Feb 3 2023
12:43 pm

"A LendingTree analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data finds that single women (women who live by themselves) are more likely than single men (men who live by themselves) to own a home in 48 of 50 states."

This is even though women "earn 83.1 cents for every dollar a man makes..."

Five of the top ten states where single women home ownership is higher than single men are in the Southeast, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

Maybe women are just trying to make things easier for men? In Florida, retiree heaven, it could be men die before women?

..."there’s evidence that suggests single women prioritize homeownership more than single men. There’s also evidence that single women are more willing than single men to make sacrifices to become homeowners. "

Times are changing. They are women hear them roar.


The United States wants to increase their presence in the Philippines.

The U.S. Defense Secretary visits the Philippines. If you'll notice, all the Philippine military personnel in the picture are wearing masks. The U.S. Defense Secretary is not. Isn't that a little disrespect especially when we are asking them for help?


Picture is from the online New York Times front page on February 2, 2023.

There is a similar picture from the Defense Dept. website.

Feb 2 2023
07:45 am

There are approximately 1.5 million children under the age of 18 in Tennessee. 9,000 of those children have no permanent home. 13.6% of people in Tennessee live in poverty.
From a News Channel 5 - Nashville report, from March, 2022, "DCS has 2,765 budgeted caseworker positions. At the end of January, 586 of those positions were unfilled."
"DCS admitted 57 case managers had more than 50 cases at the end of January despite a law that says they should not average more than 20."

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is seeking an immediate infusion of $26.6 million from the state legislature to address a crisis in care that has left kids sleeping on office floors and in hospital beds because there are no other places for them.

The Adoption Project announced its 2023 legislative priorities Monday. The organization recommends public policy changes that will help make Tennessee the "best state in the country" to build strong families through adoption and foster care.

Just an FYI, Former Governor and Mayor Bill Haslam and his wife are honorary chairs of the Adoption Project. The president/CEO and COO both worked for Haslam prior to starting the Adoption Project.

"Lawmakers introduced almost 20 bills targeting adoption and foster care on Monday."

Some of the bills:
SB531 "would change the way caseload caps per DCS caseworkers are calculated from an “average” to “actual” cap of 20 cases per case worker. "
Hah, if the law says there should be a copy of 20 and each caseworker is working on 50, then what difference does it make how it is worded?

SB532 "would require DCS to amend their mission statement to include “best interest of the child” as the department’s main goal. "
Wording again? No action.

SB537 "would increase the number of non-biological children a person can watch in their home without having to register as a childcare facility."
Not that it has anything to do with foster care, but increasing the number of daycare children without being a state registered facility is a good idea?

Senate Joint Resolution 129: "a resolution calls on the governor and state agencies to contemplate various issues and ideas to improve adoption and foster care in Tennessee."
Yeah, there needs to be contemplation.

Where do you think this is going to go? Maybe if DCS gets the $26.6 million something will happen to help the children in foster care.

Feb 1 2023
06:28 am


Jan 31 2023
06:33 am

From Knox County, as of 1/21/2023,
and from State of Tennessee as of 1/21/2023,

since the inception of COVID-19, approx. 1/23/2020...

The Knox County Health Department reports 114,539 coronavirus cases and 40,685 probable cases.
1,122 cases in 35 days, averaging 32 cases a day. A consistent number of daily cases over the past 70 days.

There have been 1,568 deaths due to coronavirus in Knox County.
That is up from 1,552 total deaths as of 12/17/2022.
16 deaths in 35 days. Over 3 deaths a week.

Deaths by age group (age breakdown as of 1/21/2023, Knox County count of 1,567 deaths ):

1 in the 0-17 age group (0%) (0% (+0) (no increase since 12/17/22)
65 in the 18-44 age group (4%) (1.5% (+1) (no increase since 12/17/22)
313 in the 45-64 age group (20%) (no increase since 12/17/22)
358 in the 65-74 age group (23%) (5 additional deaths since 12/17/22)
830 in the 75+ age group (53%) ((11 additional deaths since 12/17/22)

As of 1/21/2023, there are
105 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in the Knox County region. More than double the hospitalizations on 12/17/2022 (51 hospitalized). Five times the hospitalizations on 5/14/2022 (19 hospitalized).

