Link to KansasPrairie.net

7/31/2006

CHANGING IP’S IS NOT FUN

Filed under: prairie musings, family, political musings — Peg Britton @ 7:30 pm

All morning I struggled in Outlook with my change-over to another provider address. Addresses. And I tried to incorporate my domain addresses at the same time under “Rules and Alerts”. Five different addresses. I had it, and then I didn’t. It worked, and then it didn’t. Finally, I had my three Eaglecom.net addresses working, but I decided I didn’t want to use them. Eaglecom.net, at some point, will sell to someone else then I’ll have to change my address again.

So, I did what I should have done two providers ago when found myself in this dilemma: I’m going to use my domain name address. I can use it as long as I have Metapros as my website and blog host. Or, as long as I’m able to turn on my computer. I’m a slow learner. Duh!

Actually, the transition was not all that difficult. I’ve gone through it many times. I called Brad at Metapros for some help before I got myself in a real mess. He’s such a nice guy, provides wonderful service and HE is ALWAYS there to answer the phone. Like the Maytag man, he’s always there to help me. I can just envision his slight smile as he carefully explains, once again, how “this” works. I talk to him about every two years.

So, my new address is the same as on my website and blog: prairie_at_kansasprairie_dot_net. Now, take out all the underlines (_) and change the “at” to @ and the “dot” to “.” and you have it. You all know by now why I don’t write it out like you must have it to use it in an email address. My return address on the mail I send still has the eaglecom.net return. Under the circumstance, I can’t seem to change that.

Eaglecom is going to do some kind of change over starting at midnight tomorrow. They should have it finished by the time the sun comes up Wednesday morning. I received the notice AFTER I decided today was a good day to make the Outlook changes on my computer otherwise I would have waited a few days. I’m still showing up as a classicnet subscriber on my website statistics. That should change soon.

Drew came by tonight before leaving for the weekend to visit his roommate. That required “cowboy” attire. I suspect there are some women that need to be impressed. He looked so handsome, but Brit didn’t even recognize him. His roommates and K-State are having an influence on Drew. That’s okay. It’s a good influence and he’s spreading his wings.

Brit went to Salina today to see his podiatrist. He ran one errand for me and headed home as it was 107 degrees. There was no reason for me to go outside today.

Remember to vote for Sandy Praeger and Donna Viola.

Kansas Rino reflects my feelings about the election tomorrow in today’s post:

“I’ve been surfing for hours trying to come up with an idea for a piece about tomorrow’s primary election. I really have nothing to say.

“Looking at the news sites, it’s hard to tell there’s even an election going on. This is the slowest, dullest, most uneventful election cycle in my memory. The candidates all suck. There aren’t any issues of substance being discussed. I can’t even remember the names of guys who are running for Congress in the Third District.

“It will be a record low turnout election. In the GOP, low turnout usually means a conservative sweep. I hope this year is different because I’d like to see the moderates regain control of the State Board of Education. However, I’m not particularly optimistic. Fortunately, it looks like Sally Cauble is going to beat Connie Morris out in Western Kansas. If the conservatives hold the SBOE, I’d be happy if I could at least be nice see Crazy Connie get beat.”

Please go vote tomorrow.

ELLSWORTH AMERICAN LEGION HALL

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 11:36 am

All registered voters in Ellsworth precincts will cast ballots at the American Legion Hall. This is new. Over the years I’ve voted in the elementary school, the Court House and now the AMH, that I can recall. Except I cast my ballot early in the Clerk’s office.

If you want to make a difference in the way Kansas politics are being handled, it’s time to get out and vote, even if there aren’t choices on your ballot. Democrats here have no choices and there are few statewide. Registered Independents can only vote the Democratic ticket. Only registered Republicans can get a Republican ballot where there are lots of decisions to be made. Moderate Republicans have a chance to turn things around, if they will.

The ones who stay home and don’t vote put happy smiles on the faces of religious right incumbents and those of the same ilk who are seeking office. Voting is a freedom to exercise and treasure.

