the pills. I didn’t fall down.
92. At some point the community made me Citizen of the Year ( they were short good candidates that year).
93. I got elected School Board President.
94. I died again. This time they rushed me to Marquette.
95. I spent some time in a coma where I had delightful hallucinations.
96. I came out of the coma ( sort of) and found I could no longer walk.
97. They taught me to walk again. It was painful.
98. They sent me home on a ventilator and taught my wife to run it. They said I would be on it for the rest of my life ( all four experts).
99. My children talked me into going to Mayo's.
100. Mayo's took me off the ventilator. ( They had better experts)
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. The children’s choir sang at Last Lutheran yesterday. Children’s singing is always beautiful but it also brings a little comic relief to the service. Yesterday Bobbie Fosco, who is a first grader, stood on one leg and twirled around while waving at his mother . He didn’t sing a note but the congregation enjoyed his performance. His mother, however, didn’t. She wished she was somewhere else.
People are getting used to being seen by the nurse practitioner or the Physician’s Assistant instead of old Doc Simpson. Pigeon Falls still hasn’t found a new Doctor willing to come an work there. Old Doc Simpson now checks on the clinic twice a week. He reviews what his assistants have done and he sees a few patients. When the others run into things outside their ability they refer them to specialists in Iron Mountain or Iron River. The system is working .
Pigeon Falls once had three Doctors. One of them with the bedside manner of Dr. House on TV. He once listed the cause of death for a lady as gross fat. But he was a great diagnostician.
Mrs. Petrovich was seen going to the clinic by one of those people who always seem to see things. The observer told Nancy that this proves Mrs. Petrovich is pregnant. Nancy said it might just prove she has the flue.
Today's Link-Iowa Grasslands- Some deep thoughts on a big truck.
It was a good day but hard breathing. I wish I knew what made one day good and another bad. Betty went to the dentist so the morning breathing treatment was late. Today I visited all my links. That's a lot of blogs. Turtles were big today. Lots of turtles. I also did a little more work on St. Mark's website. My sister Dawn called. Now I need a breathing treat,ment.
Our tulips today-

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Children's Sermon

Saying for the Day: Courage is fear that has said its prayers. ~Dorothy Bernard
I have to keep this short. Pennie and I are doing the children’s sermon at St. Mark’s today. We need to work on it a little more. Children scare me. Well then so does Pennie in a children’s sermon. I never know what her puppet is going to say next,
In addition to the children’s sermon Betty and I are greeting. We are going to meet the members of St. Mark’s hand over hand. That makes me nervous too. I keep thinking of Monk from the TV show and think I should wipe after every handshake. All those germs, you know. I saw it on a television commercial where our hands are just crawling with these ugly greenish germs. The only protection we have is their hand wipes.
Ok I’m not really afraid of germs. I’m afraid of all those people. I’m afraid I’ll say something stupid and they won’t like me. But these are God’s people and they won’t hit me.
This morning I am going to need all the help I can get. God will give it. The Holy Spirit will be there giving me strength . In the text for today we hear Jesus propmise the Holy Spirit. He says in John 14:16-17“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “
Jesus promised us a helper. He keeps his promise. So I will not be alone this morning the Helper will be with me.
Our God is such a good God.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. The Tommy Club failed to find anything on Mt. Hillary. Tommy UK said they needed more time but their parents wouldn’t give it to them. Sometimes one forgets they are only seventh and eighth graders.
The dragon didn’t fly again last night and the only party was over at the Fly Inn Bar. It was the promised “ After the Dragon Party”. It was one heck of a party. People even ended up crying because the dragon wasn’t coming anymore. But then people at the Fly Inn have been known to cry over Packer losses and other unimportant things.Mrs. Petrovich hasn’t been seen for a couple of days. Somebody said she was sick with the stomach flue. She seems to be throwing up every morning. Then again the rumors could be true and she is pregnant with twins.
Nancy says that a lot of people are concerned about the latest driblet. They have been checking Petrovich’s website and he still hasn’t posted it there yet. They do not want to see Pigeon Falls burn. It has survived so much.
Tommy TW is still working on his new book. Last night he stayed, with permission, in the museum. He wanted to get a feel for a haunted house. He thinks that will help him make his new book more authentic. He heard noises and thought he saw something moving down the hall. In any case he didn’t get any sleep. Now he is thinking of changing the title to “Murder by Ghost”. But the book is only half done so there may yet be other title changes.

Today's Link- The Owl's Song- A really wet sermon
It was a really great day. Pennie did a great job on the puppet. Greeting turned out top be very enjoyable. The bell choir played and there was a baptism. Just a perfect morning. Then Betty, Pennie and I went to the train show in Green Bay where we were met by my son and his two children. The show was great with lots of layouts. I didn't buy anything. After the show we went to Peter's house for a short visit. When we got home I worked on the St. Mark website. Now I need a breathing treatment.
Pennie and I this morning.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Real Internet Facts

