Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
After hitting the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River mid-afternoon yesterday, things have basically been a whirlwind of activity with wading through the mail, paying bills, doing laundry, and other mundane stuff in anticipation of heading off to Hotlanta for the New Year's Eve Bowl festivities.
Being a little busy and a little slow, it took me until yesterday to realize that with a kickoff time of 7:30 PM that we'd likely be ringing in the New year in the Georgia Dome with 50,000 other Georgia Tech and LSU fans.
I hope that we're members of the happiest fan base after a victory over our Bayou based rivals.
Mean time, the consulting enterprise is driving me crazy keeping up with the phone and e-mails so you'll have to excuse the light posting until we get settled in Atlanta.
Early Happy New Year...Y'all...
Monday, December 29, 2008
This cross country driving is tough on old people...particularly when the trip is longer than seven or eight hours.
I guess that's why people tend to gravitate toward larger and larger vehicles the older they get.
Right now I feel like we need a 40' motor home with two bathrooms and a couple of beds so we can pull off the road and make a rest stop or sleep when the urge hits us.
Regardless of the number of axles and size of the frame, we'll be back home on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River a little after noon today.
Then after reading the mail, doing a little laundry, and sleeping in our own bed for a couple of nights its off to Atlanta to watch Georgia Tech beat LSU in what they used to call the "Peach Bowl."
At least the weather is above freezing and the traffic for most of the trip is what could be considered "light."
Talk to y'all after the road is still moving under me...
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Take a look at our accommodations in the snow at dusk as our evening's transportation arrived:
And here's a shot at our little Missy the Turbo Pup sitting around under the tree looking for left over presents and that weird bearded guy in the red underwear...
And here's a look at this little girl, Olive, a tiny mini smooth dappled Dachshund, that won my heart about four years ago and caused us to want our own giant dog in a miniature package...
Heading home tomorrow to catch up on some new consulting work and answer the mail.
Did you miss us?
MORE: 11:45 CST
And The Limo Goeth Away...
It snowed nearly an inch while we were out...I just wish I could have taken the three mini Dachshunds along for the ride.
Well, we walked around in short sleeve shirts here yesterday afternoon after wearing a parka and gloves two nights before with lows near 17 degrees, so I guess that it makes sense that we'd be back down to 33 and looking forward to an afternoon of freezing rain, sleet, and snow after spending the evening listening to it thunder and rain.
I think we got a little bit of hail while we were at it at one point.
Talk about variety being spicy...
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Here's a look at the results of my own snow storm I made in Knoxville
And here's what God gave us for Christmas Eve in Independence, MO.
The celebrations continue as the weather warms. Hope everyone is safe and enjoying the holidays.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm happy to report that we made an executive decision Monday night and as a result our long planned Christmas expedition to Kansas City, which had been canceled due to weather concerns, was back on.
The theory was to slip out between cold fonts and avoid driving in hazardous conditions.
We've pretty much managed to beat the cold front part thus far, but looking at the clouds about 3:30 PM Tuesday we elected to stop short of our destination and spend the evening in a really nice pet friendly Marriott Residence Inn in downtown St. Louis instead of pushing on an additional five hours to our destination.
As we were unloading luggage into the lobby there was a flash of lightning followed by a peal of thunder, and it proceeded to "thunder sleet" until the ground was covered with melting ice pellets.
So far my amateur weather forecasting skills were correct. More than one good private aviator has been killed in an accident caused by a "had to get there" mentality that ended in a fatality.
Driving a car is no different in my opinion.
Having settled into our borrowed abode, as usual, one thing led to another and my culinary nose had us making a reservation at Tony's Restaurant in downtown SL.
The food and service was nothing short of awesome, but thirty years ago they'd have refused to admit us because we were both in jeans and I didn't have a jacket or collared shirt. (I was surprised they didn't have a closet full of "loaner jackets." )
Our head waiter warmed up to us after I apologized for our casual attire and explained that we were just passing through, found the place on a whim, but intended to sample a little of everything that evening.
Two hundred bucks later, after sitting a couple of hours in a room full of women in sequined dresses, and we were cruising back to our rented accommodations in the hotel's courtesy van to check on the Turbo Pup.
Looking at the forecast, this mornings plans present a bit of a dilemma because the weather forecast has taken a 180 degree turn and it looks like we're going to have to feel our way on across the state of Missouri in crappy 40 degree weather that deteriorates into a snowy mess in the mid 20's in KC.
So much for using the Weather Channel to fly or drive anywhere past the end of your driveway, I guess.
Wish us luck, if you will...
Monday, December 22, 2008
Here's what happens when you stumble across this web site...
and you end up building one of these:
...and you put it in your front yard connected to a garden hose and your air compressor:
...somebody wrap me in duct tape before I hurt myself...
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Below are the actual words from a recently closed US government solicitation for bids. Read along with me:
AF083-096 TITLE: Perching Micro Air Weapon
TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Weapons
The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals, their country of origin, and what tasks each would accomplish in the statement of work in accordance with section 3.5.b.(7) of the solicitation.
OBJECTIVE: To develop the technology for a Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) to harvest alternative power/energy sources to remain “on call” and engage targets while perching on a structure.
DESCRIPTION: The field of MAVs is revolutionary and highly necessary to maintaining complete dominance in the ever changing battle space environment. One newly identified role for MAVs is for a bird size Micro Air Vehicle, less than two pounds, to have the ability to harvest power or energy from alternative sources (e.g. power lines, wind, solar, etc.). This MAV should be capable of flying to and then perching on structures (e.g. power lines, trees, buildings, ground, etc.). Once perched, the MAV must be re-deployable, being able to return to the user or to remain “on call” and engage targets. The MAV will be remote controlled through the use of a line of sight datalink. The datalink will have an approximate range of 5 km at a frequency of about 1 GHz. A small onboard video camera will transmit what it sees back to the user by way of the datalink thus allowing the user to designate the target. The MAV will use GPS and an inertial navigation system (INS) to accurately fly from one waypoint to another as required. The warhead payload should be on the order of half a pound of high energy explosive which will be used to target people and/or lightweight vehicles. Combining all of these features a user would be able to fly the MAV into any environment, wait for an extended period of time for a specific target, and then eliminate the target. The ability to harvest power/energy from external sources is critical to persistent surveillance and would extend the operational time of the MAVs exponentially and benefit the war fighter immensely. These capabilities would require innovative technologies in power harvesting and storage technologies.
PHASE I: Define concepts and predict the performance for harvesting and storing power/energy from external sources for application to a perching MAV weighing about two pounds. The power plant should weigh no more than half a pound, and fit roughly within an eight inch long fuselage of one and a half inch radius.
PHASE II: Develop an operational prototype that demonstrates the intended technological concept. The final report should describe how CONOPS are supported and how using an alternative power source as well as the ability to perch affects the structure and design.
PHASE III/DUAL USE: Military Application: This technology will provide users an unprecedented surveillance and targeting combination for any environment. Weapon could wait days for a specific target. Commercial Application: This technology could be applied into any remote controlled device to provide it with a longer functional time.
