Monday, May 31, 2010

Who fiddled while Rome burned?

I've been hearing a lot of comments lately from news sources as well as people I run into here and there about how Obama's handling of the mess in the Gulf of Mexico is just as bad if not worse as the way Junior handled Katrina.

I'm not buying it. First of all, the most oft repeated comment is the comparison of how many times each visited the disaster site. Bush comes out ahead-only because when Karl Rove woke him up to tell him he needed to do something, he finally started making trips.

And therein lies the biggest difference. Obama was on top of it-from afar-but on top of it from day one. Bush slept through most of it because of massive apathy for what the residents were going through.

Let's be realistic. It isn't necessary for a president to camp out at every disaster scene that occurs. Visiting those places is show business-nothing more, nothing less.

In today's age of telecommunications he can be right there 24/7 and that's exactly what Obama is doing.

Another big difference is that there is unfortunately very little government can do right now. It certainly can't stop the leak. The residents and their land based property are in no immediate danger. The economic loss to the fishing industry is going to be addressed by government AND BP when someone knows what it is.

As Obama pointed out, the sad fact is the oil industry is where the expertise and technology are right now to stop this thing.

Katrina was a natural disaster that wrought havoc on people and where they lived. In that particular instance, government could have been in a position to help. None of this is true in the case of the BP oil disaster.

I love listening to republican gas bags, fuming and stewing about how government isn't doing its job while on the other side of their mouths they're fuming and stewing that government needs to get out of our faces, leave us alone and let people take care of themselves. More unbelievable hypocrisy.

Let's face it. The comparison between Bush and Obama doesn't work. Obama's efforts border on exasperation-even desperation. All you need to do is listen to him to know this. Bush ("Great job, Brownie!"), on the other hand, played his guitar-or like Nero, fiddled while Rome burned.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us!

There's a boatload (Sorry. Couldn't resist it) of finger pointing going on regarding the ecological disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. Some say it's all because British Petroleum is like all the other oil companies-greedy pigs. Others say it's the government's fault because the various agencies that are supposed to be preventing these kinds of things has failed us-AGAIN. BP is blaming Transocean Co. Transocean is blaming BP.

But I would suggest you ask yourselves these questions:
1. Why do so many people drive their kids to school, only to sit there with their engines running waiting for the doors to open?
2. What's the gas mileage of the vehicle(s) you drive?
3. How often do you carpool with neighbors when transporting kids to the same place?
4. Is that errand you're about to run absolutely necessary?
5. What steps have you taken to conserve heating oil in your house?
6. Are you one of those many voices screaming at environmentalists who want to slow down or stop off-shore drilling?
7. Are you prepared to make the sacrifice that will be necessary to slow the consumption of petroleum fuels?

Walt Kelly's 'Pogo' has it right!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Foreign Debt. Now It's Our Problem Too

Unbelievable. The stock market yesterday was down almost 400 points. That in itself is not necessarily a big surprise. What is though is that the losses are due to problems other countries are having with their deficits. Great. It's not bad enough that we have to worry about deficits, unemployment, recession, etc in our own country. Now we get to watch our IRAs slowly dwindle away because other countries have irresponsible fiscal policies. Sometimes I think we're better off stuffing our mattresses with what little we have left. Maybe it will help my aching back! On that cheerful note, have a nice day.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Will you be checking luggage?

I love to fly. If I had more money-and time-I'd take flying lessons.

A recent trip to Florida confirmed my preference of flying over driving. I can't imagine the mind-numbing monotony of driving over 1200 miles.

Having said that, there's a part of flying that has become very annoying. It's the size of the bags people are carrying on the plane. I understand the reasoning. Who wants to risk lost luggage, stolen articles, time retrieving the bag, etc, but the carryon situation has gotten out of hand (no pun intended).

On our recent trip I witnessed countless people carrying on what is under any measure a 'checkable' suitcase. Once the person is aboard, he/she holds up everyone while they struggle to get this thing in the storage bin. If it's a lady, and frankly it often is, she almost always requires the assistance of some poor slob next to her hefting this thing into the storage place overhead.

As people approach the final gate to board the plane, there's a box that you're supposed to use to determine if your carryon is too big. No one uses it. Why don't airline personnel intercept these people and make them check their bags?

I was grumbling about this to my wife on our return flight and the lady in front of me heard me. She turned to apologize and asked if I thought her bag was too big. It wasn't and I assured her that my cranky remarks were not directed at her. We then went on to discuss the issue and she agreed with me-either that or she thought I was a nut job and she was afraid to disagree! That's entirely possible.

In any case I have a suggestion for the airlines. Instead of charging passengers the same fee for all carryons, they should charge-a lot-for the size and weight of their carryons. End of problem. Guaranteed!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

For Sale. Three Bedroom Two Bath Condo. Unbelievable Opportunity!

If I had a nickel for every time I heard or saw that, I’d have enough money to buy a highrise on the beach. Yesterday, we finally agreed to terms for a vacation condo in Naples, FL. As stated in the title, it’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bath first floor unit. It is in a gated community with 2 community pools and clubhouses. We bought it fully furnished (turnkey) and it’s about 5 miles from the beach.

We’ve been coming to Naples for the past 4 years. We stay at a friend’s condo. While here we have several family members visiting. We like the area for vacations and grand children love the beach and pool so we decided to bite the bullet and find a place of our own. We’re thinking that this will pretty much replace all other types of vacations. The other thing we considered is that it seems the real estate market in this area has bottomed out so now we also have an investment property.

The process of finding the right place was very time consuming and often frustrating. We viewed many, many units ranging from those that were too expensive to a bank-owned unit that smelled so disgusting we immediately turned around and left. Needless to say the real estate agent was a tad embarrassed.

Once the real estate agent finally ‘got it’ as to what we wanted, we were able to narrow the search and did in fact make an offer on a previous unit but it was too low. There was a counter offer but we were so far apart that we didn’t pursue it.

Finding turnkey units was a challenge. I always thought that the region was loaded with furnished condos at a low price just sitting there waiting for someone to come along and rescue them. Not so. Of all the units we viewed there were only about 3 that were furnished, including the one we bought.

We’re not the owners yet. The closing is in June and we have to have an inspection and the title search company has to do its thing but we don’t anticipate any problems. They make things easy down here. The real estate agent will represent us at the closing, mail us the condo documents, the keys and the security gate code. All we have to do is mail her the check! We do have to arrange home owners insurance and call the utility to switch the electric to our name. Then we’re good to go. So we’re off on another venture/adventure.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Here's your laugh for the day.

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paperthat I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - ever.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

19. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option

20. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the hell was going on when I first saw it.

21. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

22. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

23. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

24. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word
they said?

25. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

26. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

27. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?

28. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

29. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my all everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hello from Naples, FL

Here we are. Naples, FL. Everyone's having a great time. The weather is beautiful and the water is warm. And the best part is no oil on the beaches. Brooke is an absolute fish. Can't get enough water. Courtney on the other hand is more a sand castle gal. We're planning a trip to the zoo and there's a nearby water park. Stay tuned for more video and pictures.