Presidential Funeral Trivia - On Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday

In Celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday this month, and President’s Day, Here are some little know presidential funeral facts:

  • Andrew Jackson’s parrot had to be removed from his funeral because it kept swearing!
  • The only two signers of the Declaration of Independence, Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th Birthday of our country.
  • Abraham Lincoln gave the eulogy at President Zachary Taylor’s funeral.
  • William Taft’s funeral was the first to be broadcast on the radio.
  • Andrew Johnson requested to be buried wrapped in an American Flag with a copy of the US Constitution under his head.
  • The only two presidents buried at Arlington National Cemetery are JFK, and William Taft.
  • Dwight Eisenhower was buried in his uniform in an Army casket.
  • Dying on April 15, 1865 Abraham Lincoln was not permanently buried until September 26, 1901. To end potential attempts to steal the body, his coffin was placed in a cage 10 feet deep encased in 4,000 pounds of concrete. His beloved son Willie is buried with him.

Cyber Monday

You’ve probably heard of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when “crazy” people get up at 4am to get a good deal on a present, (the rest of us are in a “Turkey Coma” at 4am the day after Thanksgiving). So, Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving when people go back to work and shop for the great on-line deals.

There’s even a website dedicated to helping you plan out where you’ll shop on Monday, It gives the scoop on the deals of over 500 companies and what their on-line deals will be on Cyber Monday.

One of the companies listed,, believe it or not is selling caskets with free shipping on Cyber Monday. We really need to take the phrase, “Now I’ve heard it all” out of our vocabularies. If Costco can sell caskets I guess can too, but here’s some things you should know. Two of the caskets are rated with 5 stars, I find that hilarious, obviously the occupant didn’t rate it… or did he? Here’s the actual text from one of the five star rating reviews, “This is a nice casket very plush and it does not feel cramped inside, lots of leg room. I highly recommended this product.” It takes 2 days from the date of order to deliver the casket, but they don’t deliver on Saturdays, Sundays, or Holidays. And here’s the interesting part, caskets aren’t exempt from their return policy. I looked high and low on the site, read the fine print of what you can and can’t return, I went as far as “add to my basket”, but can’t find anything that says you can’t return a casket. You can’t return underwear to but you can return a casket. Does anyone else find that odd? Gross? Wrong? Pick an adjective.

So have fun shopping at work on Monday, and visit and even, just be sure to read the return policy on everything you buy, and make certain there is one.

Tips on Saving Gas -- And Your Gas Money

Here in Denver, we are paying over $4 a gallon now, so I thought I would share a few tips of saving gas that were recently forwarded to me. I know a lot of you are paying even more. And while this may be off-topic for this blog, it’s a situation that is affecting us all -- metaphorically, we’re all dying at the pump these days...

I have heard a lot of these before but never knew the reasons behind them. I adapted this list from an unnamed worker for Kinder Morgan Pipeline in San Jose, CA.

• Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold.
Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the
temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

• When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see
that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some other liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

• One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL or HALF EMPTY. The reason is, the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves a zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

• Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up--most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

• Here are some large companies that do not import Middle Eastern oil:
‣ Sunoco
‣ Conoco
‣ Sinclair
‣ BP/Phillips
‣ Hess

All of this information is available from the Department of Energy as each is required to state where they get their oil and how much they are importing.

How a Bill Becomes a Law in Colorado

Regarding HB 1123, I have received several emails, and have had numerous conversations with end of life professionals on how a bill actually becomes law in Colorado. Right now the bill is stuck waiting for the second reading on the House floor. Here’s how it got that far:

1. The bill was read by the House Clerk on the floor of the House of Representatives.

2. The Speaker of the House assigned the bill to the House Business Labor and Affairs Committee, which voted in favor the bill moving it the next step.

3. Since HB 1123 has a fiscal note attached the House Appropriations Committee had to review the bill. The first vote ended in a tie, but the second vote passed the bill.

4. Now the bill is waiting for the next step, which is second reading on the House floor. The entire House can debate and still make amendments to the bill. During second reading the vote is a voice vote, that means when asked, “All in favor”, or “All opposed” which ever group has a louder voice either keeps the bill moving forward toward third reading, or kills the bill on second reading.

5. If the bill goes to third reading, that is when an official recorded vote is taken, and the bill either dies in the House, or passes and moves to the Senate.

The bill has been postponed every day for over a week now. What’s happening is that as the Legislature prepares to begin debate on the Long Bill, the number of other bills is really piling up, in other words, there’s a log jam at the Capitol. The Long Bill is the bill that deals with the budget and takes a large amount of time for the legislatures to debate and pass, therefore most bill sponsors want to get their bill heard before the Long Bill begins. That creates a huge back-up.

This morning it was announced on the floor of the House that all of the second reading of the bills would indeed be read through tomorrow (Wednesday, March 26, 2008) and I quote, “if it takes until Thursday to get it done.” The Representatives were instructed to bring snacks and dinner would be ordered if necessary to get through the large stack of bills before them.

Click here to get a copy of the State’s official PDF of how a bill becomes law (which is pictured above). Picking up with number 5 above, if the bill passes the House, then it will be moved to the Senate, at which time it will be read, assigned a committee, and a very similar process begins again, only in the Senate. If the bill passes the House and the Senate then it becomes law, provided that the Governor signs it immediately.

However, if the Governor doesn’t sign it within 30 during days during regular session, or within 10 days after the session recesses the bill will not become law, and the whole process must start over.

The Governor can also veto a bill if it hasn’t met the 2/3 passing majority in both the House and Senate, which is what happened to the funeral licensure bill 2 years ago.