Link to KansasPrairie.net

6/30/2007

ELLSWORTH ANTIQUE MALL IS ABOUT FAR MORE THAN ANTIQUES

Filed under: friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:51 pm

The Ellsworth Antique Mall is in a constant state of innovative improvement. Mark is building some “store fronts” behind the Maypo deli that will house new merchandise and gift items. One store will be stocked with only Christmas items while another will have build yourself toys, a very popular item at toy markets.

They will soon have on display a good supply of Ellsworth gift items such as tee shirts and coffee mugs. I understand the list is long. Many of the items will be Great American Cattle Drive souvenirs that were in short supply last year. Robson’s will also be well-stocked with a wide variety of items to take home to those who couldn’t be here.

The longhorns that are in front of the Mall and for sale for $150 each are to attract sponsors for the restoration of the National Drovers Hall of Fame…and help support the Great American Cattle Drive which is to be held the last weekend in September. Shirley Raney has done a monumental job selling those to local merchants and supporters. They are being made by the inmates at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility. You are encouraged to buy one to support the cause. I understand Drover board member Pat Svaty has three in her front yard. They are made of the same material they use for political signs so will withstand our Kansas weather.

And, all of the money collected off the Cattle Drive will go to the restoration of the Insurance Building on Douglas Avenue that will house the National Drovers Hall of Fame. Jeff Gillam, the architect for the restoration project, is finalizing plans for the first phase reconstruction which will commence soon. The money is in hand for getting a much needed new roof on the building and some additional structural work done.

Get your bull riding gear in order as they are going to have a mechanical bull at the Plaza this year. It will attract a lot of riders at about $5.00 a ride. I’m putting my money on Jake Schneider.

This year’s Great American Cattle Drive is going to be much bigger and better (that’s hard to believe!) than last year. Plan to spend the weekend in Ellsworth and join in all the festivities. You won’t be disappointed.

Stop in to see the progress of Mark’s project in their Mall and enjoy some homemade ice cream, a deli sandwich, or something to drink.

The sun has decided to shine. It appears it will be a good night for fireworks. I’ll see you there.

6/29/2007

SATURDAY JUNE 30TH…A BIG DAY IN ELLSWORTH

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 6:48 pm

Start out your day at the farmers’ market at 8:00 am or soon there after.  They are under the big cottonwood tree by the railroad tracks until they sell out.  There are good things there to buy so please be supportive and stop by.  Buy something….there is always something there you can use and enjoy.

Then, think GOOD HEALTH.  The Ellsworth County Medical Center and community will have its annual health fair from 10:00 until 2:00 at the Ellsworth City Hall.  They aren’t doing the blood screening, blood draws this year as monthly draws are available.  They will concentrate on other health related issues.  There will be 50 exhibitors and lots going on in the City Hall. It’s always a splendid time to stop by to visit with all the good folks from the hospital and clinic and think about your health.

Then, don’t forget…well, how could anyone forget, the Star Spangled Spectacular.  I love typing that since I named the event years ago.  I don’t think anyone else entered the contest.  But the committee liked the name and it stuck.  I like it!

They have added a new event this year that you might want to see.  It is sponsored by the Ellsworth Celebrations Committee which oversees the Ellsworth Cowtown festivities and other community events.  The event will feature a 30 minute slide show of more than 150 pictures of veterans.  It will be on a large screen above the Rec Center.  That will be going on while you wander around and eat your favorite junk food among the many vendors.  It’s all good. I hope to latch on to a bloomin’ onion that Austin and Ben are selling. There will also be rides for little kids and big kids, a big slide, obstacle course, and live music from several bands. The fireworks start when it gets dark and they are, indeed, spectacular.  Remember to bring your own blankets and chairs.

Dane is going to get to come see the events.  His friend Harry Swart is going to drive Moby and bring Pam, Dewey, and Pam’s daughter. They are going to stop by for me so I won’t have to struggle with parking.

Tomorrow will be a very good day with lots of local activities.  If you participate, you won’t be disappointed.  I’ll see you around.

A DAY THAT RATTLED THE TIMBERS

Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends — Peg Britton @ 5:35 pm

If anything more could have happened today, someone would have had to blow a hole in my day to squeeze it in. Mostly good stuff happened, but not all.