7/30/2006

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. COM: KANSAS, UNDO THE DAMAGE

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:24 pm

“If you are a voting citizen of Kansas, then next Tuesday, August 1 is a day when you have an important opportunity to stand up for good science education. You need to vote in the primary election and help to defeat the members of the State Board of Education who have inflicted embarrassing creationist nonsense on your home’s science curriculum standards.

“Last year, of course, the Kansas State Board of Education infamously held “hearings” about the scientific standing of evolution and “intelligent design” creationism…

Click here for the article.

CONNIE MORRIS LACKS FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM HER OWN DISTRICT

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:01 pm

The Kansas Ethics Commission lists Connie Morris as raising $19,440 from 21 donors in District 5. Most of her donors live outside district 5, the money bags from the eastern part of the state.

Her opponent, Sally Cauble, received $16,636 from 220 donors in her own District 5.

Will the religious right donors who do not live within the district buy the election for Connie Morris?

The same can be said for Donna Viola and Ken Willard, the incumbent, in our district 7. Willard has raised a lot of money from the religious right outside our district and has $9,676.77 on hand. Donna Viola has $1,711.17. Those are tough odds for Viola to overcome. We’ll hope her campaigning will make the difference. We could use her help to return sanity to the KSBOE.

Check the list.

BROWNBACK’S PRESIDENTIAL HOPES GROW DIM

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 5:34 pm

Remember when Sam Brownback was first running for a Senate seat against Jill Docking? Jill was ahead in the polls until the weekend before the election, as I recall, when Sam mysteriously came into a great deal of money from Triad Management Services - a conservative “consulting” group that was virtually unheard of until it surfaced in congressional investigations of the 1996 campaign. Triad demonstrates how money in politics skates right to the edge of the law,  and perhaps beyond. With that money he funded an unethical media blitz against Jill and won the election. The source of the money was investigated but it was too late for Jill. Since then, money has never been a problem for Sam, so it seems.

Now Sam is behind other Republican presidential contenders as he isn’t raising enough money to capture the attention of those who are necessary to his election. Remember when the Las Vegas bookies said he wasn’t even on the radar screen with the odds makers?

“Money is only one of the obstacles that have emerged to hamper the 49-year-old Kansas Republican’s long-shot effort to ride his politics of conservatism and faith to the White House.”

“He’s made a few visits but no inroads in New Hampshire, site of the first presidential primary. He’s being outflanked on the right in Iowa, site of the nation’s first caucus. A spate of national media attention hasn’t translated into higher poll numbers, where he’s the top pick of only 1 percent to 2 percent of registered Republicans. And he upset a big chunk of the conservative base by taking a moderate stance on the burning issue of immigration.”

Click here for the LJW article.

It isn’t over until the fat lady sings.

HIPPO BIRDY DEAR ALLY

Filed under: prairie musings, family, political musings — Peg Britton @ 7:20 am

Today is Ally’s birthday and we’re celebrating the way we usually do with a gathering of family for some good conversation and something special to eat. Mexican food is her favorite so that’s what we’re having. I put the Anasazi beans on to simmer at 6:00, the burrito meat and hominy casserole are prepared. The mice en place is ready to go except for Caleb’s tomatoes and shredded lettuce. There isn’t much left to do except set the table and assemble things. Karen baked a German chocolate cake. Yum.

This is a special day for Ally, and she is as special as she can be to us.

HAVE A HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ALLY…AND ENJOY MANY MORE THAT ARE ON THE HORIZON.

P.S. Maybe you noticed the “Donna Viola” yard signs that appeared yesterday in “Ally’s yard”. Yep, that is Ally’s yard now. We’re surrounded and boxed in by it, which is very nice. She now has a place to pitch her tent and reached the second phase of moving here. I asked her if I could be the “General in Charge” of yard signs on her land, and she said I could. (smile)

IT’S HATCH GREEN CHILI DAY

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 7:09 am

There isn’t anything more welcome in this family than a bushel of Hatch’s green chilies. That’s what Ally brought home from Colorado on a recent visit. She turned them into…yes…green chili with pork, hot enough to make your lips sizzle. Some of it is here to top off the burritos we’re having for dinner today. I’ve never found any green chili better than hers.