1. Energy Havesting (EH) for Small Air Vehicles: http://www.dodsbir.net/SITIS/archives_display_topic.asp?Bookmark=29652.
2. Wickenheiser, Adam, Garcia, Ephrahim, "Longitudinal Dynamics of a Perching Aircraft," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 43, No. 5, September-October 2006, http://lims.mae.cornell.edu/pubs/[Wickenheiser]%20Longitudinal%20Dynamics.pdf.
3. Bachmann, R., Boria, F.J., Quinn, R.D., Kline, J.E., Vaidyanathan, R., "Utility of a Sensor Platform Capable of Aerial and Terrestrial Locomotion," IEEE Conf. on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, July 2005.
KEYWORDS: Micro-Air Vehicle, alternative energy supply, precision engagement, Multi-mode mobility, perching
So now our military is buying "mechanical Pigeons" that can fly around and "see" what's going on out there in the world and transmit the information back to a safe location instead of putting some poor bastard with combat boots and a helmet in harms way.
I LIKE IT.
How about you?
I was Googling my way around the WWW this morning and happened to start looking at some story about mothballed Navy ships, and that lead me to check on what ever happened to my old ship, the USS_New_Orleans_(LPH-11) .
Turns out she's still around, but has been decommissioned and is scheduled for scrapping soon. She was even a movie star some time later after I left, serving as the stage for part of the movie Apollo 13 since her sister ship the USS Iwo Jima had already been decommissioned and scrapped.
I never will forget standing watch in her smelly stinky 110 degree F engine room back in 1978, or watching the sun set across her stern as we sailed past some of the thousands of little uninhabited islands in the Philippines.
I know we can't possibly keep every 40 year old ship sitting around rusting, but it's sad to see a place you lived and worked and grew up a little on going away.
I don't see how any sane person can't stop at the end of each calendar year and take the time to consider the events which have occurred while the Earth made yet another orbit around the sun.
As my own life roars toward covering a span of nearly a half century, I'm continuously amazed at the things I see each day and the lack of memory and understanding exhibited by men and women which are paid to manage things like companies and countries and the world overall.
Of course if the people that vote for or otherwise put the leaders in their positions of responsibility (or allow the thugs and dictators to remain in power instead of rising up and overthrowing their illegitimate governments) made better decisions and held the leaders accountable I think that things would be better overall.
Instead of making intelligent, well informed decisions, too many people elect to spend their time on the cell phone or playing video games or watching "Dancing with the Stars" and worrying about dead toddlers in Orlando--literally "playing fiddle while Rome burns" like Emperor Nero.
I, on the other hand, am in the process of starting two new businesses with which I want to produce substantial income in 2009. One is a catering/confections business which Pat will soon be involved with handling full time, and I'm moving toward going back into business as an independent
That's right, this beach bum blogger's
There's just too many opportunities out there, and too much money to be made to not shed the limitations of being a mere "employee" and not take a little risk in return for HUGE profits to be earned working for myself.
I don't know where blogging is going to fit into this picture. I don't see just quitting as a possibility, but I also recognize that the mental effort needed to crank out work and sell and market traditionally takes time and energy at a level which shuts my mind down when I would ordinarily be writing some screed here on the keyboard.
There's also a new web site coming which will be the advertizing front end for "Rocky Top Confections & Catering" and is obviously going to take a good deal of time to develop and support, and The Redneck Gourmet is going to follow along as a companion site with recipes and other cooking stuff that doesn't fit into the main business page.
I guess that you'll have to stay tuned to see how things develop, but I'm excited with the prospects while being tired at the same time knowing how much work is in front of us.
Wait...I almost forgot that Christmas is coming up next week?
And did I mention that in the middle of all of this career insanity I'm also building a snowmaker which uses a garden hose and an air compressor to make artificial snow in your front yard?
Photos to follow.
Ho Ho Ho...dammit...
Friday, December 19, 2008
"Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it.
They failed and it closed.
Now we are trusting the economy of our country to a bunch of people who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze?"
Thursday, December 18, 2008
OK folks...I've had it up to here (pointing to the top of my ever greying, ever balding head) with this ongoing public/political "bailout" debate.
In familiar terminology commonly seen here on this blog, let me offer you a definition or defining statement this morning:
"What a total, utter, unmitigated giant sized load of high purity CRAPPOLA."
(Que the sound of the crickets chirping...)
Everyone got that?
OK, I have more to say/write on the subject, but I'll just let the title and the subtitle sink in for a few hours because I don't have time to further develop my arguement in essay form...stay tuned to this channel for more insensitivity...
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I was sitting around this morning feeling a bit tired of the technical crap I've been thinking about, and still dithering with the mental images of of those shoes flying over President Bush's shoulder, when I came up with this idea of looking at the event from a
Why not make a test where you have to try connecting the past president's picture with the shoe most likely to be thrown at him had people chose to express themselves in the manner some do today?
Here's the presidents:
And in an effort to consider that this might not just be an Anglo-American form of hatred, I offer the leader of this country for your consideration (but since hardly anyone would recognize the leader of Holland--I defaulted to a picture of a windmill because I'm too lazy to Google the details...)
And here's the shoes to associate with each leader, for your consideration (with a couple of fake answers thrown in to confuse you:
In closing, I have to ask:
Isn't this totally silly? Throwing SHOES at important national and international figures?
Feel free to make your own versions of this mental exercise, and let me know how you did if you have the time to comment.
(Answers: Washington-C, Ford-A, Clinton-E, Holland-D
Has anyone but me considered the idea that, as a result of yesterday's "incident" in Iraq where some idiot Arab "Reporter" jumped up and tossed his shoes at the President, that shoes will become optional equipment at press conferences world wide?
I say they should, and I'm willing to start a website and lead the campaign to protect politicians, celebrities, and the public from the potential ravages the friendly fire of Reebok's, New Balances, Florsheim's found flying through the air when microphones and TV cameras are present.
After all, for the past seven years as a result of the wild eyed terrorist wanna-be ("British National" in the media) named Richard_Reid loading his tennis shoes full of Napalm or nitro glycerin or TNT and trying to light a fuse attached to his big toe on an airplane, I have to take off my shoes and stand around in my stocking feet every single time I get on a commercial airliner these days.
Shouldn't the same stupid rules apply to "professional" "journalists" as a result of yesterday's activity overseas?
Someone...anyone...venture to tell me why not?
What's amazing to me is the absurdity of the situation and how the media is insistent in focusing on the "insult" and "embarrassment" President Bush should feel rather than looking at the new found freedom this moron enjoys that allows him to express his lack of coherent thought in the first place.
After all...If this stupid bastard had tried this stunt while his beloved Sunni leader "SoDamn Insane" had been holding a press conference, I'm pretty sure that we'd find that he'd already be dead, Dead, DEAD...
...AFTER having had his fingernails drilled with a Craftsman drill while his private parts were clamped in a Black & Decker Workmate and glowing red hot iron rods were shoved up his uretha, as an interlude to some of his fellow towel heads sawing his head off with a dull "Ginsu" knife shouting "Allah Is Great."
Instead, this little crap-head is just the latest world media hero for "speaking truth to power."
