24 June 2013

The pieces are coming together

Enough about IRS witch hunts and phone intercepts.

The house, the lake, the woodchipper, the riding lawn mower, the well, the dock, the lift, the boat... the pieces of our escape out of the city are coming together.

This was the weekend I was on the boat almost everyday and caught the first fish on the Lake, a couple of small-mid size northern pike. A good start.

It was also a weekend of family gathering with my brother in town, who likes to stay off the grid and shall remain nameless. He found us breakfast in Waconia when the power went out and also was full of some sound boating advice. Power was out for about three hours, not too bad. In any event that would not have affected the smoking plans. I must admit they turned out pretty good. Ribs and pork shoulder on the smoker, its getting where I can almost do this blindfolded.

Regarding bbq, this year I began using a rack for the ribs to stand them sideways. Boy does that make a difference. Not sure what it is but i think it has to do with a more even cooking. Nice and tender. 5-6 hours at around 225. No fancy rubs on the ribs or shoulder. Just salt and pepper. 

One last note. The shoulder and ribs had been frozen for about a month. I have smoked both fresh meat and the frozen then thawed. I cannot tell the difference. I guess I'd need to have them side by side. I'll keep freezing so I dont have to run to Costco every weekend.  

19 June 2013

Thank you, IRS

Thank you IRS for checking up on the various organizations that want non-profit status. I work with non-profits every day. The overwhelming majority are wonderful groups of caring, dedicated people committed to improving society. But every once in a while one or two of them have me scratching my head.

I always wondered if anyone checked to verify the validity of 501(C)3 applications. I'm glad to find that the IRS does. They asked the kinds of questions I would ask; when do you meet?, who are your members?, what do you discuss?, explain how this is educational, can I have a sample of your material?, your meeting minutes?, donor records? These are all legitimate questions that help verify that someone isnt carrying on a taxable enterprise under the guise of a charity.

And if conservatives were targeted more than liberals, well my gosh folks, grow up! The liberals are in charge. They own the joint. Doesnt it make sense that everything would tilt in their favor? Things will change in an election or two. Political pestering, certainly. Political persecution, hardly.

He can listen to my phone calls as much as he wants

I did not care if the last president listened, and I do not care if the new guy does. There is nothing illegal going on in my life, as far as I know. You'll find it somewhat boring. Have at it. Here's what you'll find out that you might not otherwise know. If this helps sniff out the bad guys, i'm all for it.

1) I"m not very nice to people at 800# call centers (not something i'm proud of, I'm very rude at times)
2) I call my mom every Friday.
3) I do not answer the phone.

Bring it on, Mr. President, and this goes for the next guy too.

06 June 2013

High speed trains, convention centers, stadiums, and other fiascos

Every place I have ever lived wants to build a high speed rail somewhere. Anywhere. Pine Bluff to Little Rock, Little Rock to Memphis, St. Louis to Kansas City, Minneapolis to (giggle) Rochester. Fortunately none of them were ever built.

Just like stadiums and other centers of secular worship, these things are almost free. The logic is the same for all of them. Sure there are a few tax dollars involved but Oh the jobs they create. Follow the logic and we can eliminate every social ill by just building more stuff.

ZIP RAIL – Rochester-Twin Cities

The Southeast Minnesota Rail Alliance proposes the construction of a true high-speed ZIP Rail line travelling at speeds of 150-220 mph between Rochester and the Twin Cities. Preliminary studies estimate that the construction of this corridor will cost $973 million. A study by the Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. estimated this project would inject nearly an additional $1 billion into the Minnesota economy each year.