Category Archives: Politics

Exercise Your Enfranchisement

You see, boys forget what their country means by just reading The Land of the Free in history books. Then they get to be men they forget even more. Liberty’s too precious a thing to be buried in books, Miss Saunders. Men should hold it up in front of them every single day of their lives and say: I’m free to think and to speak. My ancestors couldn’t, I can, and my children will. Boys ought to grow up remembering that.

– Jefferson Smith; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

As you all know, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is one of my favorite movies. This little bit from that movie reminds me of how important it is to vote.

Now I’m not urging you to go out and vote this November. That is an awful log time to wait to express one’s opinion. What I’m urging you to do is go to the following website:

LINK NO LONGER EXISTS

Once you are there you should see something like the picture below:




That is a picture of Becky’s rabbit Maude. Once there you should exercise your ability to think for yourself and do what I’m about to tell you to do. Vote for Maude as the “Cutest Pet”.

Maude thanks you for your support.

Back to Civilization

After desecrating the Lincoln statue, I had to make amends by visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Lincoln’s Tomb. This we did on our return trip to civilization.


Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Traditional Road Trip Photo

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Ernie

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Waffle House Turtle

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Springfield

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
The Lincoln Family

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Booth

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln Portrait

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Generals

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Douglass

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
White House

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
“War is old men talking and young men dying…”

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
I don’t really know this guy.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Old State Capitol (Where Obama announced his run for the White House.)

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Teresa

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Presidential Library

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Presidential Museum

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Statue

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln’s Tomb

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln’s Final Resting Place

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Inside Lincoln’s Tomb

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Inside Lincoln’s Tomb

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln’s Tomb

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Lincoln’s Tomb

Visiting Springfield was an incredible experience. I highly recommend it to anybody that can make it there. You don’t even have to be a history nerd.

The Most Fun You Can Have with Caustics

On Monday night I aided in the production of the newest batch of Little White Lye Soap. I thought I would share an inside look at the Little White Lye Soap factory floor.


Making Soap
The Mixing Stick (Formerly Ergonomic)

Making Soap
Becky Stirring

Making Soap
A Self Proclaimed Master Stirrer Finishing Up

Making Soap
Preparing to Pour

Making Soap
Pouring

Making Soap
Pouring

Making Soap
Pouring

Making Soap
Pouring

Making Soap
Shannon Preparing to Pour Again

Making Soap
More Pouring

Making Soap
More Pouring

Making Soap
This Appears to be Hard Work (Plus Might be my favorite picture from the night.)

Making Soap
Washing Up

Making Soap
Cleaning Up

Making Soap
Putting Away the Crock

The soap was locked up into a cat-proof room where it will cure for 2 weeks. Then it will be cut up into bars and then packaged. Then the soap will be ready for delivery.

It takes close to 4 hours of stirring to make the soap, so sometimes that can lead to doing things like torturing the cat or as the Bush Administration would call it, Enhanced Cat Interrogation. I’m sure they would also point out that cats are not protected by the Geneva Convention.


Making Soap
Baiting Franklin

Making Soap
Franklin Has Been Caputred

>I don’t want to go into details about what happened to Franklin, but he was unharmed and was only slightly angrier the rest of the evening.

Little White Lye Product Endorsement Part 1


04-19-08
Little White Lye Soap

I am writing here today to endorse the product Little White Lye Soap. It is a great product and I think you should run out and try a bar or two or three.

Perhaps you want a little bit more information. Then you should visit their new website and poke around there. Just follow the link below:


Little White Lye Soap

Perhaps you don’t even need any more information. Perhaps you just want to be put into contact with somebody that can get you some soap. If you are in that category, just click on the link below and e-mail them directly:


Little White Lye Soap

Perhaps you aren’t the type of person that just jumps when I tell you to jump. You are a cynic. You need to be more than told. You need to be sold. You are in luck. I’m going to give you 10 excellent reasons to run out to the nearest local seller and pick up a bushel full of Little White Lye Soap.

