Our age compared to what?

I thought it was cool when I figured out that I am half as old as Hillsboro.

After the Independence Day festivities on TV and elsewhere, when they kept talking about our country’s 241st birthday, I figured if you are 80 years old plus four months, you are one third as old as the United States.

When we put new cabinets in our kitchen this past year, we installed the old ones in the garage for storage.

But, when we went in the garage to get one of our coolers from behind one of the cabinet doors it wouldn’t come out—the openings were too small to pull it through. So I took out a handsaw, cut out the stile and — voilà — it was out.

The problem with a move like that is that it’s only temporary, and the thing will need to be fixed—unless we want a set of Michael Strahan doors in the garage. We already had them in the bathroom earlier last year, but those are fixed now.

I started to read the “Outhouse Book” I received from Dave Ranney a while back. Most of it is about older-generation folks remembering how it was having an outhouse and how they were furnished, etc.

One story did catch my attention. Two young boys had just painted the seats bright red. The paint wasn’t yet dry when one of their mom’s friends came over and immediately walked down the path to the little building.

When she left, the boys ran in to see if she took red paint with her.

Another story was about one of the little houses that didn’t have a roof. One night it snowed about 6 inches…. You get the idea.

We insulated our attic heavily last fall to try to keep the heating and cooling bills lower than in the past—hopefully, with enough savings to pay for it.

Here’s the deal. We have no data to compare it to from last year because I threw out all of the old bills to make room for the new ones.

I was reading “Editor and Publisher” magazine, which is sent to my email box. I was intrigued by a recent article that speaks of a website that was created by Microsoft’s retired CEO, Steve Ballmer. The intent of the site was to provide data on government spending in the United States.

This past April, Ballmer’s project finally came to frui­tion with the public launch of USAFacts (usafacts.org), an extensive, interactive online database detailing revenue and spending across federal, state and local governments.

The most recent information available is from 2014. With a search bar on the home page, you can explore anything that interests you. I wasn’t neces­sarily interested in “Kansas crime rates,” but typed it in and got a host of information.

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@

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