March 3, 2007

The Kosse Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a 5K run in conjunction with the annual
Kosse Homecoming festivities and is looking for help from the public in naming what I assume
will be an annual event.  The name should include "Kosse" and will be voted on at the Kosse
Spring Festival.  Submit your entries at the 5K booth on festival day and your suggestion can
be a lasting legacy!

Now for the information gathered at the TXU Town Hall Meeting Thursday night.  This
information is derived from talking to Steve Jenkins and the handouts I was given.  In regards
to the questions put forth by Forbes.com:  There will be efforts made to provide adequate
electricity but due to the cancellation of the eleven coal-powered plants the power will have to
be primarily fueled by natural gas.  This means the price of electricity will jump in price if the
price of natural gas rises.  He said there is no way to determine what the price of natural gas
will be in three years, but the chances are substantial there will be periodic electricity price
increases.  There is too much information to share in the actual blog post in regards to the
Kosse mine and TXU.  Therefore I have scanned the pages which can be accessed by clicking
the appropriate link below.   The files are in pdf format, and an Adobe Acrobat Reader is
required to read them.  Most computers will already have this installed.  
If you wish to install
the Adobe Acrobat Reader click here.  It is a free download and totally safe for your computer.

The Oak Grove Project Page 1
The Oak Grove Project Page 2
The Kosse Mine's Environmental Mining Permit
The Kosse Mine's Environmental Permitting - Chronology
TXU Mining & Reclamation Awards for Environmental Achievement - Page 1
TXU Mining & Reclamation Awards for Environmental Achievement - Page 2
TXU Mining: Environmental Stewardship
TXU System Environmental Research Program


March 2, 2007

I received an e-mail today from Teresa Denman.  It is self-explanatory.

Missing 4 month old sheltie puppy, she is sable (light brown and white) and looks like a small
collie. Her name is Abbie and she was a Christmas gift to Tori Denman.  She went missing
from our house several days ago.  If anyone has found her please contact us at 375-0102.  
Tori is 8 years old and is heartbroken about her dog.

I can understand the feeling in regards to losing her dog.  When I was nine or ten the dog we
had for years died of old age.  For whatever reason my father decided to buy a dog (normally
we simply got free mutts of mixed heritage).  He purchased a full-blood white German Shepard
whom we appropriately named Whitey.  I became quite attached to Whitey and within a year
he had grown to be a large dog.  While totally benign and friendly with members of the family,
he was very territorial towards anyone else.  To make a long story short, he bit a couple of
neighborhood kids who were not supposed to be going into our yard but decided to anyway.  
As a result we had to give him away.  To this day I remember the pain of seeing my dog being
taken away, never to return.

I went to the TXU meeting last night and learned a great deal about the upcoming Kosse coal
mining operation.  I was talking to a guy named Steve Jenkins and he was a wealth of
information.  I had no idea who he was but his depth of knowledge on the subject was most
impressive.  When I got on Google to see who he was I discovered he is community relations
manager for the company's Oak Grove power plant office in Franklin.  
Click for article.  
Everyone I talked to was informative and polite.  They gave me a large amount of literature
which I have not yet had a chance to read.  While I will save that for my next blog post, I will
say it appears the Kosse coal mining operation has not been among the victims of the TXU
buyout situation.  Mr. Jenkins said the Kosse operation will be supplying the Oak Grove facility
near Bremond, one of four which were not shelved by the prospective buyers.  I will also
discuss in the next blog post what he said about the questions being pondered in Forbes.com
that I mentioned yesterday.

While at the gathering last night I was given a magnet advertisement by Kenda Echols.  It is
advertising Sign Creations and looks very attractive.  It got me to thinking about the diversity
of businesses that have come to our wonderland community and how I would never imagined
a decade ago there would be products such as this being produced in Kosse.    


March 1, 2007

I received an e-mail from Nora Ensminger, the Kosse City Secretary, that the Kosse coal
facility plans are still a go.  This is certainly good to hear.  The meeting with the TXU
representatives will be tonight at the Kosse Community Center from 6:30-9:30.  I think I'll run
over there and find out exactly what the plans are.  There is an article on Forbes.com today
about the situation.  
Click for article.  The article brings up some provocative questions which I
will be asking the TXU reps.  Quoting:
"Last April, TXU announced its intention to build 11 new
coal-fired power plants in Texas to help offset the state’s soaring demand for electricity, which
the company said would fall below reliability levels by 2010 if steps were not taken to meet
rising energy needs.  Why are 11 plants no longer needed to meet the state's future energy
needs? How will the new company meet the increased demand for power? Will new generating
capacity be added to Texas' electricity grid? And, really, just how important were the eight
canceled plants if they were so easily scrapped?  During the next decade, an estimated six
million people are expected to move to Texas. If TXU has to call into service its "mothballed"
natural gas plants, or if new generating capacity in the state isn't enough to meet demand--
causing prices to skyrocket--those additional facilities would have mattered quite a bit."  

