Monday, January 26, 2015

Doing what is right and other thoughts

First of all I had complained about the store Papaya that had done my daughter wrong in a previous post. In my opinion they could have made a very simple exchange and everything would have been right, but they stuck by a policy that was flawed to begin with and let my daughter down.

Well if you are going to complain I guess you have to step up and say something when a store does something right. I don’t usually make a big deal of a store doing what they should do, but it did actually cost them money (not much) to get something right for my wife. So in the spirit of saying something positive instead of complaining, my hat is off to Best Buy for turning an inconvenient problem into a positive for the product we bought from them. The better half is happy.

I do not know what the NFL is going to do. This has not been a good year overall starting with the domestic violence issues, then bad calls in playoff games and now one team is accused of cheating. Frankly any of this won’t affect how many people watch the “big” game this weekend. The same amount of die hard party fans will watch. A few may or may not watch depending on how much interest they have in the teams. And those who don’t watch aren’t going to watch unless it makes the news for other reasons than football.
The issue is can the NFL find a way to improve the product they are putting on the field in the long term. Bad publicity and bad officiating won’t immediately change football fans perception of the game, but somewhere down the line a bad product will turn people off. And the product is starting to show some wear around the edges. The Patriots have been one of the better teams over the last decade plus so to hear they think they have to cheat to win (even minor cheating that probably had no outcome on the game) says there is something wrong with how the game is being played. Sports is based on the general fan believing they are watching a competitive game. If that perception or belief is affected then that fan will lose interest. Sooner or later a person will find something that gives them the entertainment they want. If the NFL doesn’t clear up the quality of the game soon, what was once unthinkable that football is more important than God and country may pass. I don’t see this happening this week and probably won’t happen in the near future, but when games are decided by factors outside of the actual game on a regular basis people will begin to lose interest.

And are we digressing as a society? What is up with the growing popularity of UFC? To me this is nothing more than the TV version of the Roman Coliseum and the gladiators fighting. Two thousand years later and we still put too much emphasis on extreme violence for our entertainment. No wonder we cannot solve the problems facing our world. We should be way past this insanity. Of course the powers that be prefer we watch this stupidity instead of the stupidity that they put over on us. Yeah, that education thing just gets in the way doesn’t it?!

Funny, as I type this post I am watching the Late Show with David Letterman and they are talking about lying etc.. How can we have a comedic rational conversation about lying, yet I can change the channel on the same machine and watch people commit mayhem on each other under the same idea of entertainment? Baffles the hell out of me.
Yep, critical thinking is just sooooo important in our public and even private education system.

Okay time to stop preaching.

I hope that Mother Nature doesn’t overwhelm the Northeast tonight and tomorrow. I was reading news stories last night about the upcoming storm and many of the comments on them were just be prepared, this has happened before, we can ride this out etc.. and in most cases probably true. Just remember even just a half mile can make the difference between getting a foot or two of snow vs having Mother Nature drop a ton of crap into your life. Be safe, but also be vigilant.

Finally a quick comment on the election in Greece. I mentioned something like this happening before in a previous post. The uber rich keep telling us we should have capitalism and the government should leave them alone. Overall the government should stay out of the economy, however, there is some influence that needs to be addressed in distressed times. What I said before though is that the infamous 1 % will do more to drive the world to socialism by their policies than what would come about if we had a true free market economy which they say they support. This election result should come as no surprise. If you keep taking away sooner or later people will want to take back. You offer people opportunities and most will take advantage of them and do something with it. Which do we want to choose?

And at some point I am going to try and put a more serious post together discussing the difference between the welfare state and socialism. There is some misconceptions by some Republicans that the welfare state leads to socialism. And this is not inherently true.

It is late, have a great tomorrow

Thursday, January 22, 2015

a little bit of family

Okay we are driving along on one of our nice days we get here in North Texas throughout winter and the better half turns to me and says we should join a bike club. Yes, we are grandparents, my wife has never driven a bike in her life and I haven’t since I was a teenager and the largest bike I ever drove was a 125cc dirt bike. Now she says to me, she wouldn’t drive, just ride with me. And she knows very well how much of a klutz I am. Sometimes I worry about that woman.