Saying for the Day: The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom. ~Jon Stewart
It’s time for more Internet Facts. The wonder of the internet is that you can learn things your friends don’t know. When they ask where you got the information you can say from the internet. To help in your search for knowledge I offer fifteen internet facts. One of them has a higher probability of truth than the others which I made up this morning. But I make up some pretty truthful things.
1. Watermelons are the state fruit of North Carolina.
2. Nebraska is the only state that does not have a state bird.
3. Dragon skeletons have been found in England.
4. Jimmy Carter was the first American President born in a hospital.
5. The movie star Tom Mix was killed by an angry husband.
6. Cows love to go up and down stairs.
7. Over a thousand people die every year from grape poisoning.
8. Diet root beer can give you a high. ( Proven by college students)
9. Computer openings were originally called Computer Activated Terminals or C.A.T hence the term mouse for a plug in.
10. The American gray fox is not really a fox.
11. There is more dog food sold in the United States than hamburger.
12. The average canary lives eleven and one half years.
13. The phrase “Rule of Thumb” comes from a time when thumbs where used to measure.
14. Left handed people live longer on the average than right handed people.
15. The official rock and role song of Wisconsin is “ Don’t Step on my Blue Suede Shoes”
There you have it fifteen really great internet facts. Pick the one that has the highest possibility of being true.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Another night without the dragon. There were fewer people at the dragon party last night. It seems as if this time in Pigeon Falls history is coming to an end. With no appearance by the dragon the party can’t go on. The owners of the Fly Inn Bar are considering having as great big “ After the Dragon Party”. Why not? One thing is as much fun to celebrate as the other.
Bonnie McGregor is doing well. Her pregnancy is proceeding normally. Her husband has been busy getting the room ready for the babies. All the old baby stuff that was stored in the attic of the garage has been hauled down. She only has one crib but her daughter is going to loan her hers. There is something almost magical about getting ready for the birth of a baby and twins doubles the magic.
The Forest Service was called because of some smoke on Mt. Hillary. People were afraid of a Forest fire. But then the smoke just stopped. The Service did a fly over but didn’t see anything . But then given Hillary’s constant position shifting they might have looked in the wrong place. Just another one of those mysteries.
The Tommy Club left this morning for a day of exploring . They are going looking for the cave on Mt. Hillary. They were advised not to but they went any way.
Petrovich still hasn’t posted the revised driblet to his website. People are afraid that this driblet marks the end of Pigeon Falls. If the town burns to the ground it won’t get rebuilt.

Today's Link-Anxious Moments- A look at the " What ifs " of life.
A rather dull day. We noticed that the heavy wind last night blew our grill over so you know it was heavy. I played on the computer most of the day. I did some blogging. I installed Betty's new PC game. We had trouble finding the installation code. They gave us two places to look and it wasn't in either place. I looked to see if my cable company had the movie refered to in today's link to rent but it didn't. Did some work on the children's sermon Pennie and I are doing tomorrow. Pennie went off to watch the NFL draft at Lambeau Field. Now I need a breathing treatment.
From the archives. The grump at Mayo's.

Friday, April 25, 2008

THe Cable Box

Saying for the day:If it's green, it's biology, If it stinks, it's chemistry, If it has numbers it's math, If it doesn't work, it's technology- Unknown
I have a very fast broadband cable internet connection. It is faster than the DST I used to use with AT&T and worlds faster than dial up. With it and Vista I can watch movies on my computer that are not jerky and fill the entire screen.
But yesterday I had no internet all afternoon. It simply wasn’t there. I could not check my comments. I could not get my e-mail. I could not check on the things I was selling on eBay. My world suddenly shriveled up and became very small.
I was so upset that I was going to call the cable company. The only problem is that our telephone is an internet phone. We had no telephone. ( I don’t have a cell phone). We couldn’t call and complain.
So we did what any normal American family would do in the midst of a crisis like this. We went shopping. Why not? It was that or watch television. Have you ever watched afternoon television? There are all kinds of judges running loose. There is judge Judy, Judge Marilyn, divorce court judge, and many more. You can sit and watch people make fools out of themselves just to be on television. They have great cases like my neighbor’s tree dropped a branch in my yard and my tire went flat so I cut down his stupid tree. The neighbor sued.
Better shopping than that.
But the shopping ended and we came home. Still no phone and no internet. The day before we had no television. The cable company said they couldn’t understand how we could lose the television and not lose the internet and phone. It was weird he said.
We are not weird we are just slow. Now we have our tv back the other half finally went. In any case there we were with no internet so we ate super.
When did we become this internet dependant ? When did life start revolving around the computer?
Couldn’t answer those questions so I watched reruns of CSI Miami until Pennie came home.
She called the cable company on her cell phone. They directed her to go to the modem which is in a room we almost never enter. It is there with the center for the in-house network. She went and found it pushed a reset button and the internet was back. Miracle upon miracle. One little button pushed and alls right with the world.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Poor Petrovich after he finished posting his latest driblet somebody accused him of stealing the last line frpom the television program Heros. He said he never watched the program but adds for it might have influenced his word choice. The phrase in Coptic is hard to translate directly into English. Literally it means that “ What happens to the one happens to the other” or What happens to the beast happens to the town.
He is now sorry he rushed to get the driblet out. He is going to go over the entire driblet again before he posts it on his website.
The dragon did not fly last night. The party went on anyway. People told dragon stories. They read the driblet out loud. Then they argued over what it meant. Some said the problem was that Mrs. Trumble still had her trusty dragon slayer and given a chance would use it.
Some argued the dragon might not be the beast. The “beast” might need protecting from the dragon. In any case they didn’t want to see the town burn. Given the volunteer fire department and the old wood buildings that certainly is a possibility.

Today's link-Dutch Corner- A great story for us broken pots.
It was a nice day. I spent much of it on the computer. I vidsted all the blogs that belonged to people who left comments on mine on the last five days. You learn so much from those visits.
I also bought a new computer game and played that for a bit. eBay threw out one of my entries on a technicality I didn't even know existed so I relisited it today. Now I need a breathing treatment.
Our tulips.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Top Cop

