Friday, September 26, 2008

Football At It's Best

This week we had the opportunity to attend our nephew's football game. We had a great time and enjoyed the spirit and energy these seven year olds had. I never thought I would say this...but I got tired just watching them.

Here are a few pictures....Of course we have to have at least one picture of the athletic "scratch".

And now...The future Minnesota Vikings...

Of course, we have the armchair quarterbacks who are critiquing all the moves.

Me,Chris,Harv,Molly and Joyce.

And of course....Chris talking politics to me. Man, this politics stuff can get complicated!

The weather was great for the kids...nice and dry and cool. About an hour after the game ended the skies opened up and the thunder and lightning kicked in...Big time. I think I picked the wrong evening to fly a kite.

Tune in again real soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Think This Would Work

All this talk about, why must we make things so complicated and open for corruption?

I received this plan via email and I am in favor of it. What do you think?

The Birk Economic Recovery Plan

I'm against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a “We Deserve It Dividend”.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.

A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

This even takes care of the AIG employees that lose their job.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.

If you had insurance from AIG, now you have the money to replace it with a more stable company.

Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads

Put away money for college - it'll be there

Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car - create jobs

Invest in the market - capital drives growth

Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it. Sell off its parts.

Let American General go back to being American General.

Sell off the real estate.

Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.

Sure it's a crazy idea that can "never work."

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion “We Deserve It Dividend” more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC.

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

And theoretically with the boost to the economy most of these people would be more productive and pay enough in additional taxes over a 5 to 10 year period to repay the $59.5 Billion.

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,


T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen

The world is a mess right now, but I am really interested in first taking care of our own. That plan seems to take care of our citizens problems and helping the greater whole at the same time.

Food for thought!

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back In Minnesota

As you may have read in my last blog, we dipped into South Dakota on our last adventure. As much as we like being out of state, after about a half hour it was good to be home. :)

One of the cool things about Southwest Minnesota is the abundance of wind for energy.

We found this farm where the farmer collects windmills.

Meanwhile, power companies have erected these giant windmills in SW Minnesota to harness wind energy for power. At build out, this windmill farm will have 900 windmills.

Only one other state in the U.S. generates more electricity than Minnesota using wind power. Windy folks we are indeed!

Here are a couple of pictures from Splitrock Creek State Park.. I wish I had taken more pictures as it is a great place.

Pipestone is another small town in the area that is unique. Many of the buildings there are made from local materials...Pipestone.

So there we have it my friends, a look at our little adventure. I hope you enjoyed it.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Pictures...And A Few Words

I found a few more pictures on the camera for you from our recent camping trip.

What would camping be without a campfire?

State parks no longer allow people to bring in their own firewood because of some infestation of bugs. You must buy "certified" firewood at the campground for $4.00 a bundle. What a rip. Here I sit with enough firewood at home to supply all the parks for a year. Oh well, we had better have more campfires at home before the wood rots.

When we are out on the back roads we always spot interesting things, like this tattoo shop and an Amish sign. I don't think the two are related as we didn't see any Amish.

Since we were so close to South Dakota we slipped over the border for a peek.

This town is famous as Jesse James road through there while escaping from Northfield,Minnesota after he and his gang robbed the bank there.

Tune again soon for another edition of"Now What Are They Doing?"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not What You Expected

I know I promised to maybe wrap up our latest trip with words and pictures...but I don't think that will happen.

I received a call this morning at 1:30 from the police department saying that approximately 30 people needed lodging after a shooting at an apartment complex.

Apparently someone of interest barricaded themselves in one of the units and officials wanted to clear the area for safety purposes.

All of our "guests" are bedded down now and things are quiet until they can go back home.

Things must be progressing slowly because it is 5am and everyone is still here.

In my attempt to keep some humor flowing this early Sunday morning I dug back into a cute email our daughter in-law Anna sent recently.

I hope you enjoy it.


1. Go to a second-hand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 work boots.

2. Place them on your front porch, along with several empty beer cans, a copy of Guns & Ammo magazine and several NRA magazines.

3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.

4. Leave a note on your door that reads:

'Hey Bubba, Big Jim, Duke and Slim, I went to the gun shop for more ammunition. Back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls -- they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad. I don't think Killer took part in it but it was hard to tell from all the blood.