Ten Excellent Reasons to Buy Little White Lye Soap

  1. Little White Lye Soap is a local business. The CEO, CFO, CIO, President and Head Saponologist is Shannon Bardole, a native of Ogden and current resident of Ames. I know that there are people that don’t get the “shop local” mentality. They don’t understand the importance of shopping locally. I think that Malcolm X spoke most eloquently about keeping the businesses in your community controlled by members of your community in his famous 1964 speech The Ballet or the Bullet. Allow me to paraphrase Malcolm X:

[A smart economic philosophy] only means that we have to become involved in a program of reeducation to educate our people into the importance of knowing that when you spend your dollar out of the community in which you live, the community in which you spend your money becomes richer and richer; the community out of which you take your money becomes poorer and poorer. And because these [people], who have been mislead, misguided, are breaking their necks to take their money and spend it with The Man, The Man is becoming richer and richer, and you’re becoming poorer and poorer. And then what happens? The community in which you live becomes a slum. It becomes a ghetto. The conditions become run down. And then you have the audacity to — to complain about poor housing in a run-down community. Why you run it down yourself when you take your dollar out.

And you and I are in a double-track, because not only do we lose by taking our money someplace else and spending it, when we try and spend it in our own community we’re trapped because we haven’t had sense enough to set up stores and control the businesses of our community. The man who’s controlling the stores in our community is a man who doesn’t look like we do. He’s a man who doesn’t even live in the community. So you and I, even when we try and spend our money in the block where we live or the area where we live, we’re spending it with a man who, when the sun goes down, takes that basket full of money in another part of the town.

So where is that money going? Who is The Man? The Man is the three major soap companies: Unilever, Proctor & Gamble and Dial. Unilever is based out of Trumbull, Connecticut. When you are buying Lever 2000, Dove or Caress The Man is taking your money back to Connecticut. Proctor & Gamble is based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. When you are spending your hard earned money on Ivory, Zest or Olay The Man is taking that basket of money back to Ohio. Dial is based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. When you are lathering up with Coast, Tone or Dial The Man is taking your money out of your community and taking it back to Arizona. Irish Spring? Are you kidding me? Buying Irish Spring sends your money to New York to the Mega Corporation Colgate-Palmolive and The Man is laughing all the way to the bank.

When you clean yourself up with a bar of Little White Lye Soap the money you spent to buy that clean is staying in Central Iowa where it helps your economy and creates jobs in your community. Now The Man has many tricks and lies. You got to watch The Man. The Man will tell you that buying soap from the Three Headed Soap Monopoly at your local Wal-Mart is creating jobs in your community. It is a lie.

We all know how Wal-Mart employees are poorly compensated and treated. Did you know that just by having a Wal-Mart in your county adversely effects the wages of the other people in the community? Set aside the fact that Wal-Mart has created poor jobs and stymied the creation of good jobs and just think about the fact that having a Wal-Mart in your county lowers the wages of the other people in the county. Wages in the general merchandise sector decline a full percent. Wages for grocery store employees decline 1.5 percent. If your state has 50 Wal-Marts the average wage of retail workers declines 10%.

This begs the question: What is the average wage of an employee at Little White Lye Soap? Depends on how much soap you buy. Know this one thing for sure, the money you spend will be put right back into Central Iowa. Helping our economy. Creating jobs in our area. You can’t say that when you are buying soap from The Man.

2. Little White Lye Soap is a local business that supports local businesses. When Little White Lye Soap looks for other businesses to engage in commerce, they look for other local businesses.

  • The lard in the soap comes from local open range hogs.
  • The photography for the website was done by two local photographers
  • The website is designed by a local company
  • Little White Lye Soap is sold at local stores (to name a few):
    • Wheatsfield; 413 Douglas Ave; Ames, IA
    • RVP 1875; 526 Broad St; Story City, IA
    • Heart of Iowa Marketplace; 221 Fifth St; West Des Moines, IA

Supporting Little White Lye Soap also supports all of those local businesses.

Some of you still might not be convinced. That is okay. I still have 8 solid more reason why you should go to your bathroom and pick up all of the Man’s soap and throw it in the trash and then rush out and buy some Little White Lye Soap.

