• Old Photos: Life On A Farm

    This post is dedicated to my favorite farm-lady and the best commenter ever – Donna W. The following photos were taken in 1945 in Josephsville, MO. Narrated by some old guy.

    In my day we didn’t have the Easter Egg Hunt, we had to hunt for eggs every day, because we were hungry, that’s why.

    Close-up of girl collecting eggs from nest.

    Close-up of girl collecting eggs from nest. © Time Inc.Wallace Kirkland

    In my day there was no entertainment, we had to quilt all day long and listen to Eunice’s old jokes every day; that damn Eunice, I get a heartburn just thinking about her.

    Women quilting.

    Women quilting.© Time Inc.Wallace Kirkland

    In my day kids didn’t sit around and watch TV, they had to haul firewood long distance uphill both ways, and only rich people could afford wheels.

    Boy hauling in days supply of wood.

    Boy hauling in days supply of wood.© Time Inc.Wallace Kirkland

    In my day we didn’t go fishing for fun and we didn’t have us no fancy boats; we had to go catch us some dinner.

    Farmer and son heading for pond to catch fish for dinner.

    Farmer and son heading for pond to catch fish for dinner.© Time Inc.Wallace Kirkland

    In my day we had to churn our own butter, and churn and churn and churn; damn kids get off my lawn!

    Woman sitting in chair and churning butter.

    Woman sitting in chair and churning butter.© Time Inc.Wallace Kirkland

    In my day we only got to keep the back side of a cow, we had to sell the front half to the government.

    Farmer milking cow.

    Farmer milking cow.© Time Inc.Wallace Kirkland

    In my day we couldn’t afford the rubber tires, you were lucky to get round wheels on your tractor. Have you ever tried tractoring with square wheels? I thought so!

    Farmer sitting on plow.

    Farmer sitting on plow.© Time Inc.Wallace Kirkland

    In my day you’d already get yourself a whipping if you sat around and read all this stuff for this long. Damn whippersnappers!

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  • Who’s Who In Economic Crisis

    toiletpaper-moneyGuardian published an interesting list of 25 people it the heart of the meltdown listing 25 individuals and entities who (in their opinion) had a hand in our current economic situation. As indicated in the comments to the article, not everyone agrees with their choices which include Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and others. Other people think that Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Milton Freedman deserve to be included as well.

    My favorite nominee – American and British Public:

    There’s no escaping the fact: politicians might have teed up the financial system and failed to police it properly and Wall Street’s greedy bankers might have got carried away with the riches they could generate, but if millions of Americans had just realized they were borrowing more than they could repay then we would not be in this mess. The British public got just as carried away. We are the credit junkies of Europe and many of our problems could easily have been avoided if we had been more sensible and just said no.

    To that I add overly-encouraging real estate agents, overestimating appraisers, extra-helpful mortgage brokers and anyone who profited on these loans. The reason the scheme worked is that it was structured as a multi-level-marketing pyramid with profits multiplying at the top, while the bottom supplied new applicants. These were the members of the public too, just as guilty as the rest.

    I wrote about it earlier, but some years ago I was predicting this collapse when it still sounded a lot like conspiracy theory and I’d like to be included in the list of people who saw this coming. I guess I am always pessimistic (and defeatist) anyway so my predictions didn’t sound out of character.Right now my pessimistic worldview tells me that no one knows how to get out of the crisis. Many qualified people offer solutions both in academia and business but any action would be experimental, and I can only hope it will be easy on the test subjects.

    In the meantime I’d like to wish all victims of the economic crimes, especially local Sprint employees, good luck. Every day I think about what would happen if I lose my job and nothing encouraging comes to mind, so I feel for the people who have to make these choices today, on someone else’s terms, in this economy. There is no question your company was mismanaged and robbed and it’s not your fault (unless you are the one who did the mismanaging and robbing, then it’s your fault, I hope you invested with Madoff). I hope you will find something soon, a secure well-paying job where your talents will be appreciated. You’ll be better off even if the pay is not the same. Good luck!

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  • Homey Don’t Eat That Crap!

    in_living_color_homey_the_clown_dont_play_dat-t-linkRecently State of Missouri made an announcement about repealing some old ban on “yellow-tinted imitation butter and the other restrictions imposed on the sale, possession or shipment of substitute sandwich spread that is a different hue”. The question is why would anyone want to eat this crap in the first place. I understand that the law was written for different reasons but I wouldn’t mind them actually enforcing it to get fake products out of our grocery stores. And while they are at it, they might as well get rid of

    • disgusting turkey bacon
    • any food that has the word “flavored” in it’s name
    • products that have ingredients that can’t be explained
    • things that have artificial coloring (I wonder what their real color is)
    • fruits and vegetables possessing some unnatural characteristics such as crunchy tomatoes and strawberries
    • breads that can be compressed to 1/10 of original volume
    • anything in green packaging, green doesn’t mean healthy, it’s just a color
    • no-fat sour cream
    • rename rice- and soy-milk into rice- and soy-juice or whatever; it’s not milk even if it’s white
    • non-dairy dairy products
    • artificial powdered coffee creamer, WTF is that made of anyway
    • cheese in a can and powdered cheese
    • stop McRib comebacks

    I am not a believer in things that are “good for you”, or “locavores”, or “slow foods”, or whatever else is in fashion right now. I do believe that if you want butter, you should eat butter, not some yellow crap in a tub. If you are unable to eat some foods due to health reasons, just enjoy something else, don’t eat fake chemical concoction designed in the lab to fool your senses.

    In these times when most of our activities had been replaced by imaginary and virtual things, maybe we should draw the line at fake foods. Homey don’t eat that crap!

    UPDATE: How could I forget the scam that  is organic food. Thanks, L.L.!

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  • Old Photos: Vintage Kansas City

    On my rare visit to Barnes and Noble, a store that encourages consumer to buy books online, I discovered a new batch of books containing vintage photos of Kansas City and other nearby places of interest. While I admire the effort to collect and annotate enough historic photos for a book, I don’t see myself paying over $20 for one of them. I am afraid many of these will be read at the coffee shop upstairs.

    Luckily there are plenty of old photos online to entertain a cheap person like myself and even some books that can be read and downloaded for free. For example, check out A Birthday Book Of Kansas City 1821-1921 by Charles Phelps Cushing (obviously you should do it at work). The following photos and captions are taken from this book.

    Kansas City

    The Past and Present, on this block there is one of the newest and one of the oldest buildings in Kansas City. At Tenth Street and Grand Ave. arises the frame of the new Federal Bank Building. The oldest church building still in church use in Kansas City is the Catholic Church of St.Peter and St.Paul. southwest corner of Ninth and McGee streets. Sarvent

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  • Personal Recollections Of The Terrible Kansas Blizzard of 1886

    We interrupt our tropical coverage to bring you this gripping account of the Blizzard of 1886 (or as we call it in present “Tuesday”)

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