There were a few raindrops on the way from Rosebud to Kosse last night. I was able to run the intermittent wiper blades through two cycles.
It's been quiet in Kosse this week. I think it has to do with school starting and the heat. Labor day is less than two weeks away. I always associate Labor Day with the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. Now in his eighties, Jerry Lewis has had to take less of a role in hosting the telethon, but there were many years he was onstage from beginning to end of the thirty-six hour event. It is generally acknowledged the single biggest moment in telethon history was in 1976, when Dean Martin showed up unexpectedly onstage with Lewis at the behest of Frank Sinatra. The significance of this was that Martin and Lewis had not spoken in over twenty years. They were one of the biggest comedy teams of the 1950's but got into a major disagreement, broke up their act, and held a great amount of bitterness. Their conflict was highly-publicized and most assumed their grudges would never be overcome. I found a video of their surprise reunion. It is easy to see the initial nervousness of Jerry Lewis. Click for video.
Cat-killing raccoons are terrorizing Olympia, Washington. Click for article. I know little about killer raccoons, but I do know we had a dog in the mid-70's that was a swine attacker. Rover Rasco was probably the smartest dog to ever be part of the Rasco family. I swear there were times I thought he understood English. Anyway, we were in the hog-raising business at the time. One day a barrow got out of the fence and came moseying through our yard. Perhaps Rover Rasco felt he was protecting the homestead, but for some reason he attacked the walking pork. We were able to stop the assault before the possibility of rigor mortis setting in, but the barrow was very much the loser in the encounter. From that day forward, Rover Rasco was determined to devour our hog herd. We made sure the fences prevented a repeat of the unfortunate hog-maul. It was not long thereafter that Rover Rasco met his own encounter with mortality, and in 1978 became the newest member of the doghouse in the sky.
August 22, 2006
I read last week's issue of the Bremond Press today. The publisher writes an editorial each week in which she offers various commentaries and observations on the events of our neighbor to the south. Among the topics mentioned in her editorial was the most recent city council meeting. Evidently one of the council members was questioning the performance of the city's police department. Now quoting: "Another complaint was about the difficulty the county dispatcher has contacting the officer on duty in Bremond when a call comes in for help within the city limits." I think I can solve their mystery. The officer (assuming they are referring to the evening shift) can be found at a particular Bremond convenience store enjoying the company of the young lady who works there. If the dispatcher will call that store, there is an excellent chance the officer can be reached.
In the annual Princeton Review survey of universities throughout the United States, the University of Texas at Austin has won the prestigious "Best Party School in America" award. UT was able to attain this honor by coming in second in hard liquor consumption, third in beer consumption, and thirteenth in marijuana usage. By the way, UT was ranked forty-seventh in academics. Click for article.
Former President Gerald Ford had a pacemaker implanted yesterday. Click for article. He is our oldest living ex-president, and holds the distinction of being the only person in history to gain our highest office without ever being elected president or vice-president. He was appointed vice-president upon the resignation in 1973 of Spiro Agnew, and became president when Richard Nixon resigned in 1974. The Nixon/Agnew saga was certainly unusual. Ten months before Nixon's resignation over the Watergate scandal, Vice-President Agnew was charged with money laundering over bribes taken while governor of Maryland. He pleaded no- contest and resigned. He wrote a memoir in 1980 claiming President Nixon and future Secretary of State Alexander Haig had threatened him with assassination if he did not voluntarily resign. Click for article.
I went to the Kosse City Park this morning and took pictures of the new walking trail and other aspects of our park. It was very peaceful and relaxing. My old bones would not allow for a long walk but I enjoyed a short commune with nature. While I did not have an urge to become a 21st-century Ralph Waldo Emerson, it was a stress-relieving visit. I posted some of the pictures in the Photo Gallery section of the Kosse Courier (click for page) and some on the Kosse page in the History section (click for page).
Imagine this scenario: There is a religious gathering in Washington, D.C. in which a march down Pennsylvania Avenue is planned. Tens of thousands show up to participate. While marching down the street towards their destination, gunfire breaks out. Snipers are on top of buildings mowing down the tightly-packed crowd. By the time the shooting stops, at least 246 people are killed or wounded. Can you imagine the response and outrage within America? Well, that is exactly what happened in Baghdad yesterday. Click for article.
Eleven days in a row over 100 degrees and no end in immediate sight. There is a small gathering of horse enthusiasts at Meadowcreek Park this weekend which will add vitality to the economy of Kosse. I know we always benefit at the cafe.
