In rare agreement with Governor Dayton

Dayton vetoes fireworks bill, citing hazards

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill to allow the sale and use of a wide array of consumer fireworks, including aerial rockets and firecrackers. He said in a veto letter, issued less than 90 minutes before the midnight deadline on Saturday, that it's "government's foremost responsibility to protect the safety and the well-being of its citizens." The bill, sponsored by Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, and Sen. Mike Jungbauer, R-East Bethel, allowed the sale and use of the full range of consumer fireworks in Minnesota, but only between June 1 and July 7. He noted that after Minnesota legalized ground-based fireworks such as sparklers and small cones in 2002, injuries have spiked, particularly among young people.
Comment: Because I have a neighbor who thinks it is appropriate to launch bottle rockets without any consideration as to what house they may hit or whose yard they land in. (I've visited and talked directly to the man and also called the police about the issue another time). The sound of a bottle rocket hitting my siding is an irritant.


On the hook

Public on hook for Vikings stadium overruns


The agreement to build a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium in Minneapolis features a key difference from the plan to build the project in Ramsey County and even from the Minnesota Twins' new Target Field. Once it is built, any Vikings stadium operating cost overruns ultimately will be the public's responsibility. And not just overruns. The public will be legally obligated to maintain the stadium "in a manner that is first-class and consistent with comparable" National Football League stadiums -- a clause that could translate into substantial future costs
Comment: Once again demonstrates that MN legislators are not really representing the people. Agents of the NFL and the Vikings!


Note to the Minnesota Republican Party

Minnesota Republican Party gets eviction notice over missed rent; official says talks ongoing Excerpt:

Minnesota's debt-plagued Republican Party has been served with an eviction notice for its party headquarters after failing to pay its rent payments since August. The party's landlord filed the notice last week in Ramsey County court and it is scheduled to be heard next Tuesday. Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Pat Shortridge told party members in a memo Thursday that officials are trying to renegotiate the lease to get one that better fits space and cost needs. The GOP has 21 months remaining on a lease with Hub Properties Trust for space a block from the state Capitol. Shortridge revealed that the rent hadn't been paid in eight months. The Minnesota GOP owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to various vendors
Comments: Please don't ask me to to support the Minnesota GOP until you get your fiscal act together. You are a disappointing joke. And I am a Republican!


The Killer Commute

Killer Commute
Created by: CollegeAtHome.com Comment: Suggestion came via the contact form. I'm telecommuting today!

The return of Phillips 66

Assessing ConocoPhillips And Phillips 66 After The Breakup

ConocoPhillips' (COP) upcoming spin-off of Phillips 66 (PSX) began trading yesterday, allowing investors to see how the market has valued the two separate pieces.

ConocoPhillips will retain the "upstream" businesses of oil exploration and production, making Conoco a large pure-play on Petroleum. COP closed on a when-issued basis of $57/shr, assigning the parent a $71 billion market cap.

Phillips 66 consists of mid-stream pipelines and collection, refineries, chemicals and some natural gas production assets. Shares closed at $34/shr, assigning a market value of $21.7 billion.
Phillips 66 Looks to Pipes to Blunt Refining Volatility

Phillips 66 will debut next month as the world’s largest independent refiner by market value. In the future, it may look more like a pipeline and chemical business.

The new Houston-based company, set to begin trading May 1 after its spinoff from ConocoPhillips (COP), plans to boost profit by emphasizing growth in its higher-return businesses and shrink its more volatile fuel processing.

Greg Garland, slated to become chief executive officer, will update investors in a webcast today on its outlook as a standalone company. Phillips 66 is trying to sell its Trainer refinery in Pennsylvania and Alliance plant in Louisiana that provide about a sixth of its capacity.
ConocoPhillips’ Board of Directors Approves Spin-off of Phillips 66

The two new companies will be separated through the distribution of shares of Phillips 66 to holders of ConocoPhillips common stock. This distribution is expected to occur after market close on April 30, 2012. ConocoPhillips shareholders will receive one share of Phillips 66 common stock for every two shares of ConocoPhillips common stock held at the close of business on the record date of April 16, 2012.

Following the distribution of Phillips 66 common stock, Phillips 66 will be an independent, publicly traded company, and ConocoPhillips will retain no ownership interest. Phillips 66 has received approval for the listing of its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PSX.
Comment: But it won't be the old familiar gas stations.


A guy who walks around with a bunch of bodyguards criticizes self-defense laws

A guy who walks around with a bunch of bodyguards criticizes self-defense laws


If we all had half a dozen bodyguards to protect us like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, we might all think that Florida's "stand your ground" law and other self defense measures were a "license to murder." But most of us aren't that lucky - which is why most of us thank the Lord that we live in a country with a second amendment.
Comment: If the police were everywhere, we wouldn't need the 2nd Amendment ... But then we would be a police state!


It's Romney ... now which gap to close?

