Something to Think About - keep (311)


What do you know about solar power?

Although solar panels look funny on tile roofs they are common in California where solar becomes a requirement on new homes in 2020.

Recently on Facebook, there was an offer to check out solar so I bit and it was determined we might qualify for Tax Credits on solar installation. The presentation was very professional so I agreed to a meeting.

Chris, the technician knew his stuff. I gathered up electric bills for the last year and he had an aerial picture of my home giving him needed dimensions etc.

Chris determined that to offset our average electric bill we'd need 33 panels qcell at 315 watts. Didn't mean much to me, but based on our usage we could almost completely eliminate our electric bill.

Of course, the $64 question was how much does this cost?

$43,000 if we use their financing option for 15 years with 30% or about $13,000 knocked off with the federal tax credit. If we paid cash the initial cost would drop to $39,000.

Interestingly the monthly payments on the 15-year plan were almost equal to our electric bills.

So, with no money down and applying for the tax credits we could install solar and nearly eliminate our West Star bills.

That’s a no brainer, right?

Well, maybe not quite that easy.

First, what about the ascetics? About 80% of the east side of our roof would need to be covered. Since we are kind of proud of our home's look, this is a big issue.

What about the roof? Kurt Steinkuhler said if installed correctly solar panels shouldn't be a problem, but he would not put them on an older roof like mine. So maybe a new roof comes first?

What about insurance premiums?

The solar company said in most cases insurance companies see solar as an enhancement to home thus adding value creating the need for more protection.

Insurance agent Chris Metcalf did some checking and found several different ways solar panels are handled by insurance companies including adding an endorsement, but all increase premiums. Conclusion: increased insurance cost is not a major impediment, but premiums will increase.

So, for Bobbi and me while solar would be a basic break-even deal and add value to our house the fact we probably won't live there for fifteen more years and neither of us particularly like the way solar panels look on houses we are not adding solar.

But for Bobbi's daughter who is building a home in the country near Lawrence solar might make sense - especially with high power rates in the country.

This has been an interesting exercise and I feel a little more educated on solar power and hope you do too.

I'm Steve Sauder.

My topic today is the plight of my Democrat friends and the conundrums they are facing.

A conundrum is by definition: a problem that is difficult to deal with often including a question that is a trick.

The Democrats want badly to make Donald Trump go away. That sentiment is not theirs exclusively, but it does present some tricky questions.

Their choices are Impeachment or defeat President Trump’s re-election attempt in November of 2020.

Grounds for impeachment appear to be plentiful and the Democratically controlled House could easily get that job done, but failing to have President Trump found guilty in the Senate is a totally different story.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds the trump card here and she's convinced impeachment would be a mistake, but not all Democrats agree with her.

The second conundrum facing Democrats is a presidential primary race with no less than 24 candidates.

Recent polls tell us Trump can be beaten if the Democrats pick the right candidate, but how do they handle or even remotely control a race with so many horses? That's a sticky one.

All the polls except the President's suggest the current front runners in the race for the Democratic nomination would beat Trump. Those same polls say Trump could likely be defeated in 12 states that he won in 2016! The potential for success is high!

An additional point of interest comes from George Will the well respected syndicated columnist who says many young voters have made up their minds that the Republican Party is a dumb party.

Additionally Will says many young voters think they like socialism even though they typically don't trust big government.

Kind of looks like easy pickings for the Dems in 2020 except for one thing - who is their candidate?

"Sleepy" Joe Biden as Trump calls him is the early leader. Actually "sleepy'' may be a pretty effective nickname following the overactive guy he wants to replace!

Senators Warren and Sanders are the candidates of massive change, but the cost for their ideas might even make President Trump blush.

There's a bunch of other contenders but looks like these are the better choices.

My friends are facing several conundrums for sure. It's going to be an interesting 17 month.

I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

This talk is about golf and keeping it Fun and Fair.

          Golf is a game for life because most can play their entire lives. Most golf courses have multiple tees on the same hole to accommodate players of different abilities.

          About Forward or Senior Tees the USGA, United States Golf Association says this:



          Forward tees are not intended to make a golf course easy, but rather they are intended to enhance the golf experience by allowing golfers to adjust the length and difficulty of a golf course so that it is compatible with their abilities.

          I think that says golf ought to be Fun and Fair, not easy.

          Out South, oh I mean the Emporia Golf Course recognized the opportunity for Forward or Senior Tees years ago, but they confined the adjustment to already in use teeing areas and thus really didn't do much to help Senior or Lady golfers.

          For example, hole #7 is a difficult 386-yard par 4 from the White tees. The Senior tee is only 6 yards closer and the Lady's tee is 7 yards closer. Both way too far.

