Below are the 25 most recent journal entries.
An intelligent debate (i hope) between my liberal self, and a young, smart conservative
Thanks for responding, I look forward to an intelligent debate on the issues.
“I think that the policies of Obama are way too Marxist, radical and outrageous. Sen. Obama was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal's 27th annual vote ratings.”
I don’t think unsubstantiated claims are useful for the debate. Calling someone “Marxist, radical, outrageous, or liberal” without defining what that means doesn’t describe why you disagree with Obama’s policies.
“Maintaining The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life”
With this assertion, are you saying Democrats are not interesting in preserving the sanctity and dignity of human life? I don’t think this debate is about the dignity of life, but where life begins. If you think life begins at conception, I can understand why you think abortion is a horrible act. I do not think human life begins at conception. I also don’t think abortion should be completely unrestricted. Like most Americans (http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/10071), I think there should be abortions allowed under some circumstances.
I think the debate on abortion should not be about “yes or no”, but a healthy debate on where life begins. This is a philosophical, religious, and scientific debate.
I assume you are a Christian, and I have researched what the bible says about abortion. Abortion is not specifically mentioned directly in the bible, but there are several passages about where life begins.
In Numbers 5, God appears to give a curse that causes abortions in unfaithful wives. According to this passage, the Lord instructed Moses that a husband who suspected his wife of unfaithfulness could take her to the priest for a test that would either confirm or deny his suspicions. The test involved his wife drinking a cup of "bitter water," which consisted of holy water mixed with the dust of the tabernacle floor. If the woman were innocent, then no harm would come to her by drinking it. But if she were guilty, then "she will have barrenness and a miscarrying womb." In this text, God himself appears to be endorsing the practice of abortion, and choice. The husband chooses to take the wife to the priest. True, God may have made the final determination whether or not to cause the miscarriage, but if he had intended for humans to have no role in the process, he would have spontaneously aborted the fetus without their participation. How do you interpret this?
Several passages also talk about personhood, and when it happens
In Exodus 21:22-23 it says, "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury [i.e., to the mother], the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury [i.e., to the mother], you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot…" How do you interpret this passage? I interpret it that since a miscarriage is considered a monetary injury rather than “life for a life”, it is saying that a fetus is not life.
In Genesis 38, Judah mistakes Tamar as a prostitute, and orders her to be burned to death, despite the fact she is three months pregnant. If her twin fetuses had been considered persons, the law would have delayed her execution at least until her twins were born.
In Leviticus 27:1-7, the lowest values were given to children between the ages of one month and five years. Boy babies were worth five shekels, and girls were worth three. Below the age of one month, they did not even merit a price.
For census purposes in Numbers 3:15, only male babies older than one month were to be counted. Below this age, they were not considered persons to be counted.
“Preserving Traditional Marriage”
My personal belief is that government should not be involved in marriage at all, and leave that up to the religious community. I think government should recognize civil unions between both heterosexual and homosexual couples, and the medical/insurance rights, inheritance rights, and joint property rights that go with them.
I do not understand how allowing homosexuals to “marry” harms traditional marriage. Do you think gay marriage leads to higher divorces among heterosexuals?
You state, “Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage..” How do you know this? I have not found any research show that children are better or worse off if they are raised by gay parents. Please let me know if there is any university research backing this.
You state “Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married.” It appears to me there is much more effort spent on denying gays the ability to marry than trying to keep families together. (This could be just because the media is portraying things that way.) I don’t see conservative Christians rallying against divorce and single parents with nearly the same fervor as they do against gays.
As a member of a two-parent family, I agree that it “still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character.” But there are many families that cannot be this way, and I do not think they should be outlawed.
Again, I assume you go to the Bible for guidance on this issue. Homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible six times. Redemption and helping the poor are mentioned many more times, but conservative Christians vote appear to vote for candidates based on homosexuality, a relatively minor issue. (again, this could just be media bias, I have not seen any numbers).