Ally signed the contract to buy “Green Acres”. That’s not an official name, but seems appropriate right now. They will be moving to their new acreage soon, but Ally will hang around Abilene to get her house ready to sell. We hope it moves fast. It’s never fun to own a house you don’t need or want any longer. Ally took the Blue Canoe home with her so she can load it with things from the garage and then load the garage with things for a real garage sale. She has to downsize or fill the milking barn with furniture.

Mackenzie had carpel tunnel surgery on her left hand/wrist today and got along very well. Let’s just hope it helps. She makes a living with her computer/math skills and her hands are a big part of that.

Todd got a nice promotion at the prison and received word of it from the Warden today. We’re all very pleased about that. He’ll be in the position Jina Murrell now has as she prepares to move into Tina Davis’ slot. Tina is moving to the ECMC.

Brit’s closet underwent a major cleaning today. Even his hat collection was relieved of an inch of dust. His shoes are even visible. I found the long lost plans to our house. I knew they were somewhere around here.

The glass people came today with replacement glass and couldn’t figure out how to get it in the frame. They’ve replaced the same glass before but they were tentative today and I suggested they come another day with scaffolding, if that’s what they need. I don’t know what the big deal is. They appeared not to like ladder work. It’s a low living room window…not one that is really high as most of ours are. Too high to wash anymore, I do know that.

I didn’t like Jim Suber’s column in the INDY about the Symphony in the Flint Hills. I think he did a disservice to the project and said so to Emily Hunter, who sort of runs the show. He sounded like a whiny, tight-as-bark-on-a-tree curmudgeonly old man. I used to find his columns informative but for years now I’ve found they lack reader interest. For this reader anyway. They are boring and full of complaints about something or other.

My friend, Mary Swander, and I decided we can both swing free for the weekend of August 3 to head to TX. She has a daughter close to Dallas and I plan to visit Luke and Mackenzie in Royce City. We won’t be there long, which I’m sure is just perfect for all concerned. Down on Friday; back on Monday.

Don’t forget the farmers’ market tomorrow. Good groceries can be found there.

Now I’m off to find that state of ataraxia …maybe with a little shaved ice.

CONGRATULATIONS, TODD T. BRITTON

Filed under: family, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 3:07 pm

Date: June 29, 2007

To: All Staff
From: Johnnie W. Goddard, Warden
Ellsworth Correctional Facility

Subject: Promotional Annoucement

Please join me in congratulating Todd T. Britton on his promotion to Correction Facilities Specialist effective July 15, 2007.

Mr. Britton began employment with the Ellsworth Correctional Facility (EFC) in April 1988, as Storekeeper II. He was promoted to Administrative Officer III in June 1989, and subsequently accepted the position of Corrections Counselor I in July 1994. Mr. Britton promoted to his current position of Corrections Counselor II in April 2002. He currently serves as a Level of Inventory Revised (LSI-R) trainer. Mr. Britton is a former member of the ECF Special Operations and Response Team (SORT) Logistics Unit, was instrumental in initiating the EFC Employee Wellness Committee, and is a former member of the EFC Public Relations Committee. Mr. Britton is also a former member of the American Correctional Association and the Kansas Correctional Association (KCA) and served as the facility’s KCA Representative.

Mr. Britton has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Marymount College, a Master’s in Business Administration from Ft. Hays State University, and a Master’s Degree in Administration of Justice from Wichita State University.

Please extend your support to Mr. Britton as he begins his new job. I am confident he will do an outstanding job.

JWG:jjm

LAST FUND RAISER FOR AUSTIN SEITZ AND BEN KRUSE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:43 pm

We will be at the Fireworks Display selling blooming onions, corndogs, nachos & cold bottled water.

Thank you for all of your support!

Austin & Ben

NIGHTS ARE SHORT

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:29 am

It dawned on me about 6:00 a.m. why I know I live in rural Kansas: Wayne Weatherly was out with his spray plane making loops over our house as he headed for another pass across a field.

There isn’t a way that I can find to sleep in late around here: I’m thinking in terms of 8:00. There are the birds, sun, dogs, “someone coughing and making coffee”…you know. People who are profoundly deaf are also profoundly noisy.

I’ve also figured out why so many people confuse it’s and its and don’t know how to use either. Not that I get everything right as I don’t. “It’s” wrong on my version of Word. If I type “It’s cleaning day”, they tell me to spell it “its”. It’s backwards with “its” as well. So much for it’s and its.

