Archive for October, 2010



   Posted by: John    in Politics

November 2nd is the most important day of your life this next week.

If you are a citizen of the United States of America, you have the opportunity to vote.  The only two requirements are that you are 18 years of age and a citizen of this country.  If you meet those qualifications, you are eligible to vote for members of your government, national and local.  You are able to accept or reject certain taxes or legislation. There is no compulsion to vote for any specific candidate or ballot measure.   You are not forced to vote.  But when you do vote, you have the ability to give your government direction.  Voting is a privilege.

It is also your duty.

This country was founded on a number of principles, not least of which was the citizen’s right to choose who would govern them.  Unlike kings or dictators, those who are elected to office by the people are responsible to the people.  They serve at the will of the people, and when they are judged to no longer represent the people properly, they are replaced by those who will.  It is a remarkable system, designed to ensure the freedom and liberty of the people.

And that’s where you come in.  Your duty and responsibility is to exercise your right to choose those who represent you in government.  Those people must be as dedicated to preserving your freedom as you are.  There are people who seek and currently hold public office who would take away your freedoms and elevate themselves as rulers.  This must not be allowed to happen. 

Remember your duty.  Exercise your rights.  Vote for those who will serve, not rule.  Your future, your children’s futures, depend on it.


Halloween Costumes

   Posted by: John    in Family, Fun Stuff, Pictures

Happy Halloween! 

The girls are up to their usual Halloween costuming this year, and they are awesome this year.  We will start off with Crystal as an evil angel.

Evil Angel

Evil Angel

Evil Angel

Ashley dressed up as Rapunzel.



Rapunzel hangs her hair for the Prince to climb

Naturally, the evil angel catches up with Rapunzel and threatens to cut her hair off.

No, not my hair!

Karen picked up some costuming things at the Shakespeare Festival garage sale.  We went to watch the play Dracula last night and she went as Mina, after being bitten by Dracula.

Bitten Mina

OK, so the story says that vampires can’t be seen in the mirror.  I guess this means she isn’t a full vampire yet.

Not a full vampire yet

Reflecting on the bite marks

Good stuff this year.


First Snow

   Posted by: John    in Outdoors, Pictures

October is still a few days away from being over and the mountains have their first snow dusting.  

There's snow in them thar hills!



   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff, Pictures

Ah, Halloween, when the pumpkins get carved and the kids try to extort candy at the door.

We carved, as usual, but I had a little fun with this picture.  Here’s the original.

Pumpkinhead Crystal

I decided to mess around with LightRoom some and came across a cool setting that allowed me to change it to this:

Pumpkinhead Crystal...after some photoshopping.

Kind of cool to be able to mess around with colors and tints and stuff.

Anyway, here’s the full results of the carving.

Carved and ready for scaring



If animals were computer techs

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

H/T to Keri.

Needs More RAM

Cat Technician


Thriller Girls

   Posted by: John    in Kids

Apparently there is this event called Thrill the World going on today.  Follow the link to find out more.  Crystal and her friend Darian are going to it all costumed up.  Here they are, ready to go.

Darian getting ready

Crystal getting ready

Darian and Crystal

Darian and Crystal



Early Morning Moon

   Posted by: John    in Outdoors, Pictures

Full moon last night.  It was real pretty coming up over the Eastern mountains last evening, but absolutely fantastic this morning before the sun came up.  Here’s some pictures I took looking West from the street in front of the house.  Click them to see full size.

Moon over truck (Nikon D1, 350mm, ISO 400, f 7.1, 1/4 sec)

Moon by tree (Nikon D1, 250mm, ISO 400, f 7.1, 1/4 sec)

Moon by tree (Nikon D1, 175mm, ISO 400, f 7.1, 1/4 sec)


A Manly Grill

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

I saw this grill while I was out and about and just had to get a picture of it.  For all those manly men who need something else in their back yard.

Manly Engine Block Grill

Manly Engine Block Grill


There’s a wine for every occasion

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

As seen at the local convenience store…

Mad Housewife Wine


Importance of Bats

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

From the newsletter “The Texas Gardener Seeds”:

Put up a bat house to encourage the presence of these shy animals. 

Bats consume 3,000 or more mosquitos and other insects nightly, and bats are less likely to be rabid than dogs are.

Need another reason? 

Bats are responsible for up to 95 percent of the seed dispersal essential to the regeneration of forests.

Our planet is populated with plenty of bizarre and astonishing creatures, including these from the bat family.

Sucker-Footed Bat

Red-Winged Fruit Bat

Left-Winged Ding Bat

So, 2 out of 3 bats have a useful purpose.  If only we could train the 3rd to eat mosquitos…or do anything useful!

H/T: Larry F


2 Dollar Bargain

   Posted by: John    in Bargains

Boise has a weekly auction house downtown, Main Auction.  Karen and Mary went down there last weekend and came home with some stuff for not a lot of money.  One thing Karen got was some baskets…Longaberger baskets.  I know, I hadn’t heard of them before either.  She paid $2 for all of these.  Some of them are on eBay for up to $175.  Each.  Whoduthunk that baskets could be so expensive.

Small Pumpkin Baskey

Large Pumpkin Basket


Medium Purse

Another Basket

Yet Another Basket

Apparently, the ones that have the cloth liners and plastic inserts are worth a lot of money.  Several of these have them, and all of these are in near perfect shape.  Assuming the average cost of these new was $100 each (and I am sure some were more), I don’t think $2 was too much to give for them.


Homemade frozen dinners part 2…Spaghetti

   Posted by: John    in Food, Food Storage

I decided today to try making some frozen dinners.  Spaghetti is quick and easy to make, so it makes sense from a getting started standpoint.  Since these are fixed size meals, I also decided to include a couple of sides.  For the sake of ease, I opted for mashed potatoes and corn.  The spaghetti sauce consists of a can of mushroom spaghetti sauce, 1 pound of cooked and rinsed ground beef and 1/2 chopped onion.  I used whole wheat noodles.

After getting the sauce ready and cooking the noodles, I mixed together enough of each to make 3 pounds of spaghetti.  Using a small scale, I weighed out the spaghetti in 8 ounce portions, for a total of 6 plates.  I made enough mashed potatoes to put about 3 ounces on each plate.  1 can of drained corn made for about 2 ounces each. 

Loaded Plates

After loading the plates, I put them in the freezer, uncovered, for about 2 hours.  Then, I wrote “Spaghetti” on 6 bags, along with the date, put the plates in the bags and replaced them in the freezer. 

Finished meal

I had a serving of sauce left, and extra noodles.  Ate the remaining sauce an some noodles, then put the rest of the noodles in a vacuum sealed bag in the freezer for use in something else later on.