Let’s look at the six Bible passages referring to homosexuality:
I do not interpret this as a condemnation of homosexuality. Crowds outside Lot’s door are looking to rape angels who are staying in his house. I think the destruction of Sodom was for a host of immorality, such as injustice, lack of hospitality to strangers, and idolatry, not homosexuality.
Leviticus 18 & 20
Leviticus is pretty clear in its condemnation of homosexuality. But in the same book, with the same emphasis, it also condemns wearing clothing made of multiple materials, tattoos, holding back wages overnight, eating pork & shrimp, and says you should treat immigrants well, hold both the wealthy and poor in the same regard. Using Leviticus as justification for condemning homosexuals, without equally condemning those who disobey they rest of those laws, seems hypocritical. How do you justify treating passages differently?
This passage is very similar to Leviticus, full of other laws which are not followed today. This passage condemns male prostitutes, who may or may not have been gay. Condemning prostitution is different than condemning homosexuality.
This passage says says that those who reject God will be “given over to a shameful lusts”. They will engage in many acts that are not pleasing to God. Men will “burn with lust for one another”. Does this mean that only those that are “burning with lust” are displeasing to God? Could there be homosexuals who do not share this frame of mind?
I Corinthians 6:9
“neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” Why is homosexuality treated differently than all the other things mentioned in this statement? Some translations also intrepret this as prostitution, perversion, rapists. How do you decide which translation is correct?
I Timothy 1:10
The passage here is very similar to I Corinthians, with multiple translations, and homosexuality mentioned with many others behaviors that are treated differently.
“Asserting Family Rights in Schooling”
I to believe that good education for everyone is a public benefit. Having well educated youth benefits you even if you do not have children. Do you disagree with this?
I believe that individuals who choose to home school their children, or send them to private school, should have the right to do so, but not at the expense of a good education for all youth.
There are problems with our public schools, but I don’t think removing children from those schools benefits either the school or the child. Data backs this up. In the book Freakonomics, they discuss this issue. Children going to “good” schools are no more successful than those going to “bad” schools, when controlled for income level, race, and education of the parents. What mattered is that the youth’s parents wanted them to go to a “good” school. If you have data to the contrary, please let me know.
“Defending Our Nation”
I am not sure if you are implying that liberals or Democrats do not support our military because they question our involvement in Iraq. Do you think dissent is unpatriotic? I want to be confident that our troops are dying for a good reason, and I don’t think the current administration has given us that good reason.
I also don’t think the outsourcing of our military is a good strategy to protect our country. Halliburton has received billions of dollars in no-bid contracts in Iraq; I do not believe this is sound military or economic policy. How do you feel about multi-billion dollar contracts being awarded to the company Dick Cheney was in charge of?
I do not believe the war on terrorism can be won. The September 11th attacks were done by 19 hijackers armed with knives. I do not think US military and police forces can stop small groups from committing terrorist acts. Lone individuals or small groups can create large amounts of destruction. Do you think the US military can stop all terrorist acts from occurring?
I believe that all individuals in our country deserve the same military & police protection, access to the court system, K-12 education, access to roads, and health care regardless of their ability to pay. Health insurance companies make money by denying people care. I don’t like a company making money at the expense of people’s suffering.
You state, “We will encourage health promotion and disease prevention.” How do you do that without government programs? I do not think the health care corporations will do it, because they make more money from sick people than healthy people. The advertising budget for fast & junk food is thousands of times more than the current government spending on nutrition education.
You state, “We will not put government between patients and their health care providers.” Currently, insurance companies are between patients and their health care providers. Those companies are driven by profits, and the only way for them to increase their profits is to cut costs by denying care. Similarly, “We will not put the system on a path that empowers Washington bureaucrats at the expense of patients.” I would rather have a government employee trying to improve the health of US residents overseeing my health care, than a corporation that is driven by a profit motive. Do you think the profit motive leads to better health care? I am skeptical.