          The Senior tees Out South are a total of 357 yards shorter than the White tees or less than 20 yards a hole. Subtract number hole #9 where the Seniors now save 167 yards and the average yardage difference between the White and Senior tees is just over 11 yards. That is not even close to enough! Fact is it's kind of a joke.

          Fixing this and the Lady’s tees which are way too long also isn't that difficult. The USGA says this:

New forward tees can easily be established in level areas of existing fairways.

          Golf Professional Marcus Erkle and I have discussed this question at length with his answer initially being when we adjust for the new runways at the airport we will build new tee boxes.

          Unfortunately, we've been anticipating those new runways for about 30 years now, so please give me a break.

          Monday, Marcus agreed that creating new tees in the fairways for both Seniors and Ladies is an idea that needs to be acted on.

          At the start, I said Fun and Fair.

          At the Country Club, we established Senior Tees three years ago and I can name a hand-full of guys who are still playing golf because the new closer tees make golf fun and fair again.

          That same opportunity exists for the Emporia Golf Course meaning more golfers and that could be huge!   

          I’m Steve Sauder.

One of my favorite TV features each week is A Life Well Lived on NBC on Sunday mornings. This week it was Bart Starr the legendary Green Bay Packer’s quarterback.
His story reminded me of my early years when NFL football was much simpler with only about 16 teams and choices of games to watch very limited. Fact is, my favorite NFL player for a long time was John David Crow of the St’ Louis Cardinals because we saw him every week.
But Bart Starr is a legend that deserves to be remembered. He was the only quarterback to lead his team to three consecutive NFL championships and then was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls with the first being over our Kansas City Chiefs.
Maybe Starr’s most famous play was his quarterback sneak in the infamous Ice Bowl to defeat the Dallas Cowboys.
Starr’s childhood was not easy and he actually quit his high school team as a sophomore but given an option by his dad to either return to football or work in the family garden his gridiron career resumed.
He became a high school All American in Montgomery, Alabama and moved on the Alabama University to play for the legendary Bear Bryant. He was the starting quarterback, safety and punter.
In 1954 Starr and Cherry Morton eloped and got married but had to keep their marriage a secret because Bart’s scholarship might have revoked if he was married. They were married over 60 years.
The Starr’s are remembered for their generosity and starting a camp for at-risk boys. Starr was 85 when he passed on May 26. He was one of the good guys and certainly a life well lived.
Another sports legend passing recently was Billy Buckner the pro baseball player who played for 22 years with the Cubs, Dodgers, Royals, Angles and of course the Boston Red Sox.
You see, Buckner who had a lifetime average of .289, hit 174 home runs and won the National League Batting Title in 1980 is not remembered for those feats at all, but instead for booting a routine ground ball at first base in game 6 of the 1986 World Series which led to the Red Sox losing the Series.
Buckner’s life while well lived was never the same after that day. He died ten days ago at age 69.
Bart Starr and Billy Buckner two of my heroes are gone - Rest in Peace guys.
I’m Steve Sauder.

          Sunday evening Bobbi and I returned from a long day watching the Royals and grandson Isaac play baseball to find the TV offerings limited until I noticed Memorial Day Concert listed on PBS.

          Thinking good music and patriotism I gave it a try. Wow and wow! It was good so more on the concert later.

          Steve Sauder is not a veteran, but he is well aware of the sacrifices made by his friends that did serve and hopefully is appreciative to a proper level.

          I often wonder if fortunate is the right word to describe my not serving in the military. By virtue of passing only 11 hours at KU my second semester, I did qualify to be drafted and did ride the train to Kansas City and did take the standard pre-induction physical exam.

          I carried with me that day a note from Dr. Lohmeyer who had recently performed surgery on my left knee saying I had "a 10% permanent disability" from my knee injury.

          Had I passed that physical I would have faced the same decision many of my friends we facing - be drafted, enlist or join the National Guard. Obviously, my life would have been altered in a major way.

          So, on occasions like Memorial Day, I am reminded that there were many who did serve and that I - like many others are indebted to them in a way not easily described, so a heartfelt thank you is the best I can offer.

          That brings us back to that Memorial Day Concert on PBS.

          Bobbi and I watched it without comment from nearly an hour and we both wiped tears away on several occasions.

          This concert told stories from most of the conflicts in which Americans have been involved. They offered facts about timelines and numbers of lives lost using re-enactments by professional actors to tell about the thoughts and experiences of veterans and survivors. They were amazingly effective.