To be continued…

Love from the RNC

It looks like “true conservatives” took time out from their busy schedule of ripping John McCain (Go Gang of 14!) to design some Valentine’s Day cards for the upcoming holiday. As a guy with a romantic spirit, I thought I would post their Obama Valentine’s cards.








Interestingly enough, it seems like the same people that designed these cards are the same people that write Hillary Clinton’s speeches. It seems like many of them will be looking for work pretty soon. Maybe they can sign on with the RNC.

My Saturday

Most of my Saturday was devoted to Jaycee activities. It started out with the Super Shooters competition. This is only the second Jaycees activity that I have had a chance to work. I was planning on taking a few pictures there, but as it turns out, I left my memory card sitting at home in my memory card reader. I did have my film camera, so I took a few B&W photos. This wasn’t the ideal situation, but I made do.

It had been awhile since I have had REAL B&W film developed. I went to a local camera shop that I haven’t visited in some time to get prints made. I would like to say that I was impressed by their work, but the prints that came out are filled with a myriad of scratches and dust spots. I don’t know what to make of that, I surely don’t.

Here are some of the images from Super Shooters:


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Ames has their own electric car?

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I dig this dragon sculpture.

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The Ames City Hall Gym

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Same Gym, Different Angle

01-28-08
Keeping Score

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More Keeping Score

01-28-08
Gym Window

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Super Shooters

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More Super Shooters

01-28-08
More Super Shooters

01-28-08
More Windows

01-28-08
The Youngest Super Shooter

01-28-08
Center Court

01-28-08
Ribbons

Year End Banquet

Before I discuss the Year End Banquet, I should point out that I have excellent news for Cyclone fans. I can pretty much guarantee a Cyclone victory over the UNI Panthers next basketball season. You will understand in a moment, but it is important for you to understand my reasoning for making this claim. You see lately I have been hotter than a firecracker when it comes to wagering. I have been so unstoppable that I have had to turn down my friends’ offers of wagers because I fear them going so deeply into debt with me at which time I will have to swear out a warrant for their arrest and they will rot away in debtors prison.

For example, just this Saturday I have won yet another wager with Russell. It was so obvious I was going to win this wager that I almost turned down his wager. He bet me that Hillary Clinton would defeat Barack Obama in the South Carolina Primary. Not only did he defeat her, it was something of a woodshed beating. His vote total more than doubled her vote total.

I could have won a second wager this weekend with Jason Baier. He wanted to bet me that Rambo would make more than 40 million at the box office this weekend. Even though he pursued this wager aggressively, I had to turn him down. I don’t like to make wagers with people when they can’t win. Even if they don’t know they can’t win. Well almost never as it turns out.

For the record, Rambo grossed 18.1 million at the box office this weekend.

I don’t really need to go into much detail about the banquet. I think that I can break the event down to the two core events that left the deepest impression on me. I can say that before I went to the banquet, I could place a name and a face together for about 6 or 7 Jaycees. After the banquet I think I can up that number to about 12 or 14, but sadly for me, that number should be much higher, but I think I’m starting to suffer from Jay Janson’s Disease. (The inability to put names with faces)

The first event occurred while I was talking to Shannon. Somebody came back from the bar side of the American Legion to announce that my beloved Cyclones were losing by 25 to Kansas State. Although it was sad news, it was to be expected. The simple fact of the matter is that they have Beasley and we do not. That fact alone will decide quite a number of games in Kansas State’s favor this season.

At this point Peggy (the 2008 Jaycees President with questionable taste in college sports teams) came over to point out that her Kansas Jayhawks also thumped Iowa State earlier in the week.

I responded that I wasn’t so sure that wasn’t to be expected. Right now Iowa State is held together by spit, baling wire and a walk-on point guard.

Shannon added that “He will defend Iowa State under any circumstances.”

What she said is undeniably true, but the way she said it indicated that she thinks that there was another way that it is acceptable to be.

Then she took it too far. She wandered down a road that is going to end poorly for her. Even though that road won’t officially end for several months.

She brought up that UNI had beaten ISU this season.

It is a fact. I can’t deny it, but I can make bold proclamations.

I made this bold proclamation:

“I guarantee that we beat UNI next year.”

There I said it. I got it out there. I might have went into some details about how next year’s Cyclone team would be essentially the first team in 3 years that wasn’t going to be built from scratch that offseason.

Then she made the mistake.

“That sounds like a wager.” Those words escaped her lips. I think she knew that she had a mistake as soon as the words had finished reverberating around the American Legion. Yet she gamely continued on and did not back down.

The terms of the wager have not been set, but I can hint at what I’m leaning towards. Let me just say that I think Shannon is going to look good in Cardinal and Gold.

The other event that left an impression on me at the banquet also involved Shannon. I think it was the previous weekend that Shannon won an award at a Jaycees convention known as All-State. She won a pretty major award. She was declared to be the Secretary of the Year in the entire state of Iowa.

Part of the banquet was devoted to handing out awards and re-presenting the awards that various chapter members had won the previous weekend.

Something interesting happened when Shannon got her award. Everybody else got a “clap”. Just one clap. It was confusing to me, but I learned this morning that “the clap” is known as “Rally Applause” or something like that. Everybody got that. However, when Shannon got her award, the room spontaneously broke out in the wave.

I’m not making that up. I’ve been in several crowds where the wave has broken out. Almost all of them have been at sporting events. A couple times it has been at political rally. Sometimes I’ve seen it forced upon a crowd at a corporate brainwashing seminar. I’ve never seen this happen at a formal banquet before. I can only say that this turn of events was very impressive to me. I still can’t quite get my head around it.

This isn’t to say that she doesn’t deserve it. From what I know, she is hyper-organized and put in tons of hard work at that position. The wave was an interesting way of showing admiration for her hard work and skills.

After the banquet, several Jaycees retired to a bar down the street. The name currently escapes me, but my best stab at it is DG’s Tap House. It is in a commercial space that was formally known as The Zone. This makes me wonder where all the women that have graduated from Club Element go now.

This was my first appearance at a bar in 2008. I made 3 bar appearances all of 2007. Cory, a co-worker from the Computer Mine, has made it one of his goals this year to get me to the bar 4 times this year. We’ll see how that turns out.

The most interesting thing to transpire at the bar was running into Julie. I haven’t seen or talked to Julie in several months and it was awesome getting a chance to talk to her and catch up with her. Although I think she was quite shocked to actually see me at a bar. In fact, I know that she was surprised. It took her a little while to actually convince herself that she was seeing me. Of course Julie also thinks that her house is haunted, so I’m not sure why seeing me at a bar would be so hard for her to believe.

I think I was at the bar listening to some band until about midnight. Then I took off to get some sleep. I had a big day ahead of me on Monday. Rambo and There Will Be Blood weren’t going to see themselves.

Edwards on New Year’s Day

I’m very excited to announce that I got FTP capabilities back on my website. I’m hoping to get into a pattern of throwing up at least a brief blog every day. We’ll see how that goes. This is perhaps the end of the long blog era, but more pictorial blogs are the hope.

Below are some pictures that aren’t very timely. They are pictures that I took at an Edwards rally on New Year’s Day. He has since went on to finish 2nd at the Iowa Caucuses and 3rd in the New Hampshire Primary. I didn’t caucus for Edwards. I caucused for Obama, but I have a Political Science Degree from America’s premiere land grant university collecting dust in a box somewhere, so I like this kind of stuff. I went to see a few other people, but I didn’t take any pictures or the pictures turned out to be unacceptable. You might have noticed a picture of Giuliani a few blogs back that I transformed into something more acceptable.

Incidentally, that degree that is collecting dust in a box somewhere. I only owe about 1800 smackers on it now. I’ve almost paid off my brain. In fact, if everything breaks just right, my brain will be mine in February. The US Department of Education will own me no longer.

I will finally be able to appreciate the lyrics from that old Pearl Jam song:

The selfish, they’re all standing in line
Faithing and hoping to buy themselves time
Me, I figure as each breath goes by
I only own my mind

Here are some pictures from the Edwards speech:


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