Monday, December 15, 2008
1. Real Brick Pizza Oven in my kitchen
2. A couple of long handled Pizza peels.
In your inability to justify the expense of #1 & #2 above, a couple of new rectangular Pizza Stones will do in a pinch...
Ho Ho Ho...Dammit...
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I hate to admit it, but I spent probably ten or twelve hours yesterday sitting in front of this computer monitor and keyboard here in what was formerly my "home office."
This morning as I write I find it continuing to be transformed into the new international headquarters of what we're calling "Rocky Top Confections & Catering, LLC."
The idea came to me last winter when Pat started baking and cooking Chocolate Truffles on our Little Island, and I considered the possibility that with her appetizers, breads and deserts and my main course efforts we might try doing some small scale event work like party's at outdoor concerts on the lawn down by the St. Simons Lighthouse and such.
Then things changed and the spring of 2008 found us living inland away from lighthouses and Moss draped Live Oak Trees, shivering our way through the fall and early winter on the Banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.
Today's evolution of the original idea features purveying her confections seasonally (Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, etc.) and some sort of emphasis on supplying products serving the monstrous University of Tennessee football tailgating celebrations held here each fall.
Over 110,000 people sitting in seats in the stadium and another ten or twenty thousand just hanging around--imagine all the money spent in the matter of a half day each Saturday.
How much would YOU pay for a giant custom packaged wicker picnic basket for two or four or eight persons--full of exotic cheeses, tapas style entrees, bread and deserts--delivered to your home or tailgate a few hours prior to each of the eight home games in the 2009 season?
That's the million dollar question, and there's a whole bunch of research into packaging and presentation options to attend to.
Then of course there's the injuneering side of my brain which is still ticking along--looking at spending another four to six hours this afternoon finishing up some detailed layout work to get ahead of the designers and other engineers before Monday morning.
Just in case you aren't paying attention to the calendar, you better be finishing up your work here in the next three to five days because I predict that in spite of the "slow economy" not much is going to get done the following week because people's heads and bodies are going to totally be absorbed with CHRISTMAS.
Time to hit the shower and head into the office--y'all have a good Sunday afternoon...
...if you will.
Friday, December 12, 2008
It seems that I'm having entirely too much fun these days playing forensic injuneer part time.
Thus far I've avoided buying a new magnifying glass or stethoscope or any fingerprint powder, but then again there's a couple of shopping weeks left before Christmas and a new Geiger Counter or a telescope could be still on the horizon...
This latest case I'm working on at the moment is terrible and pitiful and insanely insane, all at the same time.
It's terrible and pitiful because a man was horribly burned over half of his body four years ago, will never work or do much of anything again except suffer, and the experience has cost him near $1.5 million in medical expenses in the process.
Some say he's lucky to be alive, but from what I've heard it's hard for me to imagine finding much quality in an existence that is his life today as a result of his injuries--we'll have to let God settle that score in eternity I guess.
It's insanely insane (and possibly inane) because everyone pretty much knows who's responsible for the "accident," but near a dozen "experts" like me and five or six lawyers are spending the insurance companies' money hand over fist trying to settle the disputes over apportioning out the blame over as many parties as is possible.
What kills me is how many people participating in this exercise know so little about the workings of the things we're analyzing. In fact, it appears that the more "expert" advice costs, in many cases the less it has to do with what actually happened.
If things continue at the current pace we're soon going to be analyzing the soil around the parking lot and counting the rings in the trunks of the trees in the side yard of the plant that built the telephones used to make the 911 call--it's going that far afield and overboard in my opinion.
I almost feel guilty for getting paid the amount I do to offer such elementary observations.
OK, maybe I don't.
I guess what it really does is that being on the inside pisses me off that people get away with promoting themselves as technical experts when they really hardly know the time of day and what city they're in based on my observations.
If the government, and by default the PUBLIC, really wanted to do something about the cost of insurance of all kinds they'd pass some sort of tort reform legislation not limiting the size of the awards and jury verdicts--but making it a LOSER PAYS system.
You file a lawsuit--particularly a frivolous one--hoping to just bleed your defendant and possibly win a lottery on a technicality or fluke judgment, and you lose the case, then YOU pay not only YOUR legal costs, but the legal expenses of the person/company/entity you filed suit against.
My client on this case is so far away from being guilty for anything even close to causing this accident other than having a product installed in the system that exploded, and yet they're spending hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars defending themselves from what will probably be an EIGHT FIGURE verdict (that's something between $10,000,000 and $99,000,000 for those of you that went to Georgia or UT.)
Meanwhile, I'm off on my latest iteration of the process, and I must admit that the extra income is welcome here at Christmas time. I guess you could say that in spite of the recession or current economic downturn or whatever you can call it, people are still in the business of suing each other and I guess I'm able to add a little valuable input to the process and make a part time living of a fairly stinky process.
I have to go now and buy a dirty raincoat at Good Will to go with my well chewed cigar in order to complete the image illusion...
I'm taking some time off here because my mind is tired from writing six or eight hours a day on technical stuff.
Feel free to read the news and try to figure out what the heck is going on in the world
You can alse write or call me and try to explain because I sure can't understand it all...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
As I've mentioned here before on this blog, I spent a little time nearly twenty years ago learning how to fly an airplane.
Growing up having a father that was a military test pilot and spending most of the first thirty years of my life building and flying model airplanes, I guess it was inevitable that I eventually climb into the cockpit and attempt to soar away into the wild blue yonder.
My crappy medical history ended up stopping my training several times before I ever attained official private pilot status, but I was qualified to solo a old Cessna and the logbook that burned up in the house fire had nearly eighty hours of time logged puttering around in the airspace over north Georgia.
My point in all of this this morning is to address from a pilot's perspective what I think was going through the mind of the Marine Corps Aviator who survived the aviation accident out in California this week.
First of all--and for the record--I need to qualify the meaning of "Crash" versus "Accident."
In layman's terms, when you go out driving down the road in your antique Edsel and your steering wheel breaks off the shaft in your hands, or a wheel flys off your SUV on the way to the Grocery Store causing you to run off the road into a ditch...
...you're the victim of an "Accident."
On the other hand, if you're one of these freaking morons that drives to work at twenty miles an hour over the speed limit with a cell phone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other and you run headlong into a woman driving the opposite direction distracted by putting on eyeliner while looking in her rear view mirror--you've just "CRASHED" your automobile.
There's a HUGE difference in the two terms....It's just that simple in my mind.
Accidents--by name and definition are "accidental."
"Crashes" are almost always the consequences of behavior that's not always painful or deadly at any given moment, but will eventually catch up with you if you keep doing it long enough.
Which brings me back to this week's aviation disaster in California...
Pilots, both military and civilian, are trained to constantly look for good places for making an emergency landing as they fly along on each air borne excursion. Depending on the part of the country you fly in/over, it can be extremely easy to find a clear flat piece of cow pasture should you need it, or it could be next to impossible to find a place in the mountains or over the ocean to find a flat dry place to make an unplanned landing.
The bad news is that many if not most airports started out located out in the middle of nowhere, but the year 2008 finds most of the older ones wrapped up with shopping centers and housing projects--most of which have been built over the past twenty five or thirty years.