Saying for the Day:If your dreams turn to dust....vacuum.--Unknown
It’s time for another elf tale.
Once upon a time when there was no TV only radio there came into the world a child named Donald. He was the first and only child of Dr.. and Mrs. Gogetum and was born when they had given up on having children at all. His was a difficult birth and several times he almost died. Some of those who worked at the hospital said it was the love of his parents alone that kept him alive.
As a child Donald had many health problems and lacked both strength and coordination.
He could not ride a bicycle. He could not win a race. He never won at wrestling in gym. He couldn’t hit a target with a shotgun. All the other kids picked on him. They called him Dilly Donald. But even as his body proved less than one would desire Donald’s mind was far sharper than any of his classmates. He was a straight A student.
Because he was the way he was he spent a lot of time listening to the radio. He really liked police shows. Those were the days when all cops were good. When the police always won. When crime didn’t pay. Not like today’s television. There were no anti-heroes. You never found yourself cheering for the bad guy. Those were the good all days.
Early on Donald decided he wanted to be a cop. This was a totally unrealistic desire.
He couldn’t run to chase crooks, he couldn’t fight, and he couldn’t shoot.
Nevertheless when he was old enough he applied for entrance at the Police Academy. He failed the entrance exam. He fell down during his run around the track and he missed the target altogether in the shooting test.
So he went to college to become a lawyer. But in his heart of hearts he still wanted to be a cop. He graduated from law school at the top of his class and wrote one of the best bar exams ever. He was a very good lawyer.
He did a lot of pro bono work because he cared about the poor and the needy and wanted them to have justice as well. He was fairly happy as a lawyer but he really wanted to be a cop.
One day, just after he finished a very difficult case where he had proven that a poor boy was innocent and kept him out of jail, he was sitting in his office when a little man in a Green Suit appeared. The man explained that he was an elf and because of his many good deeds he was giving him a wish.
Without thinking Donald said “ I wish I was the greatest cop ever”
The elf said” as you have wished so shall it be”. There was a flash of lightning and Donald found himself as the new Police Chief in one of America’s largest cities. He was if you will the top cop. Well Donald settled right in. He got the salaries of the police raised to a decent level, he rooted out the corrupt cops, and he put pride back in the force.
His first year murders were down thirty percent and crime in general fifteen. He instigated community programs for the youth, cracked down on drug dealers, and cut down on gang activity. The next year crime was down fifty per cent and murders seventy five. He was doing such a good job that he was made Time’s Man of The Year and you may have seen his picture on the cover.
Now you might think that this is a wish that worked and you would be half right. It worked for the city but not for Donald. Donald was still unhappy because this was not being a cop. He wanted to chase crooks. He wanted to catch them like those old time radio shows. He didn’t want to sit behind a desk and plan. He really didn’t.
So one day he joined his men on a major drug bust. He ended up in a shoot out with one of the drug dealers. He fired every bullet in the gun and missed every time. The dealer’s shot hit him in the neck and he was paralyzed from the neck down. Now he is in a nursing home where people feed and take care of him.
But he was the greatest Cop ever.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Petrovich , who has scanned though the driblets in Coptic remembered seeing this one and has now translated it into English. It might apply.
Driblet 32.
It is dark. So very dark.
It is cold. Very cold.
There is fire in the sky. Lots of fire.
It scares me. They are like creatures of the book.
They fly away.
I see the creature again
Dark, dark is this place. Cold, cold.
Lonely is the creature.
Waiting and waiting.
Crying from the very dark. Little sparks.
Two sparks.
The lowliness is gone. Joy in the air.
Time passes.
They fly.
Who would extinguish the sparks
Stop! Stop!
Anger, I feel anger.
Town will burn
Stop ! Stop! Stop!
Protect the beast.
Save the town.
It can be saved.
You can stop it.
I am screaming.
Stop! Stop!
I awaken. I must warn the town.
But where is it?
It can be saved.
Save the beast. Save the town.

Today's link:-The Molly Baun Chronicles- Truth about or in a quilt
We have been without internet since two o'clock this afternoon until now. So I did no blog visiting. In the morning we weighed all the eBay track and got the eBay things out and on. Betty went shopping. After lunch we both went out . we went to Stein's and Best Buy. When we came home we still had nop internet and we couldn't call the company because our phone service was through the same connection so we had no phone. I watched television. Now I need a breathing treatment.
Picture from shopping.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Saying for the day: One man's garbage is another man's treasure.

Today is garbage day. That means my wife is already up and hauling the bags out to the curb. They have to be out by six o’clock in the morning. You can’t put them out the night before because there are a few loose dogs that might rip them open. Then if the garbage is light there is the wind that might take our garbage to visit at the neighbor’s place. So on garbage day Betty gets up early.
We generate a lot of garbage.
Every week our ongoing cleaning of the basement generates at least one big garbage bag. If it weren’t for eBay and freecycle there would be a lot more.
Then there is the kitchen garbage. That consists of at least one big bag every week and that doesn’t count the recyclables . All the pop cans go in one special bag and all the paper in another. Every other week they pick up our cardboard which has to be cut and tied in neat stacks. We put out a lot of cardboard.
This week there was extra garbage. All the wrappings from the birthday party and the containers the toys came in , mostly plastic.
Garbage is, of course, as old as civilization. Many of the artifacts that archeologists find come from the garbage of another age. Things like half an oil lamp or a broken spearhead.
I suppose we will have to pay more to have the garbage picked up since the price of gasoline and diesel fuel is going up. It is also getting harder to find some place to put the stuff.
Some day some really smart person will invent something that turns our garbage into electricity and solve two problems at one time.
The other thing that garbage is good for is it gives you something to blog about on a day when you have blogger’s block.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. People are still talking about last night. The town dragon was in the middle of one of the most spectacular displays ever. There was fire shooting in every direction. It was like four fourth of Julys rolled into one. When suddenly on the far end of the street it was as if a hole opened and a big green dragon appeared. It was larger than the town dragon. It flew down the main street until it touched wings with ours and then they flew off together wing tip to wing tip in the direction of Mt. Hillary. Now our Michigan Department of Natural Resources expert says it looks like what the dragon was doing was a mating dance. Like the one done by a peacock. He’s an expert shouldn’t he have guessed this before? People are wondering if this is the end of the dragon displays and the dragon parties.
Petrovich says he has found a driblet that just might fit what has happened. He is going to try to have it translated by tomorrow.
Pastor Joan is having a problem with the church secretary. The secretary was there long before Pastor Joan, some say before Moses, and likes things done her way. She doesn’t tell Pastor Joan how to preach and Pastor Joan shouldn’t tell her how to run her office. But Pastor Joan feels that a number of things need to change including the computer system. The computers in the church are not networked and should be according to the Pastor. But the secretary hates the very word change and is resisting with every bone in her body. She is threatening to quit and people have already begun taking sides. Last Lutheran could be in for some tough times.
Will the dragon return? Is the dragon in love? Is our dragon the male or the female? Will Petrovich shed some light on the subject? Will Pastor Joan survive? Will Last Lutheran survive? Will Pigeon Falls survive? And of course is Tommy UK really the undertaker’s kid. These and other annoying, space filling questions might be answered in the next exciting episode of News from Pigeon Falls.

