Sunday, June 29, 2008

So, You think that you have lightning...

Taken from Ketchikan, looking South.

My cousin sent me this photo of lightning in Alaska. Big deal, cousin. I'll bet that you can't get snow to burn!

Red Mountain Fire.

Cristina has posted some news about the Red Mountain Fire one her blog. She has been so frustrated with the lack of knowing what is happening that she has gone out and checked for herself. She gives some big kudu's to KMUD and others for getting some timely news out there.

There is nothing as good as hearing from Cristina herself, a trained newsperson, that she is okay, and what is happening around her. It gives a good feeling of what is actually happening.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fire! No news is not necessarily good news!

Maybe it’s just me, but is seems to be that there has been a dearth of information out there. I owe KMUD an apology for being critical of their behind the times reporting, but they are probably faced with the same information barriers that the rest of us are. They have been giving updates of the information that they are able to get every hour on the hour. I've added a link to KMUD over there on the left under "Local and regional news".

This just in: A new fire just broke out on Chemise Mountain ridge road. One structure involved and one quarter acre of wild land. Firefighters are on scene. (7:50 AM. 6-28-08 )

The fire sounds like it will be readily brought into control. They are already diverting engines away. I will post as soon as I know what has happened.

If you have any information on any of the local fires, please post your information here. Try to indicate whether our not it is fact or just what you heard, but all stories are welcome.

I won’t always be available to answer your questions, because I am often not available, but help yourself to this medium to post info.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

That empty feeling, like it's all gone!

This is a photo of the Redway Fire Hall at 5:45pm 6-24-08

It is a rare occasion that we have all four Redway Engines committed to an assignment at the same time. The quick-attack truck was assigned to the Elk Ridge fire, the main fire truck was committed to Helicopter safety at the con camp.

The two remaining engines were committed to a power-line fire in lower Redway. The top of a tree broke off in the wind, causing it to drop on the power lines shorting them out. The top then fell on down and broke the lashing wire on the telephone line. By the time that the tree top hit the ground it was on fire and caused a small brush fire that was quickly extinguished.

The Elk Ridge fire was reported as a structure fire and a fully engulfed trailer. By the time that I got there, from the con camp, to Garberville, to Redway, to Elk Ridge, the fire was out. I arrived with the rest of the three engines that arrived on scene, and Cal-Fire arrived shortly after.

It was a small fire in the brush behind the trailer. I didn’t get all the way back to it because I was with the engine pumping water.

There were so many local residents showed up with hoes, shovels, maclouds, rakes, and back pack water pumps, that they had it put out. One guy had a brand new pair of running shoes and he had melted the soles off of them from stomping on fire. These people are real heroes. The potential for disaster was great because of the heavy fuel load and the wind.

I never recommend that anyone do anything that they are uncomfortable with, or that might endanger themselves, but it always amazes me how much life and property that willing bystanders can save before the Fire Department can show up.

Then there is the main truck that was at the con camp doing helicopter safety. It is a boring job in some respects, because we don’t have a lot to do. It gets hot and sweaty in the heavy structure fire gear. It is interesting to talk to the pilots and other personnel, and we get to meet a lot of other people that we identify with in so many ways that it is uncanny. There are many parallels.

Anyway, I don’t recall when the last time we have had all of our firefighters and engines committed.

Fire news.

I worked out at the Eel River Con camp yesterday with the Redway Fire Department. It's hard to get a real feeling of what is happening with the fires, because you can't see them. But one of the two major fires that the Helicopters were working was “The Lone Pine” fire south of Alderpoint. The pilot that I talked to said that the fire was accessible, and mostly on top of the ridge, and it was pretty much surrounded by fire personnel and that he expected it to be brought under control readily.

The other fire was “The Paradise fire” out near Kings Peak. Unfortunately the fire is in almost totally inaccessible areas and hard to work on. The winds are strong and unpredictable, and the fire has a strong potential for making a “run”. There is great concern for the firefighters safety because they are fighting the fire into the head of it. Which means that the only access to the fire is downwind from it and is difficult to keep the firefighters away from blow-outs. The large Long Line helicopters are dipping water out of the ocean. The short line helicopters are dipping out of fresh water ponds. Because they can’t risk getting their craft that close to the ocean spray.