McCullem Field (RYY) in the north Atlanta suburbs where I did most of my flying had a single east west runway called 27 or 9 depending on which way you were going when you landed or took off. If something went wrong on take off on runway 27 you had the choice of being seen on the news sitting on the roof of a bus in your bent airplane in the middle of US highway 41 (if you could execute a 90 degree turn without stalling) or you could visit the roof and parking lot full of cars in a office/warehouse complex they built in the mid 1980's in what had been a vacant field on the other side of the highway.
(I had a long section of warehouse roof picked out where I thought I could dodge the AC units and antennas if I ever had to make a short trip to the ground outside the airport fence with a sputtering engine.)
A departure on runway 9 to the East had it's own unique pitfalls, in as much as the public was pretty much shielded from the hazards of your mistakes/misfortune because there was a 100 food deep rock quarry located just past the airport fence on that end of the field.
I liked flying off 27 and usually picked my flying days based on having the wind out of the West so I could avoid departing over "the pit."
Military bases and the associated runways are no exception today. The former Dobbins Air Force Base (now Dobbins Air Reserve Base) also located in north Atlanta used to have extensive open land on both ends of the primary runway, but again as of the mid/late 1980's the land have been filled with Wal Marts and apartment buildings, restaurants, and shopping centers.
IN Marietta, Georgia they're just one or two broken jet engines away from a similar disaster as the one which occurred in California, and the politicians and the developers knew it when they developed the land in the first place.
It's just like buying a house with a railroad track in the back yard and then complaining about the noise of the trains coming through each night at midnight.
Every few years the people living around the airports get up a petition and complain about the noise and demand changes--even though the airport was there forty or fifty years before their double wide trailer or townhouse.
And people second guess the pilot's decision to abandon his dying airframe, but the military leaves the final time and decision up to you.
Many, many men and women have been killed and critically injured by either riding their broken machines into the ground in an effort to minimize property damage and save the members of the public, else staying on board a few seconds too long trying to do same.
Looking at the map, I see little options for a pilot limping back in from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean.
The ENTIRE area between the end of the runway all the way to the beach for miles north and south of the approach corridor is today filled with houses and swimming pools and tennis courts.
And for the most part they all look relatively NEW from the perspective of Google Earth.
Thus while I admit that this event is certainly a tragedy, it's also the result of an ACCIDENT...as far as I can tell.
It wasn't a plane CRASH, it was an aviation ACCIDENT, and it's something the pilot will have to live with for the rest of his life.
I say it's better to lose a 50 million dollar airplane and have the 2 million dollar pilot survive than to have five dead at the crash scene.
Join me in praying that this warrior's conscience will eventually give him some peace in this day of touchy feely mamby pamby world politics.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Today if you want to get into business for yourself you can apparently either:
A. Join A Union
B. Just refuse to leave work when your company goes out of business (and the politicians and Jesse Jackson sees a TV camera.)
Why go through the trouble of hiring a lawyer to file your Articles of Incorporation and paying the associated fees with the Secretary of State in the state in which you are incorporating, issuing initial shares of stock, having a shareholders meeting, paying for the newspaper ad announcing your intent to incorporate, getting a business license and paying the associated fee, getting a state sales tax number and a Federal Tax ID number, opening a corporate bank account, and then hiring a CPA firm to help you negotiate the maze of IRS regulations lurking around just waiting for you to make a %$#@ dime and not pay the government tax or fee associated with daring to make a profit and hire employees...
(I wrote all of that from memory)
...NOOOOOoooooooo just demand that YOUR JOB be protected from MY COMPANY while you and the government beat me with laws and regulations designed to ensure that YOU AND THE %$#@ GOVERNMENT VULTURES GET YOUR FAIR SHARE OF MY MONEY.
After all, how dare I have the audacity to start my own company and not give all the profit to YOU...all you lazy assholes that need a job but can't take the time to stop watching "Survivor" , "Dancing with the Stars", and squirting out babies you can't afford to sit still and pay attention long enough to get yourself an education and thereby be qualified to actually pay your own freight in life.
Yeah...that sounds like a plan for success to me...
Monday, December 08, 2008
1. Go to work on time.
2. Once you get there, do what you're paid to do, and do it well.
3. Don't buy anything you don't absolutely have to have. If it's not necessary in order to keep you or a family member breathing and keep your bodies covered from the elements, leave it on the shelf.
4. Pay Cash when you find you need something to keep someone you're responsible for breathing and/or to cover your bodies from the elements.
5. Come home and rejoice in the sanctuary of private property ownership and the company of those around you who live with you and depend on you being there each day.
6. Do your best to not call the idiots around you "IDOTS" or "MORONS" (or just stupid %$#@ selfish bastards) who are not following these rules while at the same time complaining about the lack of and need for government intervention in places the US Constitution never intended the government to go.
(Geez...I'm a brilliant smart ass...aren't I?)
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Other than a few unexpected no-shows, I'd say that things went pretty well last night.
Close to three pounds of chicken, I'd say another five pounds of Salmon Fillets, and darn near 20 pounds of beef tenderloin were heated and tortured in ovens until considered done, then thrown out onto the counter top in portions to be consumed by the ravenous guests.
All and all a good evening, I'd say.
Many commented about how nice it was having the "company" party in a less formal home setting rather than just showing up at a restaurant for an hour because it allowed people to talk and interact more easily.
Time to go address some Christmas cards and look at the lights on the front of the house...maybe cook brunch again while I'm at it.
Hope Y'all have a good one...
Saturday, December 06, 2008
It's a wonder to me that anyone even bothers to go into a store any more at Christmas, unless you're just into pain and enjoy putting up with the rudeness of the general public.
I've gone online over the past week and taken care of all of my out of town family's gifts and only paid something less than $10 in total shipping fees because most everything has free shipping since I didn't wait until the last minute.
I just noticed that it's lightly snowing outside, and now it's time to cook Brunch and hang some more lights on the front of the house and in various shrubbery before heading off to torture a bunch of chicken, beef, and fish.
Hope y'all have a lovely Saturday.
(Remember tomorrow's the aniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack sixty seven years ago. Think about how things could be if the US hadn't had the balls to stand up to the fascist/socialist/imperialistic idiots of THAT time, then try cutting our current president a little slack because it's easy to play armchair quarterback from the perspective of hindsight...)
As most everyone probably already knows, things are more than a bit slow in the economy these days.
The same goes for the
In fact, I think that we sink faster than many of the rest of the professional service businesses out there, but due to the amount of time it takes to bring the kind of projects we do on line we're also the first firms to recover once the economy starts firing on all cylinders again.
Regardless of the details of the circumstances, the decision was made in the past couple of weeks to move our Company Christmas Party from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in downtown Knoxville to the beautiful home of our HR director in a nearby suburb.
I was one of the first persons to know about the decision because we were invited to share the cooking duties for tonight's event.
I jumped all over the opportunity because I find that it's hard to find a large captive crowd on which to force your culinary efforts on.
Pat's already made 28 servings of Creme Brulee which are comfortably resting in the basement fridge awaiting transport to the
I haven't seen the kitchen yet but I hear that the house is impressive and features dual ovens and lots of workspace. The accouterments will include baked potatoes, Green beans almondine, and steamed asparagus with Bearnaise sauce.
