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Cash for Clunkers Crash

I find the whole "Cash for Clunkers" program to be somewhat humorous. Granted, since I was looking for a new car not long ago (bought my purty, new Honda CR-V in March) and already went through all the rigamarole of buying, maybe I still have a sour taste in my mouth. I also wouldn't have qualified for this deal, since the trade-in 'clunker' had to only get 18 miles or less to the gallon to qualify for the program. Not so with my old Accord - it was a trooper and got upwards of 30 mpg.

Anyway, since rolling out this Brilliant Obama Scheme (the bill was passed in mid-June) the government's already out of funds - or close to it. Since there was $1 billion at stake, it begs the question of whether or not They did a good job of a) estimating the demand and b) figuring out the qualifications.

In a tight economy, people came out of the woodwork to buy their new, more fuel-efficient cars under this Car Allowance Rebate System. But, again, the requirements weren't that hard to reach in an SUV-saturated market. My husband's Durango only gets ~18 miles to the gallon...all he'd have had to do is purchase an SUV crossover (or whatever they're called, like my CR-V) to qualify for at least the $3,500 cash allowance.

What's interesting is the following statement from today's news:

In a joint statement Thursday night, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, argued it might be possible to revive the program, but that new vehicles under the plan should face tougher standards.

"The extraordinary reaction to the 'Cash for Clunkers' program demonstrates that consumers do want to purchase more fuel efficient, less polluting vehicles," they said. (from ABC News, read the full article here)

What these obtuse idiots don't realize is people don't give a damn about the environment in this case - they want MONEY, they want cheaper cars! Less poluting vehicles's not as if these people were buying up the Prius or Smart Car. Let's be honest - the Cash for Clunkers program wasn't all it was cracked up to be. But hey, at least Obama's starting off on the right foot. Or, is it the left?

Sophia Rides "Princess Lacey"

Sophia Learns to Turn a HorseMy mom bought my 4-year-old niece, Sophia, a horse this summer. Ok, so Lacey's not technically Sophia's...she's a great trail horse so I'm sure she'll get used by friends & other family. Sophia rode her for the first time last weekend, and Mom's already planning on bringing her into the leadline class at the county fair. (No pressure!)

With her mom leading her around, Sophia learned how to get "Princess Lacey" to go, stop, turn and she even TROTTED! She was a little too timid for that last summer when we had a different horse for her to ride.

Sophia Trotting on Lacey I was in the arena with them - riding Ole - and we did a little "follow-the-leader" for learning purposes. Sophia thought that was pretty cool, and even wanted to race. At a walk, but race nonetheless. Maybe she'll end up being a barrel racer...

Mom's all excited for Sophia to practice to get ready for her first show. Although Sophia's been a little slow to love the horses like the rest of us horse-crazy Berniers, she seems to be pretty excited about her new horse, and also very adamant about wearing a helmet while riding. Believe me, there'll be more pictures after the fair!

4-Year-Old Wearing Riding Helmet

Sauk Centre Horse Show

Hunt Seat HorseThis past weekend I spent all day Saturday with my sister in Sauk Centre for a horse show. She showed; not me. I played the groom and dog handler and had a great time. The show started at 9am, and since Amy's first class was 2nd in line, we had to get there in plenty of time for me to get her gelding ready.

Reining Horse through Fence

She boards Ben - her National Show Horse - at Grosser's Longview Ranch in Dayton, MN. That meant I had to get up before 5am in order to get there from St. Paul to leave the barn no later than 6:30. It was a smooth drive, and the entire day was sunny, with a slight breeze, and not too warm.

Mom showed up and spent the majority of the day with us, too. She even brought a cooler full of yummy lunch-makings and flavored water. What a mom :)

National Show Horse Showing Hunt Seat at the Canter Out of Amy's four classes - spread throughout the day - she received a 2nd-, 3rd- and 4th-place ribbon. Not a bad day! She showed only in hunt seat classes (Ben's not a western horse) so at least there was no last-minute rushing for tack changes.

Reining Horse Spinning
In addition to hunt seat, the show also sported saddle seat, western, costume and reining classes. Although I've been around horses all my life, it was still such an experience being surrounded by such high-quality horses and riders.

Ben's Halter Name Plate In between her classes we all sat in the bleachers to watch the other riders compete. The horse world is a fairly small circle, so we ended up seeing a lot of horse people we knew or recognized; it's always fun to see them ride their horses.

Hogan the Blue Heeler at a Horse Show At the end of the day, sweaty, dusty, tired and a little sunburned, we were ready to load Ben and Hogan up and get back home to a shower. All in all, it was a fun day and I can't wait for the next show!