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Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:43 AM PDT

This Is What Is Wrong With The ACA

by webranding

Education, education, education of the public. Let me try to explain.

I went to the 7/11 like store up the block from me to buy some milk this morning.

The person working the place I went to high school with ages ago (in the 80s). He is a nice guy and we chit chat when he is working. He said he had to go back to the doctor for his knee. He blew it out playing basketball and wears a huge brace.

The conversation then got kind of strange. Maybe sad would be a better word.

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Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:36 AM PDT

This Is NOT A GBCW Diary

by webranding

But I don't see myself posting here much moving forward.

There are two reasons to my thinking.

The first, and this is just on me, I spend too much time here. I love the banter and the intelligence of the community. But I could do other things more productive, or at least more productive in making money for myself. Time I spend here I am not working.

The second and much more important is I see, gosh I don't know the word for it, but protected individuals. That if you question them you get called out and even suggested you might get banned.

Let me try to explain ...

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Did you see the Dead? Best show? Tell us.

I recall college. 1988. Western Illinois University. A few folks asked me if I wanted to go see the Dead play at Solider Field.

Think I said who is the Dead?

We went, I drove. Wow.

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I often talk about my mom here and not my dad. Well my father is a rock star. How about a few happy stories.

At the top of the list is this. We had an openly gay family member move home. Literally around the corner from my parents. We were (my brother and I) not sure how this would work out. I don't think at this time my father ever knew an openly gay person. They asked him if they could go to church with him. This is a church that my family literally built with our hands. He was like sure.

It didn't take long to see folks didn't like a gay couple attending their church. Terrible things being said about them. My father was like WTF people. How dare you treat them like this. They are family! Who are you folks? He was told it was just how it was. He said fuck you and that check he was about to write as he often did to said church will not be written. Never again. That church is dead to my family.

A few more happy stories below the fold ....

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Working with my dad to publish a book about his military high school. I thought I knew my father but reading how he was sent off to get ready to fight a war when he was 12, well I now know a little more about my childhood. Makes more sense how hard my father was on me.

In working with him we came across a lot of family pics. This is my favorite:


My grandfather, my mom's dad, in Germany on some dudes back.

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Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 06:14 PM PDT

Domestic Violence. It Has To Stop

by webranding

I read a diary today, and I won't call out the person cause I feel they just didn't understand. But it seemed they said cause a women, like 105 pounds, had slapped a 250 pound male it was OK for him to slap her back. I got huge issues with that.

In my little rural town of 8,700 folks I pick up the yearly crime report. The first thing you notice is all the zeros. Zero murders. Zero burglars. Zero this. Zero that.

Then another number jumps up. 600+ domestic violence calls and like 68 arrests.

Much more below the fold ...

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I will go out on a limb and say "Death Valley." LSU. Baton Rouge.

I was born in Baton Rouge in 1969, while my father was finishing his PhD. Taught there. Years later would get my MA there. At the time I attended LSU (early 90s) sucked. But to come to play "Saturday Night Under The Lights" was never something that was easy.

Now we are good and 98,000 folks (working on 106,000). Often hear it is the loudest place in the nation to play a game.

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I often say here I like to tell stories. Well here is one this Friday morning.

I was just loading up my tablet with some videos for a road trip this weekend with my brother (Jeff) and his wife (Sara) to visit my parents. And well Katie my niece. I will be her entertainment :). I am the "Cool Uncle." For some context I am 44. I don't have any kids. Katie is 4. Here is Katie on her last vacation a few months ago in Mexico (this pic will make sense later).


Honestly not a huge fan of kids until Katie came into my life. I guess it is easier for me to be the "Cool Uncle" since she isn't my kid, but like from the start I treated her like an "adult." I didn't talk to her like she was a "three years old" when she was in fact three. When I interact with her I don't treat her much different then how I would treat you if we met face-to-face. Jeff isn't so sure about this (much more on this below the fold), but Sara LOVES it. I also don't treat her like a "girl."

See until she was born, there had not been a women born into my family since 1897 (yes you read that correctly). Since that time, until my brother was born (I am nine years older) it was only single males. Why there is a III after my name. So not only wasn't I "good" around kids I had NO idea how to be around a "little lady." The only women in my family until Katie were via marriage.

But if there is one thing the men in my family do well (I guess other then me) is marry smart, empowered women. Heck for many of my first years people here thought I was female. I took/take that as a compliant, cause well nothing wrong with being a woman :). So I figured the best way to interact with Katie was just to be myself.