My youngest is an xx year old teen age daughter who proudly told me she is a teenage girl and being full of drama is what is expected of her. Why sould I expect anything different? Sometimes I worry about that child.

There is an estrogen/testosterone imbalance in our family and always have been. We have one son and he was third in line. Some days are just more interesting than I can take. One of my heroes though is my brother’s Father in law. He had 7 daughters, no sons. Lived a long fruit full life, don’t know how, but he did. My other hero is my Father in law, 3 wives, umpteen children, and we would still have to go find him in the bars in Mexico up until the month he passed in his eighties.

Question for you: is being anal and being OCD the same thing?

Gas prices went up sharply around here this week. Is the party over? And there are so many contradicting stories about the direction of oil prices, but the main difference is when, not if oil prices will rise again and how much. The longest I have read is 3 years, the other is $5 a gallon gas is right around the corner. This volatility and insanity is one of the reasons I say over and over, time to get off fossil fuels. And I have been saying this since the 70’s. Thank goodness the price of electric cars are finally starting to fall down from sky high levels.

It is chilly right now, but a few days of really nice weather is around the corner again. Have to admit, gotta love North Texas, however, it is nice to see snow falling every now and then. Not this year so far.

Stay warm

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"lets talk about ducks"

One of the original lines of the original version of Greater Tuna. I do not know how the two actors/writers have managed to keep this going, yet they have and have done well.

If you haven’t seen the play, but have seen the Big Bang Theory, you can get a glimpse of the origins if you pay attention to the occasional reference to Sheldon’s childhood in East Texas. Strange and true, but if Sheldon’s character was in the play it would work to an extent just because East Texas is that unique and the play is that good.

The way we try to solve problems in this country is ridden with the solution being set up to fail. We tend to try and find out who is the bad guy, blame the bad guy, and punish the bad guy. And then once we have done this we think we have solved the problem.

An example of this is what MADD has accomplished.
First of all, I agree that people shouldn’t drink and drive. There is a cost and unfortunately sometimes that cost is someone’s life. And I don’t have anything against MADD, my Mom was a member for many years of her life, it is just making people criminals for something our society shoves down our throats (literally) has not solved the problem. People still drink and drive.
I usually don’t like bringing up a complaint or issue without trying to offer a solution, but I don’t have one for this scenario. I just think it is time we completely reviewed what we are doing. Too many people have a criminal record for something that our society encourages day in and day out. It is not just the commercials on TV, but it is so much of our daily lives. And for many years, especially in sprawling metro areas there wasn’t much of a public transportation system to offer an alternative to driving. Dallas Fort Worth for example barely had any public transportation till the last ten years at best. Sure we had a bus system, but that was around only during business hours and never ran at night. People were stuck paying for a cab that could be seriously cost prohibitive in an area where 20-30 mile trips to a party are not uncommon. So instead of common sense being used (remember we are drinking) people gamble on not being caught instead of paying excessive price to get home. And yes yes there is a bigger cost if you get caught. The issue is, we spend billions to encourage people to break the law and offer no alternative.
And I am not against MADD, but this is an example of how we, as a society, address problems. We blame somebody and we feel like we have accomplished something, yet with a deeper look we have only made the problem worse. Sometimes there are no bad guys, but bad decisions. We need to find a better answer to this problem and a better answer to how we solve problems overall.

And if you are wondering, did I get popped recently, no, there is an aspect of my job where I see how bad this problem has become because I see many people with a criminal record for one DUI or DWI. And I do mean many people unfortunately. And again people still drink and drive.


