Thursday, June 30, 2005

June Rant #3 - really, the last and the first for July

In yesterday's rant, one item was: I am really tired of stupid people.

Case in point. (Disclaimer and warning: Foul language forthcoming. I have been in a pissed off mood for weeks)

Today I went to Taco Bell to get a Mountain Dew. I do it most afternoons. The cost is $1.47. Today, I gave the cashier $1.52 and she gave me back a dime. I told her the correct change was 5 cents and handed her back the dime. She looked at the cash register and repeated, the change was a dime to which I answered, $1.52, $1.47...5 cents. Now, I had taken too much time and her supervisor came over and asked what the problem was, I said - still being polite - the drink was $1.47, I gave her $1.52. The supervisor looked at the register and said 10 cents was the correct change. I lost it. I yelled, "the fucking register is wrong, I was just trying to be nice, keep the fucking dime..." and drove away. I so hate stupid people.

A client informed us today that they had been short $200 on Aprils mortgage payment but because the bank cashed the check, they didn't worry. The bank is foreclosing (there is a lot involved so don't get in a lather about a bank foreclosing because of $200), and they are within their rights.

My daughter asked me when I noticed there were stupid people in the world. I told her,
"about your age...10...but I figured there were like maybe 10%...but as I get older, the percentage keeps climbing"....I added 2% to the total today.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

June Rant - just to finish it off

Item 1: Ok, the Supreme Court has ruled that a government can seize private property for the purpose of development - well that is what it means...

We already had such a situation here in my town. The city wanted a $100 million arts center (never mind that the arts in this town are severely under-attended) and to get it, they seized three businesses. The land was given to the "foundation" set up to build and run the center. The funding came from a local rich dude as long as the money was for BUILDING not RUNNING the arts center. The city will be stuck with the cost of running the elephant. Oh, did I tell you, in this town of lakes, there is not enough funding for lifeguards on the 20 beaches, and for years people have been trying to build a community pool but no money was available.

The Democrat Mayor seized the property, put 4 friends on the board (of 9) and hailed herself as the friend to the arts....she lost her next election race.....a distant 4th place in the democratic primary.

Item 2: I am tired of stupid people.

Item 3: Can we retest everyone? Ok, not everyone, but everyone that drives? Here is my suggestion. Everyone has to retake their driving test - any infraction, no matter how small, boom, no more license. I volunteer to be first. We have taken to calling our car "The Invisible One". We have been cut off so many times in the last year that it just boggles the mind we have not had an accident.

Item 4: In the saga of my degree. The university does not keep records after 5 years, they have to recreate my file "do you have any documents?" they asked nicely....stay tuned.

Item 5: We are starting a new business - see sidebar CLIENT AID. We need people in many geographical areas to 'franchise'. Contact me.

Last item: for almost 2 weeks we were supposed to get rain daily. We didn't, now my grass is getting brown.....I'm pissed...the only thing growing is the clover, the chickweed and something new I have never seen before...nice yellow flowers though...

Position - Obesity

Disclaimer: I weigh in at 370 pounds. Each week I mow our 1/4 acre pushing our gas lawnmower up and down the irregular swales of our site. I can still walk a 6400 yd 18 hole course carrying my own bag. I can still put my foot on the table to tie my shoe.

Scientific American had a nice story about the 'obesity epidemic'. Pick up an issue if you want the whole story but I had just finished the story when I had the opportunity to talk to a surgeon that performs bariatric surgery (stomach stapling for you uninformed). About 14 years ago (and 100 pounds ago) I worked at a health club. Everyone wanted me to lose weight, so I ate my meals at the club (it was a full-service club), worked out 3 days a week with a trainer and gained weight over 12 weeks. I stopped that "diet" when the 'dietician' informed me that one pound of cake = three pounds of fat. I corrected her, I suggested that if I ate 1 pound of pure lard, I would not gain one ounce more than 1 pound. She disagreed and was very insistent. I left it educating the closed mind. I recounted that story to the surgeon upon which he lamented the state of education and the danger of a limited understanding of basic human physiology. About 10 minutes later, someone said they worried about the difference between their weight at home that morning and their weight at the clinic and he suggested that drinking the entire 20 ounce soda she had could cause a variation of as much as 5 pounds.

May I lament at the state of education and the danger of a limited understanding of basic PHYSICS?

In 1982 I was an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant. At a Saturday crew meeting (60-70 teenagers), we were discussing a problem that had occurred the week before. The freezer had stopped working but no one noticed for several hours, a situation that caused some food loss. After some questions, I realized a basic problem. I asked everyone to take a small slip of paper and write down the freezing and boiling temperatures for water. To get a correct answer they had to tell me if they were giving me C or F. 2 got it right....2.

The surgeon blamed the use of genetically enhanced corn, chicken and beef for the 'explosion' in American waistlines. All those steroids were getting into the food we eat and we are getting "fattened" up just like the cows on the farms, chickens in the coops.

The SA article raised one point I will bring up the rise in diabetes the cause, or the result, of obesity. I don't think there is a good answer and neither did the researchers in the story.

By EVERYONE's definition I am morbidly obese. Care to walk a to me?

