Saturday, June 9, 2012

Good news and bad news

The hood ornament - click
   To say Michael Dingman is an automobile collector is an understatement.  The Ford Company Director has been collecting Fords and Ford neon signs for years and years.  Only cars with the old flathead V8 engines are in the "priceless collection".
  The oldest car in the collection is joining others in an auction, it's a blue 1934 Ford Deluxe Phaeton.
It has been used all these years at the family's vacation spot in the Bahamas.
  I bought a Megabucks ticket this week the $5,275,000.00 prize when you take the cash option (I'm old, remember?) leaves you with about $1,535,000.00 after the prize is cut in half and taxes are taken out.  I will not be able to afford to bid on this car even if I win.
Just look at the magnificent condition!
  And now, the bad news.  The bad news begins because I read the news online, I read several sites every day and a few newspaper sites too.  As a result learning this stuff, on occasion, really ticks me off.  REALLY!
  Yesterday I learned of the millions of dollars being spent to upgrade Gitmo.  Yes the very prison for foreign combatants, the one that want us dead.  Improvements are a top grade soccer field, fenced and guarded, cable TV with 21 channels and dining facilities.
  It now costs the taxpayers $800,000.00 (eight hundred thousand dollars) to house a resident of Gitmo for one year!  The State of Maine only spends $41,000 (Forty-one thousand dollars) a year.
  The thing that ticks me off now:  The Federal Government in its infinite wisdom has decided that a citizen must earn less than (are you ready?) $11,170.00 to be in poverty.  Eleven thousand One Hundred Seventy dollars!!). be considered in poverty you must earn about 71.6 times less than it takes to keep one Gitmo prisoner for a year!
  Now that's bad news!
An Osprey going fishing.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Contraptions, etc.

Self operating napkin
  When I was a child a long time ago (or, once upon a time), I heard people talk about Rube Goldberg.  Mr. Goldberg was educated as an engineer, but he was a cartoonist, inventor and political cartoonist.
He is best remembered for his cartoon drawings of ways to do simple task in the most complicated way.  In the drawing above A. The man eats a spoonful of soup, B. his arm movement lifts the spoon (C), which throws the cracker (D) to the parrot (E).  The parrot gains weight to tip the scale (F) which releases sand into the little bucket (H) which lowers and pulls string (I), in turn it opens the recipe box (J) which fires a rocket (K) to which a sickle (L) which cuts string (M) and causes the pendulum to swing and wipes the mans mouth with the napkin.
  He is most well known for things such as that cartoon, however it was his political cartoons which led people to dislike him during World War Two (I have no samples), he wanted the US to enter the was sooner than it did to save Jewish lives (in summary).
  The annual award for "best cartoonist" is named the "Reuben" in honor of Mr. Goldberg, and family members still run a museum to honor him as well.
  During WWII, he instructed his two sons to change their last names, they chose the name George as a surname and the family that remains still use that name.
  Here are a couple more cartoons:
Pencil Sharpener - click to enlarge
A back scratcher

Thursday, June 7, 2012

All for a loaf of bread

Dry bulk hauler.
  Over thirty years ago I used to have a beer with a guy named John.  John worked for J J Nissan Company, commercial bakers at that time in Portland, Maine.  Nissan makes bread and rolls for sale in super markets and grocery stores.  His job was to get the flour, shipped by rail, to the bakery by truck.
  For some strange reason yesterday I started to think about how flour is handled as freight, you know my mind works in strange ways to think of stuff like that.  Anyway, when I got home I looked up the methods used to ship flour.  For the sake of this blog we'll say it was shipped from Minnesota to Maine.  I don't know if Nissan, now in Biddeford Maine still receives shipments via rail, or if trucks are used now.  Trucks are kind of taking over the transport at this time.   Dry bulk shipments would be in trucks like the one at the top.  They load on top of the trailer and unload at the bottom.  Dry bulk could be flour, seeds, or grain for critters or who knows what.
Flour from a rail car being transferred to a truck.
  Flour shipped by rail is handled like the photo above.  The flour is filtered at all ends of the pipeline, that keeps impurities to a minimum.
Flour loaded on to rail cars at the mill - click to enlarge.
  Next time you go to the store for a loaf of bread you'll know how the heck that flour got all the way from some mill way out west to a factory baker in Maine, or anywhere else.  Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to make a sandwich.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Working at the water.