It's really cool to have worked my way up from being a guy that could barely manage to scramble some eggs and cooked on the grill once and a while fifteen years ago to being able to comfortably produce five star meals for giant crowds of hungry friends, family , and now co-workers.
Wish us luck...if you will...
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Can I say something here this morning?
Oh yeah...that's right...this is my blog so I can write something for others to read while I say it out loud to myself.
I just finished a marathon three day business trip involving spending time in four states and flying over parts of others, and miraculously I arrived back home here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River in a condition such that I feel like going into the office at 7:30 in order to get back up to speed on the California Project.
You see, I'm celebrating and thanking the Good Lord because six months ago I probably couldn't have made it through a day of what I just went through without having to come home and lay down for at least 24 hours.
Instead I managed to cover a thousand miles in airplanes and another hundred miles in cars, spend two nights in three hotels, AND work 15 hours and arrive back home in condition to just keep on going like it was another normal workday.
All this, without needing some kind of Government economic bailout or public provided counseling.
Sorry that the blogging has suffered, but give me 24 hours and I'll catch up on the news and most likely have a couple of insensitive observations to offer for your consideration and/or disdain.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Oh...I don't know...Where do I start this morning...give me a minute.
OK, I'm back at the keyboard while I wait on my cup of coffee to brew.
That's right...I said CUP of coffee.
Not "little annoying hotel room sized POT of coffee" mind you.
I'm now officially brewing an entire CUP of coffee. At least the process will be fast I hope.
In other news, at least the Internet is free here--even though I'm forced to operate while tied to a CAT5 cable instead of using wireless-- in this slightly worn and dated Holiday Inn in East Indianapolis.
The Crown Plaza near the Detroit airport tossed me a curve ball by charging a teaser room rate, then demanding an extra $9.99 for less than 8 hours of room occupancy.
I looked around for someone to give the remaining 16 hours of Internet to, but after the second person threatened to call the police I just placed my luggage on the complementary shuttle and moved on toward the airport.
Then the airport shuttle driver tried to toss me off at the wrong terminal along with a couple of airline flight crews. Fortunately I read the overhead roadsigns and when I pointed out my need for the Northwest/Delta terminal he remembered that Detroit had opened a new dedicated terminal in the past WEEK and duhhhhhh....I'd have missed my flight hiking the three miles across the tarmac or boarding a cab to get me where I needed to be.
Yet another travel disaster averted.
...excuse me, but I just heard a strange coughing sound emanating from the bathroom where my new one cup coffee maker is dutifully brewing java...
false alarm...although I may have a coffee flavored toothbrush and hair brush as a result of that last burst spewing out of the combustion chamber on the little device.
Off topic, but anyone but me ever wondered why you use a toothbrush to brush your teeth?
Why not "teethbrush?"
Oh...I know...you have a set of teeth, not a set of tooth.
(Octipus...Octopi..Goose..Geese...Moose...Meese...someone shoot the people making the rules for writing in English...)
Now back to my point...In my case--while I still need a "teethbrush", every day I get closer and closer to needing a "hairbrush" to brush the last hair still attached to my ever greying, ever balding head.
So any way, it's back to the lab over at the Super Duper Electro-Pneumatic Valve and Waffle Iron Company this morning for another seven or eight hours of yawning while a bunch of lawyers present poker faces at the nerds found holding the screwdrivers and tap dance around the absurd, the obvious, and the absurdly obvious.
We got started at noon yesterday and didn't finish the proceedings until 9:45 last night--thus the lack of words here on the Internet.
...oops...time to go set up a second cup 'o Joe...
Back at the keys...I guess a trip summary after not flying anywhere for almost a year--coming from an old road/sky warrior--is my observation that the airlines have lost their freaking minds annoying people with "checked baggage" charges and "second baggage" charges and "last minute frequent flyer mile redemption fees".
Pat and I were subjected to both in the past week in our travels and pretty much have given up our allegiance to any airline--having flown Delta almost exclusively for the past 100 years (OK--20 years each) because of their frequent flyer program.
When you charge someone a $10 "FEE" to redeem what was originally promoted to be "FREE miles", and when you charge someone a $150 "FEE" in order to redeem said miles 48 hours in advance of traveling to a funeral to bury a nephew shot and killed by his own cousin, and then when you get to the gate and you charge yet another $50 "FEE" for a second checked bag (when the first bag is a small cosmetics bag about the size of most women's summer purses filled with toiletries exceeding the FAA/TSA's stupid three ounce liquid in checked baggage rule) then...
your stupid freaking airline deserves to sink in a single decade from being the most successful air carrier operation in the entire known world, with cash running out your ears, into being yet another blithering, blubbering corporate entity teetering within months if not weeks of insolvency.
...hang on...I hear my giant coffee maker
So any way, that should about cover things this morning. I have virtually no idea what's going on in the news other than I'm getting out of town in front of another global warming induced snow storm.
I'm ready to get back to the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River and see how Pat and little Missy the Turbo Pup have fared in my absence.
I guess you could say that this old road warrior is becoming a home body in is advancing middle age.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Crown Plaza Detroit
Bed at Midnight
Up at 4:15
$60 cab ride
Indianapolis Hotel bought night before
Meeting at Noon
(I hope you'll understand why posting is light...more later...)
Monday, December 01, 2008
Well, by 5 PM today I should be standing somewhere in the Knoxville International Airport, Hair Salon, and Tire Service Center (we'll call it KIAHAST for short.)
Between now and then I have to finish packing my bags and get through a hectic workday, then it's off to Indiana.
I have to also somehow manage to keep Missy the Turbo Pup from climbing in one of the suitcases and trying to sneak away with me.
She's gonna be one lonely puppy without me, because she already hates and doesn't understand why her Mom is away for the first time in almost two years.
Come to think of it...
I'm feeling a bit lonely myself...
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I missed their performance on TV because we were blasting through the rain in the Chrysler 300 moving across Northwest Georgia and Eastern Tennessee, but through the reception of scratchy AM and FM radio signals I managed to follow as my beloved, yet often neglected, Yellow Jacket football team overcome a 16 point halftime deficit to score 26 points in the third quarter and go on to pick up a total of 33 in the second half in order to...
TOTALLY SHUT UP THE OBNOXIOUS BULLDOG FANS FOR THE NEXT 364 DAYS, AND EVEN BETTER...
TOTALLY SCREW UP THE ARROGANT BULLDOGS POST SEASON BOWL PROSPECTS.
Unfortunately, Tech's three losses--all in the ACC Conference--included one to Virginia Tech which managed to eek past Virginia in their state rivalry so Tech has to sit home next weekend while unranked VT plays either Florida State (whom Tech already beat) or Boston College down in Tampa next weekend.
In another year with a few extra dollars in my pocket (and a lot more time on my hands) I would have shown up down there (in Tampa) if Tech had made the cut, but as things stand now it's going to be all I can do to get through the next week's schedule.
