Friday, September 16, 2005


Since seeing Garrison Keillor at the fair last weekend, I've been reading at the website now and again.
One of my favorite parts of the show last week was the catchup bit because it included blogging. The script is now on the website, as well as the whole show. The friends I was with were mighty interested to see my reaction to the blogging bit. Laughter, of course - what else could it be.

When I read Garrison's responses to people, I'm sometimes struck anew at what a nice command of the language he has. I think that's the determining factor. His voice is pleasant - certainly - but his words carry a message far beyond definition.

I don't listen to the show regularly, so that means I've got a backlog of ones to hear online.

There's some beauty in that - just like seeing the powdermilk biscuits logo with a grain elevator in the background.


I spent most of the day doing little jobs - those things that only take a couple of minutes, but you can let pile up until you have hours worth of them to do.

On the upside, you feel like you've accomplished a lot at the end of the day.

I had planned to go to the fair tonight, but Greg and Mark were there and wanted to eat at Skaets so I went there and then it was getting a little late to head to the fair. We ran into Sandy and Leland and it was good to chat with them. The three of us were doing a little ranting about the democrats and why they don't get off their asses and DO something, instead of just letting the Republicans run unchecked doing one stupid thing after another.

Anyway, after Skaets, I went out to Lowe's to look around at some things for the house and ran into Reba, who I hadn't seen in awhile. We chatted for quite some time and it was nice. She used to own a little shop that I was in regularly. I miss her store and I miss her. So, it was good to see her.

Mark turned in early. Greg has popped by to download his pix. Terry called and was on his way out to Wal-mart. I think I'm going to turn in shortly. I'm weary tonight - maybe too many chiropractor visits and too much ibuprofen.


So... there's this little thing called the Davis-Bacon act. It was passed in 1931 - you may recall that was during the depression era - to set a minimum pay scale for workers on federal contracts.

This guy named Robert Bacon thought it would help get the country out of the depression if government contractors had to pay a "prevailing" or "accepted" wage in a particular area. He got a northern guy to put his name on it too and there you go.

Sounds reasonable? Right?

It was a way to insist that people be paid a basic level of wage for certain kinds of work. It would help people get their feet on the ground and since most of the work those days was government work, it was all the more helpful.

Well, we've been going along all this time - almost 75 years - with this idea that companies hiring people to work on government contracts should pay a certain, average, wage.

That was until this week, when Bush suspended the law so that his buddies who own construction companies, can make MORE money when they rebuild from the hurricane.

Prevailing wage for a construction worker in New Orleans was $9 an hour. I wish I could hire one for that out here on the plains, but I digress. OK, so, Bush has decided that's just completely unreasonable. So, lets say a company was going to build a $20,000 building. Maybe they'd spend 9,000 of it on labor. Now, the building is still going to cost $20,000 but they'll only have to pay $6,000 (or whatever) in labor. So, gosh, the company (can you say Halliburton?) get to keep an extra three grand.

He's saying that $9 an hour is overpayment for rebuilding a community. Can he screw this up even further? I swear, every day I don't think so, and every day he surprises me yet again.

Never mind we already had an area that was depressed economically, now he's trying to make it worse - all the while lining the pockets of his friends.

How do we stop this madness? When will it end? We aren't going to have a country left to save in another three years. We've got to get rid of him.

Impeach Bush. He's demonstrated incompetence - surely that's sufficient. He said the debacle of the hurricane relief was his fault, thankfully ending all the stupidity I've been reading the last couple of weeks about how it wasn't his fault. I knew it was. Any thinking person knew it was. Finally, a week and a half later, he caught on too. I'm willing to make this one exception and BELIEVE what he says this time.


Bill Maher to George Bush

In case you missed HBO's "Late Night with Bill Maher," here was his open letter to the President:

Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one's speaking to you.

Mission accomplished.

Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or space man?

Now I know what you're saying: there's so many other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't.

I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela. Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.

But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a shitty president, but even he never conceded an entire city to rising water and snakes.

On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans.

Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side.

So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: "Take a hint."

Pig Races

Doesn't your state fair have pig races? Pity.

Art at the Fair

I went to the fair tonight with a group and checked out the professional art show.

Of course, I am somewhat biased to my friends who are in the show. Jocelyn's piece was "Emily with the Blues" and is one of my favorites in the show.

Another one I loved was Kathie Moore's piece. I didn't get a decent pic of it because of light reflection, but it's beautiful. Kathie and I were in a book club together years ago and are now very involved with the democrats locally.

Don Fuller, who I'm on a board with, won the Hutchinson Art Center's Grand Award for his mixed media work called, "Balancing Act."

J. Alex Potter got an award of merit for her pastel of pears. I adore her work. It's always amazing. Her work is way out of my price range but I certainly admire it. Being in her house feels like being in a really fun art museum to me - really great. I didn't get a good shot of her entry this year, but it's wonderful.

Hutchinson is such a small community that I realized as I was looking at the art that I knew all but a couple of the Hutchinson artists, either personally or through mutual acquaintances.

There were pieces there from all over the state, of course. I really enjoyed this particular one from an artist, Marty Ferguson, of Wichita. Beautiful work.

It's always interesting to see what the judge picks from year to year. This year it seems to be the slightly unusual, but not too far out there, things. It varies from one year to the next. That's one of the great things about art - different strokes for different folks.

Apotemnophilia and acrotomophilia

You learn something every day and today I've learned that there are people who want to have limbs amputated. It's a desire. Well, it's actually a condition called apotemnophilia, and was first noted in the late 1970s.

Causes are being investigated.

One thing is certain, the internet seems to be offering people a way to accomplish these goals; as well as connect amputees with people who are attracted to them, a condition called acrotomophilia.

Bertrand Berger and colleagues wrote in the research journal, "Comprehensive Psychiatry," about a patient who packed both legs in dry ice until frostbite require amputation.

They write, "The Internet helped provide a blueprint for self-amputation. Without the Internet, our patient may never have conceived, let alone used a method to bring about, self-amputation. We anticipate that increasing Internet access will lead to more cases of self-amputation."

I'm not sure what to do with this information... but it's out there... and I didn't want to be alone with that knowledge so I'm sharing here. Lucky you.