Saturday, January 4, 2014

I didn't know that!

Cleaning out in winter, Portland Harbor Jan 2014
Photo: John Patriquin Portland Press Herald
  It's cold here again this morning at minus 19 degrees (still air), some North Dakota weather I guess.  From watching the national news at 6:30 last night I learned that it's unusual for it to snow in the winter.  Later I learned that there are quite a few people who have never heard of Advil; with all of the advertising they do I'm sure there can't be many left.
  So we're left with people who didn't know snow was normal.  People who never learned to drive in snow, yes it can be miserable.  People who are so uninformed they don't know about common products.  Maybe they should watch more TV.
  In closing; RIP Phil Everly, he died last night at age 74.  The Everly Brothers gave my generation something to sing about!
Waiting for warmer weather
Photo: John Patriquin Portland Press Herald

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hercules? Really?

Cleaning up at Bangor City Hall - click to enlarge
Photo: Kevin Bennett Bangor Daily News
  Big Whoop!  There is some snow here this morning, about a half inch of blowing stuff.  I know along the coast and down in the "big cities" where it's flat there is more snow.
  Can anyone tell me why in the world "winter storms" now have names?  That must be one of the dumbest things I've even encountered.  I suppose that the ones that started  the names must think it would scare people.  Even the local weather people on TV try hard to out do others by screaming about death and destruction.
  Guess what?  It's winter!  Yes it's -11 and the wind chill is -35, it's winter!  It's winter in Maine, things like that happen.
Left overs on an ornamental flowering tree, little icy - click to enlarge
Photo: Kevin Bennett Bangor Daily News

Thursday, January 2, 2014

As good as it gets!

Fundraisers hit the beach in Kennebunk, Maine on 1/1/14
Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald
  Those people are raising funds to combat domestic violence.  You can combat other things, maybe even domestic violence yourself without going into 45 degree salt water, and oh yes the air temps here in Maine yesterday may have reached 18 degrees.  That school bus is well heated, with lots of blankets.
  You can give, FREE, by going to and simply clicking on a few buttons, it's not too cold inside, and did I mention it's free?
  If you want a real adventure, for a little more, it's available for less than thirty dollars at  There you can lend $25.00 at a time to people all over the world to stock stores, make clothing, or farm.  You get paid back!  Then you can re-lend to someone else.  My wife and I have used fifty dollars and by using it over and over have made nine loans for a total of $225.00. Try it!
Apple trees are sleeping
Photo: Mainely Apples, Dixmont Maine
they're on the web!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Say? Ain't that a holiday?

  Yesterday was a busy day.  I left the house at 3:45AM and had coffee, drove people places, shopped for myself and went to a noon meeting.  I arrived back home about 1:30PM and went to the Post Office.  The damned place was closed!  Is new years eve a federal holiday?  If so, since when?
  It seems like people are so hard up for time off that they invent these "holidays" so they can't possibly do their job.  Bullshit!
  Carrying that message forward I did make a comment on a new article today that was "tasteless".  Someone made a comment on an article about a restaurant closing that he "ate their frequently", that prompted me to write a reply asking "what does a frequently taste like?".   I've never tried one.
  Happy New Year!  I am having a problem now with MS Money, it's dropping entries, so my spreadsheet wasn't a bad idea after all.
  Now, go forth and do something, anything.  Hell call it a holiday!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Quicken quickercism

  I'm going to the Post Office today; I'm going to return Quicken 2014 Starter Edition for a full refund.  I bought this program Saturday and after shoveling yesterday installed it on my computer.
I purchased this program because we will get a new computer and Microsoft Money will not transfer from Windows 7 to Windows 8 or 8.1.  I have used the computer for everyday finances for a number of years, it's easy, I like it.  I bank online, the banks sends almost all of my payments for me, and I simply move the information from one "file" to another.
  Quicken does none of that, I couldn't manually enter information, only what it receives from the bank is recorded.  It is simply not what I want.
  As a work-around I have built several spreadsheets in Excel that do the work MS Money did (with a little more effort, until I can link cells from one sheet to another).  I guess I'll have to do my own "homework".
  Intuit who makes and markets Quicken is a first class company; when I started using the computer to do income taxes a long, long time ago (1991) I used Parsons Technology Turbo Tax which in time became Intuit Turbo Tax, it's installed on this computer as I write.  I think a different, more expensive version of Quicken would do what I want, but it would come with a large amount and variety of things I neither want or need.  I'm going to the Post Office today.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Robbins's Cinquefoil
Photo: USFWS
  Forty years ago President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act.  Since that time many species that were in danger of never being seen again have recovered.  Those include "little known" plants like the photo above, a flower that grows in the White Mountains of New Hampshire to those as well known at the Bald Eagle.
  It would be a different country without the mighty Gray Whale, or the Peregrine Falcon, or the flowers on a New Hampshire mountain.  These are among many that have recovered, for other there is still a distance to travel before the Canada Lynx is back
Brown Pelican
Photo: USFWS (US Fish and Wildlife Service)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Service based ecomony, good or bad?

Image by

  A service based economy places more importance on service industries than manufacturing in  advanced economies.  Service industries are health, human services, information technology, retail, financial services and education.[i]

  Someone I heard describing the transition for workers said "it's like someone trained in flooring sales trying to sell airplane parts".  Selling airplane parts requires a knowledge of airplanes and aircraft parts, much different than the knowledge required to sell flooring.

  So, how do we get to the next level.  Well, the Trade Agreement that start with NAFTA, and went on to encompass most of the world left the United States without much of its manufacturing base, and the jobs that went with that base.  We are left with trying to train those people to work in services, I guess that's where human services and education comes in.

  My question is this, what happens when they're trained, oh well the younger people need training too, but of course the birthrate is down.  Some states, like Maine, have lost population, and are "graying states" where the older people outnumber the young ones.  I guess that's where health services comes in.  But what happens when we die.

  Do you see where I'm going?  Of course I'm guessing because I was trained in aircraft parts and so was Wilbur.

[i] Wikipedia