Opinion - The Future

I went looking for a quote that I once wrote down about the future. Now, I am a fan of science fiction for two reasons: first, most science fiction has the implied position that we will survive into the future...always a good thing; second, most science fiction requires that you put aside your pre-conceived notions about how things ought to be....ah change. Anyway, I couldn't find the quote but here it is - my version:

I object to everyone running down the future, I plan on living there and I want it to be a nice place.

Point 1: Iraq is a sink hole of epic portions

I challenge anyone that thinks so to predict either the weather on Saturday or the Dow on Thursday. Unless you have been in country, shut up.

Point 2: This country is in the middle of a real estate bubble that is going to destroy our economy.

Ok, I have my concerns about real estate, but they are mostly regional in nature and (as I am considering selling in the next 2 years) time sensitive. 90% of real estate isn't even located in the states with the highest price increases!

Point 3: Is it possible, just possible, that tomorrow might be a good day IF YOU GAVE IT A CHANCE?

When people wake up and before even getting dressed (on a scale of 1-10) give the day a 3, they really need a life. Suggestion: give up on the news first thing in the morning - WATCH CARTOONS!

So, the point of this little post - if you don't give the future a chance, the 'good ol'days' will have been a lot worse than you remember.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Opinion - June Rant (#1 ?)

Throughout the 60's and 70's, the (D) politicians supported and gained solid electoral favor by creating a society in which people felt "due" government largesse. By the end of the 70's, the crack in that false society began to show. Starting at the top, the idea that work and investment could get more people out of poverty than entitlements gained favor, but it wasn't until the early mid-90's that lower levels of government started getting the idea. know what, scratch that...

For 40 years (R) politicians yelled, kicked and screamed that the (D) politicians were spending the country into permanent debt. For the most part, Republicans agreed with them (even though the (R) politicians were closet spenders). It seems that with (R) politicians in power at the Federal level (and over the last decade increasingly at the state level) that spending is more out of control NOW more than ever.

When a child is raised in poverty and for whatever reason gains wealth as an adult, there are two possible results: first, having learned frugality at an early age, they continue to live frugally and invest their wealth, multiplying it manyfold; or, second, they go on a binge and buy everything in sight. Can you guess where I think (R) politicians have gone?

The WSJ opinion page had the story about Texas, similar to the federal government, (R) politicians control the whole ball of wax....and are they too are making a mess of things financially.

The majority of the national population (IMO) believe that entitlements are wrong, PERIOD. However, most of that same majority desire to ASSIST people in need, and consider attempts to do so honorable...even necessary. However, for decades (R) politicians have repeatedly stated that government money can not fix every problem, nor should it try. I agree. Unfortunately, since the (R) politicians have come into their own power, they seem hell bent on not only trying to fix every problem with government money, they are SEEKING new problems to fund!

The (R) politicians, at the federal and state level, have lost their way. Time for AMERICANS to show them out of the candy store.....

Note. For future reference, given the apparently inate ability of (R) and (D) politicians to vote AGAINST the best interests of their electorates, I no longer feel comfortable calling a politician a Democrat or Republican...they are politicians and they have their fingers in the wind....that stinky wind so often blowing out of the Houses of Politicians. Therefore :

Republicans - voters most often voting for (R) politicians
Democrats - voters most often voting for (D) politicians

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Opinion - College

Disclaimer: I have 282 pts of college credit in a school that requires 260 to graduate, my overall GPA is 3.2, I have 40 hours of major credit with 32 required...unfortunately, my gpa in my major is 2.749, or .001 short of required.

Is college required?
  • I know someone that has more hours than I do, is no where near a degree and is $67k in student loan debt....right, $ 67,000.00 in debt, no degree and at least another year (and $13k) to go. The degree she will get will NEVER pay her enough to pay her student loans.
  • Students graduating with social science BA degrees and 30k in debt, with little or no marketable skills.
  • Students with non-technical degrees "need" advanced degrees to obtain jobs capable of paying back the debt.
Exactly how much do students actually learn in college (when they are not making a specific attempt to learn)? If they are there, "because it is expected of them"?

And given some of the crap that passes as academic studies today, what real value does a degree hold? I mean, "Application of Temper Paints in Medieval Cloths"?

I live in a small city full of cab drivers and store clerks with DEGREES!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Opinion - Can we have no politicians?

In following the issues in the Ohio 2nd on bizzyblog, I am again reminded of the Founding Father's idea that a citizen representative, not professional legislator, was the goal. In those states and municipalities where representatives are paid little and are not required full time, citizen representatives continue to serve well. One of the arguments AGAINST citizen representatives at the federal level is that the "bureaucracy" would run roughshod over the poor hapless local yokels. Worse, "everyone" knows you need a long term stable "bureaucracy" to keep the government running smoothly when elections "disturb" the normal flow of government operations.

However, the example of the State Department all but having their own agenda regardless of the President is an argument that the bureaucracy is already way out of control.

So, what to do?

First, get rid of the permanent politician. Term limits were designed to do so, but have not fared well at the federal level. Two suggestions: first, eliminate federal pensions, from the President on down to the janitor (exception: military). The average person with a desire to serve government will do so for a period of time, get some experience, do some good, and then bail to a private firm offering retirement plans.

Second, voters have to be willing to boot even good representatives after 12 years - Senate and House.

I'm even willing to start the Citizen Party, we have no candidates, just people willing to serve. Of course, we may not have many willing to serve as the first hurdle anyone seeking office has to deal with is the very intrusive prying into the past.