I find it interesting how money recirculates in Kosse. On a very frequent basis I will receive currency which is distinguishable from the other bills. As an example, there will be a message written on them. (I get a lot of dollar bills which have "Korea 1951" written on them. I assume this message is added by a local veteran of the Korean War.) I will deposit these into the Kosse bank, and at least half of the time the same bill will show up in the cafe money over the next few days. Logic dictates if the distinguishable bills are being constantly recirculated, then the non-distinguishable ones are doing the same. The point of all this is that our local economy is helped if our money recirculates a number of times before leaving town, and that is what appears to happen.
Follow-up to the Robinson High School Nazi flag incident: Five Robinson graduates admitted doing it. Click for article.
Today's headlines regarding the Jon-Benet Ramsey murder case arrest are certainly different from yesterday's. Now it appears as if the confessor is perhaps not being truthful about his involvement. Click for article.
The perils of Highway 14 south continue. In recent days we have enjoyed sharing the Kosse to Bremond thoroughfare with the standard wildlife offerings, many a pound of T-Bone on the hoof, and an alluring piece of high-quality household furniture. Today's entry in the Highway 14 defensive driving challenge involved approximately 38.957% of a round bale of hay. It appeared to be coastal bermuda, however, I cannot be totally sure of this as I was swerving a 1989 Chevrolet Caprice at 60 m.p.h. to avoid having a bovine feast implanted in my motor.
The annual tree-cutting along electric lines is now underway in Bremond. I remember as a youngster being fascinated by the skills of what we called the tree men. The electric lines in our neighborhood ran right above our backyard fence and there was many a tree to trim. The location of the lines was such that a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (cherry-picker) could not be used. The tree men had to literally climb the trees to reach the offending branches. Now while they were not so adept as to be mistaken for a 180 pound squirrel, their speed in tree ascension was quite amazing to a six year old.
An arrest was made yesterday in the murder of Jon-Benet Ramsey. The man has confessed to the crime and given police details about the death that were never revealed to the public. He said he was in love with the six year old girl. It looks like this ten year old killing has finally been solved. Click for article. The mother of the victim was a former Miss West Virginia and the father a successful businessman. They were suspects from the beginning and were generally vilified as the culpable parties over the past decade. Patsy and John did not put forth a very sympathetic media image, and many an hour of cable-news talk shows was devoted to offering circumstantial evidence that pointed the finger at the parents. I was among the majority who thought they were involved. Now it appears as if the accusations were wrong. An ironically sad footnote to the story is that Patsy Ramsey did not live to see her exoneration, as she died less than two months ago of ovarian cancer at the age of 49. Click for article.
Pranksters hung a Nazi swastika flag on the Robinson High School flagpole for their first day of classes. Click for article. I assume they thought it was funny. They need to ask their older relatives who fought or lived through World War II if they think it is funny.
A few years ago the cafe was also victimized by pranksters. We have an outdoor advertising sign with changeable letters. It is at the corner of the four-way stop, so everyone who passes through Kosse in any direction has a perfect view of the message. One night a little hoodlum and his compadres changed the message on the sign. Needless to say, the new message was one that cannot be repeated here. The cafe opens at 6:00 a.m. and we were not aware of the change until a customer told the manager at around 9:00. Being a relatively busy intersection of two major state highways, I would assume that many people had the opportunity to read our obscenity-laden sign. It did not take long to surmise who had done this (thanks to the no honor among thieves outlook from one of the compadres) but of course the ringleader denied the allegation. Lacking adequate proof, nothing ever came of it. Last I heard, the now twenty-something year old is in prison.
A new school year has arrived. A number of cafe employees attend school so their work availability is now limited to evenings and weekends. I have read articles stating the negative impact that having a job has on students' grades. The premise is based on the job interfering with studies and alertness. My experience shows that the student employees who are motivated make good grades and the less motivated do not. There have been a handful of cases where working at the cafe was blamed for declining grades, although these were generally situations where the worker had little academic motivation to start with. All I know is I have a large number of student employees who are smart, respectful, make good grades, participate in extracurriculer and community activities, and do not get into trouble. I think Kosse has many good kids.
I read a news article I found strange. It states that scientists may be able to extract frozen reproductive material from mammoths and cross-breed them with elephants. What is so strange about this is that mammoths have been extinct for 27,000 years, and the male donor will be a frozen animal found after at least 27,000 years in the permafrost. The article further implies that this could possibly be done with a number of species. A scientist is quoted in the article as saying "restoration of extinct species could be possible if male individuals are found in permafrost." Click to read article.
The Kosse City Park walking trail looks good. In fact, the park as a whole looks good and more improvements are on the horizon. As far as I know the fishing ban at the park's pond is still in effect so as to give the recently-stocked fish time to mature.
