The View Out Back: 120107 13:53:07

"The sad part about life at this point is there's no horizon; the horizon is the cemetery. You always remember the fun things you do with your family."

Ike Joles

As the picture indicates, it's starting to look like winter out the backdoor. This morning there was no snow and now the ground is starting to get covered and the wind is blowing from the east -- an "ill wind," as we say around here. I see the snowmobile markers are staked out in the nearby fields and by tomorrow morning the sound of snowmobiles may echo in the neighborhood -- it the weather forecasts are correct. That means I maybe able to get the cross-country skis out, after the shovelling and snow blowing gets done.

The picture is the first one I've actually transferred from my digital camera to my computer to this blog site. I've had the camera for about four years. I inherited it from my Dad who received it from us as a Christmas present in 2002. He died in 2003. I finally figured out how to work the thing this summer and now -- with the snow falling -- I finally moved the picture to my PC. I one point in life, I could take picture with a 35mm camera, develop them in a darkroom and print them in a processes that involved the use of chemicals and darkness and the danger of overexposure that could take and hour or two. Today it's point the camera, push the button, plug the chord from the camera to the computer and unload the picture to the blog. Takes about 5 minutes with no smudge or cleanup.
Before the snow got going this morning, I headed to town for my Saturday routine. Having breakfast at the local cafe, I came across an interesting story in The Country Today newspaper about a guy name Ike Joles. Joles now lives in Luck and spent the first few years of his life living in a tent with his family back in the 1920s. Spending his early childhood living in a tent gave him a great perspective and the realization that material possessions don't matter.

This story made me think of how times change and the lessons we get passed do to us from our fathers change with those times. Times have definitely changed and we've gained more gadgets that we know what to do with. We might know how to program a cellphone but we are clueless as to how to fix it when it breaks. But then again, why fix it when you can toss it away and get an updated version that is slimmer, more complicated and fashionably cooler for half the price of the old one. Practical knowledge has been been tossed into the ditch somewhere along the information superhighway.

At the age of 52 and an avid music fan, I've traversed through a progressive mazes of recorded music options. It started 1964 with me spending my paper route money to buy a "45" of Jan and Dean's "Dean Man's Curve." I moved into LPs with the purchase of Credence Clearwater Revival's "Green River" in 1969. Then there were 8-tracks, cassettes and reel-to-reels and now CDs. I do know there are MP3 players, but I haven't got there yet...and may never get there.

Recently while browsing for CDs at Wal-Mart, a middle aged man asked the kid working if they carried tape for reel-to-reels. The kid said, "you mean like cassettes?" A nearby manager stepped up and volunteered that he'd heard of reel-to-reels before but had never actually seen one and had no idea where you could get tape for them. It's rather humbling to think that in the late 1960s and well into the 1970s reel-to-reels where a symbol of high-tech savvy. But then again, in the late 1960s, having an actually stereo was pretty cool. Cars had AM radios and then came FM and now there's satellite radio.

And the day the Joles family tent caught fire and everything burned, Ike Joles said, "The old man stood there and cried like a baby." Today, he could have got a much better one on sale at Wal-Mart, charged it on the credit card and worried about paying for it some other day. And in 1930, my Grandma used to walk to job that she got paid in chickens. She couple cook from scrath, knit, sew, can everything, fish and shoot a gun. Grandpa caught a huge catfish on the st. Croix that fed the family for a couple of weeks. He built the boat he fished in and the rod he caught the fish on.

Today, people are afraid to drive from New Richmond to Hudson without a cellphone -- in case something happens. And so it goes...

Humble beginnings
Born and raised in a tent, Luck man has led adventurous life
by Heidi Clausen
LUCK - From his birth in a tent somewhere outside St. Louis, it seems Ike Joles Jr. was destined to lead an adventurous life.

Out of that humble beginning came an entrepreneuring spirit that has served him well throughout his life.

Mr. Joles, 83 and living in Luck with Florence, his wife of more than 60 years, has been known to try almost anything once.

For decades, he and his family made a living selling medicinal herbs picked from here to Florida and Christmas trees cut by hand from northern Wisconsin woods.

Over the years, he also served in two wars, worked as a landscaper, owned a bait shop, managed a hardware store, ran a youth Bible camp and worked as a newspaper printer, among other titles he's held.

But life hasn't been all work and no play.

Read more @The Country Today.


Daredevil Evel Knievel dead at 69

This afternoon's headlines announced the death of Evel Knievel -- a modern day daredevil if there ever was one! Growing up in the late 60s and 70s, we never missed an Evel jump broadcast on ABC's Wide World of Sports. I think it was the Caesar's Palace jump that really made a name for Evel.

He inspired us to turn innocent sheets of plywood into jumps to launch our stingray bikes off of. With no helmets, padding or parental interference, we tempted backyard disaster in the summer months of our early teens. We all lived to tell about it and will mostly all die in bed like Evel. Although 40 years ago, I'm sure we were expecting to see Evel die live on ABC with Howard Cosell and Dandy Don Meredith doing the play-by-play.

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) -- Evel Knievel, the hard-living motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

Knievel's death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.


Below are some famous and not-so-famous videos of Evel.

The Caesar's Palace Jump

Sometimes he made it...

Actually most of the time he made it...

The true showman at the Snake River Canyon.

(A couple of buddies from Hudson went out to watch Evel jump the Snake River Canyon. My old man, who always told us Evel was an idiot, even watched the Snake River jump on Wide World of Sports.)

