Tuesday, 26 November 2013

My Observation on Trailer-Trash Gals

A couple of years ago....I ended up working with a gal that I (as a kindly Bama guy) would refer to in the nicest of terms....as pretender trailer-trash.

From fifty feet away, she dressed trailer-trash....just at the higher level than you'd expect.  She pretended to be an IT-guru....but at the time, knew enough to put on a 3x5 card.  Today, I think she's expanded her vast knowledge to twenty 3x5 cards....not to say in a negative way, but she's not not a technology geek.

She was capable of gossiping like a trailer-trash gal.  She always knew vast amounts of gossip....what was going on with this gal.....why this guy was always late.....why this other gal had a secret profile under some bondage site....which major was writing secret notes to some gal in Kansas, etc.

She'd generally drink a ton of coffee, and I always felt she was in "turbo-power" as a trailer-trash gal....mostly because of the caffeine.  I think she would die if Starbucks dissolved away one day.  She was the most determined Starbucks coffee drinker possible.  She could accept less than Starbucks, but it was to be duly noted in commentary.

The attire?  Trailer-trash gals typically dress....to let you know they fit a certain style.  They want to be noted and you gasp....as they walk into the room.  Frankly, it's possible to spend fair amounts of money....pretending to be upscale trailer-trash....when the clothing is a mixture of stuff from J C Pennys or Sears.  If Pennys could ever open a gaudy line of clothing....my associate would be first in line and spend hours pouring over the mix.

The accent?  Occasionally, a twinge of New Orleans would slip out....but she'd been able to keep the accent neutral.

Trailer-trash gals typically watch lots of TV, and always know the status of this star or that one....mostly by reading the one-dollar magazines at the check-out line.  They quote People Magazine....mostly like some Democrat quotes Harry Truman.

It's hard for a trailer-trash gal to be stationary.  They tend to uproot themselves....from one park to another....one town to another....one job to another.  They generally are looking for the right mix of things from forty-four different filters, and never find the right trailer, the right job, the right guy, the right life.  Yeah, dissatisfaction is always a trailer-trash issue.  Nothing is perfect.

The thing is....trailer-trash gals can be nice, polite, charming, and resourceful.  If you got yourself into a little problem.....they'd come like a good neighbor, and help you out.  If you needed a pick-me-up moment with a shot of enthusiasm.....they tend to have it.

I won't go out and condemn trailer-trash gals.  God probably put them on this wicked world for some reason, and we probably need them more than we think.  Anyway, we could always do worse, and we should appreciate all "God's wonders".

Traveling Man

I counted up today....a fair number of states that I've been to....and some I've just somehow missed.

Some.....like Maine....I basically landed via the Air Force, spent several hours in some terminal waiting, and sipped a Pepsi.

Some, like Texas....I spent weeks and weeks at some Air Force school.

I'd like to someday say I've been to all fifty, but I'm having doubts over Hawaii.

As for international travel?  I'm hoping to fill in six more countries over 2014, and maybe some day make my way into Egypt.

Yeah, Russia and it's Trans-Siberian Railway is begging me for some fourteen day trip across the country.  And I have to admit....I would like to make it to Burma one day.....maybe even Australia (although I have that no travel rule about no-snake-countries).

Peru?  If it weren't for food poisoning, the Shining Path guerrillas, and robbery stories....I'd probably like to see these ancient cities, and such.

China?  Well....the issue comes down to food and how to survive for two weeks off a Chinese diet.  Could I eat noodles for two weeks straight?  Could I eat mostly fish and boiled chicken?  Would I be influenced by Hu Wung to convert to Communism or Maoism?

The frank truth is....Bama guys weren't ever supposed to leave the state....except for NCAA football games, or big flea market shows in Texas and Mississippi....and the Grand Ole Oprey Show in Nashville.

We were given some brilliant naive gift from God....mostly to take in sights....gauge them against local corrupt Bama politics, general store operations, crazy relatives, catfish from the local grill, Amish dealings, and wisdom handed out by guys over eighty years old in overalls.

A Bama guy can't appreciate ancient ruins in Honduras like most folks.

A Bama guy can't marvel at fancy castles and fortresses in Germany like most folks.

A Bama guy can't eat a fancy French meal and feel humbled like most folks.

A Bama guy can't stand on a Chinese plateau gazing at a brick wall of sorts, and say something noble.

A Bama guy can't stand in the presence of a Swedish King and note royal gossip that they heard or noted since the fancy party began.

A Bama guy can't sip Russian vodka....tasting the essence of Russian history.....mostly because we've had better home-distilled stuff from Scottsboro.

A Bama guy lacks the manners to sit at a Swiss hotel dinner, and note the seven folks, spoons and knives around the plate.....commenting more to the fact that somehow we got by with just one of each at home.

Yeah, it would have been better to stick to Bama.  But then, that would have invited one to wonder about the big bold world around themselves.

PTSD and the German Review

I've sometimes come to appreciate the methods and analysis of Germans.  When they sit down to study a problem....they go to an intense level, and ask questions that would normally never get brought up on a problem.  It's like having Einstein sit down and be told to study the US postal system, and eventually come to say that there's no reason to have delivery more than two or three times a week....it's wasted man-hours and money.