I now have come across an article which states the purchase of TXU by the company planning
to cancel the eleven coal-powered electric plants is far from being a done deal.  
Click for
article.  

February 28, 2007

I received an e-mail from Ray Bowden stating there will be a meeting this Thursday evening
featuring a spokesperson from the TXU mining operation in Freestone County.  I do not know
if it is at the Community Center or City Hall nor do I know what time it is.  I assume you can call
the Kosse City Office for further information.  Their number is 254-375-2212.

Evidently the Virgin Mary has made an appearance on a pizza pan at a Houston elementary
school.  
Click for article.  Each time I read about the mother of Jesus showing up in unusual
places I think of this-- How in the world does someone determine this is a depiction of the
Virgin Mary when no one has any idea what the physical appearance of the Virgin Mary was?  
The fact is the face associated in most people's mind with Mary is only an artist's rendering
produced centuries after her death.  Chances are just as good that the image on the pizza
pan is that of long-lost Aunt Gertrude from Tel Aviv as it is of Mary.  Another thing I found
strange about the Houston Pizza Portrait is that there is disagreement over who gets the pizza
pan (undoubtedly so it can be put on eBay for a quick buck).  Maybe I'm missing something,
but it would appear to me as if the owner is the Houston school district since it was a pan
being used in a school cafeteria.  I know I would not be pleased if the cafe pans suddenly
walked off because a face showed up on one of them.


February 26, 2007

It appears as if the buyout of TXU is going to have a negative impact on the economic future
of Kosse.  The prospective buyers have stated they are cancelling eleven of the planned coal-
powered electricity plants.  
Click for article.  Among the ones being cancelled are the facilities
in Freestone and Brazos County for which the Kosse area was slated to provide coal.  The
plant outside of Bremond is not being cancelled.

The weekend of March 17-18 is going to be a busy time in Kosse.  Not only will we have the
annual Spring Festival, but there is also going to be a large equestrian event at Meadowcreek
Park.  

In the previous blog post was an article quoting James Cameron claiming to have DNA
evidence that Jesus was buried rather than physically resurrected.  In today's news I am
reading an article in which he is much less blustery towards the certainty of his find.  
Click for
article.  What causes my greatest skepticism towards Cameron's claim is that it is tied in with a
documentary movie he is promoting.  Speaking of documentary movies, Al Gore's "An
Inconvenient Truth" about global warming won an Oscar last night.  I don't know about the
global warming realities, but I do know my feet feel like ice cubes in the winter and my head
sweats like a glandularly-challenged pig in the summer.  I read an interesting article in Forbes
magazine by a global warming contrarian.  His thesis is that we would be better off if the earth
did get warmer.  
Click for article.  Unfortunately I will be long gone from our warmer Earth once
this controversy is settled.


February 25, 2007

Ten months until Christmas.  Sure enough, the outdoor cafe sign got blown over by today's
high winds.  I knew I should have had Donald Porch sit on it all day.  That sign has had a
rougher time lately than Britney Spears.

It's time for my weekly rant about the mess in Iraq.  Dick Cheney is delusional.  This would not
be such a problem if he was still running Haliburton and shooting octogenarian hunting
partners in the neck with birdshot, but as Vice-President he is a world danger.  It is my belief
that he had great influence on George Bush's decision to go into Iraq, against the advice of
then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.  At this point only the delusional deny the resultant
debacle; therefore Dick Cheney is delusional.  
Click for article.

I came across a strange story on the Drudge Report.  James Cameron, the producer of the
movie "The Titanic", claims to have found the coffins containing Jesus and his family
members.  
Click for article.  That would be unusual enough but he goes a step further by
claiming to have DNA evidence to prove this.  He is holding a press conference Monday to
show the coffins which supposedly belong to Jesus, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene.  
He is also claiming he has proof that Jesus had a son by Mary Magdalene named Judah.  I
guess we'll know more Monday but I just got to thinking, what if there really is DNA evidence of
what he claims?  If true this would go directly against the Christian belief in the physical
resurrection of Jesus.  Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen."  What would be the effect on faith if there is evidence (in this
case contradictory) of things that can be seen?    