The Red Cross has brought in evacuation gear to The Cove just in case.

There were several “New Reports” while we were out at the camp. Two in North-eastern Mendocino that were threatening several structures.

I have a strong felling that the fire stories are just beginning. Keep your eyes open and keep yourselves safe, and be concerned about your neighbors. California firefighters are spread too thin. Fires that would normally been put out right away are getting out of control from lack of resources.

I highly recommend Kyms blog. For the best fire reports.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The old swimmin' hole.

“We said there warn't no home like a raft… Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.”—Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

"gb05." Told a great story in the “How do you know if you belong” post, about the old swimming hole in his home town back east.

When we were kids in Laytonville and Garberville we didn't have television or computer games, and our great summer sport was swimming. We would spend all day at the river in the hot summer sun. Diving and jumping of rocks and bridges. Even on the hottest day the water would eventually chill us out and we would have to lay on the hot sandy beaches like lizards until we were warm again. I remember that my hair that was normally brown would bleach out to almost blond in the sun.

The River was a great place to socialize back then. There was a diving board under the “Moody Bridge” as it was called back then. Just up stream of Shine Sherburns sawmill, on the road to the Garberville airport. The kids would play in the river all day and in the evening the old folks and parents would come down and have a picnic on the beach.

The Rotary club, or the Chamber of Commerce, or somebody else would build a big raft out of old oil drums and sawmill scrap lumber. It also had a diving board. If you got enough people on the diving board you could almost tip the raft over. That would make all the girls squeal. That was always a big goal for the boys, to make the girls squeal.

The girls liked to sunbath on the raft so they could talk “girl talk”. The boys would dive of the rocks and swim under water and silently come up under the raft, like we were members of a spy group or something. We would listen to the girls talk for clues as to who might be the girls latest heart-throb. It never seemed to be any of us. Sometimes I think that they knew we were listening.

There was a lot of driftwood back then, and scrap lumber was plentiful all you had to do to get free lumber was throw it off of the burner chain, or gather it off the end of the green chain, because it was useless lumber and the didn’t have other uses for it back then like we do now. So the kids always had plenty of building material for forts or rafts. There were sawmills every where. There were about fifty mills in the So. Hum. School district. We would build a raft just to play “Huck Finn” and float down the river. Then we would abandon the raft and walk home. Usually you could find a raft that some other kid had built and abandoned and use it until you got tired of it and left it for the next group of kids.

The whole area was like one big family, everybody knew most everyone else, and it wasn’t uncommon to ask other people who they worked for, or what they did for a living. It was a lot easier to get to know people back then, because for the most part we only had each other for entertainment. Baseball and touch football was popular with the kids back then. Most every activity that we engaged in was with other people.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hazardous Weather Outlook

859 AM PDT SAT JUN 21 2008
859 AM PDT SAT JUN 21 2008

Upwards of 40 fires have been reported due to lightning strikes in the Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity area. Now would be a good time to keep your eyes open and look around your property for fire and smoke that is too small to spot from afar.
It sounds like the Hoopa are is in for some strong winds.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

