5.01.2016

Kathee Retires - May 2nd, 2016




Kathee's career

  • Kathee graduated from Florida State in 1973 with a degree in Math (4.0)
  • Offered a job with the IRS ... declined
  • Hired by IBM and sat across the desk from a very handsome guy
  • Worked for IBM ... then Mellon Bank ... then again for IBM
  • Was a stay at home Mom for 9 years
  • Hired by the Rocky Mountain Tariff Bureau for 2 years
  • Hired by Norwest Colorado (just after Norwest acquired United Bank of Colorado)
  • Moved to Minneapolis in 1996 (20 years ago)
  • Retires as an Application Engineer 6 (Application architect) and Vice President
I am so very proud of her!



4.23.2016

The International Space Station (ISS) - Where is It?








wheretheiss.at
Loworbit.co

Comment: Bottom 2 images are screen grabs from above two links.

4.20.2016

[insert STUPID] Indiana University students mistake Priest in line for frozen yogurt for KKK member



Priest mistaken for KKK member while getting FroYo

Excerpt:

Panic ensued on a college campus last week when social media fueled rumors that a member of the Ku Klux Klan had been spotted. The man, as students later realized, wasn't a Klan member, but rather Father Jude McPeak, an ordained priest from Evergreen, in line for frozen yogurt while wearing his habit. Students from Indiana University took to Twitter to caution fellow students of a man "dressed in white robes" who was seen on campus "carrying a whip." A university dorm resident advisor subsequently sent out a cautionary email to students in his building, and campus-wide chaos ensued. While a mix-up between a Klansman and a priest seems unlikely, McPeak, who serves as the director of campus ministry at the Saint Paul Catholic Center at Indiana University, said he could understand the confusion.
Comment: The order responded with help identifying them





USPS: Just how long should it take for the mail to arrive?



USPS 1st Class Service Standards

Comment: Helpful interactive map

The Great Chicago Rail Loop - Why It's Needed



Executive Offers $8 Billion Remedy for Midwest Rail Logjam

Excerpt:

A software industry veteran is taking on one of the toughest problems facing the U.S. railroad industry: the chronic traffic bottleneck surrounding Chicago that can take more than a day for freight trains to move through.

Frank Patton, 73 years old and chairman of fledgling Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc., wants to build a privately-financed rail route through Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana that would allow trains to loop around the congested rail hub.

Mr. Patton’s proposed 280-mile line would reduce the about 30-hour train travel times through Chicago to eight or 10 hours. It would take about five years to permit and build and cost $8 billion, he said, monies that eventually would be paid off by user fees from the six major North American railroads the line intends to serve.

Its hurdles are many. Great Lakes Basin Transportation still has to assemble financing and obtain regulatory and environmental approvals. And the plan faces opposition from affected landowners and a so-far cool reception from railroads, which are pushing their own plan to dislodge the Chicago rail logjam.

But Mr. Patton is undaunted. “Anybody who looks at the projections for a 60% increase in traffic by 2040, they know something has to happen,” he said. “The Chicago terminal is one snowstorm away from disaster.” He is moving quickly to get regulators’ approval and to line up financing.
Comment: Great Lakes Basin Transportation Inc. See The Chicago Railroad bottleneck:
Shippers complain that a load of freight can make its way from Los Angeles to Chicago in 48 hours, then take 30 hours to travel across the city. A recent trainload of sulfur took some 27 hours to pass through Chicago — an average speed of 1.13 miles per hour, or about a quarter the pace of many electric wheelchairs.

Think:

Guns rights activist to grace the $ 20



Harriet Tubman to Appear on $20 Bill

Excerpt:

The Treasury Department will announce on Wednesday afternoon that Harriet Tubman, an African-American who ferried thousands of slaves to freedom, will replace the slaveholding Andrew Jackson on the center of a new $20 note, according to a Treasury official, while newly popular Alexander Hamilton will remain on the face of the $10 bill. Other depictions of women and civil rights leaders will also be part of new currency designs. The new designs, from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, would be made public in 2020 in time for the centennial of woman’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. None of the bills, including a new $5 note, would reach circulation until the next decade
Comment: Wiki article:

Tubman also carried a revolver, and was not afraid to use it. The gun afforded some protection from the ever-present slave catchers and their dogs, however she also purportedly threatened to shoot any escaped slave who tried to turn back on the journey since that would threaten the safety of the remaining group. Tubman told the tale of one man who insisted he was going to go back to the plantation when morale got low among a group of fugitive slaves. She pointed the gun at his head and said, "You go on or die."