As of 1/21/2023 there are
15 COVID-19 patients in ICU. Triple the number of ICU patients from the 5 reported on 12/17/2022.

Hospitalizations still are not below the low of 21 on 7/4/21.

As of January 21, 2023, ICU bed available capacity is at 14.8%
of 317 total ICU beds. Up from 11% on 12/17/2022.

As of January 21, 2023, the TN Dept of Health reports the average positivity rate over the past 7 days is 23.4% ,up again from the previous rate of 19.9% on 12/17/2022 and 13% reported on 11/12/2022.

Vaccinations reported, last updated 1/30/2023.
Knox County continues to have the 3rd highest rate, 7.7%, (as a % of county population) of the latest booster dose (Bivalent Booster).

Jan 28 2023
09:48 am
By: bizgrrl

On January 11, Microsoft Corp. put out a blog post declaring that Xbox is now the “first carbon aware console,” explaining that a new algorithm will allow the video game machine to download updates during times that it can use the most renewable energy possible."

U.S. Senator (TX) Ted Cruz's response. “First gas stoves, then your coffee, now they're gunning for your Xbox,” wrote the Republican Texas Senator on Twitter Monday, linking an article from conservative news site The Blaze declaring, inaccurately, that “Xbox will force gamers to power down to fight climate change."

"House Republicans renewed their investigation Wednesday into the art dealings of Hunter Biden, pushing for details on who is purchasing his work as part of the party’s long-promised probe into President Joe Biden and his family."

Apparently the art work is being sold for too much money according to the Republicans led by U.S. Rep. James Comer from Kentucky.

"Why do they hate tobacco?" said [Fox News host Tucker] Carlson. "It's not because they hate that it causes cancer, they don't care about your health ... They hate nicotine. They love THC. They're promoting weed to your children but they're not letting you use tobacco, or even non-tobacco nicotine devices, which don't cause cancer."

U.S. Rep. Corey Mills from Florida, "Welcoming you to a mission-oriented 118th Congress," while gifting to his congressional colleagues an "an inert, 40MM hand grenade produced in Florida that is designed for use in the MK19 grenade launcher."

Whatta ya gonna do?

Jan 26 2023
09:27 am
By: bizgrrl

"Last year, M&M’s unveiled a new look for the red, green, brown, orange, blue and yellow M&M. The intention was to give candies a “fresh, modern take.” Among the changes? The Green M&M’s go-go boots were swapped out with “cool, laid-back sneakers to reflect her effortless confidence. People had opinions on the change, igniting a series of memes and even controversy. (The brand also introduced a purple M&M in September.)"

“In the last year, we’ve made some changes to our beloved spokescandies. We weren’t sure if anyone would notice. And we definitely didn’t think it would break the internet. But now we get it — even a candy’s shoes can be polarizing. Which was the last thing M&M’S wanted since we’re all about bringing people together.”

Sheesh. The new Republican party are a bunch of Donnie/Debbie downers. They need to be exiled.

Jan 23 2023
11:38 am

All six New England states were among the 13 states where births increased between 2019 and 2021
. New Hampshire (highest in nation at 7%) and Tennessee were the only states with more births last year than in 2014, the last time births rose nationally.
"Births nationwide remain well below the “replacement rate” of 2.1 births per woman needed to prevent population decline, a level they haven’t reached since 2007, according to the CDC. The rate ticked up slightly last year from 2020, but only to about 1.7."

South Korea recently broke its own record for the world’s lowest fertility rate (0.79).
"South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol admitted that more than $200 billion has been spent trying to boost the population over the past 16 years."

In the U.S., it is said women are waiting longer to start a family. In South Korea they are saying the cost of living is too high.

