Saturday, November 29, 2008

Georgia Tech 45...Georgia 42

Yes...Virgil...There Is A Santa Clause

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...



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...)

Torn In Opposite Directions

Responsibility Yields Insanity

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 calling PETA and the Humane Society having a yard sale or packing her puppy belongings into her lockers and sea chests in preparation for running away before Pat returns late Tuesday.

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

A Murder In The Family

Senselessness Strikes Close To Home

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

Happy Thanksgiving

Blogging From My Nephew's Computer...

Eat a little bird, some stuffing, and watch some football...

I'm gonna.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dumbasses On Autopilot?

Or Is There Just No One In The Cockpit...

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

Sorry... I'm Busy With The Holidays

How About You?

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

Devouring Their Young

Media Smedia...

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.


Government Intervention?

They're At It Again...

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

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.

$*%"#$@*ing Idiots.