How do you know if you belong on this blog…

You know you belong on this blog…

1- If you’ve ever ended a sentence with three dots because it was just to confusing to continue…
2- If you’ve ever started a sentence with a conjunction. And, even worse, you don’t know what a conjunction is. But, you write real good anyway.
3- If you’ve ever used a preposition to end a sentence with. This is the place you belong at.
4- If you never split an infinitive. You don't belong here. To boldly split infinitives is a goal on this blog. So you might need to unquestioningly know what an infinitive is, to gloriously know the true joy it can be to mercilessly spilt them.
5-If you know a lot of damn good expletives, they are also important to have, they fit-in damn near everywhere and they make short, dumb, sentences longer, and a hell of a lot more interesting.
6- If you know what a “loaner” (not in dictionary) is, but don’t know how to use “pedantic” (in dictionary) in a sentence, this is your blog.
7- You belong on this blog if you don’t like to ridicule people, or have them ridicule you.
8- You belong here if some of the best conversations that you ever had was while sitting in the dirt comfortably leaning back against a tree, or sitting at a picnic table with people just like you all around.
9- If yu cun reed thes sentanse, yu rite gud enuf to sey sumpthin! This is how I rite with spillcheck off.
10-If you have a memory, or a question, or you want to talk about your dog or your car, this is the place.
11- Mostly I want to hear YOUR stories, I’ve heard all of mine. So, if you think of something, it really doesn’t have to have anything to do with what we are talking about, just dive in!

Language doesn’t count here, communication does. If you are afraid someone will think that you are not too smart because you have poor writing skills, I need to tell you that some of the most interesting stories that I’ve ever heard in my life were from people that didn’t even know how to write. Some of the smartest people that I ever knew were people skilled in things other than writing. I’m eternally grateful to those people for some of the things that I know that nobody else knows.

Besides, I judge people’s intelligence by how well I think they could build a refrigerator. Otherwise known as RQ. (Refigerator Quotient) So if you are not somewhere on this scale, your ability to correct my English really doesn’t score many points with me!.

RQ Rating:
70-You can wipe your forehead with a wet cloth.
80- You can build an air-conditioner.
90- You can build an ice cooled box.
100- You can build a refrigerator.
110- you can build a freezer.
120- You can build a walk-in cooler.
130- You can build a walk-in freezer and the drain works.
140- You can build a complete supermarket.
150- You can build a supermarket, and even know what the engineer designed wrong,
160- You can explain why you are too busy to fix a refrigerator while you are really playing on your blog.

So, tell your stories. I want to hear them. "The three R's" really can stand for Reading, Writing, and Arithmatic on this blog.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Sixty pounds of Jack Russell McNabb.
As anyone knows, that reads this blog on a routine basis, I have a dog that likes to wake me up in the middle of the night to let me know that there is a critter in the yard. She takes great joy in waking me up to let me know that the “Game is on”. She has a cautious routine where she wakes me up, then she runs to the hallway off the bedroom, she cautiously looks around the corner and down the hall, if the hall is clear she scoots down the hall and peers around the corner into the laundry room where her doggie door is. If she sees a coon or a ‘possum she breaks into a fit of barking and gives the critter a “Two Step Toward the Door Mr.” advantage. When the critter blasts through the door she is right on its tail, just a nipping and snapping at it. When it gets outside, it usually heads up a tree, then my dog is “in her glory“, she knows it can’t get away. And we joyously celebrate our victory with “Good Dog”, then we go back to bed.

But, sometimes she balks, she will cautiously poke her nose out the doggie door, look both ways, then she goes back to the foot of the bed and goes back into cautious alert mode. I don’t really know what she is thinking. I get the feeling that she knows that whatever is out there is too big for her. So, I go back to bed and let her worry.

Late last night she woke me up and headed outside. I stayed in bed and listened to her bark. I heard some movement in the front yard so I got out of bed and went to the outside door to the bedroom, I parted the curtains and fingered the Venetian blinds apart, but it was too dark to see through the screen on the outside. Knowing that the dog was still in the back yard barking, I reached down and opened the door knob, just as I turned it, the door bounded into my hand. I caught it and almost had it pushed shut when it slowly started pushing in. I had one hand against my head, and I was pushing against the door with my elbow and my other hand against the door and I had both knees against the door. I thought that if I hadn’t gotten caught off guard it would have been better to push with both hands. But I couldn’t change positions. The door slowly, almost hydraulically kept pushing open.

I thought of Kym with her rattlesnake that she caught in her bedroom, and I remembered the lady that got up in the morning and pulled her pants on and ran out to warm herself in front of the stove only to feel something crawling on her inner-thigh. She ripped her pants off and screamed. She undressed right there in front of everybody. When she got her pants off, she found that it was a scorpion. It hadn’t bitten her, so she was only em-bare-assed. (Pun) But, why did I have to get something big!