February 24, 2007

There are supposed to be wind gusts of 50 m.p.h. today with a Red Flag Warning for wildfire
dangers.  
Click for article.  High winds have blown the cafe's outdoor sign over three times in
the past six months.  Needless to say this is not good on the sign.  Maybe I could get Donald
Porch to sit on it all day.  

The price of gasoline is on the upswing again.  I noticed it was $2.259 at the Cefco yesterday.  
It was $2.149 in Bremond.  Pretty big discrepancy for towns only ten miles apart.

The State Representative from Waco is trying to block the coal-powered electricity plants that
are slated for our area, including the ones that would be of greatest economic benefit to the
Kosse area.  
Click for article.  The proposed coal plants will be using clean-coal technology,
which will reduce 95% more of the pollutants than earlier plants.  
Click for article.  It is my
opinion the legislator needs to stick a lump of coal in his mouth and live in a house without
electricity.


February 22, 2007

The City of Kosse will be holding an election on May 12 to decide two City Council positions.  
The filing deadline for interested candidates is March 12.  You may file at the Kosse City
Office.  The positions to be filled are those held by Ronnie Funderburk and Wendell Jordan.  
Mr. Jordan resigned from the council on February 7, so there will not be an incumbent running
for this position.  

The annual Kosse Spring Festival is going to be held at the Kosse Community Center on
Saturday, March 17 and Sunday, March 18.  As always there will be fun, excitement, and
entertainment for all ages.  There will be many games and giveaways, even including chances
for helicopter rides.  Make plans to be there!


February 20, 2007

One Tuesday night about twelve or thirteen years ago I was in attendance at a Kosse Lions
Club meeting.  As was the tradition of that era there was a guest speaker in attendance.  This
particular gentleman was discussing the difficulties associated with excessive drinking and
alcoholism.  As a recovering alcoholic and counselor, he was well informed and quite
interesting.  Part of his presentation involved a physical demonstration of the effects of sugar
on a person's strength.  There was a point of correlation between sugar and alcohol but it
escapes me for the moment what it was.  Anyway, the physical demonstration involved a
participant from the audience having sugar poured in his hand and testing his hand strength
level a few minutes later.  The meeting was being held at the Kosse Cafe when it was located
downtown.  I observed the sugar being poured into the participant's hand and sure enough his
hand strength had diminished after a few minutes of holding a handful of sugar.  The
speaker's experiment had gone as expected and the Lions Club members were appropriately
impressed.  For twelve or thirteen years I have held to myself an untold detail of the Lion's
Club sugar experiment.  Unbeknownst to anyone else in attendance that night, the speaker
had picked up the wrong container off one of the cafe tables, and had poured Sweet and Low
into the participant's hand.  It was not sugar but rather chemically-produced saccharin that
was so dutifully held for those few minutes.  I found it all quite strange.  So I came to one of
two conclusions.  Either saccharin has the same effect on hand strength as sugar, or the
power of suggestion has the same effect on hand strength as sugar.     


February 19, 2007

Much warmer weather has returned.  A gentleman sent me an e-mail requesting ad space in
the Kosse Cafe menu.  He is selling a house in Blue Ridge.  I will get the details of the property
and put it in the Trading Post section of this website.  I have thought for a long time about
selling ad space in our menu, as many restaurants do.  I design and produce the menus
personally so it would be quite easy to do.  I don't know exactly how many people look at our
menus each month but it would be thousands and thousands from throughout the area and
state.  Anyway, I figure it would be a win-win situation.  I've always tried to make the menus
interesting while also promoting our wonderland community.  
Click to peruse the Kosse Cafe
menu. Feel free to print the menu, that way you will have it to call in orders.


February 16, 2007

It's supposed to be 21 degrees tonight.  In days past it would be time for the long johns.  I
remember my grandfather wearing his on nights like this.  Of course their only source of heat
was a fireplace and a couple of wood burning stoves.  

I was at the bank yesterday and noticed the hardware store is having a going out of business
sale.  I know the feeling of despair in seeing a business forced to close and it is not a good
feeling.  I wish Kosse was able to support a hardware store but the competition (primarily Wal
Mart) in surrounding towns is simply too great.
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