Belfast Shipyard building under construction 2010 - click
  The Belfast Shipyard has turned out to be a great success, when it was being built there was talk of creating 35 jobs, but soon almost 100 people will be employed.  The recent agreement with a boat builder from Rhode Island helped the boost.  The Rhode Island outfit builds boats from composit materials, boats like racing yachts.
  The yard is busy now overhauling pleasure and working boats inside the big blue building, shown here:
Inside work - Bangor Daily News Feb 24 2012
The Shipyard reportedly can work on up to 30 boats at a time, inside, and weather permitting a larger number outside.  This work is what I would call "fancy stuff", things like new engines, upholstrey or galley and berthing spaces.  Work on the hull and superstructure  of the boats is also done (shown above).
You can view the Shipyard from the Memorial Bridge (footbridge)
over the Passagassawaukeag River near its entrace to Penobscot Bay.
Hauling a boat from the water and placing it at a storage station. - Bangor
Daily News Sept 02 2011
Tug boats wait in Belfast to help guide ships into Sears Island Port Facilities
in Searsport, also they sometimes help barge traffic up the Penobscot
River to Bangor (most barges have their own tugs)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Is it raining at your house.......... sure is raining at mine.  So goes the old Vern Gosdin song.  I believe, or I've been led to believe, that we are now down to just having showers, and that the sun will shine on Friday.
High tide at Camp Ellis, Saco Maine.  June 3, 2012 - click
  An example of what nearly five inches of rain and an astronomical high tide can look like when the storm in coming from the northeast.  In the winter it would be a "'nor easter".
  Some areas of Maine have already received over eight inches of rain from the current system that continues to this minute, BUT we had a couple of hours yesterday without rainfall.
Farmers in the Missouri River Valley in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri have a huge problem with sand deposits caused by the flooding of the Missouri this past spring.
There is an example, and I'm hoping you can read it.
Can you imagine the equipment and labor costs to clear the sand from this prime farmland?  Not to mention that farmers have lost 300 Million dollars income due to not planting the corn and soy beans that would have gone to market.
  Weather can be our friend, I like to drink water for example, we all need some rain and snow for a healthy life and to grow crops.  These are just examples of too much all at once.

Is it raining at your house?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Still raining

  Rain still falling, some rivers and streams are flooded, roads are flooded and/or closed too, and that's mostly down in the southern part of the state.  They have received, so far, five and a half inches of rain and it's still falling.  Up here in central Maine we've had a lot of rain too, three inches so far, but we've had less damage so far - it's still raining.
  Oh, that photo up there?  It's the next "Project", I've already done the tracing.  The good news? there are no wheels and I am not going to subject all of you to a step-by-step viewing.
  Now to the #&*$@! Red Sox, if it's still raining here, the Sox are still loosing, and the Manager is still handling the pitchers wrong - in my opinion (which doesn't count for anything).  The Starter yesterday (Bard) was struggling from the first pitch.  He walked at least five batters, hit two and gave up a home run - all in 1.2 innings!  Why was he left in that long?  I do not know ask "Smiley" the manager Valentine.  The Red Sox are also not getting any hits, you've heard me in the past complain about the hitting coach, Magadan the dead, of course my opinion doesn't count there either.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another rainy day.....

A project done this spring a day the well won't go dry.  I guess it's going to be a rainy week, the next sunny day will be Friday so there's only five more days until then.  How long does it take to get moldy?

  The real problem is where am I going to walk, or am I going to do any walking.  Probably there won't be much of that activity this week.  Oh well let it rain we were here first.  And, if memory serves, this isn't the first time it's rained.  The rain has always stopped before, right?  RIGHT??

  I need to find another "project", one that's comes out better than the last one, hmmmmmm.  I'll have to dig around and find a subject - it won't be a truck.  The delphiniums at the top came from a book that had things to trace, I changed the colors around to suit my wife, or me, I don't remember, anyway I like the way it turned out.  My next subject may be an old barn, more flowers, or a bird.  It will not include people, I tried that once, never again.  On the same note I may have attempted my last truck, unless it's a pickup.

  Well, go enjoy the day, walk if you're able, or lie in the sun.  And while I'm at it go to and click on a few things and give to charity for nothing!