Monday, June 6, 2011

Of Gas Lines and Gas Bags

Lots going on this week. Lots to write about…or not....yet.

There was trouble in Tractorland last week.  I happened to notice a corner that I missed mowing and thought I'd jump on the tractor to handle it in short order. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. The tractor stalled at the bottom on the driveway and no amount coaxing could get the engine to catch. I had to push that sucker up the driveway by myself…which is not to say I was alone. There I was, in a dress no less, shoulder to the bright yellow seat…in front of an audience of kids, dog walkers, and assorted joggers, a few of whom had the unmitigated gall to wave at me! Not a single gawker offered to help. Let’s just say this is yet one more layer of Minnesota Nice I just don’t get. Literally. Like I said ALL…BY…MY…SELF. And let me tell you, Spartacus was annoyed.

Being a holiday weekend and all, I thought I’d dig out the manual to see if I could fix this on my own. I did all the routine checks; I even took apart and cleaned the air filter, but no dice. After carefully following directions for advanced trouble-shooting, I decided it was a fuel line issue.  I called the junior son to request a consult.

He moseyed on over Tuesday evening after work, and, in exchange for mom-food, set to work on the tractor. Well, something was blocking the fuel line, just like last year. So he called me into the garage to show me what to do should this happen again. I learned how to remove the clamp, put a paper towel over the tube so I’m not tasting gas, and then firmly blow until I hear bubbles in the gas tank. So it looks like I have a new skill: blowing fuel line.

Hey! This is a useful thing, so keep yer minds outta the gutter!

And while we're on the topic of land maintenance, as a Minnesota homesteader who pays a not so insignificant amount in property tax, I am compelled to report on our own little political maelstrom here in the Land of 10,000 Obstructionists. Seems our Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor, the son of a wealthy yet socially responsible family, is at loggerheads with our Independent-Republican legislature. Just like Washington, we are facing our own government shut down.

The State Senate is Republican by a margin of .8031%. That’s less than one percent of all counted votes. The State House is Republican by a margin of 1.9557%. That’s just a hair under 2% of all counted votes. ( Raw data from the MN Secretary of State)

This is not some kind of sweeping mandate. This is the luck of the draw.  I suspect if I ran the US Congress numbers it would be just as slim a margin in both houses.

So, here’s the deal Minnesota Legislators: how about remembering the rest of us in your districts? Democrat and Republican alike, none of you represents just your party constituency. By accepting your seat in the legislature you have sworn to serve ALL the people of your district, not just a select few with deep wallets. Your responsibility is to the citizens of this state, not your party chairman.

Four Horsemen of the Obstructionists
It’s time to get off your collective high horses and start working out a deal that is fair and equitable to all Minnesotans regardless of their socioeconomic status. Remember, each job you cut is a reduction in tax collections. Like most Minnesotans, I don’t give a hoot which one of you comes up with working plan, but I can tell you this much, it’s going to have to be a compromise that isn’t going to send your poorest citizens deeper into the poorhouse, imperil education, or leave your most vulnerable citizens to die.

The idea is to keep the money coming in so the state can function. We all should be paying our fair share of taxes; together we will share the burden, and we all will certainly share the pain. But come on, fellas; stop the playground politics and get on with the real business of running this state.  

The Wifely Person's Tip o' the Week
Whether you're running the tractor or running the state, 
always check to make sure you're tending to your property in a conscientious manner.


  1. Additional Tip of the Week (borrowed from Lauren Bacall):

    "You know how to fix the fuel line, don't you, Sue? You just put your lips together and blow."

  2. the wifely personJune 7, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    That is a much better tip than mine! ROTFL!

  3. How many lawns must a woman mow down
    Before you call her a woman
    How many fees must a property enthrall
    Before they fees turn to sand?
    Yes, how many times must the legislators lie
    Before they're forever banned?
    The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
    the answer is blowin' in the wind


  4. i really enjoyed your recent blog post.

    i was led to your blog by your magnificent response to NYTimes "david brooks" june 7th rationalization post. I've been so sick of his "how great paul ryan and his plan is" thinking for 2 years now i could empty my stomach. I think you gave the most rational response I read out of the 1st 100 before stopping.