The exception to the general rule that one should use an apostrophe to indicate possession is in possessive pronouns. Some of them are not a problem. “Mine” has no misleading “s” at the end to invite an apostrophe. And few people are tempted to write “hi’s,” though the equally erroneous “her’s” is fairly common, as are “our’s” and “their’s”—all wrong, wrong, wrong. The problem with avoiding “it’s” as a possessive is that this spelling is perfectly correct as a contraction meaning “it is.” Just remember two points and you’ll never make this mistake again. (1) “it’s” always means “it is” or “it has” and nothing else. (2) Try changing the “its” in your sentence to “his” and if it doesn’t make sense, then go with “it’s.”  (See “Common Errors”)

The eagle has landed. Linda called about 8:00 last night, on the ground in Ft. Wayne, and was heading for Bluffton for her reunion. She only missed one day of it. It took 30 some hours of utter confusion to get there.

Dane is trying to figure out a way to get here Saturday for the fireworks. I think some of his friends from Wilson might bring him. There is plenty of room in Moby Dick for all of them to ride over for the event. They would all enjoy that.

It’s cleaning day and time to shovel some stuff out the back door.

Have a good one…

6/28/2007

VICTORY MOTORCYCLE RIDERS ARE IN WILSON

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:09 pm

There is action in Wilson today.

The Victory Highway Relay cross-country riders are in Wilson and spending the night at the Midland. The riders started in New York on June 21st and will finish July 4th in San Francisco. Twenty-five riders are in the group.

The longest leg will be tomorrow…from Wilson to Longmont Colorado. They are following old highway 40 as much as possible.

Victory is an American motorcycle manufacturer based in Minnesota and a subsidiary of Polaris Industries. The first Victory debuted in 1997 and production started 1998. Victory, makes tourers, sport-tourers and cruisers.

Information provided by Wilson Cub Reporter Dane. (smile)

The same reporter came to town today on the ECCA bus to get a haircut from Kevin and have lunch at Paden’s. While he was here, we got the “slow moving vehicle” sign attached to the back of his wheel chair, thanks to the wonderful people who work at Tru Value. Some highway patrolman from Russell is insisting on it. Dane looks like a highway work crew with his flags and signs hanging off his wheel chair.

Ally is fixing spaghetti for dinner tonight. She won’t be here as she’s doing her final walk through and inspection. She’s also going to measure rooms to see how much of her furniture won’t fit. I think she’s going to have ranch oak twin beds and a blond oak double bed, a wedding present to us from Brit’s parents, to find new homes for. That’s just the beginning. Her new home is about half the size of the one she’s in. The rooms are very small and she has BIG furniture.

Dane lost his cell phone, he thought, while he was here. He was sure it was in the back end of the ECCA bus. It wasn’t. It wasn’t at Paden’s. I called his cell each time I had someone at the other end looking for it. Finally, he heard it ring and found it in his side pocket…the wrong one, but there.

He hopes to be able to go to the Star Spangled Spectacular Saturday night. We’re without a Moby Dick driver as Ally is packing, Todd and his boys are going to be out of town and …well, I could drive it but not secure the tie downs. Dane thinks he has found someone to do it…and they can all ride in the van with him.

Stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by.

“PHILL’S GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE PHILL KLINE GETS WHAT PHILL KLINE WANTS.”

Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 1:47 pm

THE DIMWIT D.A.

As Johnson County’s top prosecutor, Phill Kline has been a disaster.

By Justin Kendall
Published: June 21, 2007, THE PITCH

It was nearly two weeks before Republican Party leaders met in December to pick a new Johnson County district attorney. Two of the leading contenders, Phill Kline and Scott Hattrup, had arranged a secret meeting in a prominent Johnson County Republican’s basement entertainment room. It was a weekday, after business hours, and Kline was fresh from meeting with GOP leaders to convince them to vote for him. He wore a tie and a blue shirt. He sat in the only seat available, across a counter from Hattrup. Kline was ready to make a deal…

…”The broken promise is one example of the skullduggery that has plagued the first six months of Kline’s two-year term as district attorney. Kline has fired or run off nearly every experienced prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office. Of the 32 prosecutors who served under Morrison, 18 have resigned or been dismissed. Many of Kline’s handpicked replacements lack experience, and a number of his experienced prosecutors come with checkered pasts. Kline has been accused of alienating anyone who won’t support him politically. A top prosecutor has charged that Kline bugged her office. Most significantly, his prosecutors have fumbled several important criminal cases.”

