Memorial Day thoughts….

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, Ranting on May 29th, 2017 by admin

Today is Memorial Day.  In America that means hot dogs, burgers, the end of school and the beginning of pool season.  It might even mean a mini-vacation and a host of cold libations contrasting the sudden heat of summer.  And that is sad.  Some of you at least attempt to appreciate the intent of the holiday and might fly a flag.  You might go to a parade or visit a local DFW lodge or even visit the gravestone of someone you knew who served.

While these latter items are indeed noteworthy and no doubt appreciated by those so initiated, it still misses the intent of the holiday for me.

To remember is a start, I think the important part of the holiday is not just remembering but it is about reflection.  We must in our hearts contemplate and appreciate those that supported, in many cases with their lives, the ability to enjoy the freedoms we have.  We must honor them and the ideals they held.  We must carry on and defend those that attempt to circumvent, tarnish or destroy those goals of ideological perfection first documented over two hundred years ago.  We must stand guard, stalwart and unwavering to these principals of liberty, of equality, of righteousness.  They are constantly under threat not just with foreign nations both envious and intimidated of our success but internally as well where despotism, greed, injustice and apathy attempt to decompose that which is unequivocally right for that of personal gain.

The founders of this nation were clear in their intent.  We were to be a free nation, comprised of free men and women with minimal governance which was empowered by the people to which it was indebted.  These people were assumed to be devout in terms of their intentions and responsibilities to this nation.  There were not to be burdens placed on individuals that were not expressly and without hesitation condoned by some sort of great power that looked over and protected people.  It was not the government but to God that people owed their freedom through a set of natural laws.  They consummated this deep acceptance in this conviction in a simple bold statement where they “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  Today we are not governed so with overbearing regulation, rights infringed upon instituted as a means of some better good as envisioned by a set of elitist who no longer serve at the will of the people but empowered nevertheless through coercion, concessions and a camouflage of intent.  As such power is consolidated it is fortified and its foundation difficult to breach.

It is this that the framers did fear as they know man is flawed even if spiritually pure.   The concern was to be mitigated by the concept of not only equal rights in representation (e.g. voting) but also in the alignment and separations of powers.  While the latter was effectively initially, greed, bias and conspiracy loomed large as steps were taken to eliminate these protections of the citizenry and instill a power based unfettered.  This was achieved over time through backroom deals, bribes and deceit as foundations of power, the guards of our freedom, were manipulated and instilled (starting with a non-equitable Supreme Court).  Without the checks and balances of this structure, it became difficult and impossible to guaranteed that original promise that Mr. Jefferson so eloquently penned both in our original declaration but repeatedly for its citizens.  He spoke and pleaded repeatedly that “the principles on which we engaged, of which the charter of our independence is the record, were sanctioned by the laws of our being, and we but obeyed them in pursuing undeviatingly the course they called for. It issued finally in that inestimable state of freedom which alone can ensure to man the enjoyment of his equal rights.”

Today, these rights are not equal.  There is a disproportionate amount that some say favor the rich.  And indeed, those with wealth have some advantages to common life but they fundamentally do not have expressed extensions of rights over other men except in cases where their influence has obtained that via the government.  The poor are said to have less rights and again, this is an exaggerated parable.  It is not less rights they have, it is less wealth, less means to potentially pursue happiness.  Again, this is a morally flawed argument in that wealth does not insure happiness or vice versa.  Happiness today and what was meant 200 years ago are at odds.  Happiness then was the ability to make your own decisions, to be able to change your job, your religion, your place of residence.  It was not about owning an iPhone or being able to take vacations.   The citizens of the past understood and lived under the pretext that they – not the government – were responsible for themselves and hence their happiness.  The level of effort they put into their work, good and bad luck and the willingness to sacrifice when necessary were fundamental to achievement of that goal.  The government – and as an extension its people, did not owe you anything except opportunity.  It was not responsible for you but simply had a responsibility to you.  It had one vision that again, Mr. Jefferson states clearly ‘”The freedom and happiness of man… [are] the sole objects of all legitimate government.”  Today, progressives use these words and others from that period such as “the only orthodox object of the institution of government is to secure the greatest degree of happiness possible to the general mass of those associated under it.” To legitimize their efforts.  Again, the point here is missed (or discarded) by inferring this mass represents numbers solely.  The inclusion of “associated under it” enforces the concept of citizenry in generally.  So, the passage really means simple that the government is there to ensure the principals of all with those principles again being the inalienable rights so enthusiastically adopted by the country.  Any doubt of this should be eliminated by further examination of text by its author “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”  Again, it was a different world and one where expectations and behavior were indeed for the betterment of man, not the betterment of a few men so selected and classified by an unrepresented government.  Jefferson, like many others at that time, including his ideological foe John Adams, agreed that efforts (or government) which tend to restore to man all his natural rights [are] convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.  In other words, contribute to the ideals of the government so it’s protections of your rights remains strong.

