Friday, November 16, 2007

Bangladesh Cyclone Deaths

On tonight’s news we learned that a Cyclone in Bangladesh killed 580 people and in 1998 another Cyclone KILLED 158,000 PEOPLE!!! All this death and destruction occurred without the incompetence of a FEMA and incompetent Louisiana and New Orleans government. Just imagine how many more would have died if they had a Ray Nagin as their mayor.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

When All Is Said and Done

A while ago I saw the results of a study on the effects of various political parties in power versus the stock market performance. The conclusion was that the stock market has historically gone higher when the Democrats are in power than when the Republicans are in power. However, the stock market has had it’s best historical performance when power is split between the parties for example a Republican President and a Democrat Congress or visa versa. The study concludes that a split government causes gridlock resulting in little new legislation, which is best for the stock market and, presumably, the economy. You may have heard the adage “When all is said and done, more will have been said then done.” A split government results in lots being said but little being done which is ideal for the economy and stock market performance.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Feeding The Soul

I’ve heard that food feeds the body, books feed the mind and music feeds the soul. Tonight our souls are well fed. We attended our fourth live outdoor concert on the Redondo Beach pier. These concerts are held every Saturday and Tuesday nights all summer long for a total of 19 concerts. No two concerts have the same genre and they always include audience dancing. The genre tonight was Zydeco and one of the audience dancers was almost as entertaining as the live music. What a great benefit of Southern California living.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Extremism (what I believe)

One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of extreme is: “exceeding the ordinary, usual, or expected” I note lately that it is increasingly difficult to discuss the “ordinary, usual, or expected” without being contradicted by well meaning but misguided people who focus on the extremes. I am as guilty as anyone else. We tend to be the product of our environment that forms our beliefs and our judgments. Some people are influenced by daily newscasts, some by pop culture, some by their personal daily contacts, some are influenced by all or a combination of the above. A case in point is the impression of Muslims. If you watch daily newscasts you see suicide bombers, kidnappings and beheadings by Muslims on a daily basis. It would be reasonable to conclude that Muslims are violent fanatics. If you are exposed to Muslims in the US on a daily basis you see peaceful, gentle, hardworking people. It would be reasonable to conclude that Muslims are peaceful, gentle and hardworking people. I believe both of these views are in the extreme and do not represent the “ordinary, usual, or expected”. I believe that Muslims in the US are not representative of the vast majority of Muslims who happen to reside in countries that are governed by Islamic law. All of these countries are autocracies and most are theocracies. (Note that some of these countries CLAIM to be democracies but they are no more democratic than was soviet Communist Russia in the 60s that also held elections periodically but surprise, surprise, the communists always won.) This is what I believe: 1. I believe the vast majority of Muslims are very religious and feel so strongly about their religion that they are contented to be governed by people of a like mind. 2. As such, they do not crave freedom as we know it (i.e. freedom of religion and speech). 3. They hate (may be too strong a word) the west because we are non-believers and tolerate decadence. 4. I believe that some verses of the Qur'an in their historical and literary context sanction military action against non-believers as a whole. I also believe some verses of the Bible condone the same thing but there are fewer strict Bibelists (new word) than strict Islamists. This is what I believe based on my environment. What do you believe?

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Is it just me or has the art of doublespeak gotten out of control. I started thinking about this last month when the sheriff of LA county defended his early release of Paris Hilton unapologetically as a "reassignment to home"!! When people try to disguise their actions or beliefs they seem to find words that are less offensive or less controversial. This is true in all fields of endever especially politics. Anti abortionists call themselves pro-life. I guess the word anti has a negative connotation to some people. Pro abortionists are not any better. They call themselves pro-choice. Probably because the word abortion has a negative connotation. I don't think people that call themselves pro choice are any more pro choice than the people who call themselves pro life are really pro life. Here are some recent examples of doublespeak: redeploy rather than retreat revenue enhancement rather than tax increase investment rather than spending fairness doctrine rather than free speech suppression rightsizing rather than layoffs undocumented worker rather than illegal alien recycle collection area rather than junk yard negative patient care outcome rather than died ethnic cleansing rather than genocide Doublespeak is not new by any means. Here are some historical examples: pre-owned rather than used passed away rather than died sales associate rather than clerk friendly fire rather than fratricide mentally challenged rather than retarded sanatation engineer rather than garbage collector maintenance engineer rather than janitor Do you think doublespeak is getting worse? What are some of your favorite doublespeaks?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sixth Sense