Todd will pick Dane up in the Blue Canoe after church. We haven’t figured out a way to get Dane in the church.

Dane’s long-term memory is about as good as one can be, his short-term memory is good, but his judgment is poor, imo, about some things. He said yesterday that he wants to be in charge of his own medical care. He is clueless as to what that means based on my experiences the past 20 months, but if that is what he wants, then the rest of us must bow out.

The two immediate issues we are confronting: he thinks he should be allowed to smoke as much as he wants (he didn’t smoke for a year and a half), and he should have the right to go to town in his electric wheel chair, unaccompanied, whenever he pleases.

Smoking increases his chances of another stroke or heart attack by a large percentage. He’s experienced respiratory failure (he doesn’t remember) and is prone to have a yearly bout with pneumonia. Last year was the first year in many, many years he hasn’t had pneumonia. He wasn’t smoking. The path to town is long, full of huge dips, holes and other wheel chair obstacles. Everyone except Dane can see the hazards associated with these issues. He has vision problems and still experiences left-side deficit.

Yesterday as Todd and Ally were taking him to a place on the main street to better view the parade in a shaded area, he bolted across the street directly in front of a fire truck that was turning the corner rather than hugging the corner safely on his left.

Now that Dane’s physical condition has stabilized, we’re dealing with a completely different set of problems that is equally frustrating. There will always be “something” as we try to make him the best he can be. He isn’t the same Dane, but he’s so close in so many way that it throws us off balance when we try to do what is best for him.

7/29/2006

CZECH FEST

Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, political musings, Dane Britton, Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 3:25 pm

Maybe it’s my attitude (which I try to keep elevated), but my enthusiasm for the Czech Fest seems to be waning. The way the legislative gathering was handled two years ago left such a bad taste in my mouth I didn’t attend last year.

Since this is an election year, but hardly one to garner any local interest, I thought I’d attend the legislative gathering and parade. I knew Donna Viola was making the effort to be there, so Todd, Ally and I joined in. There was a small gathering of politicos and interested followers at Al’s, the smallest gathering I can remember. Josh Svaty, Donna Viola, Jay Emler and Terry Kueser were there and spoke without a lot to talk about. Donna Viola, who can make a huge difference if elected to the KSBOE, gave us a rundown on critical issues facing the board. We really need her to win this election over the incumbent.

In looking around at the gathering, it was difficult not to recall the “old days” when Al’s would be packed to the ceiling with people excited about the up-coming primary. Politicians gravitated to Al’s for the Czech event. Interest seems to be fading and competition from other events is always a critical issue.

We joined Dane at the home and took him around the corner to main street where we could watch the parade in the shade. It was much better than sitting in the blazing sun in front of the home as we did last year. Dane doesn’t remember that. We saw our friends in the “sparse” but long parade where we experienced the usual interminable intervals. The good part was that the kids raked in enough candy to last until Halloween. Those who were in the parade said there weren’t many people on the sidelines this year.

Maybe they are feeling the same way about it as I do. It seems the locals who have to put this on every year are finding it burdensome. The older Czechs are dying out and the young ones who are few in number really don’t care that much about the festival. Another problem, it seems to me, is that it is exactly the same every year unlike Fort Harker Days where they have new programs, entertainment, routines and food each year.

Dane would have liked going to Made From Scratch to eat, but I heard the lines were very long and some people who stopped there left because of the crowd. If the battery on his wheelchair dies, someone has to push and that’s hard work in this kind of weather. They had roast pork, potatoes with dill gravy and kraut at the home, just like they serve elsewhere, so he enjoyed that. He’ll be here for dinner tomorrow and that will make up for it.