Today’s poor do not accept this.  Dependence on the government is now considered a right.  There is no need to work, to contribute to society or any other principal of ethical decency.  As power was consolidated, it decided the winners and losers, not the people.  And, to maintain that power, it has taken to bribing those that ensure their continuance.  The few that resist have become powerless and it is downfall of this nation.  The powerful use weapons of words, guilt and deception to leverage this power.  We reached the tipping point many years ago with Franklin Roosevelt and it blossomed with Presidents such as Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama.  They each doubled down on this concept.  The Republic was supposed to be able to withstand such things as mob rule but over time these protections have been eroded.

Back to Memorial Day…. So I reflect constantly on the original intent of this nation, its greatness and its empowerment of rights I believe to be self-evident, even if under attack.  So, it is also a day that is critical to establish a bridgehead in our fight to take back the nation.  It is not a simple task as the majority is satisfied with the status that is.  This is no doubt because of the inequities that the progressives have instituted in wealth redistribution, taxes and such where the few, provide for the rich.  Conceptually, this would not be a bad system IF and this is a huge IF, the few that provide for the many had control over the many.  This is not an attempt to institute some form of servitude but simply a reflection on that if we are to take that which belongs on one, they should get something in return for it.  Progressives like to talk about the wealthy benefits one has.  That is fine.  Let them have the benefits.  They earned them.  Others can earn them to.  If I work hard, I deserve the rewards.  This is a lost concept for many that cling to extreme liberalism.  They put little stock into the how.  They simple want part of the result.  They do this to embolden their base.  Take 1 million dollars from a rich person (who can cast only 1 vote) and give a thousand dollars to a thousand people with no strings (but in mass a 1000 votes), you an very well build a base of supporters quickly.  And they have.  As it stands today, 47% of the population pays no income tax. That means, that roughly half of the country is legally stealing from the other half.  This has to stop but the means to do so is difficult with such a voting disadvantage.  However, we have to try and as such I consider it a responsibility to myself, my children and those that gave me this right to start with by their service to this country.

Turkey Chowder

Posted in Michael's thoughts, The Family on November 25th, 2011 by Michael

Texas Turkey Chowder

Having lived on ALL coasts, here is something to create the day after T-Day that is not your typical soup (not that I don’t love a turkey soup). The addition of white wine versus beer and black beans vs kidney (or no) beans is a hat tip to my western friends.  Calling it chowder to my east coast friends.  Making it chili style is all Texas….


  • Some oil
  • Some turkey (I use dark meat) – 1-2 lbs or whatever you have
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes (diced is okay too)
  • I can of tomato paste
  • I can of black beans
  • 1 good size onion
  • Chili mix (package or make your own) *
  • A bell pepper or two (I use orange and red)
  • Some white wine (no doubt all of my friends have this)

* A responsible chili mix:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (chipotle best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Okay, simple procedures.

Chop the onions add it a stockpot that has some (teaspoon or two) oil in the bottle   Sauté/sweat until you get that nice smell (you know…).  Add in some chopped turkey (thigh meat is great, take some from the drum too if you have a household that doesn’t eat them (like mine).  Add cut up peppers.  Add 1/3 of the chili mix.  Stir that around for 2-3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, beans and another 1/3 of the chili mix.  Add some wine to make it chili/chowder consistency.  Simmer covered for 30-45 minutes or as long as you can stand.  Add the rest of seasoning and stir.  Add more wine if needed but likely you can just drink it (did I have to wrote that part?).  Cook another 10 minutes with the lid off.  Taste for seasoning.