Either way, low birth rates could lead to problems supporting our way of life, e.g. infrastructure, health care, retirement, etc.

What would encourage women in the U.S. to birth more babies? Provide free college, free childcare, or help becoming an influencer or TikTok star?

Jan 21 2023
06:50 am

Greenhouse gas emissions have been steadily going down since about 2008. There have been bounces where emissions go down then up then down again with the end result being lower towards the 2030 goal. During the pandemic emissions dropped significantly because a lot of activities ceased, e.g. flying and driving to work. After the pandemic emissions have risen again but they are still below pre-pandemic levels.

[Greenhouse gas] "Emissions ticked up 1.3 percent even as renewable energy surpassed coal power nationwide for the first time in over six decades, with wind, solar and hydropower generating 22 percent of the country’s electricity compared with 20 percent from coal."

"A recent report from the International Energy Agency estimated that renewables are on track to overtake coal as the largest source of electricity generation worldwide by early 2025..."
The "highest-emitting sectors, transportation and industry, together account for roughly two-thirds of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions."

"Industrial emissions rose by 1.5 percent and
transportation emissions rose by 1.3 percent, the latter driven mainly by demand for jet fuel as air travel continued to recover from pandemic-era declines."
"The most significant increase in emissions last year came from homes and buildings, which burn fossil fuels like natural gas in furnaces, hot water heaters and other appliances. Those emissions rose 6 percent, and reached prepandemic levels. Colder-than-average temperatures early in the year led many Americans to increase their home energy use by turning up the heat."
"Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, with farming activities accounting for 11.2 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States in 2020..."
"some good news: Last year, the country’s economic growth, measured in G.D.P., outpaced emissions growth, indicating that the economy was less carbon intensive..."

Slowly we are going to reach the target emissions. However, with transportation and industry accounting for two-thirds of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions it is hard for us as individuals to do more. That's when joint efforts from our government and business/industry are so important.

Everywhere! Any place you can legally park inside the Smoky Mountains National Park will require a parking pass if you park longer than 15 minutes. That includes pull offs along the roadways, the visitor center, Cades Cove mill area, everywhere.

Three tag durations will be available for purchase for all vehicle sizes and types:
Daily - $5
Weekly - $15
Annual - $40

Parking passes can be purchased online, in person, and at ATMs, when available.

In person sales locations include the Gatlinburg Visitor Center, Sugarlands Visitor Center, Townsend Visitor Center, Cades Cove Visitor Center, Cades Cove Orientation Shelter, and more.

Jan 17 2023
02:41 pm

Remember the Orange route?
A Knoxville beltway considered by TDOT in 2010. Also, the Green route in 2008.

Knox County Commissioner Larsen Jay and Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville, are once again proposing a bypass as if the idea has never been discussed.

One of the previous routes was turned down because it was proposed as a toll road. But, now Gov. Lee is considering toll roads.

Jan 17 2023
06:52 am

"Car manufacturers began installing seat belts in passenger cars sold in the United States in the late 1950s. In 1968, the federal government began to require lap and shoulder seat belts in the front outboard seats of all new passenger cars sold in the United States if the lap belt alone could not prevent occupant contact with the windshield. Modern integrated three-point lap and shoulder seat belts, which lock during rapid deceleration, became standard in 1973."
"All states have seat belt laws, except New Hampshire* [the Live Free or Die state]. Laws requiring seat belt use are either “primary” or “secondary” enforcement laws. Primary enforcement laws allow police officers to pull over drivers and issue tickets just because the drivers or their passengers aren’t wearing seat belts. Secondary enforcement laws only allow police officers to issue tickets for seat belt violations if drivers have been pulled over for some other offense."

Tennessee initiated a seat belt law in April, 1986. Tennessee enhanced the seat belt law in July, 2004, to primary enforcement.

* New Hampshire does have a law requiring any person under the age of 18 riding as a passenger in a car to be secured by either a seat belt or a child safety seat.