Praise the Lord and fill up the tank. Yep the cost of gasoline is going down and all our problems are solved.
Folks, please put on your thinking and memory caps. This is probably one of the worst things (okay we all need a break with our budgets) that could have happened. We still need to move off of oil for so many reasons it is not funny. Yes it is wonderful to pay less, but this is creating a false sense of security in our country. And it still hasn’t changed the fact gasoline is poison to the human body. And we breathe it, we breathe it’s residue, it leaks into our drinking water etc… but it is inherently one of the worst creations by man that has such a daily negative affect on our health and we still think we need to continue with gasoline as our primary source of mobility. The lowering of the price only postpones what is or should be inevitable and that is finding new ways to power our lives.
And it still poses huge geopolitical risks for us as a nation. Yes we have our fracking etc…that is supposed to save us from the rest of the world. Sorry long term that isn’t going to work and the current price play by the Saudis etc is fool’s gold. The Saudis can ride out the market and put everyone else out of business and don’t be na├»ve about or surprised by this statement. I think most people wouldn’t be, but if you read all the comments on the stories about lower gas prices you have to wonder.
We have to find the leadership and where with all to continue to develop alternative sources of energy and make them part of our daily lives. And I have said this before, it will take us about two generations to significantly reduce our use of gasoline so the change from one industry to another can be done in a positive way to not affect employment and business overall.

It has been awhile since I have made myself make time for writing, both on my blog and on my stories so I had some catching up to do. Unfortunately my Cowboys are no longer playing. After the Detroit game I really wanted to write about the NFL needs to find a way to get things right. The dispute about the catch only exasperated the fans even more. Instant reply was supposed to help the NFL get it right, yet…….. How does the NFL make the fans feel comfortable about what may happen this weekend or for the “big game”?
And speaking of getting it right, please do not shop at a store called Papaya. In my younger days I worked for many years in retail and retail management, so I have a pretty good idea of doing what is right for a customer. I understand companies have policies, but at some point the policy can be in the wrong. My youngest daughter has a part time job and used some of her money to go shopping for herself and being a teen age girl she was excited about shopping with her own money. I won’t go into the details, but this company really did her wrong. So with so many companies out there I am asking you to shop elsewhere and if they keep up their business practices I may be doing you a favor anyway.

I agree with Pope Francis that it is disrespectful to defame other people’s religions/cultures etc…, however, violence is not any kind of answer for anything. Terrorism is a direct product of certain religious leaders (and certain rulers of countries) keeping their people ignorant and poor to prop up their power. Respect is something we should offer as a society, but we have a right to be critical of others, shoot even Jesus was critical of the religious leaders of his time. Okay granted he had a bit more going for him than a satirical publication, yet people have a right to criticize etc… in some ways this helps all of us become better people. No one though has a right to take another person’s life. And this is especially true if you purport to believe in God. And in a satirical tone, DAESH is doing more to bring about the Crusades than any Pope ever did.
And speaking of respect….. I did not vote for Obama, nor support most of his policies etc.., but it sure looks bad when members of Congress resort to kindergarten name calling when trying to change his policies. Either come up with a better policy or keep your mouth shut. It is really sad when people who are supposed to represent the best of our nation are behaving like spoiled brats.
The word respect does carry great importance Monday. I hope you have a wonderful and reflective holiday on Monday.

Well the Mavs need to beat a quality Western conference team soon and hopefully they get the job done against Memphis on Monday.

Have a great rest of your weekend.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dirty laundry

When the flag was picked up against the Cowboys for pass interference, the better half and I were eating leftover (from New Years day) black eye peas as part of our dinner. Just saying

That is about the only explanation I have for that one, except for that it hit him in the back and there was contact both ways, but no one from Detroit wants to hear that. and I don't blame 'em

Go Cowboys

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Being adaptable

Less than 1 1/2 hours to the big countdown tonight here in the central USA, and got to say a few non consequential comments.

Having a multi generational New Years Eve is always fun. The grandkids are trying to stay awake with all the excitment, there is an army of teen age girls hanging out with our youngest, and I am of the opinion the generation under me is a bunch of wimps. Walking around the facility we are staying there are way too many half drunk cups laying around on railings, the floor, heck even in the elevator. Kids just don't know the value of a good drink anymore. Of course I am picking them up and throwing them away as I go along. Too many years of picking up after my own kids has done this to me. Ha ha ha.

