Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm wary of transplants moving to Missouri

Rich city people moving to small towns and the country: This is something I'm pretty sure the Rolla City Council and the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce would like to encourage here.

It sounds good, bringing in new money, but after reading this article on the Wall Street Journal website, The New American Gentry, I'm definitely wary of transplants.

Here's an excerpt:

Affluent retirees and other high-income types have descended on these remote areas, creating new demand for amenities like interior-design stores, spas and organic markets. For many communities, it's the biggest change since the interstate highway system came barreling through in the 1960s and 1970s.
With the Internet allowing people to work from almost anywhere, the distinction between first and second homes has become blurred. Many people are buying retirement property while they're still employed. Millions of soon-to-retire baby boomers, say demographers, will propel this trend for years to come.
"What we're seeing is a class colonization," says Peter Nelson, an associate professor of geography at Middlebury College and an expert on rural migration. "It really represents a shift in the nature of the economy from a resource-extraction economy to an aesthetic-based economy."
Such change can create social tensions, as longtime residents are either driven away because they can no longer afford housing or are forced to adapt to new careers.

Manmade global warming is real

This is New Year's Eve. It should be cold outside, perhaps even frigid. There ought to be leftover snow. We ought to be bracing ourselves for a blizzard right after the first of the year. Instead, it is 59 degrees on my front porch in Rolla, 61 degrees at the Rolla National Airport.

This is global warming.

Moreover, it is manmade global warming.

Yes, I am a convert, and I'll tell you why. Bear with me. I'm going to take you on a circuitous route, but my logic, as always, is impeccable.

I figured it out this morning while watching a news channel. The commentators were talking about what government must do to create jobs. There were clips from the past two years of the president talking about what he is going to do to create jobs. The new Republican governor of Florida was talking about what he plans to do to create jobs. Everyone, including the newly elected Republican governor, believes the answer to job creation is government.

On a local level, Rolla city government has created a plan to increase shopping activity through tax subsidies. We're going to get a new retail department store (construction is set to begin in the spring) and the development will be paid for with sales and real estate taxes.

All of us are looking to government for solutions. Everyone in America, even those of us in traditionally conservative small Ozarks towns, now turns to the government for guidance.

Like the European socialists, we Americans have come to believe the government has the answers.

That makes most of us progressives, liberals, socialistic Democrats. We may think of ourselves as conservatives or Republicans, but we're really a bunch of left-leaners because we look to the government for direction in our lives.

Now I'm not pointing any fingers; I'm in there with the rest of you. There are few true conservatives left, and that's the cause of climate change.

Around the world and around the United States, there are billions of Democrats, progressives, liberals, socialists, communists and left-leaning moderate conservative Republicans.

And each one of us farts at least once a day. In my case, it's way more than that, but even if you only let go with one little pffffft or even a silent but deadly one, you are part of the manmade global warming problem.

Did I say problem? I meant to say catastrophe, because that's what the president says.

We can't blame this on the true-blue conservatives. For years, liberals have described the real conservatives as "tight asses," so we can't blame methane gas pollution on them.

No, folks, the problem is all of us left-leaning gas-expellers. There are too many of us doing what we do, so we are causing global warming.

When you are ready to relent and admit, as I have today, that you are part of the problem, then and only then can government really find a solution for us.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

The Birth of Jesus
Luke 2
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. 2 This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, 5 to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. 12 This will be the sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!
15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. 17 After seeing [them], they reported the message they were told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.

Holman Christian Standard Bible

Friday, December 24, 2010

All I ever talk about is the weather

We got up at 4 a.m. and there was snow on the ground and in the air. I cleared off the car and left for work after fortifying myself with plenty of coffee. I had no trouble getting out of the driveway. The street had not been plowed, and it was slippery. That should have been a warning to me, but I was intent on getting to work. Missing work due to weather would be unmanly, I thought.

I made it onto the interstate, and I knew immediately this would not be a manly day. There was little westbound traffic at 5:30 a.m.; it's usually pretty busy. The surface was slushy and the car kept slipping around. I crept to Newburg and headed back home. The eastbound lanes and traffic were even worse. An 18-wheeler passed me and threw slop all over the car. I crawled back to Rolla and was glad to get into the driveway and back inside the house. Not very manly, I know, but that's the way it goes.

I stuck a tape measure in the snow about 6:30 and it sunk down 2.5 inches. The snow was still coming down fast. It's nearly 8:30 now and the snow is still falling although not as thickly.

My wife is not too happy about having a white Christmas. My, how she has changed after being in Missouri for 8 years. She was disappointed that the Ozarks had a white Christmas in 2002, while we were in Texas visiting her family. She was rhapsodic about the first significant snowfall she experienced that winter. Over the years, though, she has liked snow and Missouri winters less and less. I think the January 2007 ice storm was the last straw for her. She isn't excited at all about a white Christmas tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Latest weather update

It's a balmy 13.1 degrees on the front porch this morning, up from 1.7 degree yesterday. Delaine said just before sunrise it dropped to -0.3. The highest temperature she noticed yesterday was 17.0.

That means, of course,we still have on the ground the snow and ice we awoke to find Sunday morning. I just about slipped and fell last night on a sheet of ice in the Kroger parking lot.

Church was called off Sunday. I found out after I drove out there, discovered an empty parking lot, came home, checked my e-mail and found a notice that services for the day had been called off. I should have checked the mail first. I e-mailed my deacon back with my phone number, so this won't happen again.

It's supposed to get up to 27 degrees degree. I see the weather forecaster is calling for ice pellets Wednesday, but it's supposed to be partly cloudy and highs in the mid-30s on Friday and Saturday.

The Old Farmer's Almanac says Dec. 10-15 is supposed to be sunny and mild while Dec. 16-21 is supposed to be rain turning to snow, then sunny and cold. For Christmas, Dec. 22-16, the Old Farmer predicts sunny, then rain and mild. The year will end with sunny weather turning colder. This is according to the almanac with the yellow cover and the hole in the corner so you can hang it on a nail in the outhouse and read during those balmy winter days. The Montgomery Ward catalog on the floor is for another purpose.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weather update

I measured 0.20 inch in my rain gauge this evening.
The temperature was 44 and dropped to 34 in an hour.
It is 16 degrees now.
And it is windy. There is a light, dry snow swirling designs in the streets.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas countdown: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ...

... well, not really.

But here's Ferlin Husky (a native Missourian) and Patsy Cline singing a song that doesn't say a thing about Christmas, yet it's considered a Christmas song.