I tried to smell it to see if it smelled like carrion, like a mountain lion, or a bear. But the air was sweet, with no odor. Pushing a door open is not characteristic of a lion, so I though it was probably a bear. I thought about “Bloody Bones The kid Eating Monster” but I knew it wasn’t that. I wished that I had turned the lights on so I could see it, but it was too late. The door was slowly inching further in. I tried to remember all of the things that you are supposed to do in a bear attack, look big, make loud noises. So, I started to yell at the top of my lungs, but only small guttural moaning would come out.

My wife shook me and woke me up, and said “I told you not to eat salame and cheese just before dinner then go straight to bed.”

Damn, I really wanted to know what it was that was pushing the door open, now I’ll never know. Anyway, I had two antacids and maybe I’m calm enough to go back to sleep now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Garberville Rotary in Venzuela

This is a reprint of an article on the local Rotary blog. The project is just one of the things that the Garberville Rotary Club is involved in. Needless to say we are very proud of our Rotarian, Brian Walker...

The girl in the photo is named "Sumalita", she was part of Rotoplast Guatemala, last years project. She has many more operations ahead of her.
Garberville Rotarian Brian Walker is the "Quartermaster" on the Rotoplast team to Venezuela. He is a reluctant "Blogger", so a member of the Rotoplast team has been chosen to keep us as up to date as possible, considering the remoteness of the area that they are in.

The team is down there repairing cleft lips and palettes. Click on this link for a description of the kind of work that they are doing; Clef palette repair. Also refer to this previous article. And this: Rotoplast

The reports from the team will be updated here as they come in. They will be posted at the bottom so they will read from earliest to latest. Here goes!


Dear Friends ~

Your friend or family member has given me your email address so that I can include you in my “reports from the field” as our team’s journalist. You may see this address or another one that I use ( so please don’t put them in the spam file!

Karen Bradford

(Rotary District 5330, sponsor of this mission)


Our Rotaplast team is safely in place in Venezuela. They took a military C-130 instead of an eight-hour bus drive from the airport.

Internet cafes are non-existent…there won’t be a lot directly from Karen.

Good news, though: Venezuela has adopted CDMA technology for their cellular network, so Karen can call using her home cell phone.

Clint Bradford


Karen advises there’s no Internet access in the hotel’s business office…So email messages from the team will be spotty.

Clint Bradford


Greetings to all of our family and friends!

This is just a little note to let you all know what is happening as I have not yet had time to write articles and have them cleared by our team leader in proper protocol. I hope to do that soon.

Our Team Cumana is very safe, happy and healthy on our fifth day in country. Our intake clinic day on Tuesday went well, despite a thunderstorm in oppressive heat, as we worked inside a smallish air- conditioned room on a military compound in Cumana.

The families are so appreciative that we are here. Surgeries started on Wednesday and are going well, and it is so rewarding to see lives changed in such a short period of time.

The host Rotary Club of Cumanagoto is absolutely exceptional in taking care of us. Despite it being a club of less than 30 people, there are so many supporter and volunteer relationships built during 10 years of sponsoring Rotaplast missions here. The Rotarians feed us very well and treat us with love and respect: At our first hosted dinner on Monday, I noticed the difference between our American customs by how one of the Venezuelan Rotarian ladies warmly held her arm around the shoulders of one of our female team members as she praised and welcomed us. When we go home, I will miss the ladies' custom of greeting me with kisses on each side of my face.

We are having difficulty with email by there being no Internet provisions here with the hotel's advertised facility being removed! I feel taunted by the sign on the door saying "Internet Center" but only an electrical cord in sight. Some team members brought their own laptops that they are happy to share, but modem connectivity has been very cranky, and there is so little time to spare as our team spends 12-hour days at the hospital --- and longer for some of the medical people! --- with a half-hour commute each way.

