Laid Back Video Sunday

Hey guys, it’s Sunday, and yep, the world ain’t getting any better but, we ain’t gonna fix it today. Let’s just kick back and have some fun shall we?



Power Line Blog

My all time favorite Aussies


You know, there has to be an easier way!


If you’re like me (old as dirt) you might remember when we picked corn like this


It’s changed just a little


For you stray Brits who complain that a real pickup doesn’t fit on your roads. Corn is usually planted in 30” rows, so a 12 row picker is about 35 feet wide, and a grain cart is about 12 feet wide. How’d you like to meet that on the road?

If you know me, you know I have a thing for British gingers, this was the first. By the way, Charlie Chaplin wrote the song.


Who is the current one? You’ll have to figure that one out for yourself.

Jess on the bench


Then again, I’d go to the range with her!


And finally, this:

Power Line Blog




Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Noel Coward wrote

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
The Japanese don’t care to, the Chinese wouldn’t dare to,
Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one,
But Englishmen detest a siesta,
In the Philippines there are lovely screens,
to protect you from the glare,
In the Malay states there are hats like plates,
which the Britishers won’t wear,
At twelve noon the natives swoon, and
no further work is done -
But Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.,

But it seems that when they are watching tennis, they get heat stroke when a sunny day gets into they 80s. Speaking as one who has carried 142 pound gearboxes a quarter-mile into a 12 foot high corn in ankle-deep mud on a 100°F day with matching humidity, (no, I didn’t volunteer!) it seems a bit silly. But I suppose no one told them that alcohol is not the proper drink for those conditions–that’s why we invented Gatorade, after all.

Still Richard Littlejohn’s point is very valid and well taken, so enjoy.

So far, so typical. Last week spectators at Wimbledon were being treated for sunstroke as temperatures soared into the 80s. On Saturday the heavens opened, as they usually do after a heatwave, soaking the motor racing at Silverstone and Henley Regatta.By the end of this week, the Met Office is predicting it will be Phew, What A Scorcher! time again. It’s called the British summer.+4Not according to the Government, it isn’t. Officially, we don’t have weather any more. We have ‘climate change’, a catch-all excuse for everything from raising taxes and refusing to empty the bins to exploding manhole covers.

via The sun has got his hat on – break out the Bacofoil! | Mail Online.


And here

Redskins and the Rule of law

Redskins primary logo 1972-1981, 1983-present

Redskins primary logo 1972-1981, 1983-present (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s talk about this Washington Redskins thing a bit shall we. in many ways, it’s a shiny squirrel but, there is some meaning buried in there as well, that we should think about. The thing is that the Redskins name, and the associated image is a trademark (abbreviated this way ™). in essence that means that if you want to sell a coffee mug with the logo or the name, you have to pay some amount of money to the team, and if they find your use inappropriate they can refuse to let you. In the same way the name nebraskaenergyobserver is mine as is my Gravatar. So is in a way the design and layout of the blog and so forth. The same is true for you, and that is why we all are careful about fair use.

They provide a reasonable assurance when you see them that you are seeing my work, not Harvey Lunchbucket from Podunk’s. Trademarks exist and are enforceable with or without the blessing of the US Patent and Trademark Office. In other words, the Redskins still own their name and their rights are enforceable in court. Volokh put it this way yesterday:

My tentative view is that the general exclusion of marks that disparage persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols should be seen as unconstitutional. Trademark registration, I think, is a government benefit program open to a wide array of speakers with little quality judgment. Like other such programs (such as broadly available funding programs, tax exemptions, or access to government property), it should be seen as a form of “limited public forum,” in which the government may impose content-based limits but not viewpoint-based ones. An exclusion of marks that disparage groups while allowing marks that praise those groups strikes me as viewpoint discrimination.

And that is the problem here, really. It’s only slightly more difficult for the Redskins to prove their case. And that’s the nub of the matter. it is their property. to decide the name, to decide, who can use it (or not) and how much they should pay for the privilege. It belongs to them, not to me and not to you, and not to anyone else, it’s theirs to use as they wish.

And so in many ways this is a meaningless act of disrespect, for the Redskins, yes, but also for all property. Our blog designs, our homes, our stock holdings, our retirement, all of it. And that goes to the very basis of our society.