SKYFIRE

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Kanopolis Musings — Peg Britton @ 7:42 am

We hit the road last night…Linda, Meredith and I…to explore the county east of Kanopolis past Freemont Hill to back of the beyond. I’ve not spent much time in that part of Ellsworth County and wanted to see what the countryside looked like this time of year. Although it’s extraordinarily dry, it’s still beautiful. The rolling hills are as stunning as you’ll find anywhere.

During our meanderings, with me driving and glancing at the compass from time to time, we came by a sign and entrance to the Skyfire Garden Seed home. Aha…the home of Paul and Micki Crumm. I’d met them a year ago in Salina and found them absolutely delightful with so many interesting things to talk about. After that Micki and I corresponded and I blogged their heirloom plants and animals.

It’s a good thing I was driving as neither of my companions would have forged ahead across the rough pasture to the spot I thought the Crumms might be found. It’s not a well-worn path so you feel your way along very slowly. I had a good feeling about it and was pretty sure the Crumms wouldn’t mind.

Theirs is a two-person seed company. Micki and Paul preserve heirloom seeds, poultry and Guinea hogs. In this case “Guinea” means “small”. They grow as many heirloom veggies as the grasshoppers will allow. The chickens are older breeds in danger of dying out and they have a few varieties that lay pretty blue/green or dark brown eggs. They have Blue Ameraucanas and mixed Ameraucanas (blue/green eggs), Marans and Welsummers (medium and very dark brown eggs), Spitzhaubens, Wyandottes, Buff Catalanas, Black Minorcas, Rose-combed Dorkings and a few others.

The Guinea hogs are a very small breed, a little larger than pot-bellied pigs. They were bred to produce smaller quantities of meat. We visited the cute little hogs that were at the watering trough when we arrived. Paul was giving them a liberal dose of water and feed.

Paul has built everything single-handedly…and it’s a lot…over a period of about six years since they landed here from Lindsborg. He says he has a long way to go. He thinks “green” and he’s surrounded by everything that is environmentally correct. It’s a strong philosophy and he abides by it. A small wind generator gives them limited power, enough to run a computer and a few other things, probably not at the same time. Paul’s in the process of providing more energy for their compound.

There is much to say about this most interesting couple. They just returned two weeks ago from Peru where they spent three weeks exploring Machu Picchu, the Amazon and studying the eco-system through dense rain forests 150 feet in the tree tops. They invited us to a “tasting event” in Moundridge tonight where one of their roasted Guinea hogs will be sampled along with a traditional one.

Paul and Micki are members of the SPPA and ALBC. They pledge that they do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. They walk the walk.

If you’re a gardener, you’ll enjoy browsing their catalogs and perhaps order your seeds from them. Contact Micki at seedsaver_at_myvine.com.

LEGISLATURE GETS PASSING GRADE

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 7:18 am

Saturday, July 29, 2006 12:00 am
Court approves school spending hikes

By MICHAEL STRAND
Salina Journal

Case closed.

That was the word Friday morning from the Kansas Supreme Court, which not only approved of the Kansas Legislature’s recent hikes in school spending, but also dismissed the seven-year-old school funding lawsuit.

Technically, that means the court did not rule on the constitutionality of the new school funding law, passed this past spring, but rather on whether the new funding complies with the court’s previous orders in the case.

7/28/2006

THREE NEW BLOG LISTINGS AND DAVE LEIKER’S “POSTCARDS FROM KANSAS”

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 11:30 am

My webmaster added three new blog listings for me but got them in the wrong place. If you look above my blog list, you’ll find links to “Kansas Rino” (Republican in Name Only), which is a “to the point” political blog that I find most amusing and informative; “Pawnee Rock”; and “Linda’s Backroad Musings”. We’ll get them in the correct place eventually.

I haven’t a clue, and it doesn’t matter, who “Kansas Rino” might be or where he is from, but he amuses me and makes me laugh. That does matter.

“Pawnee Rock” belongs to Leon Unruh, Cheryl Unruh’s brother. Leon and Cheryl grew up in Pawnee Rock, and even though neither lives there, they maintain strong ties to their hometown. Leon lives in Alaska with his wife and children and is as masterful with words as his sister. Hunt around on the Pawnee site for his musings. They both write poignant essays about their lives and every day experiences.

