Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Every professional job I have held has required a decent amount of windshield time...which I love. So needless to say, if I'm not using the BlackBerry while driving, I'm messing with the MP3 player looking for another song or I'm searching the radio dial.
Over the years I have become a big fan of National Public Radio's show "All Things Considered". It is news radio that makes you feel smarter for having listened. Yesterday they were reporting on something that was right up my tree-hugging alley.
Prime Minister Blair said the scientific data is overwhelming - the world is getting warmer and greenhouse gas emissions are largely to blame and that if the trend goes unchecked the consequences could prove disastrous.
"This disaster is not set to happen in some science fiction future many years ahead, but in our lifetime," reminded Mr. Blair. "Unless we act now, not some time distant, but now, these consequences, disastrous as they are, will be irreversible."
Most climate change is driven by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, which puts carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A report that Blair's office released yesterday says that analysis finds that to avert potential disaster, greenhouse gas emissions will need to be reduced by a staggering 80 percent.
China and the good ole USA are the main burners of these fossil fuels, most of it for transportation, electricity and heating needs. In fact, each day China brings another large-scale gas fired electric generation plant on line...EACH DAY! That is insane!
Some smart Brit named Sir Nicholas Stern, who is the primary author of the 700-page report issued by the British government, says it makes economic sense to get started now. He says the first step is to convince governments around the world, including the reluctant United States, that they should share a sense of urgency about global warming.
Why is the USA reluctant, because we are cowboys that's why, we can't handle when some tea sipping Brit tells us the polar ice caps are melting because we are set on driving a H2 sixty miles to work each day by our self.
The first time world leaders got together to discuss global warming during the current era of Global Warming awareness the USA decided it was not in our best interest to be a signed partner in the Kyoto Protocol. Next week's Kyoto conference in Nairobi, Kenya, will give President Bush a chance to join our cohort Tony Blair and all other industrialized countries in support of the Kyoto Protocol.
WHAT IS THE KYOTO PROTOCOL?
- It is a pact agreed by governments at a 1997 U.N. conference in Kyoto, Japan, to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by developed countries to at least 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12. A total of 165 nations have ratified the pact.
Can we reduce that much greenhouse gas?
The question isn't can we...it's will we? In my opinion no, we have EAZY access to a plethora of coal, and natural gas, so why should we care? My boys will be dealing with the problems their father's generation placed on the earth with our big cars and get rich quick throw away society.
I believe global warming will affect all of Generation X in some very major way...on a negative scope. What the Dirty '30s and WWII was to our Grandfather era (The Greatest Generation), what the Nuclear Era/Cold War was to our Father's era...Golbal Warming will be our biggest hurdle to crest before passing the torch on to the next era of leaders. Who, by the way, are right now listening to Kanye West on an I-pod worrying about not getting shot on the way home from school or in school.
Should they be worried about it, NO.
I didn't worry about Russia blowing up the USA when I was in 6th grade and my sons shouldn't worry about freak weather patterns and a vanishing O-zone. My father's generation shouldn't be worried either, they did their work, it's time for GenX to step up, and start living a bit smarter, slower and greener.
As much as I hate to say it, cause I think he is a complete puppet...but Gore is on the right track with his push for Green Sanctions and Taxes on businesses in America that emit large quantities of greenhouse gases.
By the way, as I write this...so you know...I am on the payroll of a company who uses fossil fuels to create energy, but also is a company committed and striving to find alternative ways to create that energy. I am proud to be a part of that, and a part of the future energy BLOWING all around us.
I just hope I can do what my dad always taught me..."When you borrow something, give it back better than how you got it." Well, I am borrowing the earth from my boys for about 45 more years, (by my plans) and I hope they remember their father as one who loved Creation enough to care for it now.
Friday, October 27, 2006
There was no 3 day old sippie cups with sour milk hidden under the couch, no Rescue Heros all over the living room floor, the couches didn't look slept on, and there was no bouncer seat in the middle of the kitchen. So if that is the house that golf built, I would rather have the house that a family built. Don't get me wrong, I would take Tiger's house in a second, spill some milk, mess up the bed, throw a Malibu Wakesetter LSV on the boat lift and call it home. I think you get the picture.
We had a home this weekend, last night alone 15
people were at the house to visit with Steph's folks one last time before they left on Friday AM. I loved every hour of entertaining, and didn't want them to leave so soon...it was 10:30 pm.