Free society is built on property rights. Infringement of their property rights was one of the cause that led to the signing 799 years ago this week of Magna Charta, as well as the Declaration of Independence that hangs next to it in the National Archives. Without that right to private property there is no private sector, which has always been the driving force of our economy. It makes money (as do the Redskins), unlike the government which redistributes wealth (which is not the same as money) which it has taken from one citizen for the benefit of another. See the difference there? Government creates nothing.

In other words, property rights is one of the basics of The Rule of Law, and that is what has set the (mainly) English speaking world off from everybody else, through revolution and civil war, flood, famine, and plenty, our property has always been our property, subject to certain objective rules. And while this case is trivial, it is also a symbol, as have been other cases of our government’s disrespect for the rule of law. That has made many of us comment that we now have a lawless regime (the common term is a banana republic) because in some measure we have become in John Adams words, reversed:

A government of men, not of law

Who We Really Are…On Father’s Day

This is based on an article from Tracie Louise Photography from a couple of years ago and wanted to add quite a lot for Father’s Day. Read her work, it made my monitor blurry, not many do that.

I had told George that I have barely looked at a photograph of my mother since she crossed over, 9 years ago this past Easter.  She encouraged me to get out some pictures and look at them, but this was my response:

… she was my best friend. If I am at all wise, or creative, or kind, or spiritual, it’s because of her. And I know exactly what she would say to this comment… if I want to see her, I only need look into my own eyes, and my own heart. And she would be right. She left her body 9 years ago, and moved onto bigger and better things. She was never that body, it just housed her for a time (way too short a time). But it was never who she really was, and looking at a picture of it, will not bring us any closer. I hope you understand what I am saying… I think I might actually be channelling it directly from her, as it seems far to wise to have come from me 

I lost my grandfather when I was 20 years old.  Pop and I had one of those special bonds… you know the ones.  They don’t require words.  There is just this “knowing” between you.  Mum taught me a great deal about life and death when my Pop passed.  She taught me that if I ever wanted to spend time with my grandfather, to look no further than my own heart.  She taught me that there was no need to visit a cemetery because I wouldn’t find Pop there.  She said that Pop would never be truly gone as long as we were around to remember him… to honour him… to live our lives in a manner that would make him proud.

Please do read Tracie’s wonderful post, Who We Really Are…..

This is exactly how I feel about my Dad, who passed in 1978. I still, in quieter moments feel him around me. One of the more unusual things in my family is that almost all of the men are built alike, right down to suit size, and going completely grey in our twenties. In fact, Dad was buried in his son-in-law’s suit because I needed the one I had for the funeral, all three of us, and most of my uncles as well could have traded clothes. Dad pretty much never lectured, he led, he taught, and he disciplined when necessary rarely was more than “I’m disappointed in you.” necessary. In truth my sister (who was 20 years older than me) said, after he was gone that he had always scared her. I understood what she meant immediately. He never did me but, he sure motivated me. I’ve said before that our family motto is “If it’s not absolutely right, it’s completely wrong,” that came from Dad.

He had a command presence in any company. Once after he retired he took a wrong turn with his motorhome in southern Georgia, near as I can tell, he ended up at the main gate of Fort Benning. He found it funny that the gate guard looked at him took a step back and snapped off a parade ground salute, I figured it was normal. He looked and acted like he was at least a colonel, in fact he acted more like a colonel than most of the colonels I’ve met.

In his professional career he was simply the best: Lineman, Project Superintendent, General Manager, and the job nearly killed him because he was also a micromanager. He knew (the bad part is that he was right) that he could do everyone’s job better than they could. He didn’t tolerate sloppiness or second-rate work. He built the house he lived in for the last 30 years of his life. I mean built with his own two hands. He told me once not long before he passed that it had always bothered him that the house was out of square. A friend of mine from college was selling one of the new laser total stations and I talked him into a demonstration one weekend. Dad was right, the house was out of square, 1/32d of an inch in 135 feet. Dad insisted he could see it.

In his career the people that he got along with best were the operations people, he was one of them, and in the time I was around they were almost all World War II combat veterans. They had the same belief system: right or wrong, yes or no. That’s where I first learned “Yes, sir; no, sir; three bags full, sir”.

He trained me as a lineman, with help from the crews, There wasn’t a piece of utility equipment I couldn’t operate (pretty well, too) by the time I was 14, He let me wire an outbuilding on my own when I was 13, he inspected it and took off some hide verbally on a minor violation of Article 250.