I am asked to convey that we are fine, and the team members may be able to phone if there is time. We are getting along well as a team and are proud of our work here. Thanks for your love and support in the time we are gone.

Warm regards from us to you,

Karen Bradford
Team journalist


Hello friends and family!Our team is still doing well, and we are more than half-way through our mission so we will see you soon. My first stories have been approved for distribution, so here is a description of our first day; more tomorrow. Karen Bradfordteam photojournalist
Arrival: ¡Bienvenidos a Venezuela!

“This mission to Cumaná is in the top one percent of what actually happens on Rotaplast missions,” complimented Mission Director Ted Durant during the first team meeting on the day after our arrival in Venezuela. “With our first few hours as an example, we all are going to be fine!” (His prognostication proved to be true.)

Unlike airport regulations in the United States, members of the Rotary Club of Cumanagoto greeted our group at the top of the Caracas jetway; we appreciated their warm welcomes after dragging in from various parts of the United States and funneling through Atlanta, where we first met as a team. Quickly escorted by the Rotarians’ arrangement through the customs arrival line marked “diplomats,” we retrieved our luggage and climbed aboard a shuttle, mercifully air-conditioned from the oppressive humidity. As condensation formed and dripped down our cooled windows, we realized the funny comparison to being inside a giant sweating glass of iced tea.

Plan A for transfer to Cumaná, about 250 miles east, indicated a hop via military transport plane; the Rotarians’ Plan B --- for “big bus” --- was an unappealing but very potential eight-hour ride in case the government could not accommodate us.

We were delighted to see the camouflage-painted Aero Fuerza Venezuela C-130 transport at our service, pallets of our boxed medical supplies already being loaded under bright spotlights. On mighty wings attached at the top of the fuselage, the plane’s four huge propellers would hardly get a workout from ferrying our supplies and team of 26 medical and nonmedical volunteers. We walked up the airplane’s rear deck fuselage that lowered as a ramp; the jump-suited crewman with headphones and a flashlight pointed us past cargo and into the cavernous dark to find our seats.

After figuring out how military aircraft buckles snapped shut, we gleefully looked around in our E-ticket ride: rudimentary webbed seating attached to center posts and padded airplane walls, a few stretchers fixed over our heads and the wires, cables and ducting of the aircraft in full view. The people who brought earplugs soon stuffed them in place as the props whined into furious spinning. We taxied and flew off into the starry tropical night.

After an hour of flight, more jump-suited and beefy-looking military men directed us from our solitary landing as we emerged under the plane’s tail to bright lights on a deserted tarmac. Pointed toward a terminal with peeling paint, we waited for the cargo.

Well past midnight by this time, we piled into a bus, our cargo and suitcases loaded on trucks behind us. Two policia escorts on motorcycles roared into the lead toward our hotel as we took our first look at the moonlit streets of Cumaná.

Karen Bradford

Saturday, June 14, 2008

All's well that ends well. Well, that is if it's a parade!

The parade went extremely well, the bikers really enjoyed it. A lot of them have never seen a small town parade before, they thought that it was fun. A few pushed their bikes out of town, because they had to be somewhere else. The word got out real fast that there would be no motorcycles running while that parade was going. The bikers police themselves, and if you just say out of it, they solve their own problems. Actually, the additional people in town made the atmosphere quite festive. It was really neat to see strangers lined up and down the street obviously enjoying the small town scene.
The water fight went well we trapped the newly formed Alderpoint fire department, and the Beginnings fire department with their new trucks, between the Garberville and Redway fire departments. They smelled a rat and they were ready for us, and they hosed us admirably. We were careful not to hit the crowd, but they started to run out into it just to get wet. It was the warmest parade that we’ve had in years. Redway was stuck in the back, and we were not able to hose everybody well so we aimed our 750 Gpm monitor nozzle down the street and turned it on. The water shot straight down the street for about 225 feet, and slowly drifted over the crowd. We thought; “uh-oh we’re dead”. But, again the crowd ran out in front of it and let it rain on then. They were screaming for more, but desecration being the better part of valor we backed off getting the crowd too wet.
What a hell of a fun day!!!
I bribed the judges a dollar, and The Redway Fire Department won a trophy for something. I couldn’t find it so I suspect it will be “sold” to me at a Rotary meeting.
By the way, at the Bull Riding last night, we had an auction on the bull riders, where the person that buys the winning bull rider gets to take all the winnings. Some of us locals put twenty dollars per share in a pot and we bid on a few bull riders. Some of the riders sold for hundreds of dollars. We bought one rider that nobody liked for twenty bucks, and he stayed on both of his rides and we won the pot. The moral of the story is don’t ever piss off a bull rider. He’ll stick to that bull like glue.
Gotta’ go barbecue steaks at the Rodeo. Catch you on the flip-flop if you’re a log truck driver.