Cheryl Unruh (from Emporia) and I met last winter when she made a special trip to Wichita to meet Dane and me. She’s been here to visit. We’re pals!

Linda Hanney is a wife, mother, grandmother, rural mail carrier who lives and travels the back roads in the Wakarusa Valley of eastern Kansas and has very interesting tales to tell about her adventures. She takes photos for her website during her meanderings. They’re quite good. One day Linda and I who correspond now and then will meet as she has grandchildren and family at my doorstep in the Salina-Abilene-Chapman area.

One not yet listed is Dave Leiker’s Photo Blog, “Postcards from Kansas”. You’ll want to bookmark this one. He has compiled outstanding photographs that are displayed on this website and on the flyover website he shares with wife, Cheryl. He has eyes for Kansas scenes that are remarkable. I love to see what he sees. His photos alert your senses and make you look closer at things around you…and appreciate them more. I use the ones he makes available for my wallpaper as they have “Kansas” written all over them. Dave is a native of Salina and grew up not too far from where I spent my youth on Highland Avenue…a generation later. He’s my favorite Kansas photographer. His wife, Cheryl, is my favorite Kansas writer.

There are a lot of words and photographs to explore on these websites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

DISAPPEARING ACT

Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends — Peg Britton @ 9:04 am

Ally will be 52 on Sunday and it warrants special attention. When this woman was a child, there wasn’t a person in town who would have bet money that she would make it to adulthood. By age three she was going headfirst off the 3 meter diving board. She was a fish. She refused training wheels on her bike and has gravel-in-shin marks to this day. I could write a book on all the reasons why it has to be some kind of “miracle” that she’s alive and walking the streets today.

The family will gather for Mexican food. Ally brought fresh green chilies home from Colorado and made green chili. That sounds strange, but think two different products with the same name. She’s perfected the recipe so it’s exactly like she ate every day in Santa Fe at a small local cafe near the bank where she worked. Green chili is addictive. Hers is the best you ever smacked your lips around. (the adverb has to be placed there to make sense)

Dane is looking forward to being here. We’ll miss Drew, Rod, Mackenzie and Luke. The remaining members of our small family with be here to sing the Hippo Birdy song.

Soon I’m going to vanish to the kitchen and start the mise en place for the other things that surround the burritos and tamales from Georgie Rodrigues. I’ll make the hominy casserole today as well. It’s better if it ages some before baking.

Later this afternoon I’m going exploring the remote dirt roads with Linda and Meredith. We have some things we want to see. Maybe later tonight I’ll have something else to post.

Thanks for stopping by.

THE COLLYER CAFE IS OPEN

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 8:33 am

The St. Michael Convent in Collyer is the home of a trendy, small cafe serving excellent food and open on weekends. It’s the latest endeavor of the Collyer Community Alliance Association that was organized in September 2004. Here are some pictures of the Collyer Cafe and those who made it possible.

The Alliance grouped together in an effort to bring new life into their community and bring it back to vitality. It is a group of hard working individuals who want to preserve and restore the existing historical structures and promote their community to new businesses.

They’ve been working on saving and/or obtaining “historical” designations for 14 buildings including the sod house on the end of Main St. They’ve purchased the St. Michael School building to renovate and house a small gift shop (which will include candle pouring behind glass) and a museum as well as other enterprises. They purchased the St. Michael Convent that now houses the small restaurant and a small inn. They have been gifted the Collyer Dance Hall, which they are trying to rebuild, and the old grocery store, which may be locally operated once again. They are working with City Government to apply for a CDBG grant to rehabilitate occupied houses and demolish those deemed unsafe. And that’s just for starters.

The small group of women (with Sandra Stenzel as their leader) who started all of this was viewed by their skeptical husbands and almost everyone else in the area as not having enough sandwiches for a picnic. It wasn’t long before the men in the community joined in and became as enthusiastic about the prospects for the future of Collyer as their distaff counterparts. It’s economic development at its finest. This is the same group that has a fish fry every Friday night for seven weeks prior to Easter in their restored depot. Click here to see their other events.