Today's Link-Noble Pig - How to shop for groceries.
It was a rather dull day. In the morning Betty and I packed some track for eBay. Then she went out to work on the lawn while I visited blogs. I visited all my links. I plan on doing that once or twice a week. The other days I will visit the previous two or three days visitors that left comments. My sister Dawn called. We are having some problems with our cable but I am sure the company will work them out. Now I need a breathing treatment.
From the archives- Tall Peter - Our foreign student that we had when the kids were in school.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Instant Sawdiust

Saying for the Day: It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome. ~T.S. Eliot, about radio

The other night I was watching NCIS , a program I happen to like, and they were looking for a computer piece that would break a code at the Pentagon. After much searching of the suspect’s house Gibbs found it in a cereal box. Then he said, “ I didn’t know they still put decoder rings in these things”. This got him all kinds of blank stares and he said “ That was before your time”.
But it wasn’t before my time. It reminded me of the unholy alliance between my hero Tom Mix and the evil Instant Ralston cereal. In all of history there has not been a cereal that tasted more like sawdust than instant Ralston. But in order for me to get my top secret decoder ring so that I could decode the secret message that Tom had for me on the Tom Mix radio program I had to eat Instant Ralston. My mother insisted that we couldn’t afford to buy cereal just to throw it away. She didn’t understand how important that decoder ring was or she’d have gotten the cereal just because she loved me. So to get my decoder ring I ate sawdust or its equivalent for three days. Three mornings of sheer torture. Three days of pain an anguish. Then my mother took pity and let me feed the rest of the box to the chickens.
You know they really loved Instant Ralston.
That would have been the end of it but those evil people packed the genuine glow in the dark compass and decoder shaped like an arrowhead in the new boxes. Of course I had to have that. What follower of Tom Mix , who never missed a program, could do without the glow in the dark compass?
So I promised to eat the sawdust without making faces or complaining. My mother caved and got me another box. I had my compass and it did glow in the dark.
Life was wonderful except for breakfast.
Now all I had to do was to convince my mother that the chickens really loved Instant Ralston and we should be good to them.
She was not convinced.
Oh well! Any real follower of the great Tom Mix should be willing to eat sawdust for an official glow in the dark compass.
The chickens didn’t need a compass.
Lucky for me TV came along and Tom Mix wasn’t on the radio any more.
I didn’t eat instant Ralston again until I was in the hospital. They brought me this cereal that tasted like sawdust and I knew what it was. The nurse said “eat it it’s good for you.”
I said “ Does the hospital have any chickens?”

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. The local dragon was in rare form last night. It did an entire show of acrobatic flying. It flew backwards and upside down. The crowd applauded and applauded. It was one great dragon party.
Joseph Becan is still telling is leathery egg story to anybody who will listen over at the Fly Inn Bar. Somewhere on Mt. Hillary there is a cave with two big leathery eggs according to him. But most figure Joe had a bit too much to drink up on the mountain. That’s why he was lost. The rest is his imagination working overtime. You’ll never convince Joe of that though.
Mrs. Petrovich stopped in to Nancy’s for a cup of coffee and a saffron bun. Nancy asked her how she was feeling and she said fine. She sure doesn’t look pregnant. She is helping her husband set up the Alexis Grengicoff room at the museum . Petrovich feels that if the great seer Grengicoff had been French instead of Russian he would have a larger following than Nostradamus, The Coptic stands in the way.
Pastor Joan has found a craftsman who is making little models of the former churches for her to put in the Church room. There the religious history of Pigeon Falls will be on display.

Today's Link-Little -o- This blog comes recomended by Worldman
I started the day by doing something I didn't want to do. I deleted a comment. I don't believe in deleting comments because I want people to be free to exprsess themselves. But there are to things I won't allow . One is foul language and one is explicit sexual language. My grandechildren including the six year old read this blog. I know I can't protect them from everything but I can protect them on my blog. I asked BBC before not to use that kind of language. He is free to insult me all he wants I have broad shoulders. He also can't find words that I haven't heard . I worked on the ore boats. I gave him my e-mail address and told him write anything he wants. But he insisted on writing here and so I had to delete it. He was also disrespectful to Betty and I won't allow that. He can insult me all he wants but my wife is off limits.I feel bad but he thinks he's God and can do what he wants. I visited the blogs of everybody that visited my blog in the previous four days and left a comment. It was slightly different than my link list. Betty and I packed up two more sets of track for eBay. I then put five new sets out on eBay to sell this week. Now I need a breathing treatment.
From the archives-Too many pastors at United.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Still More of the Hundred

Saying for the Day- We sometimes feel that we have been really understood, but it was always long ago, by someone now dead. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

The 100 things about me continues:
51. After high school graduation I worked two summers at Bay Cliff Health Camp.
52. I also worked two summers as a deckhand on an ore boat.
53. At Northern I met the only woman I ever really loved.
54. When I went to Seminary she dumped me. ( My heart broke)
55. My psychological entrance exam picked up my heart break.
56. My psychological entrance exam indicated that I was compulsively neat. Well one out of two isn’t that bad.
57. I worked in the seminary kitchen . ( I washed dishes)
58. I taught at Chicago Technical College in the evenings.
59. I taught at a private Academy in Elgin in the afternoons.
60. I did a summer internship in Palmer and National Mine.
61. One summer I went back to Northern and finished my Master’s degree.
62. I got married that summer to the only girl I ever loved.
63. We were married at St. Mark’s in Marquette.
64. Her parents though we were rushing things but it lasted.
65. My best friend got married the same weekend ( I never forgave him).
66. Betty taught so I didn’t have to work my last year of seminary.
67. We bought a parrot. ( well I bought a parrot)
68. Our parrot screamed a lot when we weren’t there and the neighbor’s complained.
69. We had a beautiful one room apartment.
70. I met with the examining committee and passed. ( They thought I was too smart for a rural congregation-they didn’t know rural congregations)
71. I received a call to Trout Creek, Ewen, and Paynesville.
72. We moved our meager possessions with a U-haul and the parrot in the back seat.
73. The parsonage was an old house with a stream in the basement and squirrels in the laundry room.
74. We loved it ( We were young)
75. I quickly discovered I wasn’t super pastor. ( I was just barely adequate pastor)