You state, “We will not raise taxes instead of reducing health care costs. We will not replace the current system with the staggering inefficiency, maddening irrationality, and uncontrollable costs of a government monopoly.” I would argue that the current system is inefficient, irrational, and has uncontrollable costs. Medical bills are the #1 cause of personal bankruptcy in the US. For the year 2002, U.S. citizens spent $5,267 per capita on health care. The country with the next highest per capita expenditure, Switzerland, spent $3,446 per capita. The median country spent $2,193 per capita. And all the other countries in the study have universal health care. We spend more per capita than all other countries, and some people spend no money on health care. What is your definition of an efficient system with controlled costs?
Most republicans say government should be run like a business. Businesses have the ability to change their prices based on supply and demand. Government often has the greatest demand for services when the economy is doing poorly and they are bringing in less tax revenue. Government has to provide service to everyone, not just those who can afford it; unlike business, which can deny any consumer without the ability to pay. Businesses have the ability to take risk and reap the benefit or loss from those risks; government has to be stable to ensure the welfare of the entire country is always safeguarded.
I look forward to continued debate.
This past weekend we went to the sugarbush and spent some time with Autumn's mom and grandparents. Nothing beats the sweet smell and warm feel of sap boiling. Looking across the fog of the evaporator is springtime joy. Hopefully we'll have enough maples in 25 years to have our own sugarbush.
My parents sold the garage a week ago today. The two weekends prior I went down to help clear stuff out. I got all the old records out of the attic. There was a bill from the 1940s for a tune-up, oil change, & lube for $1.50. There was another bill for a coal delivery; 7050 pounds of coal for $40. Dad said there used to be an old coal furnace to heat the garage. When people came in from the cold, they would back up to it to warm up, and a few people caught there coats on fire. I got a Hastings Oil Filter clock that said Prairieville Garage, an old Coca-Cola sign, and the gasoline sales license. Jennie took a 7-Up sign, a Carquest sign, some old phones, and the Open/Closed sign that went on the door. Dwayne got the rolltop desk from the office. I can't say I will miss the place, but it does have a lot of memories. I wonder what Dad will do with his time?
This is a good reflection I found on Mushi's blog and I feel a need to write because I haven't in a while.
If you're here, you already know my name
My childhood ambition:
I really don't remember.
My fondest memory:
The vacations with Autumn to Florida for Crash & Mushi's wedding and our trip to DC (when we visited Mushi & Crash)
I am obsessive checking out music from NPR's songs of the century list from the library. I listen to NPR, Air America, and RadioMargaritaville for stations and Dar Williams, Jimmy Buffett, Indigo Girls, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and many others
My retreat: back on our property or on a lake in a non-powered boat
My wildest dream:
To have enough money to buy all the non-MSU houses around Lower Crooked Lake, and the farms across Milo Road. Then put our current house on that property, and do the job I am currently doing.
My proudest moment:
My biggest challenge:
Trying to be the best spouse and parent that I can be
My alarm clock:
My perfect day:
Any day that I make a difference
My first job:
Groundskeeper at a cemetery
Autumn & Lonna; comic books, MAME, politics
My last purchase:
I can't buy anything without Autumn's permission (and that is a good thing, that woman can manage money better than anybody; who else has 3 house before they are 30 on a modest income)
Autumn & Lonna; and the idea that I can make the world a better place through my family, my work, and my example
Year in reflection
Was I was 29 I had a very good year.......
There are ups and downs in every year, but I am still amazed but how lucky I am. Why has the great Flying Spaghetti Monster blessed me? Seriously, I think how you interpret life can make bad stuff seem not so bad. Maybe that's why people need religion, to help them through the bad times. But does that really work?
Bad stuff this year
-Both Autumn's and my Grandmothers descent into dementia, and the difficulty communicating with our parents on how they need to be "responsible" for this. I hope when our parent are at that stage, we will be able to deal with it better.