Ladle it in a bowl, add some grated cheese (cheddar) and sour cream as desired.  Serve with whole grain tortilla chips.  Enjoy while recovering from shopping hell.


Mission Complete

Posted in Housing Woes, Michael's thoughts, The Family on September 25th, 2011 by Michael

The other bed is now complete… and there will not be another, regardless of what Yoda might allude to (hope you all remember that reference).  This one was in a lot of ways easier — because I actually had some tools and of course more experience.  It was a little harder in that I was making it up as I went along versus having a set of plans.  The girls seem to like it.  Now, if it would only help them go to bed more nicely.

At least my next vacation is not spoken for now.  Of course, I just want to rest for a while. Between this, work, a trip to Canada, tee ball games and this damn cold I now have, I am ready for some high quality, extended nap action.

Well I am off for a while.  Will try and post something if anything conducive comes out of my ADD/OCD mind, besides the obvious (like Obama is a freaking liar, his people are crooks and Morgan Freeman is an idiot).

Been busy…

Posted in Michael's thoughts, The Family on September 13th, 2011 by Michael

First, let me say that I am SO looking forward to the election in 2012 even if it means that I have to sit through the seemingly endless commercials… and no, I do not mean Presidential speeches though I can understand why you might assume that.    It is really sad when it only takes 3 years to cheapen 230+ years of courage and conviction.  Politics aside — and I am generally not in favor if his — this man has really taken the office to an whole new low by his actions and character.  That is saying a lot consider Carter, Taft and a few others….  Makes me mad.  I wish we could have honest debate in this country and let people vote by conscience.  Unfortunately, we have Alinsky playbooks, political spin control, scandalous speechwriters, special interest groups buying favors and our electected or those hoping to be elected, men (and women) fronting it all.

That aside, bed is done minus some cosmetic updates.  More pictures in the future (or in the photo gallery) but Max seems like like it.  He better.  Lots of time went into it.  I shutter to think of the real cost of it but hard costs were about 1/2 of the asking price from the manufacture, and that includes buying a table saw and compound miter saw (which I always wanted anyway).  Now, on to make a castle bed for two girls who never want to go to bed anyway.

BTW, it is September?  How did that happen ?  At least the triple digits are mostly gone though it was 101 yesterday.


Things are moving…

Posted in Michael's thoughts on May 2nd, 2011 by Michael

Okay, so Osama bin Laden is dead. He was an evil man but that still does not necessitate the kind of celebration I saw on the news during the wee hours of the morning. Very much reminiscent of the views we see of radicals in other countries…that we deplore. Oh well, I get the sentiment. That said, there is little evidence that he was actually calling the shots anymore though psychologically, this was huge to a lot of people. Not so thrilled at Obama’s performance – not just the lackluster speech, which rambled, egotistical (HE – e.g. Obama, made this happen) and was forced – but the hour plus delay so his team could figure out how to stage this event. Hmmm. Whatever happened to just plain old honesty. You stumble through it? Maybe but that is fine. Be genuine. And what was with Geraldo scoping the story? Wow.

More important things…

Got back from a quick trip to Oregon. Got a client there but also gave me a good reason to see some old friends and relive some delicious hoppy flavors unknown west of the Cascades. Not only that, but the plane ride was actually smooth both ways (but of course, delayed each time but just a little). Scott and I went to the Raccoon Lodge – which just happened to be the site of Mary Ann and my first date. The place has changed a little – better brew masters and more hands on. You can literally walk around in the brewery. Nice. He also got a dog – which reminds me of a little Otto. I miss that beast. Ran into some old colleagues from Nike too. Had a nice Seattle based beer (which you can find elsewhere) – Mac and Jack’s African Amber. Smooth. VERY similar to the Kilkenny I found in Ireland.

I also had a little time before my flight so I got up at the crack of dawn (fortunately, easier since I had a built internal clock advantage of 2 hours) and drove to McMinnville to go to the Evergreen Museum. It is really an impressive place if you like planes. Not sure why I had been out that way before, but I do remember passing by it a few times but never stopping. Well, some of that I think was because the Spruce Goose was not yet in place (it took 8 years to prep it). They even have the little mockups that were used in the movie “Avaitor”.