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Last night, again, the dragon just flew once up and down the main street. It looked tired and its wings seemed droopy. This time people had lower expectations so it didn’t ruin the dragon party. The drinking and the partying went right on.
Somebody, who reads to many dragon stories, suggested that during the day the dragon was taking on human form and having an affair with somebody in Pigeon Falls.
By the time that rumor made the rounds it ceased to be somebody and became Mrs. Petrovich. It was even rumored that she had an ultra sound and it showed two dragon like babies. Only in Pigeon Falls could such a rumor be listened to. But Anna swore to Nancy that her cousin works in the hospital in Iron Mountain and heard it from a nurse who had a friend who was there when the ultra sound was made. She is going to have dragons . At least that what she thinks she saw.
The only problem with all of this is that Mrs. Petrovich hasn’t had an ultra sound and may not even be pregnant. But somewhere out there is a lady who is going to give birth to twin dragons , if Anna’s friend can be believed. Let’s hope fire breathing doesn’t start until after birth or that lady is really going to have a bad case of heartburn .

Today's Link-63 Mago-Some thoughts about academic degrees.
It seemed like an ordinary day. My oxygen was up a bit. I visited all my links. I took a nap. Betty cleaned and made some calls concerning going to her class reunion this summer. I took a nap. I was working on my link list when the phone rang. It was a voice I hadn't expected to hear. The Joyce I bloged about the other day called to thank me but I never expected her to see the blog. She's not on the internet. I thought that nobody was reading my blog in Crystal any more. At least that's what my stat counter said. But it was wrong.My former secretary Karen read it. She printed it out and gave it to Joyce. Who was so happy she called me. It was so good to hear her voice that it made the whole day special. Thanks Karen. Now I need a breathing treatment.
My tulips almost ready to come out.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Joyce a Choir Director

Saying for the Day- It's not how much talent you have but how you use it that counts.

Today at St. Mark’s we are going to sing “ On Eagle’s Wings”. To most of the congregation it will be just another hymn but for me it will flood my mined with memories of United Lutheran and a choir director named Joyce. It was and probably still is one of her favorite songs.
Joyce was our backup choir director. If we couldn’t find anybody else she would direct. She didn’t want to. She didn’t feel adequate for the job but she did it.
We had other choir directors. There was the one that wanted to sing “ Ave Maria” on Reformation Sunday and caused a revolt in the choir
There was the French teacher that if she had worn skirts any shorter we would have been raided.
They came and went. But in between and after there was Joyce..
Joyce was a very sharp lady. You don’t get to be bank President in a man’s world if your not sharp. But she always felt inadequate to the job. I could count on her being in my office every Spring and telling me that next Fall we had to get a new director. Somebody who could do a better job.
But if we didn’t find one she was there. Joyce was the best Choir Director we had over those thirty five years because under her leadership the choir did not perform it worshipped and added to the worship. She understood the task of the choir. It lead the liturgy. It lifted the singing of the hymns. It praised God.
Other directors worked at perfection. Other directors worked at getting things right. Other directors missed the whole point of the Church choir.
It is Sunday. We will sing “ On Eagle’s Wings” and I will remember Joyce.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. People were disappointed last night the town dragon just flew up and down the main street. They expected a little more.
Joseph Becan was found this morning. He was coming out of the woods at the foot of Mt. Hillary. He had one wild story to tell. It seems he got lost and then found this huge cave. In the cave were these great big leathery eggs. Two of them. Just after he left the cage Mt. Hillary did one of its famous shifts. The ground moved and he found himself lost. He didn’t know where he was yet alone were the cave was. Nobody knows what kind of eggs those are. Our Department of Agriculture man said he never heard of eggs like that. There are Eagles nests up on Mt. Hillary but they don’t nest in caves. They might just have been big rocks that looked like eggs.
Now the rumor in town is that Mrs. Petrovich is going to have twins. It maybe that the Petrovich rumor has gotten mixed with the McGregor fact. One of the joys of small town life are the rumors.
Nancy says he heard from Fedia, who heard from Aliice, who heard from Anna, who heard from Dorthoy down at the lab that Petrovich was having twins.. You can’t get it anymore authentic than that now can you?

Today's Link-In Search of Isis- On trees and a book but not about trees.
It was a great day. Church went well. It was first Communion and there were six children receiving for the first time. We did sing "On Eagle's Wings" . After Church we came back to the house and Pat grilled. It was a very good meal. Pennie, Maggie, and Alex went to the dog park. My grandson used the saw he got for his birthday and started building a birdhouse. Then they all left. It is so quiet. Pennie, Betty and I played Canasta and I won. now I need a breathing treatment.

Pat on the grill.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why me?

Saying for the day: The only time you can be sure a politician isn't lying is when he doesn't speak.
I have a problem. I don’t know how to solve it.
Last night I watched House on Fox.
I try not to watch House on Fox because he is my problem.
But last night there was just nothing else to watch. I only have ninety channels after all.
So I watched House.
My problem returned full force.
My problem is this I like House.
I know I shouldn’t. I’m a Pastor after all. Please don’t think less of me for it but I just can’t help myself I like the guy.
Now I know I shouldn’t because:
1. He is a pill popping addict– You know it and I know it. He should be in rehab.
2. He takes advantage of friends and colleagues. ( Not a desirable trait)
3. He humiliates and uses the people who work for and with him.
4. He doesn’t hesitate to break hospital rules.
5. He is an evangelistic atheist that brooks no talk of God.
I could go on but that’s enough to show my problem. I should despise the guy.
I should sit and root for the police who are trying to prove he’s a drug addict.
I should be on the side of the hospital administrator. I should!
But I like House.
It could be because he is such a sad and lonely figure that I feel sorry for him. Well he is sad and he is lonely but I don’t feel sorry for him. Well maybe a little bit.
It could be that he is always right. We like that in people. No that isn’t it. People who are always right and know they are right upset me. They get on my nerves.