After all, there are only a few "normal" work weeks left before we're off on this year's epic holiday expedition to visit The King's home at Graceland, hang out on Beale Street for a few minutes, then on to Kansas City for Christmas, finally coming home through St. Louis for a night on our way back this way.
I'm just ready for the next four days to be over with so things will assume a somewhat "normal" appearances...
...if things ever really are "normal" here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River.
(Hope ya'll all had Splendid Holidays...ours ended up being a little damp in more ways than one...)
It's been at LEAST eight years since I've had to schedule a business trip of any substantial importance.
That would be because for most of the past TEN years I haven't spent much time doing any business--if you don't count fiddling around in real estate investment or doing a little part time injuneering consulting.
The balance of my time since the year 2000 has basically been spent sitting on a boat or in a chair beside an ocean or swimming pool when the temperature was above 70degrees outside and the sun was shining (the other hours spent pretty much doing nothing except sitting in front of the computer looking at the WWW.)
Not so any more--not for the past seven months--any way, and thus the genesis of my current scheduling situation.
You see, a couple of weeks ago I went out and purchased a NON-REFUNDABLE travel package on Hotwire which takes me to Indianapolis on Monday after the work day ends to spend a couple of days attempting to finish up one of my forensic injuneering projects by staring at a bunch of my fellow rocket scientists while they dis-assemble and test an electro-pneumatic control valve (also known as a "do-hickey" in lay men's terms.)
Because of a disastrous upheaval Thanksgiving evening in Pennsylvania about eight hours to our north east by car, on Saturday we're now faced with the pre-planned trip to transport my mom back to my sister's house in Georgia in time to return and get Pat on a flight at dawn on Sunday morning on her way to a funeral.
I'd love to cancel my early week business enterprise and make the PA trip into a family affair, but since there's no one else to cover the proceedings in my absence it looks like Missy the Turbo Pup and I will be forced to make do without Pat for a couple of days before my departure, and then Missy will reluctantly be forced to spend her first over night adventure...
...with her new friend and neighbor Sheila stopping in every four hours or so to make sure she's not
I guess in the end that the humans in our household will be little worse for the wear when things finally return to normal Wednesday evening, and I hope our little Turbo Pup understands our refusal to expose her to the "K-9 boarding experience"--particularly on such short notice and with no opportunity to review our options.
She'll be fine I'm sure.
(BTW...your prayers for Pat and her family are appreciated)
Friday, November 28, 2008
Please pray for Pat's Family in Western Pennsylvania who lost a nephew (for Pat)/husband/son/cousin last night to a gunshot wound.
The details are still sketchy and the travel plans are still awaiting the authorities' go ahead for the funeral arrangements...
(Thus my silence today)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sorry folks, but if I wrote down everything I'm thinking here regarding "our nation" and "the economy", I honestly believe that in a matter of a few days at least half of the few people that stop by would never come back again.
After publishing this Blog posting title and subtitle, I've suddenly decided to change directions and assume a positive tone because my soul can't stand the noise reverberating in my head.
I admit that I really don't care about readership numbers because I'm not here to sell anything except my opinions, but as an exercise in maturity and restraint I'll try to contain myself.
That said, the good news here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River is that after concluding a successful week kicking a complex project I'm working on into shape, later this morning I'm loading Pat and little Missy the Turbo Pup (along with her trunks and sea chests full of clothes and puppy toys) into the car in anticipation of a trip back to spend Thanksgiving near my former home of 27 years in the "Atlanta Metropolitan Area."
This time I'm more or less an innocent bystander in the process of producing a major holiday feast--only being responsible for the cornbread stuffing and eating my share of everything else in sight over the next couple of days.
After the obligatory consumption of the ceremonial turkey and the associated accouterments, on Thursday afternoon we'll convey my Mother back with us here to Eastern Tennessee on her continuing holiday tour of her children's' abodes.
The venerable old HP widescreen laptop is making the journey with us, but time and Internet access could be an issue so if you don't hear from me for a day and a half hold the lifeboats and don't furrow your brow...I'm probably just acting like a normal human for a change and will be back here to accept your ridicule and inspection shortly.
Y'all have yourselves a nice Thanksgiving...If you will...
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
After pounding the ol' computer keys pretty hard here at home over the weekend, the work week finds me diverted to other endeavors outside social commentary.
For instance, here's a look at a big pone of Cornbread I made Sunday evening, before it got all crumbled up and put into two big pans of stuffing for yesterday's company Thanksgiving lunch...
And here's a shot taken sometime in the past few weeks here on the banks of the Mighty Tennesssee River before the wind and rain knocked all the color off the trees:
Time to head to the office now.
Have a good day...If you will...
Sunday, November 23, 2008
As most of my regular readers know, I've sort of followed the demise of the lamestream media for a good while now because I've secretly wanted to do something in radio or TV or print--thus the genesis of this blog.
What's killed me all along was the crappy service the legacy mainstream A.K.A. lamestream media generally provides--and the extent of their efforts to eliminate competition in order to prevent anyone from realizing how crappy their products really are.
For instance, when I moved to Atlanta from south Alabama we had the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution (lovingly referred to as the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation) which had already been consolidated into one mega-enterprise under the Cox media name.
Basically it was one newspaper, printed twice a day--Journal in the morning and Constitution in the evening--with the same lame ASSociated Press so-called "news" pablum and liberal editorial commentary packaged under different names but coming from the same building.
Then in the northwest Atlanta Metro area there was the Marietta Daily Journal which still survives today on the ad revenue of Cobb county legal notices
To the Northeast, the populace read the Gwinette Daily News--a paper which in the seventies and eighties found itself serving one of the fastest growing counties in the entire US.
Then you know what happened?
The Cox empire (owners of the aforementioned Urinal and Constipation) swooped in, bought the paper, and then you know what they immediately did?
They closed that sucker down.
Boarded it up...lock stock and barrel.
Fired virtually everyone young and old--all in the name of increasing their core newspaper's circulation and in the name preventing competition in Gwinette County, Georgia.
Some people I know still survive on USA Today or day old copies of the NY Times or Wall Street Journal delivered by mail because they were so appalled by the situation.
Now fast forward to 2008, and we find that after NBC Universal acquired The Weather Channel this past summer, that they've proceeded to run the 26 year old widely acclaimed institution into the ground.
Here's the story that's got my Boxers in a bunch this morning:
NBC Universal made the first of potentially several rounds of staffing cuts at The Weather Channel (TWC) on Wednesday, axing the entire staff of the "Forecast Earth" environmental program during the middle of NBC's "Green Week," as well as several on-camera meteorologists. The layoffs totaled about 10 percent of the workforce, and are among the first major changes made since NBC completed its purchase of the venerable weather network in September.
Keep reading for more on The Weather Channel cuts...
The layoffs affected about 80 people, but left the long-term leadership of the network unclear, according to a source who requested anonymity due to the continuing uncertainty at the station.
Among the meteorologists who was let go was Dave Schwartz, a Weather Channel veteran and a viewer staple due to his lively on camera presentations. USA Today reported that meteorologists Cheryl Lemke and Eboni Deon were also let go.