If you want to see evidence of the incompetence of Phill Kline, click here.

CHAPTER TWO…GETTING TO INDIANA

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 12:54 pm

In another call, my friend was told there was a flight out today that she could take. This new development occurred after someone called the airline and said she was a very important journalist and the keynote speaker tonight at a convention in Indianapolis and “GET HER ON A PLANE TO INDIANA”. So she said they said. Someone is going to spend a lot of time in a confessional today.

When she got to the airport, she was then told there was no such flight.

Following that disappointment, a deaf man called her to the desk and put a big stamp on her boarding pass which, she later determined, made her a suspicious passenger. They started patting her down and confiscated her brand new lip gloss. She asked him questions, but of course, he couldn’t hear to answer.

Then they told her she could get on a flight to Detroit, after they determined they could circumvent the rules concerning an “Act of God”, for which they were in no way responsible, and assign her to another carrier.

I think they plan an ultra-light connection out of Detroit or perhaps a broomstick. She said she’d call, if she hit the ground again.

It’s 2:00 and she should be on the plane out of KC within the hour. Finger crossing works as well as anything, if you want to help.

I bet it’s a long time before she tries to go home to Indiana again.

6/27/2007

AIR TRANSPORTATION JUST ISN’T ANY FUN ANYMORE

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 8:11 pm

A friend of mine left here today for K.C. to catch a 5:00 p.m. plane to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for a class reunion in nearby Bluffton. She called at 6:00 to say her plane was canceled. She wanted me to check on Map Quest to see how far it was to drive. About 600 miles, I replied.

I suggested she could get “down the road” tonight and finish the trip tomorrow. She had no idea where her suitcases were. I assured her they were still in KC as a plane won’t leave with luggage and no owner.

Then, she was put on another plane bound for Dallas. “Wrong direction”, she said. “Really wrong direction”. She was on it about 10 minutes then passengers were shuffled back to the terminal. Some official muttered something about “the weather”. The desk people were calling her by name by this time.

Now, at 8:30 she’s on her way to a motel with a car load of women who were also stranded. The motel transportation couldn’t pick them up for two hours so she was providing transportation service for anyone who was left with no place to go.

The last I heard her say was, “****, I can’t find my parking ticket”.

But, get this: she can’t get a plane out of KC. until Friday. There is nothing leaving tomorrow. At some point it’s going to dawn on her that there are no assurances a plane will leave on Friday and deliver her where she wants to go. It would probably be easier to drive. If she did, she could be there tomorrow evening. As it is, if she waits for a plane that may never arrive, she’ll be lucky to make it to Bluffton Friday night before all the fruit punch is gone.

Of course, if she drives, she’ll also have to drive home. All this wasn’t in her plans.

This story is far from over.

“KANSAS VS. DARWIN”

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings — Peg Britton @ 6:47 pm

In its initial showing, “Kansas vs. Darwin”, a documentary by Jeff Tamblyn, was very well received amid standing ovations. Jeff Tamblyn is going to enter it in several film festivals this fall. He also intends to show it in areas that have recently experienced challenges to the teaching of evolution.

“Kansas vs. Darwin” takes you inside the 2005 Kansas science hearings “to meet the characters who captured the world’s attention: school board members who believe their literal interpretation of the Bible trumps modern scientific evidence, and members of the Intelligent Design Network who believe mainstream science is conspiring to suppress evidence that would overturn evolution. You’ll also get face to face with an organization of Kansas scientists, educators, and citizens that organizes a worldwide response to put an end to what they see as a religiously-motivated kangaroo court.”

Kathy Martin’s spot on the KSBOE comes up next election and she needs to be voted off the board. Note, as an instance, her use of the word “imperialism” instead of “empiricism”. She’s a high school science teacher, no less, and wants her brand of religion taught in our public schools in science classes.

Here’s a trailer from the documentary.

YOUNG AMERICANS ARE LEANING LEFT, NEW POLL FINDS

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 2:48 pm

Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll. The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion…

…more Americans ages 17 to 29 than four years ago are paying attention to the presidential race. But they appeared to be really familiar with only two of the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats…

… More than half of Americans ages 17 to 29 — 54 percent — say they intend to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008.