Garberville 9:00am, Parade at 11:00

Some photo's to ponder. This is a new one for Garberville, a Parade and a Harley run on the same day.

But what the heck, we were here first, they'll just have to learn to deal with us.

Don't let this leak out, but I hear an un-named fire-department is going to get hosed. ( get it? Leak, fire department? water?, Oh forget it) I hope that no fool is dumb enough to get a Harley wet!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some bad memories.

Ross Sherburn's dad "Shine" Sherburn, and my dad Everett, worked together years ago, back in the late fifties. Ross has been commenting back in the "The Last Logger" post. I moved his last comment up here because I've been wanting to post about this for a long time anyway... so here goes.

"Ernie, if memory serves, there was another difficulty at Ben Masts air strip one time!”

Ross, you are right. Dad, and the fellow that I was named after, Ernie Hughes, was trying to land on Ben Masts mountain top airstrip in Laytonville. Dad was piloting the plane. The plane was an old PT-13 Stearman Bi-wing. They had been grading the airstrip and there was a berm left in the middle.

Dad had his head leaning over the edge of the cockpit to see the ground. They hit the berm on touch down, and the plane bounced up and knocked dad out. Ernie didn’t know that dad was knocked out so he didn’t try to fly the airplane. When it became apparent to Ernie that they were going to crash, he turned the fuel and the engine off which probably stopped any fire that might have happened. Ernie wasn’t badly hurt, but dad got hit in the head with a limb and he was hospitalized for a few days but he fully recovered.

The Plane was owned by the Laytonville flying club and they used the plane for recreational flying. I think that they thought of themselves as stunt pilots because they would take turns flying the plane to do loops, stalls, spins and other stunts. They had a lot of fun with the plane. The Club also had a low wing BT-13 trainer, that they would fly and do stunts with also. When I was a kid growing up in Laytonville there were many stories about the aerial acrobatics over Laytonville.

Dad had many hours of flying aircraft, at one time he worked as a pilot flying Cessna Aircraft from the factory in Wichita Kansas to California, to market out here.

After that, in the fifties, Dad worked for Ben Mast, flying a Piper Super-Cub equipped with a scintillator, which is a radiation detector. While the prospectors at the time were taking pack-mules into the steep canyons of Utah looking for uranium with Geiger counters, Dad was diving over the edge of the canyons, and swooping down the bottom, and maneuvering between the cliffs, and flying out the bottom end of the canyon. When they hit a hot spot, they would send a crew in to stake it out, and file a mineral claim. Ben hired Dad because he was a skilled pilot and had seen him do many crazy things with an airplane and walk away from it. (And, some that he didn’t) To fly the canyons of Moab Utah was probably one of the craziest things that my dad ever did and it was probably a miracle that he walked away from the job without so much as a scratch. He said that there were no trials runs, they would drop down through the canyons with all of the radiation detectors going all of the time. Some times they would do a tighter swoop if they got a good reading.

While dad was back there he witnessed many Indian burial sites, and found hundreds of dinosaur bones. It must have been a real experience for him. It was wide open country at the time and anyone that found Uranium could claim it. They thought that nuclear power would eventually be free. I wonder what they would think if they could see us now!

