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Feb. 9th, 2009


Amicable divorce?

Wow, I almost did a whole week's worth of posts in a row! (You can jump over to see what happened to my weekend from the PP,PnP link at the bottom of this one.)

Just about the only thing in the news, seems like, is the caterwauling in Congress about what should or shouldn't be in the stimulus package they might or might not pass.

Quite a lot of the fuss seems to be coming from the R side of the aisle. Short version: They hate everything about Obama's version like poison, and anyone else who doesn't hate it just as much is failing to be bi-partisan.

As I have said before, I'm not an economist by any stretch of the imagination. But with my average grasp of simple logic, I can see that if, say, $16 mil is made available to SE Colorado to continue work on Highway 287, then there are going to be new jobs available for doing that work. There will be payments made to companies that sell concrete mix, and highway signs, and machinery. Those companies can pay their workers. Those folks, and the highway workers, and everyone else putting a hand to the task, can buy groceries for their families, and tires for their vehicles, and hard hats. And beer. The money will go spreading around and around that way, helping everybody. What does a tax cut do besides make people who are already in good shape smile even bigger? Beats me.

It seems to me that these R's insisting that their ideas get included are acting like a pissed-off, clueless guy being sued for divorce. The other party, throwing in the towel because she just can't take it any more, agrees that being amicable is the way to go. There are kids to consider (the American people), and besides, it's the nice, responsible, mature way to be.

But as they sit down with the lawyers and try to work out how to deal with the almost bankrupt family business (the economy) and custody and all, the ex keeps complaining because his desires aren't being automatically considered the most important. He just doesn't seem to understand that it was his insistence that all was well, and he was doing everything right, that caused the current financial and emotional crisis in the first place.

So yeah, buddy, you are going to have to pony up child support, and it will go for things like school costs and health insurance, even if you think that's not a priority. The kids are going to be allowed to play with any other friendly kids in the neighborhood, even the ones of a different race or religion. Since you can't buy out the family business, you're going to be bought out, which means you don't get to make the decisions on running it any more.

Because amicability can only last so long in the face of delusional stubbornness. And then reality has to take over. The judge (Obama and the majority votes in the House and Senate) will make the final decision about what is going to get done. Those who don't like it don't HAVE to like it. It's a free country. They are welcome to keep trying to come up with better ideas for the future.

They might be taken more seriously if they would quit whining and crying and throwing hissy fits, though. Just sayin'.


Past Posts (Personal, not Political): This week on The Neon Nurse’s Charting: book-mending, snorting cinnamon, baby hummingbirds, a beautiful table I will never have, and odd stuff like that.

Feb. 6th, 2009


Not a Rush fan

But you knew that about me, right?

Here's one of the better Pundit Kitchen pics I've seen lately. I know it's not anything Michelle REALLY said, but I believe she thinks this way. Mainly because that's the kind of mom I am too. If you have a hankering to visit an ER, just hurt one of my kids....

Obama pictures and McCain pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

Feb. 5th, 2009



My exciting idea for an exciting project sprang up today when I noted that the local lumberyard is having a HUGE sale on plywood. A full 7/16th thick sheet for only $7.29! The reason this is good is that on several occasions last year, the Prowers Dems had need of one of those sandwich board triangle signs, but always on days where there were big doin's all over town, and no one we knew had spares to loan out.

Now for a little work, some spare hardware and less than $20, we can have FOUR of our very own! Plus give a very minor teeny-tiny stimulus to the local economy.

Life is good.

If my plywood euphoria does not meet your need for quality blog content, try this cartoon. It actually ran last year some time, but it still makes a good point about people expecting perfection right away.

Getting there is half the fun!

Feb. 4th, 2009


A future for high-speed passenger rail in Colorado?

Due to popular demand (WeatherDem, that means YOU!), I thought I would give a more detailed report on what I learned at the Rocky Mountain RootsCamp 2009 breakout session given by a representative of the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority. Whose name I foolishly did not write down. My bad.

Highly trained individuals

Basically, the RMRA is doing feasibility studies and data gathering on desirable train stops, potential passenger load, and physical terrain conditions. This will all eventually become a "useful tool for lawmakers to take the next step" of approving the funding and giving the go-ahead for construction, possibly as soon as 2015.

Right now it looks like a likely starting place would be to create a direct rail line between DIA and downtown, because that is where the major interest for potential travelers currently lies. Another possible priority is the I-25 corridor. Modern high speed rail requires limited curvature and low grades, which fits the landscape profile along I-25. (This is why existing freight rail lines won't work for high speed rail.) It is also a region of potentially high interest to passenger traffic. The I-70 mountain corridor has high interest too, but that section of the line is going to be far more expensive to build, because much of it will either need to be elevated, or run through ten mile long tunnels through the mountains.

Mystery Science Trains 3000!

There are good reasons for getting started now on establishing high speed rail. As Colorado's population grows, so will the number of vehicles on the highways. Modern passenger trains can move a lot more people for a much lower cost in fuel and pollutants. Getting even some trains rolling will help us meet our goal of 20% less emissions by 2020. It is also the first step towards a nation-wide system of safe, clean and affordable public transportation, the new version of Eisenhower's establishment of the interstate highway system in the 50s.

I say let's get those shovels ready for workin' on the railroad all the live long day!