This was a busy week, of work and fam. We "dedicated" Brecken at church on Sunday, which if you ask me is like saying, hey church family look at our kid. When in all reality I think it should be called a Parent Dedication...Steph and I saying to the church family, "Hey we are going to do the best we can with these boys, will you help?". Anyway it was nice and Steph's folks were there so that made it special.
It was just nice to see the boys with Steph's parents. It is rough for them to be so far away, in Indiana. It would be nice if they were far away in Colorado, Utah or Florida, but Indiana? You can only say WOW more Amish people, so many times. I can tell from Steph's mom's comments that they can't wait to get back to S.D.
Roger and DuckMan (Ohio Hunter) did a bunch of work, and they deserve the Living On Liquid good citizen of the month award! Which reminds me we will have to give our another one next month...Rog, you wanna come back? You can continue to be a part of the house that family built...kidding, thanks for the help.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
It's pheasant season and I have been spending a lot of time traveling. I was in Chicago last week and hooked up with my cousin Aaron and his beautiful new bride Sheila for Bob Chinn's Seafood! I ate my weight in lobster. I don't think we left the restraunt until 11:30 p.m. It was great to catch up with them. They are the coolest people in Chicago, right next to Cubs players Derek Lee and Jacque Jones, and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Adrian Aucoin.
I returned to SD on Saturday night...hunted Sunday, my German Shorthair got something stuck in her front left paw so I had to take her to the vet. So the season has been a bit of a downer so far.
Roger and his Marine buddy Mike have been doing the electric work in the kitchen in the mornings before they hunt. I'm in the middle of my "harvest" season, and right now I can't hardly break away from the electricity factory to enjoy some time with them or even really bear down and work on the kitchen.
I haven't even skated yet! I have to ref a SDSU hockey game this Saturday and I don't even know if my skates are sharp. Bruce Bergman to the rescue.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Brecken is also sleeping in our room in a play pen thingy...seems my system for saving the special brass bolts from the crib during the move didn't fare to well. I have only found 2 of the 4 needed. I hope they turn up somewhere. I'm sure Babytown in SF would charge me $80 for 2 bolts and yell at me for bothering them on the way out of the store. I still don't like that place...a little customer service, please? On Monday morning I woke up to find Maxim AND Brecken in the middle of the bed with Steph and I. I told Steph last night that this was how the Ingalls must have stayed warm during the "Long Cold Winter"...everybody in 1 bed!
Speaking of hardware, I put the kitchen table together last night...somehow I lost 5 of the 10 needed screws to keep that thing together, too. Rev. Decker did you steal those? So I found 4 more that looked just like the others and we set the table up in Steph's "kitchen". (see pic) It worked out pretty good, but doing the dishes in the bathroom sink sucks...at least that's what Steph told me.
The living room is super cozy, and I have a hard time not crashing in front of the TV all night to watch 1 of our 4 channels. At least there is baseball on! Steph will continue to put up decor next week when her mom is there to help. I hope Clarice has her "tough boots" on as she is staying with us and she is at the cold end of the house, next to the future kitchen.
Finally, this is what we woke up to this morning. Now I understand the love my brother-in-law had of the "stark beauty" of the lake in wintertime.
Monday, October 16, 2006
6 weeks after we purchased, we are now going to call it home. It's a good thing, I was getting way to comfortable in mom and dad's "apartment"!
I'll post pictures tomorrow.
Exciting times in the Living On Liquid blog.
I can't wait to sleep on my own bed......zzzzzzzzzz.
Friday, October 13, 2006
The carpet dudes came today and kicked out the rooms...they covered up a nice wood floor in the master bedroom that Steph found last night.
Oh, well the boys need somewhere soft to wrestle.
We will have very little carpet in the house, with the wood floor and monster tile in the kitchen and bathrooms...easier to clean after parties. I'll get a big "school janitor mop" and when I think the party should be over I'll turn off half the lights in the building, and start mopping up, hopefully people will get the hint to pack it up!
Is is just me or do school janitors never want to hang out and socialize after a game? I swear at my high school the final whistle would blow and half a bank of lights would go out before the players got to the locker room.
On my way back to the office this afternoon, Mark K. and some of his buddies were out spreading manure using a teams of horses! It was a great sight, so I stopped and shot some pictures of something that could have happened 120 years ago on the same field. A big poop throwing party, right there north of Huron! Mark and my dad were born 120 years too late.
