Monday, February 28, 2011

Times Have Passed Me By

I'm not even envious of these new contraptions. While they allow instant communications, so does a phone and in these days it's not even necessary to pay extra for long distance.

What is being missed though, is the life that passes you by while texting, adding to face book daily, or even all day, well you get the point. Cis Gors was right when she expounded upon this subject yesterday on her blog. (from a simple mind)These things are gimmicks that are not necessary to our well being.

Soon, our children, who we worry about what's happening in our schools and new legislation, will grow fat by skipping outdoor exercise for computers and other electronic devises. Already, health professionals are concerned with the amount of time kids spend in front of television sets. Now it's even more enticing to have the latest in communications. WHY, I ask, is it good for our kids to do these things. When I attended school it was with spiral notebook and number two pencils. You listened in class, took notes then spit the info back to the teachers.

Now the kids can just Google the info, print it out and submit it as learned information. As has been pointed out by other codgers, we survived biking without helmets, running through the house with scissors, and other outdoor feats, such as what still comes to my mind, the stupidest thing I've ever done. At around twelve, or maybe even younger, we had a giant fir tree that Dad had chopped many of the lower limbs off, leaving six inch stubs. I would climb that tree up to about 30 feet sometimes jumping for the next nub, because I wasn't tall enough to reach the next one. I developed great coordination, self confidence and a strong body. Only for an hour or two in the evening would the TV be truned on to such special stuff like Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, Or Meet the Press and not to forget the unforgettable Uncle Milty, Milton Beryl, the father of modern television.Oh and the picture was black & white.

We didn't have cable TV with it's 120 channels. We had three local stations which we accessed with a roof top antenna. I remember when KING TV was the only one in town. (Seattle)

Back to education reform, most if not all schools in our area have computer training. Since the kids spend the bulk of their time at home in front of the TV, it might just be that they would pay closer attention to computerized on-line classes. They are already a trained audience.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Humbling Experience

I consider myself an old hand at mastering Idaho winter conditions. Come single digit temperatures, I open cabinet doors, dribble my faucets and wait until morning to determine that once again, I triumphed over potential disaster.

Right up until my brain froze yesterday. Night before last, I went through the above mentioned program. Results? No problemo. As night became day, I went around the house closing cabinets, turning off those faucets, especially the hot water.

Later, I snuggled down with a glass of wine. Actually several. Hey, it was Friday night and my version of howling is to drink three or four glasses instead of the doctor recommended two.Unfortunately, the over indulgent event saw me crawling into bed without the ritual being performed. The temperature at the yellow barge went down to about 1 or 2 below zero. My cabinet doors were neatly closed and the water all off. I get up in the morning and realized the flushing of the toilet didn't sound quite right. You guessed it. Frozen solid. Even the old trick of opening faucets so that a small seep could win through didn't work.

Tomorrow, faced with heavy snow, my neighbor will trudge down the hill with fix it on his mind. Me? greatly humbled

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Early Spring? ... Not!

This afternoon found temperatures dropping down from the mid-forties to below freezing by 4 pm.Along with the lower temperatures came heavy snow from 2:30 until about 5:30. Another heavier wave is scheduled to hit about 8pm along with plunging temperatures. Thursday and Friday will have below zero weather during the night. Currently it is 6:30, cloudy and cold. Winter storm warnings posted by the weather bureau predicted the snow to end about 4 am followed by bitter cold.

The rather snow-less January and first half of February were mild as well. After this system dumps from an estimated 6 to 10 inches of snow, the wind will pick up with the usual drifting on the Rathdrum Prairie. Monday is predicted to have more snow, as the unpredictable Idaho climate proves once again that we can't out guess nature.

Traffic was and is snarled on all major highways and many main side streets as well. Both Snoqualmie Pass and 4th of July Passes were closed due to wrecks everywhere. I want Summer back. Soon. Herb Hunkers down.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Interesting Times

There is a Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." Today, as we look about, there are two revolutions taking place. One domestic, the other, in the Islamic world.

Domestically, it would appear that decades of union rule in the manufacturing sector, has been a, if not the, major factor in the outflow of jobs to the orient and other off-shore countries. It's really a simple conundrum. Labor wants more pay. That is a normal wish. We would all like to experience more income. But, in doing so we as a country have abrogated our economic advantage in the world. We have done so by pricing ourselves out of the world market. It does no good to be able to buy cheap Chinese goods, if you don't have an income to pay for them. Our federal government must also help, by curbing spending and in cases of other countries "dumping" goods onto our markets, enacting protective tariffs.

Today, there isn't a single television set built in this country. Nor are there any other consumer electronics as well. Competing with countries that have rising educational records but salaries that are much less than in this country has led to this serious hemorrhage. Our auto industry is on it's lips, with one manufacturer, sharing it's board of directors with the very union that supports higher wages for the company's employees.