Dad assumed that Ben was going to open a Uranium mine, but he didn’t. Ben sold his claims and moved back to Laytonville as a rich man.

Later-on Ben started drilling for natural gas in Laytonville and the oil companies bought his oil rights, and he made even more money. I guess that Ben was just in the right place at the right time. I think, and many more do too, that there must certainly be massive deposits of natural gas under Laytonville. Any deep well that is dug in the valley seeps natural gas.

When Ben would get accused of being just plain damn lucky, he would drawl, “Well if You’re so damn smart, why didn’t you do it?”

Monday, June 9, 2008


Carson Park Ranger says:

"Charisma seems to be the most salient quality which we require from our political candidates. Ronald Reagan had it. Michael Dukakis didn't. Lincoln wouldn't stand a chance of being elected now-a-days."

I hate to think that a man that could stir people so deeply with just a few short sentences could not be elected today. But certainly, it caused me to think about it. What else did Lincoln have going for him that made him so popular in his day?

Of course we all think of him as the man that freed the slaves. Eric Kirk has of theories of him as the man that saved the Union. I won't expound on Eric's theories, because I can't do them justice.

The thing that I most remember about him is the stories of his delivery of the Gettysburg Address. Everyone was expecting a long and tedious speech. When he got up to the podium and made his short speech, less than three minutes, the crowd was left in dead silence. He was able to move the crowd so deeply that they were silent in awe of Lincoln's great communicating skills. Lincoln was disappointed by the lack of on ovation and thought that his speech had failed, until he later found out that it was regarded as one of the greatest speeches in U.S. history.

I am fortunate to have Kim Sallaway as a friend, and he travels around the country, and the world, as a professional photographer. He is very observant of human nature, as I believe you need to be if you are going to capture a persons soul on a photograph. He sent me the following photograph and description of Danny Glover, and it stuck me with the parallels to Abe Lincoln. I'm not sure which words were Kims and which were Danny Glover's but this is what I received from him:

"We need to rethink the way we impact the planet! We need to consider what we can do to improve the hopes of the billions of people on this planet who live on less than $1000. a year. We need to look to sustainability and conservation. We need to walk more, drive less, care more about others we don't know, and won't ever know. Then we are making a visible difference. A little impact made by a lot of people makes a big impact.
Danny Glover is a powerful orator. At the Harmony Festival he gave a short meaningful talk to the audience as they waited to hear Damian Marley. I was impressed by his lack of extra verbiage and his strong passionate way of sharing his opinions.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Be fun."


I told Kim that I wanted to "Steal" his words and his photograph, and why. He said go for it!
It is probably one of the few times that I've asked for permission to do the things that I do, but I do make small exceptions in dealing with someone of Kims talent. The reason that I wanted to use his words is that it stuck me that; here was a black man, that in Lincolns day was thought of as less than human. One-hundred and forty-five years later, a black man, who is a member of the race of people that Lincoln helped to save, was using much of the same kind of oratory that Lincoln used, and saying some of the same things.

We need to join in the cause of America.
"that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Minnesota DFL Endorse Franken

What does it say about Americans, that we would rather have Hollywood actors and Saturday Night Live Comedians than educated political scientists with degrees in Constitutional Law and Political Science? In Minnesota's particular case they would even have professional wrestler Jesse Ventura.

It is my feeling that the average American does not trust the people that are running this country. We want to elect people that we trust, rather than someone trained in the intricacies of government. Why do we feel so helpless? Why do we feel that we are the only ones that can see who should run the country? Why is it that we are the only ones that can see that our politicians are bought-out by the ultra-rich and the major corporations?

Why are the other voters so easily persuaded to vote for the wrong person, when it is so obvious to us who should be running our country? Do they vote for the wrong people because they are to lazy to educate themselves? Can’t they see how wrong they are? We feel that it is unfair for idiots to be electing our leaders. They should start paying attention.