Image source: Harriet Tubman: A Passage to Freedom 

4.19.2016

Just how large is the Sea of Galilee? In comparison to a lake near you









The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias

Excerpt:

The Sea of Galilee, also Kinneret, Lake of Gennesaret, or Lake Tiberias (Hebrew: יָם כִּנֶּרֶת, Judeo-Aramaic: יַמּא דטבריא, Arabic: بحيرة طبريا‎), is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, and it is approximately 53 km (33 mi) in circumference, about 21 km (13 mi) long, and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide. The lake has a total area of 166.7 km2 (64.4 sq mi) at its fullest, and a maximum depth of approximately 43 m (141 feet). At levels between 215 metres (705 ft) and 209 metres (686 ft) below sea level, it is the lowest freshwater lake on Earth and the second-lowest lake overall (after the Dead Sea, a saltwater lake)
Minnesota

30% of the size of  Mille Lacs (64 square miles vs 207 square miles)

About the size of Lake Vermilion (41,216 acres vs 39,371 acres)

Double the size of the City of Plymouth (36 square miles)

Texas

5.2 times the size of Joe Pool Lake (7,740 acres)

Slightly larger than Lake Tawakoni 

New Hampshire

90% of the size of Lake Winnipesaukee

Michigan

15 % of the size of Lake St. Clair (64.4 sq miles vs 430 sq miles)

New York

About the size of Seneca Lake  (68 sq miles)

See List of Largest Lakes in the United States by area

4.18.2016

Own the Atlanta Braves



Braves stock plunges in first day of trading

Excerpt:

The Atlanta Braves' first day on Wall Street went about as well as the team's play on the diamond in the 2016 season. The Liberty Braves tracking stock’s Series A shares (NASDAQ: BATRA) opened at $36 a share, but fell 44.6 percent to close at $19.95 a share.The stock’s Series C shares (NASDAQ: BATRK) opened at $27 and closed down 26.1 percent at $19.14 a share.
Comment: We own the Toronto Blue Jays (RCI)

Hope springs eternal – after writing the IRS on #TaxDay for decades, I am still waiting for a response.




Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld filed for an extension on his taxes last week, like millions of other Americans. Unlike most, he included a personal note to declare his disgust with the incredibly complex U.S. tax system.

Excerpt:

"I remain mystified as to whether our tax returns and tax payments estimates are accurate," he wrote in a letter that he also tweeted. "The possession of a college degree, retention of an experienced tax accounting firm and earnest application have failed to provide confidence that my returns and payments are properly completed."
Comment: His tweet. I echo his view

4.08.2016

Breaking Bad - my simple review



Yesterday my brother and I watched the final two episodes of Breaking Bad (Netflix). My history with Breaking Bad:

  • I missed the series completely when it originally aired - except the final episode
  • My brother and I began watching it about 18 months ago. I think there are almost 70 episodes and it took us some time to watch as we only get together from time to time.
  • My review is simple - my view of five of the main characters



  • Walt starts as a nerdish, bright, no-so-successful chemistry teacher with cancer.
  • At the beginning of the series he is a moral man
  • He devolves into a murdering monster


  • Walt's wife.
  • A very good, loving mother
  • Midway through the series she becomes complicit in Walt's criminal activity while remaining naive about the darker elements of Walt's life
  • At the end, she is horrified by her actions


  • Walt's brother-in-law and a DEA agent
  • My favorite character (or close to)
  • Hank is a moral man who remains moral throughout the series - a man of principle! Spoiler: Dies in penultimate episode.


  • At the beginning a dope-head loser kid
  • At the end a man who has developed a conscience.
  • There is hope for Jesse.


  • The innocent son who believes in his father
  • At the end, knowing his father's wickedness, completely rejects him (and refuses his father's money)
  • I identify with Flynn because we share a common handicap. Flynn and I both walk with crutches
My brother's view: He used to view Band of Brothers as the best series on TV. He views Breaking Bad as topping that. 

Should you watch? Decide for yourself. Christianity Today: Why We Need Breaking Bad