The timing of the Forecast Earth cancellation was ironic, since it came in the middle of NBC's "Green Week," during which the network has been touting its environmental coverage across all of its platforms. Forecast Earth normally aired on weekends, but its presumed last episode was shown on a weekday due to the environmentally-oriented week.
Forecast Earth was hosted by former CNN anchor Natalie Allen, with contributions from climate expert Heidi Cullen. It was the sole program on TWC that focused on global climate change, which raises the question of whether the station will still report on the subject. Cullen's future role at the network is not known.
NBC released the following statement in response to questions about the firings:
The economic realities of recent months have created challenges for everyone in our business. In addition, when NBC Universal purchased the Weather Channel earlier this year, we expected that there would be cost synergies as part of a company reorganization. While it is always difficult to lose valued employees, we are doing our best to minimize the impact, and remain committed to providing the highest quality content that our viewers have come to expect from the Weather Channel.
Here's what this story isn't telling you.
NBC's management has been in the process of transforming the formerly neutral, science based, weather reporting Weather Channel programming into their own watered down but still pro-Global Warming based media outlet.
I'd been a Weather Channel junkie since its inception, I'd noticed the changes, and it pissed me off.
Forecast earth was almost total bullshit.
Natalie Allen and Heidi Cullem were wild eyed Global Warming bullshit spewing leftist bimbos and never should have been on the air on the Weather Channel.
This is yet another perfect example of the strategy of conquer and divide.
Let's face it folks, the single source of semi-unbiased weather information on the TV has been compromised, and firing Allen and Cullem would have been the only solution to their problems, but what do they do?
The rocket scientists over at NBC dump Schwartz, Lemke, and Deon while also cancelling their Owl Gore Global Warming promoting "Network Earth" programming.
Of course the shows gone because it's a complete failure and besides...
even Owl Gore's now retreating to the "Climate Change" Hysteria rather than "Global Warming" mantra.
The important thing to remember is that Allen and Cullem are still out there, and it's just a matter of time until they're repackaged with new makeup and hair and tossed back in our face to tell us that Capitalism and good clean American living is something to be despised because it's killing the environment.
Anyone remember the 1974 Time Magazine article on the coming Ice Age ?
It was 17 degrees here on the banks of the Mighty Tennessee River last night, and I put more stock in a coming Ice age than I do global warming--but I really think it's still true that "everyone complains about the weather...but no one ever does anything about it."
I say that someone needs to tell the politicians and the government to find something else to worry about.
So this morning finds me with my head spinning around (nearing orbital rotational velocity)because I find stories like this one on the Internet reporting that the NY City government is telling the local Churches that unless they want to run homeless shelters which are open at least FIVE DAYS A WEEK they can't operate any shelter space at all...
NYC Churches Ordered Not To Shelter Homeless
NEW YORK (CBS) ―
City officials have ordered 22 New York churches to stop providing beds to homeless people.
With temperatures well below freezing early Saturday, the churches must obey a city rule requiring faith-based shelters to be open at least five days a week -- or not at all.
Arnold Cohen, president of the Partnership for the Homeless, a nonprofit that serves as a link with the city, said he had to tell the churches they no longer qualify.
He said hundreds of people now won't have a place to sleep.
The Department of Homeless Services said the city offers other shelters with the capacity to accept all those who have been sleeping in the churches. The city had 8,000 beds waiting.
Last year, four unsheltered homeless people died in the city during cold weather, so three dozen emergency outreach teams were prepped to respond to reports of homeless people outdoors or in the subways.
"We really don't want people sleeping on the streets, on grates, on church steps. We want people sleeping in beds," said Homeless Commissioner Robert Hess.
The homeless can be coaxed indoors but not forced unless their life is in danger.
(que the sounds of Crickets chirping...while I compose my thoughts)
Can we CHAT here for a moment?
Here...pull up a chair and have a glass of wine or Coke or Eggnog and let me ask you a couple of questions because I'm afraid that I'm confused (and even a little fearful for my sanity...)
First of all, since when did anyone start paying for or electing anyone to work in a government job with the title of "Homeless Commissioner?"
I remember that my father was "Commissioned" as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps back in the mid 1950's.
I've heard of artists being "commissioned" to do a painting or some other work of art.
And I know that there are city commissions and county commissions and other various and sundry government commissions out the Wazoo here in the good ole' US of A...
Now they're telling us that New York City actually has a HOMELESS COMMISSIONER?
Why not "Secretary of Homelessness?"
So some guy or gal is actually walking around handing out business cards that say John/Jane Doe-Comissioner of Homelessness?
Any way...back to the point of my original hysteria.
Doesn't anyone but me see how it never fails that when people let government get involved in things that historically the community and individual citizens took care of, that it's only a short time before the government idiots lose sight of their original purpose and wander off and start making regulations and passing laws preventing honest, sincere people from providing same said service?
It's like the government wants to monopolize the services, and they in effect outlaw competition as a result, thereby defeating any "unofficial" solutions to the original problem they set about to address from being presented.
Can you imagine why anyone considered "homeless" might want to avoid a genuine official "government homeless shelter" and instead sleep on the street or risk life and limb to take a vacation in a shelter run by some faith based organization that only has the capitol and manpower to operate once a week?
Could it be because the shelters operated by the Government SUCK?
Just like much of the public housing SUCKS for people that don't consider themselves homeless?
Just like Veterans in South Georgia have to find someone to drive them three or four hours to reach their Government appointed "Veteran's Hospitals" in order to receive the medical treatment they earned while serving in the military?
Of course the Veterans have the option of receiving medical service outside the "Veterans Network" if they're willing and able to pay for it, but considering this story one has to wonder how long before the government starts baning doctors in private practice from taking money from Veterans for treatment.
And consider this...
If you drive through or near a public housing "project" in your local area and you are appalled by the conditions of the property and the debauchery of the behavior of the resident "beneficiaries" (and these people are not considered to be "homeless",) then just imagine what the conditions are like in a government owned and operated "homeless shelter."
REALLY...can you just imagine?
And apparently at least half of our population wants to hand over the national health care system to the Government.
Dammit people, don't you get what's happening here?
I suspect that all these churches are trying to do in NYC is provide overflow services when the weather gets really crappy and COLD.
And of course a few people that normally shun government shelters because of their substance abuse problems could wander in and take refuge...much to the shagrin of the government, but other than that...WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
It's cold outside, people that would be hungry and would otherwise be sleeping on the streets are sleeping inside, but since the doors aren't open five days a week they can't be open at all accoring to the government.
What's even worse is, I suspect that THE STUPID GOVERNMENT DOESN'T WANT THE COMPETITION, because it points out how Feckless and Obtuse their efforts really are.
And all the time what's lost in the bureaucratic process is the original intention...
to provide housing for people that don't have any place else to go when its twenty degrees F on the thermometer.
But the government would rather close the churches and count the bodies and amputated fingers and toes rather than let someone stumble into a building that's only open when it's really crappy outside.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
You might have in the past seen some ranting and raving here on this Blog about the detrimental effect that the ever increasing bureaucratic liberal influence of the Imperial Federal By-God Government Of The United States Of America has had on
Just in case you haven't, let me give you my take on the subject in a nutshell this morning.
(considering how to remove the profanity from the upcoming explosion...)