The chickens have come home to roost. The rust belt, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, etc. have realized that they are out of jobs because of these unions pressing for higher wages. Suddenly, the Wisconsin Senate has come to a halt due to the voter rebellion bringing unheard of republican victories in states that haven't been known to vote GOP in a very long time, if ever. In Wisconsin's case, the only way the democrats to still cling to their labor base could put off having public employee unions outlawed, was to become truant, causing the lack of a quorum. At some point, law enforcement can and probably will track down one or two of them, dragging them back which they can do by law. Still, this nationwide rebellion against labor unions, spending, etc. is overturning what many feel has been a long time coming, and necessary for the financial health of the nation. We as a country have a choice. We can either become protectionist, producing and buying only our own goods, while prohibiting imports, or bringing wages back to a manageable level.

On the international side, where we were only a year ago, with Islam in an uproar against the rest of the world, suddenly they are fighting amongst themselves, struggling to topple well entrenched dictators. When you consider that most of these mono-religious nations have never experienced democracy. Until one,little insignificant country, Tunisia, decided they have had enough. Taking to the streets, without weapons other than public opinion, they drove out an absolute ruler. Following that by just days, Egypt, Algeria, Iran, Jordan and other countries are saying, "If they can do it so can we." And they are.

Where all of these upheavals end only time will tell, but it would appear from my viewpoint that these adjustments have been long overdue and will vastly improve how we, as well as the Arab world live in the future. As wall street would put it, "this is an adjustment long overdue."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yvonne Wallis Injured ... Again

L. Yvonne Wallis was found on the floor of her home by son, Michael Heath just prior to noon today. Michael doesn't know whether she fainted, or stumbled and hit her head. EMT's from Timberlake and Northern Lakes responded and transported her to Kootenai Hospital.

Just prior to Christmas, Yvonne, along with daughter-in-law Patty Heath and son Michael were attacked by a allegedly deranged man living next door, Larry Cragun. Gragun is currently residing in the Kootenai County Jail awaiting trial for murder, aggrevated assault and other related charges.

Scanner reports indicate she was in and out of consciousness and unresponsive. Her son Michael is currently at her side. It also referred to her as barely breathing. I'll have more as information develops.

Recently, the entire community poured out their generosity,best wishes and prayers. Several fund raisers were held in which a large part of the community stepped up. Perhaps it would be appropriate if those thoughts and prayers were repeated.

NEW: Yvonne hs returned home with a prognosis of nothing worse than an attack of Flu.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little Breezy

We were hit with a wind storm of greater magnitude than any in recent memory Saturday night. Don Sausser, perched high above the waterfront in Coeur d'Alene, recorded a wind gust that exceeded 43 MPH. This morning we learned that a Montana town broke their anemometer when it reached 116 MPH.

Not to be left behind, according to Bayview Bob, who monitors the navy weather station,the Navy barge north of Cape Horn on Lake Pend Oreille recorded a high wind of 88 MPH. Trees were uprooted in many areas from the wind coupled with super saturated soil, causing the roots to release rather easily. During the height of the frontal passage,leaves and other detritus was being blown horizontally, resembling a hurricane, but then at 88 MPH it had the winds to equal one.

I have no information of property damage on the vast shorelines of the lake, but there had to be some. Lake Pend Oreille has very few sheltered waters, and with the north/south orientation the winds blow straight down the lake unimpeded by any barriers.

When the wind reached it's peak, I ran outside to move my car which is normally parked under a white fir that is in poor health.I parked it on the street. The next morning, a limb of the aforementioned tree was laying just a few feet from where my car was parked before moving it. The limb had a diameter of about four inches.

I am reasonably certain that some docks, boats and other shoreline accoutrement's are floating in unusual places today. If you have experienced damage, please tell us about it in the comments section.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Family In Need

William Sherrell ( Bayview resident & 6th grader at Athol Elementary)

He has brittle bone disease. Fell at school this past week breaking his leg severely and his shoulder.

He is at Shriner’s Hospital in Spokane right now. Should be out next week, but will be in a partial upper body cast for his shoulder plus pins, screws and protruding rods on his leg for 6 weeks or more.

Parents are William Sr. & Lilly – they live across perimeter from the Community Center and have been there for many years. Dad is in construction, but not working at present.

Mom works at Little Town Market, but is unable to right now due to William being in hospital and running back & forth to doctors. There are 3 other children in the family(a freshman, a 5th grader, and a 1st grader.

There will be lots of doctor/hospital trips & little income. If anyone would like to help out (every little bit helps) .

