Monday, August 24, 2009

Farmall Promenade

Like most things from small town America these days, the Farmall Promenade has gone the way of the horse and buggy. My aunt just sent me this great video of the Farmall Promenade, a group of people square dancing with tractors. They were only in existence from 1998 to 2008. But, after watching this video, you can't help but believe they had a lot of fun whenever they performed in those few years.

They are from tiny Nemaha, Iowa, population 120. If you're not sure where Nemaha is, it's located about 16 miles Southeast of Storm Lake in Northwest Iowa. Now do you know where it is? If you're still not sure, Google it. That's what I did. You can learn more about the Farmall Promenade by clicking here.

Check out their video and see if you can get through it without smiling. I'll bet you can't! I couldn't, and I have watched it three times already!

Whenever you start to think, "How can people live in small towns when there is nothing to do?" Just remember the human mind is an amazing organ and it's ability to think of things to do is endless!

"Why did I put up this post?" you ask. Two reasons: 1. I drove my Grandma's Farmall tractor just like the ones in the video whenever I helped her and my uncle on the farm. 2. Because I grew up in small towns, and I'm sure there were times I was bored; but I don't remember them. I lived in sixteen different locations in eight small towns before I was 14! Whether it was living in McLaughlin, South Dakota on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and playing on the WWII canon in the park, or shooting baskets in our driveway in every town we lived in, I had a great childhood growing up in small towns. We always found something to do. I could go on, but that's a chapter in the book.

If you have any memories of your childhood, life on a farm or in a small town you would like to share, please do so in the Comments section.

I look forward to reading them.



Monday, August 17, 2009

McDonald's New Sandwiches

I am going to get back on my food and obesity soapbox today for a few minutes. I saw the commercial yesterday for McDonald's new Angus Third Pounder sandwiches and it sickened me. With the obesity issue we have in the country today, the largest chain of restaurants in the world has introduced three sandwiches which have some amazing calorie and fat content numbers. Look at how many more calories they have than their already gaudy numbers from their old standbys Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. You can see a comparison of their sandwiches and other items by clicking here. Go to the right side of the page to the Nutrition Comparison, and click on a Menu Category.

I just spent some time on McDonald's website reading about what great quality ingredients they put in all their sandwiches. They talked about how they use 100% beef, (it doesn't get any higher than that, they wrote), all of the fresh vegetables, high quality cheese, but no mention of all the sauces and empty calories some of their ingredients contribute.

Throw in a large fries and a large soda, or a malt and you're set!

Enough of my rant. I'm hungry and have to go eat dinner. No, I'm not going to McDonald's.

As always, I welcome your comments.



Monday, August 10, 2009

As Easy As Riding A Bike

The CBS Evening News ended tonight with a great story about a fantastic program that is teaching young people with special needs how to do just that ... ride a bike.

Watch CBS Videos Online

According to the University of Michigan, the numbers are staggering about how many children with Down Syndrome or autism who cannot ride a bike. The accompanying article to this video links us to two exceptional programs to help children with disabilities learn to do something most people take for granted ... riding a bike. You can read the article and learn about what is happening at and the University of Michigan's Center for Motor Behavior & Pediatric Disabilities by clicking here.

If you want to see some HUGE smiles and learn what is going on in Kansas and Michigan, I encourage you to check it out.

As always, please feel free to comment.



Wednesday, August 5, 2009

US Finally Signs

The United States has finally signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at United Nations headquarters in New York City. Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations signed the treaty making us the 141st country to do so. It is the first significant piece of human rights legislation of the 21st Century.

This paragraph comes directly from an Associated Press article published on the Los Angeles website last week.

"We all still have a great deal more to do at home and abroad," Rice said. "As president Obama has noted, people with disabilities far too often lack the choice to live in communities of their own choosing; their unemployment rate is much higher than those without disabilities; they are much more likely to live in poverty; health care is out of reach for far too many; and too many children with disabilities are denied a world class education."

That quote addresses all of the hot button topics of the day; housing, employment, poverty, health care and education. Isn't that interesting? And you thought people with disabilities were so much different than you, he said with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

This picture is from the article and you can read it by clicking here. It's an informative article. I encourage you to read it.

People with disabilities make up the largest minority in the country. As a friend of mine in Berkeley, Michael Pachovas, used to say, "We are the equal opportunity minority. We'll let anybody in."

As always, I look forward to your comments.