Oh so much more below the fold.

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Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 09:00 PM PDT

Happy News Across The Board

by webranding

Or to use a phrase from Duck Dynasty ..... Happy, happy, happy.

Happy stuff to talk about for a few. Take you into Friday!

Well the third year with my raised beds are FINALLY working.

First year, and I can read, but rarely follow written instructions, I planted like three times too much stuff and way too close together. In the end couldn't tell where one plant started and another ended. Not a good result with production. Next year I got the stuff in late, didn't fertilize the soil, and it was like 105-110 for two weeks straight. Everything lived and grew, and grew. Nothing flowered and produced.

This year I followed directions on spacing. Bought manure and compost (I can't get my compost bin to work darn it) to fertilize the soil. Got stuff in earlier.

I'd post pics of all my different tomatoes, 6 kinds of peppers, and eggplants, but alas Flickr is down for maintenance :).

Tomorrow heading to see mom. Health keeps getting better.

Oh the rest below the fold.

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SWIC (Southwestern Illinois College) is the local community college about 5 miles down the road from me. It used to be called Belleville Area College (BAC). Or in the 80s when I was in high school and college BAC stood for "Bring a Crayon." It was a joke, but has since morphed into something pretty darn cool.

It is the end of the Metro rail line by me that I ride often. About a decade ago they built a near world class library, that I head to around once a week to break up the day-to-day of working out of my house. Heck for $20/year as a resident I have a library card and can connect with the state of Illinois Library System where I can get any book, magazine, DVD, or professional journal I want.

Heck the place was founded in 1946, back when the US just did shit and didn't bitch and moan (I'll come back to this), to educate returning vets from WWII (ponder that for a few).

It is about the only place in the area where construction is literally non-stop. In the last year or so they have added something like 100,000 square feet of new classrooms. Doing a Google search for this Diary, they also just gave out raises to 600 employees.

Well background of sorts out of the way I just headed to the store a few minutes ago and I see this headline in the local paper, SWIC Board Approves Solar Project, Parking Structure. IMHO it gets kind of cool below the fold.

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OK just the third year of my garden. First year I put in some raised beds and made my own soil. Although I can read, I often don't follow written instructions and I planted everything too close together. Not bad results, but limited. I ended up just drying the peppers by hanging them in my kitchen with a needle and thread.

Veggies (6-29-11)

The above pic was early in 2011 and by the end I almost couldn't tell where one plant started and another ended :).

Last year I was late getting stuff into the ground and here in Southern IL right after I planted the stuff in June it was like 10+ days of 105+ degree temps. I also didn't fertilize the soil. The stuff grew and grew and didn't die, but nothing really flowered and I got almost nada outside of more cherry tomatoes then I knew what to do with (not a fan of them, didn't even realize I bought that variety).

This year I did fertilize the soil with a combo of manure and compost. My much smaller compost bin (in coffee cans moved to a plastic kitty litter container) is finally working (or at least I think it is). Got stuff in the ground in a more timely fashion.

The garden is starting to produce and I literally have no idea what I am going to do with everything. I've done some Internet research and I have ideas, I just find people here often give me better advice/input then I get anywhere else. Some more details and some pepper related questions below the fold.

BTW: If you just want to talk gardens, feel free. I love to talk about it and there is still so much I don't know (but might be able to help a person just starting out).

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Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:49 PM PDT

Us Liberals Can't Debate Well

by webranding

I am not an expert on Republicans, but I know a lot of them. Say what you will but if you want to "move" them talk to their pocketbook. There are a couple examples of this I will use below the fold, but just a story to start.

Joan wrote a diary about the Republicans in the House looking to go after light bulbs again.

Well years ago my father, who is nothing close to a liberal, went with me to Home Depot. They had like four energy efficient light bulbs on sale for $2.99. I was in my late 30s at the time, my father knows I am a liberal, but we know each other well. He knows when I tell him something I am not making it up. He can bet on it I am right. Said we ought to buy them all, great price and they will SAVE HIM MONEY. So we did. Changed every light in my house and his.

That was six years ago and only one of the bulbs we bought has failed. On the front porch of my dad's house, which is on a timer and runs like 10 hours a day.

My dad would not have bought these bulbs and used them if I told him he was saving the world. Instead it would save him money, and it did.

Where we don't debate well, we don't understand what "buttons" to push with moderate Republicans.

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