We just returned from 3 days in Las Vegas. Stayed at The Orleans on Tropicana Ave. again. We really like that hotel. The rooms are huge and clean, service is good (not like Sean's cafeteria) and they have a great buffet (although we use it less and less as our appetites diminish). We have stayed there so often they send us special deals on rooms, meals and shows. Already made reservations for this September. Did not attend a show this time but did our share of slots, shopping and walking. Nancy bought me a new driver for my birthday next month. Can't wait to use it tomorrow. Our gambling losses were well within expectations thanks mainly to Nancy. She amazes me at how she can walk up to a machine occasionally and know it is about to pay off saying "This one is talking to me.". It does not happen often but when she gets that feeling she is usually right. An amazing sixth sense!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spoiled Brat

Paris Hilton

Paris is a pathetic character whose parents gave her everything she wanted and now they are defending her actions claiming that police are just picking on her.
I think Warren Buffett said about inheritance: You should leave children as much as they need to do whatever they want but not so much that they can do nothing. Hear Hear

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ticking Time Bombs



Thursday, April 19, 2007

Enough Enough Already

I could hardly believe my ears! This morning Harry Smith of CBS Early Show reporting from Vtech used the term "enough already" describing all the extensive reporting of the Vtech shooting. Seems like even the so called news commentators are getting exhausted with the overly excessive coverage. Think they will change their ways? Yeah right. Not as long as we the people continue to watch.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Enough Already!

I really sympathize with the families and friends of the 32 people murdered at Vtech. I cannot imagine how I would feel if this happened to one of our kids while they were in college. Having said that, I am amazed at how the rest of the world came to a complete stand still today. If you watch the evening news by NBC, CBS, and ABC Vtech is the only newsworthy event today. Hard to believe given Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Gonzalez, Imus, global warming, etc. etc. All these items stood down today so that we could focus entirely on Vtech.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Our Most Precious Wards

Today Nancy told me of a news article about a woman who, worried about the pet food scare, cooks all her dog’s food from scratch. It is a lot of work since she has to insure her dog has a balanced diet including meats, fish, fruits and vegetables. In addition to the extra shopping time there is the preparation, serving, cleaning and storing. Nancy theorized that the woman does not do as much for her own children. I told Nancy that I thought the woman was justified. After all, the dog never talks back, is always happy to see you when you come home, never disappoints you (after being house broken) and appreciates everything you do for it. Nancy replied: “ Yeah but the dog can never give you grand kids.”

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Convenient Exaggeration

It appears our former Democrat VP, Mr Gore, may have exaggerated some of his "facts". Maybe the debate isn't over after all. The following is extracted from an article in todays New York Times. “Hardly a week goes by,” Dr. Peiser said, “without a new research paper that questions part or even some basics of climate change theory,” including some reports that offer alternatives to human activity for global warming. Geologists have documented age upon age of climate swings, and some charge Mr. Gore with ignoring such rhythms. “Nowhere does Mr. Gore tell his audience that all of the phenomena that he describes fall within the natural range of environmental change on our planet,” Robert M. Carter, a marine geologist at James Cook University in Australia, said in a September blog. “Nor does he present any evidence that climate during the 20th century departed discernibly from its historical pattern of constant change.” In October, Dr. Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore’s claim that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this” threatened change. Nonsense, Dr. Easterbrook told the crowded session. He flashed a slide that showed temperature trends for the past 15,000 years. It highlighted 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, he said, were up to “20 times greater than the warming in the past century.” Getting personal, he mocked Mr. Gore’s assertion that scientists agreed on global warming except those industry had corrupted. “I’ve never been paid a nickel by an oil company,” Dr. Easterbrook told the group. “And I’m not a Republican.” Biologists, too, have gotten into the act. In January, Paul Reiter, an active skeptic of global warming’s effects and director of the insects and infectious diseases unit of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, faulted Mr. Gore for his portrayal of global warming as spreading malaria. “For 12 years, my colleagues and I have protested against the unsubstantiated claims,” Dr. Reiter wrote in The International Herald Tribune. “We have done the studies and challenged the alarmists, but they continue to ignore the facts.”