Anyway, got there early, walked around took lots of pictures (which you can see in the gallery). In addition to planes, they have a few tanks, a firearms exhibit and a building dedicated to space (though it has some planes in it too!). They really need another building since it is planes planes planes everywhere! There have a Titan rocket which is very cool – Actually goes a couple of floors into the earth so you can actually get a feel of a missile silo. Kind of makes me a little sad that SpaceFest will not be in the cards this year since it will be in Arizona and side trips to “The BoneYard” and some missile silos are available – but sister in law weddings do take precedent. While there though, I might have the chance to motor up to Dayton to see the Air Force Museum. I am pretty sure no one will miss me! Next up – given my golfing vacations are limited due to the ACL – I think will be the Cosmosphere in Kansas. Neat place – and if you did not know – it is where they build most of the replica’s you see in museums (well, when they do not come from the original manufacture). Gosh, there is a lot of cool crap in America!

Guess, that is it for now – from me and the toothless one (see POTW). Got to earn a few bucks to pay for this expense Gas we are forced to contend with while Obama is off campaigning for reelection.

I know…

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, Ranting, The Family on March 21st, 2011 by Michael

Geez… my PC is flakey.  I so miss my little Mac.  It will be nice to get home to it.  And having a kitchen.  And sleeping in my own bed.   And watching whatever I want on it.  And picking out different clothes than I have been wearing for almost two weeks.  And, of course, not driving in crazy Houston traffic.

I also am looking forward to going through all of the pictures we took this past week (which sadly, I fear may have a “keep” rate in 20% range based on what I saw) and getting them posted (which may take some time).

And yes, I am looking forward to going to the store and actually hearing English spoken.   I know I am no longer in any majority status in Texas – outside of maybe in the majority of people actually paying taxes so others can live legally and illegally off of the revenue.  But, that is another story….

Sorry I have not posted in a while but not having my computer up and running when the thought hits me generally leads to me doing something else and not coming back to it.  Plus, there really is not that much going on.  And of course, WordPress – the app used for the blogging – keeps getting upgraded and that moves stuff around so I have to go figure out how  to use it all of the time.

Anyway, new POTW coming on Saturday per the usual custom.  I’ll figure out how to do it later from my PC in the event I am out of town again.  Everyone seemed to have a good time outside of the normal meltdowns by the kids.  At least they all have cowboys boots now.  Yes, even me.

I did go in search of an apartment to keep instead of hotelling it all of the time.  However, this area of town is very expensive.  I can’t believe I would almost pay the same as my mortgage for an apartment ¼ the size.  You would think 1000sq ft is big enough but it feels like a closet!  I think that is because 10% of the space is dedicated to closets.  Not sure why that is…  More on that as decisions are made.  At this point, nothing strikes me a perfect.  Good luck trying to figure that out on-line.  Not a review site out that can agree on an apartment complex.  They all have crime, roaches, bitches in the office, barking dogs, loud neighbors, etc.  Argh.

Yes, we did get an ipad2 – in case you were wondering.   MA set it up herself while I was gone.  No, we really didn’t need it but then again, need is so subjective.  If you are in a union, needs include significant income from unnecessary overtime, elaborate pensions, special work rules that stifle productivity enhancement, nominal performance requirements, guaranteed raises, etc.  the rest of us don’t see those as needs but as unnecessary and illegitimate power grabs.  But, that is another story too.

Not too happy about paying so much for gas…I guess Cheney and his big oil friends are back to making tons of money as they manipulate oil prices from the White House.  Oh wait, he is not in the White house any more.  So, I wonder… what could be keeping prices so high?  I know it is not issues in the middle east – we learned that wars with folks like Iraq , which actually pump a lot of oil for the US, are not the cause (it was Cheney, remember?).  therefore, it certainly could not be wars with Libya (which produces next to nothing <2% of the oil) that is driving it up.  I wonder when someone will ask Barack about that and accurse Joe Biden of stockpiling wealth (afterall – BP and other oil giants contributed heavily to their campaign).  No, not holding my breath on that one.  I doubt it will come up  if and when Barack returns from this critical trip to Brazil….  I wonder what he is going to say to the ambassador of Japan upon his return.  Probably nothing.  Pissed off the UK, our strongest ally.  Oh well.  Might as well piss off Japan too – -they have only been our most stable partner in the region.  True ‘nuff, but that too is another story.