Speaking of which, dad and I watched a great western last night, "Ride With The Devil". Civil War era western of sorts. Ang Lee directed...pretty solid, kept us up until 12:45 a.m.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
It is has been snowing in Eastern South Dakota all day.
When we left the lake house tonight is was "flurrying", we crested the hill leading to the James River Valley and the wind kicked up, and it looked like a full on snow storm...it only lasted 2 miles, but I turned into my usual giddy little boy-self when the snow comes.
Maxim woke up this morning and ran to a window to see if he could make snowdudes...he wanted to use the grass since the snow wasn't staying.
I do need the COLD weather to hold off until I get the kitchen sealed up, insulated and sheetrocked. Steph put another coat of varnish on the wood floor and it POPS. Can't wait to see it with some furniture sitting on it.
I have to get my docks out of the water this weekend...I think we are done with "in-water activity" for the year. I did tell Steph I wanted to wakeboard while it was snowing. I guess today would have been my day for doing that.
It is time to switch from Glass To Powder.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Sunday was the usual church, home and work...heavy on the work. We sanded the floor 4 more times. Finally we were ready for stain.
Maxim was hyper on Sunday, all hopped up on sugar from another one of our good parenting moments (see picture). Headphones, dvd and powdered sugar donuts on the way to church. So G-ma $.01 (that's Grandma Penny) pulled the best move of the day, she came out and picked up the boys to free us up to work later.
That's when Steph went into overdrive. She decided to start staining on Sunday night. I wiped the floor clean with tack cloth and she started making the floor even more beautiful. I was nervous going into this floor thing to begin with, but if Steph's Aunt Sharla can do it, so can Steph. They are cut from the same cloth. She just jumps in and kicks it out.
Making dust is a major no-no while staining a floor, so that means my chop shop carpenter skills were put on hold for a while. So I did what every person with an empty room would do while their spouse slaves away...I skated in our future kitchen.
Steph finished around 11:30 pm and we packed up to head back to Huron, but one little problem. The keys for the Expedition were in my jeans in our bedroom. The sliding door was locked and the only other entrance is through the living room. Steph gave me one of those looks, and put rubber gloves on her feet and retreived the keys. As she walked she buffed the footprints out with a rag. She is so smart.
Monday night we were at the house early...Steph was going to put the first clear coat over the floor and I was going to mow the yard, and do some work outside. I mowed the yard with Brecken in the kid-carrier backpack...he fell asleep about 10 minutes into it. Maxim had fallen asleep on the way out to the house and rocked a 3 hour nap in his car seat. When he woke up...my night began.
I have mentioned before that taking care of kids is hard work, but Brecken and Maxim together is like chasing a bunch of Howler Monkeys around. Steph said I would get
frustrated if I was going to try to do any work...I was. Finally around 8:30 I filled up the Jacuzzi Tub and all the boys had a bubble bath. Brecken was laughing at Maxim, Maxim was laughing at me and I was laughing at Brecken. It was still a lot of work. I got both of them into their jammys and fed Brecken...AGAIN.
Steph finished up around 9:30 pm, and decided that she needed some time in the hot tub.
The floor looked amazing, tonight we will lightly sand and tack cloth it, and put on another coat.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
6.5 hours of conference calls, meetings, parties, work on the lake house, Brecken's 6 hour crying spree on Thursday...I only heard 10 minutes of the whole thing, but I almost started crying. We needed a weekend.
Friday we/the company/ threw a tailgate party prior to the football game in Freeman, good times, good people, great pork. On the way home, I had the guys drop me off in Mitchell to hook up with Steph, the boyz, and G-ma/G-pa at Menard's. I capped off their 3 hour shopping spree to the lumber yard with a Matchbox car for Maxim and a some gutter guard to "Keep the clutter out of your gutter!".
We are still getting used to having a bunch of trees on our property, the leaves falling in the yard today bothered me, I wanted to go out with the mower and pick them all up.
Today, Saturday, We rough-sanded the floor of the living room. I am glad I don't redo floors for a living, I would hire some 18 year old to do the work. We went over it 5 times with 60 grit paper. Steph hit the low spots and corners with the palm sander. Tomorrow we will go over it 2 more times, once with 80 grit and once with 100 grit and see where we are at. We should be stained and liquored, I mean laquered, by Wednesday.
G-pa Bob fought off sleep long enough this afternoon for some big projects...he de-shod his horses and de-carpet our stairs to the basement.