For those who say something can’t be done, send them to Collyer to see what can happen when you have hope and determination combined with a vision for the future. It’s pretty amazing and deserves your attention. Take the time for a road trip and visit Collyer.

7/27/2006

THE STRANGE REDEMPTION OF CONNIE MORRIS

Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 3:35 pm

I posted this Pitch article by Justin Kendall several months ago. If you haven’t yet read it, you can click here to learn all about Connie.

Her autobiography, “From the Darkness: One Woman’s Rise to Nobility” (available on Amazon.com for as little as $3.09), reveals that she wasn’t always so conservative. It’s an incredible catharsis. Before she was Connie Morris, enemy of evolution, she was Connie Littleton, black-haired siren.

EAGLECOM.NET

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings — Peg Britton @ 3:31 pm

Today, my communication with Eaglecom was fine. Jim responded that the addresses I have selected were available for my use. I didn’t want to notify everyone of my new addy only to find out one of their own users already had spoken for it. It happens. I think I’ll wait until midnight on a weekend to make the change over. It’s going to be frustrating as I have kansasprairie.net addresses that have to be slipped into those obscure tables in order for them to work through Eagle.

Some of my friends are changing to AT&T so they won’t ever have to change their email addresses again. Well, maybe. Nothing is forever. That’s a temptation, but I like my cable service as Mark can usually fix anything that someone half a continent away can’t. I also remember those horrible days of “dial up”. It might cost more, but my computer with cable hookup is my only hobby so I look at it as a well-earned and pleasant distraction from daily concerns.

John Bolton has burned his bridges at the United Nations, as everyone forewarned he’d do.

According to kansasrino: “We’re in WWIII, gas is $3 a gallon, icecaps are melting, courts are going to close the schools …” It’s hard to disagree with that.

7/26/2006

MUSICAL BUILDINGS

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 5:47 pm

You all remember the game of musical chairs that we played as kids. Well, some of the downtown proprietors are playing musical buildings, as I mentioned in a previous blog. It’s no secret but no one seems to saying anything publicly. I’m not divulging secrets.

The most exciting move, in my opinion, is dentist Kurt Williams’ move to the two buildings across from CSB and T. He told me that, so I’m sure it’s in the works. He’s going to remodel the two buildings now occupied by the furniture store and the arts council and make those his dental offices. He’s going to turn the top floor into a residential loft for overflow family and guests. And the basement is proposed to be returned to the early day Ellsworth underground, connecting to Seitz Drug and Mark and Josie Roehrman’s Antique Mall. It will take time to make these improvements with the end result being a much improved appearance of the downtown area.

Pennington’s is going out of business and it sounds like the furniture/appliance store will be moving to their location. John Witmer is moving next door to them. Hoffhines Marketing is moving into the building Hoffhines owns across the street from her present location. The Ellsworth Arts Council will have a new home in the current Williams dental office next to Darr’s.

I think that leaves vacant Merv Harms building next to Drover’s Insurance building. Other moves are in the works.

For those of your not here to be aware of this, the EHS Class of 1948 members are going to serve as “Grand Marshalls” of the Cowtown parade. The theme of the parade is “Ellsworth Kansas 1948″, thanks to the songwriters of the song by the same name and popularized by Rascal Flatts.

That’s the way it is around here. And, very hot.

CONSERVATIVES ENCOURAGED BY ‘VALUES’ VOTES

Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 5:04 pm

By Amy Fagan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
July 25, 2006

“The Republican base is being rejuvenated, some conservative activists say, by a flurry of congressional action on “values” issues such as marriage safeguards, flag protection and abortion restrictions, as well as President Bush’s veto last week of stem-cell legislation.

“They warn against counteracting that progress with a comprehensive immigration bill that conservatives consider amnesty.