BTW, my march madness picks have gotten a lot better after that initial drubbing.  Yes, some ref calls helped….

Whatelse… did you see that moon?  Wish I had had my camera and telescope.  Oh well, I am sure I can see it on youtube or facebook – you know, sources of information these days.  It use to be the media, before they sold out, and then there was Fox News, which is good about 50% of the time.  Of course, both of them went psycho over non stop coverage of nuclear fallout, random bombings and worse yet, Charlie Sheen…..

More later.

Feb is nearly over

Posted in Birthdays, Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, Ranting on February 26th, 2010 by Michael

So too goes the Olympics, hope for civility in Washington and Max’s baby years.

First thing first. I have not been a big Olympic fan since the commercialization started and the split of the winter and summer games occurred. Plus, they all are about winning not competing and that is sad. You got disputes, you have boycotts, you got your twelve year old gymnasts forced into action by government tyrants, etc.

Of course, you also have the yawn factor. Not many winter sports I actually like outside of bobsledding, ski jumping and curling. I almost like the luge but really think it would be more interesting if they went down head first. I feel bad for the family and friends of the person that was killed in the sport but do not like the fact that they slowed down the course. I agree with I think it was Bill Simmons at SI, that the highest ratings go to Figure Skating since it is one of the few sports both men and women can watch (that would be Women’s figure skating). I mean, the ladies enjoy that pageantry and the guys like the hot chicks. Potato, potato. That all said, I really do not like “sports” that have an artistic component to them. Did I miss that requirement somewhere? I’d love to see that in racing, boxing or football. “yes, ladies and gentlemen, Miles Austin breaks free for a 74 yard touchdown. Normally, 6 points, but he did not high step into the end zone so the judges gave him a one point deduction”. Pa—leeze.

On to other depressing news, the debate on healthcare was a joke. The open forum gave 2x time to the democrats and at the end, instead of “let’s go think about this ” the output was basically, we are going to do what we wanted to do in the first place, thanks for playing… Yep, open to the options! Obama continues to be a joke on this topic “don’t want to get into the numbers”. Well, that is what it is all about.

The Republicans went back and forth from whiny to brilliant (Paul Ryan). The Democrats continued to hold the company line and spew lies about how this is critical RIGHT this second since people are dying. I guess they forgot about the laws of the country that prohibited the denial of service for those in life threatening situations or the existence of Medicaid programs for the poor. Oh, but wait they didn’t since reduction of costs for emergency visits (outside of rationing care, cancelling Medicare Advantage, finding mysterious waste that they have never been able to find, lowering doctor’s reimbursement 22% and of course taxing everyone but unions) is their way of paying for the inclusion of an addition number of people into the system (that is already bankrupt). But don’t worry, the 400K new government employees required to administrate this option will solve that issue. Plus, it will help make the unemployment numbers go down. A win win !!! Now, if they can figure out a way to blame Bush more, it would be the trifecta.

I especially like the Democratic line about how people can not afford insurance because of a lack of competition. Well, then pass laws that allow inter-state options – this is what Republicans are asking for. It is what will enable the free market to work. But no… if successful, that would negate the “emergency” that allows them to “act” and create a public option (or exchange). Yeah, introduction of an anti-trus 800 pound gorilla is competition. BTW, it just dawned on me… public schools vs private schools. Which are seen as superior? Which has what funding model? Hmmm.

Enough of that. It gives me a headache.

This is supposed to be week of my vacation but that was short lived by pressing issues in the work place. However, I did make it out to visit the kids in Hot Springs, Arkansas. During my short tenure, we went to visit the Clinton museum in Little Rock. Not a big fan of Clinton (he gets a lot more credit than he deserves but was at least smart enough to get out of the way when necessary – – listen up Barack), but I do find the history interesting. This one less so than others I have been to but mainly because it was not really history for me. I lived it. Still, I plan on seeing more of them. Thankfully, Texas has the most (or will).

