And I’m not even Republican

May 30th, 2009

I’ve been known to criticize my congressman a bit here on this blog. It really isn’t personal. And for anyone who may think otherwise, perhaps this invitation I received in today’s mail will convince you:

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But what can I get for the man who has everything?

Contributions are limited to $2,400 per person …

Images to reflect Oklahoma democracy

May 29th, 2009

News aggregator Topix is advertising a new feature:

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Sounds like fun, however I don’t think any of these photos will be getting many votes from Okies. Come to think of it, it would be kind of like voting for a candidate in many state elections.

Actually, the Oklahoma photos are here. Ones like this guy explaining how there’s no reason for folks to worry about the swine flu  little piggy H1N1 virus.

And you’d better hurry. Considering the origination of these photos, I have a feeling this Topix feature won’t be around long.

White is cool with Obama

May 27th, 2009

Call me a racist, but when we started to build our home 25 years ago, I thought I’d be more comfortable living with whites rather than darks. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against darkies. It’s just that I thought, in this part of the country, it would be better to live as a good ol’ whitey. And I’m not ashamed to admit I still feel that way. To my surprise, so does President Obama.

US wants to paint the world white

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Tuesday the Obama administration wanted to paint roofs an energy-reflecting white, as he took part in a climate change symposium in London.

Yep, we have a honky roof. Well, actually it’s more like a cracker. Perhaps I should explain.

My Okie roof
We built our house in three sections, two of which have slab like roof construction which result in vaulted style ceilings. The outer surface consists of conventional white fiberglass/asphalt shingles over roofing felt and plywood attached to 2X10 rafters. (These are actual 2X10’s salvaged from an old warehouse.)
Approximately 1.5 inches below that a radiant barrier is attached between the rafters similar to the photo at right. Then comes the fiberglass batts. A layer of 4 mil polyethylene is used as a vapor barrier. The area between the plywood and radiant barrier is vented by soffit and ridge vents. This roof section is about 18 years old.

Another, older, roof section is similarly constructed except that it uses shallow cathedral trusses and the radiant barrier is 1/8 inch thick laminated paper with foil on both sides.

White shingle valuation
First of all, it should be noted that white fiberglass/asphalt shingles are only marginally cooler in direct sun than darker colored shingles. The difference is much less than that of a white and black metal surface such as a car body. Good ventilation is likely a greater cooling factor than the color of the shingles. However, I feel even a 10-15 degree cooler roof slightly helps with not only energy costs, but also roof sheathing degradation. The latter is of special concern due to the heat reflected by the radiant barrier.

No way around it, white shingles are just plain uglier than dark shingles. While few people ever see our house in the woods, this fact could affect resale value for urban and suburban homes. Conversely, white shingles do usually cost less.

All in all, for the vast majority of Okies with composition roofs, we’d probably save more energy, and money, with white roofs on our cars than on our homes. Now, metal roofs are another story:

  • Black acrylic paint: 142deg. F
  • Galvanized steel: 138deg. F
  • Red acrylic paint: 106deg. F
  • Light green acrylic paint: 104deg. F
  • White acrylic paint: 74deg. F
  • Hyper white” acrylic paint : 65deg. F

DUI checkpoint not adding up

May 26th, 2009

Every once in a while a DUI checkpoint is set up here in Little Axe. They have been located just off of Hwy 9 on 156th St. Police were there again this Memorial Day weekend, Sunday from 5pm – 9pm.

Officers stopped all motorists traveling north and south bound on NE 156th, evaluating a total of 653 vehicles. Charges filed as a result of the checkpoint were;

1 Driving Under the influence (DUI)

1 Driving Under Revocation

And chances are if it was an elected official that got the DUI, he will get off anyway.

Now I’m all for getting impaired drivers off the road, but I question whether the resources used to conduct the operation might be used more effectively in other ways.

Officers working on the checkpoint were working extra duty with funding coming from the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and the 2M2L grant. The Norman Police Department is aware of the importance of keeping intoxicated drivers off the roadways this holiday weekend. Norman officers sacrificed their personal holiday plans with their families and decided to work extra duty to reduce the number of intoxicated drivers and ensure safe roadways for the community.

Based on my experience of traveling Hwy 9 within Norman for three decades, I’d bet dollars to donuts that utilizing those officers in normal traffic patrol along that highway from between 11pm and 3am on a Friday or Saturday night would reap greater results in not only DUI’s, but also license, insurance, and driving violations.

And the 2M2L grants? 2M2L is a statewide initiative focused on reducing and preventing underage drinking. Their money is likely better spent on funding a different type of compliance check:

… a tool used by law enforcement to identify alcohol retailers that sell alcohol to underage youth.

Small Monument, Big Debt

May 25th, 2009
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How automakers can reduce repairs

May 23rd, 2009

So, President Obama wants to see a “leaner, meaner” GM and Chrysler.

Something like Nissan, maybe.

Listening to Car Talk last week, I heard Tom and Ray comment on how they were unable to obtain a part to repair the fuel system on a seven year old Nissan. Nissan said the part was no longer available and they weren’t making any more. Now that is lean and mean! And smart! Not only will a company show better repair records when there are no parts to fix them, it also takes the guess work out of deciding whether to repair your car or junk it.

Free stuff from Okie blogs

May 22nd, 2009

Today in Idabel Oklahoma is giving away Weeds.
77 counties is giving away Tulsa Zoo tickets.
Drawing the Motmot offers an mp3 of the Panama forest.
Oklahoma Rock Newsblog is giving away the link to the 2009 Norman Music Festival online rebroadcast.
D-USA has free German radio.
From the Faraway, Nearby has Tango dance lessons.

It’s not the size of the pole

May 22nd, 2009

It’s how many.

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And another reason you can tell this guy is one serious angler. That little red wagon happens to be a Radio Flyer.

Senator Tom, come on down

May 21st, 2009

Now that President Obama has ordered a phase-in of increased vehicle fuel economy standards, our own Sen. Tom Coburn is worried:

What if you want to drive a gas hog? You don’t have the right any longer in this country to spend the money to drive a gas hog?

Not to worry, Tom, I’ve got just the thing for you right here in Little Axe. And I’ll bet one of those banks you voted to bail out will give you a good deal on a loan, too.

Truth be told?

May 18th, 2009

Catherine Crabill is a GOP nominee in Virginia’s 99th House District. In her own words:

… I did and do believe that our government was culpable in the OKC bombing. This was not based on a “conspiracy theory” but on the analysis of Brigadier General Benton K. Partin (retired) who resides in Alexandria, Virginia who is an expert in weapons development. General Partin spent his own time and his own money personally visiting the site in OKC and publishing his analysis. … General Partin’s assessment was brilliant and as far as I will ever be concerned, irrefutable.

I really don’t believe that all the facts surrounding the bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Building are known to the public. However, I’m not convinced this is a good idea.

every statewide Republican candidate (plus Rep. Rob Wittman and possibly non-statewide ones too) needs to be asked whether they agree with Crabill that “our government was culpable in the OKC bombing.”

Especially since we are talking about the state of Virginia.

I mean questioning politicians because of what some of them believe would be like asking all Oklahoma Dems and Repubs if they believe in tax evasion, embezzlement, perjury, fraud, bribery…. For one thing, if every one of them was hooked up to a lie detector and answered truthfully, the State Legislature might not even get a quorum to do their business. Then what shape would us Okies be in?