MANY IF NOT MOST GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS TOTALLY SUCK.
THEY HAVE PRETTY MUCH SUCKED FOR A LONG TIME NOW, ALTHOUGH THE LEVEL OF SUCKING HAS MOST DEFINITELY INCREASED SINCE I MANAGED TO
(Taking a big breath...)
Understand where I'm coming from this morning?
OK, here's what lit my fuse and got me started on this current rant.
The world has learned that (gasp) the Obama family will be sending their precious little darlins to the Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC once the family and "Grandmama" relocate into their new government housing January 20th.
Obamas Choose Private School For Daughters
10-Year-Old Malia, 7-Year-Old Sasha Will Attend Sidwell Friends School
WASHINGTON (AP) ― President-elect Barack Obama and his wife have chosen Sidwell Friends School for their two daughters, opting for a private institution that another White House child, Chelsea Clinton, attended a decade ago.
"A number of great schools were considered," said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama. "In the end, the Obamas selected the school that was the best fit for what their daughters need right now."
She said Sidwell can provide the security and privacy that Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, will need as part of the new first family and Sidwell can help with that. She also said that Sasha and Malia had become good friends with Vice President-elect Joe Biden's grandchildren, who go to the school.
Sidwell is a private Quaker school with a campus in northwest Washington for grades 5-12 and another in suburban Bethesda, Md., for kindergarten through fourth grade. Malia is in fifth grade and Sasha is in second grade, suggesting that the girls would attend schools at different locations.
Well isn't that special?
OK, I'm not totally STUPID, and I know that the practicality of sending the Obamarama prodigy to almost any public school is impossible because of security, but then again I have to offer a hearty...
I did a little Googling when the media started salivating over the story of the final matriculation destination of the little princesses and found a few disturbing facts...
Things like graduation numbers falling below 50% in cities like Detroit, Indianapolis, and Cleveland.
Georgia's "official" graduation rates appear substantially higher than independent sources can verify...i.e. the states have to resort to lying about and "fudging" their graduation rates in order to keep sucking on the government education funding tit...
According to the Washington Post, Washington DC's schools--you know...in our nation's CAPITOL--are some of the worst and amazingly their administrators are RESISTING efforts to improve.
I lost the link I found earlier to the Web Page, but what amazed me was that the detailed reading and math and performance scores published for every single other school district I checked--including my home town in Dale County, Alabama; my other home town of 27 years in Cobb county, Georgia; our little former island town in Glynn County, Georgia, and our current home town here in Western Knoxville, Tennessee (check Farragut schools if you're wondering) was obviously OMITTED for schools in Washington DC.
They didn't report graduation rates, GMAT and ACT/SAT scores...all they had was the school name and enrollment.
So no, I don't think it's wrong that the president elects kids are going to private schools, but YES...I think it's a travesty that our government keeps on talking and spending endlessly on education and "no child left behind" type programs and still coming up producing a stupid population of VOTERS.
Come to think of it...I...PERSONALLY...BELIEVE THAT IS THEIR ACTUAL INTENTION...to produce a population of ignorant cattle and sheep that will settle for free handouts and vote the way they (the Democrats and other sniveling, booger eating, tree hugging, leftist socialist progressive liberals) want them to vote.
I offer the outcome of the most recent election as my closing statement.
The prosecution rests...your Honor.
(If you are a public school teacher and you do a good job--and I know you are out there--don't start writing me and complaining about my criticism because A) I'm entitled to my opinion and B) I really do understand that there are good schools and school teachers out there, I'm just totally tired of the government stepping in and screwing everything up, taking decisions on curriculum away from the local people, and announcing a new expensive program every four years under the guise of fixing things using tax dollars stolen from property owners like me who never even had any kids to send to the schools I'm paying for in the first place.
If I'm paying the tab, wouldn't it be reasonable to at least ask me what I think, even in light of me not having a kid in the program?
Wouldn't it be reasonable for me to say...here...take my $45, 000 I've paid over the past 23 years in school property taxes on seven houses and pieces of real estate and GIVE it to a kid with some promise and let his parents decide where he/she goes to school just like our politicians can with salaries also paid for with tax dollars?
Friday, November 21, 2008
During 99.9% of this racially and sexist charged, media driven bullcrap National and local political campaign, I somehow find it strange (no...really I don't because she's so smart...) that we haven't heard much from this woman (who happens to still be Secretary of State until late January.)
Then I realize that just because she holds political office--she's not really a politician.
At least not a so-called CAREER Politician.
What she actually is is a really accomplished woman who not only holds a PHD, is an accomplished concert piano player, a former board member of multiple companies, once had an Exxon Tanker named after her and requested that the ship be renamed when President Bush invited her to take her current position in Washington...
and Miss Rice has had the presence of mind and decorum to keep her mouth shut and her personal opinions to herself except possibly as evidenced in the face of the stupidity of this past election season.
(And what really bugs me is that this Blogger had to dig through fifteen or twenty pages of a Google search to find an appropriate high resolution image of Miss Rice to post here on this blog.)
What a total bunch of stupid partisan idiots I apparently live among here in the digital world..
I REALLY DO HOPE THEY OFFER HER THE JOB AS COMMISSIONER OF THE NFL.
She's said that that's something she'd really like to to one day.
At least then she can finally be in charge of an organization full of thick headed men which are willing to do what she says and and admit it when they don't understand WHY she's asking...
As is now and has been typical for me when I'm working instead of sitting around on some island, beach, or boat, it seems that while everyone else is thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and eating Turkey and waiting on Santa Clause...somehow I end up getting deluged with requests for my time and everything has to be done at the same time.
You know...before the aforementioned "everyone else" takes off for the aforementioned "holidays."
Thus my lack of words this morning.
I have a couple hundred thousand pounds of concrete waiting on the details about how a couple hundred thousand pounds of steel is going to act under seismic and wind loadings in northern California.
Then there's the research into the high temperature behavior and melting point of a rubber compound called Buna-N used in the seal of a suspect valve in one of my forensic injuneering projects.
I hope you'll understand if I have to stop writing and go play rocket scientist now...
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I hate to admit that I've been snooping around the stock markets these days looking for some bargans which are inevitable with today's hysterical low market values.
While doing some research on Utility stocks like natural gas and electric companies(wink...wink...hint...hint...), I came across this Department of Energy chart showing trends in Natural gas pricing:
Anyone but me notice that prices have fallen from nearly $14 per million BTU's July Fourth down to just above $7 per MBTU's this week (about a 50% reduction in cost)?
I bet everyone including me has noticed that OIL prices are down similar amounts, but we don't need the lamestream media to tell us about it because we see it broadcast in bright lights every day while driving up and down the roadway.
That said, it's gas--Natural GAS--that's still the better deal for heating your home and hot water and it beats OIL and OIL PRODUCTS (expecially GASOLINE) by nearly 40% right now.)
But the media didn't take the time our of their liberal partisan, doom and gloom, alternative fuels, "Obamarama gonna save us" days to tell you that bit of good news, probably because President Bush is still in office.
That's OK...I'm still watching and reading and you can say that you heard it here first I guess.
That will be all...for now...