More from the New York Times article.

PROTEST PETITION BEING VERIFIED IN ELLIS COUNTY

Filed under: prairie musings, energy, friends — Peg Britton @ 9:33 am

The protest petition for the proposed wind farm southwest of Hays was discussed during Monday morning’s Ellis County Commission meeting.

Ellis County Clerk Alberta Klaus said the protest petition was delivered Wednesday.

“I don’t know that you can act on the wind farm application today because of the protest petition I have in hand,” Klaus said.

For the rest of the story…

And, then there is the Cloud County Wind Farm

The last two movies I’ve watched were Hours and Breach. I didn’t care for “The Hours” very much and “Breach” was so-so.

Breach is about the FBI agent Robert Hanssen who passed very sensitive information to the Soviet Union. Soon after landing a plum job working for FBI, Eric O’Neill realizes he’s been brought in to spy on his boss, Robert Hanssen, who’s suspected of selling secrets to the Soviets. They just need to catch him in the act. That’s the plot. Hanssen who is a protestant turned extremist fundamentalist Catholic is a weird ball fanatic about his religion, filming and sharing rough sex with his wife, etc. This is based on the true story of Hanssen who is currently serving a life sentence in prison. O’Neill left the FBI after this case and entered law practice in D.C. It’s worth a watch, but not two, imo.

“The Hours” follows the parallel lives of three 20th-century women. The incomparable Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman, in an Oscar-winning performance) is hard at work on the classic story of Mrs. Dalloway while battling depression in the 1920s; Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) is an unsatisfied 1950s housewife who finds solace in Woolf’s novel; and Clarissa Vaughn (Meryl Streep) is a modern-day book editor who’s losing her former lover to AIDS. It was a good movie, by most standards…but depressing.

When Tom Zouzas was sick, Brit picked up their newspaper on Wednesday morning and delivered it to them. It has become a habit now. They love the great service. He always was a “Paper Boy”, which was his CB handle years ago. When we had overnights on our boats at Wilson Lake, he’d get up early in the morning, pick up papers in Wilson and deliver them to friends. Those were good fun-filled days.

I’m going to get lost in a closet today. I don’t know which one as they all need attention. I have so much stuff to get rid of in this house…we need to downsize NOW. I have a terrible time parting with things as each little treasure has a history. I guess that is bound to happen, but I never thought of it from that perspective when I was younger

Oh! I’ve intended to give you a Toto Toilet update: it’s the best piece of “equipment” we’ve added to the house since we built it 30 years ago. It’s terrific and we’ve not had the Plumber’s Friend out since it was installed. It was slightly pricey since it’s ADA and sanaglossed, but that would be the case with any model if you added those features. The sanagloss is worth every penny as it flushes absolutely clean each time and with far less water than our old American Standard and most other toilets. The surface is so slick, nothing can stick to it.

Maybe Ringo will go swimming today. This has nothing to do with the above. He has his own pool.

Have a cool one, any way you can.

6/26/2007

FLORIDA RECRUITS, RINGO, DANE AND COMMUNITY COFFEE

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 10:14 pm

After visiting with a friend this evening, it appears we need to advertise in Florida for people who want to move to rural Kansas and higher ground. Apparently a lot of them wonder about the wisdom of continuing to live in south Florida as hundreds of houses are for sale. The back to back tropical storms and the effect they have on insurance companies is the main culprit. People who want to move can’t sell their homes and they can’t get affordable insurance in order to stay. They have been priced out of Florida

I have a friend who has a quite old, lovely, small (less than 1,000 sq. ft., I’d guess), two bedroom, 1 bath house worth about $130,000 who used to pay $900 in insurance. Because of the plethora of tropical storms in recent years, her insurance has increased almost overnight to $2,400 even though she has never filed a claim. She is situated in a very nice area of St. Pete, but along with everyone else, she is only four feet above sea level. If icebergs continue melting, as most certainly they will, they’ll have water lapping at their door steps.

Ringo hasn’t been out very much today, but his initial reaction to his swimming pool was luke warm. I think he’ll like it once his cousins, Sam and Hailey, return and splish splash around. That will be Thursday and the water ought to be warmer by then. It’s only a matter of time before Ringo parks himself in his pool and rings his bell for service.