"It means sitting down the night before D-Day and writing a letter praising the troops and taking all the blame for the next day’s failure upon yourself, in case things went wrong, as General Dwight D. Eisenhower did."

[Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.] knew he was in danger as he worked for a racially and economically just America. “I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter…because I’ve been to the mountaintop…. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life…. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”

People are wrong to say that we have no heroes left.


Jan 15 2023
06:59 am

What's with the misogynistic attitude that keeps arising around the country?

The U.S. House of Representatives newly reelected buffoon recently said, "And he told Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who was managing whose turn it was to speak, that if he wanted to be disrespected by a woman, he’d go home to his wife and daughter."

A newly elected Idaho state legislator said, " "I'm a lifelong dairy farmer who retired, still own part of the dairy; grew up on the farm. I've milked a few cows, spent most of my time walking behind lines of cows, so if you want some ideas on repro and the women's health thing, I have some definite opinions."

Then there are all of those men unable to give birth working so hard to control the process. Just the other day the Tennessee Attorney General along with the attorney generals from 20 other states wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration requesting the restriction of mifepristone availability in order to protect women's health. Protect our health?!?! Hah. They could better protect our health by restricting guns.

Every day we encounter these statements/actions and wonder why we work so hard to be respected.

Jan 12 2023
09:53 am


This Yellow-bellied sapsucker has been feeding off of our white pine for at least three weeks. Sometimes it will just sit there for a while. Don't know if it is resting or sleeping. She started just below the limbs on this side of the tree and has drilled holes all the way down to the ground and is now working on the other sides of the tree.

Jan 12 2023
09:34 am

From a Tennessee Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) report summary dated Dec. 15, 2022.

"Because the practical effect of the state’s EV registration fee is to serve as a substitute for the gas tax by collecting revenue for road funding from vehicle owners who don’t purchase gasoline—and therefore don’t contribute to road funding through the gas tax—

the Commission recommends the state

* increase the EV registration fee to better offset the revenue lost from state fuel taxes that those vehicle owners do not pay,
* share EV registration fees with local governments in the same proportion as the gas tax, and
** apply a reduced EV registration fee to plug-in-hybrid vehicles and share this revenue with local governments in the same proportion as the gas tax."

There is a 68 page detailed report on "Electric Vehicles and Other Issues Affecting Roads and Highway Funding".

From a June 6, 2021, Memorandum on "Electric Vehicles and Other Issues Affecting Road and Highway Funding",

"Commission staff calculated that a vehicle in Tennessee getting 24 mpg over 12,000 miles per year provides $135 in state fuel tax; at
30 mpg the amount falls to $108 (–20%). Improving to 40 mpg would further reduce revenue to $81. Even if there were no new electric vehicles at all, Atlas projects a 15% decline in fuel tax revenue by 2030 (not adjusted for inflation), as overall fuel economy increases by 25%."

I had no idea Tennessee charged buyers an electric vehicle fee. Of course, I've never purchased an EV. A $100 fee does not seem so bad nor does an increased fee of $300.

The info might be in the documents I've linked to, but I'll ask since I haven't seen the answer. Do EV users get charged a state fee when charging their cars at charging stations not at their homes?

Jan 11 2023
08:33 am

The FAA is still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage. (7:15 am)

The FAA has ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. Eastern Time to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.

Departures are resuming at Newark Liberty (EWR) and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) airports due to air traffic congestion in those areas. (8:15 am)


Jan 11 2023
06:57 am

It's been written many places that electric vehicle (EV) and Hybrid vehicle batteries are expensive to replace. The good news is that the car manufacturers usually have an 8 year, 100,000 warranty on the batteries. The bad news is that if the battery fails after the warranty expires it could cost anywhere from $3,000 to nearly $20,000 to replace. Yowza!