Sunday, March 4, 2007

A Thief In The Night

We can no longer ignore the thief that enters our house occasionally. He (or she) comes in the night and steals things. We think he must have his own key because he leaves no evidence of his break-in. Sometimes he returns a few days later and replaces the things he stole. He’s not very smart, however, because sometimes he puts them back in a different location. As an example, today we were looking for an attachment to an appliance we bought 3 or 4 years ago. We know exactly where we put it but it was no longer there. We looked for hours and finally found it where neither of us ever put it. While looking we found other things we were looking for a while ago that the thief had obviously moved. Sometimes he opens a window or door and leaves it open all night. Occasionally he goes in our bathroom and leaves the toilet seat up. I’ve never heard him enter our house but Nancy thinks she heard him a few times. She used to hear him most often when I was traveling on business. We noticed lately he is coming with increasing frequency and I intend to do something about it some day.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Convenient Lie

Yesterday I lost count of how many times the popular media claimed that Al Gore won an Oscar for the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth". This is a convenient lie. The real (inconvenient) truth is that Gore did not win an Oscar. Oscars were won by Davis Guggenheim, director of "An Inconvenient Truth" and by Melissa Etheridge who wrote and sang the theme song. The popular media is falling all over themselves to build up their hero Gore even if they have to jeopardize their credibility to do it. Although I did not watch the Oscars I understand that Gore took the stage twice when both Guggenheim and Etheridge were presented their Oscars. He took as much credit for the awards as the true artists did! Gore is a shrewd business man who knows the value of publicity especially if it's free. After all, he needs the money, supporting his lavish life style is expensive!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What's This World Coming To?

In the category of "What's This World Coming Too." This is really true. Kentucky Fried Chicken announced a new fish sandwich meal last week. In recognition of lent KFC requested the Pope bless the new entree hoping that a Papal blessing would encourage catholics around the world to buy the fish meal on the Fridays of lent. As far as I know the Pope refused. I wonder if the Pope tasted the new entree before he denied it a Papal blessing and if he did, whether that clenched his decision. I think KFC should have started small by getting a priest to bless their nuggets. Jay Leno said of the new fish entree: "When you think of a good fish meal where else do you think of than Kentucky?" he went on to say: "KFC does not really have to buy fish. All the do is use the spoiled chicken that smells like fish." YUK!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Not Running For President

Yesterday John Kerry announced that he will not seek the nomination for president of the United States. After much discussion with my immediate family and close friends I have decided not to seek the nomination either. I want to spend more time with my family and golfing. In the words of a famous politician (whose name I cannot recall): If nominated I will not run. If elected, I will not serve. I know some people never considered me a viable candidate for president but that did not stop John Kerry from announcing.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Things I Forgot About Cold

Nancy and I went biking at 6:00am this morning. The temperature was 36 degrees and the wind was 10 to 15 mph. Having lived 23 years in Michigan we dressed for the weather. I forgot what it is like to have so many layers of clothes that you can hardly put your arms straight down. I forgot how your toes and fingers first start hurting then eventually go numb. I forgot how much your eyes water and your nose runs until you don't care anymore. I forgot how much your body shakes when it gets too cold. Where's Al Gore when you need him?? We rarely miss our weekly bike ride along the beach but we will think twice next time the temperature is below 40 degrees. We are so thankful to be living in Southern California where weather rarely interferes with our plans but there is a limit what we can tolerate as we get older.