It is amazing how many guards they have there. They could use some of the rooms for Fort Knox overstock. Pleasant people though unless you touch something you are not suppose too – like the carpet in the oval office exhibit (no, not the one pictured to the left – that is in a public space). I get it was the carpet in the White House but still, most of the other carpet in the White House ended up in a dumpster. I really doubt decades from now, that people will be that enchanted with it (“OMG, that is the real carpet from the White House”). And secondly, so it was touched. People – thousands of people (especially those that did favors for Bill) walked on it (this is a PG site). I don’t think touching it is going to harm it in any way – it is CARPET. Of course, that is just my opinion. I don’t get paid six figures by the parks bureau (funded by me through taxation) to make that call however. I’m just glad the federal officer didn’t pull his weapon on us.

The waterfront there in Little Rock is really nice. Probably a great place to spend a spring evening. They even have a free fish and game exhibit area behind some of the restaurants. Really nice. I actually do not mind spending some of my tax money on things like that.

We also took the time to celebrate Max’s 2nd birthday. He is in a new phase of not liking pictures taken (the girls each experienced that as well). So, this will likely be the least represented year of his young life. That said, he warmed up a bit once the sugar from the cake started to take hold.

It was a fire truck theme since he seems to like them (Mackenzie’s favorite truck is the cement truck for those keeping score at home).

We also went to the Wax museum which was not that interesting but it was open (unlike a lot of things in Arkansas in Feb). Then we wondered through the hot springs and various bath houses. Funny what people use to do to themselves in the name of health. I have no doubt the next generation will say the same thing about us and our obsession with exercise. I’m a futurist hence I am already cutting back on that barbaric treatment of my body (though admittedly I have been considering putting a few miles on the bike this week before I have to hit the road again.

I guess that is it for now……….

My carbon footprint

Posted in Michael's thoughts on February 26th, 2010 by Michael

Yes, I have changed… I really tried to find a hybrid that I could live with and the nearest one was outside my budgetary confines. I also thought about a diesel. They are clean burning as long as you don’t consider urea a pollutant (which even California doesn’t at this point). God knows the subway in NY doesn’t either! In the end, it too pushed my monetary policy in the wrong direction. Finally, I looked at a used vehicle but the upper crust products for some reason retain their value in the used market to an insane level. Not sure why. That said, a Lexus GS350 was coming home with me until I noticed you could not really fit golf clubs in the trunk. WTH? What kind of moron designs a fly man car without the ability to through some sticks in the back? That really bugged me and I ended up with one of my original options.

Not sure about the color but MA’s car is also blue. So, we went from two gold cars to two blue cars. Consistency is good. This car has a lot going for it but I am still a little concerned about the ride. A little stiff. Well, that is like saying Al Gore’s personality is a little stiff. The thing is harsh over bumps. The tires are a little overinflated and that did not help. The springs are too tight I think. I am hoping that there is a little wear in period to loosen them up. I don’t really think this car would be car of the year if it rode horribly. If things do not loosen up, I might have to make a trip back to the dealer. That would be no fun for anyone.

That quibble – significant as it is at times – is offset by a nice interior, ample room, a huge trunk and apparent endless power for merging on highways (oh, for not being a car guy, I do like that…). This car has a really stupid 1-3 gearbox but once it hits 4th, hang on. It probably is good that it is geared like that or I might end up driving somewhat irresponsibly. Gas mileage is a little worse than my previous ride but that bad boy was starting to fall apart after 9 years and 80K miles.

It has already gotten a little bling added and of course a custom trunk liner.

Hopefully, I will have learned how to use my trip computer and figured out the suspension issues at the 5000M check up.

Good intentions

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, Ranting on February 26th, 2010 by Michael

Yep, they don’t mean squat when it comes to output as evidenced by both this blog’s meager collection and of course, the state of our government.

I’ve been busy doing the bidding of my economic master this month but lots of these efforts are now starting to wind down. I like being busy but there is a point where you just want to say enough is enough. I frequent that point often. Maybe I am getting lazy in my advanced years. It is pretty damn obvious that I am not getting any wiser.

Speaking of wisdom, I continue to enjoy the hypocrisy of the global warming conspiracy theorists. So, how many conferences – that they JET to with enormous carbon footprints – have been postponed or cancelled due to snow? I know, it is now “climate change” since they can not find evidence to support the global warming and if they do, they have to retract it later when it is learned that documents were not properly maintained, that data collection efforts were suspect and lacking scientific oversight, not to mention validity and/or my favorite, that they based their evidence on a student paper. Don’t see a lot of news coverage about these retractions. I wonder why? Oh yeah, it doesn’t support their end goal and objective. We have had record global warming here in Texas and I have inscrutable evidence.