It could be that his beating the institution resonates with us.
It’s like sticking it to the Bishop who thinks he knows everything and has all the power. Or beating the boss who you and I know shouldn’t be boss he’s so incompetent. Or taking on the evil bank that wants to foreclose on our house.
Like a super hero he takes on the powers we can’t fight and he wins.

He wins.

While we sit entangled in rules that keep us from doing what needs to be done he cuts through all of that and saves the patient.
While the hospital ,to protect the precious rules ,would let the patient die he saves them.
I suppose that’s it. But its still a problem. When did I become so anti institution. When did I quit believing in the government? When did I give up on the leadership of the Church? When did I begin to see all the rule makers as the bad guys?
Why in the world do I like House?

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Wow! Last night the dragon gave the best show ever. It lasted ten minutes. There were loops and rolls and things that looked like fireworks. The crowd cheered and cheered. Every night the crowd gets larger.
Petrovich’s wife was seen coming out of the new clinic. People took this as evidence that the news on the street that she was pregnant was true. Besides Joe who works in the lab told his friend Frank down at the garage that the tests show her to be pregnant. Confidentiality in a small town is hard to maintain. Of course, Frank wasn’t supposed to tell anybody so he only told his wife and his mother. They told all the ladies in the Methodist pasty making group. Everyone, of course, is keeping it a secret. There are at least three people in town who haven’t heard.
The Liar’s Club met last night and elected Buddy East as President for another year. Then they began to look at the summer contests. This years outsider contest was to be stories about elf wishes and what happened after the wish. They lined up a judging committee and a rules committee to make up some good rules. They also appointed a prize committee. They want this to be the best contest ever. They will meet again next week or the week after.

Today's Link-Another Day in Paradise- Bits and pieces of a very complicated life
Got a late start this morning. Oxygen was down a bit. Spent some time with Pat and the boys. Then we all went to the Tumbleweed for lunch. The food was good and the kids had a great time. The entire family was there , Peter and his family, Pat and his boys, Pennie, Betty and I. I took some movies. When we came home I added the movies to our family videos on the blog. Then we watched Caleb open his gifts. While the kids played on the computers Betty, Pennie, Lori and I played Canasta. Betty and I won. Then Peter and family had to leave. Now I need a breathing treatment.
Picture of Caleb from the party:

Friday, April 18, 2008

My sidebar

Saying for the day:“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ”

For those of you who stopped by expecting to read my usual deep philosophical and witty blog I apologize.
This morning I want to take you on a tour of my left hand sidebar ( there being nothing on the right hand sidebar). On the plus side if somebody asks what you have been doing instead of saying you were wasting your time reading blogs you can tell them you were touring a bar. Doesn’t that sound better.
But on with the tour.

The first point of interest is this box labeled family videos. If you click on it you will be taken too old and very boring glimpses of the Linna family’s life. I did intend to keep adding to it and I still might. But the new additions will be as boring as the last.

Next is a little box that will take you to my private awards room. I used to keep my awards on the sidebar itself but then it got so cluttered. So I created a special room where I can go and admire and dust them.

The box after that takes you to all my links. It may be the most important box on the bar. Here are all the wonderful people that make blogging fun. Well they aren’t all there there are a few I still have to add but you know how I procrastinate.

This is the box that will show you how a child atheist gets to be an old Pastor. It is the story of my life so I think it’s worth a read.

This takes you to the website of the Church I belong to. You can see and hear the bell choir, the children’s choir, and the regular choir.

If you like art this takes you to a place where you can buy the best. Her fish cups are great for cocoa in the morning. This is an unpaid advertisement just because I think so highly of what she does.

If you have read any of my elf tales you might want to read more ( though I doubt it but you might) . So here are all the tales in one wonderful place. They are stories and should be read out loud. to get the full effect.

The last box before the daily Bible verse is Petrovich’s website. Petrovich lives in Pigeon Falls and wants people to know about the great Seer Alexis Grengicoff so he keeps a website with the translated driblets. I keep the box as a favor to Petrovich.

So that’s my sidebar. Feel free to visit it often.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Last night things changed again. The Pigeon Falls dragon did a barrel roll. It was like a flaming wheel of fire. It is now obvious that it is performing for the crowd or it would seem to be. But since nobody knows why a dragon would do such a maneuver one can’t be sure. In any case the crowd shouted and applauded. It was the highlight of the evening. It almost guarantees there will be twice as many people out tonight. Sometimes it is weird that makes life good.
The snow is starting to melt and it looks like Spring is coming to Pigeon Falls but then old timers remember that May storm that brought three feet of snow with it in 1976 or 77. So people aren’t looking to plant any gardens yet. But it was seventy in Pigeon Falls yesterday.
Somebody suggested the dragon may just have Spring fever.
Joseph Becan is lost. He went climbing up Mt. Hillary even though he was told not to. You know how untrustworthy that Mountain is. Parts of it seem to keep shifting and you are never quite sure where you are. But he’s young and doesn’t listen to anybody. So away he went. He’s been gone now for several days and people are beginning to worry. If he’s not back by tomorrow a search party will set out to look for him.

Link for Today-Noble Pig- A Battle for the Roses
Felt better today. Oxygen was still on the low side but I went grocery shopping. It was good to get out of the house. When we came back I put this Sunday's bulletin on the St. Mark's website. Then I took a nap and watched two hours of Monk. my sister Dawn called. She likes to check in on me. This blog will; be up a bit later tomorrow as my grandkids will be here and are sleeping in the computer room. I can't get to the computer until they get up. Now I need a breathing treatment.
From the archives: Patrick and Caleb

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Million Dollar Wish

Saying for the day: There are times when a good cover story is better than an unbelievable truth.

