Monday, 25 October 2010

Poll Thinking

I sat and read USA Today in the afternoon.  There's this odd poll that was done.  Would you be willing to live 'rent-free' in a house, that had a ghost?

Fifty-one percent said yes.  Forty-nine percent said no.

I sat and pondered over this.  It's one of those stupid polls that normally, I'd never answer.

First, and foremost, I'm really not much into ghosts.  Yeah, you might call me a non-believer.  If you walked up and suggested this house would be free for rent....and then bought up a ghost story over the house....I'd probably ask what kind of ghost this is.

First, are they a young ghost or old ghost?

Is this a ghost with limited intelligence?

Is the ghost a liberal or conservative?

Is this a hot lusty sultry lady ghost?

Does this ghost have any good decent stories to tell?

Is this ghost anti-NCAA football or anti-NASCAR?

Does this ghost have a sense of humor?

Could this ghost be far-right-wing? Or perhaps a progressive?

As you can see....my ghost perception requires some answers.  I'm guessing this will offend some ghosts....but you know....if this was a fairly conservative female ghost, witty and a bit lusty, then I'd probably have some patience to accept the ghost deal.  I'm guessing that most ghosts would be a bit upset with my questions and prefer not to admit that they are a mixed-up liberal ghost with no sense of humor, and about as intelligent as a sixth-grader.

60 Minutes

Last night, I watched 60 Minutes.  It's rare, I admit....simply the timing of NFL football and various programming....and there I was.

It was, by far, one of the best episodes that I've seen in my life.  Here was a 15-minute segment covering these poor folks in San Jose, California.....who've lost jobs....and have spent over 18 months looking for work.

I sat totally amazed....they just wouldn't leave.  I would have put 90 days into finding work....and after that....packed and moved to various southern locations where IT jobs still exist.  Yeah, I would have given up on the $200k work level real quick.  Even the $100k work level.  I realize that various bills would have occurred, and I owed taxes to California (bankruptcy would still come to my doorstep).  But it would have been the right decision.

I sat amazed....people were that stuck on staying there and being miserable.

The one lady....an office manager....was making $70k a year, and now having to picking up bottles and cans.....to augment her unemployment income.  She wouldn't leave?  That was the amazing part.

The water cooler chat today at the office involved mostly this....instead of the Packers beating the Vikings, which surprised me.

There is this element of common sense that I think has evaporated from folks in California.  I could understand a guy making a decision to hope on some six month long episode of good luck occurring....but eventually, I'd have to pack and leave.  Yes, I'd likely go to some job in Dallas, Nashville, Atlanta, or Huntsville....and I'd take a significant pay-cut.  But I'd be working, and accept the fact that the "BIG-JOB" was gone, and life was going to be different.

Just a humble observation.

Just A Moment of Pondering

The WikiLeaks episode continued this past week....with the next release of intelligence messages.

I sat and pondered over this mess.

You can sit there and imagine these geeky WikiLeaks folks...sitting around and reading intelligence messages written by E-2's or 2Lt's with barely a year of military training...and trying to grasp what they meant by "movement", "causalities", or "estimates". Then you take into consideration that the geeky folks never took any social science classes in college...and the worst threat they ever faced was a MAC hard drive that failed on a Sunday night before exams.

The amusing thing is a bunch of geeky folks are pretending that they are serving the world and providing “justice”. These are the same folks who don’t believe in copyright protection, and anarchism tends always be in their top ten priorities.

Then you look where these "heroes" of our society live....strangely enough...all live in free societies with the biggest worry is having adequate bandwidth. They all count on cops being there to protect them from evil. They count on the sewage folks providing adequate sanitation.

So at the end of the day....Jimmy, Freddy, and Julian will protect us all from evil. The only question is...who will protect when Jimmy, Freddy and Julian lose their perception on life, and start to harm us? A Wiki-Wiki-Leaks organization?

No Chance of Motel-Six

There's a story I latched onto this weekend...involving the President and his entourage.

There's a trip to India planned shortly.  The President's team has rent out an entire hotel....near the Taj Mahal....which involves 570 rooms.  To be honest, there are dozens of other rooms throughout the city rented for support personnel (security, communications, etc).

It's an interesting deal....renting an entire hotel complex to ensure the safety and security of the President.

I sat and pondered over this deal.  Almost all of the first thirty Presidents limited themselves to US or Canadian soil, as President.

President Wilson would have gone over to France to negotiate the end of WW I but his stroke kinda prevented travel (you can believe the recovery from the flu, but the story no longer works in light of real history).

We come actually to President Roosevelt for international travel, and the beginning of this problem.  Up until the 1980s....a President could typically reserve an entire floor and that was pretty much the extent of this 'rock-star' status.  Over the past ten years....things have doubled up.  Even now....folks are a bit shocked at the idea of an entire hotel being rented.  Who pays for this?  You....at your Pizza Hut job, your bank teller job, your customer service job, or perhaps your farm job.

I would speculate that when President Andrew Jackson traveled....he probably took up two rooms at some boarding house of a respectful nature.  He got one room, and his administrative aide probably got the other room.

I would speculate that when President Hayes traveled....he probably took up to three rooms...with a security guy or two included.

Calvin Coolidge?  Cal was awful cheap and practical.  I would speculate that he stayed with relatives and friends mostly....and might have taken a cheaper room when necessary.

The curious thing is that a major element of our national budget now pays for rock-star status.  Frankly, if we really got around to discussing this....we wouldn't be happy.