Don’t worry, I will make time for my trip to Norway next year… And for the record, I am FOR reducing our carbon footprint. I am opposed by the means of forcing one to do it.

Not really sure what else is going on since I have to do this from memory and that is subject to years of attack by natural enemies of the synapses: hops and grapes. Suffice it to say, it was not that important!

I forgot about this one….

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions, Ranting, The Family on February 9th, 2010 by Michael

Okay, it is a new year… not sure that will translate into more consistent blogging, but we shall see.  I know this seems like a very simple exercise but there are more challenges in creating this than might appear.  

Of course, there is determining the subject matter.  Outside of what happens outside my world, there is just not a lot of news that occurs on a daily or sometimes weekly basis.  My job is not something I want to blog about and it too is pretty boring to most.  Same old stuff generally; I am just being on a different part of the urgency curve day to day (like now – it is going to get really, really busy this week). The kids do what kids do and unless one of them goes to the hospital (which we hope not, for obvious reasons, and of course, since we changed to a high deductible insurance program…), there are not a lot of things that happen there.  I can pretty much write them now – Meghan is defiant.  Mackenzie whines about something… Meghan taking her doll, having to eat what we eat for dinner, etc.  Max gets pushed down, started his “mine” phase.  He thinks it is funny to be loud.  No one wants to go to bed, Etc.  Outside of then taking care of the house (rearranging, painting, decluttering, etc), that consumes 90% of my waking free time.  I will plug in short movie reviews if and when we ever see any.  As it is, I am sure Netflix loves us since we are not very fast about the turnover process.

Of course, I could write about other things going on… sports or politics.  Both kind of leave me shaking my head.  There is still the rabid press fascination over Tiger Woods – again, don’t care.  Then, you got the Wizard players pulling guns on each other over gambling debts (considering they make millions…. That must have been some bet).  And of course, you got football.  Steelers continue to get questionable calls (hey, not just my opinion, even major news casts have mentioned it – sorry Jim).  You have the college systems flawed with an overabundance of money and bowl games while academically, tuition continues to rise.  BTW, I am for a playoff system.  My proposal:  Top 8 play in four bowls, top two of remaining four go for the national championship hosted at whatever bowl did not participate in the first four.  All games DONE by Jan1 except Championship game, which happens one week later.  Automatic bids go to four conferences only, rotated each year based on previous year’s performance.  Top 8 determined by BCS like system with top four not included in automatic selections getting in (none of this top 14 crap).  Finally, on the Mike Leach thing – all of those involved are acting like a “bunch of pissy little girls” (to quote Burn Notice).  Leach’s ego is too big.  The University AD resents it.  James is a being propped up by his dad from the bully pulpit.  It was all a power play.  Be men, not cowards hiding behind your lawyers.  The bottom line is that Leach will get paid and the University will look like fools.  They got what they wanted – 10 straight bowl games.  They made the deal with the devil (Leach).  I am not sure why they expected to change him (or did they?  They might have simply had their hand forced by James).  I don’t know.  I don’t care.  College athletics has lost its focus.  I’ve blogged about it before.  It certainly is not for the kids and their education.  Please…

I try and not pay too much attention to politics since nothing good is occurring.  Obama continues to champion the demise of America’s standing in the world while pushing hard to move towards socialism.  Now, some of you may support that.  You may agree that the rich have too much and we should simply take it away and give to everyone else.  I’m not one of those people.  I am about individual freedom and accountability.  Those that NEED help should get help.  Those that choose a life that is not conducive to helping themselves?  Well, I feel absolutely NO responsibility to provide for them.  America is great because we can make choices and we can be rewarded for our hard labor.  Those go hand in hand.  Take one away and you take both away.