It’s time for another elf tale.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a young man who decided that he never ever wanted to have a job. His name was Thomas Sri. And he lived in Littletown Nebraska. It was not that Tom was lazy. He didn’t dislike work he just hated jobs. Jobs were boring. Jobs had mean bosses. Jobs had weird co-workers. He knew this because he spent a lot of time reading blogs. He knew there were people who were like black widow spiders and just made your life miserable on the job. He knew you couldn’t reason with them. He knew that nobody liked their job. Further he knew that jobs made you dishonest and he was an honest person. He read on the internet where people spent all day on the job sending text messages or playing on the computer and getting no work done. Now that wasn’t the right way to live.
So he decided never to have a job. Of course, in Littletown Nebraska there weren’t a lot of jobs to begin with. There was clerk at the hardware store but old Mr. Bender was impossible to get along with. There was a job as mechanic down at Al’s Garage but you had to know something about cars and Tom didn’t.. There was an orderly position at the hospital but the head nurse made the Grinch look like a nice character.
So Tom didn’t get a job. After he graduated from High school he lived in his old room in his parent’s house.. For ten years he lived there. He never had a job and he never filed an income tax form. He had no income.
But, as I said, he was not lazy. Every day he set out to do a good deed. He was sort of the town’s resident good deed doer. He cut old Mr. Waren’s lawn because he couldn’t and didn’t have money to hire somebody. He hauled Mrs. Turmpy’s groceries, once a week every week. . Wherever he saw somebody in need he helped. Everybody in Littletown loved him.
His mother, on the other hand kept telling him to get a job. Every day she came up with a new reason why he should join the job force. He would respond that he was too busy working to get a job.
This could have gone on for many more years but one day on his way home from the good deed of the day he was joined by a little man in a green suit with funny green shoes that curled at the toes. The little man told Tom he was an elf and because of his good deeds he could have one wish.
Without even thinking Tom said “ I wish I had a million dollars”
The elf responded “ As you have wished so shall it be”. There was flash of light and the elf was gone.
Tom continued on his way home thinking of all the people he could help with a million dollars, including his mother.
When he got to his room there were ten boxes . Each was filled with $100,000. There were dollar bills, five dollar bills, ten dollar bills, hundred dollar bills, and thousand dollar bills. All were neatly wrapped and labeled as to amount.
That night Tom couldn’t sleep for fear somebody would break in and rob him. So the next day he borrowed his mother’s SUV and took the money to the bank. He deposited it in a joint saving and checking account. This was more money than the Littletown bank had ever seen. They gave him the usual toaster for opening the account.
Two days later as Tom was making up lists of people to help with the money the elf had given him two men came to the house. They identified themselves as FBI agents. The bank had, as required by law, informed the government of the sudden large deposit and they wanted to know where Tom got the money.
“Why an elf gave it to me”, Tom said.
The two men laughed and said you will have to come up with a better story than that. We think it is mob money that you are laundering.
“What mob?”, Tom asked.” There is no mob in Littletown.”
Well they hauled Tom down to the police station and questioned him all day. But he kept saying it was an elf. The men finally let him go home.
Word spread around town that Tom was part of the mob. All the people that he had helped shook their heads and said” He seemed like such a nice boy.” and were quick to believe he was a crook. They would have believed he was serial killer if you told them.
Now the government had a problem.They couldn’t prove it was drug money though they knew it had to be. They couldn’t prove the mob was in Littletown. They couldn’t prove that Tom ever left town. In reality they couldn’t prove anything except that Tom had a million dollars and an unbelievable story of how he got it.
But little things like lack of proof never bothered our government. If you can’t get the crook one way you can get him another. They turned Tom’s case over to the dreaded Gestapo. Whoops I’m sorry that was not the Gestapo it was the IRS.
Fifteen days after he got the money the IRS in the form of a smiling agent showed up at his door. He asked Tom to tell him where the money ,on which he had paid no tax and which he had not reported , came from. Tom, of course, said an elf gave it to him and he didn’t know that elf money was taxable. At this point the IRS agent stopped smiling.
“You know and I know that there are no elves” he said.” Now tell the truth”
But poor Tom said again an elf gave it to me.
At that point the IRS agent pulled out his calculator and went to work. It seemed they had checked and discovered he had filed no IRS forms for the last ten years. So they were going to assume he made $100,000 a year. They didn't care at this point how he made it. He didn’t report it and he didn’t pay tax on it. So there is tax due, and penalties, and interest, and interest on the penalties, and penalties on the interest on the penalties..
After everything was figured Tom owed the government One million one hundred six dollars and fourteen cents. So the IRS was seizing the million and giving him thirty days to pay the rest.
Now, of course, Tom could appeal but what judge would believe that an elf gave him the money?
He would have to get a job to pay the rest of what he owed.
Now there are several morals to this story:
1. The truth does not influence the IRS.
2. Be careful what you wish for you may get it.
3. People you help will not hesitate to turn on you.
4. If an elf gives you a wish and you want a million dollars have it deposited by the elf in an offshore bank.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. The dragon parties continued last night and the town dragon did not disappoint them. In fact it flew over the town twice belching fire all the time. It was almost as if it was performing for the crowd.
Bonnie McGregor had her regular check up and everything looks fine. She will be the oldest person in Pigeon Falls history to have twins. There were two woman older than her who had babies. Old Doc Simpson remembers both of them. They were sisters and it was almost like a contest to see who could have the most children. It ended up a tie each one had fifteen. Those were the days when children were your social security. Doc Simpson was a young doctor just out of medical school when he delivered the fifteenth child for each of them. As he put it “ They really didn’t need me . They had the whole thing down pat from lots of practice”.
The word on the street is that Mrs, Petrovich is pregnant. Petrovich hasn’t said anything. Old Doc Simpson isn’t talking but that is the word on the street.
Pastor Joan says that in the Church Room there ought to be some kind of project like raising money for World Hunger. Perhaps some brochures and a lock box people could put money in. It could go one year to one church’s world hunger program and the next year to another.