To this day he is there looking over my shoulder, every day. Each and everyday my first thought on a problem is what would Dad do? It’s served me very well, not so much financially, that was never the point, but every decision I’ve made, I could defend to the toughest judge I’ll ever face on Earth, Dad.

But you know the other thing about that. When I got my first few jobs as an electrical contractor, I asked him to back check me both on the plans and in the field. He absolutely refused. It hurt my feelings a lot but now I understand. He had taught me and taught me well: now it was up to me to perform. When I did with few problems, it was a huge confidence booster.

We never talked much, we Norse are world renowned for being taciturn but, you can tell just how men feel about each other when they shake hands, words are superfluous. So I know Dad always knew how much I loved him even as I knew how much he loved me. And like Tracie said, If I want to see him, all I have to do is look in a mirror.

The other thing that I realized is that I give all too often a two dimensional portrait of Dad. There was another side (several in fact). The other family tradition is music. Grampa did two things, ran the town light plant and directed the town band, both were passed down. Of the 7 brothers, 3 worked for utility companies, the other 4 directed high school bands (good ones too, even including one that toured Scandinavia and England). Which is how we got here in the first place, my Great Grampa first came to America on a band tour of Iowa and Minnesota, guess he liked what he saw.

Over at Ace’s yesterday, there was a thread about where would you go back to in history, and given the clientele of the site I wasn’t too surprised that most would go back to the old (what I often call “My”) America, usually about from 1880 to 1920 or so. I feel that way myself often. British Airways a few years ago summed up the wonder of the years pretty well with this.

And that was still another thing about Dad. He never lost his sense of wonder at the marvels we had wrought, He’d watch an airplane from horizon to horizon, had the first TV in town, (and the first air conditioner, I think), and one of the first color TV’s as well, which he built himself. I wonder what he would have thought of the internet. Actually, I don’t. He would have loved it, he loved anything that increased the knowledge and power of the average man, that is one of the main reasons, I think, that he loved and honored America, all his life.

I realize this is getting a bit long but one other thing sticks out in my memory. he married one of the prettiest and likely well-off women in his home town, although I doubt he ever took a dime from his father -in-law, he did it himself. But I don’t think he ever looked at another woman, as a woman again. I can remember commenting on a girl’s looks when I was a teenager (she was beautiful). he just looked at me and said, “I didn’t notice.” He was married to Mom for better than 50 years and completely satisfied, it may have been the strongest partnership ever.

I hope he is half as proud of me as I am of being his son. Let’s end with the quote from Tracie that set me off.

She said that Pop would never be truly gone as long as we were around to remember him… to honour him… to live our lives in a manner that would make him proud.

Friday Matinee

Well, gang, western civilization is still slipping down that slippery slope to hell in a handbasket but, today we’re going to ignore it.

My dearest friend and coauthor is going on holiday and what better way to tell her to have a wonderful time than to start her off with an old favorite. Besides us ‘comfortable’ older men have to stick together around these young and beautiful women.

And so for you (and the rest of us), Jess how about Rio Lobo.

And to tell you the truth, I need a break as well. So posting for a week or so will be light to nonexistent, depending how well I can keep myself entertained.

And Jess, you’ll be missed, so for all of us, have a wonderful time, dearest friend :-) xx

Enhanced by Zemanta

Guardians of the Republic

This weekend we celebrate those who gave “that last full measure of devotion” to our country, our freedom, and for other people’s freedom. It is meet and right that we do so. It is also proper, I think that we gather with friends and family and enjoy ourselves, that too is part of our freedom.

It is important though, I believe that we remember, and that we tell our young friends the why of the holiday. All around the world, tomorrow taps will be sounded to remember and commemorate the soldiers of America. We know, that this holiday was started by the Grand Army of the Republic, to remember those killed in our civil war. They can be found here:


As we moved into the twentieth century we did become that last, best hope of freedom for millions around the world. The names have become legendary, Belleau Wood, Meuse-Argonne, Anzio, Omaha Beach, Pont du Hoc, Metz, Bataan, the Coral Sea, Midway, the Ardennes, Iwo Jima, Inchon, the Chosin reservoir, Hue, the Ia Drang Valley, Thunder Road, and Fallujah, and so many more


We’ve paid a price to lead, and done so proudly. We should remember our heritage as free men

Still with his men.

Still with his men.


%d bloggers like this: