Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's a GREAT time of the year! It's duck season!!!!

Today's hunt was a great one: not for the amount of birds killed, but for what I saw and learned. Didn't get drawn for anything (probably because I didn't put in for anything) so I tried a spot on the river where I've seen birds in the past. Figured, what the heck...why not? Got there about 45 minutes before shoot time and decided where I wanted to make the blind and set the decoys. Grabbed a bunch of branches, stuck them together and put rocks around the bases to hold them in place. Draped an old, torn up piece of fast grass over that and set up the chair. Then I had to set up the massive spread: 2 Bigfoot honkers and 2 pairs of mallards. Stashed the extra gear in the trees, sat down and poured a cup of coffee. All the while I was doing that, wood ducks kept taking off out of the trees, one at a time. Must have been 6 or 8 of them roosted there right behind where I was set up.

About 20 minutes after shoot time a lone honker came across the field on the other side of the river and locked up. He sat down too far out and right in the middle of the river. He would call, and I would answer. He would call, and I would answer. He swam over, but hung up about 40 yards out. Too far, in my opinion, so I just sat and waited. That went on for about 15 minutes. Then, I heard some more honks coming from down-river. The honker in front of me stretched his neck up and started calling to his buddies. Way cool: I've now got my own personal caller! It was great because I got to see everything he did and got to listen to everything he said. 5 of his buddies came right in...only 3 of them left, along with my personal assistant. While that was going on I passed on 4 single wood ducks that came in and landed. Yeah, I know, woodies taste better, but I kill a lot of ducks and not a lot of geese, so I waited for what I have less chances at. I did end up whacking a drake woodie later.

I had a big old merganser swimming around me for over an hour. I got to watch him suck up a ton of sculpins. I also got to watch 2 kingfishers do their thing on both sides of the river. Then, to top it all off, a bald eagle flew right over the top of me.

To make it all better I had the whole place all to myself...not another person anywhere to be found. I just sat and watched the stage show and the only thing I heard was the water running through the riffles.

What a great start to the season!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First Susanville Bluegrass Festival

Well, the first annual Susanville Bluegrass Festival is in the books. After several years of helping put on events in various locations, and dealing with committees (yuck), I decided to put on my very own bluegrass festival. It was over a year in the making and finally, this last weekend, it occured! Normally, it will take 3-4 years for a new festival to break even on the costs. However, with only two bills left to pay, it appears that we may actually hvae made a few dollars on this brand new event. That's saying a lot since we started with only $400 TOTAL in sponsorship money. What a great time we had. Yeah, it was a lot of work, and there were a few glitches along the way, but over-all it went very well. We've got a whole list of improvments we're going to implement for next year that will make it even better.
There was quite a lot of camping area for both RV's and tents. Some had grass, and some did not.

Some of the camping area was very well shaded. If we grow large enough, this area has the potential to become the stage area.

Here's a great RV area the fairground manager let us use at the last minute. It worked out really well.

Here's a great RV area. No grass, but good power and water.

One of the first things you need to line up is a good sound man. I choose John Senior Sound because they are the best in the business. Sound will make or break you.

Here's John's sound techs.

The audience area is shaded all day!

A view of the stage. I like that it's permenant: no set up, no tear down.

Here's the Anderson Family girls singing away. They were the belles of the ball for sure.

California Borderline, a band from the Paradise and Chico area.

There was a TON of great jamming each night after the shows and before the festival started. On Friday and Saturday there was still parking lot picking going on at 4AM.

A HUGE hit at the festival was the quilter's room. I secured a room near the stage where folks could set up their quilting and sewing operations and do their thing for the entire week. The ladies LOVED it. This is the only bluegrass festival around where they get this type of thing set up for them. It was great.

They really liked the idea of being able to set things up and leave it there for several days. I think I made a lot of friends by doing this.

All in all it was a great time and there's been a very positive response. It's gonna happen again next year on the weekend right after Father's Day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I spent the last couple of days working in the office in the shop. I sanded the walls and ceiling and then applied a coat of primer to both. No big deal, except the walls are twelve feet tall, which means the ceiling is twelve feet above my head. Had to go get an extension pole for the sanding and priming. Now I know why painters get the big bucks...that job SUCKS! All the time I was out there rolling the primer on I kept thinking, "Where is a Wagner Power Painter when you really need one?" Obviously, the answer is: at the store. However, they aren't giving them away this week and I didn't want to fork out the money for one, so it was time to do the job by hand. I'm working the next two days, so I won't be able to actually start painting until Tuesday, when I'll attack the ceiling. Once I get a couple coats of paint on that I'll hit the walls. Then comes the crown moulding door and window trim and the chair rail. Then I'm going to tile the floor ( sure hope Home Depot has something good on clearance) and then it'll be time for the baseboard. After that I'll finish it off with some nice curtains and a curtain rod. Not gonna worry about blinds as of right now...that'll be down the road. It'll be nice when it's done!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Testing, testing...

Here's a three button music player...or, at least there SHOULD be one here. Can you see it? I got software to convert mp3's into swf files, and then get the html code to produce a player that I can put on my bluegrass website. It's working fine in Google Chrome and Firefox...but does not appear in Internet Explorer. Can you see it here? What browser are you using?

I hate computer problems!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

From Sarge Charlie's blog

I vote for this guy to be king!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The baby is here!

The wife (Grandma #1) and Grandma #2 (husband's mom) got to the hospital at 11:30 AM yesterday. The baby was born at 12:52. I guess it's a good thing they went screaming out of here at 0'Dark thirty heh? Baby's name is Bridger...6lb, 4 oz, 18". I told them that wasn't even the size of a nice bass and that I'd caught quite a few trout bigger than 18" last year. I'm sure I'll pay for that one later, but it just kind of slipped out. New mom and baby are doing fine...everything went smoothly. My wife is a Grandma now. I had no idea I had married such an old woman.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Baby's coming

So, the wife just headed down the road to San Jose. Seems like our oldest daughter, Steffani, decided that today was a great day to have a kid. It's three weeks earlier than the doc said, but what the heck do they know anyway, right? What I do know is the the water broke, she's at the hospital and 80% effaced. My wife ran around here like her butt was on fire getting things ready and the last thing I saw was a ball of fire shooting out from the tailpipe of her Suburban as future grandma one went enroute to collect future grandma two so they could both panic together on the way to the hospital six hours down the road. At least she's not going alone. Hey, why have only one person in the panic mode when you can get a whole handful, right?

This couldn't have come at a worse time, but that's the way it goes I will go on. So, that's what I got to do at 4AM this about you?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Can you hear me now?

This Friday evening and all day Saturday I have to do sound for a large Christian women's' conference. My wife is playing bass in the band providing the music along with several other local ladies. They are sounding pretty good, if their practice yesterday is any indication of what they will do this weekend. I did the sound for them last year and had a lot of fun. This year they said there will be more food: that's ALWAYS a plus for old fat guys like me.

One of the things the ladies want in their sound is some reverb on the vocals. My newest sound board doesn't have that built in, and I don't have a separate component that takes care of that. I did have, however, an older board that had effects built into it, so no problem, right? Wrong. When it comes to sound equipment there's always something ready to go wrong, and rest assured, it will go wrong at the worst possible moment.

I went out in the shop this morning and set up the old board with an amp and some speakers to make sure everything still worked. It started to work...but then it stopped. It was at that point that I smelled something that wasn't quite right. Things that don't smell right in electronics are bad...very bad. Last year the power source for the old board died and evidently when it croaked it damaged the old board. There I was with an old, dead board and no effects.

What to do?

I called up to the Medford Guitar Center to see what a digital effects component would cost and was told anywhere from $199 up. Well, looked like the ladies weren't going to be getting any reverb this year. But, as I was putting away the equipment I remembered that several years ago I bought a small, eight channel powered mixer and, as I recalled, it had reverb effects built into it. Hmmm, time to experiment. I wondered if I could simply run the vocals through the powered mixer and into my new board and then send it to the amps and speakers. I could also run the guitars just through the main board as I didn't want reverb on them. I called a sound man friend of mine to verify the legitimacy of my idea and he said it should work just fine. So, I pulled the equipment back out, set it up and worked like a charm! It's a bit of a work around, but the ladies will have their reverb and I won't be out $199 that I didn't have to spend. I haven't used that mixer a half dozen times since I bought it, but it's sure gonna come in handy this weekend.

Yeah buddy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Treatment times comin'

Saw the doc today and went over treatment options. Looks like I'm gonna be minus a prostrate here real soon. The one I have is done for, kaput...FIRED!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Headed back to the doctor tomorrow.

Last Friday he called and said I have prostate cancer. Have to go discuss treatment options tomorrow. Yippy skippy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Have I turned into Martha Stewart?

So, FINALLY, my wife is home. She had been down at her sister's house for a month and I'm here to tell you I was MORE than ready to have her home! We've been talking about remodeling the living room for awhile, and I got the bright idea that I would do it before she came home as a surprise. That's right, me, a male was about to dive off into the realm of interior design.

Thirteen years ago, when we first arrived at the house, we had the walls painted. I insisted that they were done in white. By golly I didn't want any color on MY walls! Well, over the course of time I have mellowed quite a bit, and my tastes have changed. The white walls were BORING!

Monday morning I went down to the paint shop and picked up an interior decorating brochure. I thumbed through it and saw a color combination I liked. I asked the daughters what they thought and they said they really liked it. At that point I started moving everything away from the walls and, when I was finished with that, I headed back down to the paint shop to buy some paint. I thought it would be a quick and easy project. Yeah, right. I worked on that stupid room from early morning until well after dinner each night and still didn't get the crown molding installed. It's painted though, and waiting in the shop until a date yet to be determined.

We have had ratty metal mini-blinds for as long as I can remember and they were long overdue for replacement. I made a trip up to Lowe's and got faux wood blinds and that problem was eliminated. I also got nice curtain rods at Lowe's. I needed curtains that would match my chosen color scheme, so I went to JoAnn's Fabrics and spent and hour or more with a blue-haired lady getting just the right stuff. One of Cynthia's friends had agreed to do the sewing: I just had to deliver the goods to her so she could get started. She got the curtains done, and one of the ties I asked her to make. She made the one tie and delivered it to see if it was the correct length before she made the rest. It was great, and now she's making seven more. I wanted the ties to wrap around the curtains when they weren't spread out in order to make a pretty bow.

When I had finished painting and installing blinds and curtains, I stared arranging things in the room. Now here's the REALLY scary part: as I was putting things on the display case I studied the look after I set the wooden fire engine down. I had originally put it on the right side of the case, but then I moved it to the left. Why? Because, I thought, if it was on the right side it would put the room out of balance. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Right then I probably should have gone out and bought a dress.

Anyway, when the wife came in the door she was a good sort of way. She was VERY happy with the outcome, and has been bragging on me all weekend. She likes it and that's all that counts. So, without further ado, here's the before and after pictures:


Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Easter Bunny came

Well, the Easter Bunny came today. Actually he started working on this yesterday, but he deposited some things at our house today. Usually the Easter Bunny is a girl, but this year she is out of town taking care of her sister so, Mr. Bunny had to take over.

Old man rabbit did the best he could. He made up a couple of nice little baskets with some candy, which included the obligatory chocolate bunny. This was, however, the first time he boiled his own eggs. The kitchen is happy to announce that only one egg was lost to an unexpected, sudden "release". All in all Mr. Rabbit was fairly happy with the overall outcome. He does realize that his eggs are nowhere near as nice as his wife's would have been, but hey, what can you expect from a low-bid operation anyway?

Now, in case you have forgotten, or don't really know, here's the important part of Easter:

And when they came to the place called The

Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on

the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying,

"Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are

doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among

themselves. And the people stood by, looking on. And even

the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, "He saved others;

let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His

Chosen One." And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming up

to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, "If You are

the King of the Jews, save Yourself!" Now there was also

an inscription above Him, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS."

And one of the criminals who were hanged [there] was

hurling abuse at Him, saying, "Are You not the Christ? Save

Yourself and us!" But the other answered, and rebuking him

said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the

same sentence of condemnation? "And we indeed justly, for

we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this

man has done nothing wrong." And he was saying, "Jesus,

remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" And He said to

him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in

Paradise." And it was now about the sixth hour, and

darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour,

the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn

in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said,

"Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." And having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion

saw what had happened, he [began] praising God, saying,

"Certainly this man was innocent." And all the multitudes

who came together for this spectacle, when they observed

what had happened, [began] to return, beating their

breasts. And all His acquaintances and the women who

accompanied Him from Galilee, were standing at a distance,

seeing these things. And behold, a man named Joseph, who

was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man (he

had not consented to their plan and action), [a man] from

Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the

kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the

body of Jesus. And he took it down and wrapped it in a

linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock,

where no one had ever lain. And it was the preparation

day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. Now the women who

had come with Him out of Galilee followed after, and saw

the tomb and how His body was laid. And they returned and

prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they

rested according to the commandment.

But on the first day

of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing

the spices which they had prepared. And they found the

stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered,

they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it

happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold,

two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel; and

as [the women] were terrified and bowed their faces to the

ground, [the men] said to them, "Why do you seek the living

One among the dead? "He is not here, but He has risen."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Some country songs for you

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

The Mr. Mom job sucks

The wife's been gone for two weeks now and may not be back for a couple more. That means I'm Mr. Mom. This job sucks. Never, in twenty-eight+ years of marriage have I told her I wanted her job, yet it seems like I get stuck with it for six or seven weeks a year while she's down south at her sister's house. Last night I had to make something for dinner, so I decided on stuffed bell peppers. Here's a picture of how they turned out. I will have to say, they tasted pretty good. The youngest daughter was here to help me eat them and she said we should have them more often. That's good: a kid saying we should eat a vegetable dish more often. Yeah, there was bell pepper, rice, tomatoes and corn in there, but there was hamburger as well, so I did meet the "dead animal for dinner" requirement. I just can't see the sense of cooking if there's not some kind of roasted flesh on the plate when you're done.

I spent five straight days working on the shop; trying to get it finished so I can get the final inspection done on it. I'll be out there again this next week, although not every day as I have some teaching to do down at the college. Hard to pass up the easy money. I spent the last two Saturdays teaching a basic fireline safety class to all the contractors who want to sign up for fire assignments this year. The hardest part of that class is staying awake while the other instructors are speaking. It's not that they're bad speakers, I just find it difficult to keep my eyes open in a darkened room while sitting in a comfortable chair. It simply seems natural to want to nod off. I will say that "work" was a lot easier than the digging of two hundred and twenty feet of trench, placing of water line, back-filling and compacting that I did on Friday. That working for a living sucks!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm sick of telemarketers!

I really hate telemarketer calls. They're annoying. Yesterday I placed a new message on my phone's answering machine. It says, "Hello, we're not home. If this is someone we know, or someone we might want to know, please leave a message and we'll get right back to you. If this is about the Susanville Bluegrass Festival, please leave a message and we'll get right back to you. If this is a telemarketer, please die a slow and agonizing death where your eyes pop out of your head and the blood drains from your body. Thanks...have a nice day!"

I can hardly wait for the first telemarketer to call.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Calling your congressman is harassment?

Here's a story for you...a true one I might add. Kinda pissed me off:

"Yesterday, I decided to call Rep. John Garamendi’s (CA-10) office in Washington, D.C. He’s my representative and I wanted to voice my opposition to the Senate Health Care Bill. I spoke with a female staffer and politely told her that, while I support health care reform, I oppose the Senate Bill because it wasn’t true “reform.” She said the Congressman thinks it’s a good bill and that he campaigned on health care reform. I told her I knew that. I also mentioned that I voted for him. When I tried to give her specific reasons why the Senate Bill would harm our system rather than reform it, she refused to listen. She said she was very busy and hung up on me. Being the persistent person that I am, I kept calling back. Each time I tried to finish my point, she hung up.

I called one more time. This time she said, “If you call one more time, we will notify Capital Police.” I asked why my conduct warranted involving federal law enforcement agents. She said I was “harassing” her. I tried to explain that trying to convince a representative to change his or her vote didn’t constitute “harassment.” Before I could fully explain, she hung up again.

I called back. This time, I asked to speak to her supervisor in order to report her repeated hanging up as well as the threat she made. I was placed on hold. Thinking I was holding for her supervisor, I was shocked when a Federal Agent with the Capital Police picked-up the telephone.

At first, the Agent was curt with me. He claimed I was harassing Mr. Garamendi’s staff by continually calling after being told to stop calling. I asked him when it became a federal crime to lobby a congressman. He said that it wasn’t but it was a crime to “harass” congressional members and staff pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 223. I told him I was an attorney (which I am) and that I would research the statute he had cited.

After researching 47 U.S.C. 223, I called Mr. Garamendi’s office again and asked to be transferred back to the Capital Police Agent. The Agent picked up the phone and I explained to him that the statute he cited was not controlling since it only prohibits people from calling with the specific intent to harass. I further explained that I was simply trying to voice my concerns with the intent of getting Mr. Garamendi to change his mind, not to harass his staff. The Agent eventually agreed with my position and said he would call Mr. Garamendi’s office and instruct his staff that I was within my rights to call my congressman and voice my concerns.

After I hung up, I realized that this story should be told. Besides being an attorney, I’ve also had the privilege of serving this great country in the United States Marine Corps. Having seen the ugly legislative process the Senate Bill had been through, I saw this as not just another tactic to pass the Senate Bill at all costs, but also as an affront to our liberties.

While I’m fortunate enough to be able to legally challenge what happened today, others aren’t. The sad part is the democrats know this. They know that Americans unfamiliar with federal jurisprudence can easily be silenced when threats to involve federal agents are made. They know that most Americans don’t want trouble and they’ll go away rather than face the possibility of having to explain themselves to federal agents. That’s why I found this tactic appalling, as a Marine, as an attorney and as a proud American.

During my final contact with Mr. Garamendi’s staff, it was confirmed to me that he would vote for the Senate Bill no matter what. I was told that I was wasting my time by calling. Mr. Garamendi is a junior member of the House of Representatives. He was just elected via a special election last November. He has made it clear that he is willing to forsake his constituents in order to please the Speaker of the House.

Speaker Pelosi has said that she will stop at nothing to get the Senate Bill passed. She publicly stated that she would “pole vault over a wall” if barriers stood in her way. While that may be an amusing spectacle, it is indicative of what happened to me today. Apparently, threatening Americans with federal crimes to silence them is the latest tool in Speaker Pelosi’s dirty bag of tricks.

In the coming days, I’m sure more stories will develop illustrating the “win at all costs” tactics being employed by democrats. It’s these tactics that have appalled a majority of Americans to the point that the Senate Bill has overwhelmingly been rejected by the American people. When we try to explain that to Speaker Pelosi’s Caucus, we are threatened with criminal sanctions. We are told to shut up or face federal agents. Such treatment may be acceptable in the former Soviet Union, but it’s repulsive in the country I love and served. Is this hope and change?"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So, it's all about health care reform?

Here's some revisions the house has come up with for the senate bill. Can someone explain what any of this has to do with health care?

Sec. 1408. Elimination of unintended application of cellulosic biofuel producer credit. Adds an additional revenue provision. In 2008, Congress enacted a $1.01 per gallon tax credit for the production of biofuel from cellulosic feedstocks in order to encourage the development of new production capacity for biofuels that are not derived from food source materials. Congress is aware that some taxpayers are seeking to claim the cellulosic biofuel tax credit for unprocessed fuels, such as black liquor. The provision would limit eligibility for the tax credit to processed fuels (i.e., fuels that could be used in a car engine or in a home heating application).

Sec. 1409. Codification of economic substance doctrine and penalties. Adds an additional revenue provision. The economic substance doctrine is a judicial doctrine that has been used by the courts to deny tax benefits when the transaction generating these tax benefits lacks economic substance. The courts have not applied the economic substance doctrine uniformly. The provision would clarify the manner in which the economic substance doctrine should be applied by the courts and would impose a penalty on understatements attributable to a transaction lacking economic substance.

Sec. 1410. Time for payment of corporate estimated taxes. Provides for a one-time adjustment to corporate estimated taxes for payments made during calendar year 2014.

Sec. 1411. No impact on Social Security trust funds. Provides that Title II of the Social Security Act (the old age, survivor, and disability benefits program (OASDI)) is not amended or modified by the bill.Subtitle F –

Other Provisions

Sec. 1501. TAA for communities. Appropriates $500 Million a year for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 in the Community College and Career Training Grant program for community colleges to develop and improve educational or career training programs. Ensures that each state receives at least 0.5 percent of the total funds appropriated. Title II – Health, Education, Labor, and PensionsSubtitle A – EducationSection 2001. Short Title; References. Provides that this subtitle may be cited as the “SAFRA Act,” and that, except as otherwise provided, whenever an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Higher Education Act of 1965.Part I—Investing in Students and Families

Section 2101. Federal Pell Grants. Amends the Higher Education Act to include mandatory funding for the Pell Grant. This provides additional mandatory funding to augment funds appropriated to increase the federal maximum Pell Grant award by the change in the Consumer Price Index. The mandatory component of the funding is determined by inflating the previous year’s total and subtracting the maximum award provided for in the appropriations act for the previous year or $4860, whichever is greater. Beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year, the maximum Pell award will be at the 2017-2018 level.

Section 2102. Student Financial Assistance. This section provides $13.5 billion in mandatory appropriations to the Federal Pell Grant program.Section 2103. College Access Challenge Grant Program. This section amends section 786 of the Higher Education Act by authorizing and appropriating $150 million for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for the College Access Challenge Grant program created under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. Provides that the allotment for each State under this section for a fiscal year shall not be an amount that is less than 1.0 percent of the total amount appropriated for a fiscal year.

Section 2104. Investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions. This section amends section 371(b) of the Higher Education Act by extending funding for programs under this section created under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 for programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions through 2019, including programs that help low-income students attain degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics by the following annual amounts: $100 million to Hispanic Serving Institutions, $85 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, $15 million to Predominantly Black Institutions, $30 million to Tribal Colleges and Universities, $15 million to Alaska, Hawaiian Native Institutions, $5 million to Asian American and Pacific Islander Institutions, and $5 million to Native American non-tribal serving institutions.

Part II—Student Loan Reform

Section 2201. Termination of Federal Family Education Loan Appropriations. This section terminates the authority to make or insure any additional loans in the Federal Family Education Loan program after June 30, 2010.

Section 2202. Termination of Federal loan Insurance Program. This section is a conforming amendment with regard to the termination of the FFEL program, limiting Federal insurance to those loans in the Federal Family Education Loan program for loans first disbursed prior to July 1, 2010.

Section 2203. Termination of Applicable Interest Rates. This section makes a conforming amendment with regard to the termination of the FFEL program limiting interest rate applicability to Stafford, Consolidation, and PLUS loans to those loans made before July 1, 2010.

Section 2204. Termination of Federal payments to Reduce Student Interest Costs. This section makes a conforming amendment with regard to the termination of the FFEL program by limiting subsidy payments to lenders for those loans for which the first disbursement is made before July 1, 2010.

Section 2205. Termination of FFEL PLUS Loans. This section makes a conforming change with regard to the termination of the FFEL program for federal PLUS loans by prohibiting further FFEL origination of loans after July 1, 2010.

Section 2206. Federal Consolidation Loans. This section makes conforming changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program for federal consolidation loans. This section also provides that, for a 1 year period, borrowers who have loans under both the Direct Lending program and the FFEL program, or who have loans under either program as well as loans that have been sold to the Secretary, may consolidate such loans under the Direct Lending program regardless of whether such borrowers have entered repayment on such loans.

Section 2207. Termination of Unsubsidized Stafford loans for Middle-Income Borrowers. This section makes conforming changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program for Unsubsidized Stafford loans by prohibiting further FFEL origination of loans after July 1, 2010.

Section 2208. Termination of Special Allowances. This section makes conforming changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program by limiting special allowance payments to lenders under the FFEL program to loans first disbursed before July 1, 2010.

Section 2209. Origination of Direct Loans at Institutions Outside the United States. This section provides for the origination of federal Direct Loans at institutions located outside of the United States, through a financial institution designated by the Secretary.

Section 2210. Conforming amendments. This section makes conforming technical changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program for Department of Education agreements with Direct Lending institutions.

Section 2211. Terms and Conditions of Loans. This section makes conforming technical changes with regard to the termination of the FFEL program to clarify the terms and conditions of Direct Loans.

Section 2212. Contracts. This section directs the Secretary to award contracts for servicing federal Direct Loans to eligible non-profit servicers. In addition, this section provides that for the first 100,000 borrower loan accounts, the Secretary shall establish a separate pricing tier. Specifies that the Secretary is to allocate the loan accounts of 100,000 borrowers to each eligible non-profit servicer. The section also permits the Secretary to reallocate, increase, reduce or terminate an eligible non-profit servicer’s allocation based on the performance of such servicer. In addition, this section appropriates mandatory funds to the Secretary to be obligated for administrative costs of servicing contracts with eligible non-profit servicers. This section also requires the Secretary to provide technical assistance to institutions of higher education participating or seeking to participate in the Direct Lending program. This section appropriates $50 million for fiscal year 2010 to pay for this technical assistance. Additionally, this section authorizes the Secretary to provide payments to loan servicers for retaining jobs at location in the United States where such servicers were operating on January 1, 2010. This section appropriates $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011 for such purpose.

Section 2213. Agreements with State-Owned Banks. This section amends Part D of Title IV to direct the Secretary to enter into an agreement with an eligible lender for the purpose of providing Federal loan insurance on student loans made by state-owned banks.

Section 2214. Income-Based Repayment. The section amends the Income-Based Repayment program to cap student loan payments for new borrowers after July 1, 2014 to 10% of adjusted income, from 15% percent, and to forgive remaining balances after 20 years of repayment, from 25 years.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sister-in-law update

The wife headed for Southern California today to be with her sister. Her sister is not doing well at all and is back in the hospital. She keeps going in and out. It's not looking good.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My brother-in-law is a piece of CRAP!!!!!!!!!

My wife's sister has cancer. Two days ago she went to the clinic to get her radiation treatment (taken by a friend). She had been bleeding for several days and passed out from lack of blood at the clinic. She was taken to the hospital and was given 4 units of blood. Today her POS husband didn't even bother to go see her. What a waste of flesh and oxygen! If my wife was in the hospital like that you couldn't pull my fat butt out of there with a bulldozer. For the life of me I can not imagine abandoning my wife like that. What a large pile of turds he is!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Heeeey ABBOTT!"

If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, “Who's on First?” might have turned out something like this:


Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

The Word you get when you click the blue “W.”

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue “W” if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOTT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on “START”...

Monday, March 8, 2010

My radio show

Some of you may know I have a weekly bluegrass music radio show. I have one version that airs here locally on KSYC, 103.9FM. I have another version that airs on Monday mornings at 8AM on KENC Radio...a streaming internet station. Below is a player that will allow you to listen to my show...hopefully anyway. The other player I was using started freaking out so I had to find something else. I came up with this simple one. Try it out, please, and let me know if it works for you. Thanks.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot...this is the show that was online this morning. It's a continuous 58 minutes with no breaks or commercials.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Upcoming event: Saturday, March 13th

Next Saturday, March 13th, we are having a one day men's retreat/conference at our church. Since this whole thing was my idea, I hope it goes well: I really don't want to get tarred and feathered by folks I know.

The day is centered around marriage and relationships and goes from morning until the evening. The deal starts at 9:30 AM with an introduction/orientation. from 10-11, and from 11-12, there are two speakers who will talk for about 45 minutes each. At lunch there'll be "build your own" sandwiches, chips, punch and coffee. At 1PM a local group will play music. They'll go until 2 O'Clock. From 3-4 and from 4-5 there are two more speakers. At 5 PM there will be a dinner and the wives are invited to that. The men will cook, serve and clean up. At 6:30 PM there will be a two hour concert featuring the Kate White Band from the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area. The concert is open to the entire community and there is no admission charge. There is also no additional charge for the wives to join their husbands for dinner. The cost of the day, for the men, will be $20...pretty reasonable I would think. We will do a "pass the hat" thing during the concert to help defray the hard costs of the day. I believe it will be a good event and I sure hope it's well attended.

What is for dinner? Well, we're having something I developed. We start with skinless chicken breast. Then we cut a pita pocket in the meat. After that we throw it in a bowl and soak it in apple juice over night. The next day we put garlic powder inside the pocket and stuff it with a mix of apples, onions, celery and pecans (run through a food processor first). Next we season the outside of the chicken and place it in a baking pan. It's cooked for 30-40 minutes. At that point we smear a honey glaze over it and put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes or so. When it's removed from the oven it gets another dash of honey glaze sauce. That will be coupled with potatoes, carrots, celery and onions...seasoned up and slow cooked in large roasters. Sound good?

The band that will be playing is OUTSTANDING!!! Here's a YouTube video of them doing a song I really like called "I Will Rise".

One of the speakers for Saturday is a man named Jerry Broomfield. He's one of the pastors at one of the black churches down in Weed (about 20 miles south of us). I had never met him before asking him to speak, but he came highly recommended by another guy in our church who I know well. In fact, Jerry was a student of the guy in our church (Frank) back when he was in high school

When I went down to meet Jerry, and take him some fliers for the event, I got to talk with him for awhile. Frank, the guy in our church, had said Jerry had had some tough issues in his life: he wasn't lying. Jerry said he went into the hospital to have his right leg removed below the knee...and was released eight months later. When they removed his leg, below the knee, something went wrong and a few days later they had to go back and remove it above the knee. When he was in the second surgery he suffered a heart attack. After that he ended up with severe liver problems. Wow!

I met Jerry at his place of business: a thrift store/food bank. While I was there talking with him a lady came up with some pillows she wanted to buy. I think they were marked $3, or maybe it was $4. There was another person at the cash register when the lady brought up her pillows and she was handling the transaction. The lady started off the conversation by saying the pillows were soiled and that she was going to have to clean them up. She then said she was thinking of paying $1 each for them. The person handling the register paused and looked at Jerry to see what he wanted to do. Jerry just smiled, put out his hand to the lady and said, "That'll be just fine."

Jerry told me that Frank had been a tough teacher and was hard on Jerry and his friends. But, he said, that was exactly what they needed. He then said something to me that impressed me more than anything has in many years. After he told me Frank had been hard on them he said that because of that Jerry and his friends had all grown up to be successful.

I was talking to a guy who didn't have all his body parts, and the parts he did have left didn't function all that well. I was talking to a guy who was not at the top of the employment heap: he was just a guy who was barely getting by. I was talking to a guy who was selling $1 pillows to people. And he told me, without hesitation or reservation, that he was successful.

I have never been so humbled in my life.

I am very much looking forward to hearing Jerry speak this coming Saturday.