Carpet comes on Friday the 13th. Steph wants to make the official first night of sleep there on the 14th. We are so ready to call the lake "home."
Still haven't got the boat battery re-charged, I left the depth finder on and drained it. Last Saturday, Steph and I wanted to cap the day with a little wakeboard session, but no juice.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Casey Jones you better watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind,
And you know that notion just crossed my mind.
I couldn't get the Gratefuld Dead's Casey Jones lyrics out of my head last night, as we attended a "pep rally" in Huron to get people to get excited for the DM&E railroad's potential 300 mile rail improvement project, that is if the "A-Team" of politicians (which one is Murdoch??) can get the government to approve the $2.3 bill it is going to take. This would be one of the biggest rail construction projects since the Civil War, and in ways it has generated Civil Wars.
The whole thing was kind of ironic, because for the last 9 years we have all been taught to welcome the trains to Huron, just ask Dr. Hohm, I wonder if he takes the 9 year old home-made billboard out of his yard when this thing passes. So I'm pretty sure everyone at the event was already supporting the project.
Gov. Mike Rounds, Sen. Tim Johnson and Sen. Jon Thune all spoke from the political horses they ride...Rounds did his usual roll up the sleeves and carve a mountain speech, Johnson talked to us like we were all from Washington...just a hint Tim, we are all pretty proud to live in SD, you don't have to take a 20 minute speech to tell us to be...tell us what you are doing, and Thune talked about his Grandpa...AGAIN.
The guy that I think did the best job was DM&E Prez and CEO Kevin Schieffer, although after the 3rd round of politician banter, most of us were ready to get home and cheer for the Detroit Tigers. Kevin is not your typical Prez/CEO, he is an open-collared, whispy-haired man's man, who looks like he would be at home in a duck blind or on a pheasant hunt, and last night behind a podium. Just a tell it like it is kind of guy...solid...a lot like Rounds.
Anyway if they get the $2.3 billion they can start fixing the railroad, so we can start hauling MORE coal out of the Powder River Basin to power MORE generation plants.
Most of you know I work for the Electricity Factory, and the increased mobility of coal and ethanol will help keep down electricity prices, but the visionary in me thinks we should also be pumping $2.3 billion into wind energy development.
God hauls the wind for us...free of charge, and Mayo Clinic, MN can't do anything to stop it...we just have to harness it. Or have to need to want to harness it. If you can understand that.
For more info on the rail thing look at www.gotrac.org
For more info on our lake house check back here Thursday...I just ranted today...felt good though.
Monday, October 02, 2006
After the classes, I drove by the old house and stopped in to visit the old neighbors, Matt and Becca. Ironically they were eating...so I invited myself to the table, and downed a great bar-b-que. It was nice to catch up even though it's only been a few weeks...the kids miss Maxim, and I know he misses his Sioux Falls homies as well.
So Monday rolls around and I kicked out more work than should be corporately leagal for one person on a Monday...I finished at the office around 11:30 pm...but I did run home for a few hours after 6:15 pm to hang with the family. That 3 hours was the best 3 hours I have had with the boys for a long time.
As most of you know I love my mountain bike and just getting out and pedaling...even if it is on pavement. Maxim got a bike for his birthday from G-ma and G-pa Decker and he rode it right away, but after a little nasty spill he shelfed it for a while. Until last night!
Steph mentioned that Maxim was full of the dickens, so I thought I would burn some gas out of Mr. Energy. I asked if he wanted to go to the park, and he got stoked to go, so I threw it out that we were biking there. He on his bike and me on mine. There is a soccer complex about 4 blocks from mom and dad's house, and they just put in a small playground, so that was the plan.
HE ROCKED! Cruised all the way...I helped him across the busy street, and he only needed help one time, going over the "big mountain"...it was an approach to get into a parking lot. We played until "dark came out" and rolled back home. Mark that one up as Favorite Fathering Moment #476.
We were all suprised, he rode a little a couple days ago (see pictures) on the sidewalk, so this was BIG TIME.
Tomorrow there is some big "Yeah Huron" thing at the Huron Events Center that Steph and I are going to, so another night of no progress, but Wednesday will be a good night...I'm well rested...kind of.
By the way did you know that if you don't shut off the breaker to an old 220 volt outlet for an oven and then cut the wire, you get a shock and big blue flames shoot out. Just another story for the the old blog.