-We still have the house in Flint. The shitty economy in the state probably means it won't sell anytime soon. Flint still hopes for GM to save them, but it won't ever happen. The closing of Delphi probably won't help.
-The state and county will still have budget woes. Autumn and I have a plan b if I lose my job; it won't be easy but we can make it work.
Good stuff this year (hopefully a lot longer than the prior list)
-Lonna is a wonderful daughter. Parenting is hard, but I think we are doing pretty good. Mostly because we turn off the TV and talk.
-Autumn is wonderful wife and a financial genius. She can get everything we need on a miniature budget. If anyone wants to know how get something for nothing, talk to her. We also communicate very well. We talk much more than other couples I know. Rather than come home and get on the computer or TV, we talk. We talk in the tub, we talk if we watch TV or movies, we talk about how best to be parents for Lonna, we talk about the house. I feel we are very in tune with each other. Plus she is sexy, smart, and beautiful.
-We have a wonderful house that Autumn designed. And we got CO this year. Every day I love it more. The big tub, the island in the kitchen, the pantry, the entry closet, wide staircase, the view on our property when we wake up in the morning, the bamboo floors, the second floor laundry, the bonus room over the garage. My wife kicks ass.
-I have a very rewarding and challenging job. It is different every day, and I feel like I make a difference. My boss is understanding and flexible.
-I have very nice kitties, even if they don't get along.
-My relationship has improved with my sister & uncle.
-Autumn's mother has been a huge benefit. Having her to watch Lonna allowed us to finish the house this year. She can also make me really cool shirts
Peace & Happy New Year,
Q. What's the difference between Vietnam and Iraq?
A. Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam
The holidays turned out well for us. As a new tradition this year, we had no electric lights, computer, radio, or TV in the house for the night before and after the solstice (where we are in Michigan, they were both the longest night of the year so we couldn't decide) We made cookies all day and it was relaxing and fun. The hot buttered rum was nice too.
As far as gifts, I got a food processor, which I had been asking for, a Muppet stamp set, some knives, an apple peeler, and I can't remember what else. I love to cook, so that is good. Lonna had a lot of fun, I will post pictures soon at http://bugandwaterguy.yafro.com/
I enjoyed seeing family, although my Grandmother's mental capacity is going fast. It is difficult to carry on a conversation with her. Autumn's Grandmother is also declining, but she isn't to the point of mine yet. Both of us are in a situation to see the decline. Autumn is helping her mom to come to grips with the situation, but I cannot get my parents to have a serious conversation about it.
I also heard from Max. It is very good to hear from him. His website is at http://www.myspace.com/enigma75. If anyone wants his email, let me know.
What to do?
Autumn turned 29 yesterday, and it was a pretty crappy birthday for her. I got her a spa visit. She went with her grandparents to a doctor's appointment (because her mom couldn't go). It seems that Grandma is going down the dementia/Alzheimer's road. Uncle Cliff was up for hunting season, and did quite a bit while he was here. Vickie still seems to be unwilling to step up, but it is hard to tell. It is difficult for everyone.
On a related healthcare-rant note, the medication costs $152 a month, and the doctor wasn't very encouraging about it. It is not covered by medicare, and the doctor said that if they can't afford it, they shouldn't get it. WHY DON'T WE HAVE A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM!?! It would help the economy & jobs, because that is the biggest cost for company; it would be good for individuals; and it would be good for health care workers.
On Saturday, Autumn's Grandparents, Uncle Cliff, and Mom came up for Thanksgiving. It was nice seeing Uncle Cliff, since we haven't seen him in a while. I tried making a brined turkey and it turned out excellent. It was the juiciest, most flavorful turkey I have ever had, and it wasn't very difficult. I would wait until the thermometer reads about 170F rather that the 161 the recipe recommends, the dark meat was a little underdone.
On a not so good note, someone brought the flu to the table as well. I got sick on Sunday evening, Cliff got it Monday morning, and Vickie got it Monday afternoon. We will have to see who gets it next.
