i writeth, you readeth

It is not a bulletin board. For us, it is clearly an unwelcome demonstration of self-aggrandizement


9. December 2021 | Category Observations

It’s gonna snow tomorrow and the world is losing its collective mind. Should be a doozy.



14. June 2019 | Category Personal

Our farm dog, Max has passed away. Max was a full breed black lab and lived a full life to a ripe old age. As he was ~15 at his passing, we don’t remember much about how he came into our farm; his true age or where we got him from. We assume we got him in 2004 or so and he probably was a free puppy from Brownton area where his dad visited his purebred mom after hours.

Max for surely spent his puppy time visiting Gustavus Adolphus college and wooing all the coeds. He also loved to tag along with Michael and the other dog we had at the time – Jake. As he grew, he would constantly chew on and try to fight Jake, who couldn’t care less. They were best of buddies but often would get in trouble by running together away from the farm. They always came back when they were hungry or thirsty.

As a black lab, Max loved the water and would often hang out in the water of the pond or a drainage ditch if it was nearby. He helped hunt his share rabbits and squirrels, but never really caught one. He loved going for truck rides and was always not more than 10 feet away when you were doing something on the farm. Michael brought Max into town a few times as he remodeled his house, but Max would whine and whine that he couldn’t be outside and roaming where he loved.

After Jake passed, Max was the top-dog on the farm and enjoyed that role. He later had to contend with a dog James got that wouldn’t let Max be the alpha. That dynamic led to fights that almost killed Max and left him with lasting ear damage.

To the end when he could hardly stand the heat, cold or old age, Max was a trooper and would always come around for a pat on the head and to be by you. He was a great dog that will be missed.



5. January 2017 | Category Observations

Can only think that 2017 will be a new adventure. The old year was a roller-coaster and I can only hope that things go upward and onward in 2017.

I am actively continuing with my hobbies:

Manufactured Spending

Mystery Shopping

I’ve spent considerable time and passion on both of these two areas in the last few years really.

I’ve also kept up my interest in technology. Now if I could meld all 3 together into a job that mints $$$ I’d be set.

Seeing as I haven’t updated this site in ages, hopefully it won’t be another 4 year gap in posts!


Thrivent Financial for Who?

11. February 2013 | Category Observations

It’s interesting to see that Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is giving up on it’s core group – Lutherans. Recently, they sent members an update asking them to change their focus from Lutherans to Christians by members voting to okay this change.

I think this has been in the works since AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) and Lutheran Brotherhood merged to create this ‘behemoth’ in the Lutheran Fraternal Benefit Society.

I have not seen any improvements from this link-up since it’s beginning. They have merged organizations, de-emphasized Lutheran in their name and have done nothing to market to their core constituency ~ Lutherans. Why don’t they spend their time, energy and money to market products that Lutherans would feel was worth their investments? Why short-change your society when their are numerous organizations already doing what you hope to do?

I’m not sure who’s getting the pay-day from this organizations slow disintegration, but I’d stand to bet it’s those that are in power and making the ‘executive’ decisions. What greed and selfishness.

For more insite, visit:

Thrivent for ???

Next, Thrivent for non-Lutherans?


Beloved Ertl now sucks!

4. November 2010 | Category Interests, Rant

Recently, I had obtained a Model Kit made by Ertl for a John Deere JD 8020. It was a kit and took some time to assemble, so when near the end, I found that it was missing parts and that removing cellophane from around the tractor’s cab removed large amounts of paint with it, I was a little unnerved.

I sent the now parent company of Ertl, RC2 an email inquiring about possible replacement by the company.

This is the response I got from ‘Karen’ in Customer Service:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding model kit parts.

The Company announced on 1/11/2007 that it will discontinue its Racing Champions, Joyride, Ertl, and AMT die-cast and model kit automotive collectible product lines. The Company plans to continue with its strategy to reposition its Johnny Lightning Brand. Production for 2007 will remain as planned at this time.

We are sorry to hear of your problem with our product. We focus on producing quality toys and collectibles, however on a rare occasion quality issues can arise.

With the wide range of products and items we market, it is impossible for RC2 Brands to keep replacement parts or stock on hand. The Company has established return policies with the retailers who purchase our products directly. Please return the product along with your receipt to the place of purchase for an exchange or refund. The return is subject to the discretion and return policies of the retailer.

You can also try contacting one of the following retailers: Gold Coast Hobby 516-759-4094 or Model King 732-240-3987 for purchase of replacement parts.

Thanks for your support of Learning Curve Brand products.

Consumer Services

to which I responded

Your response somehow didn’t surprise me.

Given that I too work in Quality Control, it’s extremely difficult to imagine that our respective companies would put out a product that is less then perfect in the eye of the customer. But it does happen from time to time, as we both can attest to. The big difference is that for my job, I have to claim responsibility for the quality of my company’s product and do what I can to make it right in the eyes of the end user/customer.

Evidently, your company does not believe in quality or customer service, based on my exchange with you. Furthermore, the fact that your product is made in China and your customer service information is not existent in any tangible way via your company’s website should have been huge red flags to me.

I am disappointed as a customer, as for a good, joyful part of my childhood growing up on a family farm in the rural Midwest was spent carpet-farming with what was viewed as the best in farm toys ~ Ertl. I attended numerous toy shows and purchased numerous toy farm machinery for my carpet-farm. All these products were made with the Ertl logo.

While it’s easy to see why you’re company continues to use the Ertl brand, I am extremely disappointed in the product you currently put out and lack of response to quality concerns. (By the way your email response in corporate speak is so vague it actually means little. Numerous mention of the year 2007 are made, but what that has to do with present day issues are not addressed. I suggest you fire your copy writer)

While we live in the age of the Internet and Social Media, I will take it upon myself to spread the experience I’ve had with your company. It should be a hoot to hear my relatives that currently own Ertl toys and their response to this saga.

Enjoy making your cheap Chinese shit, I wish your company nothing but the worst.

So, there you have it, a part of my childhood has been sold out and now peddles cheap crap under the priceless memories of a once quality brand!