Many people drive their vehicles way over the 100,000 mileage mark. I met a person the other day with a Honda Civic (internal combustion engine) that had over 160,000 miles. The person plans to drive the car for many more years. Vehicles with internal combustion engines can also encounter major costs such as an engine rebuild. An internal combustion engine rebuild can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000 or more depending on the car, based on a search of the Internet.

Then there is the issue of recycling and disposal of old EV and Hybrid batteries.

If batteries past their prime supply the ingredients for new ones, electric cars, trucks and vans would become more affordable and environmentally sustainable.

...batteries pose their own problems. Raw materials can be hard to mine, are often found in countries with poor human rights records and require processing that leaves behind noxious waste.

Fortunately, those battery ingredients are also highly reusable. And now a race is on to collect and recycle used lithium-ion batteries.

A lot will have to change between now and when EVs and Hybrid vehicles will be the norm. It's a good start, though.

"The U.S. Will Need Thousands of Wind Farms. Will Small Towns Go Along?" There are concerns within communities "that they are ugly, that they kill birds, or that the low frequency noise they emit can adversely affect human health." "“I moved here for nature, for trees, for crops,” said Sandy Coyle, who lives nearby and opposed the project. “I’m not interested in living near an industrial wind farm.” "The aerial seeding of cover crops will cost more with wind turbines nearby and make it harder for her to sustainably farm." ..."about 70 percent of the landowners who have agreed to let Apex put turbines on their property live outside Piatt County."

Effect of Wind Farm Noise on Local Residents’ Decision to Adopt Mitigation Measures

Studies have found that wind turbines (wind farms, windmills) "people living near wind farms complain of a variety of negative physiological and psychological symptoms [6]. In certain cases, these symptoms are sufficiently serious to force them to modify their homes (e.g., implementation of sound insulation measures) to reduce the intrusive noise or even, in the extreme, to abandon their residences."

"Estimates of up to a million or more birds a year are killed by turbines in the US but that is far exceeded by collisions with communications towers (6.5 million); power lines, (25 million); windows (up to 1 billion); and cats (1.3 to 4.0 billion) and those lost due to habitat loss, pollution and climate change." "Wind turbines can be removed when something better comes along. The habitat destruction and pollution from coal, oil and gas extraction and burning, building of pipelines and other infrastructure plus negligence and accidents is very difficult, even impossible in many cases, to undo." Then, there is the possibility of wind turbines with no blades. In development is "the Invelox, a next-generation wind harvester. A 90-foot-tall device could create the same amount of power as a 1.8-megawatt commercial wind tower, but at a third of the height, on a seventh of the land, and with a turbine more than eight times smaller in diameter."

Solar farms are popping up in the landscape. When driving on I-75 in South Georgia we encountered several huge solar farms.

"Silicon Ranch, one of the nation’s largest independent power producers, announced today that three new utility-scale solar facilities are now generating carbon-free renewable energy to help support Meta’s (formerly the Facebook company) operations in Georgia."

"The three projects total 287 megawatts (MWAC) of solar generation..."

"Walton EMC and Silicon Ranch have now completed the installation of six projects totaling 435 MWAC on behalf of Meta [Facebook]."

A new project in Lee County, GA, on 3,000 acres, will add another 125 megawatts for Meta (Facebook)

I was quite excited about the solar farms until I found out the majority, if not all, of the power was going towards Meta (Facebook) facilities. All this land, all this power, and it goes towards a company that produces what?

They are building a solar farm in Maryville, TN, for DENSO, "a leading mobility supplier". "DENSO ... has facilities to produce electrification system, powertrain system, thermal system, mobility electronics, & advanced devices, to create jobs that directly change how the world moves." Heh. Great description. They do, however, produce something that is used by nearly everyone.

I've been interested in wind power for quite some time. However, if it is being pushed on communities that don't want it, then I think they need to come up with standardized laws on where to install them. Not that the laws should allow governments to override citizens, but laws may better protect citizens when wind farms are approved.

Oh, and by the way, Phil Bredesen is the founding Chairman of Silicon Ranch. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

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To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

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