On another sad note, it appears Autumn's Grandma has dementia/Alzheimer's worse than we thought. Since Cliff is spending a couple weeks with them for hunting season, he is seeing alot more than we see when we visit for the day. She actually visited her mother's old house (who died in 1955) and wondered why she wasn't there. Cliff, Grandma, and Grandpa are all visiting the doctor this week.
It makes me even more worried about my own grandmother who is even more forgetful than Autumn's Grandma. My Grandma has a gas stove, and she is too cheap to use a pilot light, so she lights it every time by hand. I am afraid she is going to blow up the neighborhood. I keep trying to talk to my parents about it, but they will not confront it. That suprises me, because they have been very deliberate about their own planning. They have both have signed a will, living will, and medical power of attorney with my brother. They probably have forethought because of Clarise. I wonder what I can do to get them to deal with Grandma?
How to fix this country?
There are a myriad of problems with this country. Education is extremely lacking, the environment is going to hell, people can't afford health care, not to mention social issues. Why aren't politicians even working on any of these issues? They have to know they exist. Fixing the health care system would help everyone, even (most) corporations. Do politicians refuse to do anything because big business opposes it? If so, could real campaign finance be the magic bullet?
Autumn, Lonna, and I had a good day today.
This morning we went to the Flint Institute of Art. They have an Andy Warhol exhibit, which I wasn't impressed with. We haven't been there in a while, so we saw some other exhibits that we like. This afternoon we got some good geocaching in. We have some travelbugs that we want to get moving.
It's nice to see some democrats attempting to do something in Washington, even if it is very late. Bush's approval is at an all time low. Do I dare hope for impeachment? Hell, I might give him a blowjob if it would get him out of office. Now that we have broadband, I enjoy listening to Air America Radio. Jerry Springer is a smart and polite guy. Al Franken too. When they get angry and go on a rant that is funny but probably untrue, they pull themselves back and admit they are exaggerating. You would never hear that from vulgar pigboy or O'Reilly. Some of the other hosts are hypocrites, doing the same thing on the left that they complain about on the right.
Autumn's mom was up last weekend, so we got some painting done at the old house. It won't sell until after the first of the year anyway. Unless someone out there is looking for a house?
Halloween is boring
We had no trick-or-treaters yesterday. Is everyone so scared they can't take candy from strangers? Mom, Dad, and Clarise stopped by on Saturday and spent the night in the camper. Autumn was stuck with them for a while because I was at a conference at Higgins Lake. I thought we lived too far away for a pop-in, but I guess not.
Halloween & more tales from the Prairieville Garage
Autumn, Lonna, & I went to a Halloween party for 5 & under age kids that the school district put on. I was underwhelmed with the school building. The school had a vending machine for "milk", which was loaded with milkshake-type drinks. There was not a vegetable on the lunch menu. It makes me consider home schooling just for nutritional reasons. The meal was potluck, and everything was processed. The only non-packaged & processed food was our roasted pumpkin seeds and popcorn.
Another tale from the garage
A horse had fell into a well pit. There was an tin sheet covering the pit and the horse fell through. My Uncle Leo (really my cousin, and the guy who introduced my parents to each other) was at the garage shooting the breeze and went with my dad on the call. Uncle Leo worked at a county farm (Dad wasn't sure if it was for prisoners or mental patients) and thought he could help. When they got to the location just the horse's head was sticking out of the well pit. Uncle Leo told Dad that a horse's neck could hold the entire weight of the horse, so Dad & Uncle Leo put the strap around the horse's neck and winched the animal out. When they pulled it out, it slumped over immediately. Dad thought the horse was dead. There was a lot of foam and sweat all over the horse because it was struggling, and it had only fainted. They got towels and wiped the horse down. Then Uncle Leo checked all the legs to make sure they hadn't broke. The legs were all ok, so Uncle Leo told the horse, "You're alright," and slapped it on the butt. The horse stood up and was fine.