Well....the smart guys at Dresden's University of Technology sat down and conducted a rather unusual subject....soldiers and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). They went at the problem from a totally different view.

They came to this odd conclusion, which will trigger a vast new survey among American medical experts and the US Army.

Basically.....they found that twenty percent of German military members....were affected by depression and PTSD-related disorders....before they even went on duty.  When these guys were in high school or working at some shop.....they already displayed issues which would amount to PTSD, but it was never diagnosed or recognized.

Statistically, this lead them the group having issues....four to six times is the quote from the university study.....of guys with developing mental health issues and requiring some kind of help.

So you start to ponder upon this WW II, Vietnam, the Gulf war, the Iraq war, and the Afghanistan war.....and our present issue of PTSD among US military personnel.  You had guys who went off....accepted the stress and woes of conflict, and return with minimal issues.  They were likely the eighty-percent group.  The PTSD crowd?  The twenty-percent crew.

I kinda think that the Dresden folks have opened up a Pandora's Box of sorts.

Do you bring a kid in at the recruiting station and present a four-hour test, then determine that you can't enter the Marines....mostly because you are predetermined to have PTSD?  And if you tell that kid "no"....he returns home, what happens to him then?  As he advances at the brewery, or the tire shop.....will he react someday and have a PTSD episode....unrelated to combat....and suddenly have a "fit" of sorts?

Does a HR branch of a company start to have a two-hour test for incoming employees and determine some gal can't be offered a job because of her pre-determined stress levels relating to PTSD, where she never spent a day within the military?

Are we even looking correctly at PTSD as being a military-related stress?  Could life stress fit just as well?  Could some lose at a football game, or a relative dying from cancer, or some house fire....trigger personal PTSD?

The Dresden guys might have a five-star topic of investigation on their hands....worthy of a Nobel Prize or something.

A Short Essay on the Affordable Healthcare Act

Generally, if you were going review the opening of some stripper bar in town at the weekly city council meeting....there'd be at least five hundred people to show up.  It'd be a lively discussion.

Generally, if you were going to discuss the potential bill to limit gun sales in your county at the monthly county council meeting....there'd be two thousand folks to show up.  It'd be a lively discussion.

Generally, if you were going to discuss dismissing your local fire department chief for improper behavior (like driving the fire truck while drunk and only in boxer shorts)....there'd likely be four hundred folks to show up.  It'd be a lively discussion.

Down in New Mexico....as part of the Affordable Healthcare Act....there's the NMIX.  These are the folks in charge of the state health insurance exchange.

The NMIX folks have known there's this vast "unknown" in their neck of the woods.  The majority of folks will say they've heard about the Affordable Healthcare Act, and it's mostly enough knowledge to write on a 3x5 inch card.  Sadly, the knowledge is common word by mouth type info.  And most folks are a bit negative with what they do know.

So the NMIX folks have planned out these seminars.  The Farmington Daily Times went and interviewed on the topic, and the seminars.

Basically....what can be said....is that these seminars were planned, and widely advertised.  In one case, a local Chamber of Commerce was going to sponsor the seminar, and noted a free meal from the deal.  I'd take a guess it was a plate lunch at some mom-and-pop operation....but usually....a free meal is a pretty good incentive to show up.

Well....it just didn't sell.  Even after offering the free meal and a seminar to get smart on the Affordable Healthcare Act....they basically got seven folks signed up.  I can only take a guess here, but they were likely hoping for at least a hundred....maybe even three hundred.

The NMIX folks aren't saying much.  They'd like to inform more people, and get more folks to grasp and understand the whole thing.  But there's just not any public interest....even if you offer a free dinner.

In Bama, folks tend to get an invitation or two each year to a free fish-fry.  You get a card to show up one evening at some local cafe.  There's going to be some county agent talking up genetically modified soybeans, mad-cow disease, or a government grant program to plant pines on your property.  It might be some doctor from Memphis there to talk up hip replacements or swine-flu shots.  Heck, you might even get a Braves catcher....there to talk about the Braves in 2014, and if they've got a decent relief pitcher.....emphasizing Saturday ticket prices and a local bus running to Atlanta every Saturday morning at 6AM.  Folks show up, and listen.  Not just dozens....maybe two hundred folks.

But the Affordable Healthcare Act?  It's just not stimulating conversation.  Folks tend to see it as a gimmick.  No one read the bill before they passed it.  No one really told you much of the truth during the ramp-up phase.  And the cost factor is a bit more than you remember that CNN guy talking about back in 2011.

My advice for the NMIX folks?  Talk the local used car dealer into offering a 1994 Honda Civic as a door prize for the presentation of the healthcare information.  Talk some Best Buy franchise into offering a $299 big-screen TV for a door prize.  Note that you've got a dancer from the Bottoms-Up strip club to shake hands with folks after the presentation.  You could even go out and recruit four guys from a NBC daily soap opera show to come in and be part of the seminar....acting like their characters and telling all the positives.  A gimmick.  Yep, you need a gimmick.....to sell a gimmick.

It's a sad thing about America in this modern age.  Gimmicks don't sell....without another gimmick.