Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Class Project in Texas

It's not worth getting too upset by....but out in Texas....the school system for about seventy percent of the state.....had this project for sixth-grade kids.  You need to design a flag for a new socialist nation.  The hint given by the school, complete with directions....was that socialist/communist nations use symbolism on their flags.  The idea is that this kinda represents various and distinctive parts of their economic system. Draw a flag.

Well.....I'm not a sixth-grader, but I could take on an assignment like this.

So I'd start with this idea of a fancy star being on the flag.  That's always a socialists thing.

Well...you’d want to give the socialists a bit of encouragement...so you’d start with blue on the left side of the flag, and a big white star in the middle of the left half.

Then you’d put a bit of white on the top half of the remaining part, and a bit of red on the bottom half of the remaining.

Course, being in such a country.....I'd start talking ‘republic’ and using the word a good bit.

After a while, you’d act more independent than the other socialists. You’d let them know that you had some character in you...like Davy Crockett, or that Bowie guy.

Then you’d start to let folks know that your general motto was ‘not to mess with you’.

Then you come to suggest that income taxes aren't necessary, and you’d talk up the idea of a balanced budget.

And after a while, you’d talk to the NFL and ask if they could allow you a football team, and you’d think long and hard over the name for that team.

After that, I just don’t think you’d be a socialist anymore.

I guess I might get a failing grade for my sixth-grade project.  Course, the teacher would have to explain to me why my flag design wasn't proper, and I might want to hear them actually say why I failed.  And maybe after a while....I'd let them know something they don't know.

That 34 Minutes

This electrical outage that occurred at the Super Bowl....has some folks in a tizzy.

If you work for the maintenance side of the Super Bowl staff....you probably have wasted twenty hours looking at what potentially could have caused the problem.  So far....no one knows for sure.  All they say is that there was this anomaly and the system told itself to hit the breaker and go off.

There's a curious thing about this problem.  What if they hadn't flipped the switch after 34 minutes?

What if the outage went on....past sixty minutes....past ninety minutes?

I'm guessing the NFL leadership were sitting up in the balcony area of the stadium and just cussing up a storm because there is no plan "B".  You can't get to the second half, and then have an emergency like this.  There's nothing in the rule book over how you fix the problem or progress with another game.

You can imagine both coaches in a tight mental fix, and just will not accept rescheduling this game.  Fans?  Don't even mention another game tomorrow.  The TV guys?  They've blocked off everything for this two-hour period.

If this electrical outage had gone past ninety minutes...I'm pretty sure that a dozen guys would have met up in the top deck....sipping whiskey and bourbon....and talking options.  There's a TV guy in the corner, and the mayor of New Orleans is probably in the room too.  There's likely a bunch of cussing going on.

My humble guess of future bowl games?  It wouldn't surprise me if they tote out a back-up generator system (maybe a dozen generators)....to power up the dome....if regular power fails.  Figure another million or two....just to make sure the game runs on time.

Some folks might suggest moving it out to a outdoor stadium....like Green Bay....and do the game at noon.  Course, snow might be a problem....but it kinda keeps everyone guessing.

This 34 minutes likely changes planning for next year.  And the Chinese hacker who created the episode?  Well...he probably got a bonus....free tickets to next year's Super Bowl.  (Just kidding, the Chinese?  No....well...I'd hope not.)

The Ad From the Super Bowl

Back in 1978….Paul Harvey sat down and wrote a speech, which he delivered on a Saturday. These Saturdays ‘sermons’ (as I call them), were something that the public needed for reflection.

So this piece in 1978….concerned God, and how he created a farmer. It was not a real wordy piece. It was simplistic. It amounted to a brief two-minute description of the woes, sorrows, and anxiety….of being an American farmer.

It’s not a profession for wussies or people who hate rising before sun-up. A guy could probably think of forty better professions. Paul Harvey kind of knew the whole angle to farming.

It’s not for regular people.

It takes dedication.

It takes hard work.

You gamble constantly…winning half the time and losing the rest.

You wish for ton of good things, and just readily accept what you get.

You get attached to animals who pass away suddenly.

You have to walk through a thunderstorm because you don’t have time to waste.

You mend fences because cows are tricky devils.

You haul hay in the midst of a hot July afternoon.

You cuss at bankers who refuse to let you borrow more money, to get deeper into debt. Course, it's the gamble, this might be the year that you clear all debt, buy a new truck, a new refrigerator, and take the wife to Branson.

You often pray for miracles, but act surprised when they do occur.

You’d like to drink while working but you know it’s not a safe practice.

You have the knowledge of an engineer, PhD professor in agriculture, and a veterinarian…but no certificate to prove it.

You are overwhelmed when suddenly the market jumps fifty percent in one month for soybeans, and then torn to pieces when wheat prices drop by twenty percent in one week.

Yesterday, Dodge turned Paul Harvey’s two minute piece into an ad for Dodge Ram trucks. It was a curious piece. You didn’t really see Ram mentioned. They were fairly careful with the pictures and led you through mostly all farm related stuff.

On a scale of one to four….it’s probably a five. Paul Harvey? Well….he probably wouldn’t have agreed to some ad like this, but he would have stood there for a minute and admitted that the words and pictures all kinda fit.

Here’s the neat thing. There are probably 2,000 Saturday ‘sermons’ sitting out there from Paul Harvey’s collection. They just used one. So we have at least 1,999 to go.

It’s a thought that would bring a tear to your eye….so many wise words, and we just barely used one of his sermons for a brief two minutes of the Super Bowl.