Tim Miller of Waco is the winner of the latest $10.00 Kosse Cafe gift certificate. I'll do another giveaway soon.
The Texas State Comptroller's office has issued the city sales tax receipts for July, 2006. As unbelievable as it sounds, the City of Kosse's receipts have more than quadrupled from July, 2005. To quote the Mexia Daily News, "Kosse’s latest check is for $3,697.21, a whopping 307.59 percent increase over last year’s July check, which was for $907.09. Kosse shows a big increase in year-to-year totals - $12,626.16, compared with last year’s total of $8,917.93." Click for article. I am constantly mentioning our bustling local business enterprises, and this is further evidence of those observations. While there can be no reasonable expectation that taxable sales in Kosse will quadruple each month, it is quite obvious that the predicted growth for Kosse is underway. It is essential that our city leaders seize the moment, and prepare for further growth by undertaking quality of life improvements for our community. Leading the list of needed improvements is repairing our pothole-filled streets. My earlier suggestion to allow for this was posted in the July 11, 2006 Kosse Blog. Click for July 11, 2006 Kosse Blog. A senior city official was quoted as saying this plan of action was not feasible due to the large number of Kosse citizens being on fixed incomes. Personally I believe Kosseites on fixed incomes would appreciate good streets as much as anyone else, but the bigger point is what percentage of our citizenry is indeed on fixed incomes. According to the 2000 U.S. Census Bureau, 16.1% of Kosse residents are over 65, which is the commonly-accepted age of retirement and going on a fixed income. Click for Kosse census statistics. Anyway, I hope this plan is one day given further consideration.
The "Fear Premium" that is adding $1.00 to each gallon of gasoline you buy is taking a hit today. In the first two hours of crude oil futures trading after the invocation of the Mideast ceasefire, the price of gasoline futures (which have a direct correlation to the daily price at the pump) fell 7.13 cents per gallon. Click for article. I noticed the price of regular at the Kosse Cefco has dropped from $2.93 to $2.84 in the past couple of days.
TX Dot (the highway department) is working on Highway 7 in front of the Kosse Cafe. They have erected concrete barriers through the west side of town which diverts the traffic onto what was previously the north lane and shoulder. I hope the repairs are quick and the barriers can soon be removed. It always makes me nervous to drive with a barrier a foot or two from my car. There is absolutely nowhere to go if an oncoming vehicle veers into your lane.
It's getting to the annual point where hiring an Indian rain-dancer for Kosse is needed. The forecast highs for the next seven days are over 100 degrees with 0% chance of rain.
It's time once again for the Kosse Blog Giveaway. I will send a $10.00 Kosse Cafe gift certificate to the first person who e-mails me with their mailing address and mentions this prize. As always, this will only be advertised on the Kosse Blog. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I heard on television today that the foiled terrorist plot to blow up American planes over the Atlantic was scheduled to be carried out this Wednesday, August 16. Click for related article. What a different world we would have awoken to on Thursday if this plan had succeeded.
One bit of good news on the world hostility front is that Israel and Lebanon have agreed to a United Nations ceasefire plan to stop their fighting. It is supposed to take effect tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. Click for article. History says it will not indefinately endure, but perhaps it can calm things down for awhile.
In regards to the pictures of Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas on yesterday's blog, Merv Griffin is on the left and Mike Douglas the right.
Business enterprises continue to emerge in Kosse. Among the latest is AG Accounting and More, located downtown across from the bank. From what I can tell, they offer basically the same services as a combination FedEx Kinko's and H&R Block. This is saying a lot for a town our size. I will try them out for my next print advertising campaign. There is an advertisement in the cafe window about yet another new business in Kosse. It is called Illuzinz and they produce custom-made masks for Halloween. There were some sample photos and the masks looked unique and interesting.
Kosse is becoming a niche market paradise. For a town of 497 people, the business offerings are amazingly diverse. Off the top of my head I can think of the following sectors, some of which are predictable and some unique: Acupuncturist, massage therapist, custom-mask designer, consignment shop, chiropractor, tax services, printing and office services, trucking companies, hardware store, diners and eateries, convenience store, bank, hair salon, auto mechanics, diesel mechanics, carwash, feed store, sign shop, newspaper, washateria, realtors, storage facilities, a soon-to-be exercise gym, and perhaps others I cannot think of at the moment.
As mentioned in earlier blogs, the Kosse Chamber of Commerce website is very attractive and interesting. Brook Valls is the developer of the site. The site posted a large gallery of Kosse Homecoming 2006 photos. If you have not already seen them they're worth checking out. If you have seen them, they're worth a second look. Click for photo gallery.