July 27, 2006 at 9:36 a.m.
An eight-year-old boy hit two holes-in-one with the same golf ball within 20 minutes. Harrison Vonderau and his dad were playing in a father and son tournament at a course in Cleveland, Ohio. He made the first ace using his pitching wedge. Harrison used his nine iron when he repeated the feat 20 minutes later.
Professional golfer John Daly has faced a variety of personal demons throughout his life. He gambles, smokes and, some say, hasn’t always made perfect choices in marriage. He has also struggled with alcohol He says that he now limits his consumption to beer. On the course, he says he has improved his game by, “Aiming for the middle green.”
I heard Garrison Kiellor say on one of his Prairie Home Companion shows, “Going to church no more makes you a Christian than sleeping in the garage makes you an automobile.”
Parishioners at the Central United Methodist Church in near Stockton, California had left the bats in the church alone for a decade. A recent population explosion of the winged mammals changed their minds. An estimated 1000 bats were nesting in the rafters of the church. Fearing stench from the bats, the parishioners decided that the roof needed to be torn off. The Reverend David Bennett joked that after listening to his sermons, maybe the bats are now “rabid Christians.”
Local TV and radio stations recently commented about the 94-wheel truck that was headed our way. The huge vehicle was moving as slow as five miles-per-hour as it moved a 230 ton industrial dryer across Wisconsin and Minnesota. A Typical load for an 18-wheeler is 40 tons. The 94-wheeler gets about two miles-per gallon.
I’ve always considered myself an environmentalist. I’d like to own a car that gets good gas mileage and limits emissions. I’ve thought about a hybrid. I know a couple of people who own those odd-looking Toyotas. (I must be getting used to them because I saw a deep red one of them the other day and thought, “That’s a cute little car.”) A friend of mine from Davenport, Iowa has one. He tells me that his gas mileage plummets in cold weather. Perhaps this is not the right choice as long as most of my driving is in Minnesota.
A flex-fuel vehicle also has appeal....cleaner emissions, BUT fewer miles-per-gallon. When they started making ethanol, it took about 1.2 gallons of traditional fuel to produce one gallon of ethanol. Technological changes now allow a gallon of ethanol from .8 gallons. Better, but I’m not sure that’s the solution, yet.
That guy who married my daughter explained to me why diesels are more efficient and produce more torque (towing power). We’ve all followed a diesel vehicle and followed a diesel vehicle and observed the black, smelly emissions. Doesn’t seem like an environmentally friendly choice.
However, I’ve heard that will change, soon. Until now, most domestic diesel fuels have contained around 400 parts-per-million of sulfur (the black, smelly stuff). By this fall, we’re supposed to be able to buy diesel with 15/million (It’s already 15/million in Europe). It’s also my understanding that all diesels can burn any kind of diesel fuels, so, when and if bio-diesel becomes available, we could use domestically produced fuel.
Of course, the number and variety of diesel powered cars is quite ;limited in the U.S. I know that VW, Audi an Mercedes-Benz diesels are available. I suppose there are others. I’ve heard there will be more on the market next year.
Amidst all the talk about gas prices, I just heard on the radio that Americans continue to use gasoline at record rates. According to the report, three summer 2006 weeks rank in the all-time top five for gasoline sales. All this driving at the same time as the average price for gas ($3.02/gallon) is the highest ever. That price supplanted the previous high that was recorded during the hurricane season in the fall of 2005. Considering inflation, the price is the second highest ever. The highest ever prices, compared to income, were recorded in 1981.
I am conflicted.
Speaking of conflicted, the last time I bought a computer was 1992. It no longer works, but it still sits in the basement. I have intentions to replace it. However, every time I find the “perfect machine,” somebody tells me to wait until some new feature is available. First, it was more memory. Then it was more speed, then a CD reader, then a reader/writer, then DVD, ...Then, Then, Then.
I’m always waiting for the right computer at the right price.
I remain conflicted.
According to the Minnesota Beef Council, it takes about 3000 cowhides to provide enough leather to the supply the National Football League with footballs for one season. Wilson Sporting Goods can make 11 basketballs from the hide from a single cow.
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