          One portrayed the young widow of a soldier killed in Iraq. She said her husband who had enlisted promised her he'd call her every day which she said: "he did until the day he didn't." She said she made up excuses for not getting his call until the next day when she got the call she was dreading.

          We do a great deal in Emporia to honor our veterans as we should. I hope I am never guilty of taking their service for granted. Veterans deserve far more than they have gotten so let's keep honoring them, not just on Memorial Day or Veterans Day, but on every day.

          Finally, about that Memorial Day Concert that touched Bobbi and me so much - it is available online at Once more at Have your tissues handy because it is very emotional.

          Thank you veterans for your service.

          I am a very humble Steve Sauder.


          We have just finished the commencement season with many graduates listening to many speeches offering sage advice for their futures.

          Several years ago I gave such a speech and used words attributed to Winston Churchill saying "Change is the master key."

          My understanding of those words was literal as I personally changed my path over a dozen times before starting Valu-Line - the Long Distance Company in 1981 at age 35.

          Point being: if your job or life situation isn't working for you do not be afraid to make a change. Life is too short to not enjoy what we do.

          Funny thing - though - when Googling "Change is the master key," I can't find it attributed to Churchill or anyone!

          What I have found are some interesting quotes from the former highly respected British statesman.

Churchill did say these things about change and planning:

  • There is nothing wrong with change if it is in the right direction.
  • To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
  • Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.

On courage and success he said:

  • It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.
  • Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
  • Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Churchill was not a fan of socialism having said!

  • Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

He was also an optimist:

  • The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

Churchill had a wonderful sense of humor:

  • Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way they look forward to the trip.
  • If you are going through hell, keep going.
  • You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.

And maybe Winston Churchill's most prolific quotation:

  • We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. I think that’s worth repeating: Churchill said, We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.

          History treats Churchill with great respect and his words illustrate he is deserving.

          I'm Steve Sauder


Today some random and unrelated thoughts to share.
First about Sleep Apnea? I assume you've heard of it? Its key symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness. Things like falling asleep watching TV, at stop lights and just generally being tired during the day.
If those are familiar you may want to ask your doctor for help. I did almost twenty years ago and was diagnosed and three times provided with a breathing machine. Most are called C-PAPs. It is designed to help patients breath better at night and mitigate somewhat their sleep apnea symptoms.  
It took three different sleep studies to finally tie down my problem which turned out to be more complex than the garden variety meaning I needed a Bypath machine.
The result is I now sleep six or seven hours a night using my machine and I feel more rested than ever.
That's it! A simple testimonial for asking your Doc for help if you have the symptoms mentioned above. Sweet dreams!
Now I stole the following from FaceBook. Some uplifting thoughts paraphrased about starting your day.
  • WAKE UP and decide to have a good day! One positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.
  • DRESS UP - the best effort here starts with a smile.
  • LOOK UP to the Lord. He never said it would be easy only worth it!
  • REACH UP for something higher! Why not shoot for the moon every day?
  • LIFT UP YOUR PRAYERS! When life puts you on your knees you are in a perfect position to pray.
  • BRIGHTEN UP someone else's day! Even the smallest favors can stimulate a heart.
  • NEVER GIVE UP - when one door closes another usually opens.
You can be AWESOME today - if you’ll try.
Now, finally, a short prayer is taken from the book entitled: The Greatest Salesman in the World.
Oh Lord, I ask not for gold or garments or even opportunities equal to my abilities; instead, guide me so that I may acquire ability equal to my opportunities. Amen.
Maybe that was just a play on words but how much better off might we be if we were granted: abilities equal to our opportunities?
And the congregation said, "Amen!"
And I'm Steve Sauder


          Sunday at my church the sermon title was (I’m paraphrasing) How do you smell to God?

          Do you know there are like 14 references to “fragrance” in the Bible?

          Pastor Karla asked the congregation to suggest things that smell good to them and then the reverse.

          This exercise was hard for me having lost my sense of smell about 10 years ago.

          I do remember the pleasing smell of cinnamon rolls from the Dolly Madison plant and soybeans from East Sixth. Bad milk, old garbage and of course the packing plant would be my not so pleasing list.

          If our Pastor had asked me Sunday for a good smell I would have offered that my dad thought crude oil was a pleasing smell while many others would disagree just like the smell of cow manure probably pleased Buster Wheat, Olma Peak, and Girdner Crowfoot while others would disagree.

          Guess we will agree to disagree on what might be a pleasant fragrance.

          The so-call “smell test” on the other hand is a little more subjective. It’s defined as an informal method for determining whether something is authentic, credible or ethical using common sense instead of our nose.

          Youngsters plan for the evening that has questions for patents may not pass their “smell test.”