Anyway drinking the tequila out of coffee cups since we left the shot glasses somewhere else. We got the keys locked up, no one is going anywhere tonight and we are walking distance to the big Dallas celebration at Victory center by the AAC.

I hope you have a healthy, prosperous, safe and happy New Year.

Everyone is back inside from a reconnaissance walk so time to go. Salud and Cheers

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

NFL MVP??????

I think the MVP is the offensive line for the Cowboys. I have always supported Romo, but it is the line that has made the difference this year.

When you watch games where Romo has five seconds plus to throw and your running back just set a franchise record it is the offensive line that deserves all the credit.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Santa Claus is real

Well a belated Merry Christmas. I have been trying to sit down and right this post for three days, but have been busy. It is the Christmas season so I still feel this post is appropriate and timely.

Do you remember the year your childhood was shattered and someone told you Santa Claus wasn’t real? I was 7 and the kid my parents told me not to play with was the one that broke the bubble on the Santa Claus myth. To this day I still doubt him. This post though is not about Santa Claus in red suits or even St. Nicholas. This is about the real Santa Claus.

Christmas has become an interesting season. Nowadays even people who don’t believe in Jesus celebrate Christmas. People get caught up in the excitement of shopping, hosting parties, going out, seeing friends and family, decorating, and everything else that makes this season stressful. It amazes me to hear people talk about how they celebrate or what they do. I hear so many people brag about what they have done for Christmas such as having their shopping done by October, decorations up before Thanksgiving, shoot I heard one person brag on how they had their decorations and Christmas put up by three that afternoon. Seriously, ???? To me Christmas celebration is a season, not half a day. We spend so much time on preparing for the materialism of Christmas we forget about how Christmas came about, however, this post is not about “the reason for the season”.

This is about Santa Claus or what Santa Claus represents. Since Christmas is about Joy, what then is Santa Claus? Does Santa Claus represent the spirit of giving? To many, that seems to be the answer, yet it is not the complete answer. Just like Christmas Santa Claus is not one day. To find Santa you have to look beyond Christmas.

Our society is consumed not just by materialism, but a lack of honest joy. We do not know the why of what we do, yet we pursue tirelessly some quest to measure ourselves against what others have and what others have achieved. There is always a cost to something. And you hear people say exactly what I just said over and over. No matter how many times we criticize ourselves we fall into the same trap. It seems we cannot stop our obsession with the perception of how we compare. And for this reason we rarely see Santa Claus, yet Santa Claus is real.

Santa Claus is real and is real every day of the year. Santa Claus does represent the spirit of giving, but not the pretty wrapped presents we see under a tree or the TV shows or advertisements or department stores.

You see Santa when you see a person’s eyes filled with unadulterated joy; the complete awe of receiving a gift from someone that was given from the heart. A gift truly from the heart, it can be a material gift, a gift of time, a gift of help, or it may take other forms, but it is a gift that is truly unexpected and was given completely unselfishly. Unfortunately these gifts seem to be few and far between nowadays. They exist though, so then does Santa Claus. Just like a child who has not had the Santa Claus bubble popped and they have that wide eyed wonder when they go from store to store, event to event, and see all the excitement of the season and their days are filled with the innocent joy of childhood you see Santa Claus in their eyes, you can also see that in people throughout the year when they are caught totally off guard by someone who has done something for them for the sheer sake of giving them what they needed without any strings attached etc. Again this is rare nowadays, but when you run across these moments cherish them.

So stop what you are doing, put down the to do list, and think to yourself when was the last time you saw Santa Claus. And if you cannot remember it is time you went out to find him again. And if you put your mind to it, it will not be that hard to find him. Santa Claus is always there each and every day of the year. It is up to you to keep your eyes open. I hope you find him and when you do, please never lose him again. Just like Christmas, Santa Claus is joy. The complete joy of giving or receiving something entirely based on love.

I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas. I hope you have a happy and prosperous new year. And by the way the Charlie Brown Christmas special is still the best Christmas show ever produced. Think about it, will you?