Why We Need to Teach Geography in School.

The other day, I was reading an article on AOL about the 7 worst places to visit on a vacation. One of the locations listed in the article was the 4 corner of Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Mexico.

Now, I can understand why this is a poor place to visit since Mexico is not adjacent to Utah and Colorado. But more to the point, the author obviously missed the fact that it is NEW Mexico and not Mexico. Later on in the day, I noticed that the article had been corrected.

Now, this may have been a simple typo on the part of the writer.  But, since this typo was consistently repeated in the article,  I suspect that the writer did not know that New Mexico is a state while Mexico is a country.

I know a man who was born in New Mexico. Every time he fills out any paper work that asks where he was born, he puts down New Mexico. And invariably, they ask him if he is a citizen of the United States. Hello!? Unless he is really really old, New Mexico was a part of the United States when he was born.

Recently, a co-worker of mine came into my office to look at my world map that hangs on my wall. She was planning a trip to France. She was looking for it in Africa. She has a college degree. I hope that she won’t be too disappointed that there won’t be any safaris on her trip.

I hated geography in school but I now understand it’s importance.

Ambassador Bridge.

For 81 years, the Ambassador Bridge has been a major connector between Detroit Michigan and Windsor Ontario. Well, the owner of the bridge thinks that it is time to upgrade the bridge to 6 lanes by building a new bridge next to the old bridge. In order to accomplish this, the owner will assume financial responsibility for the project.

However, a Canadian firm, under the blessing of Michigan’s Canadian born governor, wants to loan Michigan the money to build a new bridge two miles away from the existing bridge. With this plan, all of the risk resides on the government of Michigan instead of the private sector.

A local legislator is complaining that the bridge owner does not supply money to the community.  I guess I am not sure what the bridge owner is expected to contribute to the community. He pays his city, state and federal taxes.

And, since he is willing to build and finance a new bridge, that alone should be a major contribution to the community.  But, in keeping with the traditions of the community, I am sure the legislator meant that the bridge owner doesn’t pay off the corrupt politicians in the community like he should.

And, while this new bridge could be an economic boost for the state, the governor is determined to get her way.  In the  mean time, the state suffers.

We only have six more months and the governor will be gone.  I wonder if she will work for Canada?

World’s Largest Ford Dealership.

The other day, as I was driving down the expressway, I saw a billboard advertising the worlds largest Ford dealership at the next exit.

I had to wonder just exactly what that meant? Does it mean that they had the most number of cars on their lot? Or, is it the amount of land at the dealership? And, is “the worlds largest” a designation from Ford or from the dealership itself?

I suspect that the designation is from the dealership. But, I doubt that anyone is going to challenge it.

Even if it it the worlds largest Ford dealship, I doubt that I will buy a car there.

52.125, the Camera Tripod.

We recently purchased a tripod for our camera. The box advertises that the total hight of the tripod is 52.125 inches.

Of course, I have to wonder why such precision? What is wrong with saying that it is over 48 inches high?

Well, I suppose that for some people, that extra 4 inches might be important but what about the .125? How could anyone really need that precision? And, even if you did, just how accurate is the tripod? Is it possible that it is not really 52.125 but 52.124999 instead? I think that an error of .000001 is quite possible.

Bottom line, this is a consumer grade device and not a lab instrument. So, most people won’t care if it is 52.125 or only 51. Hello??!!!

BTW, if the tripod is not high enough, we just put it on a table.

Poultry Problems.

Michigan seems to be the hot bed for poultry issues lately.  In Grand Rapids, the city council is reviewing whether to allow residence to keep chickens.  And, in Detroit, the former mayor, Kwammi, has announced that he can’t afford a lawyer.  So, on the west side of the state, the issue is chickens and on the east side of the state the issue is a turkey.

Campfire Baked Potatoes.

When I was in the produce section of Meijer’s (regional grocery chain) the other day, I noticed that they were selling campfire potatoes. For $3 a package, you got 3 potatoes, individually wrapped in aluminum foil and ready to be thrown into a campfire for cooking.

Well, I didn’t see anything special about the potatoes other than the aluminum foil appeared to be heavy duty. But, in this age of culinary helplessness, I imagine that some people would really go for something like that.

I wonder if they use a real campfire or if they have a propane fire pit?

Gabby Hayes.

Since we are on the topic of Roy Rogers, lets not forget his faithful sidekick, Gabby Hayes. Gabby Hayes appeared with Roy Rogers in countless westerns. In his early years, he could be seen riding up on his horse to save Roy and Dale from their perils. Later on, he used a jeep with Bullet at his side.

When I was a kid, we went to a grand stand show at the county fair one hot Saturday afternoon. The show featured acrobats, magicians and clowns. But the main attraction was Gabby Hayes.

We sat for hours in the hot sun waiting for Gabby. I was certain that he would come riding in on his horse or in his jeep. Then, he would show us some fancy rope tricks and maybe some sharp shooting.

When he did arrive, it was in the back seat of a convertible. The convertible drove past the stands and Gabby waved at the crowd. Then, the car exited the grand stands and the show was over.

Ugg!! Did I feel ripped off. Two hours of sitting in the hot sun. No trick riding, no fancy roping, no sharp shooting. For all I knew, the man in the back seat could have been any old man with a cowboy hat. I might better have spent my time walking the midway.

I never watch another Roy Rogers movie again.

The Roy Rogers Collection.

What do Trigger, Trigger Jr., Buttermilk and Bullet all have in common? They are all stuffed animals from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans museum and, they are all for sale.

For those of you too young to remember, Roy Rogers horse was named Trigger. And when Trigger died, Roy had him stuffed and mounted. The same thing happened with Buttermilk, Dales horse, Trigger Jr. and Bullet their dog.

All of these animals were kept in the Roy Rogers museum until it closed recently. So now, they are up for sale at auction.

I guess it is a good thing that Roy died before Dale.  Who knows where she might have ended up.

Stevens T. Mason.

Stevens T. Mason is back in the news once again. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Michigan politics, Stevens T. Mason became the first governor of the State of Michigan at the age of 22.

Well, it is not the fact that he brought Michigan into state hood that makes him news worthy. It is the fact that they misplaced his body. Well, temporarily at least.

Back in the early 50s, his body was interned at the site of the first state capital in Detroit. Well, the site is undergoing a million dollar renovation and Stevens needed to be moved. Unfortunately, he wasn’t where they thought. But, after a fews days and some high tech equipment, he was located and exhumed.

When the site is finished, Stevens will be laid to rest once again.

61 Stars.

It was recently discovered that the American flags, being sold at a discount store, had 61 stars. When it was brought to the stores attention, they responded that the flags were intended to be decorative and not actual American flags. They also said that the flags would be destroyed.

Well, the flags were made in China so it is possible that the makers did not actually know how many stars to put on the flags. But then again, maybe they were speculating on the future.

Oh Canada!