Feb. 3rd, 2009


Stimulating SE Colorado

I know economics is a complicated, almost mystical, system that no one truly fully understands, most especially me. But I do think I am seeing patterns now and then, concerning the proposed economic stimulus program. The tendency is for those evaluating it to say, A) It's WAY too big!! and B} Why isn't my favorite recipient getting more out of it?!?

That was the subtext in this article in the Pueblo Chieftain Sunday, anyway. However, they did have a good list of the projects currently on the list for southern Colorado, which included "$16 million for continued widening and replacement of U.S. 287 in the state's southeast corner, completing Region 2's part of the Ports-to-Plains highway corridor."

The Ports-to-Plains project has a website, if you want to study up on it yourself:


Feb. 2nd, 2009


RootsCamp and more!

I don't know why going away for a one day meeting wipes me out so much. I mean, it's mostly sitting, and I didn't even undersleep hardly at all. Yet here I am dragging through the day like a slugged slug.

It's lucky I did decide to go through my 'paper brain' and make lists of what I should be doing this week, or I would have TOTALLY forgotten that I am supposed to go to an interview tonight! I volunteered to be on the board of the Lamar Housing Authority when I read an article in the local paper lamenting that it couldn't even do business right now because someone moved away, leaving only two members of a five person board. Can't make quorum from that no matter what you do. So since I have SO MUCH Copious Spare Time, I filled out an application. Happily it seems like a fair number of others have too, so whether I get on or not, it will be okay.

The event I went up to Denver for was called Rocky Mountain RootsCamp, which is exactly what it sounds like, a daycamp for grass roots progressives. Unlike the day camp I remember attending as a Brownie, I did not come home with cash totaling twice my weekly allowance because some of the older Girl Scouts actually sleeping over paid me to collect them a bunch of caterpillars. Ahem. But I did come home with lots of interesting info and ideas. Got to learn about a new youth outreach video project, hear the report from the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority, which is doing a study on feasibility and costs for developing passenger rail in Colorado, and a bunch more. People can also spontaneously suggest sessions, and I was asked to help with one on how to use Twitter, which was gratifying but alarming. No one's phone caught fire or anything, though, so that was okay.

All in all, it was fun and informative, plus I got to catch up with a bunch of friends I don't get to see very often. I have a few pics, which I will try to process and post soon.

In national news, I was impressed all over the place today by getting an email from MyBarackObama.com. I am guessing they sent it out to everyone on the whole DNC mailing list, and theirs too. They want people to set up house parties this weekend to inform folks about what the Economic Stimulus Plan will be doing in their region. I did a little looking around, and found some Colorado groups were setting up theirs to be a part of their mandated county party Re-organizational meeting. That seemed like a heck of a good idea to me, so I set Prowers County up that way too.

It's just, WOW, you know? An administration that not only knows HOW to use modern communication venues, but is trying its best to use them to get the American Public active and involved in making things better! Pinch me, I gotta be dreamin' here!

Past Posts (Personal, not Political): This week on The Neon Nurse’s Charting there...isn't much. Mainly those 25 Random Things everyone is probably sick of by now. But stop by if you want to.

Jan. 27th, 2009



OK, I admit it. I thought this was fabulous (h/t to Sufimarie for pointing it out):

Did I hear someone say New Frontier?

This one, not so much:

But to each their own goo, as the French don't actually say

I guess it could just be that I think things like the Space Commander-in-Chief and the Obama/Spiderman comic are cool because they appeal to my personal interests. Maybe Chia pet enthusiasts think that item is super and the ones I like are silly, who knows?

It seems to me, though, that we haven't even seen the peak of Obama-related gimcrackery yet, despite his administration getting off to a blazing start last week. There are still a lot of people out there who want their own little piece of Hope, Change and Fun.

Could be that's a good sign. No one who is thinking straight can disagree that we are facing potential disaster on multiple fronts. Americans are going to have to pull together, and it does seem like we are all more likely to head in the same direction when we're chasing after a celebrity. Maybe Obamania will lead to an attitude similar to the one Will Rogers said people had about FDR. "If he burned down the Capitol, we would cheer and say, 'Well, we at least got a fire started anyhow.'"

At least people buying all these goofy items are contributing to economic stimulus.

Free downloadable pics from the Space Prez artist, under a CC license, can be found HERE.

If you MUST have a $20 Chi-Obama, it's HERE.

Jan. 26th, 2009


Busy Monday

It's 40%ing all over outside this morning, and a balmy 13 degrees as I write. Still, there is one sign of spring not smothered in snow, and that's the re-organizational meetings for all county branches of the Colorado Dems coming up between Feb 1-15.

After kicking around potential dates and times via email last week, we stepped things up by securing a room today. I was told EVERYTHING at the Community Center was taken for Feb 10th. Reeeally? Or do I smell a GOP Conspiracy???? Nah, probably not, or they would have blocked the Cultural Events Center at the Library as well.

So there you go with some actual local content for a change!

Past Posts (Personal, not Political): This week on The Neon Nurse’s Charting I helped Mike make a cell, reviewed a very good book, talked about the 'Rockeration' (TM MikeSpeak) and Twittered a lot. Feel free to drop by and read, if you like.

Jan. 22nd, 2009


In our dreams!

Collecting action figures can be fun. Modifying them can be REALLY fun!

Because here's some change I can seriously believe in!

Budget cuts coming right up!

And I'm not falling for that 'I'm your father' crap!

Details, and more pics, can be found at the manufacturer's site HERE.

Up next....

Coleman is a big, fat idiot.

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