Dane is skipping us on Thursday and going directly down town to get a haircut and wheel around visiting with friends. I’m glad he can do that. He’s feeling well these days except for the pain on his paralyzed left side. That persists relentlessly.

My friend Linda of Backyard Musings is in Salina helping with a new grandson. We’d hoped to get together since we’ve never actually met in person. It still may happen this week, but if not, we’ll connect one of these days. It’s always a delight to meet someone you’ve been in contact with over the internet.

Brit is out of Community Coffee, Louisiana’s famous coffee. I ordered another case of Dark Roast for him today. It’s my favorite too but I’ve been assigned to decaf. I’ve found I don’t even miss the decaf in the morning and rather prefer a tall cold “pitcher” of water with an addition of blended fruit juices. After all the coffee I was drinking, I’m surprised I didn’t have withdrawals/headaches from quitting so abruptly. No problem

Anne Grothusen and Chris Zouzas went to visit Dane today. He appreciated their visit so much, he said. It was really nice of them as I know how hard it is for friends to visit friends in nursing homes. They said they ate at Made From Scratch afterwards and the food was “terrible”. I suggested next time they stick to cheeseburgers, fries, homemade chips and pie as they are usually very good. Jeanne can’t be there all the time and we all know how it is in the restaurant business.

Thanks for tuning in…and stay cool. We might get rain tomorrow.

YES, YOU’VE SEEN STEVE WHITMORE’S FACE BEFORE…IN KANSAS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:40 pm

They “sprung” Paris today and the spokesman for the LA Sheriff who was charged with her incarceration was Steve Whitmore, former employee of the Hutch News…and son of actor James Whitmore.

Maybe Paris can find a life without cameras trained on her, but I doubt it.

FORT HARKER DAYS

Filed under: Kanopolis Musings — Peg Britton @ 4:59 pm

Mark your calendar on July 13 - 14 for Fort Harker Days in Kanopolis.

Events start Friday night with the traditional sand volleyball tournament at 5:00 p.m. along with a hamburger feed at the Commanding Officers’ Quarters.

The parade is at 10 on Saturday followed by a car show, turtle races, free watermelon feed, kids games and a host of other activities.The weekend events continue until the free dance Saturday night at 9:00.

It’s a great weekend to be in Kanopolis.

THE LARGEST FREE INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION IN KANSAS IS NEXT WEEKEND IN JUNCTION CITY

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:53 pm

In case you aren’t located geographically to spend the weekend in Ellsworth, you will find food, fun, family and two nights of fireworks in Junction City.

Things start on Thursday evening June 28th at 6:00 p.m. and conclude Wednesday July 4th with their Fireworks Extravaganza at 10 p.m.

If you want details, click here.

WHAT SOME 9 YEAR OLD KIDS DO IN THEIR SPARE TIME

Filed under: friends — Peg Britton @ 9:06 am

You remember my young biker hero, Nik Unruh? Well, he’s now a member of the YouTube generation.

He’s back home in Anchorage being creative.

He created this movie by taking hundreds of photos of some Playmobil characters and piecing them together. His mom, Margaret, showed him how to work the editing program, and he did all the rest in one secretive evening in his room. He and his parents put the show on YouTube last night, and he now thinks he’s hot stuff. He is hot stuff.

Nikolai Unruh’s first documentary. Take a look.

6/25/2007

WHEW! BIRTHDAYS ARE A GOOD THING, BUT TIRING.

Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends — Peg Britton @ 9:38 pm

Whew! It has taken me awhile to recover from all the activity around here, mostly birthday related. Having the family here is always The Best. We had a good weekend together.

Ally finished my garden and I love it. She did an excellent job and Morford’s plants look healthy and comfortable in their new location.

We’re crossing our fingers on Brit’s wild flower project. He planted the seeds in those “unmowed” patches in the prairie between our house and the highway. He planted five huge boxes of seeds so surely some will fear not to germinate. Hector and Jean are going to be on prairie prowl wildflower watch to see what happens and report to the masses. (smile)

Our good friend from Shreveport, formerly of Ellsworth, Nancy Morrison stopped by today for a visit. She and her husband, Joe, grew up with Brit. We had so much information to share that I wish she could stop by more often. It takes awhile to catch up. She is heading to Denver tomorrow. She’s about my age and hesitates not to head off cross-country to visit family and friends. She and I agree: when we travel we want a car for all our stuff. Flying is for the young and patient.