PS - I locked all four of 'em in the house. Better wait outside.'


Till next time...Stop back soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day Three

Almost a week after the trip it is getting hard to remember what day was what so these may be a bit out of order...oh well, a picture is a picture.

All of the state parks we visited are very rich in Indian history. There was much turmoil when the white man came in and tried moving the native population and that lead to several huge uprisings.

The cabin you will see below belonged to a settler family who had made friends with the Indians and often gave them food. During the last big uprising the family was tipped off by the Indians that there was going to be trouble so they fled for their lives.

The dad did not make it and the mom and kids got split up but eventually made it to Mankato, MN, a distance of nearly 100 miles. They were injured and not all of them survived.

It was in Mankato a few years later that the US government held the largest mass execution. Thirty eight Indians were hanged for their part of the uprising. More that 100 were scheduled to go to the gallows but President Lincoln commuted their sentences.

This was a very ugly time in our nations history.

The next target on our hit list was Blue Mounds State Park. This was another great park. They even had buffalo.

I have lots more to show you but I also have some chores that need to be done before we head off to a wedding today.

As I like to say..."Tune in again real soon for another edition of Now What Are They Doing?"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Park Map Update

I still have more pictures to post from last weekend's trip but thought I would update our "Parks visited" map. Man, we have a long way to go, but at least we have a start.
Click pic for larger view.

We have been to almost every state park in Minnesota but we are now "officially" visiting and getting our log books stamped at each location.

The nights are sure getting cooler here in Minnesota and the leaves are really turning and falling.

At Coyote Ridge, we have a wide variety of trees with some of them dropping their leaves early (now) and some much later. At this point I am chopping the fallen leaves with the tractor mower about once a week. In another month I have to chop about every two days. That method sure beats raking!

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Conclusion Of Day Two....Almost

After being exposed to all those fuzzy crop duster plane pictures, I am surprised that anyone came back again. Those who know me understand that I tend to obsess a bit...OK...a lot. You should see me at an airshow. So many little time!

As we continued our trip to visit area state parks we drove through Appleton,Minnesota and spotted a prison partially hidden behind some trees.

Imagine that, trying to block the view of a prison. Seeing it was neat in that a person who I used to work with is now employed there as a physiologist. I guess they have to listen to her there because they are a captive audience!

A bit further down the road we visited another state park that had an interesting old mission.

Just south of there was another state park that had Native American roots and some beautiful scenery.

That campground even had these unique campsites you could rent.

Wow, what a day! Maybe in the next blog we will do a wrap up with a few more pictures and some statistics about our quest for the "all parks visited" award.

Tune in again real soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day Two Continued

Day two was another great day. As you read in the previous blog, we drove to the northern most park on this trip and started heading south again to hit some more "targets".

All of a sudden a yellow plane came swooping down over the highway laying down chemicles...WOW....this is WAY cool! Airplanes and toxic chemicals are what I am all about. Sue.....stop the truck, we have to get out and get a closer look.

So there we are looking up to the sky with our mouths wide open. From the sheer excitement of the moment I am sure I was even breathing heavy!

I am a real sucker for airplanes, so I did get a bit carried away with pictures.

I have lots more to talk about from day two,but I will leave that for another time.

Tune in again real soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Part Of Day Two

Thanks for coming back to visit!

As you may have read in the last blog, Sue and I decided to take a 3 and a half day weekend and go camping and touring. That we did, and lots of the later.

Part of our mission in life is to visit all 70 Minnesota State Parks. We made a good dent in that number traveling around Southwest and Western Minnesota during our trip.

From our base at Camden State Park near Marshall, Minnesota we took off Saturday morning and drove through Minneota, Minnesota. This is where my Mother In-Law's mother, Hope was born.

There is a very majestic building in town called "The Big Store" that was run for many years by a family member.

From there we traveled a couple of hours north to Ortonville, Minnesota where a state park is located.

Ortonville has a very quaint downtown.

Ortonville is also where the Minnesota River begins. It runs for hundreds of miles south, then east and finally north where it dumps into the mighty Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

There is very good fishing in the Ortonville area. In fact my brother-in-law's father-in-law (John) has a summer place up there. Hey Bob H., is this were John parks his camper?

We saw lots more that day but I want to make sure you come back soon, so I will write more about day 2 real soon.

Tune in again for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"