Santorum Suspends Presidential Campaign

Obama Leads Romney in Poll That Shows 19-Point Gender Gap


Obama is boosted by his support among women, a constituency that favors him by 19 percentage points over Romney
Comment: The Republicans have two traditional gaps ... blacks (which will vote overwhelmingly for Obama) and Hispanics. The third gap is women. The third gap may have been why McCain chose Palin. That was exciting for about a day. Shortly thereafter the enthusiasm waned when Republicans (at least the ones I know) questioned whether she was qualified to step into the highest office. I suspect that the gender gap will promote a female governor to the head of the VP list.

7 Items not on your Credit Report

7 Items Your Credit Report Won't Reveal


Here are seven items that lenders won't see when they pull your credit report.
  1. Your salary
  2. Your employment status
  3. Your spouse's credit history
  4. Your criminal past
  5. Medical debt (unless it goes to collections)
  6. Nontraditional loans
  7. Your net worth
Comment: The last time I applied for a mortgage I had to provide:
  1. Pay stubs for several previous pay periods
  2. A basic net worth statement backed up with statements


He "suffered under Pontius Pilate"

Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” (John 19:6)
Apostles' Creed

United Methodist text:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,[31] the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Comment: The Pilate Stone discovered in June 1961 by Italian archaeologists while excavating an ancient theater is the only universally accepted archaeological find with an inscription mentioning the name "Pontius Pilatus" to date


Get The Day Of The Week From A Date

HT: www.theexceladdict.com

Have you ever needed in Excel to populate the day of week in a separate column? Two easy ways:

Method 1:


Method 2:



Adelita's Mexican Restaurant

Adelita's Mexican Restaurant

 Comment: Very nice. Dinner after work tonight. Very clean and good service.

Where Mom lived in 1943

Comment: Dad was off to war. Mom was a stenographer for the Selective Service System in Grand Rapids, MI. Below: 1943 phone directory

Zoomed in image. That's my Mother - Cleone H (Hayward) Peet
Lived at 644 Union (She rented a room here)
In 1978 Kathee and I moved to Grand Rapids and lived just a couple of miles away. Details here

Dad's 1930 Census Record

Comment: From ancestry.com Dad was 12 at the time of the 1930 census


Update on Canceling a Credit Card

Back in December we made a decision (detailed here: Canceling a Credit Card ) to eliminate 1 of our three credit cards. We just weren't using it and I wanted to simplify our financial lives by having two instead of three. The problem was that the said credit card was our oldest credit card history wise (going back 20+ years). The credit card vendor warned us that our FICO score would go up if we canceled that card. In my letter to them (I got the idea from the Web), I requested this of them:
In addition, please include on our credit report that the account was closed at our own request and that the account was in good standing at the time it was closed.
We use MyFico to track our credit (ID theft, scoring, etc). We received our quarterly FICO report this week and our credit score is identical to the previous time (in the 800's). Note (the image above), that the reporting indicates that the account was closed at our request.

Critter in the attic - update

Animal control is at the house now. Kathee is at the house and reports:

The raccoon's access is via a juniper tree on the S side of the house. There is evidence of skat by that tree. There are 2 access holes: one on the front porch where the garage roof line intersects with the porch roof line and there is a small overhang in a corner there. And the other is in the back.

Animal control theorizes that the raccoon fell through the one in the back. Animal control will trap the animal and seal the holes. He recommends that we have the juniper removed as well as a tree by the kitchen window.


Critter(s) in the attic

Minnesota Wild Animal Management

Monday night after dark we heard an animal in the attic (near the front above the dinning room).

Tuesday Kathee inspected the front of the house to see it there was any hole or access point. None found.

Saturday Kathee did a walk around the house and found a large section of soffit (about 14" x 20") on the ground. At the roof line under the gutter.

We have a walk out rambler and the place where the soffit section has been removed is probably 23-25' off the ground. The roof line there has a little jut over the porch so there is an angled area where a critter was able to leverage itself and pry the soffit away. The bent piece of soffit was on the ground. How animal control works this:
  • They set traps (on the roof)
  • They will monitor the traps for 5 days
  • Upon successful trapping they will seal the hole (either straighten the existing piece of soffit or put in a new one)
I suspect a raccoon as we have seen what we believe to be raccoon tracks on the raised deck (which itself is 12' above ground level)


Dad's first job

Comments: Brother dug this up and scanned it. Dad (b 3/29/1918) only went to 2 years of High School and started work here at the age of 14. Building is no longer there. I saw this when it was a kid. It was across the tracks from town. Map to Alto

How NBC inflamed the Trayvon Martin case

NBC to do ‘internal investigation’ on Zimmerman segment

NBC's edited account


The difference between what “Today” put on its air and the actual tape? Complete: In the “Today” version, Zimmerman volunteered that this person “looks black,” a sequence of events that would more readily paint Zimmerman as a racial profiler. In reality’s version, Zimmerman simply answered a question about the race of the person whom he was reporting to the police. Nothing prejudicial at all in responding to such an inquiry.
Actual event:
Comment: Click link for video