Today's Link-Poetic License- About reading books and the problems thereof.
I am a bit better today. The oxygen level is up but my stomach is still upset. Betty took the dog for a walk. I brought the Elf Tales website up to date. Betty took the eBay package to the Post Office. Then she went to a Bible study. I watched TV for a couple of hours.Then I did some blog reading.I visited all my links. Pennie came home early. She had spent all afternoon getting a root canal. A bad tooth was the reason for all her pain this week. Now I need a breathing treatment.
From the archaives-My debate team-

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rate Increase

Saying for the day:I've learned-that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

The other day I received this scary letter in the mail.
It reeks of government. It has warnings and threats of fines. I held it in my hand and wondered what did they want to increase now ?
My federal tax rate?
My state tax rate?
My water rate?
My gas rate?
My electric rate?
My sales tax rate?
They were all too horrible to consider. I became stressed. My stomach became upset. My oxygen level went down. I was afraid to open it. I didn’t need any more bad news. So I just held it and shook.
Then my ever practical and lovely wife Betty said “ For heaven sake open it.”
So I did. The answer is none of the above.
No it was even worse the rate on my adjustable rate mortgage was about to be increased. What do those blood suckers want? I gave them $9000 in interest last year. At this point Betty brought the oxygen tank as I was turning green.
Just a 1% increase in interest and we could be living in the street. Panic set in. I saw the big foreclosure sign out on the lawn. We were about to join that army of people that fellow was talking about on television that were suckered in to a flexible rate mortgage and now were losing their home. I was about to become a statistic.
In the midst of this panic I suddenly remembered we don’t have a flexible rate mortgage. They can’t raise my interest rate.
But I had this official notice . Right there in the corner was the name of my loan company.

Why were they trying to scare a poor old man to death?
I read the rest of the letter.
It wasn’t from my bank at all.
It was a scam.
A scam. Some rotten company caused me to panic with a scam.
They wanted me to refinance with them.
This is what they said “ Please don’t wait until it’s too late and you loose your home like many other unfortunate people with adjustable rate mortgages have done.”
They wanted me to be afraid of losing my home. They were taking advantage of national conditions to scare me. What a rotten no good company.
If I had had a flexible rate mortgage it might have worked.
Then they say they could get me a rate and here are the key words “ as low as”. My chance of getting that low rate with this scamming company is nil.
Even the name of the company reeks of scam. It is:
Rescue Mortgage, Edina, MN.
If there was a Scrooge of the year award they would be my nominee.
Now what do I do?
I will file a complaint with The proper state authority.
Then if I can find a good and greedy lawyer I might sue them. Let’s see physical trauma, mental stress, pain suffering.
I should get at least a million.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Dragon parties, is what they are calling them. People are gathering on main street at around 5:30 and they part until the dragon comes at around six. It is now the big thing in Pigeon Falls. Of course, both variety stores, Nancy’s, and the Fly Inn are taking advantage of it. The variety stores are staying open until seven instead of closing at five. They have stocked new dragon merchandise, cups, sweaters, little plastic dragons, postcards and stuff like that. Word has spread and the number of tourists coming to Pigeon Falls just to see the dragon has increased. Last night the dragon did not disappoint them . It flew right at six o’clock. People cheered and laughed. One would think that it was an old friend. If they could they would make it Grand Marshal of the Pigeon Falls Days Parade.
Poor Pastor Joan somebody put a little piece of her sermon from last Sunday on the internet and now she is being accused of not being sensitive to the real nature of the poor in other countries. Her sermon, she says, was not about material things at all but about the abundant life in the Spirit. She grew up in a family that lacked material things but was still happy and loving and kind.
Petrovich has paid for his carpenter to stay and help with the other renovations in the museum . Since he hasn’t been hurt by the strange noises and shoulder taps the volunteers are willing to go on working as well. In a couple of weeks the museum should be ready to open.

Today's Link-Days go By-A parent's problems and the cat too.
This morning Betty and I packed up five more boxes of track for eBay. We won't bring them up and put them out until next week because my son Patrick and boys are coming this weekend and there is no room to put them down. In the afternoon Betty took Maggie for a walk. I took a nap . I'm still not over whatever it is I have. Then I visited most of my links. My former Pastor called. The one who took my place at United. It was good to hear his voice. Now I need a breathing treatment.
From the archive-The Old Pigeon Falls in Crystal Falls

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Great Day

Saying for the Day: Special people make special days special.

Today is a special day

I never forgot the day because H.R. Block does a countdown to it on television.
For many it is time to remember we pay for the government.
We pay for the services we want and those we don’t want.
It is IRS day.

But for me it is a more important day..
It is the day our last tax deduction was born.
We may forget her brother’s birthdays but we can’t forget hers.
She choose a perfect day to come into the world.
She was conceived in Canada.
Born in a Crystal Falls Hospital that no longer exists..
She was wonderful from the beginning.
She was quieter than the boys.
She was and is the perfect daughter.

We love you.
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. It is supposed to get up to 60 degrees in Pigeon Falls today. People are so glad. It has been one long weird winter. They are ready for spring and summer. There are, after all, potatoes to be planted and flowers as well. There are festivals to plan to bring in the tourists. There are new stories to tell over at the Liar’s Club. This is the wonder of a time that makes things new.
The dragon flew again last night. It flies at almost the same time every night. People have started gathering expecting to see it fly over. It is almost like a festival. There is lots of laughing and shouting. Then suddenly somebody shouts there it is and things go very quiet except for the noise of cameras snapping and humming. After the fly over a bunch of the watchers head down to the Fly Inn for a drink or two. Others will go over to Nancy’s for some coffee and a saffron roll. From both groups dragon stories will arise. They will told and retold and in the future will be the stuff of legends.
Petrovich’s carpenter will finish his work on the Father Alexis Grengicoff room. That will be its official title. Here the driblets of the great Seer will be given their rightful place. Here a history of the great Seer will be distributed. One has never seen Petrovich happier. There is even talk that he may pay his carpenter to help with the rest of the renovation because he wants the museum to open as soon as possible.

Today's Link-Terry's Timeout- Some thoughts on death and taxes
A little better day. The oxygen was up a bit.Betty went to Bible study. I worked on the computer. In the afternoon I watched TV and napped. Then I visited all my links. My sister Dawn called. We had a little party for Pennie. we filled balloons with Helium. Put too much in the expensive one and it exploded. Now I need a breathing treatment.