A Black Eye For Going Green

Granite Falls Energy ethanol plant fined $300,000 by Minnesota;
largest-ever environmental violation fine for a biofuel plant

In Minnesota, the Granite Falls Energy ethanol plant has been fined $300,000 for environmental violations by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said Thursday. The violations have been corrected, according to the agency, which related to over-production and water discharge quality among other issues. It is the largest environmental fine ever given to an ethanol plant.

The news is the largest environmental action against a biofuels facility since Black Warrior Riverkeeper, an environmental group, filed a suit against Alabama Biodiesel for Clean Water Act violations. The September 2007 lawsuit stemmed from complaints by local residents about oily residue downstream from the plant. Alabama Biodiesel has a 35 Mgy capacity and commenced production in 2005.

Read more at Bio Fuels Digest.

November Ain't Over...It's Still National Accordion Month

Another One Rides The Bus with Weird AL Yankovic
...on the Tom Synder Show circa 1981...



Our Favre,

Who art in Lambeau,

Hallowed be thine arm.

The bowl will come,

It will be won, in Dallas as it is in Lambeau.

Give us this Thursday,

Our weekly win.

And give us many touchdown passes.

But do not let others pass against us.

Lead us not into frustration,

But deliver us to the valley of the sun.

For thine is the MVP, the best of the NFC,

and the glory of the Cheeseheads,

now and forever.

High School Vandals Would Have Been Beheaded

Teacher In Sudan Court Over "Muhammad" Bear

CBS/AP) Britain began a round of delicate diplomacy Thursday as it tried to win the release of a British teacher facing prosecution in Sudan for allowing pupils to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband insisted in talks with Sudan's ambassador to London that the case is based on an innocent mistake, emphasizing Britain's respect for Islam.

Miliband told reporters before the meeting he would not threaten to cut aid over the issue. Officials said they believe a gentle approach is most likely to win Gillian Gibbons' freedom.

"There is an innocent misunderstanding at the heart of this, not a criminal offense," Miliband told reporters before the talks.



Borderwhiner Blogger Babble:

And there are women on welfare driving Cadillacs and people getting food stamps with cellphones!!!

"You know a person yesterday, a young man, went into a grocery store and he had an orange in one hand and a bottle in the other and he paid for the orange with food stamps and he took the change and paid for the vodka. That’s what’s wrong."

Ronald Reagan

It Never Adds Up...

At Least He Has A Job...


National Accordion Month Casues Global Warming...

Those Darn Accordians on "Fire!!!!"

Hudson's CATV Channel 15 Gets Exclusive Footage...

Major Borderline Philosophers Caught FightingOutside School Board Meeting

Apparently two of the major philosophers in the St. Croix valley came to blows before a recent school board meeting. Dr. Spiritofkoolaidus took on Curt O. Nuttycuss in a knock down fight on school property. An unidentified man cheered the two blog buddies on, but his cheers where muted by the duct tape over his mouth. Another member of the blog group wrote down everything thing that was said between the two major philosophers and promised to make copies of the transcripts for everybody on the copier he brings to the board meetings.

Details at 6:66 and 17:76...

Gasp! Thompson Says FOX News Is Biased

Fred gets cranky with Sis Wallace. Sis pleads weasle-innocence as the dead man talks.


A Crackerjack Philosopher's Dilemma

We're headed for a recession - or not

"It's important to note, before we go further, that economics is not a hard science, certainly not in any conventional understanding of that term. It's not even an art, though some practitioners see it as such. It's more in the nature of an occult practice, sort of like alchemy, the medieval effort to turn baser metals into gold.

The economist rummages through stacks of arcane statistics, submits them to certain preferred measures of past economic performance, stirs in a dash of raw gut instinct and - voila! - produces a prediction. How often are they right? A bit less often than weather forecasters is as good a guess as any. Or, if you believe their harshest critics, economists' predictions are typically wider of the mark than the initial cost estimate on car repairs you'll get from your local mechanic."

John Farmer
St. Paul Pioneer Press


Wisconsin state employees could see 5 percent raise

MADISON, Wis. - Many state employees in Wisconsin would see 5 percent salary increases over the next 18 months under a plan being reviewed by the Legislature.

The Office of State Employment Relations is recommending a 2 percent raise for nonunion state employees this month; a 2 percent raise in July 2008 and a 1 percent raise in April 2009.

A state employee making $50,000 per year right now would have a $52,540 annual salary by the end of the 18-month period.

The recommendations apply to University of Wisconsin faculty and staff, many executive branch employees and elected officials.

A legislative committee is expected to hold a public hearing on the recommendations tomorrow and could take action on the raises.

Source: Associated Press


Pribonic Brings The Borderline To Memphis

My thoughts: Smoke-tax crackdown flouts laws of economics
by Mark Pribonic
Memphis Commercial Appeal

Local borderline blogger had the following op-ed piece appear in the Sunday, November 25 edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

A few weeks ago Tennessee Department of Revenue officials announced a crackdown on individuals who commit the high crime of purchasing goods at the lowest possible price. The penalties for this egregious act include confiscation of property and possible fines.

Tennessee state government is displeased with citizen reaction to the 42-cent increase in the tax on a pack of cigarettes that went into effect in July. Apparently some residents have the audacity to buy their smokes across the border now, thus denying the state bureaucracy a portion of its booty.

The ignorance displayed by elected officials when the subject matter requires economic common sense and historical perspective never ceases to amaze me. Tennessee's 62-cent-per-pack cigarette tax is a case in point.


Tax Whiners Set Date for Tea Party

OTBL's spirit 'O BS has scheduled the groups next winter fun and tea party to coincide with
this years SEC Championship Game . (Bring you own bleachers). Those buying gas at Fleet Farm are not welcome to this event.
and submitting to WI's evil gas tax, not welcome!