I made a quick run to Salina today, to see my ophthalmologist and run errands. Todd needed a battery for his watch, Dane needed a flag for his wheelchair, I needed my car sanitized inside and out and there were other stops. I made it home before noon and spent a little time with Dane. I wear out very fast in Salina.

Dane just loves “Moby Dick”, his new transportation. It’s easier for him to maneuver inside and there are other amenities that make it more comfortable…air conditioning, a radio that works and comfortable seats for other passengers.

We’ll keep the Blue Canoe for awhile as Ally and Ruby figure it will be good to move possessions from Abilene to the farm. The move into their agrestic digs will start next weekend after they finalize the deal on Friday. Ally is buying the Dan Mount aka Rance Headley dairy farm about 5 miles south of town. I suppose it won’t be long before she’s talking goats.

Do you know when they started building the Pentagon? September 11, 1941. The Pentagon is five-sided because they wanted to put it on a five-sided piece of land and at the last minute they put it on Hell’s Bottom. They didn’t redesign the building for the new site. They built the Pentagon in 16 months. Can you imagine? The building was built with stronger walls and floors because they thought there would be no need for it following the war and it would make it an excellent library…which would require reinforced floors and supports, etc. that would hold extra weight. That proved to save lives later on another 9-11.

It would please me if Paris Hilton is never more seen on TV. They are springing her free tomorrow.

Tomorrow is going to be a splendid day for Ringo. I’m going to surprise him with a swimming pool…a little kiddy pool from ALCO. Brit isn’t keen on the idea, but I think Ringo might prefer it to the dirty creek water that he insists on diving in. He loves water. I’d sure like it better if he concentrates on the pool. We’ll see how he likes it….with a little shade, new shades, a flotation devise, cold beer and…. (nah…I’m kidding!)

For the first time in many, many years, I won’t be buying night works for the grandchildren. Drew and Tyler will be in Cabo and Mackenzie will be home watching the neighbor’s kids having fun. We’ve had lots of fun over the years watching the kids light the skyboomers in our driveway even though it required quick dashes for cover on several occasions. I’ll not miss the near “misses” and the worry of maybe setting Buchholz’s or our house on fire. I’ll be going to the Spectacular with Ally and Dane. Brit prefers sitting it out at home.

Thanks for tuning in. Stay cool.

6/23/2007

HOW HIGH IS TOM’S FLAGPOLE?

Filed under: prairie musings, energy — Peg Britton @ 8:16 pm

Here is something to ponder.

When you drive down I-70 heading east, take a look to your right near the Brookville exit where Tom Belcher lives, if you know where that is. Otherwise, look for a big herd of buffalo and THE FLAG POLE.

You remember where I mean…that very familiar, very tall flag pole you’ve seen dozens of times. It’s very obvious as you drive west past that area. Every time you’ve seen it, you’ve wondered how tall it is, right?

It’s 150 feet tall. It looks like it touches the clouds.

Well then, think about the wind turbines that are going to be sitting on the hills west of there. Sixteen miles of turbines, four miles deep from north to south.

Overall, the turbines are going to be at least 400 feet tall. Some new ones are 500′ tall. Way over twice as tall as that flag pole. Plus they will be on hill tops so they’ll appear even taller. It’s not our choice. We didn’t have a choice. They were forced on us.

I talked with Tom again today so I had the opportunity to ask him again about the height of the pole. The flags cost $600 each and he changes them out every 60 to 90 days. Starting in August he flies larger flags as the wind doesn’t blow much. In the spring, he uses smaller flags.

So, keep in mind when you go by the wind turbines and the wind isn’t blowing hard enough to turn the blades, they will be drawing electricity off the grid to make them appear to be producing electricity. And, if the wind is blowing too hard, they will have to shut them down. Expect them to produce electricity about 1/3 of the time. That’s par for the course at Spearville.

The rest of the time they are dead in the water and NOT producing electricity…regardless of what they appear to be doing.

Here’s an interesting article on Kansas Farmers and Wind Farms written by J.P. Michaud of Hays. It appears in the High Plains Journal. Wind farms are a form of heavy industry. Should farmers who have industrial turbines on their land and are raking in the cash for them be allowed to claim the same land for agricultural benefits?

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