“Jim Backlin, vice president of legislative affairs at the Christian Coalition, said the spate of “values” votes “really, really helps rejuvenate our base — especially Bush vetoing the stem-cell bill.”

Infoition Service , for the full story.

It’s always about values with the Christian Coalition folk…their personal values about gays, flags, guns, god. Bush is way off center with his veto of the stem-cell bill. That’s not what the majority of the public want.

Regarding President Bush’s veto of expanded funding for stem cell research, Congresswoman Diana DeGette said, “The President’s veto had nothing to do with morals. It had everything to do with cold, calculated, cynical political gain - the kind of politics that snuffs out the candle of hope, and that condemns the disabled and the sick.”

“Democrats, however, note that nationwide polls show the top concerns of Americans are the war in Iraq, terrorism, immigration, the economy and gas prices.”

Just try to get right wing wing-nuts to talk about these issues!

GOP CHOICE IS SANDY PRAEGER

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 2:10 pm

I don’t like what the opposition is saying about this woman. If it weren’t for her involvement in our insurance problems, Dane would have neither the bed nor electric wheel chair that is required for his personal needs.

Aside from that, during her 10 years in the Kansas Senate she worked on children’s health insurance plans and helped win protections for patients. AARP named her “legislator of the year” for her work related to older Kansans. The American Medical Association awarded her the Dr. Nathan B. Davis Award for her dedication to public health.

She is a moderate Republican who has worked closely with Phill Kline. The two found and collected $750,000 in fraudulent claims with their newly formed anti-fraud division.

Praeger has many years of experience in insurance and health care. She’s done a very good job in her first four years as insurance commissioner, helping maintain insurance rates that are lower than those of most surrounding states. (Her opponent wants to deregulate insurance rates.)

And, Praeger has kept a close watch on insurance companies to make sure they respond quickly to customer claims.

She deserves another term. Her opponent has very little experience in the world of insurance. He’s in his first term in the legislature and is vice-chair of the insurance committee.

WILSON CZECH AFTER HARVEST FESTIVAL STARTS FRIDAY

Filed under: prairie musings, Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 1:52 pm

If past attendance is any indicator, the small town of Wilson with its 800 residents will host about 8,000 visitors over the weekend. This is an “election year” which makes attendance records soar.

The beer starts flowing on Friday night alongside an ice cream social, whirling carnival rides, arts and crafts and an oompah-pah band.

A good place to be Saturday morning at 8:30 is Al’s Bar and Grill where a legislative gathering with stump speeches is in the south half of the building and beer in the north half. And, Kansas Originals has well-planned activity during the day.

The big hoopla is the parade starting at 10:00 and lasting over an hour. Maybe longer. There is almost always an unnecessarily long wait between parade participants. Take a chair and a bottle of water. And sun screen.

There is also flowing sauerkraut and Czech food to be had during the day, a Czech queen contest, Czech egg painting, Czech dancing…and a motorcycle and tractor show that is not particularly Czech related.

Actually, I think there are more residents in Wilson of German descent than Czech. They like to bring that to your attention.

CELEBRATING PUZZLES, IN 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 MOVES (OR SO)

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 1:35 pm

Recursive problems are well known to mathematicians and computer scientists, such as my granddaughter, but it’s not easy for me to grasp this elusive concept. I love puzzles but am no good at them at all. A fantastic exhibition of mechanical puzzles will open next week at the Lilly Library at Indiana University. I think Mackenzie wants to make a road trip to see them…with me. I think this is what her puzzling question, “Wanna road trip to Indiana!?!?!? :) ”, means.

“The exhibition, which contains many world-class specimens of mathematical and physics-based puzzles, is the first taste of a collection of more than 30,000 puzzles being donated to the library by Jerry Slocum, a retired engineer and a former vice president of Hughes Aircraft, who has been collecting puzzles and researching their history for more than half a century.

Mr. Slocum is the author of 10 books on the history of puzzles, including a recently published account of the sudoku-like 15 Puzzle, which precipitated a puzzle mania across America in the 1880’s.”

The article on puzzles.

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