I'm sure if I keep asking Dad, I will get more interesting stories.
Autumn and I have a new hobby called geocaching. Geocaching is where people hide stuff on public property, post the latitude and longitude on the website, and you find it and trade items. I was wondering if anyone else does this, or if they have a GPS and would like to try it out. I thought it might be fun to send something to Mushi & Crash. It seems like something they would be interested in, because it is outdoors-y and tech-y. Our username is lonnabugs.
The end of a era for the Greater Prairieville Area
My parents came up this weekend with their camper. Friday was the last day the garage was open. Kevin was stringing them along saying he wanted to buy it. They updated the electrical service and did an environmental cleanup, offered him a 2% interest land contract and was going to sell the business and all the tools and inventory for around $100,000, but he still backed out. Dad is very frustrated, but probably won't say anything.
I asked Dad about interesting stories working at the garage for the past 40+ years.
One of the regular customers of the garage (I don't remember what Dad said his name was, so I will call him Fred) called Dad and said there was a hearse stuck in a ditch. The guy who had the hearse (we'll call him Joe) was acting very strange and extremely nervous. Dad drove Joe back to the scene. When Joe got in the wrecker, he turned the radio up as loud as it would go. Joe asked Dad his name, and said that Jerry was a real nice name. He would put a cigarette in his mouth, light a match, and forget to light the cigarette. The match would then burn down to his fingers and he would do this again. Joe soon had several cigarettes in his mouth and kept burning his fingers. When Dad got to the scene, the hearse had its nose in the ditch, and the back wheels still spinning in the air. The radio was up as high as it would go and the engine was still running. Dad pulled the car out of the ditch and took the keys out. As soon as Dad walked away from the hearse, Joe ran over to it and looked around in the car very strangely. Dad then moved the hearse again and put the keys back in his pocket. As soon as Dad got out of the hearse, Joe ran over to it and got in it like he was going to drive away. When he found the keys weren't in it, he got out and looked at Dad very strangely. Dad told Joe that the car wasn't safe to run, because he was suspicious. Dad asked Joe if wanted to ride back to the garage with him, and Joe said, "No" right away, so Fred took him back to the garage. (he probably thought Dad was magic because he drove the car without keys) When Dad got back to the garage, he checked the papers in the glovebox and it said the hearse belonged to some funeral home. Dad asked Joe if he worked for the funeral home, and the guy said no. Dad called the police and asked if a hearse was missing. The cop, (Dennis Purdy, Michelle & Melissa's dad) said that one was stolen. Dennis got to the garage and threw the Joe against the wall. It turned out Joe had escaped from the asylum and had some drug problems. When Joe was asked why he stole a hearse, he said, "I thought it was special, most people only get to ride in those once"
It has been a long time
I haven't blogged in a long time because of many things. Now we have high-speed access at our new house, so I can blog and listen to internet radio. Woo-hoo!
We are done. Mostly. We still have a few pieces of base trim, have to paint and fill doors & trim, touch up paint, and organize some stuff. We are here full time and loving it. Autumn designed a wonderful house. I can't think of anything she could have done better. I am so lucky to have a wife who can design a great house and figure out how to pay for it.
They want Autumn to get in more hours at the journal, but it is hard to justify if we need to pay for child care. Currently we have been able to flex schedules so one of us is with Lonna all the time. County and state budget cuts have made my job not-so-stable, but I survived this year. When will some politicians get the balls to raise taxes? Our state has a structural deficit and is not doing its job on several fronts (particularly education and environmental enforcement).
I should be posted more pictures to yafro soon. I have a few daily reads that people might like:
Bartcop-the best liberal rants and political cartoons I have found
The Sneeze-Very Funny. Especially Steve, Don't Eat It
The Church of Reality-The only religion worth believing in, because its the only one that is real!
Autumn cut her hair!