Contact Cindy Post Grandy – 683-1859 or email – or Marlys Blagden – 683-3295 or 683-2231 or email –

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Egypt And Other Interesting Stuff

William Randolph Hearst, owner, and reputed leader of yellow journalism, was historically credited for starting the Spanish-American War, with his rabid rhetoric against the Spanish rule over Cuba, the Philippines and other territories not adjacent to Spain. There are still theories that point to Hurst causing the battleship Maine to explode in Havana Harbor.

Today, flashing forward, we see CNN causing predictions, beating the drums, hoping upon hope that rather than being a news reporting medium, to be the cause of the news. Purposely? Maybe not, but the results are the same. CNN is leading the civil disturbances in Egypt or at least following the crowds rather closely, hoping to take credit for the beginning of the end of the autocratic rule of President Mubarak.

When one examines the history of modern Egypt, we start with King Farouk in the 1940's, followed by a series of non-elected dictators. Going clear back to the ancient Pharaohs, it is clear that this country has no democratic history. ... Ever. Now it appears that the current government is about to crumble, but not for the reasons CNN and the world press are claiming.

The intransigence of President for life, Mubarak is not because he is indignantly correct, or that he is the only bastion between Egyptian society and the rabid Jihadists. It is simply because he is 82 years old. Stop and think of those old men either in your life or that you are acquainted with. Does anyone think they are flexible and willing to change or to rethink their positions on anything?

No. Aging and the petrification of the brain won't let Mubarak let go, even if all of the evidence points to his ouster. He can't. His mind will not allow the flexibility necessary to turn his life inside out and step down. I say these things as I approach with trepidation my 73rd birthday next month. Rigidity is thy name when past 80. Perhaps with me, it has already started.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Where Have Good Manners Gone?

From right wing watch, comes this:

Bryan Fischer is back with another history lesson for us all - this one on how the Native Americans deserved to lose control of North America because “the superstition, savagery and sexual immorality” made them “morally disqualified from sovereign control of American soil.”

You see, there are three ways that control over land is established: settlement, purchase, and conquest. And in the case of Native Americans, it turns out that they were just like the Canaanites who were so immoral that God decided that “the slop bucket was full, and it was time to empty it out” and so he tasked Israel with being the “custodian to empty the bucket and start over.”

The following rant of mine is not really on subject, it's on how we choose to criticize other viewpoints. My inspiration came from this morning's debate on Huckleberries online, where most of the criticism was in the form of counter insults rather that an unfettered debate of the subject matter.

Deserve is not a word that I would use to describe the Indian nations. Europeans and their offspring, Americans, drove the Indians off of their traditional homes and hunting grounds because they could. Superior science and engineering skills created a power imbalance with some native people, not just American Indians. In past centuries, other races, such as Africans and yes, American Indians, were considered as less than human, which then gave the whites moral justification for their removal. Of course we now know better. We know that given the same educational advantages, both of these peoples can and do excel. Unfortunately, in some areas, radicalism in the quest for religious purity, has caused some to go off of the deep end with substantial gaps in their reasoning. To this date, though, one reality remains. That is, why do these civilizations not advance as others have. It would appear that some of these have not and apparently never will advance to the point of giving up tribal culture for a multicultural society.

In Africa, when the Europeans left, there was no intellectual bank of natives able or willing to rule, other than the traditional tribal links which still separate them and still subject their people to conquest and killing those of other tribes, religion and cultures. I have not seen any books on this subject of why some civilizations advance while others don’t. That would make for an interesting subject in and of itself.

OK, so this was a long winded opinion of mine without any misuse of negative nouns. It’s easy once you let go of your superior attitudes toward those you disagree with. Oh, and regarding the Canaanites, I suspect the Israelite s wanted their land, as others have before and after, used other excuses for conquest. I would recommend calling bullsh1t, except I think it is one of those outlawed terms.

The bottom line in my not so humble opinion, is learn to debate these issues without resorting to the very thing you are criticizing. Open debate on many subjects has in the past few years been severely curtailed by the politically correct smugness of the righteous left, as well as the right. Too many nouns. Not enough discussion of the topics themselves.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Bayview Floods

For the last few days, springs that are normally intermittent, have been flowing over Lime Kiln, building up[ a sheet of ice six inches thick. Bayview Creek, frozen over in spots, dammed up causing street flooding on Main, Corbin,5th and 6th. Also impacted, was the Bayview Mercantile, which is flooded as well.

The road district brought in a front end loader that cleared the ice jams, allowing the waterways to drain normally. Streets have returned to normal, with a few exceptions, such as Lime kiln, which is much improved.

Ice jamming as we are seeing this year, is not a usual problem, but excessive soil moisture coupled with below freezing temperatures has created the problem.

Protected areas among the marinas have iced over, mostly between slips and rows of float homes.A warm up is forecast along with around 7 inches of snow, which being February, will then most likely rain off. We are close to the end of severe winter, and entering the mud and slush phase.