I also continue to be dismayed by the lack of accountability the media has to us.  Or maybe they think they jobs are really about selling papers and people want to see things, not as they are, but how they want them to be?  Hmmm.  If that is the case, we should label them as entertainment and remove any legal protections they have.  On National Security, he has been a disaster… form the infamous (if you read alternative sources) radical republican terrorist watch list Homeland Security maintains to directive not to prosecute illegal aliens found crossing the border to the latest bombing attempt in Detroit.  Janet is a moron but no one seems to care.  Obama should fire her first and then Eric Holder and of course all of the other loons on his massive White House staff (like the pervert who is suppose to be overseeing our school system).

The swindling of money from TARP (which he takes credit for even though it was not approved by him) to payoff car companies and look for other private industry accounts goes widely undiscussed, though probably illegal.  Cash for clunkers was a mess.  When pressed about government’s ability to do things, he blames everyone else, then says the buck stops with him.  He has the gall to remind people of Katrina over an over again – which was an order of magnitude more challenging  – to deflect blame.   Note: his FEMA team could not even handle frozen roads in Kentucky – look it up.

And of course, the whole health care debacle really gets my goat.  From what I can read – and sorry, I am not lawyer so some of the things written are a challenge to digest – we cover a few more but not all (like it or not), we will encourage companies to drop their existing coverage of employees (cheaper to do so), we will get a ‘non-profit’ government run system that will pay doctors less and hence, drive them from the practice, we will miraculously find and cut all of the waste in medicare (in theory) as well as supplemental programs like Medicare Advantage to make it budget neutral. We will start to tax folks more immediately but not give them benefits for three more years (wasn’t there something about taxing without benefits about 200+ years ago?).  Quite frankly, I am not seeing any positives out of this, outside of the protection against pre-existing conditions.  If that is the case, let the government run a program for those individuals and leave the rest of us alone.  Well, no, help us by passing some real reform, not political speech making reform.  Allow companies to sell across state lines (and not only as part of the a government run alliance).  Implement tort reform (even if it takes most of your campaign funds away).  Create tax incentives for companies and individuals.  You know, do the right thing for the nation, not the large entitlement-voting block that pays for your trips abroad.

BTW, try spending some time in Washington working – not behind closed doors with your ‘advisers’ from unions or democrats – but doing what you are there to do.  I don’t think you really need to be in other parts of the world.  First, we have out own issues.  Second, you just seem to screw things up more.  And third, it is not very environmentally sensitive.  Aren’t you for that?   I thought I saw some press release saying you were…


Again, I could talk about all of that stuff in the blog but it gets me too excited and stress is a silent killer.  And, I am not even an over paid football coach living in Florida…

So, there is the dilemma.  That said, I will try and do better – maybe once a week like the POTW.  That reminds me that I need to pull all of these into a book.   Plus, I have to do the family books and the kids books.  Crap.  When will I find the time?  I just got the kids books done two months ago for 2009 and that was with MA front-loading a lot of them.  At least this is a labor of love, even if it impacts my nap schedule.

 I suppose it is resolution time and I’m not big on that but do appreciate the return to normalcy post the holiday madness.  Obviously, time management is an issue but that might be more around organization.  We have to get the kids into a schedule we can support and that probably will mean dropping some activity towards the end of the year.  I say that not just for us, but for them as well.  I am not going to be one of those parents that have their kid doing something everyday.  Kids have to be kids and while life lessons like competition, etc should be learned early, appreciation for what one has is equally important.

Our treadmill computer went crazy so we have decided to go with a bike to get some exercise.  Hopefully, that will last.  It is easier to do and watch TV or read so maybe it will have staying power.  My goal is 25 miles a week with 5 miles being added each week once I break the seat in.  I know that is not a lot but given what time I have, it is pretty good.  For me, it is more about blood pressure, etc. than weight loss. I know how to do that.  I just don’t like the methods of getting there.  MA has some new Wii things so I am sure that will start up once her heel feels better.  Of course, one day they may finish the park down the street… but that is being run by the government and so I have little hopes they will get phase 2 done any more expediently than they did phase 1, which ran 6 months late.

I’ll probably get more involved in political issues this year, since frankly it is obvious that if we do not take a stand, we will get run over.  I used to be much more passive about the government but then again, it was not eroding at the same pace back then.  Where is the time where the representatives went away with your best interests?  I guess gone.  Now, it is a full time job watching these people.  Hopefully, we will be able to send a positive message to Washington come November.  I hope it is not too late.