What do you think
We have passed our final inspection and now have certificate of occupancy on our new house. We finished the stair railing and the closets and have been moving stuff in a little at a time. Now comes the hard part, selling the house in Flint
Vickie has been up since July 2nd, so we have gotten alot done on the house. We finished the stair railing today, and we will get our final inspection tomorrow. When we make the corrections, we can get our certificate of occupancy. We have the pantry finished and have move most of our kitchen stuff to the new house.
I am worried about Sandra O'Connor retiring. I am ready to make calls when monkeyboy nominates some conservative. Autumn will decide how much we can afford to donate to NARAL. I hope some democrats have the chutzpah to not allow some idiot in the Supreme Court. She wasn't perfect, but she was pretty good (especially compared to Thomas and Scalia). At least I still have her nude picture from Jon Stewart's America the Book.
I have also posted some new photos at http://bugandwaterguy.yafro.com/
Shudders and chills
I am spending most of my non-work time at the new house, since it has air conditioning (and no internet) so things will be coming infrequently.
I just finished re-reading Alan Moore's Watchmen in which a former superhero decides to avert war by orchestating an attack which wipes out half of NYC; resulting in nations coming together. This was written in 1985. You should read it too.
We have about half the closets done. Uncle Jack provided the rest of the spindles for our stair railing, which should be done this next week. I moved a lot of dirt to around the entrances to pass code. I am taking this week off to finish stuff up so we can get our certificate of occupancy.
If you haven't visited thesneeze.com, you should.
I spent Monday and Tuesday at Kettunen Center for our MCEA (Michigan Council of Extension Associations)retreat. I currently serve as as the president. I felt we had a very productive meeting and will actually make a difference in our organization. I have served in many leadership positions since leaving high school. I have served as president of my undergraduate association, the Flint River Watershed Coaliton, the environmental science advisory board for the local tech school, CRDA, and MCEA. It always seems that I am taking the position because no one else will, but I am not sure. Maybe I do have a political bug in me somewhere. I don't know.
It's Official! Our baby is beautiful!
I haven't written lately because we are spending most of our time in the new, air-conditioned house. Yesterday Autumn took Lonna to a beautiful baby contest. Lonna won! There were about 30 babies in the 12-24 month age group, and Lonna was the most beautiful. She also won most photogenic for a picture we sent in beforehand. Lonna received a $50 savings bond and a gift certificate to a photography studio.
This past week we bought a lawn tractor. Autumn also finished a portion of the stair railing, but it doesn't appear very sturdy.
I have posted new photos at http://bugandwaterguy.yafro.com/
I am so smart! S-M-R-T
I guess Ms. Trautman taught me well.
Autumn had a terrible headache Friday and Saturday, along with dizzy spells that made her too uncomfortable too drive. I was worried, but she was fine Sunday. Lonna is more fun and more mischievous every day. She is spontaneously doing yoga poses and walking everywhere and opening everything. We are going to send a picture to a cute baby contest. Anyone have a favorite from http://bugandwaterguy.yafro.com/ ?
My parents are in the process of cleaning up the contamination at the garage. They are understandably frustrated at how there is no help for someone who is "doing the right thing". A company like Dow Chemical can devastate an entire watershed, but they can afford lawyers to avoid cleanup. Dow can also access tax loopholes to pay for it. Government regulation forces "mom & pop" auto repair facilities out of business. Should government subsidize proper environmental practices for small business? (they do for agriculture) Or should this type of work be left to "the big guys"? (who get big tax cuts for providing so many jobs) In Dad's case, when the garage started operating over 50 years ago, this stuff wasn't regulated. I would favor my tax dollars to upgrade existing small business to meet the regulations.
We got more work done on stair railing and window trim this weekend. We got a final electrical inspection, but have to fix a few things. While investigating that we found out our jacuzzi tub is leaking. DOH!
PS I don't want to give the wrong impression with my music selections, but I am usually typing one-handed with a sleeping baby on my arm. Consequently the selections are more subdued.