Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Got Some Money to Burn

Word got out this week....the city of Camden, New Jersey has a new program.  They've decided that things reached a certain point on truancy....that they'd be willing to pay around 70 high school kids $100 each to go and attend school for the first three weeks of the year.  I sat there kinda amazed that they money to toss around and this was some kind of special deal.

But here's the other part to the $100 deal....not only did you have to attend classes without skipping....but you had to attend conflict-resolution and anger-management classes during the same period.

In my day.....before YouTube, nicotine gum, Japanese Anime, and World of Warcraft.....you just kinda attended school.  We didn't get paid.  We didn't get offered up anger-management classes.  We did conflict-resolution mostly by some teacher who ironed out differences in 60 seconds flat.  We had bus drivers who did conflict resolution in 30 seconds.

So I'm kinda amazed that $100 is sufficient to make you think about staying in school.  Course, it's just enough to buy a neat pair of tennis shoes, or take a girl out on an impressive date.  Maybe there's a logic to this.

The thing about this type of logic....you basically need to envision adults needing a $100 bribe....to go to work and stay there all day.  No, I'm not talking about pay....I'm talking about an extra bribe deal where you need the boss to just hand you $100 under the table, and then the boss needs to offer anger-management and conflict-solution classes as part of the deal as well.

Do the Finns offer anything like this to their punk kids?  No.  The Swedes?  No.  The Russians?  No.  Tonga?  Nope.  Wonder why......

Only in America.

The German Comedian

Comedy in Germany took a pause yesterday....Loriot passed away.

There are various stages or levels of comedy....he always ended portraying real people.  You'd watch a clip and then remember that's exactly what your old Uncle Karl says.  Or you'd watch Loriot shopping in a grocery and spending ten minutes trying to determine what kind of mustard to buy.

One of my favorite clips was Loriot being forced by his elderly wife to attend marriage counseling.  At some point, the counselor is trying to determine what the issues are with the husband....and asks him what his favorite color is.  There is this pause, Loriot begins to respond: "Gray. But not just gray, more green-gray, going into brown, a kind of brown-gray with green, a brown-green-gray."   The description goes on and on about gray being relative to green, brown, and just about every color in the rainbow.....until the counselor realizes that gray is really gray and Loriot was simply jabbering away without much sense to his favorite color.

He will be missed.

Oh, and here is a clip of the airplane trip with Loriot.

The Earthquake

It was a bit of a unusual day.  Shortly after lunch....we had a earthquake.  I sit in the bowels of the Pentagon....about as deep down as you can go....in the basement.  I was sitting in an easy-chair....when I felt this swaying.  I didn't way much...but five seconds later....it was doubling in nature and my associate had picked up on the movement.  Around the ten second point...it finally peaked out.  It took the emergency folks in the pentagon about sixty seconds then....to call for an evacuation.

We calmly walked out.  I noticed some folks really peppy and very worried....almost running.  When we finally got to their designated place in the parking lot.....we just stood there.  It took another ten minutes for the emergency folks to announce that this was a 5.8 quake and that we needed to stand there for a while.  

I kinda looked over at the Pentagon structure.  Nothing was cracked and we kinda knew that the building was made in 1943 and pretty much able to withstand a quake of 8 on the quake scale.  They sent us back in and we then began assessing things.

DC is always a curious place.  Across the river....they were sending folks home.  Us?  Standing in the Pentagon.  Our headquarters folks over fifty miles away....further away from the epic center.....they were told to go home.  We just sat there.

So around normal quitting time....I finally head to the Pentagon's Metro bus station.  Needless to say....for my typical bus route....there 300 folks standing there.  I opt'ed for another bus down the platform with six folks standing there.  It typically comes every fifteen minutes.  So I waited an hour, and it never came.  I took the train over to the next suburb and then patiently waited almost thirty minutes for a bus to finally come and deliver me to the apartment. Luckily, no damage there.

DC is the one place on Earth where a guy could stand around for hours because of some emergency or lack of transportation.