I’ve often asked people, who’s wisdom that I admired, why didn’t they run for office. Often their answer was something like; “Are you kidding? The press would make mincemeat out of me. I’ve told racist and sexist stories, I’ve been married two times. I have a kid in jail. “ Etc. Eventually you end up realizing that a person that has made a few mistakes, and has a little experience with life, would be disqualified by the press.

As we research why people don’t run, it becomes apparent that Mainstream Media decides who is fit for office and who isn’t. The over pompous news jock can lay a few sentences out there and destroy the average persons political career. Only the people with major wealth can counter what the press has to say. So that means that a candidate must be backed by major wealth, or be well enough known that you might not believe what mainstream media might say about them. So actor and comedians have a chance, because people feel that they know them, and can trust them more than what is being said about them. Has the country realy come down to this?

It looks like if you want to have a political career nowadays you would be better off the start out as an actor, or a comedian, to build some credibility.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New "Link" feature.

Check-out my new link feature, over there on the left at the bottom and let me know what you think. I have a feeling that I'm going to be using it a lot.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A new beginning for Estelle

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS SECOND DISTRICT Total Number of Precincts 27 Precincts Reporting 27 100.0 % Total Votes 6629

CLIF CLENDENEN 2417 36.46%
ROGER RODONI 2433 36.70%
Write-in Votes 6 0.09%

If you want to talk "winners and losers" by number, Roger Rodoni won.

I don't see any reason why we shouldn't continue to campaign fairly without mud. This campaign has been a breath of fresh air in many ways. There has been no "Reverend Wright", no sexism, or any of the other personal jabs.

We can all be proud of ourselves, and we should all continue to try to put the best person in office.

Estelle is a hard worker, she is intelligent, and will do quite well in the next few months. I see a change in local politics, people don’t like “dirty” campaigns. I have seen uncommon decency, and compassion, between the candidates, like I have not seen before.

I fully expect Estelle will hit the ground running and you will hear a lot more about the issues in the coming months. The next election will be completely about issues. We will have a large turnout of very concerned voters this fall, you can expect some big numbers.

I don’t find the need to do anything to bring Clif down, he fought a fair fight and he deserves the numbers that he got. I hope that he gets those same numbers in the fall, 36.46% (Joke)

Okay, everybody take a deep breath, count our blessings, and come out and start campaigning.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Vote! Vote! Vote!

Today, June 3rd 2008, is Election Day. The polls are open from 7:00am ' til 8:00pm. Your polling place will be indicated on your voter information packet that you got in the mail.

I can understand the futility that some people feel with voting. The feeling that it really doesn't make any difference how you vote, or who you vote for, nothing seems to change anyway. We are a nation of sheep, and we will just go along with the program, while "our" politicians continue to pass endless laws that we don't agree with, or can't abide by. We feel that our government might be a little corrupted by big money and big business, so why vote?

We feel that the system is really not working, and it is run by bigger interests than we can control. We really don’t like the way the Electoral College works, nobody really understands why we have Super-Delegates. The system is so complicated that the average person really can’t understand it. So why vote?

We pass taxes to fund things that we believe in and the politicians take then away from what we passed them for and use them for something else, So why vote?

When we vote, we are competing with people in the voting booth who are voting for who, or what, someone that sounded like they knew what they were talking about on television said we should. So why vote?

We don’t have time, or the enthusiasm, to dig through all of the voter information that they send us, and we really don’t understand all of the issues. So why vote?

So why vote? For all of the reasons above. We don’t need to understand ALL of the issue to be a qualified voter. Even if there is only one issue that you understand. Go vote! Even if there is only one candidate that speaks to the issues that you believe in. Go vote! Don’t give up your right to be governed by YOUR VOTE.

If you feel that you are knowledgeable on an issue, vote your feelings. If you aren’t knowledgeable on an issue please DON’T vote on that issue. Skip right by it, don’t vote the wrong, or ill informed way.

I could go on endlessly about why it is important for all Americans to be come involved in their political system. But at some point most of you would lose interest.

So just go vote! You will feel good about yourself. We can get into details later!!!