          Without hard facts let me discuss the actions of the Kansas Legislature over the weekend as it pertained to Medicaid Expansion.

          For me, their actions did not pass my “smell test.”

          Medicaid Expansion would make affordable health care available to well over one hundred thousand Kansans who currently do not have insurance for a variety of reasons.

          Is this proposal perfect? Far from it, and it will cost the state an unknown amount of money. It also will help some who don’t deserve help and there are other possible hidden challenges.

          But, the status quo is not working. Expansion is a better solution, but we cannot get it through the legislature even though a majority in both the House and Senate and the Governor support the plan.

          Senate leadership is opposed and under their rules has successfully kept Medicaid Expansion from being voted on in the Senate.

          Over the weekend a coalition of House Democrats and moderate Republicans attempted not supporting the proposed budget as a way to force a vote. This seemed to be working but eventually failed.

          A sizable majority of Kansans support Medicaid Expansion yet it can’t even get voted on in the Senate!

          This whole deal fails miserably to pass my “smell test!” I hope you agree and let our leaders know.

          I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.

Sunday morning KVOE ran an ad from the National Association of Broadcasters promoting radio and what a great tool it is for both advertisers and listeners.

          That ad made we think it's probably time for me to be proactive and promote our stations in terms of their value to our advertisers and listeners.

          At KVOE our goal has always been to be a servant to our community. Meaning we want to help involve and inform our listeners about everything going on in the Emporia area.

          For advertisers, the proof is in the pudding. No other medium can match KVOE's reach in the Emporia trade area.

          As the RAB ad says radio reaches more people than any other method and radio is best equipped to target the advertiser's desired audience.

          ROI means return on investment and again radio wins this battle.

          Just ask the savviest advertisers in Emporia and they will tell you to get your message delivered locally - KVOE is your best bet.

          NOW with my commercial message delivered let me share the rest of the story.

          As committed as KVOE is to being a good option for our advertisers we may be even better at delivering the news, weather, and sports.

          And without any doubt, KVOE is the best-est way ever in Emporia for groups promoting events to get the word out.

          News! If there is a way for us to get better please share it with me. Bragging? Probably, but Chuck and his gang are pretty cotton pickin' good! Throw in weather coverage and we are off the chart!

          Same can be said for Greg Rahe and sports. In fact, I'll challenge you to show me a radio station anywhere covering more local sports than we do.

          Then we come to helping groups, clubs, teams, individuals, causes and well just about anyone wanting publicity for their not for profit event.    Ron Thomas makes his morning show available for interviews for anyone with something worthwhile to promote and our talk show line up is designed to explore topics of interest across the board.

          As our spot says - if you aren't buying advertising elsewhere we'll help you promote your event.

          I know! It’s time to get off my soapbox, but Radio does work and my radio stations are dedicated to serving our clients and listeners.

          Proud? You bet!

          I'm Steve Sauder

The infamous Mueller Report has finally been released. Today let's examine what we actually know and then what we think should happen next.

          We now know:

  • That Russia DID interfere with our Presidential election in 2016.
  • That the Russian's wanted to help Donald Trump get elected.
  • That the Trump campaign organization was aware of the Russian's efforts and they eagerly and knowingly accepted the Russian help.
  • We don't know if Trump's failure to inform the FBI about the Russian help was a crime or just bad judgment.
  • We do know that even though Mueller found many connections between the Russian's and Trump no indictments were issued against the Trump group for collusion or conspiracy.
  • We do know that Volume II of the Mueller Report is far more damaging to President Trump.
  • We do know that President Trump's reaction to the Special Counsel being appointed was to say "his presidency was over and he was  "F----- d." That was pretty revealing!
  • We do know the Mueller Report documents numerous efforts by President Trump to stop, impede, derail or obstruct the investigation.
  • We do know the President was mostly unsuccessful in his attempts to slow down the investigation often being saved by associates refusing to follow his orders.
  • We do know Volume II illustrates an extremely disrupted White House.
  • We do know Mueller concluded he could not indict NOR exonerate the President of Obstruction.
  • We do know Mueller suggested Congress should make the next move.

          Which brings me to today and the obvious question:

What should that "next move" by Congress be?

          My personal hope is that their next move IS NOT a protracted investigation of this already heavily studied situation which has been completed much to the ongoing discomfort of most Americans.

          The time has come for Congress to either FISH OR CUT BAIT.

          If Congress has sufficient evidence to prove Obstruction of Justice against Donald Trump then they should start impeachment proceedings immediately.

           If not – then move on - stop talking about the past and start finding a way forward.

          Any other strategy is unacceptable.

          It's time to heal.

          I'm Steve Sauder and there's something to think about.